The Frontside Waft or Fins Out Reo is an extension of the frontside re-entry that not only looks good but feels great as well. A wafting reo requires that you do a kind of rail side on the lip, getting your fins to hang out the back of the wave. The key to pulling one with a kite is to have zero kite power as you top turn, using board speed and timing to keep yourself in the right section of the wave. A slightly wider stance helps with this, so get your back foot right on the kick up at the end of your tail pad.
You can 'waft' in everything from cross-shore to onshore winds and, as with all critical manoeuvres, a good bottom turn set-up is key. Look for a slightly crumbling section, although you can even get your fins out on a closeout.
Here's whats happening in the pics below-
· Fade your bottom turn (by carving upwind towards the breaking part of the wave) and bring the kite up towards 12, sheeting right out before you then carve downwind hard off the bottom looking up at the section you want to hit.
· Try to come up as straight as possible with a good amount of speed, gently redirecting the kite so that it stays above you.
· You need to be fairly compressed during your bottom turn so that as you come up the face you can pull your board under your feet and extend towards the lip.
· As you hit the lip, aim to become weightless on the board – do this by keeping the kite moving above and in front of you while your body needs to spring upwards directly over the board.
· When you feel the lip connect with your board. Twist your body by rotating your head, shoulder and hips and push the tail out with your back leg.
· Bring your weight onto the front foot and as the fins reconnect dive the kite forward to pull you back down the wave and to keep the board planning.
· Stay low so you can pull the board underneath you again moving weight onto the back foot enough to keep the nose from pearling.
· Fade (carve) back upwind towards the breaking part of the wave which will tighten your lines and allow you to initiate your bottom turn into the next section.
When learning the waft you will probably come up too late or too early, but the great thing is you can still turn it into a good turn without wafting. To get your timing dialled simply takes time, so perseverance is key.
There is a fine line between pushing too hard with your back foot off the top and the board flying away from you, or just doing a little jive on the lip, but once you’ve nailed a few you will soon get the timing.
If you are ending up out the back of the wave it probably means the kite is still pulling that way, so trying moving it less throughout your bottom turn so you have to redirect it less as you come up the wave and try to rely more on generating your own board speed from an efficient bottom turn to climb up the face.
If you are getting pulled off the board back down the wave after releasing your fins then you are moving the kite forward too hard. The key to a good waft is having very little power in the kite, but to keep it just ahead of you.
If you find the board is doing an air rather than connecting with the lip then you have too much speed. Try fading your bottom turn more to kill the kite power and come up the wave more vertically.Pics by: Joe Cockle www.jnpevents.co.ukFor kitesurf lessons and coaching in Cornwall as well as Holidays & Adventures around the World visit my school Pasty Adventures
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Stay tuned for next months Technique Blog
With more and more people now riding surfboards a Board Leash
has become an important part of our kitesurfing quiver again. Here you will find tips on when and how to make best use from using a board leash while kitesurfing in waves.
A standard 6 foot 6mm double swivel surf leash is best which needs to be attached correctly making best use of the rail saver. The double swivel is important to avoid twists.
When wearing a leash we do advise wearing a helmet but as you progress and get use to riding with a leash, you may not want to.
As you generally ride a surfboard less powered and with a high depower kite, with a bit of practise and technique, the leash becomes a useful tool, giving you more riding time as well as a lifeline when things go horribly wrong! When should you leash-
· Cross offshore winds
· Reef breaks
· Riding alone
· Crowded beach breaks
Most of these reasons are for your own benefit to keep your board with you to ride more waves and if it all goes pear shaped, you still have a surfboard which you can use to paddle in.
On top of this added safety, wearing a leash means you can push yourself that bit more without worrying about losing your board and spending up to 10 minutes body dragging back to it.
In crowded conditions it’s important for other peoples safety as your board washing through the break can cause a serious injury.
