How to Jump or Pop Kitesurfing

Alex Pastor 550 days ago 6 min of reading
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Learn how to do the correct kitesurf pop, which is the number one key to a successful jump or any kitesurf trick.

Jumping is the best part of kitesurfing, most people I know have started kitesurfing because they’ve seen people jump super high and it not only looks super fun, it is! 

For Jumping, the most important thing is to have good pop, and being able to optimize your pop will allow you to go much higher on your jumps. 

First we’ll start with the most basic jump, where we are using our kite to gain height. The key of this kind of jump is to first ride in a comfortable position and speed, progressively try to go a little bit more upwind until our kite is at 11 or 1 o'clock -depending which direction we’re going-, and then we’ll steer the kite faster to the other direction, while we push a bit harder with our back foot as the kite is lifting us off the water. 

For the last bit of the pop, which is the most important, we have to move our kite fast until the kite crosses slightly to the other side of the wind window, while we push hard with our back foot to make a clean pop at the same time we start lifting off the water. Remember, the stronger the pop, the higher we’ll go, but we don’t want to edge too hard to kill the speed completely.

Now that we’re in the air, we have to hold on to the bar with the kite always powered up, lift our knees a little bit to stay in a more efficient position and wait until we are almost back on the water to send the kite back to the side of the window we’re going to.

For landing, we have to position our board in a downwind position and always touch down with our back foot first. Kite should be higher than 45 degrees when we are landing. 


The 2 most important details on a kitesurfing jump or pop.

Timing the pop with kite movement. 

Timing is everything when doing a pop, this is what will make our perfect and high jump. Remember the key to success in our jump is to execute the kite and the board movement exactly at the same time. The perfect time to carve hard is exactly when the kite is sending us up in the air as it’s crossing to the other side of the window. 

The catapult effect for the pop.

 Another thing that nobody talks about, is the catapult effect on the pop. Even though it’s mostly used when we are jumping without using the kite, it’s useful to know this concept for all kinds of jumps. The main concept is that the more we lean towards the water before edging, the more tension we are creating on the lines and on the water, so the pop will send us up higher. This is something I’ve always kept in mind when I was going for my biggest tricks in training or competition. 

Please keep in mind this has to be super efficient, so never lean too much to risk touching the water with your ass.


Jumping without sending the kite or with kite low

Now that we know how to jump while sending the kite, we can learn to jump without moving the kite. This is used for wakestyle tricks and it’s a little bit harder even though we only have to focus on the board. The harder part is that the kite won’t pull us up that much but it will just send us just a little bit up and more downwind instead. 

The board movement is the same, and we don’t move the kite during the jump, but on the flip side, we have to put extra effort on the board movement, so we should make use of the catapult effect like mentioned before.

Unhooked pop or hooked in pop

Another variation is to jump unhooked. For this example we’re gonna do an unhooked pop without sending the kite like we just saw. Unhooked pops are more useful for that kind of jump although you can also do unhooked jumps while sending the kite but it’s a little more dangerous as you can fall from a bigger height. 

The main change to keep in mind for unhooked jumps is that we have depower the bar a little bit more so the front lines and the back lines have the same tension when the bar is on full power. We can test that on the beach and make sure our kite doesn’t back stall.

Once the bar is correct, we have to make sure to unhook just before we are going to pop. If we unhook too early we’ll get tired and we’ll start riding too fast as we lose the ability to depower at this point, so it will be very hard to pop. 


Common mistakes:

Jumping downwind.

This is when you do the kite movement but you don’t edge with your board, so you go downwind too much as soon as you leave the water, it’s also very hard to land as you will be getting back to the water super fast. Remember it’s super important to focus on edging properly with your board. 


Sending the kite back too early.

It’s common that when you’re doing the process of jumping you only think about the steps to follow but don’t think so much about timing them. 

So in this case, I’ve seen a lot of people sending the kite back to the front as soon as they gain some height. Remember when we move the kite back to the side we are riding, our kite will keep us floating in the air a little bit more and will slow down our landing, so if we do that move too early, we will be getting that extra float when we are in the middle of the jump and then we will land on the water like a rock. Remember to hold your kite at 12 or slightly on the other side of the direction we’re going until we’re almost landing so we use the kite movement to slow down our landing and get a soft one.