The point of this is to trim your kite so that you can sheet the bar all the way in without the kite drifting backwards. You will get more hangtime the longer you hold your bar all the way in. Once you start sheeting out in the air, you will come back down, so the more tuned in your kite is, the longer you can float.
Sit down on the ground with your legs in front of you, almost like there is a board under your feet. A sandy beach free of rocks or shells is helpful here! If you can’t sit, you can do this standing. Bring the kite up near the apex and slowly sheet in. If you are standing, you should be pulled onto the balls of your feet. If you are sitting, you’ll feel a little lift off the ground.
Now, hold the bar in all the way and count to 10. The kite should stay in the air above you. If it falls out of the sky, you’ll need to sheet back out to recover. The kite will shoot forward to the edge of the wind window.
Experiment with the trim using micro adjustments and repeat this process until the kite stays still above you. The only movement should come from the variances in the wind speed. If your kite is steady with the bar sheeted all the way in, you are ready to go!
Step-Two Kite Size & Type
Choose the kite size in relation to the conditions you are riding based on your specific kite. Ride near the top end for maximum height.
Every kite is going to jump differently. Some might have more low-end power. You’ll want to choose according to the recommended wind range of your specific kite. If big air is your endgame, push it to the top of the recommended wind speed by size. These charts can be found online easily enough.
Different kite styles have different flight characteristics. For example, freestyle kites have the turning advantage that allows riders to jump high. They lack the hangtime because of their specific shape. Their unique shape does allow for awesome kiteloops! All-around kites come in a variety of shapes as well. Some have more of a freestyle profile while others might be loftier.
The big air kite advantage
The last few years, we’ve seen a new category of kite emerge: the big air kite. There a couple out now. In this video, we used the North Orbit. This is a hybrid big air kite, meaning the kite has a two-stage arc. You get a flat portion of the canopy for hangtime, yet the wingtips are profiled for sharper turns and more aggressive steering when you send it for a jump, and even benefit turning on kite loops.