San Francisco Bay Area kiteboarding lessons, learning and support.
I took my new directional out for the first time last week, and man did I feel like a total spaz. I had visions of learning to ride strapless, yeah right. You quickly encounter reality-no board handle, like on a twin tip, but u quickly learn to overcome that.
Then there is the whole turning thing. I can jibe on my twin tip, but jibing and switching stance on a directional is a whole other skill set. I think the trick may be in taking the kite up to neutral after the turn, and then making the switch. Any good video footage of this massively important transition technique available online?
At one point I just chucked transitioning and rid toe-side one way and heel side the other way.
The other thing about directionals being a light wind alternative seems hard to believe, as the skegs on these boards are so big that they negate any benefit from the increased flotation. I find that I need a minimum of 18mph with a 13 meter bow kite to get going. The upwind is much better than on my twintip, which is probably due to the larger fins.
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I just started last week too - and made some of the same "rude" discoveries - and some pleasant ones. http://www.bayareakiteboarding.com/index.php?option=com_wrapper&view=wrapper&Itemid=68
There are also some old threads about jibing. I'm obviously in no position to give advice, but I think you're in the right church, kite position is critical, you need a little lift to fool around with the weight on the board.
Also, the advice of riding strapless the board to dial self and straps in worked for me.
I have a race board, it does make a huge difference in light wind.
Let's compare notes after a few more sessions.
i have things that helped me
take the straps off, they are targets you have to hit and
that makes you look down ...
also i like to switch my feet on an Up stroke.. kite going low to high
if you put the kite at 12 o'clock,its a real balancing act and harder to do
try not to reach when you switch but run a little off wind as you switch..
then get back to us, on if any of that helped?
Also struggling a bit with jibing. Thanks for the tips Charlie. Also it helps to go upwind on a directional If you move your back foot forward in front of the strap.
It is obvious that we can no more explain a passion to a person who has never experienced it than we can explain light to the blind. T.S.Eliot
I just started to gybe on a directional this year. One trick that helped was learning to ride with both feet together going slightly upwind. Once you get that down you could move around the board all you want. Now I cut really hard upwind and when the lines are tight I jump forward and turn the board the other direction. You loose no ground during the gybe. Then there is the toe side gybe, but I find it harder to move my feet after I gybe...
Good points dewey
i should also say i switch after the turn.. from toe side
Ive seen L.M.G. switch before the turn, witch is harder for me
but if you can doit you can sit and Rip a nice fast line..
you can also switch in the turn,
when to switch your feet.up to the rider
so ya play with all 3,
before, during, and after the turn
I have super limited experience on a directional. but last year I borrowed a surfboard and was having a blast in light winds as it was something new. the thing i tried to do when jibing was to stand in the middle of the board and jump up real quick to tun around before making the turn. I never got it down smooth but I think of I had a little more time I could swing that. Ultimately i eneded up putting a hole in the front of the surfboard with my elbow after a fin grabbed some of that summer weed out here.
A few points-
1. I think it's easier to gybe with some speed in the board, keeps it more stable.
2. Many people, myself included, usually gybe on only one tack, for me it's starboard. What I mean is that I make a toeside turn from port to starboard and then gybe. Then, on the same reach, I gybe back to toeside before making a heelside turn to port. When racing these turns are a pivot to avoid loosing ground, and when freeriding more of a carve.
3. Practice, practice, practice!
Last edited by eag on Thu May 28, 2009 10:12 am, edited 1 time in total.
i can hit maybe 90% of my gybes, but there are people out there that are far far far better than me....but, with that said, my big tip is:
gybing shouldn't be a "real quick and fast" move. every step on the board should be deliberate and you should have ample time. In other words, to do a gybe, you probably take around 4 steps on the board and you should be able to wait a solid second between each step.
the steps I learned were:
1. carve downwind and place your back foot on the opposite side of the board such that your feet are pigeon toed.
2. take your front foot out of the strap and place it in front of hte back strap
3. place your new front foot in the new front strap
4. place you new back foot in the back strap.
#1 was really crucial for me. someone told me that trick and it really helped. in placing your foot there, it automatically starts the board carving too. gybing strapless is much easier, and doing it on a bigger board helps too. smaller boards with less volume means that you need to be doing it with more speed.
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This is where I am, after 3 (pretty wet) sessions, and having taken the back strap off:
1. heel-to-toeside transition
2. carve downwind with moderate speed and kite high-ish
3. back foot (old) next to front foot pad, toe-to-toe; this part feels the most ridiculous, as I need to ride a little like that to get everything stable
4. move out front foot (old), place on back pad; this is the step where I generally fall off the board
5. sneak the (new) front foot in the strap
Now, the few % times I actually pull this off - not fall/sink in step 4 - I feel it's because I get into a fairly stable plane in step 3. I'm not sure this is not developing a mistake (wrong way to do this), b/c I can't imagine doing the riding pigeon-toed on front of the board in, say, Crissy chop/gust.
Oh, and it goes without saying I can only do this on one side only (riding heelside starboard post jibe).
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