First update. Go the end of the post to read the update and see the new videos.
Jibing on a shortboard ain't an easy task. Specially on choppy waters.
Without having the pretentious goal of being a complete and extensive treatise on the subject, here's a brief list of the three most common mistakes I encounter.
1) Too much weight on the back foot. This is very understandable, since a planing jibe happens at fast speed and it's just scary to lean forward into the turns the first times. As a reaction you tend to lean back, put too much weight on the back foot and slow down the board. Once you lose your speed, you can eventually still close your jibe, but everything will be more difficult. For example, flipping the sail won't feel neutral, like it would if you flip it at full speed.
2) Not sheeting in enough. Sometimes this is caused by not sliding the back hand back on the boom before initiating the jibe. Sometimes it's caused by being overpowered: the better you are, the less sail you need to get planing, so when you're learning you tend to need a little more sail than strictly necessary. Oh, and sometimes it's caused by the fact that... you just forget about it!
3) Bad foot work. I personally believe that jibing switching the feet first (and then flipping the sail) should be illegal. 99% of the students I get have learned this way. The thing is that it's extremely hard to switch your feet without having your board wobble a bit, hence losing that pressure on the inside rail and/or losing the plane. Jibing flipping the sail first (like in the video below) is way more fluid, even though it may seem odd and intimidating at the beginning. Its main difficulty is to achieve that complete independence between upper body (that's flipping the sail) and lower body (that doesn't move an inch and keeps pushing on the inside rail).
One thing that helps a lot is to have a friend filming you from the shore, so that you can look at yourself. If you do so, put the video on youtube and send me the link. I'll be happy to comment it.
Today, after having filmed a bunch of my student's jibes, I had him filming three of my jibes on his gear.
Flip that sail first you guys!
And learn on a Superfreak... EVERYTHING will be easier. I'm sure that Michael (who's the guy in the top photo that I just stole from Sharon's blog) would agree.
By the way, look at his harness lines...
Without getting to those levels, using too short harness lines (22 and under) is another quite common bad habit. Longer harness lines give more freedom to sheet out when hooked in and can save a few catapults.
The wind in Maui is about to get nuking. Today it wasn't light already, as you can see from the Kanaha Iwindsurf.com graph...
Hopefully we'll have some windswell waves to ride too. Get your small sails ready...
------start of first update--------------------
A reader sent me a little clip with one of his jibes. It's a perfect example of what can go wrong with a feet-switch-first jibe. Despite the fact that the carving, sheeting in and speed are ok, as soon as he switches his feet the board immediately stops. As a result, the sail flip becomes difficult, since sheeting in a sail in strong wind in precarious balance on a small board that has no speed at all is a very difficult task.
Since he said he can do sail-flip-first jibes on the other tack, I suggested him to start trying to flip the sail very early in the jibe (like at the end of sec. 9 of the video) at full speed. Eventually even to try not to switch his feet at all and sail switch stance for a while... If anyone feels like trying this, please make sure to move that sail towards the back of the board once you grab it on the new side, otherwise you may risk some nasty switch stance catapults...
Thanks Benjamin. FYI, you're in good company. I've seen exactly the same mistake thousands of times...
Don't believe me? Here's another one... looks familiar?