A LESSON IN LOOP
Dimitri Maramenides' do's and don'ts in cracking the kite loop
(The following was taken from a feature in Kiteworld issue #21. See the whole thing online for free by clicking here )
Your first attempts should be done hooked in with enough speed and power in the kite to be planing nicely and so the board isn't sticking to the water. The ideal conditions are when you're moderately powered on a ten metre - a ten is quick enough to get round without any trouble, but not so quick that you have no idea where it is.
To initiate the kite loop you want to send the kite backwards. So keep heading straight, bring the kite to 11 O'clock, then the best thing is to release your front hand and put it at the back of the bar next to the back hand. Most people don't release the front hand and as soon as the kite starts pulling the natural reaction is to hold and pull with the front hand. It won't work. If you have your hand away from there you remove the temptation and are committed to the loop. There's more chance of getting it right and it not hurting.
So once you have the kite at eleven and both hands at the back, head upwind hard and pull on the bar. Once you feel the kite really pull you need to jump and release. The kite will turn hard.
Concentrate on pulling and land downwind, pointing towards the kite. Never try to land on your heels. Always land heading towards the kite so there's no power in it.
Once you get more used to it you can let go with your front hand and grab the board or something. Your hand has to go somewhere ? maybe even behind your back. You don't need it on the back of the bar, but just keep it away from the front of the bar!
I don't advocate learning them unhooked first because you don't have the timing and it will throw you off. Keep it simple to start with. Get used to the feeling of getting yanked a little bit. Do ten hooked in, and if they're going OK, then next time, once you have the feeling, try it unhooked with both hands on the side of the bar.
The next stage is same thing. Once you get very familiar with it all you can keep your hands on their correct side of the bar ? that's when you move onto kite loop handle passes and such. But once you get very good is when you're gonna want a lot of pull in the kite. You'll be craving it more and more. For your first loops, you'll be pulling so hard the kite will just spin in the skt and won't go below you at all. You won't be more than five feet off the water. So just enjoy it and be positive.
This DVD from the KW shop teaches you to kite loop. Click here for the trailer
For more free Kiteworld back issues click here.
Dimitri Maramenides now fronts Eclipse kites. Check them out here.
The shots he was using in these images were Airush Lifts. In 2006 they were the serious weapons! Read our test report on the 14m here
For more on Airush, click here
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