There is usually a story behind every trick, from first landing to mastering, we all go through a learning curve with multiple levels of progression and many wipe-outs along the way. Trick levels are used to determine how far along the path you are in learning new tricks. Each trick is split into 3 levels from Landing, to Competent to Mastered to ensure that we monitor your progress throughout each stage of learning a new trick and reward you for each stage achieved. The description of each stage is shown below.
Landing your trick is when you pull off a trick and land cleanly without crashing, butt-checking or pre-spinning. So when is landing not landing?
You may have finally landed a trick you have been trying for months and rode away after completing the trick…..but how clean was the landing? For riders claiming they ‘landed’ a trick there are some questions to ask yourself before adding it to your accomplishments.
1. The first is not to consider man-made kickers to help you achieve the height needed to land the trick. Feel free to use choppy water or waves but no man-made kickers!
2. The second is butt-checking (when your butt hits the water upon landing). If your butt hits the water when you land and you are wondering how you managed to stay up then it’s not a clean landing, but you nearly got there!
3. The third is pre-spinning (initiating a spin before you’ve left the water). This is not very common in kite boarding but could be relevant in some cases. By pre-spinning, a rider can eliminate a full 180 from their trick, making a backside 1080 become a frontside 900 or a frontside 1080 become a backside 900. Congratulations on all those handle passes though!
If someone is claiming a trick that was not landed cleanly, or if you have serious questions about the legitimacy of the trick, we have added a query button so you can raise your doubts! They shouldn’t take it to heart but should use it as motivation to prove you wrong!
A competent trick is when you can pull that trick out of your trick inventory on demand and have a high probability of landing it in most conditions. If you can land it on a butter flat lake in the smoothest of winds, but struggle when you get a little chop or have the pull of a gust to contend with, then you need to practice a little more! We don’t expect perfection every time but about 80% success rate in average kiting conditions is what we consider competent.
Mastering a trick is when you can pull off the trick riding in each direction and be competent landing in all kiting conditions. In other sports it can be considered regular stance and goofy stance but in kiteboarding its basically being able to pull off the trick with your left foot forward and right foot forward. We consider mastering a trick as another level in progression because changing the direction of the trick can be as difficult as learning a completely new trick, you have to train your body to do it all over again in reverse…kind of!