During contests every second counts so you simply cannot lose your board. When you shouldn’t leash-
· Windy strapped riding
· Strapless freestyle
When riding at an empty sandy beach break with onshore winds there really is no need to use a leash. Although the only time I haven’t in the last few years, my board washed in and hit the only rock causing a ding. So it’s up to you?
If you are riding quite powered up, this means you will hold more speed and power if you crash which could cause your board to fly at you. If you are powered it tends to be easier to body drag back to your board anyway.
At all times you should way up the reasons to use a leash and the reasons not to and go with what you think is best. If in doubt go with a leash and wear a helm
Big, Heavy Reef break, a leash is a must
Attaching the leash to your board-
· The leash string should be 2-3mm strong rope. Avoid kite line as it can cut into the leash plug.
· Tie an overhand knot with enough length so that you get 2 even size loops just wide enough for the rail saver to fit through
· Thread the leash string through the board and squeeze the rail saver together to get it through both loops
· Close the Velcro so that the knot is hidden inside
· The rail saver is now doing its job protecting the rail and any corners on the tail
· With this method it’s really easy to change the leash onto another board as well as being easy to spot any wear to the leash string
Attaching the leash to you-
· You should attach the leash to your prominent back leg on the ankle. This is the right leg for Natural stance and left leg for Goofy.
· Make sure the leash is pointing backwards
· Ensure the pull release is on the front within easy access so it’s easy to pull off in an emergency
· Avoid attaching a board leash to your harness!
By attaching the leash to your leg, it ensures that during a wipeout when the kite pulls you one way and the wave pulls the board the other, the inevitable board spring back will normally miss you. This is due to its attachment point being 5-6 feet from you head depending on your height. Attaching to your harness means the board will come back straight at the middle of your back or head, which is not ideal!
· I hear people saying a lot, that a leash gets in the way during tacks & gybes etc- With practise it becomes simple to step over it, which I would much rather do than body drag after my board.
· Board flies at you a lot- Practise falling off, bringing your kite up sheeting out with no power to avoid spring back. If you feel the board pulling strongly on your leg, prepare to protect your head with your arm. Avoid riding overpowered!
· The board goes through your lines or wrap around you causing a tangle- On rare occasions this does happen. You need to practise taken your leash off in the water so that when it does you don’t panic. Sometimes you can simply pass the board back through the bar, other times you need to get the leash off quick, so it’s worth practising and always make sure the leash release pull is on the front.
· If you need to paddle your board in, loosen your harness off and rotate it around so that the hook is out that back not damaging your board.
· Regularly check your leash and leash string for any wear or stretching- Pictured above are the same leashes, one I used at One Eye in 2011 and it saved me on more than one occasion (see Kiteworld Wipeout Wednesday
) but is now stretched and unusable due to losing its strength and elasticity. Regulary check the swivels still turn.
For Kitesurfing lessons in Cornwall & Kitesurf Coaching Holidays go to my school www.pastyadventures.co.uk
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Lee Pasty Harvey
Sponsored by- North, Ion, Freeriders
It's important to get your wax job right on your board for it to last whether surfing or especially kitesurfing.
Here I am preparing my new Tokoro 6'8 for the huge swell coming our way. Not sure if I will be staying in Cornwall or flying south but now all my boards are ready and waiting for their top coats.
With winter well and truly on its way and strong winds blowing more than Race conditions, my Technique Tips are moving onto Surfboard riding and ripping waves with a kite.
Here we look at a the Varial which is a fun move that can be performed in flat water or even on a wave and is great for showing off to the crowds on the beach or even just to have some fun and mix it up while riding out the back between wave rides.
Here I am in fairly flat water riding on the North Nuggett in onshore conditions using the Fuse 12m kite at Marazion, Cornwall.
A wide tailed board really helps with any type of aerial manoeuvre as it gives you something to pop off and also the wide board catches the wind better, helping to keep it stuck too you feet. With practise however you can perform this move on any type of directional, skimboard .
