How to Nail Your Landings Every Time

How to Nail Your Landings Every Time

Landings are always the biggest success factor for any tricks. Imagine there was a magic formula to land all the time! Well ok, this is not exactly a magic formula but probably as close as it gets to one.

Landings are always the biggest success factor for any tricks. Whatever you are doing up in the air, whether it is exactly what you had planned to do or not, if you manage to land it nicely, you’ll get points! ;) Now, imagine if there was a magic formula to land all the time! Well ok, this is not exactly a magic formula but probably as close as it gets to one.

As a kiteboarding instructor, I teach people to land tricks at every levels and the cool thing about it is that weather you are landing a basic jump, off a kicker, or a s-bend to blind, once you’ve done your thing up there, if you do those 6 simple things, I guarantee you will land smoothly every time! This article is focused on kiteboarding landings but you can certainly transfer most of it to many other sports too so read on! ;)

1. Spot your landing

Looking down at where you are about to land before you hit the water, will help you evaluate your downward and forward speed so you can plan better your landing accordingly and know when and where you will be touching the water.


2. Kite pulling forward

Once you hit the water you will need a certain amount of forward speed to land smoothly and ride away. Therefore you want your kite to be positioned in a riding position (not too high). 

If you have send your kite upward to get more lift during your trick, you will need to steer it down with your front hand before you hit the water to you avoid sinking on your landing or even possibly outrunning your kite. The more forward speed you have the more aggressively you will need to steer it down.

If you were doing a wakestyle trick, your kite should already be in the right position but if you happen to steer it up by accident, you might need to steer it back down a bit just before or as you hit the water for a better landing.


3. Board pointing downwind

A landing is similar to a water-start in a way: For a smoother one, it is better to ride towards the kite pull before turning and riding across or up wind. The more you dove the kite downward before landing (refer to previous step), the more downwind you should be downwind you should be riding while landing (almost right at your kite). It is interrelated with step 2: the more forward speed in the air = the more you dive your kite = the more you aim downwind as you touch the water.


4. Board flat

There should not be any edging involve at the landing time. Spread your weight evenly on your board to get your board almost perfectly flat on the water. Ideally your board should be positioned straight underneath you (not in front of you) and already parallel to the water before landing but it also works fine with a slight angle so the tail of your board touches down first. After landing, you will need more weight over your back leg in order to turn back into riding across or up wind.


5. Bend you knees

This is a great one that is true for many other disciplines too. Bending your knees helps absorbing impacts and will bring your centre of gravity lower which helps a lot for balance. You should start bending you knees as your board is touching the water and don’t be shy on that one, you can go low! You will likely never bend too much your knees.

If you are landing a trick blind, it can also help to bend your upper body forward a bit but bending your knees is crucial!


6. Believe you can do it

This is my favourite, and the most important one to me! You gotta believe that you can do it! If you dread the bail and are unsure about your capacity to do it, your focus is not on the right thing. A lot of it is about focus and confidence. Visualising yourself successfully landing the trick you want can definitely help a bunch but as you do that, be convinced of your ability to do it. Repeat to yourself that you can do it. I believe that anybody can do anything if they truly believe they can (and take action). It might not immediately be a successful result since getting everything right does take a minimum of practice, but if you keep at it and keep believing, you will get it. All successful people have a similar story; they wanted it, believed it, and worked for it.


About the Author

Now get out there, get after it, have fun, let the magic happen and land smoothly! If you happen to crash again think about this ‘’magic formula’’ and smile, because you now know and probably just forgot a portion of it!

Marilys Lacroix Samson loves to share her knowledge and extensive experience with kiteboarding through teaching. When she is not hosting kite camps, she teaches at Prokite South Padre Lesson Center ( Always stoke to greet kiters to their paradise island, feel free to drop her a line at [email protected].

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