Landing Big Air Print

Coming Down, After the Up Part

     Normally, your takeoff will determine whether you land any given trick or not.  However, the bigger your air, the more time there is between your takeoff and landing, and the more subject you are to changing conditions and unpredictable results.  Therefore, landing big air is often about decisions you make while you are in the air, or improvisation, in other words.


     Jumping Mastery.


To The Point:

     Land on the water with the kite moving as fast as possible, above your head.


The Detailed Explanation:


Landing Softly

     Landing softly is all about having the kite pulling you hard enough up, on the moment of impact.  With big kites, unless you are on the snow in the mountains, you generally won't get big air.  To land with a big kite, just park it at 12 o'clock, and bring it back forward on the landing.  With 10m kites and smaller, it can be more difficult and anticipating the lading moment seconds ahead of time is key.

The worst landing = The kite is too far in front of the kiteboarder, in the powerzone, downwind.
Cause = The kiteboarder brought the kite forward too early in the jump and didn't have time to get the kite back overhead upon landing.

2nd Hardest landing = The kite is too far behind the kiteboarder and is flying outside the wind window.
Cause = The kiteboarder never pulled, or didn't pull enough on their front hand to bring the kite back forward for the landing.

2nd Softest Landing = The kite is at 12 o'clock.
Cause = Close to perfect timing, disorientation, not wanting to risk landing hard by attempting perfect timing to land softly.

1st Softest Landing = The kite is accelerating to the forward 45 degree point on the side of the wind window in the riding direction of the kiteboarder.
Cause = Perfect timing.

     If you are falling fast and still high in the air, there are many things you can do with the kite to slow that fall and reduce impact, but they depend on where the kite is located in the wind window.  If you land with the kite at 12 o'clock, it will provide some loft, but not as much loft as a kite moving quickly from 1 o'clock to 11 o'clock.  A kite moving from 10 o'clock to 2 o'clock, or visa verse, would, for most intents and purposes, provide the most upward pull.  Try to time the landing so you have as much of this upward pull at the moment of impact.  Keep in mind that if the kite has already arrived at 2 o'clock or 10 o'clock, then it will take some time for you to turn the kite again and have it go to the opposite side of the wind window.  Make sure you don't hit the water during that turning moment, because the kite doesn't provide any loft during a turning moment.

Falling Quickly with the Kite at 12 o'clock

     Steer the kite quickly forward so you hit the water as the kite has reached maximum speed toward the 45 degree point on the side of the wind window you are riding.

     Keep the kite at 12 o'clock and not risk having your timing off by bringing the kite to far forward too soon.


Falling Quickly with the Kite at 9 or 3 o'clock

     Swing the kite quickly and aggressively to 12 o'clock.  This should provide a good amount of loft, but the loft won't start until the kite is at 12 o'clock or has just past it.

Falling quickly with the kite behind you and outside the wind window

     Bring the kite quickly to 12 o'clock and pray that it gets there in time.  When the kite is outside the wind window, it doesn't turn very fast. . .

     Downloop the kite aggressively so the kite loops above your head when you land.


     Don't panic if you know you're going to hit the water during a rotation.  Make sure your jump timing doesn't change.  Which means, even if you screwed up your rotation, don't freeze up in the air and forget to pull on your front hand.  You still want to land softly, and if you panic, you will forget where the kite is and what you were doing, and then, you won't land softly at all. . .