One reason why we love kiteboarding so much, is its incredible accessibility for freestyle! While in other sports freestyle is something that only a handful of professionals can achieve, doing freestyle in kite is possible even for intermediate riders, plus its safe and really fun! Even so, here in Sicily at ProKite Alby Rondina we see lot of advanced kiters who don’t attempt any jumps, but many of the want to, just do not know how to start. Well we would like to see you guys go areal so we prepared simple guide for you how you can prepare yourself for freestyle in 7 simple steps! Also our tips are meant for beginner and intermediate freestyle riders, who want to improve their style and tricks. Hope you will find enough motivation in those lines and we will meet you on water here at ProKite Alby Rondina!
- 100% UPWIND RIDE
There is no point trying any freestyle, unless you have 100% ability to ride upwind really good. There are 2 reasons – first is obvious course of study, you have to master one step and then have to move to the next one, since you will improve upon things you have to master in first step. Second is statistical advantage that upwind ability will grant you. If you can go only feebly upwind, for every trick attempt you have to spent let’s say 15 minutes to come back upwind., so about 4 trick attempts per hour. However, if you can ride upwind really good you can travel same upwind distance in 5 minutes, thus multiplying your chances threefold and you end up with 12 attempts for a trick. It’s a science, bitch!
So go out there and work on your upwind rider until you can go as sharp as possible! It will also unlock a new spots for you and ability to ride the best places.
- UPWIND TURN LIKE A BOSS
Not only that upwind turn will help you with going upwind as we mentioned before, but more important in doing upwind turn you are doing the same movement as you have to do in basic pop (but in shorter time). You have to edge hard upwind until you stop, with pop you do the same but you keep the kite down, or you steer it hard on other side. When we do freestyle lesson of first jumps, we always teach perfect upwind tur first, they you just do it faster & harder and we watch you fly!
- BE THE KING OF POP
Most of the kiters know that easiest way how to jump is simply to steer the kite on the other side fast. Yes, it is true but it’s not the way how you can go highest, it will give you only a fraction of height that what you could reach. Have a look at 3 things that are affecting height of your jump:
- How fast you send the kite up
- How fast are you riding
- How hard you edge against the kite during the takeoff
So first train your loaded pop without the kite movement (similar like upwind turn but faster & harder) and landings downwind. After do it in high speed and in the end if you add a kite movement you will not believe the places you will reach 🙂
- SPOT THE RIGHT SPOT!
It is super-duper important to choose a right spot for your tricks for 3 reasons – safety, quality of conditions and surprisingly psychology.
So first you should choose a safe spot, not too crowded, with no obstacles downwind or not too shallow water with stones, preferably not far from the beach in case of emergency. Second flat water helps you to hgo faster and so pop harder, choppy water can also throw you off balance. Obviously you want the spot with the nice and constant wind. Such conditions are easy to find here in Sicily with ProKite Alby Rondina, where we have a huge 2000 hectares flat & shallow water lagoon haha.
About psychology… When you just ride and randomly do your trick you are not cencrentrated properly. It is better to spot exactly the point where you want to take off and always do your tricks there. Conditions will not surprise you and you are much better concentrated on actual move you have to do!
- STUDY YOUR TRICK
However “free” might freestyle of PRO riders look, trust me that truth is far from that. All the moves are carefully studied and observed first. Before blindly attempting your desired move, first you have to visualize it. Ask advanced rider how to do it or find some instructions online (or offline in books like KITEBOARDING TRICKTIONARY). You have to know exactly what to do, before attempting it.
- GO STEP BY STEP
In kitesurfing there is a very clear progression ladder in tricks and it’s really foolish to attempt anything that is beyond your level. You should always master tricks that are leading to your desired move. For example, if you want to do JESUS WALK, you should be able first to do Toeside ride, Downloop, Transition jump, Backroll transition and Darkslide. Keep your kiteboarding easy & safe and learn the tricks step by step.
- DON’T TRY IT, DO IT!!!
Of course it is unwise to just “go” for the trick you dream to do, if you have no idea what to do. Like in steps before you have to first make sure if your skill is sufficient for your trick and study how to do it. But when you know conditions are right and you are ready, stop the doubts and just go for it! It is actually not very safe to just go “try” something, so once you set your mind for some trick fully commit and SEND IT!