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Backhand Kitesurfing Tips/Technique

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Ecoastprock
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Backhand Kitesurfing Tips/Technique

Postby Ecoastprock » Thu Feb 28, 2013 1:30 am

Any tips on kiting waves backside? I have been transitioning from straps to strapless and have been having trouble with my backside approach. Any tips on kite positioning, technique and approach would help a lot.

I am a surfer that kites when the wind comes up so my basic backside surfing technique is there but with the kite I am having some trouble.

The conditions could be the main reason, on average it is SW (Cross/On) 20mph and 1-4ft disorganized short period waves.

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Re: Backhand Kitesurfing Tips/Technique

Postby Nico » Fri Mar 01, 2013 5:15 am

Those are difficult conditions as you have to keep looping and flying the kite around like crazy to keep line tension on.
I ride tons of backside, but am blessed with side to side off winds.
Nico

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Re: Backhand Kitesurfing Tips/Technique

Postby esg » Fri Mar 01, 2013 6:35 am

I'm kind of in the same boat as you. I've surfed for 18 years and started kiting about 3.5 years ago.

I'm goofy-foot, having to go right because of the wind conditions. I was riding switch-stance for a while, but it's just not natural.

I searched the internet and found videos of this guy, Pedro Henrique. He is an insane surfer and his kiting style is very similar.

You can't really see what he's doing with his kite though. I wish they'd show that more in videos.

I fly my kite exactly the same way whether it's switch or natural stance. Keep the kite low and pivot-turn before your bottom turn, and then turn again right before your off the top. I'm not sure how much you'd have to tweak that technique in your conditions though. I kite in mostly side-shore conditions.

http://vimeo.com/59183554

Ecoastprock
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Re: Backhand Kitesurfing Tips/Technique

Postby Ecoastprock » Fri Mar 01, 2013 4:20 pm

[vimeo]http://vimeo.com/59183554[/vimeo]

That video was awesome! Its funny you posted that because I am in the process of trying to organize a trip to portugal in the next year.

Unfortunately these are the type of conditions im dealing with on a good day of SW wind, which is when i ride on my backhand. Im goofy foot as well.



These conditions aren't terrible but i much perfer the side/off conditions with cleaner waves from NE winds.

Lately when the wind is SW and light with small waves (1-2ft) i have just been working on strapless airs and different jybes instead of trying to surf the tiny little waves with the kite at my back. It makes me feel better knowing that the conditions are part of the problem.

Thanks

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Peter_Frank
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Re: Backhand Kitesurfing Tips/Technique

Postby Peter_Frank » Fri Mar 01, 2013 8:41 pm

The waves in the video are fine - actually REALLY fun to ride in these conditions IMO :thumb:

Wind a bit sideon yes, and messy waves often, so not that pretty no - but there are really steep closing sections one can use for max "smack" and especially really high aerials are way easier to land in front of the wave 8)

Quite normal conditions for all "open" coast spots I think.

And as Nico writes - you have to ride aggressively with the kite (but some like this also in sideshore conditions - personal liking simply)


My tip, mostly for those riding both frontside AND backside, like most of us do :

When riding frontside you have your trim in one position (the typical well known trim), but when riding backside you should trim the kite "down" a lot :naughty:

Why ?

Because, when riding waves you normally only have one hand on the bar, for obvious freedom reasons.

When riding frontside, you have your upper body and front arm in a position very far away from you, so the kite can be trimmed "well powered" and still be in the sweet quite depower spot that works in waves.
When you ride backside, this changes A LOT, as you still use the same hand on the bar, and twist your upper body towards the wave - but this means you can not reach far with your arm/hand, thus you NEED the kite to be depowered a lot, as you have no chance of doing this when backside :roll:

So by trimming the kite down, you get an extreme amount of freedom in your cutback and can lean a lot forward towards the waveface (inside the turn) - which is the "good" feel, and a must in order to make a snappy good cutback :naughty:
This is not possible with a normal trim (unless you use the other hand crossed instead - possible yes but not natural IMO).

Whereas going frontside, you have way more options because of much higher "range" because your hand/arm has so much longer reach now.
This is not possible backside - but by trimming the kite down a lot, you will get an awesome cutback with no restrictions :naughty:
The downside is the limited range of course - and you have to ride a lot with the bar fully towards you...

When the wind is a bit sideon, we often ride backside some of the time, if the waves are steep - as this often works better now.
When almost sideshore, frontside is the way to go IMO, as it will give so much more "kick ass" in the cutback, is our experience.
But sideon a mix between frontside and backside are used a lot, by many here (and me).


Hope above is understandable and can help some ?

:D Peter

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Re: Backhand Kitesurfing Tips/Technique

Postby tony montana » Fri Mar 01, 2013 9:26 pm

I ride cross on mostly,nico is right you got to keep tension in the lines and the kite moving also flying the kite in the opposite direction you are riding for good top and bottom turns,use one hand to steer kite,stay loose at the knees this will help with line tension so when you move the kite you got power,it takes time but you will get it,check out the slow mo vid look how loose on the boards these guys are,TONY

Ecoastprock
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Re: Backhand Kitesurfing Tips/Technique

Postby Ecoastprock » Fri Mar 01, 2013 9:59 pm

Yeah that day was a good day of SW, maybe in the top 10% of conditions. Strong wind and 3-4ft. I like the idea of trimming the kite differently depending on stance. I never considered that and I'll have to try it next time.

I started riding strapless on my switchblade but just recently picked up a drifter and the slack line drift is a game changer. I love it! I also noticed that steering the kite with the bar sheeted out is much easier which helps a ton with wave riding, especially on my backhand.

In those conditions would y'all wear a leash on your board if riding strapless? Losing my board and chasing it back to the beach everytime drives me nuts and is the main reason I don't prefer riding strapless.

Ecoastprock
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Re: Backhand Kitesurfing Tips/Technique

Postby Ecoastprock » Fri Mar 01, 2013 10:08 pm

Also I have been wondering about the approach y'all use when chasing down a wave. Generally when I'm tacking out ill eye down a set from the outside then turn and try to position myself while the wave is hitting the sand and beginning to break.

As it starts to break I set my bottom turn and ride the was as I would if I were just surfing normally. I tend to focus more on the wave and usually forget about the kite If it's not pulling me out of position.

Other times, I will be riding upwind inside the breaking waves and see a good section on the outside. I usually race up to the wave send the kite from 3 to 9 o'clock and try to smash it. With this approach I tend to his get one big hit and find I harder to ride down the line but the hit really solid.

andrepen
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Re: Backhand Kitesurfing Tips/Technique

Postby andrepen » Fri Mar 01, 2013 10:10 pm

Cross On = Loop the kite! A lot, to both sides!

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Re: Backhand Kitesurfing Tips/Technique

Postby Big Fish » Sun Mar 03, 2013 11:15 pm

I'm also starting to surf backside in this conditions (side-on) and found inspiring Pedro Henrique's video.

also found very useful this one. (not really sure if is side-on)
https://vimeo.com/59033490
after sending the kite across, on the bottom he has both hands on the bar and steers the kite back while exiting the bottom... what is your thoughts on this technique?


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