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Scorpion – The Archway to Wingfoil Backflip Success

Francesco Cappuzzo GWA wingfoil freestyle in Leucate

Top image: Francesco Cappuzzo / Photo: Samuel Cardenas 

Xavi Corr tells us about the sensations and secrets of the ‘scorpion’ back flip position that looks so extreme in each of these photos and clips

WORDS: Xavi Corr

Bending the back is important, even if you can bend it just a bit – it really helps with the backflip. Francesco Cappuzzo (above) does a really good scorpion!

There are two ways to backflip. One way is more like how Titouan Galea does it which is to push the board up high first and then throw the head back so it rotates more in time with the board; the power in this case all comes from the foil.

The way I like to do it with the scorpion is to just throw my head and shoulders back as soon as I’ve taken off and then to let the foil come through.

You’ll see the way that Francesco and I throw our arms and head so early that sometimes we can see the foil behind our heads as we look round to spot the landing.

The magic ingredient is to hold that position as long as possible and it’s actually really useful for controlling yourself if you go too high off a kicker. You can have a bit more time to slow the rotation as it’s slow already.

You HAVE to go full-send into it, though.

Really it’s just like doing a back flip on a trampoline – that’s how I learned it. But you can’t think about the board on your feet. Your body weight is a lot heavier than the foil, so it will always come round as long as you fully commit to that flip / scorpion position. Just imagine there’s nothing on your feet, just maybe a heavier pair of shoes.

How difficult is the wing management?
It’s pretty easy because you’re using your head and your arms from the beginning for the flip. Your arms come with your head, so just try to keep the wing with your arms at 90 degrees to your body and driving forward. Don’t carve too far upwind before take off though, otherwise the wind will hit the other side of the wing.

VITAL RECOMMENDATION:

Always wear a helmet and impact vest. It’s also super important to have tight footstraps and to really wedge your foot in before sending the flip to stop the board coming off your feet as you whip round. I’ve seen a few boards go flying off because of loose footstraps!

Where do you see the evolution going?
I think it’s going to turn into a double scorpion back flip. The whiplash can be really strong so I think a second flip will eventually be possible with enough height.

The scorpion does feel really nice because the motion takes a while so you get to enjoy that extended sensation and you can see your landing nice and early.

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The GWA Wingfoil World Tour riders will next be in action at the GWA Wingfoil World Cup Tarifa, 12-15th October 

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