TECHNIQUE

BACKROLL TRANSITION

The backroll transition is a smooth and stylish way to change direction. In learning it you’ll work on control of your kite movement and body rotation, which leads on to more progressive variations. Ross-Dillon Player and Kyle Cabano show you how in the video that accompanies this feature, with the key steps laid out below along with an image sequence. No excuses for not getting it nailed!

WORDS, PHOTOS AND VIDEO: Kyle Cabano

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BACKROLL TRANSITION – KEY STEPS:

Approach this transition while slowing down by sheeting the bar out and bringing the kite slowly up to 12, steering the kite up with your back hand. Keep your board’s rail engaged while carving upwind and keep the bar sheeted out. You won’t be able to carve upwind effectively with the bar sheeted in. You should be able to complete the first 180 degrees of rotation with your board still on the water, essentially leaving you with half of the rotation to complete. With your back now facing the kite and your head still looking over your front shoulder, sheet the bar in and let the kite lift you up off the water. Do not pop off the water with your legs as this will likely spin you into an over rotation. Use the pull of the kite to lift you from the water while turning your head to look round over your front shoulder, which will initiate the rotation. Keep the bar pressure balanced on both hands and your head looking over your front shoulder. Your body will follow the direction you are looking and this is a consistent key to all rotational tricks. Once you spot the water and your landing spot, prepare for touchdown by bending your knees and steering the kite forward in your new direction of travel.

COMMON PROBLEMS:

KITE MOVING TOO QUICKLY? You are steering the kite too hard. Bring your hand to the centre of the bar to slow the steering response. The good news is: each time you fail you’ll get closer to getting the calibration of input right. NOT ROTATING? Pay attention to your head movements. Looking over your front shoulder until you spot the landing is the key for this backroll transition. NOT CARVING THE FIRST 180? Carving upwind initiates the backroll rotation and helps generate the tension in the lines needed for lift off while keeping the kite above your head. GETTING TOO MUCH HEIGHT? Tone down the speed you enter the trick with. Approach this transition as you would for a typical tack; nice and slowly. LANDING WITHOUT POWER? You are likely waiting too long to dive the kite forward. As soon you spot the landing you can steer the kite forward to generate some momentum in your new direction of travel.

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