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Forward hand is always forward. It doesn't change through the rotation. It's easy to get confused when you are starting out because your brain wants to flip things once you are backwards.
So before the rotation just think forward hand forward hand forward. Remember which hand that is before during and after landing. And taking the back hand off doesn't hurt either to remind you which one is which.
As for moving or sending the kite. Listen to what everyone is saying. Don't do that at first. Just get your load and pop down. It will help you the best in your progression. If you are confused by the terms load and pop then go study and practice that. I promise you once you actually load and pop you will go "oh, this is easy. I get it. Backrolls are simple now".
If you are just starting out with all this stuff even if you think you are loading and popping you probably aren't. Work on it some more.
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I find it best to keep my back hand split in the middle of the bar( lines between fingers). Park the kite. carve hard up into a ramp. Swing your head by looking back over your front shoulder and keep it that way till you come around. Spot your landing. Another benefit of keeping your front hand off the bar is that you can make your rotation go a lot faster by swinging your arm back in the direction of the the rotation ( same as the head). This also lets you grab the board of added style points. HTH
When i started learning them, I first practiced bringing the kite a little higher (11 or 1) and then carving hard straight into the wind sheeting in and doing a little jump, then landing...trying to get used to the initial hard carv / edge..initiating the start of the rotation. Once comfortable with this, then i started the turning of my head to continue the full rotation.
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Vincent helped me learn: looking over the front shoulder is key. Really exaggerate it. Almost try to overrotate at first. When I learned it, I kept underrotating, because I wasn't committing to the full rotation. Once you can overrotate, then you can just ease off a bit and try to find the sweet spot.
Popping off of the waves at 3rd helps. Downwind a bit, then upwind off the wave as a ramp. It's cheating a little, as in you won't need it once you get good, but it helps to get you started.
Spot your landing.
Pull on the front of the bar when halfway through the turn, maybe sooner, otherwise you'll teabag.
Be persistent and you'll learn it in one or two sessions. I actually GoPro'd the one session where I learned it, and it has been instructive to observe my own progression:
- underrotated (failed to commit)
- failed to spot the landing (board pointed the wrong way)
- landed but lost all speed and teabagged
Maybe I'll post the video sometime, if I can find the right "training montage" music.
Keith, glad I could help, and I think "eye of the tiger" would work great.
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Oh one other thing no one has yet said, and this really helps the rotation.
Really bend your front leg to bring your front leg and board in to your chest. Andy Hurdman described it as crunches with both legs that's not what I think of it as. While that may happen I think your focus should be on your front leg. Really bring it in close. The back leg will follow and this move plus your front hand will ensure you get all the way around.
By the way if you find yourself over rotating then you are just dangling from the kite and spinning like a top. While totally possibly to time it right in this position it's much much easier to power out by bringing the kite down (with the front hand)
Some great tips from everyone. It's interesting seeing others struggle with the same things you did and then figured out the same solutions independently.
I had the same problem at first with my kite coming overhead or back over the other way and not having enough forward speed out of the roll to keep from sinking in the water. I realized I was initiating with a standard jump where you bring the kite to 12 or 1 (instead of 11) and thus overdoing my back hand. I sometimes even found myself transitioning from the backroll.
Once I mastered a standard backroll the backroll transition thus came naturally and is actually an easier trick: bring the kite to 12 or slightly past and slow your forward momentum with a low jump, then apply mild back hand pressure half way around the roll. If the wind is too light to power you back the other way, try pulling real hard with the back hand and loop the kite to give extra power. You'll soon be on your way to a hooked F16.
Progressing to the backroll transition by first mastering low jump transitions is advised. Also, adding the kite loop should only be done if you are comfortable doing them without boosting at first, and then doing them with low jump transitions if the wind is light.
The beauty of the backroll transition is that it loses less upwind progress than a standard transition. The beauty of adding the kiteloop is you don't have to undo a line twist at the end.
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