Going back to issue 24 we did cover the hooked in front to blind, and not that long ago in issue 30 we introduced you to the Ole. Now it’s time for these two to tie the knot into a very smooth pop trick. This extension of your blind landing just oozes style as it really flows from the front loop, can be fired out in pretty much any wind strength on any kite, and if you’ve got the time, patience and ability can even be added to your strapless repertoire (we all can dream).
Seeing as how we have covered both the moves independently before, we’ll concentrate on the key parts so that you have a full understanding of what’s expected and you can then look at the full Monty sequence and videos to connect the pieces.
To make this trick flow you must approach it as a pop trick. This doesn’t mean that you have to have your kite at 45˚, in fact having your kite high will make it easier, giving you more time and control, but the golden rule is that the kite must not go to 12, otherwise you’ll loose forward momentum and tension in the lines. Another must is to trim your bar in towards you. This will allow you to pop effectively and complete the Ole once you land.
Karine has parked her kite at11 o’clock and come in with speed. Like any other pop move she has flattened the board off and then carved hard up into wind before stamping down aggressively of her back foot. If the wind is light or the water choppy moving your kite up as you pop is more than acceptable. The point to remember is that you must pop up before throwing your head and shoulders down and around into the front rotation. This way you’ll get enough height, otherwise you’ll be forcing yourself down into the drink. Notice as well that Karine has her bar pulled in onto the low trimmed sweet spot so that she feels the kite throughout the move, and can make any adjustments should she need.
Throwing the Blind
Whether it be a hooked in front to blind or an S-bend pass ,the mantra is always the same - pause then throw! You have to complete your front rotation and hold it for a nanosecond before committing to the blind. This way you won’t over rotate and you have a chance to control the kite.
You can see that Karine has rotated the full 360˚. As she was rotating Karine focused on where she will land, which slows her rotation down and allows her to get into this position. If she was just spinning around under her kite, the bar would already be turning into another rotation, whereas her bar has stopped and is in front of her, almost going forward for landing. This is the difference, by looking forward and slowing down, you momentarily, almost just theoretically stop, which allows you to pull in on the bar and throw the blind. Yet again this is only possible if you have the bar trimmed in. With her hands and bar leading Karine can push her front leg forward and lift her back leg to throw the blind.
Landing Blind Moving
Your aim when landing is to land over the board and with the board turned off the wind, so not on an edge riding upwind. A bit of power will help, so dive the kite with a cheeky tug on your front hand before you release your back hand. As you’re popping with your kite high it will only move the kite forward so won’t pull you off balance.
Karine still has the bar pulled in, and as she releases her back hand, she pulls the front hand in to get the kite moving and assist with her landing. Keeping the kite forward and not at 12 o’clock throughout the move will make this so much easier. She commits to the blind by turning her head away from the direction of travel, leading her shoulders and hips. As her feet drop below her, Karine holds her back foot up, so that the board will pivot further off the wind as it makes contact with the water.
Firstly lets remember what an Ole is. You will be moving the hand that is holding the bar across, upwind of your head and shoulders to the other side of your body, from where you’ll be able to continue riding, but now toe side, not blind. That’s all it is, you’re not trying to turn the board or slide it around to heelside. It’s an upper body movement to get the bar into both hands whilst hooked in.
Don’t rush the Ole. In the pictures Karine’s board is coming towards the camera, down wind. When she lands she stands up on the board, which both flattens it and balances her, and simultaneously pushes the bar away from her, which stops the kite pulling. With her trim in so close this sheeting out combined with moving downwind, gives her more than enough slack to Ole the bar without needing to lean back.
It’s worth keeping in mind that you’ve just headed off downwind towards your kite and at the same time sheeted right out, relieving the lines of all tension. This combination does of course have the potential to render your kite somewhat fragile in the air. What’s more with no tension on your lines, your beloved chicken loop could possible free itself from the clutches of the harness hook. Hence having not rushed your Ole, you should get a wiggle on to regain control of your kite. Karine’s first action is to pull the bar back in and dive the kite some more, followed by turning the board back onto it’s toe side edge. If it feels more comfortable it is now permissible to slide or hop back to heelside, or even carve back the other way.
As always your best bet is to practice the two steps individually and then bang them together. So start off with some controlled popped front loops (not to blind), aiming for enough height to allow the throw to blind (doesn’t need to be much), and concentrating on where you’ll land. Mix these up with some pop to blinds with Ole and then abracadabra! Check out Sequence 1 and the videos for a step by step visual.
Stopping on landing. If you’ve got enough momentum/speed coming in then the only reason for this is that the kite is too high. Try popping without sending the kite AND give the kite a tug down before releasing your back hand.
Falling in backwards/catching your heelside edge. Main reason for this will be rushing the Ole, standing up to make room for the bar to pass - so make a point of landing and getting balanced before sheeting out and pushing the bar across. This is only possible if you trim and head downwind.
Burying the nose of the board and sinking. If you making the landing, getting the Ole down but then nose diving it’s usually because you are leading the Ole with your head. Sheet out and push the bar across before turning your head to the new direction.
- Pop up, no send.
- Spot landing to slow rotation
- Dive kite before throwing blind
- Don’t rush
- Sheet out to Ole, bar first.
This technique article was in Issue 34 of IKSURFMAG.