In the continued quest for making moves look better and feel different, or look different and feel better, or both - you choose, we’re constantly trying to add some zing with a grab or a tweak. Here’s a perfect example. A tail grab with a boned out tweak, and some inversion so that the board is pointing skywards - the inverted boner! A sure fire way of showing off your board…
Before aiming for the stars with this we’d suggest that you can already tail grab. The bone and inversion can work together in perfect harmony, but if you’ve never grabbed, the extended time with only one hand on the bar here may prove somewhat surprising in terms of what the kite may try. To focus on, and visualise what makes this move possible, let’s have a quick scout over a few of the more important pieces.
The Jump Pic A
Let’s cut to the chase, the more that you have to do in the air, the more time you’ll need, especially if you intend to land. Hence your jump needs to make the grade. You want some height, you want the kite to be in the right place and you want to feel in control, so not flying down wind at Mach 10. This all stems from the take off, so give it both thought and effort. To get both height and float you’ll need two things, a solid edge and a decent send. Your kite doesn’t want to be any higher than 1 or 11 o’clock, otherwise you won’t have a good edge. However, beware not to have it too low, as you need to be able to hold your edge whilst the kite moves, so the bigger the kite, the higher you’ll start it. Give the kite a good send back past twelve whilst edging with as much edge in the water as you can. This should require some effort and looking pretty won’t help – grin and bear it. You can see that Karine is edging like a trooper, bum low, board pushed away from her, plenty of spray and she’s given the kite a good send with her hands centred on the bar. If she holds her edgeuntil to the off she’ll go more up and less along.
The Workout Pic B
Now it’s all good and well having time in the air but you need to maximise it, which means preparing, getting everything ready so that you can make the most of it, giving you time at the business end of this grab. You’ve got two jobs immediately post-take off. First off, you need to stop the kite moving back and get it where you want it. Here Karine is already on her front hand, levelling the bar, with the aim being to park the kite just behind 12, so in this case about 12:15. This way the kite will float her, but not pull her off balance as it may if it moves too far forwards. Also, with one hand off the bar later in the move, if Karine weights the bar the kite moving slightly from behind won’t be bad. The other job is to stop yourself extending. When you send the kite hard it tends to rip you off the water, extending you out as it pulls. If you want to get into the inverted boner early you need to fight this, your stomach may disagree though. As Karine lifts off she’s pulling her knees up and under her, her bar is in with elbows down and her head is high – perfect.
Laid Back Pic C
Once your knees are up it’s time to work on the invert, which as we said works in harmony with the grab. You’re trying to get the nose high, which means tail low. It won’t require the effort of getting both feet up. Karine is leaning back towards the tail of her board as she reaches down for the grab. By reaching down her shoulders twist to face backwards which turns the board nose to tail. Also by reaching down the nose of the board lifts, to get it rising more Karine leans her head back towards her rear shoulder. The final piece of this jigsaw is to keep the bar in, as this keeps pressure on the harness and allows you to roll back. If you let the bar out your feet will drop.
The Tweak Pic D
With everything rolling into place all that is left is to get a solid grip on the board and bone it out. As soon as Karine grabs the tail, she pulls it towards her derriere, bending her back leg more. At the same time she pushes her front leg up and away, tweaking it fully. Her back hand is holding the board up and she keeps the bar in for float and her head back, looking around the side of the board to maintain this inverted position.
Undercarriage Down Pic E
Once you start your decent it’s probably best to rearrange yourself for landing. The more accustomed you become to the grab the longer that you can hold it, but do remember that there is a bit of work and time involved to get your body and board into landing position. To begin with, release the grab. This will drop the tail of the board down and will assist in rolling you up. As you reach up for the bar, look at where you’ll place your hand and this will lift your head and shoulders, turning the board into its more usual flying position, across the wind.
Dive Captain, Dive Pic F
As the board swings under you all that is left is to let your legs extend and give the kite a hefty dive so that it pulls you downwind for a smooth touch down. It’s worth remembering that the more aggressively you send the kite to get up, the more meaningfully you must dive the kite down for a soft landing as you will have more speed through the air. Also, as the board may still be nose high due to your previous inversion, the more pull from the kite and the more likely you will be pulled forward and over the board. Karine still has her bar in and is giving the kite a positive dive for landing.
To get you in the mood for this one it may be worth trying a few tail grabs with an LB, that’s a look back. Twisting and opening your shoulders are key here, so if you nail that, the invert will be easier and you’re less likely to try and support yourself on the bar. As always, work up to it, start with a bit of nose lift and add on more and more until you eventually reach the full invert.
Have a good look at the Sequence and Videos to get the idea in full flow.
Assuming that your kite is behaving and you’re getting the grab, boning it out and getting some inversion you’re most likely issue will be landing. From this tipped back position it can be tricky to get back over the board, so you’ll land very tail heavy and fall back on a bent back leg. You really need to dive the kite hard, straight down through the window to land cleanly. Make sure you time it right, late and hard, don’t give it the beans when you’re still way up there.
If you’re missing the grab as you invert, the chances are that you’re trying to bone the board too early. Grab the tail, pull it in and then stretch out your front leg.
- Good send from a solid edge.
- Knees up quickly.
- Drop hand, open shoulders and roll back as you grab.
- Pull tail in and push front leg up.
- Reach up after grab and dive hard for landing.
This technique article was in Issue 55 of IKSURFMAG.