Load & Pop: Add Style to Your Riding
Load and pop jumps should first be practiced hooked in. Once this is mastered, try learning to load and pop while unhooked. This will ad style and open the doors for a whole new series of tricks. In this How To, we will discuss both methods.
1) Slightly edge upwind while building speed. As you do so, you will notice that you are able to sheet the bar further and further out while maintaining the same amount of power. This is due to your increase in “apparent wind”.
2) As you gain speed gradually, increase your angle of attack (edge harder into the wind) and park the kite at 45 deg (9:30 or 2:30 in the wind window). Again you will notice that you are able to sheet out further while maintaining power. Be careful not to over edge or you will actually lose power and feel the need to sheet in.
3) The goal here is to combine steps one and two until you are riding fully powered with the bar slightly sheeted out.
The simplest way to Pop off the water is as follows-
1) With your kite between 40 and 45 degrees, load the Kite
2) With a snappy motion, slightly look over your forward shoulder and edge hard against the kite. You should dig the edge of your board into the water as hard and as fast as possible. This creates additional load against the kite that will help drive you out of the water.
3) You should feel the board fight back and try to release its edge. This is the board wanting to “Pop” out of the water. The second this starts to happen, push off of the water with a quick snappy motion. As you push off of the water sheet in on the bar. This will offer additional pull and help “snap” you off the water and into the air. At first it may only be a few feet. But as you get your timing and technique down, you will be able to use Pop to get over obstacles such as waves and debree with out slowing down or moving or kite.
1) While at a normal riding speed, flatten your board and slightly veer down wind. This will allow you to pick up additional speed as well as taking some of the load out of the lines making it easier to unhook.
2) Unhook the bar
3) Load the kite by leaning back and edging hard against the kite. You should dig the edge of your board into the water as hard and as fast as possible. You should feel the board fight back and try to release its edge. Again, this is the board wanting to “Pop” out of the water. The second this starts to happen, push off of the water with a quick snappy motion.
Note- Because the kite is pulling from a higher leverage point then when hooked in. The force will try to put your body into a railey position. Be ready to pull your legs back underneath you to prepare for landing.
– While generating load and pop, be sure to edge in an extremely quick and snappy manner. If you edge to slow the kite will creep forward in the window causing you to loose speed.
– When initiating your jump, avoid jumping straight up or towards the kite. This will cause temporary slack in the lines and instantly take the “load” out of the kite. The goal is to push away from the kite.
– Make sure you are on an appropriate kite size. Being overpowered will make it difficult to hold a proper edge and generate load/pop.
– Keep your kite at 40-45 degrees, to high and you will not be able to hold a proper edge. To low and you will not leave the water.
– Keep your hands close to the center of the bar to keep the kite from moving while in the air
– When loading the kite while unhooked you will need to lean back harder then while hooked in.
As the old saying goes, take off is optional, but landing is mandatory. Make sure to pick your days and to move at your own pace!