7 Steps for a pop 180 from heal side to toe side.
The goal is to comfortably pop into the air, rotating 180 degrees from your heel side edge to ride away toe-side in various wind conditions kitesurfing. This ‘pop’ versus being called a jump is in the little to no movement of the kite. You will be using the kite in a steady pull (travelling parked) to edge against briefly, using the resistance to pop out of the water, almost spring loaded. This is an easy trick and you will have it mastered in no time using this technique.
2 Things to practice before you begin (optional!)
1. Toe-side riding:
You should be reasonably comfortable riding toe-side as this is how you will land. Feeling comfortable riding toe-side will make this move much easier to practice and master, however, when learning toe-side riding it also makes sense that you would use this move to get to toe-side in the first place… see next step.
2. Practice by sliding:
To practice the pop 180 and get a good “feel” for how it might work, you can simulate the same technique by sliding instead of the jump. This has the same result, moving from heals to toes but much slower. The goal is to get a feel for the transfer of weight from heel side to to toe side, practicing this by sliding through the transition can be less intimidating and is great practice for the pop. ( or also for learning to ride toe-side)
1. Travel with moderate speed with your kite half way between 12 o’clock and the water
The kite does not need to move in fact it’s easier if it doesn’t. Also no sheeting in or out of the bar is needed. Your kite and bar positioning can stay the same through the move. Keep your kite at around half way between 12 and the water this will help give some lift while also continue to give you forward momentum to keep going once landed. Moderate speed will help a lot here. You need enough speed to pop and clear your board of the water. If going to slow, as you try to pivot your hips and rotate, the tail of your board will be stuck in the water.
2. Drop your front arm and open up your chest
Opening your front arm first, completes half the move before you begin. Your upper body is already in the same position you will be riding out in toe side. This just leaves the hips and legs to rotate once in the air.
3. Plan your pop and timing.
Using a small chop of wave will make the pop so much easier. Spot your take off from around 10m away
4. Edge slightly upwind as you load up with legs and pop up into the air
Edge slightly against your kite and use your legs to pop into the air applying slightly more weight to your back foot. To edge against the kite means creating a slight resistance, to do this leave the kite in it’s parked position, as you tend upwind slightly-against the kite to load with your legs, and pop. This popping motion is much like an ollie. Depending on your speed will depend on how much edge against the kite you will need to complete the rotation. The lower your speed or pop, the more edge you need, the higher your speed or pop, the less edge. Ideally you can complete this with very little edging at all.
5. Pivot hips
Once in the air, switch your stance by rotating in the hips and legs. This should feel almost effortless. Once in the air, your hips rotate the board and not your initial take of rotation. Using the technique of first opening your chest, popping straight up and pivoting your hips gives a very clean and controlled 180.
6. Absorb landing
As with any jump get ready to absorb the impact as you hit the water. Because this move does not involve moving your kite to 12, you can land on the board with force, absorb the landing with your legs.
7. Lean into your toe-side rail to ride away
Complete the move by leaning into that toe-side edge to continue riding in the same direction. You should be more heavy on your back foot toe edge as your front foot is used more for steering. On landing you should still have momentum, kite still pulling you to easily continue riding.