8 basic tricks every strapless kitesurfer should learn
Strapless kitesurfing is an incredible experience. But you need to master the art of surfboard riding to enjoy it to the fullest.
Whether the ocean is flat or pumping perfect waves, a strapless board is always a challenging kitesurfing option.
Pro kiteboarder Alberto Rondina compiled a list of fundamental tricks and maneuvers that will help you become a better strapless kitesurfer. As with always in the sport, practice makes perfect.
The first thing you need to know is to ride heelside and toeside, both ways. Without these basic skills, you can't progress and move forward to new and exciting territories.
Remember that the transition from a twin-tip to a surfboard is not instantaneous - tiding a strapless board is a totally different feel compared to riding a twin-tip.
Toeside To Heelside Jibe
The easiest way to turn around without stopping. Just put the weight on your heels and perform the downwind turn.
Heelside to Toeside Jibe
Maintain speed throughout the turn by making the kite fly past 12 into the new direction - carve the board before the kite's power kicks in.
The most technical and the fastest way to turn the board around. Ride with speed perpendicular to the wind. Push your back foot and send the nose of the board straight into the wind. Pull the bar and change switch stance. Send your kite into the new side of the wind window.
Back Roll Tack
Send the nose of the board against the wind with the kite at 12 o'clock, and then push the board's tail around with the back leg.
Aim the board into the wind, push down hard with the back foot, and lift the front foot.
180 Transition Jump
Slow down, carve into the wind, send the kite toward 12 0'clock, pop/ollie, grab the board, redirect the kite, sheet in, turn the board around, throw it into the water and ride away.
Pop to Blind
Get you kite high at 11 o'clock, carve sharp upwind and pop, release the bar, turn your head down and around.
At medium speed, send your kite up and step back to the tail of the board, carve a small turn upwind with the kite at 12 o'clock. Pull down on the bar to initiate take-off. Push down on the heel of your back foot, bend your front leg, and let the nose of the board rise up. In the air, use the back foot to push the tail of the board in the desired direction.