How to Darkslide | "Ride With Blake"
Excellent flatwater trick to start expanding out of your comfort zone all while incorporating other more basic trick skills
We're going to keep these short and sweet. Use these steps to visualize the trick in your mind. If you can see it, you can do it!
Printable Steps for the Beach
Have a sufficient amount of power to ride while not being overpowered (which will end up pulling you off of your edge if you are). This also works best in flat/slick water, as chop can make it difficult to get the timing of your pop just right.
Send the kite from one edge of the window to the other and then go right into a downloop.To do this, you must know how to perform a downloop all while understanding how your kite reacts within the wind window. Work both sides of the window using a downloop. This can be done with a downloop transition or with a downloop that will pull you right back through.
Learn how to rally out with the downloop (having your feet behind you). Practice this with some air before attempting to drag toe-side across the water. To practice, set up to do a rally, pop, send the kite over and do a downloop for it to catch you and pull you through.
Most important to know when to release your edge, how hard and high to pop, and the amount you lean forward.
When the kite moves from one side of the window to the other, and right as it arcs and starts to go to the other way, begin to lean in, drop your shoulder forward, and start your darkslide through the water.
- Go from the right at 1- o' clock over to 10 o' clock with your kite sheeted out.
- As it arcs between the two, pull in on the bar (not all the way or it will rip you off of your edge), and release your edge when you feel the maximum pull from the kite.
- As you pop lightly, push down with your back foot and pull up slightly with your front foot.
- As soon as it's up, youre going to point your toes down/inward.
- Have your toe-side drag, with your feet and your board behind you and your shoulders down over the water.
- Lean forward
- Bring your front knee in closer to your chest and your back leg out a little further.
- Know where your kite arc is and when to lean forward
Catch yourself with your kite
Right as you are coming off of your slide, pull down on your bar, causing the kite to downloop. This will help lift you off of that sliding edge.
Keep your front knee into your chest and rotate your board to point downwind. Right as the kite loops around, it will pull you around as well, so you can land flat on your board (downwind) and carry on!
Blake's Gear Picks
Many of you have been asking about my 2018 Gear picks so I'm going to include a few links.
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.