Getting started with landboarding
So you’ve seen the video’s of the pro’s on youtube jumping, looping and throwing the board around like its as heavy as a fag packet and you want to buy the gear and fly like the pro’s.
Well hold on! You need to walk before you can run and you need to run before you can jump.
Landboarding is a great sport to do and isn’t dictated by age as to who can do it although a sense of balance helps.
GETTING GEARED UP:
The first thing you need is a kite! If you can only afford to buy one kite to start with then look around the 3-4m size. If you can afford two kites then look at getting a 2.5-3m and 5-6m kites dependent on your weight Obviously if your a bit of a chip stick then look at the smaller end and if your a chunky monkey look at the larger end.
Either way just make sure you get a low/medium aspect 4 line fixed bridle foil kite.
HQ Beamer II-III.
Peter Lynn Pepper I-II.
Peter Lynn Hornet.
PKD Buster II.
Ozone Cult, Samurai I-II, Little Devils.
Flexi Rage, (the flexi Sting range is ideal for kids under 12).
These are all low lift, low aspect kites that will last a long time and unless you progress very quickly will stay in you quiver for years.
Don’t be tempted by getting a bar for your 4 line fixed bridle kite, IMHO they’re a waste of money and you lose half of your control over the kite. Like wise wait until you can control the kite and board before you get a harness and hook in using a strop (a length of line that runs between your handles) because its hard to unhook whilst getting dragged along face first.
There is a lot of boards out there to choose from with a price range to match. You can buy a cheap maple ply deck for less than £100 all the way upto £400 for a carbon fiber deck.
What board you get is dependent ultimately on what you intend to do. Cruise, freestyle, freeride (a bit of both) plus your weight comes into it.
How much you spend dictates what hardware comes on the board.
There is a whole world of parts that come fitted on different decks!
Look for brands such as Scrub, Trampa and MBS, there are other brands out there but you really cant go wrong with any of these company’s
For the money the whole Scrub range takes a lot of beating and Trampa make decks you can drive a car over and not break, MBS also make good boards
If you just want to cruise then look at a deck that’s around 100cm and fitted with channel trucks. For freestyle look for a deck that’s around 90cm fitted with skate trucks, and for freeriding anything in between the two.
Pads (elbow, knee).
Insurance (£15 from the BPKA).
Kite killers (nearly all new kites come with them now).
Now before you try going all Lewis Wilby.
Learn the basics:
Practice flying the kite before you jump on the board, this might only take 30 minutes or it might take you a day but knowing how to control the kite is more important than knowing how to control the board.
Learn to ride the board, for this I would recommend finding a gentle grass slope. Think grassy knoll more than mount Everest.
Now before you get on the board you need to decide if your a regular or a goofy rider (left or right foot forward). To do this is easy, imagine your running on a slippery floor and want to slide. We’ve all done it weather on ice or a slippery floor. What foot you put forward is what your leading leg is. If you put your left leg out and have your weight on your right leg then you have a regular stance and going to the left with the kite is likely to be your stronger side. Vice versa if you put your right leg forward and put your weight on your left leg.
Ride down the slope with out the kite to get used to carving heelside and toeside. To stop on the slope either lean back to carve up the hill or crouch down and grab the middle of the board and just lean back hard. This will make the board turn sideways and you will slide to a stop.
Putting them both together:
Now for the fun/painful bit. On a nice wind day ie 8-15mph head to the field or beach and prepare to fall! HA HA.
When you feel confident about doing the above its time to hop on the board with the kite! Keeping your back to the wind and the kite overhead point the board 45deg down wind and then put your leading/strongest foot in the binding first followed by your trailing leg. You put your leading foot in first, because sods law says that if you put your trailing foot in the binding first you will do something stupid with the kite and be flat on you back with lots of people laughing at you (try to get used to it, every body loves to laugh and cheer when they see a boarder bail).
Now with both feet in the bindings and the kite over head (assuming your going to your left first) your ready for action. Now depending on wind speed your gonna have to do one of three things. If the winds strong then gently lower the kite from 12 o’clock (above you) down to around 10-11 o’clock and you will feel the kite starting to move the board, once you get to a jogging speed you need to apply some heel side pressure to help you go across and up wind, this also helps keep tension in the lines and stops you catching up with the kite and the kite then collapsing.
In medium winds you will need to be a little more aggressive when dropping the kite down to10o’clock in the window, it might even help taking the kite over to 12.30-1 o’clock before sending it to 10 o’clock, once again when you reach a jogging speed lean back and apply heel side pressure to turn the board up wind.
In lighter winds its hard to get going as you need to be nicely powered to board with but practice and you will get it. As above you will need to be even more aggressive with the kite to get the power you need out of it. Start by moving the kite to 1 o’clock then instead of sending it to 10 o’clock fly it to the ground with an S shape motion and aim to have the kite coming to about 9 o’clock after the manoeuvre, then you will need to keep the kite moving up and down like this \/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\ so air keeps flowing over it and generating power to move you.
Once moving try and pick an object level or just up wind of you as this will give you a point to aim for and lets you know if you moving up wind or down wind. Once at the end of your run gently gently bring your kite up to 12 o’clock and then gently over to 1 o’clock the kite will now act like an air brake and slow you down till you stop. Now just repeat the above description going the other way and before long you will have clocked it.
Trusting the kite and leaning back is the most important part of getting up wind. But as you lean back you inevitably apply a lot of heelside pressure which in turn make you crank up wind more but you will come to a stop and drop on your arse. To prevent this as you lean back point your toes forwards, this will prevent you from applying to much heelside pressure and stopping.
Author : Lee Sadler
Author Website : http://www.learntopowerkite.com
Getting started with landboarding,