Words by: Keahi De Aboitiz
I remember seeing a video of Ian Aldredge doing a strapless front roll a few years back and just being speechless. It didn’t look possible or real but sure enough it was. I think those first front rolls in that clip is where it all began and nowadays its cool to see just how many people can do them. I remember learning my first strapless front roll and it was a big milestone for me. It’s one of those tricks that seems so difficult but all of a sudden it just clicks and becomes easy. Even with how much the sport has progressed, stomping a big front roll still feels amazing.
1) This is a trick that you are going to need a nice solid take-off. Although it can be done off flat water, it is much easier off a chop or off a wave. Personally I like to do them off a solid chop, but for a lot of people it will probably be the easiest off a small wave. I’d recommend mixing it up and seeing what works best for you.
2) Approach the ramp with speed and your kite around 10 o’clock. Put your front hand in the middle of the bar to help minimize the kite turning down too fast when you take your back hand off. Because my front hand stays on the bar, I try to send the kite slightly on this trick. You don’t want it to cross 12 but try and steer it up between 10 and 12 as you load up to help gain a little more height.
3) As soon as you take off, shift your weight forward, take your back hand of the bar and look over your back shoulder while throwing your whole arm towards the wind to start the rotation. Push the bar away once you’re in the air as this will allow you have as much control as possible through the air. Bend your knees and bring them up to your chest to make yourself more compact to help with the rotation. This can also allow more small adjustments to keep the board stuck to your feet. Although you can do them more laid out I like to try keep the board fairly flat for the first half of the rotation. This way it seems like you can rotate faster and allows you to spin pretty fast through the second half of the rotation.
4) The next step is all about commitment. Although it might feel wrong at first, look really hard over your back shoulder and throw the whole right side of your body into the rotation. Wherever your head goes your body will follow so look for the landing on the other side. As you come around, bring your front leg up and extend your back leg out slightly. This will cause your board to rotate more on a vertical axis and help keep it stuck to your feet especially if it’s windy.
5) As you come around look for your landing and keep your knees bent until you get close to the water. Just before you land extend your legs out to keep the board stuck to your feet. As you land bend your knees again to absorb the impact and ride away.
Watch the YouTube Tutorial by Reo
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