Flying has always been something that I wanted to do, a dream since my childhood… So, as soon I started kitesurf I knew Big Air would definitely be my way. The feeling while you are up there is truly amazing, but the feeling knowing you just did a huge jump and landed safe is even better! Since WOO came to the market the game become even more fun and challenging… I could push myself day by day. Broken my own records and also checking friends achievements!
I believe that such a feeling has to be shared with as many as possible, even knowing there’s many tutorial videos out there, but why not to share my own experience.
So here we go… For a high jump we need a combination of many factors together which result in a perfect jump: weather, waves, kite size etc. Taking them in consideration, perhaps we can focus on the basics for a start.
There are three main factors for a good jump. The first one: edge. The second one is riding fast, and the third is turning your kite as fast as possible to the opposite position from the one you are going to. Riding to the right, you turn the kite from 2 to 12… Riding to the left, you turn the kite from 10 to 12 (*remember bringing the kite back, but I will get to that point later).
Let’s start with the first one and the most important. If you don’t edge, you will loose control of your board, the board will start sliding and eventually you will fall. In the most cases, people believe they only need to ride fast, but if you instead go slow and edge more, you will get more control and therefore a good jump. The more wind you get, the more you will notice how important the edge is, with a strong wind, in some cases, you don’t even need to ride fast. Just edge strong, steering your kite and you’re still gonna boost big. By doing a good edge, you will make it a really good vertical jump and go high. Another common mistake is when you are going too fast and start pulling the bar with no edge and no control, eventually doing a very long jump and not high enough.
The second: riding fast into the jump – there’s nothing more simple then going fast, just steering you kite low, directing your board a bit down wind and you will start gaining speed (but, again, too much speed and you will loose control). There is no a right position for keeping your kite before the jump but, while you gain speed, let’s say you place your kite at 45 (if you ride fast you will put it higher and if you ride slow you will have it lower).
To send it: 1) you will pull the bar just enough without loosing the edge with enough pressure, then turn the kite as fast as possible, pull the bar all in… 2) as the kite goes up, keep the bar in steering and keep the balance 3) and as soon you start loosing your height and going down, you direct the kite back releasing the bar almost completely and just before the landing you pull again to have a soft landing. But you will see… the smaller the kite, the faster it is, so if you are riding to the right side, it is possible to pull the kite even to 10 o’clock and turn the kite back to 3, but if you are riding a big kite, it is better to keep at 12 because it will be too slow to bring it back.
The last one: steering your kite as fast as possible. Like I said before, that’s one of the mistake that happens quite often, if you don’t bring your kite fast up, you will end up getting a long jump, or if you just jump and keep the kite too long forgetting to bring it back, eventually you will be landing with the kite behind you.
So basically after riding with the right speed for you and enough edging, the only thing you need is spot for your take off, or wave, and then turning the kite really fast – you’ll go skyhigh!!!