· With the kite fairly high near 12 and with good speed, spot you ramp or piece of chop and load up by bending your knees. Carve up the ramp with a wide stance, releasing your stored energy as in a skateboard Ollie. As you go up present the bottom of the board to the wind while kicking the tail out
· As the board starts to rotate bring your feet together in the middle of the board so that it rotates around your feet and doesn’t spin wildly off downwind
· As the tail comes round keep your foot connected to flatten the board out and keep it rotating
· Start to spot your landing
· Connect your front board back onto the board to stop the rotation
· Land downwind diving kite hard
This is a fun move with loads of variables. Just give it a go and the more you try them the more you’ll start making. For kitesurf lessons and coaching in Cornwall go to www.pastyadventures.co.uk
Over the winter I am running some exciting Kitesurf Coaching holidays go to http://www.pastyadventures.co.uk/holidays.html
for more Info
Coming next we will look at wave riding technique and strapless jumps.
Stay safe out there
Pics by Joe Cockle
In my second technique feature we are looking at Gybing a raceboard. You can also see in the video some downwind technique and pre start maneuvers which we will look at in more detail soon.
The key to making a Gybe on any type of board is speed and commitment, with the difference to carving round on a twinnie compared to a directional, simply being foot/body position and swapping your feet. The only real change gybing a race board compared to a surf board is that you will probably be using a bigger kite meaning you have to downloop where as when it’s windy on a small kite, you can simply turn the kite before the carve and it flies fast enough to stay in front of you, while a big kite is too slow and you will end up underneath it, making the kite fall out of the sky.
There is also the added board width to deal with, which means a wider stance and more rail pressure, but still the same amount of commitment.
Most riders have a preferred foot forward and many including myself will always switch feet first one way and after the other. Whichever way you prefer, the move is essentially the same, just swapping the feet first or at the end.
Here we look at the Carving Gybe and in the sequence I am changing my feet after. We will be looking at the Slam Gybe another time along with the duck tack, aerial tack & aerial gybe.
· Approach at speed, on a broard reach, making sure the kite is powered at 45 degrees and you are going as fast and downwind as possible
· Gently bring kite up towards 11.30 (or 12.30) stepping out of the back strap placing foot as far back and onto the leeward rail as possible ( if you change your feet first, then this is when you do it, as below)
· Bring centre of gravity low by bending knees, pull hard on front hand to initiate downloop of kite and put weight onto leeward rail
· Continue to put all your pressure onto leeward rail while driving through front foot with your head up and forward looking in direction of travel
· Keep pulling the kite through the turn and as you come just pass dead downwind start to gradually level the board off by gently standing up
· As the kite starts to climb up the new side continue to straighten knees and open shoulders up towards front of board
· As kite come up on new side to 1 (or 11), bring your backfoot forward into new strap (on a surfboard bring your foot forward to make a triangle as you twist your old front foot from the strap. On a raceboard you still make this shape but with your heels well apart)
· Dive the kite hard bringing the power on while driving through the front foot and moving outboard.
· Getting pulled off sideways as you go into carve-
Make sure to bear off far enough before you start to carve and keep the speed up
· Lines going slack and kite falling-
Move the kite earlier and before you initiate the carve with the board
· Wobbling off during feet change-
Keep your head up, eyes forward and make sure the kite is high
· Losing speed on exit-
Make sure you have max speed on entry and be aggressive with the kite, while flattening the board off just after dead downwind
· Getting pulled off at end-
Ensure you start to flatten board off just after dead downwind to keep speed and avoid turning too far into the wind
Whichever board you are performing a Carve Gybe on, the key points remain the same-
Speed on Entry, Commitment through the turn, Speed on exit. If you have all of these dialled, then you will be able to look back and smile at your perfect arch left in the water as you speed away.
Remember the key to success is- commitment, positive attitude and practise.
