Jump variations and grabs are always welcome as they add something to the most fundamental of moves without, hopefully, the need to hammer your self too much in the process. It’s always a joy to see someone boosting and banging out numerous different grabs, making each jump different and the whole performance more pleasing to the eye.
This time around it’s the nose grab, the most opposite of the most common but deservedly adored tail grab. This one is a great way to show off your board and any promotional stickers adhered to it. As with the majority of jumped grabs you’ll be grabbing the nose with your back hand whilst keeping the kite flying and yourself hanging with your front hand. All that you require is a half decent take off and if you’re already comfortable grabbing anywhere else and freeing your back hand then you’re ready.
So how can we work towards claiming this beauty?
From the Off
From the off your jump needs to be committed to a nose grab. Whereas you can jump, check your balance and then casually grab the tail, to grab the nose from your big chill position with both knees up will be very difficult unless you’ve been hard at the yoga. As a result there are a couple of points worth your consideration.
Firstly a good positive kite send, with a decent pull and push on the bar to get the kite moving back past 12. Going up with the kite behind you will rock you back and as a result bring the nose of the board up. Secondly bring your front knee up towards you. Thirdly leave your back leg straight. And finally aim to get the grab in on the way up, before you redirect the kite so that the bar is not in your way.
In the photo immediately after take off, Karine’s kite is behind her and as a result her legs are penduluming up in front of her, much like those early days of trying to jump but forgetting to bring the kite forward. Her shoulders are leaning back and her front knee is lifted.
Go for it
As mentioned, going for the grab early is key to reaching the nose of your board without being made of elastic. Here Karine extends her back arm towards the nose whilst bringing her front knee right up towards her chest and extending her back leg down and away from her. You can see that she is still leaning back and that the kite is still behind her, and therefore even though the bar is sheeted in, it’s not in her way. She reaches for the board by leaning back and twisting her back shoulder around behind the chicken loop, and not by leaning forward towards the nose.
Use Your Hands
Once mission is accomplished and you’ve reached your grab your hands will do the rest of the work. Karine has grabbed her board firmly and holds it, pulling it towards her, which helps her to keep this position for as long as possible. With the board held close she can know also redirect the kite to around 12 to get some support and hang. You can see that she has given the bar a hefty pull, and this is on a 7m, to get the kite back up and parked so that she stays up and floats.
In Flight Entertainment
As with all grabs they’ll look better if you hold them on the way down. This does however mean that you’ll have to get the preparations for landing set with one hand! Having sent the kite hard you have the advantage of being able to lean on your front hand throughout this move, once you’ve got the grab, without the kite diving aggressively. However as you come down if the kite drifts slowly around the edge of the window you will have trouble finding power to land, so you’ll need to get it moving through the window as you descend. Here Karine is holding her grab but has started to pull hard on her front hand to get the kite moving and ready to dive.
Finally the landing should be as for any other jump. We can see that in anticipation Karine has dropped her grab and let her legs fall underneath her. With two hands on the bar she can dive the kite and keep the power on by keeping the bar in. As the kite pulls she goes with it aiming to land tail first with the board pointing quite downwind. Landing over the board she can then carve back onto her edge and set up for the next one.
Start off by trying some jumps with a decent push and pull, to find a comfortable equilibrium between leaning back and staying in control, as you don’t want to be swinging way up with your kite suck down behind you. Once you’re comfortable with this try bringing your front knee up and straightening your back leg. Finally once your confident get the back hand off soon after take off and twist round for the grab.
Have a look at the sequence and vids for the whole shebang.
If you’re penduluming up and crashing down onto your back your take off is catching you out. You can only send the kite hard if you keep your edge until you lift off. If you’re loosing your edge or letting the bar out before lift off your kite will fly too far back. If this is the case calm the send down a notch or two.
If you can’t reach the grab, you’re either going too late or reaching forward for the nose. Lean back and twist round. That said if your foot-straps are too tight, it can be difficult to lift the front knee and straighten the back leg, as your feet need to roll in the straps slightly.
- Good edge and positive send back.
- Lean slightly back and lift front knee.
- Straighten back leg and twist around for grab.
- Hold board in and redirect.
- Release and dive hard for landing.
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This technique article was in Issue 38 of IKSURFMAG.