yea, you're right, at first thought is doesn't make sense but
the kite needs to move through the air to have pull or lift and since it is almost always over your head hight even when down looping it slows your drop and it adds forward speed as well to keep you from sinking as the board will plane a bit.
the difference is in how much vertical pull as opposed to how much forward pull but any is better than none and you can adjust the difference by when you pull the loop and how fast.
kites are like airplanes. You never see a 747 stop above the airport to land and then tumble to the ground. Increase of horizontal speed of the wing generates lift on the kite surface, lift on the kite pulls you up. Just like an airplane you need speed to generate lift. Now it's possible when you redirect the kite for the landing to move the kite at the last second back behind you to stall your horizontal motion and your vertical motion so you land soft as a feather, this is equivalent to doing a "flare" on an airplane or paraglider. For kiteboarders though, we generally like to land hot because this leaves you riding and ready for your next trick so when we redirect we tend to leave the kite ahead of us so we both have more speed and less vertical motion.
knotwindy wrote: the kite needs to move through the air to have pull or lift and since it is almost always over your head hight even when down looping it slows your drop
This explanation makes the most sense to me.
Not sure about the airplane analogy. When a plane is diving toward the ground I don't think it is generating much lift. When you do a downloop the kite is diving toward the water when it gives me lift.
kite is left of zenith before landing: downloop it (pull right hand)
kite is right of zenith before landing: kiteloop it (pull left hand)
If you are 8m high, and the kite is forward or in front, means to the right of the zenith, and you get forward speed and are about to crash hard, you send the kite backwards to a kiteloop, by pulling the bar left side. The kite will loop above you (helicopter loop), and bring you under the kite again for a smooth landing. I really needed those once, when I was lit on a 14 sqm kite in gusts up to 35 knots. Well I jumped 14m high, but when the kite was forward, I would have broken everything in my body...but looping it backwards made me land as soft as can be.
Try it next time when you are about to get busted with a kite too far forward to land soft...and you will see what happens!
Thanks for this explanation Toby. I am comfortable with kiteloops in low jumps/transitions/slides but the heli loop has always puzzled me in the past. I could never quite figure out what and when todo to get that heli effect. I tried a few of them yesterday as per your description above and it works wonders to soften what would have usually been a rather fast and hard landing. Thank you guys for bringing up this subject.
Agreed tried it yesterday. Always prone to downlooping more than forward looping. But it depends on the zenith reference point. Where the kite is in reference to the zenith is a great reference point, thanks Toby.
Thing is I'm on edges so doesn't matter where it is in reference to the zenith redirect the other way and you land softly. I'm just looping cause I can. Lol
Down loop/Kite loop isn't really relevant when doing heli- loops. Kite is above my head, doesn't matter what way I loop it, only difference is if I down loop I usually do a transition (change direction) if I kiteloop I usually carry on in the same direction.
End of day at the apex of my jump I'm neither going left or right, I'm facing down wind with kite above me, I either loop left or right and will then land going in direction the kite exits the loop.
I appreciate the direction I was travelling will determine whether it is a down loop or kiteloop but doesn't really matter with heli loops.