This article featured in Kiteworld print issue #104. First published: April 2021
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A long time classic that rarely gets thrown down by the masses these days. Steven Akkersdijk shows you that this is still a very stylish move to pull out of your locker when you’re aiming to impress.
Move: Pop-to-blind / Words: Steven Akkersdijk / Photos: Bram Bast
Learning to ride blind is really useful in helping develop board control and lays the basis for lots of stylish, blind landings after a trick. On top of that it’s something you can try in almost all wind conditions, as long as you can fiind some flat water. Think this trick might be beyond you? If you’re able to ride toeside, do some casual jumps and land a back roll, this tutorial is for you!
- When entering this trick keep your kite at 45 degrees and ride in with decent speed on a crosswind course.
- Start by putting your front hand on the top of the bar (side that steers the kite up) and let go with your back hand.
- Now it’s time to put your weight in the centre of your board and pop out of the water. While popping it’s important to open your shoulders and hips so you can twist the board and land after doing a 180 in the air.
- Try to spot your landing so you can land on your new back foot and absorb the impact.
- Find your stability and make sure that the nose of your board points slightly downwind so you don’t get pulled backwards over your heelside.
- Continue riding and look over your back shoulder to see where you’re heading.
- Practice the 180 jump twist on the grass with the board on your feet. You can also practice popping from heelside to toeside on the water to get used to the feeling of popping and rotating.
- Finally, it does help to slightly loosen your harness so it can twist around your waist for better balance when riding blind.
RIDING BLIND POSITION
- Keep weight on the back foot and press on your toeside to keep tension in the lines while holding a crosswind direction. Look over your back shoulder and twist your hips / shoulders as much as possible to find a ‘comfortable’, balanced position.
- Keep your back hand on the top side of the bar to make sure the kite doesn’t crash in the water or steer too far up.
The position to get nailed for riding along for extended periods, in control, while blind
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POPPING OUT OF BLIND
- Even though it might be easier to slide out of blind in the beginning by putting pressure on your front foot and pivoting round with the pull of the kite, it will look pretty cool if you can pop out of it.
- Start by swinging your front arm downwind as you prepare to pop out of the water.
- As you pop out of the water you can use the swing of the arm to help twist your body and board in to a 180 degree twist.
- Make sure to spot your landing as soon as you pop out of the water, this will also help with the twisting of your body and board.
- Land, absorb and switch your hands back in to the normal riding position.
- It can be hard to pop out of the water in a blind position, but it will help a lot if you can practice making regular pops from a toeside to heelside position (the board will actually be in the exact same position, but your lines will not be wrapped around you in a weird way.
- As with all pops, a lot of the initiation comes from the control of your foot at the back of the board, so really think about what that foot is doing.
Steven is sponsored by Core Kites, Mystic and Carved boards
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