The progress in any sport starts with going out of your comfort zone. People always try to think of a reason not to do something. But when you are really into something, and your desire is stronger than your fear – there the magic begins. Remember, you are never too old, too fat or too slow to learn a new trick. You can be only too lazy for that.
It’s not necessary to push yourself to the limit and learn to perform tricks from the repertoire of experienced kitesurfers. Start with something simple, then, go to the next level of difficulty and push boundaries. But never hop the hedge, as progress in sport is a slow and sequential thing. Before you go to the tricks you need to master the skills. In other words, a trick is a combination of skills, which you mastered step by step.
So, we agreed, that performing tricks needs theory and skills. A good kiteboarding school will provide you with both plus guided practical kiteboarding lessons. Skipping the stage of having lessons with instructor can cost your health, as kitesurfing is quite an extreme sport, and can be rather traumatic. There are people, who have experience in wakeboarding, snowboarding or windsurfing, so, they believe, that they will master kitesurfing easily on their own.
So, if are already not a newbie in kitesurfing, are able to launch the kite, control it and feel quite confident on the board, then it’s high time to master your first tricks:
-Toe side riding
– High jumps
– Back roll
– Kite loops
The first thing you should start with – it’s watching videos of how to perform the tricks. There are a lot of videos in the Internet both for beginner kitesurfers and PRO level riders. The second thing to do is to check whether there are any wakeboarding water complexes nearby, as now they are becoming very popular all around the world. An average cable park can offer a consistent pull (18-20mph). Also, you will find there perfect kiteboard training conditions, flat water and high angle of pull, which makes a wakeboarding water park a great place to master and practice tricks. There is a great Mayan Watersports Complex at Playa del Carmen in Cancun and it is the biggest cable park in Latin America.
If you have enough time and have no financial difficulties, then you should plan your trip to some hot country with the ocean. One of the perfect places to go is definitely Mexico, with its perfect wind conditions, kitesurf beaches and great Kiteboarding schools like KITEHOLIC. For the best places for kitesurfing in Mexico check this article. And for the cheapest tickets from all over the world to Mexico have a look at this blogpost.
The best thing ever is for sure going to the beautiful place, where there is a good waterpark complex and a kitesurfing school with an experienced instructor. Even if you have a lot of experience in wakeboarding, surfing or windsurfing, you should realize, that kitesurfing differs from that watersports, and you will need an instructor anyway. The only thing is that you will learn and master the tricks much faster, but still, trying to perform something on your own might be dangerous for you.
Transitions should become your first kiteboarding tricks and that is the next step after you’ve learned to travel in both directions. Transitions are not particularly hard but are quite tricky in performance, so, you can or start to boost or literally pendulum yourself. Learning transitions means repeating it so many times that it will become automatic for you, and you will do that without thinking even. So, before you do any other jumps or maneuvers, work out with transitions. By the way, this is the maneuver you should practice on land, not in the water!
Wait for a perfect wind and try to be nicely powered up, so, pull the power out of your kite. Then, spot a nice place with flat water and keep the kite high in the window, at approximately 10-11 o’clock. That will make you get more lift, and will make it easier for you to turn at 180 degrees. The weight is on your back foot, but now you should slightly transfer your weight forward. Now, step around moving your board around quickly as well. After that – turn your shoulders and follow your feet with the rest of the body. Adjust your weight and put it on your “new back foot”. You might lose some power while performing the trick, so power your kite up again. As soon as you are feeling quite confident you should drop the front hand off the bar and bring it round in front of your body.
When you know how to jump and land properly it’s high time you start mastering high jumps. High, or huge jumps are nice tricks for those who already are somewhere in between beginner-intermediate riders. For practicing such a trick you will need a high performance kite, strong wind and the chicken loop, in which it will be much easier to go huge.
For a start you should go fast and raise good speed. Go down wind and put your kite high at 10 o’clock, then. Turn it to 1 o’clock. Don’t turn the kite forward immediately at lift-off. You should wait until the kite max out, then, you should crank the kite forward and get lifted.
