Front Double Grab Kitesurfing Technique

Front Double Grab

Technique / Intermediate


If you’re a regular reader, you’ll remember that we have already covered two variations of a double grab jump, both the tail and nose, and the nose and tail. If you’ve not seen those and are reading this, we haven’t lost our marbles; we’re on about the order of grabs here. To move things on further, it’s time to add some rotation and this issue that comes in the form of a front loop/roll. Ideally, and in order of importance, we’d recommend that you can - a, front loop/roll, - b, nose grab and - c, tail grab. The trick to this move is a slow rotation, and as such, we’ll have a look at how you can achieve this and find the time to squeeze both the nose and tail of your board, in that order.

Approach and Take Off Pic A.

It should go without saying that if you’re not as quick as Mr Myagi, then you’re going to need some height and time to cover the necessaries. As such you should approach this as for a decent boost. That’s a good solid upwind edge, kite parked around the 11/1 o’clock or lower mark and be sufficiently powered. For the height, you’ll need to give the kite a good send. This will also benefit you, as the kite going behind 12 after take-off will enable you to rotate slowly and fiddle about with the grabs without any unwanted down-loops. Needless to say, you’ll want your front hand fairly central on the bar. Once you’ve sent the kite for lift off, you need to ponder two things. How to rotate slowly and how to reach the nose grab while performing your front rotation. Some prior experience here will indeed help!

For the slow rotation, you don’t want to kick off as hard with you back foot, and you must not throw your head and shoulders down, which would normally go hand in hand with lifting your front knee. If you look at the pic Karine has kicked but it’s up, not forwards and down – she’s already off the water but has barely begun to rotate. Her head and shoulders are not dipping forwards, and she hasn’t tucked her front knee into her chest. That’s the slow rotation sorted. In preparation for the nose grab while rotating she has leant her head back towards her rear shoulder as if she were clasping a telephone between them. This will put her upper body into a better position for grabbing the nose.

Kite Back for Release Pic B.

Now we get to see the bonus of the kite being sent well, and as it is here, parked at around 1 o’clock while Karine rises and rotates. Because the kite is “behind” Karine, it prevents her from rotating further, almost stalling her. And with the bar pulled behind her by the kite, there is plenty of space for Karine to sneak in the nose grab. However, your time in the air is limited, so you still need to fly a kite. Karine is pulling gently on her front hand to start redirecting the kite. The trick is to be gentle enough so that there is time to grab, while positive enough that the kite will float you.

The Nose Grab Pic C.

In this position, half way around your rotation you can use the energy to help with your grab. If you compare the previous picture to this one, you can see that Karine is in a very similar position. The difference is that to reach the grab she has continued the rotation of the board, which rolls it up and over, near enough for her to grab. Again this is only possible because the kite has not redirected to 12 o’clock yet. Half the move complete!

Release and Check Pic D.

Once you’ve held the nose grab time is of the essence. You’ve still got a good 180° to turn, another grab to stick, and a kite to fly so that you don’t drop like a stone. To carry on with your rotation release your grab and turn your head. As you do this, the board will drop, and you’ll be able to see downwind and get your bearings. At the same time, you need to have a feel of the kite, checking that it isn’t too far back, or that you haven’t honked it forwards. If the kite is still behind 12, you’ll keep moving slowly. In the photo, Karine has released her grab and is already looking at the tail of her board where she intends to grab it next. Feeling that her kite was moving forward, she’s also released the bar a touch.

Grab 2, Tail & Bone Pic E.

The grand finale. The nice thing is that hopefully grabbing the tail isn’t as technical as the nose, so even if time is limited you should be able to nip a quick one in! It’s also possible to hold a tail grab quite long so you can still make it count if you hold it in until you’re about to hit the deck. If you fancy tweaking it out into a Boner, pull the tail in with your back hand and push your front foot away from you. Looking good.

The Reception Pic F.

All that’s left is to stomp your landing. Whether you hold the tail grab for long or not, aim to keep the kite just behind 12 o’clock. From this position, you’ll be able to dive the kite effectively for landing, and you won’t get pulled off balance by the kite moving forwards around the edge of the window. In the picture, Karine has released her grab in time to drop the board underneath her. She’s dived the kite hard with her front hand, which will pull her and aid with a smooth downwind landing.

Top Tips

Breaking this down will give you time to work on the individual elements. Depending on how your jumps and rotations are, it can even be worth just sending big, keeping the kite back rather than at 12 o’clock, and even adding a tail grab to see how long and low you can hold it.

Next up try slowing your front rotation by not kicking as much and not throwing your head. Then add the nose grab, before finally going for broke and adding both grabs.

Common Problems

There are three issues that people of have!

Number one is forgetting about the kite, so it stays way back, and you drop like a stone. If this is the case, it’s fairly obvious. The solution is to send the kite hard, rather than thinking about it going back. Remember not to let the bar out too much before take-off, as this can encourage the kite to move too far back. A hard send with a good edge will mean that you get lifted earlier.

Number two is not reaching the grab. This will come from going into a normal front rotation. Make sure that you keep your shoulders up and grab that phone between you back ear and shoulder.

Number three, and probably most unpleasant is redirecting the kite too much. If you give it a good send and feel that it’s too far back, it’s tempting to bring it forward with gusto. With height, you’ll swing back under your kite if it’s behind, but if you pull hard on your front hand, you’ll be surprised as you release your nose grab and find that you’re accelerating downwind and forwards at quite a lick. Be gentle yet positive.


  1. Good edge and send.
  2. Kick up, not down, head to rear shoulder.
  3. Rotate with kite behind 12.
  4. Hold nose grab then release and continue rotation with your head.
  5. Hold the tail then dive hard for a soft landing.

This technique article was in Issue 63 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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