Here we are looking at Race Board Tacking . There are 2 types of Tack. The Roll or Duck Tack and the Jump Tack which we are talking through here and in the photos. In the video the first 2 tacks are duck tacks.
The Jump tack is by far the easiest to learn and you can get away with small mistakes where as a small mistake with a duck tack is disastrous.
On a full blown race board, you are sailing really close to the wind at speed. This fact combined with the large fins, means that you have to keep your upwind momentum all the way through the tack and carve the board through the wind. It is almost impossible to kick the tail out as the fins give too much grip, so you need to have speed on a race board. The tacking angle is relatively small at around 100 degrees.
As with all manoeuvres you should approach with confidence, keeping you head up and in the direction of travel. The key to making it and not falling in, especially in light winds is to keep the kite moving at all times.
· Approach at full speed on an upwind course. Gently start to bring the kite up, moving your back foot out and in front of strap, on the windward side of the board.
· Weight should now be on your heels and through the harness, carving the board into the wind with your hips and shoulders open and facing forward
· Move your centre of gravity (cog) low by bending knees and putting all of your weight through the harness, carving the board hard into the wind and increasing the amount you are turning the kite (on a surfboard in light wind or rough sea, you may need to kick the back of the board out as you are turning the board through a bigger angle)
· When you feel the kite above you at 12, jump up and move your head around the front of your lines, hop your feet around the front as if there is a big spike just in front of front strap, aiming for your new front foot to land in or just in front of the new front strap. Keeping the kite turning throughout. (during the hop, imagine your feet are making a triangle with the point towards the nose on the centreline of the board, just above the big spike)
· Push through front foot, diving the kite hard with cog low, progressively increasing weight on through the harness.
· Step into front strap if not already in, pump board on plane as you step into back strap
· move outboard and back into upwind mode
· Falling backwards on as you carve into wind-
Come into the tack with more speed and be positive that you are going to make it, with hips forward and open
· Getting lofted during hop-
Perform the hop slightly earlier or if it’s real windy, move the kite slower
· Feet stumble-
This is normally due to looking at them! Keep head up at all times
· Falling back at end-
The most common problem and due to stopping the kite at 12 as you go around the front. Keep the kite moving and as soon as you hop dive the kite forward especially in light wind
· Board doesn’t turn through wind enough-
Sometimes you may be able to pull the board forward with your new front foot as you are in the air as long as you have good board speed. If you have low board speed then you need to kick the tail out when the kite is at 12 to release the fins. In light winds you may even need to do a 180!
Remember the key to success is- commitment, positive attitude and practise.
Thanks to my sponsors- North Kiteboarding, Ion & Freeriders
Stay safe out there!
Coming soon- Downwind and Gybing.
Pics by Joe Cockle - www.jnpevents.co.uk
For Kitesurfing Lessons in Cornwall
, Kitesurf Coaching
& Kitesurfing Holidays
visit my school Pasty AdventuresLike
page to stay up to date with all my antics on the World Tour and Training here in Cornwall !
Welcome to my new Kitesurf Technique Blog where I will be adding kitesurf coaching tips and advice on a regular basis.
Coming 1st is Tacking both on a surfboard and kitesurf race board. Next up will be Downwind and Gybing as well as Race pre start manouvers as I prepare for the 2012 IKA Course Race Worlds in Sardinia in October.
Over the Winter I will concentrate on Waveriding Technique.
Tacking pics and video will go up this week.
If you would like me to go though anything particular please contact me.
Thanks to my sponsors-
North Kiteboarding, Ion and Freeriders.
If you are after kitesurf coaching anywhere in the UK or interested in Learning to Kitesurf in Cornwall with Kitesurfing Lessons at West Cornwall s only BKSA recognised school, please check out my school Pasty Adventures
This winter I am also running some exciting kitesurf coaching holidays details here http://www.pastyadventures.co.uk/holidays.html