There are a couple of mistakes you might encounter. First of all, make sure you have a big enough kite and the wind is perfect for performing the trick. Secondly, many riders do not gather enough speed for the trick, so, it will not work out. One of the most important things is not to look at the kite after sending it backward. Also, one of the typical mistakes is turning the kite forward too late, which makes the kiter sink.
You can start learning Backroll when you are already feeling confident on the board, can perform transitions to toe-side, are able to land properly and have already worked out some small jumps. Then it’s high time to try your hand, and foot, at performing back roll. This trick will certainly enrich your kiteboarding repertoire. More than that, a back roll is a basic trick to which are connected all the other rolls, grabs, loops and mobes. A good kiteboarding instructor will teach you that trick just in a couple of kiteboarding lessons. Trying to master it individually will take you much longer.
Well. First you should commit mentally and visualize the trick in your head from the point of start and landing. Staring a backroll west the kite at 10-11 o’clock. Put your hands closer to the center of the bar, this will not let you over-steer the kite. Then, you should pick a small piece of chop and approach it with moderate speed. Ramp off the chop, carve hard upwind and apply added pressure to your back foot. In order to make the nose of your board lift up. Pull in on the bar and direct the kite to 12.00, which will give you some extra lift. Here comes the most difficult part – you have to turn your head aggressively back over your shoulder and tuck your legs in, thus you will initiate the back roll. Spot your landing and when the rotation stops you should lower your legs. When you are landed on the water dip your kite to power it up. The main thing in doing the back roll is training the muscle memory and building confidence. You will master the trick after 4-6 times you did it successfully. Then, you can proceed in your progress and try your hand in doing other combination tricks. If still, you encounter some difficulties performing it, then you should have a look at some videos on the Internet, which will help to find the problem.
Kiteloop – it is when you loop the kite one way and spin another, but at the end of the trick your lines are not twisted, but not necessarily. The main thing is that your kite loops while performing. Kiteloops may a bit differ from each other, and the most common is called the Back Spin Kiteloop. Such a kiteloop needs some skills of yours. Mainly that is being able to Jump Huge and Spin. As for the kite, you will probably need shorter lines, like 15 to 20m, in order to have more response from the kite.
So, you make yourself ready for a start. First, you start to jump as usual, moving the kite up closer to zenith than you do that normally. Being air-born switch to Back Spin mode, then, pull on your back hand very aggressively to loop the kite. When you complete the spin, the kite should also complete the loop. Keep in mind, that the landing after performing the Backloop will be very brutal. On landing, try to point your board more downwind than usual to soften it.
Be ready to fail from the first try, as you might loop not properly. Just try to crank your kite clock wise, in order to complete the Kiteloop before you complete the Spin. As well as you might overturn or underturn, so try to adjust your spinning speed to the conditions you have. Quite a common failure when performing Kiteloop is crashing at landing. In order to avoid that, use shorter lines and go more downwind. To perform the loop properly, vary the kiteloop direction, as well as the number of spins, grabs and other tricks.
Leave your comfort zone
Whatever tricks you are going to master, you will need two things to be done first: learn the basic skills and get out of your comfort zone. However cool or diligent you are, you have to be ready to crash and make your kite wet. There is no progress in your comfort zone, remember that. You should always try to push your ability level; otherwise you are going to stuck somewhere in the middle. First, make a simple plan with reachable goals, then – proceed to the ones you are dreaming of, be persistent and calm.
Be consistent and concentrated
Remember, that you will progress much faster with an experienced kitesurfing instructor. Take private kiteboarding lessons or learn in a group. Think of good and safe equipment. In such an extreme sport as kiteboarding your safety should stand on the first place. Nowadays kiteboarding kites are very safe and have many features to eliminate power, you can always self-rescue yourself – unhook the kite and let the bar go, or get hooked back in and re-launch. Just, get used to your kite first and learn to be comfortable with it. One more important thing is having someone to coach you through that all, that will give you confidence. Always pick the right conditions, don’t start performing a trick when you are feeling not confident. Look for consistent wind conditions, so that you will be able to ride comfortably upwind. Make your attempts near the shore or in a shallow water place, in case the kite crashes. Commit yourself to the trick mentally and physically, keep the picture of trick performance in your mind. Never learn tricks when you are feeling unwell, or are not concentrated. Have peace of mind and be attentive to details. Good luck!