The Front Roll Stalefish is the trick that inspired this entire playlist we’re working on. Last summer I started riding more with our local legend and original MACkite team rider Marc Hoeksema. I noticed no matter how bad the conditions were, how gusty the wind or choppy the water, Marc always looked stylish and fluid on the water. I started to pay attention and break down all of his tricks. I noticed his signature move was the Front Roll Stalefish. This is the easiest grab to pair with an off-axis front roll. It also might be the best feeling hooked in trick you will ever learn and the easiest trick to add series style to your riding. In fact, I’ve noticed that it becomes the to go to trick for many riders. It just feels so good, looks so good and is so easy to do.
We recommend you download the attached PDF on your phone. Check it before your next session!
Heads up, the printable steps will not be available until 12/26/18.
This is the fourth video in our how to jump with style playlist. Our last two videos covered the Nuke Grab and the Nuke Grab Front Roll. Those tricks feel incredible buy might be little more difficult depending on your level. The great thing about this kiteboarding trick is you can start working on it almost as soon as you start jumping. If you're already an intermediate rider, this is an excellent spin on the traditional front roll and your ace in the hole in less than favorable conditions.
Blake and I now use this as our go to trick when were a little over powered or riding in bad wind. If you're looking for something that's fun and easy to practice that will bring great rewards on the water fast this is the place to start.
The most basic form of the kiteboarding front roll
Step One - Flat 360
We’ve introduced this step in a couple other videos. If you’re new to front rolls, this is the best place to start. It’s really easy to do and you can incorporate it into many variations and transitions. For this trick, it’s a good starting point to get used to doing front rolls. If you hope to learn this trick you’ll want to practice as many front rolls as possible every session. Doing the flat 360 will make this much more attainable and likely take the fear factor out that holds many riders back from trying new tricks.
To do this, send the kite and pop like normal, look over your back shoulder and your body will follow. Starting with your shoulders to your hips to your board. Make sure as you do this step that you keep your front hand on the bar. It might even be best if you get in the habit of just taking your back hand off right away. Keeping front hand pressure will keep the kite at a 45 degree angle and will actually pull you through the spin.
Start small on this step and work your way up. There is no need to go huge right away. The more you practice, the more natural it is going to feel and you’ll naturally start jumping higher and rolling more into the spin.
Dip your shoulder into the Front Roll
Step Two - Off-Axis Roll
This is the natural progression of the front roll. If you practiced step one enough this will come pretty quickly. Repeat everything from step one but start dipping your front shoulder and leaning into the roll. You can also start to bring your back knee into your chest and poke your front leg.
It might feel a little awkward at first but after a couple tries it will feel natural. The more you dip your shoulder and bring your legs up, the more stylish this trick will become. Practice bringing your back knee in closer to your chest and poking that front leg out aggressively over time. You can do a fast poke or really lay it out. That part it up to you. If you lay out and poke your front leg though the entire spin it’s going to feel like your slicing through the air. If you poke, it will feel more controlled and technical. Not that this is a technical trick!
You don't have to grab right away
Step Three - Reach for the Grab
As you get more comfortable start reaching for the board with your back hand. If you’re tucking your back knee into your chest all you have to do is lean back and drop your back arm. The board will be right there for you to grab. That's why this trick feels so good. Everything is natural. Don’t feel like you have make the grab right away, granted you might be surprised how easy it is.
In some of our videos we recommend going for an easier grab first. In this particular trick, this is the easiest grab. As you progress and start trying more tricks, you'll notice certain grabs are easier with different variations of rotations. For example if you were to do an inverted front roll where you tuck your head into your armpit and flip into the roll, the Indy grab would be the easiest grab to reach for. It's all about body awareness. Often the best looking combinations are the most natural.
Step Four - Get the Grab
All that’s left is going for the actual stalefish grab. That means reaching with your back hand behind your back leg, grabbing the heel side edge. You might accidentally grab on the outside of your foot on the heel side edge as that’s a bit easier but technically not the grab. In some sports that's actually considered a no grab zone as it's just too easy. There's no need to take yourself that seriously but regardless it's good to do things the right way.
We even made this mistake a couple times in the video. If you catch yourself doing this, don’t sweat it but try to get in the habit of grabbing between your feet. It's not that much more difficult and it will look better in general.
Like all the tricks in this jump with style playlist remember to practice the tenets from our first video along the way.
The Five Tenets of Style
- Keep the Kite Low
- Tweak it Out
- Off-Axis Rotations
- Add Grabs
- Land with Power.
We hope you find this video helpful. Make sure to to check out the whole playlist so you can take your riding to the next level this year.
-Written and produced by Blake Olsen & Ryan (Rygo) Goloversic.
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.
Ryan (Rygo) Goloversic
Just a dude from a kite shop testing all the gear one session at a time.
Many people dream of quitting their job, traveling the world and pursuing their passions. Rygo is one of those people who pulled the trigger. About eight years into a postal career, he decided to change everything and travel as a freelance videographer & writer. This took him from coast to coast and a variety of countries. Nowadays you can catch him on the phones, doing lessons, or working on videos. Of course, he still makes a point to travel as often as possible. His mission is to help people and share the stoke with his customers and students alike. Get out there and kiteboard.
Producer of: Ride with Blake I Sessions I Versus I Destinations I Foil Friday