Kitesurfing tutorial: How-to pop 180 from heel side to toeside.


The goal is to comfortably perform a pop 180 from your heels to your toes in various wind conditions kitesurfing. This is an easy trick and you will have it mastered in no time using this technique. Watch the video below for a full demonstration and info

2 things before you start.

1. Toeside riding: You should be reasonably comfortable riding toeside as that is how you will land. Feeling comfortable riding toeside will make this move much easier to practice and master, however, when learning toeside riding it also makes sense that you would use this move to get to toeside in the first place… so I will leave that up to you.

2. Practice by sliding: To practice this transition move and get a good “feel” for how it might work, you can slide around 180 (as seen in video). This has the same result, moving from heals to toes but much slower. The main reason to practice this way is to get used to the transfer of weight from heels to toes as you rotate. Obviously once you’re up in the air and rotating it is different, but the same change of weight and rail must occur in the air… So it’s good to practice it on the water first.

7. Points for Doing a pop 180 from heal side to toe side.

1. Travel with moderate speed with your kite half way between 12 and the water 2. Drop your front arm and open up your chest 3. Spot takeoff area/ ramp 4. Edge slightly upwind as you load up with legs and pop up into the air 5. Pivot hips 6. Absorb landing with legs 7. Lean into your toeside rail and edge upwind

1. Travel with moderate speed with your kite half way between 12 and the water

You kite does not need to move in fact it’s easier if it doesn’t. Also no sheeting in or out of the baris needed. Your kite and bar positioning can stay the same through the move. Keep your kite at around half way between 12 and the water this will help give some lift while also continue to give you forward momentum to keep going once landed. Moderate speed will help a lot here. You need enough speed to pop and clear your board of the water. If going to slow, as you try to pivot your hips and rotate, the tail of your board will be stuck in the water and nothing good will happen.

2. Drop your front arm and open up your chest

Opening your front arm first, completes half the move before you begin. Your upper body is already in the same position you will be riding out in toe side. This just leaves the hips and legs to rotate once in the air

3. Plan your pop and timing.

Using a small chop of wave will make the pop part so much easier. Spot your take off from around 10m away

4. Edge slightly upwind as you load up with legs and pop up into the air

Use your legs and pop up into the air applying slightly more weight to your back foot. This popping motion is much like an ollie. Depending on your speed will depend on how much edge you need to complete the rotation. The lower your speed or pop, the more edge you need, the higher your speed or pop, the less edge. Ideally you can complete this with very little edging at all. Mostly relying on your take off popping you up into the air. Once in the air, your hips rotate the board and not your initial take of rotation

What is great about not using your edge to begin the rotation, is you can time your rotation based on your height and hang time. If we used our rail to begin the rotation, then you could find you over or under rotate if you jumped un-expectantly higher or lower than anticipated. Using the technique of first opening your chest, popping straight up and pivoting your hips gives a very clean and controlled 180.

5. Pivot hips

Once in the air, switch your feet by rotating in the hips and legs. This should feel almost effortless.

6. Absorb landing with legs

As with any jump get ready to absorb the impact as you hit the water. Because this move does not involve moving your kite to 12, you can land on the board with force.

7. Lean into your toeside rail and edge upwind

Complete the move by leaning and edging on your toes riding in the same direction. You should still have momentum, kite still pulling you to easily continue riding

This is an easy trick and I am sure you will pick it up in no time. That said, as with anything in kiteboarding, practice, practice, practice until you have it dialed with muscle memory. I hope this tutorial will help set you up correctly with good technique so that you feel more and more comfortable until you master it. Have fun out there and be safe.

Luke Millard

Flukes Kitesurfing

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