Load and Pop Theory Print

Loading and Popping

Prerequisites:
Having short "S turns" mastered.

Load and pop will take a long time to master.  Mastering is very difficult because the timing is so precise and changes with conditions, board sizes, and kite sizes.

Load

Step One:
Flatten your board for one second and drift downwind, just before resetting your edge and edging hard.  The short portion of edging hard is called "Load."

Practicing load:
You can't pop, if you don't load properly, so spend more time getting the load than the pop.  Get your "S turns" down first.  Don't load for too long or you may kill your speed, which won't help.

Pop

Release, and push off of the water by throwing your shoulders, and hip weight away from the kite.  Push with your back leg as you bend your front leg.  Make sure not to push with your front leg or the board will stick to the water instead of sliding off the water cleanly.

Practicing pop:
Try to ride really fast over a small wave, but don't try  to minimize the impact of the wave, increase it, by edging hard  as you are moving up the face, then releasing that increased pressure off the top of the wave.  The smaller the wave, the more precise the timing needs to be to get the pop.  

Tips:
Load and pop is more about feeling than anything else.  It's even harder when you don't know what it feels like, yet.  Once you are feeling it, it gets easier to increase your height.  The key is to pick up the feeling by practicing S turns or carving turns.

Once you have the feeling of springy-ness, start shortening your S turns and concentrating on the edging portion of the s.  Try timing "S turns" with a wave, with the edging part just before the wave peak.

Words of Wisdom:
Practice a bit of load and pop every time you go out to ride, but don't spend too much time on one session.