Back to Wrapped Kitesurfing Technique

Back to Wrapped

Technique / Advanced


The back to wrapped is a fairly funky move in it’s own right, although you don’t get to see them much. Most riders skip it in preference of going straight into the back mobe, and once they land that then they’re unlikely to go back to the wrapped version. However if you’re not one of the better riders in the country this is a very useful stepping stone, which will satisfy and build a consistency for more progressive moves. We’ll go through the foundations, then real time, followed by common problems and the keystone points.

There are two methods of doing a back to wrapped. One involves completing a slightly more dangly back loop and then waiting for just prior to touch down before turning to wrapped. The second variation, which we’ll look at now, is one movement from take off to landing. Video 1 is a fairly close up shot of Karine enjoying this version.

We’ll be taking you through this style for 2 reasons. Firstly you’ll be able to work on it without needing excessive amounts of power. Secondly going for it as one movement will lead nicely onto the back mobe, should you so desire….

So what is landing wrapped? The easiest way to visualise is to attach a bar to something solid and walk through it, if you’re fond of a good boogie it’ll be breeze:

  1. Imagine that you’re riding in the direction that you feel comfy popping to toe side.
  2. Turn your body and feet so that you are toe side with the bar in at your hips.
  3. Now let go with your front hand and turn another 180˚, continuing in the direction you turned to get to toe side, so that you continue around to heel side. Whilst doing this, twist your hand that is holding the bar in the same direction as you’re going.
  4. You should now be standing facing whichever solid object you attached a bar to, with the arm attached to the hand holding the bar twisted, or rather wrapped, behind your back.

You’ve basically turned a full 360˚ into an arm lock.

The beauty of the back to wrapped is that the momentum of a slightly over rotated back loop can carry you around to wrapped. Without stating the obvious you’ll need a controlled unhooked backloop to toe side at the very least. If you’re already popping to blind this will help. Even though blind is very different, having a natural bar pass will make life easier.

Pop Late

In many pass tricks the difficulty is in slowing your rotation down. In this one you need to speed it up. The simplest way to do this is to carve way up into wind before popping off your back leg. This late take off will spin you faster and send you into a second rotation, at least to toe side, without you having a moments thought. The only disadvantage is that you won’t have much time to prepare for the rest.

Elbows In

When you carve into wind it’s more than likely that your arms will be pulled out by the power in the kite. As soon as you leave the water you need to get your elbows tucked into your side. If you can get them in, your hips will roll onto your hands, which keeps the bar in close and enables you to keep you balance, land and pass.

Twist Again

Not wanting to bring out any karaoke nightmares but your back knee needs to get rocking. As you rotate and pull you elbows in you’ll need to lift both knees. This will not only speed up your rotation, but will also place your back knee high enough so you can kick it through. This forcing of the knee will accelerate your second rotation and is what takes you past landing toe side. Remember to twist you wrist once you release the bar with your front hand, as you’ll be able to turn your shoulders further. Once you get the hang of things you can even pull your hands in and steer the kite down as you push through. This will bring everything together at you hips, and help keep the kite lower for landing, preventing it from pulling you out of position and off balance.

Touch Down

It’s all good and well doing all that precedes, but it means jack if you’re not ready for touch down. To stick this you’ll need to get around to downwind, preferably a bit further. To increase you chances you should try and land tail first, as the back of the board will then pivot you around a touch further. To make this possible get you weight on the balls of your feet, not your heels, otherwise you’ll keep slamming. Finally keep looking around so your body will turn to face your intended direction of travel and make the pass behind you considerably easier.

Give it a Go

Sequence 1 shows Karine from take off through to landing. The Slow-Mo video will also help you see the separate stages.

Following Sequence 1

Sequence 2 gives you a good look at how to finish the job and pass the bar. Remember to look around to where you want to go at all times.

Following Sequence 2

Common Problems

There are too main obstacles to overcome.

  1. You keep landing toe side and don’t get going into the second rotation. If this is the case the chances are you’re watching where you would normally land which makes you land. This is often the result of not committing enough to the rotation to wrapped. If you attempt this trick with less power and don’t get too much height it’ll be much easier to force your head into believing that it’s a good idea.
  2. You don’t get quite far enough around to wrapped. The reason for this is that you don’t get the bar near enough to your hips, so once you release the kite pulls you and unbalances you. Firstly make sure you get the elbows in and the knees up. Secondly don’t let go too early, wait until the hips roll onto your hands and then release. Yet again this will stop the kite from pulling your arm away from you.


  1. Carve hard and long, lead with head.
  2. Elbows in
  3. Knees Up
  4. Both hands to hips before releasing
  5. Twist your wrist

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This technique article was in Issue 13 of IKSURFMAG.



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By Christian and Karine
Christian and Karine have been working together as a coaching team, running improver to advanced kitesurfing clinics since 2003.

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