A rather fun transition, the love child of two moves! You could look at it as the twin tip variant of the directional duck tack, but equally it is essentially an on water, or un-aerial back loop transition. In it’s own right a smooth way of changing direction, and a possible method of learning the key movements to the duck tack before venturing out on your surf or race board.
Technically on a twin tip with straps, the mechanics of this move are not overly complicated, however the timing is crucial so once you get the movement, pasting it together piece by piece will deliver the goods. The end result should be a carve up and through the wind of almost 180˚ degrees, so that your board is across the wind with you facing upwind, followed by a pivot on the nose of the board to turn you and the board the remaining 180˚, before you ride off back from whence you came - simples!
You need to get the board a long way up into and through the wind so you’ll need some speed. However don’t come blatting into it like a bat out of hell, rather start on a good upwind edge, kite just above 11 or 1 and then momentarily sit down slightly so that your board flattens and picks up a little bit more.
To be able to carve all that way you don’t need anything fighting you, whether it be the kite pulling you back downwind or the board dragging through the water. Therefore you need to get your weight, think hips and shoulders, more forward so that you use all the board to carve – the sitting slightly helps with this. If you’re low and have weight on both feet, the board won’t bog and drag, but wiz around. To go all the way you must get the kite up to 12 o’clock, so pull gently on your back hand as you approach. And finally to prevent the kite from holding you back you must let the bar out to get rid of the power as the kite moves up.
Pic A. Christian is carving into the wind whilst drifting the kite up to 12 o’clock with his back hand. He has taken his front hand off the bar, which allows him to twist his head and shoulders further upwind and let the bar out as the kite lifts. His front knee is slightly bent, and as he pushes his back foot away he breaks at the waist to keep his body upright. With weight on both feet you can see that his entire edge is in the water.
Carving all the way until you a literally across the wind will place you in the perfect position to complete the move. As you can imagine once you’re here you won’t have any time to think before you gracefully sink back into the drink. The good news comes from 2 things. Firstly if you have got the kite up to 12 o’clock with the bar sheeted out, it will have flown all the way to the edge of the window, so therefore be right above you, waiting to support you. Secondly if you have carved hard, there will still be resistance against the board as it turns back towards you. This means that you can pull the bar in and push against both feet for support.
Pic B. You can see that Christian has carved all the way on the edge. With the board banked over and the kite high the tail does not slide, which would move him away from the kite. As Christian comes around past the 180˚ mark he pulls in on the bar and moves his weight forward, bending his front leg and pushing his hips towards the nose of the board.
Assuming that you’ve got this far now is the time to get dynamic. Your aim is to dig the nose of the board into the water, throwing your weight over it and your front foot, whilst pulling in on the bar and turning your head and shoulders. As the power comes from the kite the resistance from the front of the board should be enough that the kite will pull you around.
Pic C. With the kite above him, Christian pulls down hard on his bar hand whilst throwing his weight forward onto his front foot. At the same time he turns his head down and around to sink the nose and lift the tail – the rest depends on the kite.
When the power from the kite arrives you need to be in the previous picture’s pivoting position. If so the kite will lift you up from the water and then pull you off downwind. If however you don’t get your weight forward and therefore have too much of the board in the water the kite will lift you off the water and you hopefully land a couple of feet downwind and sail away.
Pic D. With the bar held in tight, the kite has lifted Christian and he is now up and over the board. With all his weight pushed over what was his front foot, he leans back against the pull of the kite and allows it to pivot him around sunken nose. To make sure that he doesn’t get pulled onto his face Christian locks out his front leg, which will force the board to follow the pull from the kite.
It’s worth trying to learn this in two stages. First work on getting your carve, as once this is in the bag you’ll be able to think ahead and throw yourself forward into the pivot. The carve must be just that, a carve. Any sliding and it’ll be game over. So practice carving as far as you can, moving the kite up to 12 o’clock and letting the bar out as it drifts.
Check out the Sequence and Videos for a full visual run through.
Best start with the problem of sliding the tail out, as we’re all too proficient at this. If you are “loosing” the tail as you carve up it’s because you’re subconsciously going into slide turn mode. This means that as you carve you are bending your front knee so much that all your weight is over the front foot, which results in the tail sliding as you push the back foot away. Try to move your hips into a central position in between the footstraps, but no further forward. Also concentrate on edging the board so that you push through your back heel against the board, not your foot over the board.
If you’re falling in downwind of the board, it will be because the kite is pulling you. Be sure to drift the kite up to 12 and let the bar out as you go. Also try to break at the waist as you turn so that your upper body stays upright.
If you falling onto your side as the kite pulls and board pivots around, make sure to turn your head and shoulders to lead the pivot.
Finally if you hop up and out of the pivot, it is because you have too much resistance, too much edge in the water. Make sure you get all your weight over the foot and roll back against the pull.
- Drift kite up towards 12
- Release front hand
- Good solid carve off both feet
- Pull on bar, throw weight forward
- Lead pivot with head and shoulders
This technique article was in Issue 42 of IKSURFMAG.