|INTRO ? Kiteboarding should be revelling in a snug blanket of glory as it welcomes in a melting pot of diverse influences from other sports. The future is now with 'surf' moves like this in the mix. John Amundson introduces his shove-it reverse 360|
|This is one variation of the reverse 360, I call it the 'shove it reverse 360'. This is just a taste of what is to come in the future of kitesurfing and a sample of current surfing moves being utilised in our sport. The first time I pulled off a reverse 360 about five years ago it was by complete accident. I was doing these tail slides off the breaking lip, travelling backwards for several metres and then straightening out. This one wave lined up just perfect and I thought 'I'm going to smash this one hard'. I did and hit it so hard that I spun completely around into a 360. When I pulled the first one I was so stoked so tried it over and over again, but just got hammered! My ego and body were bruised and I quickly lost interest.
Over the past five years I've nailed a few more by accident, but nothing consistently. Recently I saw Guily Brandao and Ian Aldridge doing similar moves and that really sparked my competitive fire. Over this last summer I worked on the reverse 360 and mastered it in several different variations. The two most important parts to this move are pure commitment and proper kite flying technique; two things I did not have five years ago. The best possible wave for this move is a top to bottom wave with a nice wall, as this really gives you something to launch off and seems to enable more of a surf style manoeuvre. For me, the best kite power tends to be mildly powered - not so much that you can jump like Lenten, but not so little that you are struggling to stay upwind.
Confidence is essential with this move. Every time I do a bottom turn and consider the reverse, I eat shit! When I bottom turn with a focus on the breaking lip and I say, 'Yes, I will nail this,' I usually do pull it off. It's strange, but it does take that kind of mental confidence to master the reverse 360.
This move works either hooked or unhooked. I have done it successfully with both kite flying methods and have found that hooked in gives you more versatility and allows you to really explore all of the variations of the reverse 360 more effectively. The reason for this is the ability to de-power the kite throughout the entire manoeuvre, allowing for a much smoother 360 without the sudden pull of the kite. It also allows for more natural body movement; when doing this move unhooked you tend to be hanging off of the bar more. An unhooked 360 works well but really changes the style as you have to muscle the bar around a bit more. I would recommend riding hooked-in to start with; it will be far less painful.
Kite positioning is the hardest thing to re-programme into your mind for this move. Traditionally, most wave riders surf one step behind their kite; turning their kite at the wave and then turning their board at the wave, turning their kite back and then turning their board back, and so on. With this move you turn your kite at the wave and go into your bottom turn, and instead of turning the kite back you bring it straight up and park it there. This allows you to rotate around your lines and also depowers the kite a bit. If you follow your instincts and send your kite back towards shore you will get catapulted half way through the rotation and skip out aimlessly on your back.
Here I do a pretty average off-the-lip, throwing my tail out, but instead of redirecting my board I shove the nose into the wave face and pivot off the nose. When I go into the top turn I like to fix my eyes on my board, which really helps to keep me oriented. It is easy to lose your bearings and get completely out of control if you don't fix your eyes on something like your board. Through the top turn most of my weight is focused on my back foot. When the nose buries, my weight shifts to the front foot (over the nose), which becomes my back foot for a second. To avoid a face plant and thorough beating, it is key to keep the pressure off of the tail of the board. As I come out of the reverse my weight comes off of the tail and is balanced out between front and back foot. Doing a successful reverse 360 should be one solid, effortless motion. The easiest way to complete this move is to throw it hard and the full rotation usually comes naturally.
The shove-it reverse 360 is a move that is not easy to describe step-by-step, like the gybe, but with the key elements of wind and wave conditions, mental confidence and kite positioning, advanced kitesurfers could easily master this manoeuvre.
|Surfing with a kite has invited the world to join in on the thrill of high-level surfing. People have been attracted to it from diverse backgrounds that include windsurfing, wakeboarding, skiing and of course, surfing. From this melting pot of athletes comes different styles and creative ways of looking at and utilising a wave. Taking advantage of all these views and opinions and simply appreciating the show will surely spark a growth in performance|
Read issue #37 HERE