These front foot one foots are a fun way of adding some unusual style to your moves and as our third instalment we’ll be adding it to a back loop, or back roll, depending where you’re from. This variation actually fits very smoothly together, the natural action of leaning back into the rotation raises the nose of the board and makes for an easy slip out and leg extension, whilst the grab aids in slowing your rotation down. It’s a lovely feeling too, as it gives you a slow up and over sensation.
Prerequisite is definitely a sent (that’s a jump not a pop) grabbed back rotation, so that you’re comfortable with controlling the kite one handed whilst you concentrate on the matter in hand - freeing that front foot. So without further ado, let’s think about what makes this move happen.
Give It Some Beans Pic A
Another one of our recurring themes. For a lot of jump tricks committing to some decent air will make everything easier in the long run – more height, more time, more chance. Grabbing a back rotation is no different, if you give the kite a good send back, it’ll be easier to control the kite one handed as you rotate. Think about it, if the kite is too far back you can always pull it forward, whereas if the kite pulls you forward you have no way of countering it. During a back rotation you really get to feel the kite, so edging well and sending as Christian is here, will keep the tension and give you feedback. On his approach Christian has his kite around 1 o’clock, hands centred on the bar and he has wiggled his front foot loose in the strap.
Pop Up Pic B
The secret to your success in any sent back rotation is to pop up and into your rotation as the kite lifts. This stops two dreaded errors: firstly, it stops you compressing the back leg as you lean back into the rotation, which flattens the board, lets off the tension and allows the kite to fly too far back; secondly, it encourages you to go up rather than around, which will slow your rotation, and that is a rather large must for this move. Looking at Christian, he’s extended his back leg as he pops against his edge, the bar is in and he’s looking forward. All set for some height, float and time with a slow rotation. Interestingly, you can see Christian’s front foot lifting as a result of having loosened it in the strap!
Get Ready Pic C
Once you’re off the water, you need to get prepped for the move ahead. Number one on your to-do list is stop the kite from moving any further back in the window, whilst number two is bring the board up nice and close so that you can grab it. Here Christian has levelled his bar by pulling a bit on his front hand, and he’s lifting his knees up towards him, focusing on bringing the back foot close. By doing this you’ll be balanced and confident, so the next step shouldn’t seem too daunting. Note how Christian is leaning back towards the kite with his legs swinging upwind. This comes from the good solid send.
Grab and Go Pic D
Look at where you intend to grab the board and as soon as it’s within reach grab the tail. With your knees up high and your shoulders back it should be easy enough to get your foot out. Pull down on the tail of the board to lift the nose and as it rises slide your front foot down and out of the strap. All the while Christian has kept his bar in, so he knows where the kite is and he’s maintaining tension in the lines.
Make It Count Pic E
Once you’ve got your foot out, make sure it’s obvious for all to see! Extend your leg above and away from the board. Christian is looking upwind at the board, he still hasn’t turned his head which means that he is in control of his slow rotation. At this point, which is about half way around, you should probably start moving the kite if it’s still behind you. Christian is pulling on his front hand, so the kite will move up towards 12 o’clock, giving him more float. If you do this too early the kite will make you rotate further and you’ll end up turning too far.
Slipper On Pic F
As you feel the kite moving towards 12 it’s time to get your foot back in. To drop your lower body and the board let the bar out slightly, this has the added bonus of slowing the kite down. Focus on the front strap, and push your toes into it. Once they’re in hold tight with your back hand and push your foot in as far as you can. You’ll need a snug fit to make the landing easier. Christian is concentrating on the strap and his only thought is to get the foot firmly back into it.
Prepare for Landing Pic G
Once your foot is back where it belongs you can concentrate on completing your rotation and preparing for touch down. Looking at the photo you can clearly see that Christian has now turned his head and is looking downwind to where he wants to land. At the same time he is already diving the kite down with his front hand, even before his back hand is back on the bar. Letting his legs drop underneath him as the kite pulls will guarantee that he lands over the board. As you drop keep diving the kite, otherwise it’ll drift towards the edge of the window rather than pulling from in front of you.
Your preparation for this must be a few slow sent back rolls, concentrating on slowing the rotation by not looking over your shoulder and also getting the legs up close so that you can grab the tail. Make sure you use the dive to turn and land you.
Loosen your front foot in the strap. If you have to tug away to free your foot everything will be more difficult and time will race past.
Now have a good look at the Sequence and the Videos before taking it to the water and having a crack.
Feeling rushed so that there is no time to take the foot out. First likely reason is that you’re spinning into your back rotation by carving around into it rather than popping up into it, you should be extending not turning. Also, if you don’t send the kite and only drift it up towards 12 o’clock the kite will move forwards as you grab and pull you around before you’re ready.
If you can’t get your foot out: presuming that you loosened your front foot, it’s probable that you’re extended under the kite so as you pull the tail up, it twists the front strap onto your foot, tightening it. Get both legs up so that your toes are pointing to the heavens, then your foot will slide out nice and easy.
- Good sending of the kite.
- Pop up into your rotation.
- Bar in and toes up.
- Hold board and slide foot out.
- Foot in then turn and dive.
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This technique article was in Issue 55 of IKSURFMAG.