Unhooked - BRICK WALL

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Posts: 15
Joined: Thu Aug 02, 2012 10:31 am
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Hi everyone, just a bit of background to my skill level. I've been kiting about 10 months and am in a position where I can get out a lot. I'd say for the time I've been riding I've learnt a lot and have got most of the hooked-in (freestyle) tricks pretty much dialled in...kiteloops, back/frontrolls etc but have wanted to take it to the obvious next level for a while now. I waited for the winter to be over and have now started unhooking.

I can bear off down wind unhook, hook back in riding both ways but as soon as i try and load and pop, i F*%k it up and just get pulled from my arms. I've done a couple but put that down to luck. I've really looked on every vid, forum, website for help so I've heard all the usual advice. One of the problems I'm facing is if I surf or skate I ride regular stance but the provailing wind in my area sends me out into the kickers (it's a lumpy, choppy beach) riding goofy. This means I learnt to do most tricks/jumps riding goofy and that became my stronger position for kitesurfing. Now for unhooked I really need to learn in regular stance for coordination but that feels but strange anyway.

I realise this is a long and boring post but I dunno what else to try and would be grateful for everyone's advice. Obviously I appreciate any kind of help but bearing in mind I have looked at what feels like every instructional video and post on the net I'd really like to hear from anyone that faced this problem themselves and overcame it or any really practical steps I can take.

P.s Kite set up properly. ( I have a similar problem at the cable park.)

Reward of beer to any advice that leads to Railey :)
Posts: 15
Joined: Thu Aug 02, 2012 10:31 am
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I'm flying Switchblade 10/12 - Also I know a C kite is better for unhooking but there's plenty of unhookingness been done on switchblades so let's not blame the kite.
Posts: 1508
Joined: Fri Aug 15, 2008 1:54 pm

You can learn the technique hooked in too, and that way you might feel a bit safer, and also have more attempts.
I learned Raleys hooked in 1st by doing much the same as you would unhooking - so bear away which enables you to pull the bar all the way in, so the same power as you would have if unhooked, and also puts you in a good 'arms tucked in' position - and then once you've pulled the bar in, start to carve it back upwind until you feel the pressure building up, and then give it that last little whip upwind, as though you are trying to carve away from the kite (it's more of a quick whip than a carve really), and give it a pop off your back foot. It's the front foot you need to concentrate on to make sure it's carving right up into the wind' it seems a bit mad, but you want your board to be heading almost straight upwind as you pop.
I found it much easier to do them off small waves when I started, for an extra bit of air. You also need to be well powered, but not stacked.
The higher you have your kite, the easier it will be to get the pop, so start with it at 11 (or 1), until you get the feel of the carve & pop, and then start to do it with the kite a bit lower. Once you're doing them hooked in like that, and get the feel for the move, it will come much more naturally when you unhook. Unhooked, keep the same position as before, arms quite tucked in, not stretched out (you can master a fully pulled out raley later!), and there's not really that much difference.
Good luck.
Posts: 3121
Joined: Sat Jan 15, 2005 9:19 pm
Location: Saaaaaaaaarfend, innit geeza

Are you actually popping or just holding on until you get pulled off your edge?

Maybe just try riding about unhooked first rather than try jumping/popping, this will give you a good understanding of how to control the power.

And just to confirm you are depowering the kite? In decent winds if you unhook without depowering the kite then you will get pulled
Posts: 195
Joined: Fri Aug 26, 2005 1:44 pm

Hey dude,

What you are describing is not uncommon at all! Everyone goes through that stage of unhooking, and wondering how the hell you do it :)
The problem is you get used to riding in your harness, and having the kite pull you through it, which you get used to. When you unhook, all the pull goes through your shoulders and it feels totally weird.
This gets worse when you try to load and pop, as you get even more pull through your shoulders which pulls you over your toeside rail.

The answer, is quite simple :)
... Stay hooked in ...

... just kidding :)

What you want to avoid is having your arms being pulled straight by the kite, and going straight from your shoulders to the bar.
Instead you want your arms bent at maybe 45 degrees, and pulled down a little.
If you imagine a line which extends from the direction your kite lines are travelling, it should pass through your abdomen (NOT THROUGH YOUR SHOULDERS! :)) This will stop the pull of the kite from toppling you over.
Note: you do need to try to keep your arms in this position as you pop, and don't allow them to be straightened / pulled upwards by the increasing force. You also need to get your weight down and back over your heelside rail to counteract this pull.

This little video shows it quite well (although it is a bit exaggerated as i'm going for a shifty 3, rather than a raley):
https://vimeo.com/63970766" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
you're pretty much looking straight down the lines, and you can clearly see the imaginary line is going through my waist/abdomen.

If you watch the other videos you watched again, you'll see that their arms aren't going straight from their shoulders, they are bent and pulled down a bit - its quite subtle, but makes all the difference

Hope this makes sense, and gets you over this hurdle :)
Posts: 15
Joined: Thu Aug 02, 2012 10:31 am
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Thanks everyone, just landed my first unhooked railey and backroll to toeside over the weekend! Thanks for all your help. Beers are on me!
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