The Raley to Blind is a critical step in your unhooked freestyle journey. It's typically the first fundamental move to be paired with a rotation. In our “Unhooked Fundamentals” playlist, I hammered home the point that all advanced moves are combinations of the fundamentals.
This lower intermediate move is the first progression towards the Blind Judge, the Blind Judge 3, 5 and beyond. Once you get comfortable landing this to blind, you can pair the rotation with the Backroll and the Frontroll. These three tricks alone with the blind landing are sure to turn some heads and, once you get them on lock, you’ll never want to land anything without going to blind again.
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On the scale of one to ten, the raley to blind would be a two. The funny thing is, this scale changes depending on who you ask. Technically 90% of kiteboarders never do anything unhooked to blind so by default, this puts you into the 10% category. That said, if you look at the progressions and potential this basic move leads to it's actually still beginner oriented. For that reason, I would rank this as an intermediate move.
Step One - Master the Fundamentals
In this progressive series, there are three fundamentals you should have dialed before attempting this: the Raley, the Surface Pass and the Pop to Blind. We have each of these steps broken down in detail and paired with a 10 to 15 minute tutorial.
Get your hours in on the water and make sure you can do all three steps consistently. Something like 300 attempts should be sufficient. This is all about building muscle memory progressively so that when you move onto this trick, it will happen naturally.
Step Two - The Pop and Raley
Park your kite at 45 degrees or lower and come in with good speed. The lower the kite, the easier it will be to make the pass. The more speed you have, the more you will pop.
Use a proper load by coming off your edge to unhook and edging back upwind into a scoop.
Keep your posture strong as if you are sitting up in a chair. Keep your hips locked and your back straight. Make sure your ankles are pointed up and you’re loading lots of power into the lines.
At the apex of line tension, release your edge and scoop your legs out behind you. You may experiment with how hard you pop on this step. It’s easter to start with a small pop and a half Raley. Work your way into popping harder over time.
Step Three - The Back Rotation
At the Apex of your Raley, you need to pull the bar hard into your lead hip. Use both arms to do this. The goal is to get your body over the bar. Right after you pull, you need to look over your back shoulder and commit to a full rotation. With your front hand, twist the bar into the small of your back. You should aim to have the back of your hand touching your harness on the new lead hip.
Step Four - The Landing
Land flat and ride downwind. You may have to over-commit the on back 180 to land riding downwind. Sometimes it helps to point your toes just a little to stomp your landing. Keep looking downwind and get your other hand back on the bar as soon as possible. While it looks more stylish to hold on in the blind riding position, passing early will force you into a more natural riding position and give you more stability to ride away.
The biggest mistakes are usually based in fear. Mastering the fundamentals videos in Step One should eliminate most of this fear. That said, some common mistakes are not popping hard enough, not pulling the bar close enough with both hands, under rotating, and giving up on touch down.
Make sure you pop a solid Raley even if it’s a half Raley.
Make sure you pull the bar with both hands so you are almost falling on top of it.
Make sure you commit and land downwind. If not, you will get pulled on your edge.
Make sure you touch the back of your hand on your harness.
Make sure you look downwind and ride downwind
Ryan (Rygo) Goloversic
Many people dream of quitting their job, traveling the world and pursuing their passions. Rygo is one of those people who pulled the trigger. A few years into his career, he decided to change everything and travel as a kiteboarder, freelance videographer & writer. His mission is to share the stoke & help people put the boarding into their kiteboarding. Get outside and kite!
Producer of: Ride with Blake I Sessions I Versus I Destinations I Foil Fridays