HOW TO AVOID THESE TOP 10 BIG AIR BEGINNER MISTAKES
We were all beginners once and mistakes are a natural part of the process when starting something new, but the principle that takes a beginner to the point of becoming a professional is the ability to identify mistakes and correct them continuously.
To try to make things a little bit easier for us all, saving some frustration and confusion over the long run, we’ve put together a short guide on how to avoid or correct the mistakes you might find yourself making as a progressing Big Air rider.
Big Air on the Lift – Sergio Turegano captured by Ramiro Gallart
MISTAKE 1 – RELYING ON THE KITE FOR LIFT
We often see new Big Air riders jump just because the kite is lifting them, although it is important to have a good pop technique. If you want to go higher one day, you need to learn what kind of pressure is needed for good pop, and how to not rely on just the lift of your kite.
MISTAKE 2 – STARTING THE JUMP TOO EARLY
If you start the jump without having edged hard enough, this makes you go forward instead of going up. A good way to practice correcting this is doing unhooked tricks with the kite low and popping over waves. This gives a similar feel to the pressure you need for good Big Air pop.
Gijs Wassenaar (Union) & Sergio Turegano (Lift) captured by Ramiro Gallart
MISTAKE 3 – LOOPING TOO SOON
If you loop straight after your takeoff, the kite will give you immense pull, which will be very tricky to control as a looping beginner. The trick is to wait a little bit after takeoff, and then to pull your loop just before the highest point of your jump.
Once you improve and become more advanced, you can start looping earlier to get more power!
Adriaan Louw (Union) captured by Mitchell Doyle Markgraaff
MISTAKE 4 – GOING FOR THE LOOP EVEN THOUGH THE TAKEOFF WAS NOT GREAT
This will result in steering forward, in combination with a loop, and will cause your kite to stall and not catch you. Make sure you are confident in the takeoff before starting the loop.
MISTAKE 5 – PULLING TOO SLOW
Trying to go too low by pulling way too slowly. You need to find the sweet spot.
Hayden Jonas captured by Mitchell Doyle Markgraaff
MISTAKE 6 – LOOPING IN LIGHT WIND WITH A BIG KITE
We often see beginner loopers trying to loop low in wind that is too light, and are using a big kite. But, the bigger the kite, the slower it loops – which can make it a bit tricky when you are not confident in the timing of your loops yet.
MISTAKE 7 – ACCIDENTALLY LOOPING THE KITE DURING A ROTATION
To prevent this, start with low rotations based on your pop and not on the pull of your kite (refer to mistake 1). Remember to hold your front hand close to the center of the bar to have as little steering as possible during your rotation, but still make it able to pull to steer the kite when you land.
Gijs Wassenaar captured by Ramiro Gallart
MISTAKE 8 – KEEPING THE KITE AT 12
People often jump and then try to keep the kite at 12 when they land. If you keep the kite at 12 while coming down, you’ll always crash land. Since the kite is at 12 and you are moving further underneath it, it eventually ends up slightly behind you, and therefore out of the window where it can catch you.
To fix this, you need to pull slightly on your front hand to keep the kite moving forward so that it can catch you as you come down.
MISTAKE 9 – JUMPING THE GUN
We sometimes see people who are not able to confidently loop on long lines, jump the gun straight to short lines. The kite is far more responsive, so your technique and timing need to be on point.
Big Air kite (Union) captured by Mitchell Doyle Markgraaff
MISTAKE 10 – DOUBTING YOURSELF #COMMITTOTHELOOP
One of the biggest mistakes we see with Big Air beginners is when people start to try their first kite loops but have doubt in themselves halfway through. When you start to doubt yourself in the middle of a kite loop, you make the kite stop moving and crash really hard. If you decide to try a kite loop, you need to commit to the full loop and trust in your gear and your abilities. #CommitToTheLoop
Can you relate to any of these Big Air & Looping mistakes?
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