Kiteboarding Basics:  Pre-Load And Pop

Kiteboarding Basics: Pre-Load And Pop

Yeah, what's up guys? I'm Rygo.

I'm Ewan.

And we're down here in Brazil. We got some clips when we were in Hood River. I didn't film these, Brad Strom--thank you, Brad--filmed these, and we've had a lot of you asking about the pre-load and pop, and Ewan's a big air guy, so I was hoping you could explain this trick for everybody out there and your thoughts on it.

Yeah, so it's something that I used to do a lot more in my freestyle, especially in light wind. For those of you who don't know, it's when you're coming into a trick, you're loading up, and just before you take off you do a little pre-pop, like a small pop, just before the trick. You release your edge, still going upwind, and then as you land from that edge you dig your board in as deep as you can before the takeoff to get that last upwind edge before you take off for a trick.

You see a lot of people do this; I do it specifically in lighter wind, whether it be freestyle or big air. Obviously, in big air, lighter wind is not the same as freestyle. For example, in this session, out in Lyle in the Gorge, it was probably blowing low 20s, which for big air isn't super strong wind, especially for kite loops and stuff. You're really looking at 25 plus, but when you're trying to get it done and get every little bit of power out of your kite you come in super fast, and I find the pre-pop helps me get that last little bit of upwind power and edge out of the kite and gives me that extra bit of height that you might not find in these lighter winds.

So I'm going to be coming in as hard as I can, as much speed as possible, which is actually something that you don't want to do when you are super overpowered. Sometimes you can go too fast and you start losing your edge downwind; you start just getting overpowered from the kite. So when it gets really windy this doesn't always work and you might want to actually slow down your edge to get a bigger jump, but in lighter wind, if you can hold it, you go as fast as you can coming into the trick. Just before you take off, I do a little hop and then when I land I actually just have that little bit of weight to push the board deeper into the water and have that last edge just before I take off, and it really shoots me upwind as you can see. You get a huge amount of spray just before you take off, and the main thing with any big air trick is not speed going into the trick, it's speed going upwind into the trick. So there's a point where you can go too fast and lose your upwind edge. You want to have as high an upwind angle as possible before you take off into a trick and I find this really helps, especially in lighter wind. The more upwind you can get, the better kind of slingshot up you're going to get.

So yeah, that's something that really helps me, especially in lighter winds for big air or freestyle. As you can see again here, I'm edging pretty hard into the trick, sending a lot of spray, but then when I do the pre-pop and landing again I really get that last upwind edge and a good takeoff. Again, this is on a 10 meter Pivot in probably 20-22 knots, but I was able to get some really good loops just with some nice, flat water and a good space to get some speed and a good edge in. So yeah, if you are struggling or if you're in a spot with some lighter wind, try the pre-pop a little bit; give that a bit of a go, see what you think. Maybe it'll help you get that extra meter or two or a little bit extra confidence kite looping in lighter wind.

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Riding clips filmed by Brad Strahm

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17th May 2023 Rygo

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