If you know how to do a simple jump, it’s time for you to add the backroll to your kitesurfing sessions! Here is a quick step-by-step guide to learn this fun and simple trick. It will be your new favorite move on the water!
Is It the Right Time for the Backroll?
To start practicing the back roll, you need to first master the simple jump because you are going to have to do the same bar movement.
Before Starting a New Trick
When trying a new trick, it is a good idea to find a day with the conditions you are comfortable with for your kitesurfing session. Find a day where you have the right power, the gear you are familiar with and where you feel this inner power to do whatever you set your mind to!
To learn the beginner version of this trick, also known as a back loop, you just have to follow these simple steps:
1. Before Rolling
I recommend practicing it in the direction you are more comfortable with when riding. If you are regular (left foot in front), try the trick going left. If you are goofy (right foot in front), try it going right. Every time you do a trick, make sure your downwind (at least 50 meters) and upwind (at least 30 meters) area is clear of obstacles, following IKO safety directives. You must be aware of your surroundings! Also start with a medium-slow speed so if you make a mistake your crash won’t be as hard.
2. Kite High
The first thing is commitment. Tell yourself you can! At the beginning, it helps to use a wave or a little chop as a kicker. You can also do a pop by riding a bit upwind, giving tension to the lines and then moving the kite high at around 11 o’clock.
3. Edge the Board
For the backroll, you are going to do the same bar movement as you do with a simple jump: steer the bar to bring the kite at 11 o’clock and don’t move the bar again until the landing, where you are going to steer the kite down. When steering the kite at 11, put pressure on your back foot to rotate the board towards your back. At this point, do not steer the bar or you will do a kite loop and crash hard! A trick is to place your hands close to the middle of the bar to avoid doing a silly steering when there is no time.
4. Look Back
When rotating your board, turn your head towards your back. Your body is going to follow the direction where you are looking. The more you exaggerate this movement, the easier you are going to roll your whole body.
5. Roll it Babe!
If you tuck in, you will spin easier but actually, you can also do it as you like: both legs extended, both flexed, legs down or to the side… Find your move! You can start doing the back roll with a minimum high. Don’t try to jump high at the beginning. You can do it very close to the surface too so that if you fall, the crash will be softer.
To land you have to steer the bar to bring the kite down back to 10 o’clock and look to the landing spot. Again, your body and board are going to go wherever your face is looking. At this point, you’ll have to time the move to know when to steer the kite down. It is going to depend on the height of your jump. Start small and try higher when you master a soft landing with your first backrolls. You can try to land with a bit of weight on your back foot to avoid over-rotating.
You are going to land with your lines twisted. Don’t panic, you can ride with them like this. You will only feel a bit more of friction on the lines when steering the kite. Take your time to find your center and control before untwisting the bar. Depending on the system of your bar, the center lines are going to untwist automatically or you are going to have to do it manually. Just make sure you untangle them, as it can affect the activation of the quick release system. Also, if you pack your bar with the center lines twisted it is going to be a nightmare to prepare them for your next session!
Whether you crashed or did it…
Smile, pat your back and do it again! 🙂
Something that helps me when I practice a trick is to repeat to myself a quick summary of the main steps before jumping, in this case I would say: kite high, edge the board, look back and land!
To visualize the trick before doing it also helps. Here you have some videos that describe step-by-step how to do the backroll!
This one is very visual as it uses very helpful graphs:
Learn it with her!
A big thank you to Ian Nicholls Photography for coming out and capturing these amazing still shots! We love the talent of our Bajan team and are always humbled by their support. Thank you!