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
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