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.uk
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