Pop Front Nose Grab to Toeside Kitesurfing Technique

Pop Front Nose Grab to Toeside

Technique / Intermediate

Introduction

This is a fun to do and picture friendly grab, which will also lead you on to a host of other stylish chestnuts. We’re deliberately offering this up with a toe side landing, as it is simpler, and looking forward a tad more progressive. Grabbing the nose on a pop trick comes with the inherent “risk” of the kite lifting or even sending behind you, so the front nose grab will train you to both control your kite with just you back hand, and resist using your kite for extra lift. Technically it’s a win, win learning experience. To give this a go we’d recommend that you can stomp a popped front loop, if you’ve yet to master one of those have a look back five years (!) at Issue 21 (http://www.iksurfmag.com/issue21/?t=Popped-Front-Loop-2010-Kitesurfing-Technique&page=89)

Now let’s a have run through of what you’ll be focusing on when giving this a shot. Suffice to say that as this is a pop trick we’ll take it as a given that Christian has approached off the wind, kite around or just below 11 (or 1) o’clock, with his weight back over the tail of the board, front leg extended and hands centred on the bar.

Pop & Prepare - Pic A

Seeing as we’re grabbing a pop trick, which will be over before you can say Mesopotamia, we are short on time. By grabbing with the front hand you can’t even cheat by lifting the kite, as there is no way to dive it at the end, so this has to be speedy. The emphasis is on getting both a decent pop and the grab early, so that you can make it count before you have to release and land. We mentioned having your hands centred on the bar, but if you can place the centre chicken loop line between your first two fingers of the back hand it’ll be even better. Be careful though, if you have a rope centreline this can burn and nick your skin! You can see in the picture that Christian is popping hard up off his back leg by extending it fully, and he’s lifting his front knee, which brings the nose of the board up close. However the key point here is that Christian has already released his front hand and is looking for the grab before he’s even left the water…

Grab Fast. Rotate Slow - Pic B

Your next goal is to get the grab. Look at the nose and reach down to it with your front hand. You have already lifted the board so it’ll be within reach. The beauty of mixing this grab with a front rotation is that they work together. You lift your front leg to rotate which makes the grab easier, and you throw your front shoulder down to rotate which also makes the grab easier – or by grabbing it encourages you to lift the knee and drop the shoulder. Whichever way your mind works the movements are encouraging each other! By dropping your front shoulder, lifting your front leg and kicking off hard you will start to rotate, slowly. This is a good thing, as you don’t want to spin quickly, you’re only going to toe side after all. Once again if you look at Christian you can see that he is still looking forward. He has not turned his head into the rotation and therefore keeps it slow. Final point, his bar is still angled forward, he hasn’t pulled in, so the kite keeps flying forward and doesn’t drift up.

Getting Around - Pic C

Once you’ve got the grab and know that you’ve set your rotation in motion it’s time to make sure that you get around without moving the kite. As long as you got pop and you set the rotation with your front shoulder you will get around, but just to make sure you can now turn your head. To guarantee that you don’t drop from the sky you must keep the bar in on the sweet spot, therefore keeping some tension on the back lines. This in turn will pull you forwards through the move. To stop the kite from lifting with this tension, keep your wrist and elbow high as you would when body dragging. In this position you can keep pressure on the bar, whilst steering the kite forward. In the photo Christian’s bar is still “tipped” forward.

Spot Your Landing - Pic D

Always sounds so cliché, but to develop any sense of spatial awareness and consistency in your tricks, having an idea of at least where you might land will help no end. As you feel that you’re coming half way round, when your back is facing downwind, you need to have a good look at where you’re going and where you’ll land (if all is going according to plan). Once you see the water and where you’re headed you’ve got a lot more chance of sticking the landing. Here you can see that Christian is looking over his back shoulder and focusing on where he expects to land, and from now until touchdown he’ll continue to do so.

Drop Your Landing Gear - Pic E

Even though it’s a toe side landing you’re actually intending to land with your board pointing downwind, not on an edge, so you’ll need to rotate further than 180˚. As everything will be happening quite quickly as soon as you’ve spotted your landing it’s time to get ready for your touchdown. Looking at Christian here, he’s let the bar out which will let off tension, giving him slack so that he’ll drop down out of the move, he’s released the grab so that he can balance himself with his free arm, and he’s dropping his undercarriage so that the board will be underneath him and give him a stable platform to land on. And yes he’s still focused on where he’ll land.

Touchdown - Pic F

Your landing is the sum of all the previous parts, so if it’s all gone swimmingly you’ll drop down onto your board and your kite will still be flying forward. Christian has landed with his weight on the heelside edge of the board, which is normal due to the way that you’ll drop out of the move – his momentum will push him up onto the board. He’s also pulling the bar back in to get tension in the lines and power from the kite. All that’s left is to absorb the landing with his knees and then carve back up against the kite so that he doesn’t run towards it and loose his speed and power. Jobs a good’un.

Top Tips

Keeping the kite flying forward can be hard enough with two hands on the bar, yet alone with only your back hand for company! So when trying this for the first time don’t start with your kite too low. Nobody who isn’t exceptionally good ever does a pop trick with their kite down at 45˚, so when you’re learning something having it down there is trick learning suicide. If you have some help from the kite from the off you’ll be able to override your mental desire to lift the kite for additional help. Also practice controlling the kite with just your back hand on the bar. It may seem like a simple skill but like so many others it can always be improved.

Now have a good look at the sequence and videos….

Common Mistakes

We’ve already mentioned drifting the kite up to help. Often, let’s admit, it’s intentional! The only reason you ever need to move the kite during take off is because you’re waiting for something to happen rather than popping explosively – so give it some beans with your back leg.

