We will explain how to do an unhooked backroll in a way that leads into more complex tricks. It is important to get the fundamental technique of this trick. The better you are at unhooked backrolls, the easier it will be to learn different variations.
If you’re going to the left, position the kite somewhere between 10 o’clock and 11:30. The higher the kite is, the higher your pop will be but the less slack you will get. Certain tricks are easier with the kite positioned higher, like a KGB. Other tricks like a backmobe favor a lower kite position. If you’re just learning how to do an unhooked backroll, start with the kite positioned at 11 o’clock to the left. Or 1 o’clock if you’re riding to the right.
Key Points for an Unhooked Backroll
One: The Pop
Load the board for a little longer than you would for a raley. Another way to look at this is to edge harder into the wind or away from the kite. Keep your elbows together to have leverage over the bar. You do not need to have the bar tucked close to your hip, but can extend the bar out. Extending the bar out as you pop off the water will make it easier to create good height from your pop. Having your elbows closer together will make it easier to bring the bar to your hip for handlepasses later down the road.
Make sure to pop off your back foot and to look over your front shoulder.
Two: In the Air
While in the air, continue to look over your front shoulder. This will help you commit to the rotation. Once you feel yourself come around, spot your landing to prevent over-rotation.
At the apex of your jump, practice flicking the kite down towards the water. This will help you later down the road to create more slack. More slack makes it easier to do handlepasses.
Make sure to spot your landing and keep your weight on your back foot. Land with the board flat and your weight back. As you land, bend your knees to absorb the impact. Ride slightly downwind to hook back into the bar.
An unhooked backroll is not a difficult trick to learn but it does lead to some advanced tricks. As you get better, your pop should get higher. Another thing to get better at is to land with slack in the kite. What this means is that as you land, you should not feel much of a pull from the kite. Practice starting with the kite high and ending with the kite low.
Here are some variations from an unhooked backroll
- Backroll to Blind
- Backroll to Wrap
- Backroll to Blind with an Airpass