We’ve covered the sent version so now for the pop! This is however going to be more than slightly different, as here you’ll be popping the board up behind you, reaching down for the board whereas if you’ve learnt the sent variation you could bring the board up in front of you whilst reaching for it. The good news is that the way in which you reach your back arm and twist your back shoulder is the same, so previous muscle memory will help. That said if you haven’t yet attempted or mastered the nose grab jump, there is nothing to stop you going for the popped version.
As we’re accustomed to, let’s run over the individual parts that will make this more achievable.
Approach and Edge
As with pretty much all pop tricks, you need your height to come from your pop, not your kite. However whilst learning, if you position your kite around 11 or 1 o’clock it won’t lift you but it will offer some extra float, giving you a bit more time to get yourself in position, grab and hold. To get the pop you’ll need plenty of speed whilst still being able to get onto a good edge – so the usual weight back, shoulders back and bear away applies. From this position you’ll be able to carve hard onto your edge as Karine does in the photo. You can see she hasn’t sent her kite, her bum is very close to the water and she’s carving up onto a serious edge. This will be your platform to pop off, and is therefore the most crucial aspect of the move. As you’ll be going for a grab get your hands centred on the bar.
If you’ve concentrated on the above, this part shouldn’t offer too many problems. Your emphasis here is really on getting the up from your pop. To get the spring, rather than a raley-esque flick you must stamp down against your back foot before you have turned the board fully into the wind – thus all the energy will bounce back at you and throw you up, rather than the board turning through the wind and behind you. Don’t however confuse this with less edge, you still give it everything but for a moment less. You can see that Karine is kicking down off her back foot, the board is edging between her and the kite, BUT her shoulders, hips and board are all parallel. Karine has not broken at the waist and allowed the board to keep turning up and through the wind, hence she’ll get oodles of up pop.
Being a popped grab you don’t have time to wait and see if you’ve got enough before reaching for the grab – you have to commit early, really early. In the photo Karine has barely left the water but she has already released her back hand and is already bending her front knee in an effort to get the board closer. Pop tricks are not so much up and down, rather more up and drop, so getting the grab before reaching the apex is a must. For those who have nailed the jump nose grab you can see here that Karine’s back hand and arm are reaching around and forward in the same rolling of the shoulder movement. This twisting from the back shoulder and torso is what will enable you to reach the nose. Karine’s head position is also important. Rather than looking over the bar towards the nose, she actually rocks her head back so that she can look under the bar past the chicken loop, working with the shoulders to make the grab more accessible.
The End Result
This is your aim, grabbing the nose with the board kicking up behind you. You can really see how the grab comes from the twisting and rolling of the shoulders, the back shoulder rolls down and the front shoulder lifts up. Karine’s front shoulder is pressed up against the chicken loop, which means that with the back shoulder rolling down, her back arm is effectively lengthened, and hey presto she can easily reach the nose and hold the grab. The amount your board kicks up will depend on two things, firstly the pop which will lift the board pretty much level, and then the amount you throw your front shoulder down on take off. This last piece of the jigsaw will take some practice as throwing your shoulders forward whilst simultaneously rolling them back for the grab is somewhat counter intuitive. From here you have the option to pull the nose up toward you, bending the front leg, or extending both legs backwards. Finally take note of the fact that Karine has kept the bar in, so she’ll still be driving forwards, the kite won’t lift and she’ll land with momentum, rather than float or drop down.
The reason for keeping the bar in and not sneaking the kite up really comes into play for your landing. You should aim to hold the grab until you feel the board dropping away. Having approached the trick off the wind and with the kite angled forward you’ll have the advantage of landing more downwind, so as you legs drop underneath you keep the bar in, which will pull you into a soft-yish landing. Keeping the bar in also keeps your body close to the pull, so you can land balanced without being pulled onto your front foot. Karine has released her grab, and with the bar in close her feet drop down beneath her for a perfect tail first, no edge landing.
The usual rule applies here, the base for the move must be working. So make sure you’re popping well by banging a few meaty ones out before adding the grab. Flat water will really help, or tiny kickers. In chop it will be difficult to control your approach, as bearing away with speed can make carving back up tricky. For maximum pop you need maximum kick off the back leg, it’s sudden not progressive.
Have a look at the Sequence and Videos for how it combines and the necessary timing.
Pop is going to be the main issue, so search out a flat section of water and attack with speed. Don’t bend your back leg too much, and use the bend that you have. Don’t flex and pop, but keep the already flexed back leg stiff and then spring off it.
Reaching the grab. Don’t try and lift the board to you and reach forward with your head over the chicken loop. Think about touching your toes say on your left foot with your right hand, whilst lifting you left arm, or visa versa if you’re popping to the right.
- Approach off the wind
- Massive pop, before carving too far
- Go for grab immediately
- Roll, back shoulder down
- Look under bar for grab
This technique article was in Issue 40 of IKSURFMAG.