One Foot Jump

Technique / Intermediate


We are sometimes prone to bang on about what attracts most people to kitesurfing. Airtime has always been very near the top of the list for most people, and even those who only dreamt of jumping generally end up realising their dream. On a recent trip to Venezuela it was hard not to notice a jolly nice chap who bore more than a striking resemblance to Tarzan, fully enjoying the float of kitesurfing and progressing from good big air, through 1 foots to the full board off.

For those of you with no interest in hurtling your bones at the water in an attempt to emulate the many young guns out there, this old school trickery which salutes many of the original PKRA greats, Koch, Shinn, Tobias, Vari, Austen, to name a few, is an achievable and lovable past time. So our first point of call to hark back to the bygone age of old school has to be the one-footed jump.


To realistically go for one-foots you will need to be comfortably jumping on at least one side. By this we mean that you are able to go up, float and come down in a manner that can loosely be described as controlled. If you can already manage a tail grab then that’s bonza, if you cant don’t worry. The real beauty of adding a trick like this to your armoury is that it will in turn improve the way in which you jump.

Pic 1. Another should do is to have a go on dry land. Just park your behind on the floor, with your board on your feet, rock back, lift your knees, grab the heelside edge with what would be your back hand and slide your foot out and then back in. Not only will this get you used to the movement but it will also get you into the correct position, which you’ll need to adopt in the air.

This practice should also let you see if your footstrap is sufficiently loose to allow your foot to slip easily out and back in. If it’s too tight loosen it as it’ll make life an awful lot easier. Once you have it mastered you can tighten your strap a bit and merely wiggle you foot loose before going for the jump.

Before going for the one foot, follow the steps below and go for a tail grab with your back hand on the heelside rail somewhere between you back foot and the fin. The exact position is not important, just where you feel comfy reaching to.

Make or Break

Assuming that you can jump we’ll not be going into the mechanics of how to jump, but rather how to tune your jump towards getting your hand on the board and pulling your foot out. There are really five main points to focus on, all of them concentrating on getting a comfortable and floaty jump.

1. The approach. Pic A. shows Karine a split second before take off. You can see that she’s holding a good edge with her front leg extended and back leg soft, has a fair bit of speed, she’s not looking at the kite but in front of her and she’s sent the kite back with the bar held at it’s sweet spot.

However the most important aspect of this picture is the angle of Karine’s bar. She has sent the kite back, but not as hard as she could. If she was intending to jump as high as she can she would have angled the bar even harder, so that her left bar end would nearly be touching the centre line! The reason for this is that Karine does not want to be ripped off the water, but rather lifted.

2. The take off. Pic B. Just as Karine leaves the water you can see that her legs are straight and beneath her. Also she is already steering her kite forward to get it above her. Her hands are centred on the bar so she can keep the kite powered without steering it to aggressively in the air.

What Karine has done is actually jumped up off the water once the kite pulled hard, rather than continuing to edge until the kite rips her off the water. This is why her legs are dangling, as she pushed up. If this were a picture of an attempt to go super high, her feet would be flicked slightly behind her, not underneath her.

3. Lift the legs. Pic C. Because Karine has gone for a controlled jump she feels comfortable enough to release her back hand early to grab the board. Also because she has a controlled lift off she can also lift her legs easily. Yet again if she had sent the kite really hard she would still be stretched out and her feet would be behind her.

Possibly the most common reason for finding one foots and board offs difficult is due to the kite being sent to hard as kiters try to get extra height. This means that they have usually reached the apex of their jump before they get near grabbing the board.

4. See the position. Pic D. Here you can clearly see that can has rocked her legs up in front of her as you would on land. With the kite above her she can concentrate and actually look at her footstrap and watch her foot out and in.

Yet again because Karine went for a gentler jump, rather than flying through the air at Mach 10, she is gently floating, which gives her the confidence to try something new.

5. Fly the kite. Pic E. On her way down, and still in the process of getting her foot firmly back into the back strap, Karine is still steering her kite across and forward ready for landing with her front hand.

Another common issue is to drop like a stone from the sky. You should by now realise that when your kite comes back across above you, you almost get a secondary lift, or at the very least you continue to float down slowly. As long as you steer the kite with your front hand you will get that extra bit of time to get your foot back in.

Hopefully now you get the idea that you don’t need mountains of height but rather time with the board in hand. And that this time is the result of a gentle and controlled take off, keeping the bar in with your front hand and steering the kite across and above you.

Now lets put theses elements together with the rest of the jump for a complete and successful 1-foot.

Following Sequence 1

Common Problems

If you can’t reach the board it’s either behind you or you’re not bringing it up far enough. Remember to rock back and allow yourself to roll back in your harness.

If you start to rotate, as if you were going into a front loop its because you are looking behind you to grab the board rather than bringing it up in front of you.

If you feel that you’re falling out of the sky, it’ll be because you are not flying the kite back above you, so as it stay back you pendulum and drop. Keep pulling on your front hand, but keep it close to the centre of the bar so as not to pull too much. Also try jumping more gently.


  1. Steer the kite back more gently than usual.
  2. As you feel the kite jump up off your edge
  3. Immediately steer the kite back above you
  4. Lift your knees in front of you as you rock back and reach down
  5. Keep steering the kite forward and above you

This technique article was in Issue 14 of IKSURFMAG.


