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Kiteboarding: Do a Stylish Backroll in 4 Sessions

Posted by Blake Olsen on

The backroll is a staple in your kiteboarding bag of tricks. With a few small adjustments you can really improve your style and make this basic trick your own.


Session One: Do a Flat 360 First

It's the same motion as a backroll, you're just taking the invert out of the equation. Send the kite gently, pop and look over your front shoulder. Doing this, your body will spin. As you come around spot your landing. As you look forward your body will stop rotating. Sheet the bar out to come down and ride away.

It's helpful for newer riders to take their back hand off the control bar while learning this. What happens is when you send the kite and spin, your back hand naturally pulls on the bar and sends the kite to the wrong side of the wind window. The best thing you can do is get used to putting your front hand on the middle of the control bar and letting go with your back hand. This will come into play later as well.  Spend at least 10 to fifteen minutes working on this for your first session. 

Do a flat 360 to learn the muscle memory. 


Session Two: Pop Without Your Kite

There are two ways to pop. With the kite or with board speed. Try this step with board speed. This will help with your timing, style, & pop. Later on with unhooked riding. Keep the kite around 11 or one o'clock. Get as much speed as you can. I've mentioned before how you can hop up and down or dive the kite to build board speed. Now carve upwind quickly look over your lead shoulder and throw your board out and away from you. Spot your landing, land flat and ride downwind. You might crash a few times on this step but don't sweat it. Chances are you’re going to be really low on the water anyway so the falls are kind of fun. One extra thought to consider on this step is that you want to jump into the air before you dip your shoulder. Just like a normal backflip, you need a little extra height to complete the rotation. If you just dip your shoulder, you're going to spin right into the water on your back. 

Keep that kite low to improve your pop.


Session Three: Progressively Invert 

Now, bring these two steps together. Get going with good speed. Send the kite for a jump. Just like last two sessions, you will want to look over your back shoulder and carve hard upwind. Jump up with your pop and throw your legs out behind you. Remember to pop up first as you dip your lead shoulder back. This is the session to start experimenting and making the trick a little more extreme. Try to Kick your legs out or throw your head back and maybe invert a little. Start by bringing your knees into your chest and dipping your head back more every attempt. Before you know it, you'll be fully inverted. 

Use board speed and the kite to jump. Now is the time to start inverting more. 


Session Four: Adding Your Own Style

By your fourth session if you have put the time in practicing all these things diligently, you should be ready to make this trick your own. Kiteboarding, like all the board sports is an awesome form of expression. Two people doing the same trick can look completely different and it all comes down to your body language and timing. If you look energetic like you are having fun, well it's going to bring a lot to the trick. Aside from that, try tweaking the board. This is as simple as bringing one knee into your chest and poking the other leg out. You can also spice it up with any grab you like. The easiest grab is the indy grab. Remember when I told you to take your back hand off to help with the rotation? Well, now you just take that hand, reach between your legs and grab the toe side rail of your board. Progressively try this while tweaking and it becomes a completely different trick. You can experiment with your timing as well. For example if you release your edge late you will be halfway through your backroll before you leave the water. From there you could take it around to revert (aka landing toeside) or you could just hold it out with a grab and complete the rotation late. These little details add up and make the trick all you. At the end of the day, I think the best rider out there is the one having the most fun. So don't take it too seriously and get out there! 

Tweak the board, try a grab or experiment with timing. Make it your own. 


If you help with your jumps I’ve done two video on that already. And one on inverted front rolls. Many of the tips from those apply here as well. Check those out in my playlist after this video. If you have a friend who this might help, feel free to share with them. And please subscribe to our channel. It really helps. 

Peace 

-Blake

Video written and produced by: Blake Olsen & Ryan (Rygo) Goloversic


Blake Olsen

A Michigan boy through and through (even though he was born in Saudi Arabia), Blake is a youth with a lifetime of experiences and adventures. Not only that, he's passionate about sharing his zest for life with others. He is proficient at many fields, including kiteboarding and acting as concierge to any who simply ask. Looking for an adventure? Well, Blake is your guy. From sailing the Gulf and the Caribbean to backpacking Hawaii and Southeast Asia, he knows his stuff and can make your vacation into an adventure.

Webpage: BlakeTheOlsen.com

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