Unhooked jump with a board grab.
1. Speed. Goes with the power thing, but having a powered kite and board speed sometimes don't go hand in hand. You know how to go fast. Go fast first.
2. Edge. Because it starts as a railey, you need to get a good edge. You should be doing raileys already if you want to learn this move, so I'm not going to go into detail.
3. Hand placement. It's important. What grab are you doing? What hand will stay on the bar, and which one is coming off? Lets use a basic indy glide as an example. You're gonna let go with your back hand. So, I'd start with my hands dead center (harder for chickenloops), and then adjust a bit to compensate for the time when I'm going to be one-handed, so I'd get my right hand more in the center, left hand a little further out. For a chicken loop, I believe you can put your index finger on the opposite side of the rope as a translation for that. Remember that your hands aren't exactly centered when you edge and pop, so that the kite doesn't pull up (remember we're talking about an indy glide, so your back hand is coming off. Different grabs, different setup).
4. Takeoff. However you're planning on doing it, the takeoff is pretty key. After you set your edge, tension your lines, and pop you want to keep the bar VERY close to you. I'd say to your hip, but the way that you takeoff on this move, it ain't gonna happen. Too much pull. Just really focus on keeping that bar as close as possible to your center of mass. I'd suggest leaving both hands on at first. Once you've popped and kept the bar close you should be moving with the kite, relatively, so there should be less pull on the bar. Don't worry about extension yet, it'll happen on it's own. There is a certain time when you'll have less bar tension. That's when you let go with one hand and go for the grab, whichever grab you're going for. Focus on getting that hand planted firmly on the board. Nothing is worse than a rail tap. Get a solid grab, it's good style points.
5. The Grab. If this is the first few times you've done this trick, after getting the grab, I'd focus on getting your hand back and landing. If you're comfortable with it, hold on as long as you want.
6. Extension (Optional). This is my favorite part. You get this right, you still look okay even if you miss the grab (it happens more than you think.) Once you have the grab, the kite will start accelerating downwind. It does even if you don't get the grab. As it pulls away, it's going to drag you out behind it. Better extensions come from stronger pop off the water, speed, and angle of the kite. Obviously if your kite is at 90 degrees you'll be extended, but you'll just be hanging. As you extend, you'll reach a point where you're as far as your arms are going to go. I like to look away from the kite (if it's an indy glide) because it makes you feel more extended. I think of it like a rubber band. The faster you get extended (it happens to you, you don't really do it) the faster you'll snap back. After a few tries you'll get the hang of it. As you start the rebound, get your eyes back on the water and spot your landing. It's better to come in tail heavy on this trick, so you don't break your legs when you land flat.
7. Landing. It's going to be hard if the kite is low. No way around it. That's one reason I ride boards with more rocker, it's less of an impact on wake moves. Get the board under you. You want to land bearing off the wind a bit with speed. If you land with no speed, you're gonna land flat, smack, and sink after. Pretty painful. Though it sounds like a contradiction, landing with more speed = softer smoother landing.
8. Practice. Yup, nothing new here. But more practice = better style and easier landings. Good luck!
- The more speed, and the harder you edge before lift off, the more style and snapping back of your legs you will have.
- This trick is much easier to get horizontal off a kicker (wave or manmade). So don't get frustrated if you can't get it completely horizontal on flat water.