If the kite drifts back during your rotation chances are you’re pulling too much on the bar. First off try trimming the sweet spot down a tad as this may help. Keeping the elbow and wrist high is the best answer, but if it still drifts up let the bar out just a tiny bit as you take off.

If you catch your heels and fall on landing, it means that you’re not landing downwind enough. This will likely be because you’re not bearing off enough before take off - if you start heading too far upwind you’ll land upwind, on an edge and off balance.

Keystones

  1. Huge pop with kite around 1 or 11 o’clock
  2. Release front hand as you stamp
  3. Rotate with front shoulder down as you grab
  4. Look for your landing as you come around.
  5. Drop and land downwind, not onto toes

Do you enjoy reading IKSURFMAG, using our App and website? We now need your support to keep IKSURFMAG going. Support IKSURFMAG from as little as £2 – and it only takes a minute. Thank you!

Support IKSURFMAG

This technique article was in Issue 52 of IKSURFMAG.

Related

Related

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, ensuring that you never need to pull off the same move twice. Now that’s something we can all appreciate. Before adding this feather to your bow, we should perhaps…

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. Most of us have a stronger or preferred side, the foot that we like to have leading. This side was…

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 once you are on the water, not in the air. You’ve probably seen…

By Christian and Karine
www.ckperformanceclinics.co.uk
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 Re Solve Split Kiteboard From Kitelement 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 Wed 10th Apr, 2019
First name is required.

By subscribing you are agreeing to our Privacy Policy

Subscribe Another
Re Solve Split Kiteboard From Kitelement

Issue 72 Wed 6th Feb, 2019

Compact Series Surfboard from ODO Kiteboarding

Giles

Issue 71 Fri 7th Dec, 2018

A 2019 Mercury 6/4 Freezip and Vex Harness from Prolimit

Gary

Issue 70 Mon 8th Oct, 2018

CrazyFly Raptor LTD Neon Board

Martin

Issue 69 Tue 7th Aug, 2018

GoPro Hero 6 Black Action Camera

John

Issue 68 Tue 12th Jun, 2018

GoPro Hero 6 Black Action Camera

Simon

Issue 67 Wed 11th Apr, 2018

Mystic Majestic X Harness

Andrew

Issue 66 Fri 9th Feb, 2018

6m Flysurfer Stoke

Ross

Issue 65 Tue 12th Dec, 2017

7m Cabrinha Drifter + Fireball Bar Set Up

Chris

Issue 64 Wed 18th Oct, 2017

Board You Desire From Shinn

Dave

Issue 63 Tue 8th Aug, 2017

GoPro Hero 5 Black Action Camera

Adam

Issue 62 Sat 10th Jun, 2017

CrazyFly 2017 Sculp 9m and Sick Bar

Dale

Issue 61 Mon 10th Apr, 2017

GoPro Hero 5 Black Action Camera

Sam

Issue 60 Sun 5th Feb, 2017

GoPro Hero 5 Black Action Camera

Steven

Issue 59 Mon 5th Dec, 2016

GoPro Hero 5 Black Action Camera

Edward

Issue 58 Thu 13th Oct, 2016

Fireball Set Up with an Apollo Kite from Cabrinha

Paul

Issue 57 Tue 11th Oct, 2016

Blade Trigger 10m Kite

Andrew

Issue 56 Sun 12th Jun, 2016

Board and Boot Set Up from Liquid Force

Peter

Issue 55 Sat 9th Apr, 2016

Nobile NHP Split Kiteboard

Andrew

Issue 54 Sat 6th Feb, 2016

Wetsuit and Harness from Manera

Gary

Issue 53 Tue 10th Feb, 2015

Ride Engine Harness!

Grahame

Issue 52 Wed 7th Oct, 2015

Prize Pack from TSHOTSH

Guy, Vince

Issue 51 Thu 13th Aug, 2015

Wainman Hawaii ManiaC Kite

Rich

Issue 50 Thu 4th Jun, 2015

Liquid Force Legacy Board

Daniel

Issue 49 Fri 10th Apr, 2015

Slingshot Vision Board

Michael

Issue 48 Fri 30th Jan, 2015

Blade Mist Kite and Bar

Gary

Issue 47 Mon 8th Dec, 2014

2015 Core GTS3 8m Kite and Bar

Wayne

Issue 46 Wed 8th Oct, 2014

Ozone Reo Wave Kite

Daan

Issue 45 Mon 4th Aug, 2014

Brunotti Board and a Pair of Sunglasses

Sean

Issue 44 Mon 9th Jun, 2014

Dakine Harness and Travel Bag

Matthew

Issue 43 Wed 2nd Apr, 2014

Manera EXO Harness and Goodies!

Ruben

Issue 42 Thu 30th Jan, 2014

North Gonzales Kite Board!

Johnny

Issue 41 Mon 2nd Dec, 2013

Best Spark Plug Kite Board

Christophe

Issue 40 Wed 9th Oct, 2013

Kiteloose Fatty Surfboard

Ben

Issue 39 Fri 2nd Aug, 2013

GoPro HD Hero 3 Silver Edition

Dave

Issue 38 Sun 2nd Jun, 2013

CrazyFly Sculp 9m Kite and Sick Bar System

Clara

Issue 37 Mon 1st Apr, 2013

Kitesurf Holiday Experience with Kirsty Jones

Vix

Issue 36 Sat 2nd Feb, 2013

2013 F-One Bandit 6 9m Kite

Paul

Issue 35 Mon 3rd Dec, 2012

Soul Drysuit by Ocean Rodeo

Ian

Issue 34 Mon 1st Oct, 2012

2013 Mystic Wetsuit and Harness

Mike

Issue 33 Sun 5th Aug, 2012

Wainman Joke Kitesurfing Board

David

  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.
×

Share - Pop Front Nose Grab to Toeside

×