oregonkiter wrote: ↑
Fri Jan 31, 2020 10:55 pm
Any tips on strapless foot switch tacks besides 10,000 attempts, which I have NO PROBLEM committing to? I have my heel to toe and toe to heel tacks down. Now, I want to switch my feet mid-tack. I only ride strapless and use LEI kites. I have gotten around with a switch coming off foil. Any "Ah HAH!" tips to share out there to reduce my practice attempts from 10,000 to 9,000?
If you have the heel to toe and toe to heels then adding the foot change shouldn't be too big a step, the kite movement is essentially the same for the all the tacks and the bodyweight distribution - ensuring the weight comes forward midway through the tack so you can drive off the front leg to complete the turn.
So the first question is which tack you are going to focus on - the Roll (or Duck, racing tack, rotating so you are always looking into the wind) or the Push tack (turning your back on the wind). Strapless you can work on either (if you had straps then the push tack doesn't really work). If you can already tack a surfboard then go with the one you can do most comfortably on that. For me, that was the push tack but many with no preference go with the roll, though I personally think this is the harder version as you rotation under the lines and its easier to lose line tension. Anyway here's a couple of tips for each:
- Think of it like a standard foot change when riding along (commonly done before or after a gybe) - it is two definite steps - step forward, step back. It is not a jump, not a synchronised switch of the feet at the same time - your weight comes forward, then
one leg goes back but your weight stays forward.
- As with the standard foot change have the board rising up as you step forward, so the board is pushing up into your feet, more than your weight pushing the board down
- The big turning point for me was flattening the board as I step forward and rotate. So you'll be carving upwind, the board will be canted over, as you sheet in and go to rotation your body, push off with your back foot to get your weight forward and as you do so flatten your foot by pushing down with your toes, this will flat the board. Now that the board is flat it will glide in a straight line upwind, you can keep weight on you front feet as your body rotates and it will be easier to get you back foot into position and regain control.
- Because you are rotation forward round the outside of the lines you are creating tension in the lines, so you sit down / lean out more against kite as long as you have got your weight forward over the front of the board and you have flattened it
- You need more power for the roll tack because you a rotating under the lines, so effective removing a very small amount of tension. So I generally enter a roll tack with more speed and the kite low in the wind window, this way when I drive the kite up to the top of the wind I can generate more lift that will last for longer. It also allows me to really get the kite to loft overhead and keep it driving forward overhead during the middle part of the turn when the board has flattened and is gliding upwind.
- Sheeting out completely as you carve and just before you go into the foot change is essential, helping to get the kite to loft overhead and allow your weight to come forward. Then sheeting into giving you lift and line tension to balance against as you rotate your body and change your feet.
- This tack's foot change really is so similar to a straight foot change, think of it like that and it can really help.
- And look where you want to go, don't stare at your feet, at the nose of the board, look into the turn, this will get your shoulders round and it helps to keep weight forward over your front foot as you come out.
Maybe that was a little more than just an "Ah HAH!" tip but tacking is a complex move with many parts to synchronise - hopefully one of these may make all the difference. I will try and pull out a good video clip of a roll and push tack, later today, which may make some of this easier to understand. Let me know if any of it helps.