METHOD MONDAY #03: STRAPLESS FRONT SPIN
RIDER – Reo Stevens
WORDS – Reo Stevens
PHOTOS – Jon Modica
The question I hear most about this trick is “how do you keep the board to your feet?” The concept and technique is simple in theory (although it takes some practice to execute). You basically angle the bottom of the board throughout the spin to face the wind, allowing the strength of the wind to push the board back towards your body 'sticking' the board to your feet. As well as keeping your forward momentum, having the bottom of the board always facing the wind is really the key to this move. Failure to do either one of these will result in separation from your board.
This technique will work in any wind direction, but for this example, it was done in near straight onshore wind.
The jump / spin / kite position of this jump is exactly the same as a normal front spin when using straps, except that you never want to send the kite past '12 o’clock'. This will stop your forward momentum, separating you from the board.
If possible, time your take off with a kicker / small wave / chop. This will help you initiate your jump and get wind under your board.
Approaching your takeoff, push down on the tail of the board to load up power for the take off. The majority of the jump is from the ‘load and release’ method rather than ‘sending the kite’.
As you leave the water, point your back foot to angle the bottom of the board into the wind while simultaneously starting your rotation and pushing as far out on the bar as you can. I found that this is key! By pushing out on the bar and depowering your kite, you match the velocity and momentum of the board keeping you connected to the board. If you hold the bar powered up, the kite will continue to pull you, separating you from your board.
Also, at this point, let go of your backhand to allow more freedom to twist your body throughout the spin.
Each rotation is different depending on the height of the jump, but throughout the spin, adjusting the amount that you bend each knee to keep the bottom of the board facing the wind, all while continuing to look over your shoulder spotting your landing.
Remember, while doing all of this to pull with your front hand (the one left on the bar) to send the kite forward again to keep your forward momentum and to have it be in the correct spot when you land.
REO'S TOP THREE TIPS:
Tip #1- This trick is easier to accomplish with strong wind and a light weight board with a flatter rocker line.
Tip #2- Although the bar is pushed far out for the majority of the manoeuvre, little adjustments (sometime only fingertip adjustments) are constantly made to match board momentum.
Tip #3- Practice! This is a very difficult move that takes a lot of attempts before you finally stick one! It is all about learning the 'feel' of the board and adjusting body positioning and kite angle to stay attached to your board.
Reo Stevens is sponsored by Cabrinha.
Find more tips, photos and videos by Reo at: www.reostevens.com