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Started thinking about how people learn new techniques, and for me it is when I see something in a video that I want to learn. Doesn't seem to be much in the way of video tutorials for wave riding while kiting, mostly its all about wake style riding. Which brings me to cutbacks, both front and backside, as well as bottom turns, and I came across these two vids, which are surf specific:
Surfline TV has a whole slew of these.
Feel like I have the bottom turn down, but a rad cutback is not happening for me yet. I was able to do it the past on a skateboard on the coping of a quarter pipe, but with the kite in my hand/hands, it just kind of holds me back. I'm looking at a Rally Slingshot ad as I type this with Patrick Rebstock doing this exact maneuver. Looks like you need to be unhooked, which I totally don't get(how does one ride unhooked?, do you need to totally depower the kite first by pulling on the depower strap and then unhooking-cause otherwise your kite is fully lit). Anyway would be interested to hear from kiters who have mastered this technique, or if you have seen any tutorial vids on this and other kite-wave riding technique.
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Go watch the Ben Wilson film 'smack'. He goes through equipment, different riding conditions, unhooking, how to set up for waves and then the basics of all the fundamental surf moves.
It's an old video but totally solid. May be tough to find. I'll gladly hook you up with it of you are either tech savy, or make it down to Santa Cruz.
If it's a still photo he might just be hitting lip to release the fins and then coming down with the tail broken out...?
Experiment while you're riding with linking two turns without moving the kite. For example if you're going left, find some slope like a little swell or something and make an aggressive turn right and link it immediately back into an aggressive turn left while you keep flying the kite left (parked) the whole time. Applied to a wave, you probably need a board with the right rocker and of proper volume to your weight for the wave size/shape so you can catch it. Surfing with a kite in your hands is a completely different ballgame than kitesurfing in waves
Most people depower their kite halfway... some pro's rig their bars already depowered.
I haven’t unhooked in the surf per se but i have unhooked in big swell strapless on my surfboard in the bay. Pretty much have to go downwind once unhooked strapless, edging would be lame and isn't the point here. SO I would think onshore flow at the beach would also be difficult, and imagine Rebstock is only riding at pure sideshore beaches... going straight downwind down the lineup, smashing lips... wish we had cleaner breaks locally. If i can steal another day at Stinson this year I'm definitely going to try cutting a lip strapless, thanks for the motivation!!
I was kiting at OB few months ago and some tall guy I'd never seen before was cutting back off the top of 12' closeouts.... he made it look easy, don't think he was unhooked but he made his move QUICK. to avoid the macking!
Speaking of Rebstock. My dad was in Floras last few weeks was talking w/ Reed in the parking lot when a group of kiters rolled in. Reed introduced my dad and said something like "these are my kiter friends... Patrick, Ian, and Rio". Sick!
Last edited by NCKite_Ryder on Fri Jul 20, 2012 8:37 am, edited 3 times in total.
2010 UG FLX
2012 Firewire Flexfire Strapless
agreed kite surf technique is hard to come by. looking forward to hearing how people go about this. here's my take. i have no idea how 'correct' this is but it's definitely fun. i've been working on two methods based on conditions.
if i'm sufficiently powered and i find myself out on the shoulder i'll whip the kite to the other side of the window and follow it around until i'm riding toward the foam then repeat once i hit it. feels like as long as i stay just the right angle behind the kite as it turns i can keep its pull soft enough maintain traction on the wave.
other times, like if the wave walls up in front of me (so nice), i'll park the kite and surf toward it until it almost luffs out of the air and then dig into a tight cutback and ride away from it until the lines tighten. this method feels a lot like the surf move you posted above because there's very little pull from the kite until it snaps back to life, and even then you're ahead of it for a while.
to aloha's point, i'm using a pretty high volume board for these.
good cutbacks involve ROCKER and OUTLINE, have a board with enough volume and area to SLOW DOWN to the waves speed while still providing good drive- Stay powered enough to maintain a solid wing and FOLLOW the kite THRU the turns.. Enjoy-
The difference between surfing cutbacks and doing them with a kite is (not to be too obvious) the power you get from the kite. When surfing, you have to get all the power from the wave....a good cutback involves getting high enough on the face of the wave that you can use the contour of the wave to power up the return....it's about edging and weight transfer using speed you've built up coming into the turn.
With kiting, it's hard to get away from the temptation to use the power in the kite for your turns.
Also.....cutbacks are best done on a lined up wave that has a flat spot, where you approach the section with tons of speed and have one last little portion of steepness to work with.....often we're kiting in closed out beach break conditions that are not the best setup for hard cutbacks, but a reef or point break.......that's a different story
Haha, FOG, a reef or point break, let's not imagine a kite spot in Norcal that doesn't exist...we all know that if a place like that could be kited, it would be packed every day.
In order to do cutbacks with a kite, you will have to give up the feeling of wanting your kite powered at all times. If you don't redirect your kite hard when you smack the lip, or if you do and then immediately send it back downwind upon completing your cutback, it will feel soft and limp and the lines will slack a bit. If you have the right kite this will be fine. Just focus on your turn and let the kite catch up.
Alternately, you can loop the kite to keep it powered, but (again) if you don't have the right kite, this will pull you off edge and away from the lip you are trying to get back to and rocket you down the line or worse.
It says 10M, but it's really a 9.
2010 UG FLX
2012 Firewire Flexfire Strapless
Okay, this is what I was looking for, however, I wish they wouldn't keep cutting from the actual kiting footage all the time, but otherwise really well done:
Anyone know anything about how to ride unhooked while doing this? Like do you totally depower the kite before unhooking?
And where is that spot you have pictured with the windsurfer?
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