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2012/05/04 von Tim Kummerfeld

Tim's Kummerkasten - Kiteloops

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Hamburg-based CORE Teamrider Tim Kummerfeld greets you all with a very nordic “Moin Moin” and “Guten Tach”! Who’s not familiar with this; trying to learn new tricks often ending in sorrow. Depression haunts you in sleepless nights and worries about your style overcome. There’s an end to it!  “Tim´s Kummerkasten”, which is german for an “agony column”, “une Boîte à chagrins” or  in simple and plain spanish “Anuncios personales relativos a personas u objetos perdidos”, you’ll get the essential tips to learn proper tricks. Tim won’t be beating around the bush, he is a straight talker, and will cut to the chase.

Serves me right, last time I went on about global warming and how the weather was warming up nicely – and true to form I am left scraping ice – on the 17th April! If only I’d kept my mouth shut it would probably be warm by now. But I’d rather not complain as there are worse things than scraping ice – such as getting into a (wet) wetsuit at 2⁰C because you want to have glassy conditions at St Peter-Ording, Germany. At least I was rewarded with a couple of awesome days over Easter. However, it was such a mission trying to get someone to film you – it’s difficult convincing someone when you’re freezing you’re a** off on the water.

But back to the task at hand – we have been receiving a lot of questions about hooked-in kite loops lately, such as the Marc and George’s question from down under. Let’s get started.

For a hooked-in kite loop you need to be pretty powered up, or at least be flying a small kite. In the short clip I’m flying a 9m GTS with enough power, but to be honest I usually only perform hooked-in kite loops with a 7m and pumping wind. The key with kite loops is to get the kite back to the zenith which allows for a soft landing after the down-wind sling - but we’ll get back to that.


Here we go.

I approach with lots of speed. The kite is at 11 o’clock, slightly higher than for a normal big air. Now you have to edge hard to get the tension in the lines. Whilst edging I pull in the bar and steer the kite aggressively, resulting in the kite flying explosively towards the top right of the wind window – 11 o’clock to 13 o’clock. This gives me the maximum amount of lift. You’ll notice on the video – if you watch closely – that I let the lift “work” at first without any further bar input. Only then do I power the bar up and start the loop.

You’re probably bored of hearing this every time but I’ll repeat it again: the take-off is the most important part of any (and every) jump. This trick will not work without a good take off.

Common Error 1:
A lot of kiters loop the kite too early. The result is a lack of height whilst being flung down wind – your knees will not thank you!

Common Error 2:
Lack of commitment results in the kite not looping fully and the bar is not pulled in fully. The result is a slow looping kite which does not come around to the Zenith quick enough resulting in high level beat downs.

How do you do it right?

Commit to the loop – pull the bar in completely and pull aggressively with the back hand. As soon as the front tube of the kite looks up again start to depower. As a result the kite will fly faster to the Zenith and catch up with you. As soon as you notice this feeling, the kite catching up with you and you’re flying under the kite, power the kite up again and initiate another (smaller) loop. You can loop the kite forwards or backwards (personal preference dependant). I prefer to fly the kite backwards on the front loop and will loop the kite frontwards for the “up-loop”. This results in the jump becoming a transition.

If your timing is right you’ll perform the second loop directly overhead resulting in additional lift. The resultant landing will be super soft (and super smooth!). To start off with you could always leave out the second loop. If you’re jump wasn’t too high it will be enough to simply dive the kite down before landing.

To sum up:

The kite loop is a difficult trick, and requires commitment. Practice with a 7-9sqm kite with enough power for high jumps. Edge hard, send the kite aggressively – pause for the lift – and then smoothly (and with commitment) loop the kite. Keep the bar pulled in and powered up. As soon as the kite starts flying up depower a little and then repower when it hits the zenith. For a smooth landing fly a second over-head loop and ride away smoothly!

If a problem regarding a trick is on your mind, just drop a mail to kummerkasten@corenation.net. No matter if it’s a backroll or a complex handlepass. Picture credits: Lasse Schneppenheim