Shifty Indy Jump Kitesurfing Technique

Shifty Indy Jump

Technique / Advanced


To finish off this issue another sent move which you can enjoy in the cold, hanging on with gloves just as much as you can somewhere warm. The Shifty Indy is a sent grab with a look back and twist which you can hold for a while in the air, and which you can tweak by either extending the legs or keeping them bent – choice is yours. So what do you need to do?

The Jump

This is a fun air move so it’s worth giving it some beans to make it worthwhile. It’s also a move that holds your balance well in the air so it can be used as a way of controlling yourself during a biggy. Come in with controlled speed so that you are cranking upwind with maximum edge and loads of tension on the lines, flying the kite on its sweet spot at either 11 or 1 o’clock. From here you can give the bar a decent send. You can see that Christian is not pulling his bar in too much whilst sending so that he gets more lift and less down wind. Also focus on keeping your back leg stiff so that you don’t give away any edge at the last moment.

The Look Back

The look back is an essential part of this move, dodgy kite face is however optional. By look back we mean that after take off you’ll need to look back at where you came from, rather than forwards, through the lines. The purpose of this is that it will turn your head and shoulders, opening your body, hips and board so that you’ll be pointing down wind rather than square across the wind. This moves you behind the chicken loop and the centre line so that you have room to bend and reach without restriction. As you take off you’ll also need to redirect the kite above you to just behind 12 o’clock with a bit of front hand. Here Christian has turned and is looking back, as a result his board is twisting around and he is getting everything moving towards his intended move.

The Grab

Now that your board and body have twisted you will have room to reach for the Indy grab – which is the toeside of your board, between your feet. Without the harness and centre line in your way it should be simple to bend at the waist and bring your feet towards you by bending both your knees. Christian is leaning forwards under the bar and reaching down towards the centre of his toeside edge, looking for the Indy grab.

The Shifty

The Shifty part of this move is really the tweak to make it a bit more contorted and stylish. The idea being to twist the board even further around by twisting your front hip up towards the bar. Christian has the grab with his back hand, and to twist even more he drops his back shoulder and head, forcing his lead hip up towards his hand on the bar, almost scissoring his feet so that the front of the board is now pointing upwind. At this point Christian tweaks it further by extending his legs whilst holding the grab. As with any grab try to hold this until you feel that you’re coming down and the kite needs to be dived.

Touch Down

As you’ll be in a slightly contorted position give yourself ample time to prepare for the landing. As you start to descend release the grab and allow your body to untwist so that the board rotates back around to where it should be. At the same time reach for the bar with your free hand, as this will help pull you back upright into a more normal jumping position, which will in turn drop the board down beneath you, making for an easier and softer landing. In the photo you can see that Christian’s head and shoulders are low and his board is still high. By reaching for the bar he’ll get himself upright and balanced.

Top Tips

Once again sending the kite enough is important. If you send the kite you’ll be able to support yourself with your front hand as you twist to look back. If you bow the kite to 12 o’clock you may struggle with the look back.

At first get used to the look back and grab, and as you get more comfortable you can then tweak and twist as much as you see fit.

Have a look at the Videos and Sequence to see the move in real time and slow mo.

Common Problems

It can be tempting to push the bar away as you twist and look back so that the kite doesn’t move forward, but this will result in you dropping from the heavens. So send it hard and keep the hand in.

Likewise if the kite is pulling you forward as you twist and grab, make sure that your hand is centred and that you take off with the kite behind you.


  1. Good send
  2. Look back to create space
  3. Grab for Indy
  4. Twist head and shoulders down for Shifty
  5. Release grab and reach for bar to bring you back upright

This technique article was in Issue 48 of IKSURFMAG.


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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