Kitesurfing Technique - Air Gybe Nose Grab
Kitesurfing Technique - Air Gybe Nose Grab
Air Gybe Nose Grab

Another splendid way to make the essential art of turning around both exciting and aesthetically pleasing. There must surely be enough transition variations to keep you busy during a reasonable session, ensuri...

Kitesurfing Technique - Air Gybe to Toeside
Kitesurfing Technique - Air Gybe to Toeside
Air Gybe to Toeside

Rather than being an extension to one of the most popular transitions, the Air Gybe landed to toeside is in fact a very good way to learn an Air Gybe. Why? The answer is all about playing to your strengths. Mo...

Kitesurfing Technique - Air Gybe with Late Kite Loop
Kitesurfing Technique - Air Gybe with Late Kite Loop
Air Gybe with Late Kite Loop

This move is really as much a cheat as it is a trick, and a very useful one at that. If the title doesn’t give away what it is have a look at Video 1. A late kite loop in this case means that the kite loops...

By Christian and Karine
Christian and Karine have been working together as a coaching team, running improver to advanced kitesurfing clinics since 2003.

Problems? Ask Below


Subscribe it's Free!

Win a Board You Desire From Shinn this issue in our FREE subscriber prize draw.

By subscribing you will not only be first to read the mag but automatically entered into the prize draw every issue!

Draw closes on Tue 10th Oct, 2017
First name is required.
Subscribe Another
Board You Desire From Shinn

Issue 63 Tue 8th Aug, 2017

GoPro Hero 5 Black Action Camera


Issue 62 Sat 10th Jun, 2017

CrazyFly 2017 Sculp 9m and Sick Bar


Issue 61 Mon 10th Apr, 2017

GoPro Hero 5 Black Action Camera


Issue 60 Sun 5th Feb, 2017

GoPro Hero 5 Black Action Camera


Issue 59 Mon 5th Dec, 2016

GoPro Hero 5 Black Action Camera


Issue 58 Thu 13th Oct, 2016

Fireball Set Up with an Apollo Kite from Cabrinha


Issue 57 Tue 11th Oct, 2016

Blade Trigger 10m Kite


Issue 56 Sun 12th Jun, 2016

Board and Boot Set Up from Liquid Force


Issue 55 Sat 9th Apr, 2016

Nobile NHP Split Kiteboard


Issue 54 Sat 6th Feb, 2016

Wetsuit and Harness from Manera


Issue 53 Tue 10th Feb, 2015

Ride Engine Harness!


Issue 52 Wed 7th Oct, 2015

Prize Pack from TSHOTSH

Guy, Vince

Issue 51 Thu 13th Aug, 2015

Wainman Hawaii ManiaC Kite


Issue 50 Thu 4th Jun, 2015

Liquid Force Legacy Board


Issue 49 Fri 10th Apr, 2015

Slingshot Vision Board


Issue 48 Fri 30th Jan, 2015

Blade Mist Kite and Bar


Issue 47 Mon 8th Dec, 2014

2015 Core GTS3 8m Kite and Bar


Issue 46 Wed 8th Oct, 2014

Ozone Reo Wave Kite


Issue 45 Mon 4th Aug, 2014

Brunotti Board and a Pair of Sunglasses


Issue 44 Mon 9th Jun, 2014

Dakine Harness and Travel Bag


Issue 43 Wed 2nd Apr, 2014

Manera EXO Harness and Goodies!


Issue 42 Thu 30th Jan, 2014

North Gonzales Kite Board!


Issue 41 Mon 2nd Dec, 2013

Best Spark Plug Kite Board


Issue 40 Wed 9th Oct, 2013

Kiteloose Fatty Surfboard


Issue 39 Fri 2nd Aug, 2013

GoPro HD Hero 3 Silver Edition


Issue 38 Sun 2nd Jun, 2013

CrazyFly Sculp 9m Kite and Sick Bar System


Issue 37 Mon 1st Apr, 2013

Kitesurf Holiday Experience with Kirsty Jones


Issue 36 Sat 2nd Feb, 2013

2013 F-One Bandit 6 9m Kite


Issue 35 Mon 3rd Dec, 2012

Soul Drysuit by Ocean Rodeo


Issue 34 Mon 1st Oct, 2012

2013 Mystic Wetsuit and Harness


Issue 33 Sun 5th Aug, 2012

Wainman Joke Kitesurfing Board


  1. The Promotion is organised by IKSURFMAG and the participating brand stated on the subscribe page. You are providing your information to IKSURFMAG, not the participating brand. The information you provide will only be used for the purpose of facilitating the Promotion and notifying you when new issues of our totally free magazine are released. We will never sell or supply your details to any 3rd parties.
  2. You can opt out of any future emails by clicking the unsubscribe link within the footer of the email at any time.
  3. The winner will be notified by email shortly after the closing date shown. Previous winners will not be eligible to win again until at least three new Promotions have run.
  4. Winners must reply to our email within two weeks or a new winner will be drawn. Please check all spam folders to avoid loosing out.
  5. Participants only need to enter once in order to be eligible for all future prize draws.