There''s a lot of exaggeration about gybing, especially in a breeze. I think this probably dates back to the 1930s, before the kicking strap was invented. If you were a reader of Swallows and Amazons in your childhood then you''ll probably remember that gybing in a breeze was regarded as quite an adventure. Although its fair to say that people fall over more often gybing than tacking, in a properly rigged modern boat with the kicking strap firm enough its really not a major issue. Funnily enough on the old Square rigged ships it was tacking that was a challenge, and gybing was the easier maneuver!
In the beginning people get confused between tacking and gybing. Both are maneuvers where you change which side of the boat the wind is coming from. When you tack you push the tiller towards you so that the boat goes through the no-go zone (remember the points of sailing, pointing towards the wind, and the sail goes from pulled in one side to pulled in the other side. Gybing is the opposite: you pull the tiller towards you and the boat goes onto a training run with the sail right out on side, and then the sail swings right across from right out one side to right out the other side. So the big difference is that when gybing the sail is always full of wind, not flapping as it does half way through a tack.
How to gybe a sailing dinghy
Like tacking, gybing can be though of as a series of simple stages.
Mind Your Head
As boats get bigger the booms get heavier and so do more damage
Knocking yourself out is a good way of losing a race and hurts! Its more of an issue with gybing because the boom is traveling faster and with the full force of the wind in it.
Boat Balance/Control is Essential
In all this good boat balance is essential to make the maneuvers smooth and easy. If you are fighting the boat then something is probably wrong, and the most probable thing is that the boat isn''t flat enough!