Oh not another Ole! ‘Fraid so, they’re all the rage now, honest. To be fair, as it is a stylish and most acceptable method to get back from blind, adding onto this cherub from the past is a must. Hopefully we’ve sold it to you, and now you can spread the gospel.
Although you may already be Ole-ing from blind, chances are if you intend to pop from your toes, it’ll be simpler to pop from your strong toe side to perhaps new or previously unvisited blind side, rather than try and pop from your weaker toe side. Reason for this is that the pop is everything here.
So lets have a recap on getting to blind from your pinkies.
To get good pop off your toes you’ll need both a good edge and plenty of speed so that your board is alive. Looking at Pic A. you can see Christian’s pre pop stance with the kite around 11 o’clock. To get a good edge, with the board between him and the kite Christian has trimmed his bar in, so that with the power on he can still commit his weight upwind of the board and therefore drive against it. With the bar close, Christian can turn his shoulders and head away from the kite. With the upper body taking the power the lower body must efficiently get it into the board. The trick here is to get weight on both feet, so the board is riding on as much edge as possible. You can see that both Christian’s knees are bent and both are pointing forwards, working together to keep the power on, much like a surfer might.
From this low and powerful toe side stance it only requires a slight shift of weight and plenty of stamp to achieve maximum pop. Theoretically you need to do as per heel side, carve upwind and pop. However in reality just concentrate in shifting your weight back, which will turn the board up into wind a tad more and stamp hard off you back foot.
In Pic B. you can see that Christian has lent his shoulders and hips back over the rear of the board, which slightly straightens his front leg, before immediately stamping off his back foot with real venom! It’s really one move, lean and stamp, don’t wait or you’ll miss the moment. Also worth noting that with the bar trimmed in Christian can reach forward and grab the bar with his free hand, therefore preparing for blind from the off.
Hands and knees! If you ponder it for a moment, getting to blind from your heels is achievable, and getting to your heels from your toes should be a doddle. Therefore with a bit more effort putting the two together shouldn’t be too hard. Your aim is to get into an aerial heel side position from which you can continue to blind.
Pic C. shows Christian right here. By reaching forward and popping hard Christian can pull on the bar for some support and lift his knees so that he quickly turns from toe to heel whilst going up. With both hands on the bar and the momentum of rotation Christian now can turn his head and shoulders, release his back hand, lift his back knee more and continue to rotate to blind.
As with all things Ole, you want to be landing over a flat board, and if possible pointing slightly off the wind. If so you’ll move towards the kite keeping tension off the lines. However if you land leaning upwind with weight on your toes you’ll edge against the kite, tightening the lines and making the Ole impossible.
Pic D. Christian lands in an upright position. The best way to achieve this is to keep your chin and head up, which will stop you breaking at the waist too much. Also by rotating with both hands on the bar for as long as possible your axis of rotation will be more upright and therefore your chance of landing upright. As Christian lands he pushes the bar away from him, sheeting out the kite and giving him even more slack in the lines.
Pic E. With the board heading down towards the kite, his weight upright and over the board and the bar pushed up and away Christian can then push the bar upwind and around in front of him, so that he exits into a toe side position. The Ole movement is pushing the bar upwind of your head and across to the other side whilst you turn your head to look forwards. Without tension in the lines and with the kite relatively high it shouldn’t require much physical effort and won’t rub past your face. You’ll not be spinning or turning the board any further. Once the bar is in front of you, sheet it back in and ride away toe side, carve round the other way onto your heels or slide/pop back to your heels.
Speed, flat water and a trimmed kite will make this more achievable. Kite position needs to be high enough to allow an ole, but low enough to pop against so just above 11 or 1 to start, and if you can sneak it up for the landing – even better.
Practice popping from toes to heels a few times, aiming for maximum height with two hands on the bar and knees up. If you have time to think before dropping it’s game on.
Now follow the Sequence and Videos for the full Monty…
- If you’re not getting enough pop try sailing more across the wind and not too much upwind.
- If you’re not getting enough rotation make sure that you get two hands on the bar and use the momentum of the first toe to heel to carry you through to blind.
- If you’re getting pulled onto your heels and back when performing the Ole, either get the kite higher and or push the bar upwind and around, don’t lean back to allow it past.
- Speed across the wind
- Lean back and quick pop
- Knees up & Reach forward and pull front hand to rotate quickly
- Land flat and sheet out
- Push bar upwind and around to Ole
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This technique article was in Issue 36 of IKSURFMAG.