Here’s a good one for all you show offs. Holding a grab always adds plenty of style, so holding two has to be a winning combination! For this combo we’ll be starting with the nose grab and finishing with a boned out tail grab – both crowd pleasers on their own. Therefore we do suggest that you’re capable of both of these before splicing them together. It’ll look good as both of these grabs are full tweaks, with one leg bent and the other straight. We’re going with the nose grab first as it suits the send and then opting for the tail grab to finish as you can hold this one as long as you dare whilst still diving the kite for landing.
As we so often do, let us ponder some of the key moments before looking at the complete picture…
It goes without saying that if you want to squeeze in a couple of tweaked grabs you’ll be needing some airtime. This means that you’ll require a decent edge and a hefty send. Make sure that your kite is not above 11 or 1 o’clock so that you’ll get the pull early enough, and get on that get home edge so that you’re pointing high with maximum tension on the lines. You can see that Karine is fully on her edge and has plenty of spray to prove it. In this position she can send the kite aggressively with both hands, keeping the bar on the sweet spot and aim for decent height and hangtime. Also as a footnote, do make sure that your hands are centred on the bar so that you can grab away to your hearts content without any unwanted kite movements.
As we mentioned the nose grab fits well with the first phase of your jump as it’s easier to reach if the kite is slightly back in the window. Following a mighty send the kite will most likely be back there, but make sure that when you are on the way up you don’t redirect the kite too much, as this’ll make it harder to reach the nose. As Karine ascends post take off she keeps the bar in on the sweetspot whilst her legs are extended, but she does not level the bar. This way once the initial boost is done with she can lift her legs and board for the grab without having the bar and lines in the way.
The Nose Grab
As soon as you can it’s time for the nose grab. With the kite back you will be able to lean back and get yourself into position as per normal. Karine has lent back, keeping the bar in. She has lifted her front knee up towards her chest and twisted it across towards the right side of her body. At the same time she extends her back leg, pushing her back foot away from her. These two movements place the board’s nose handily in front of Karine so that she can reach forward and grab the nose. Once she has the nose Karine will keep hold of it until she reaches the apex of her jump, or she feels the kite flying forward and up to 12 o’clock.
Once you’re at the top of your jump you must release your nose grab, get some support from the kite and prepare for the tail grab. Assuming that you’re confident with grabbed jumps, the kite will have moved up as you held the nose grab. As long as the bar is in on only the one hand, the kite will move and this is a good thing. As your kite nears 12 and you stop going release your nose grab. You can see that as soon as Karine releases the nose she is already bending her back leg, bringing her back knee up and reaching back with her free hand in anticipation of the tail grab.
Boned Tail Grab
As soon as you can reach the tail, grab it and tweak it. Karine has the tail in her back hand and immediately pulls it in towards her bottom. As she pulls the board with her hand she now extends her front leg to bone the grab out. At the same time she must control the kite with her front hand, keeping the bar in, tension on the lines and float in the kite without pulling too hard and diving the kite.
All that’s left now is to hold the grab for as long as you’re comfortable before releasing it and landing. This may depend on what size kite you’re flying. The bigger the kite the more you’ll float down and the slower the kite will move. The smaller the kite the more you’ll drop down and the quicker the kite will want to dive off the front hand. As Karine drops she lets go of the tail and gets her back hand on the bar. With two hands on the bar she can dive the kite hard, which in turn will pull her downwind for a smooth flat board landing.
Be realistic with how much time you hold your nose grab. If you hold it for an eternity you won’t have time for the tail grab, so concentrate on the nose for the way up and the tail for the way down.
Sending the kite hard will not only help you get the height and time, but it will also mean that the kite can move forward as you fly it off your front hand without consequence. If you don’t send it the kite will only get to 12 and you’ll have to release your grabs much earlier.
Now have a gander at the Videos and Sequence for the full breakdown.
If you can’t reach your nose grab, then the chances are that you are already thinking about the tail grab and are therefore not leaning back.
If you’re running out of time to get both in, try sending the kite a little more gently so that you don’t get as extended on take off and you can then get the nose grab earlier.
If you’re getting pulled forwards by the kite before it’s time to land, make sure that your hands are centred on the bar and that you send the kite far enough.
- Good send
- Leave kite back for the nose grab on the way up
- Release at apex
- Tail grab down
- Hard dive for a clean landing
This technique article was in Issue 48 of IKSURFMAG.