Saturday, November 18, 2017

How to do… your first jump

Learn how to jumpOne of the main reasons why a lot of people want to start kiteboarding is because they saw someone doing an awesome jump with the kite and landing smoothly afterwards. That’s impressive when you’re watching and most people understand that the feeling while you’re doing it is pretty magical.

So, this week’s blog is about how to do a classical jump. Nothing too high to start off with. After all you need to learn how to walk before you can run…

 

Skills you need to have before starting
•    You need to know how to re-launch your kite after crashing it into the water. When you start jumping you will lose your balance a few times and you might crash your kite. If you don’t know how to re-launch your kite things will become tricky.
•    Knowing how to go back upwind is not really necessary but having that skill will save you a lot of walking on the beach.

Keep in mind
Two things are important to keep in mind. Don’t start jumping with a leash. Having a leash is dangerous in the first place but jumping with one is plain suicidal. And second, before you jump always, and I mean always, check that no one is around you, especially downwind from you.

Wind and equipment
Use your usual equipment, and like with other tricks, you want to make sure you’re not overpowered, so make sure the wind is not too strong in comparison to your body weight and your kite size.

Spot conditions
As mentioned before, find a place where there is nobody around you. If other kiters are out on the water go downwind from them, keeping enough distance so that if your kite goes totally the wrong way by accident you don’t swipe someone. Find a spot that is relatively flat with a minimum depth of a couple of meters.


CLASSICAL JUMP
1.    Ride with your kite at a 45 degree to 65 degree angle, as you normally would, keeping your speed consistent. Look for a flat patch and get mentally ready to jump.

2.    Send your kite to 12 o’clock and pull down the bar during the move (your hands must be placed in the center of the bar).
1 - Send your kite to 12 o'clock and pull down the bar during the move
3.    Keep tension on your lines and edge hard with your board so you’ll pop out of the water.
2 - Keep tension on your lines and edge hard with your board so you’ll pop out of the water.
4.    Wait until the kite lifts you.
3 - Wait until the kite lifts youThe kite will lift you into the air
5.    Once you’re airborne, bend your legs making your body small.
5 - Once you are airborne, bend your legs making your body smallBend your legs once airborneContinue bending your legsMake yourself small
6.    Keep an eye on your kite, it has to stay at 12 o’clock during the jump.
9 - Keep an eye on your kite, it has to stay at 12 o'clock during the jump.Keep your kite at 12
7.    When you feel you’re going down, slowly pull down the front side of your bar.
11 - When you feel you are going down slowly pull down the front side of your bar
8.    Spot your landing.
12 - Spot your landingKeep spotting that landing
9.    Prepare to land downwind by turning your body so your front foot is perfectly downwind while keeping your body weight on your back leg.
14 - Prepare to land downwind by turning your body so your front foot is perfectly downwind while keeping your body weight on your back leg.
10.    Once you’ve landed, put the kite back in the 45 degree position and keep on riding.
15 - Once you have landed put the kite back in the 45 degree position and keep on riding

Starter tips
+ Use little waves as a kicker for your jump.
+ Don’t pull too hard on your bar, or you’ll fly to heights you might not be comfortable with at the beginning. Start off by pulling little so you get a feel for it.

Common mistakes
•    You send your kite too far into the opposite side of the wind window and your kite loses wind and falls down
•    You lose your balance because you didn’t crouch up making your body small.
•    You land but you sink! This happens because you didn’t send the kite back into the 45 degree position, giving the kite power.
•    You land hard. That’s probably because you let go off the bar. Hold the bar in position and your landing will be much softer.

Some tips to advance
Once you get a feel for jumping start experimenting. When you’re about to jump you can also bring your kite from 1 o’clock to 11, which will create more lift. Once you’ve popped out of the water bring your kite to 12 and follow the above steps.

Photos by Ole Andreas Lervåg, copyright 2015

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