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I started working on my back roll and so far it's not going well. I do my load and pop, I take off and starting turning, and as soon as my lines start twisting I lose control of the kite, it does a screaming nosedive to the water, and I get yarded.
The yarding I can live with, but I'm not thrilled about slamming my kite on the water repeatedly. Is this the standard learning curve? It seems like if you fall anywhere short of the full 360 degree turn, this is bound to happen.
Guys, help me out here!
a couple of things that might help:
make sure to hold the bar with both hands all the way in the middle. That way it is much harder to give a strong steering input to the kite (since you don't want the kite to move!).
Once you rotate your body, most people will instinctively put too much steering input to your back hand, basically telling the kite to got towards a kite loop. So try to think about applying some input to your front hand instead. 90% of all people trying this the first time, simply don't pull enough on the front hand.
these 2 steps should help you to get the kite right, now to get your rotation (body) right, the best tip is to do the rotation with your head first, where you are looking is important, your body will follow
Don't worry about crashing your kite, the more you progress the more you will crash you kite, its a sign you are trying new things!
When I was learning, I put my back hand as close to the middle of the bar as possible (right up against depower line) and my front hand about one hand's length out from the middle. This helped me to avoid pulling too much on my back hand during the rotation.
Send the kite, and as you're releasing from the water, look over your front shoulder to start the rotation. Midway through the rotation, make sure you are putting pressure on your front hand to make sure that you aren't stalling/about to loop the kite (as guidoz said).
that + forget about pulling your kite too.
park your kite at 11, or 11.30. don't move it. don't pull on it. don't twist your bar.
pop. do backroll. kite will simply slow your descent parked where it is. You don't have to pop very high either.
land it. first.
Now, since you didn't let go of your bar, left still pulls the kite left and right still pulls the kite right.
Get moving then roll your bar backwards of your roll to uncross your lines.
That's why you have colored ends of your bar. so you know what side the bar is oriented. My airush bar actually says WRONG SIDE on one side so i know the bar is backwards, or crossed but doesnt matter how many loops your bar made. It'll still work the same if the bar is facing the same way. Took me a long time to figure that out and feel comfortable with the upsideasswardks.
When I first started doing back rolls, I did the same thing - looped the kite.
Now, I completely let go of my back hand when I do back rolls. I keep my front hand in the center of the bar (usually with my middle fingers splitting the chicken loop rope, above the bar) This way you just can't send your kite back the wrong way.
What everyone else said.
As soon as you get to the top (1/2 way around) pull your front hand pretty hard. You want the kite to pull you through the loop. Not doing this was maybe the single worst thing I did to hamper my progression.
Now I realize its all about pulling on your front hand to land a trick no matter what you are doing whether it's boosting big, backroll, front roll whatever. Well sometimes kite loops are different but that's another story.
SPOT YOUR LANDING
sorry to shout... but seriously. Look at the water ahead of you.
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"A ship is safe in harbor, but that's not what ships are built for"
Fantastic tips. And great picture, Kirk! This is really helpful stuff. I can't wait until it gets windy again so I can try some of this stuff out (not much time left this season!)
A few more questions:
I've seen some videos where the kites are close to 12 o'clock, so the jump is almost vertical, and others where the kite is lower and the jump is more wakeboard style. Which do you do? Or is it both? If the kite is lower, do you jump towards it as you're taking off? Or do you just jump "up" and let the kite pull you?
How is it you can control the kite once your bar is rotated, you're backwards and lines are crossed? I know it's done--it's just a little hard to imagine as I seem to lose control as soon as my lines cross.
I usually sheet in when I jump to get more pop. Is it easier to control the kite if you don't sheet in and keep your hands/bar high?
I'm not expert on rolls (or anything else!) but here's what goes thought my mind when I think "Back Roll":
1. Ignore the kite. Keep it where is is, maybe a tad higher than you'd normally be riding.
2. Look for a launch ramp or some little bump in the water coming up in your line of travel.
3. Position your front hand in the middle of the bar.
4. Pop off the bump and turn your head over your forward shoulder. Remember: your body follows your head/shoulders.
5. As you're starting your spin (or just before you launch), let go of your back hand (or really focus on your front hand so you don't put any pressure on the back hand).
6. As you rotate, begin to spot your landing.
7. Land, look/feel the position of your kite. Consider some pull on the front hand if it's flying too high to keep planing out of the maneuver.
Ride away and take a bow!
Now that you've got this dialed, you can start sending the kite in time with the bump on the water to get more air. The higher you go, the less spin momentum (head/shoulder turn) you'll want (unless you're going for a double rotation!).
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