TURN AND FACE
MOVE – FRONT SIDE AIR
RIDER – BEAR KARRY
PHOTOS – TOBY BROMWICH
INTRO – Banging a strapless aerial into your repertoire is all the rage at the moment. Practicing them off fun little waves like this one is something we all have the opportunity to do. Bear Karry's on demo and spreading the words.
This feature is taken from Issue #56 - SUBSCRIBE TO KITEWORLD MAGAZINE
This is a fun trick to do, is relatively easy and looks fresh with a stylish indy grab mid air. The conditions best for practicing it are cross-on to straight onshore winds as it makes it easier to keep the board stuck to your feet.
You should build up to this air by learning how to pop (ollie) off the back side of waves / chop while you're riding around. You don't have to just wait for a section like this. Eventually mixing a grab into your air will help keep the board with your feet and it also looks much more stylish. Also practice riding toe-side strapless as much as possible.
When going for a toe-side ollie, kite position and board control are key. Keep your kite parked at 11 o'clock (in this case, or one o'clock going the other way). Pop the nose of your board up into the wind as you hit the ramp as this will dramatically improve your odds of keeping the board on your feet. The wind pushing against the board and your feet plays a huge role in strapless airs, along with booties (for cold water riding) and soft sticky wax.
Once you master the toe-side ollie find a location with onshore wind and small waves. Ride toe-side as if you were going to pop off the back side of a wave, but instead hit-the-lip at a mellow down-the-line angle. Pop the nose of your surfboard up into the wind keep your kite parked around 11 throughout. The good thing about this trick is you don't have to really think about your kite. Bring your legs up to your body as the wind pushes the board, grab your rail and keep your core really tucked up. At this point I'm spotting my landing and trying to keep the board under control under my feet by keeping it tucked in to my body's centre of balance.
Coming into land, keep your weight over the board and extend your legs just as you're about to touch down, pointing the board in the direction of travel. If using straps you can extend your legs much earlier, but strapless, it's likely the board will blow away from under your feet, so you need to be more delicate, subtle and have much better timing.
A lot of problems involve poor kite position. We have a tendency to yank on the bar, sending the kite straight overhead when we do airs. Concentrate on not putting much pressure on your bar – you should be using your board's momentum and the ramp for your air. Keep your hands in the centre of the bar and your bar pressure nice and consistent throughout. Keeping your kite around 11 is a prime position for helping pull you up to get air, but not pulling you off your board.
Visualisation is important in any trick, none-more-so than this. So carefully study the shots, play them through in your mind as if it's you at your local spot and then get out there and give it a try! It's a lot of fun.
This feature is taken from Issue #56. For more technique features - SUBSCRIBE TO KITEWORLD MAGAZINE