Ole from Blind Kitesurfing Technique

Ole from Blind

Technique / Intermediate


Here’s one harking back to them good ol’ days of Shinn, Tobias et al, the Ole. Not seen a great deal now unless you watch those peddlers of surfboard tricks. Cracking name to boot this deft little matador's flick of the wrist can make any blind landing with the kite high look the absolute dog’s. That said just popping to blind and spinning graciously under your bar and kite will have the applause level ramped right up.

Have a quick look at the videos to see exactly what an Ole, pronounced Olé is. An apt description would be the passing of the bar from one side of your body to the other, over your head, to allow a blind landing to continue as toeside whilst remaining hooked in – a kind of cheats surface pass if you like!

Realistically all you need to attempt this with great hopes of success is a half decent blind and some flat water, so let’s get started.

Pic A

Assuming that you can happily pop to and ride blind hooked in the simplest plan is to look at the difference between the Ole blind and your run of the mill variant. Here you can see that Karine has her kite around 11 o’clock, front hand centred on the bar, has popped up, turned her 180, pushed the bar away and will land nose first as per normal. However on closer inspection you can see that she is very upright, almost standing over the board with just her head looking back and down. The reason is that you need to land with your weight over the board, on a flat board so that you can turn the board downwind and towards the kite. This way the lines will not be tight and you’ll have the freedom to complete the Ole. If you land on an edge and turn your shoulders down as normal you will edge away from the kite, tightening the lines and making the Ole somewhat precarious, if not impossible!

Pic B

Karine has landed nose first but flat on her board, that is to say without edge. Her weight is on her old front foot (left foot), and she is still standing upright with the bar still pushed away. To get to this position you will need to pop a little harder than usual and aim to turn a little further, landing slightly downwind. This landing position is a must as already mentioned. From here Karine can actually weight her heels and turn the board more downwind towards the kite, making sure to keep her weight on her left foot.

Pic C

Now balanced and heading down towards the kite Karine must do her best impersonation of red rag waving to a bull whilst she still has some momentum and can keep planning. The deft Ole is in actual fact Karine pulling her hand across and in front of her face to the other side. With relative slack lines the bar and all pass her visage without incident – Ole.

Pic D

As Karine moves her hand across she follows it with her head, then shoulders and eventually hips until she is facing the correct direction. Now all she needs to do is get the board moving forwards, which is easily achieved by moving her weight over her new rear foot (the right one), which will slide her left foot forwards, and bingo - there you have it ladies and gents.

Top Tips

As with all moves this one involves a certain amount of trial and error, as you’ll be trying to change something you can already do. However if there’s one part to concentrate on it is landing on the board and then turning the board downwind before even thinking about pushing the bar across to the other side. So pop, land, carve then push, sorry Ole.

For the sequence we have broken the Ole down into two parts, the actual popping to blind and then the defining Ole.

Sequence 1. For the pop

  • Pic 1. With her kite at 11 and hand centred on the bar Karine pops up hard and early for her blind.
  • Pic 2. She releases her back hand and pushes the bar away.
  • Pic 3. Karine turns her head down and around, and lifts her back leg up aiming to turn further than her normal blind.
  • Pic 4. As she turns Karine extends her front leg and keeps her back foot lifted and chest up.
  • Pic 5. This all leads to a delightful nose first landing.
  • Pic 6. As Karine touches down she keeps her weight on her new back foot and stands up.
  • Pic 7. Karine waits momentarily and then weights the heel of her back foot to carve the board down towards the kite and get all the tension off the lines.
  • Pic 8. Now she can think about the Ole!

Sequence 2. For the Ole

  • Pic 1. Once Karine has landed and she still has momentum, she weights her heels and carves the board more downwind.
  • Pic 2. With the tension off the lines and her weight balanced on her new back foot Karine pushes the bar upwind.
  • Pic 3. Now with space between her face and the bar Karine pulls the bar across to the other side.
  • Pic 4. And follows it with her head.
  • Pic 5. Then her shoulders.
  • Pic 6. With the bar now “where it should be” and her body facing the correct direction Karine pulls the bar in to get some forward power from the kite.
  • Pic 7. To slide the board around Karine must first move her hips and her weight onto her present front foot.
  • Pic 8. Once she’s standing on this foot she can push her other foot forward and slide the board across the wind.
  • Pic 9. And ride off into the sunset in search of a fine Rioja.

Common Problems

Landing on an edge and then riding blind! Having no doubt spent some time forcing your body to do this it will take a bit of encouragement to undo the good work. Try and pop a bit harder and aim to land pointing slightly down wind. This way with the board already travelling the way you want, you will be less likely to edge it. To achieve this try to start more off the wind and pop a bit earlier without turning so far into wind.

Catching your heelside edge and burying the nose of your board as you Ole! This one is easy to cure, as the reason is simply that you’re trying to rotate into the Ole from you initial pop. So think that you must first land blind, then wait just a millisecond until you are balanced and moving with your weight back on the board before Ole-ing.


  1. Pop hard and early
  2. Turn fast
  3. Land
  4. Carve on heels
  5. Ole

This technique article was in Issue 30 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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