How to get your Railey, unhooked Backroll & unhooked Frontroll done
Lauren, who comes from Canada, started kitesurfing in 2011. In the meantime she became a professional athlete, is participating in freestyle competitions and part of the Cabrinhakites team. In this article she explains how to nail your first unhooked maneuvres. If you start unhooking from scratch I recommend to read this article first which explains all essential steps to get confident with the process of unhooking, which basic tricks you need before you start to unhook and how to trim your kite for unhooked moves. After this you’re for sure ready to follow Lauren’s tipps in the following. In this sense: Get on the water and have fun!
Basic unhooked tricks
So you’re ready to unhook, but not sure where to start. The whole idea of opening these doors to new freestyle tricks can definitely be intimidating. In this article, I will describe three basic unhooked tricks for you to try during your next session!
- Unhooked Backroll
- Unhooked Frontroll
How to: Railey
A Railey is the first unhooked trick that most riders will try. It’s a great intro to unhooked riding and provides a solid foundation for other, more difficult maneuvers. I always find that the easiest thing to do is to let yourself ride downwind for a few seconds before unhooking. Next, unhook! It’s normal to feel an abrupt rush of power from the kite, but it’s important that you keep the kite at about 10 o’clock (or 2 o’clock). Avoid sending the kite up to 12 o’clock – like you normally would to jump. Now that you feel the power from the kite, it’s time to edge sharply upwind. Dig your heels in as you edge away from the kite. Finally, release your edge and throw your legs out behind you! Keep your kite locked in position – don’t let it get too high in the wind window. Upon descending back to the water, pull your legs back underneath you, point your board downwind, and prepare for landing.
How to: unhooked Backroll
Once you’ve mastered the Railey, it’s time to try a new variation of your usual Backroll. Similar to the Railey, an unhooked Backroll is begun by directing your board downwind to relieve some tension from the kite. Now, you can unhook. Edge increasingly hard and release your edge after carving a “C” shape upwind. Your body will follow where your head goes, so look over your front shoulder and push off the water with your back foot. During your rotation, focus on your front hand to stabilize the kite. Make sure you don’t accidentally send it behind you. Tuck your knees to speed up the rotation and spot your landing as you come around. Point your board downwind for a smooth landing. Hook in and ride away!
How to: unhooked Frontroll
Now that you feel comfortable with your unhooked Backroll, the next step is practicing unhooked Frontroll. These area bit more challenging than the backwards rotation, but are important to master in order to continue your progression. Kite position is important for this trick. Don’t keep the kite too low or too high (between 10 and 11 o’clock is perfect) because you want to get a good pop off the water. To begin your forward roll after your takeoff, look underneath your back armpit. Concentrate on keeping the bar locked in position – avoid putting too much weight on your front hand, since this will steer the kite down towards the water. Continue your rotation by following your stare until you have completed a full roll, then, spot your landing. Bend your knees, point your board downwind, and cruise away.
Once you are feeling super comfortable with the Railey, unhooked Backroll, and unhooked Frontroll, you can spice up these maneuvers by adding in different grabs. Tail, stale, indy, or seatbelt grabs will definitely add some style and variation to your tricks. Good luck and see you on the water!
Cover shot: © James Boulding