How To Perform A Kiteboarding Backroll

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Kiteboarding is a thrilling water sport that combines the excitement of surfing, wakeboarding and paragliding. With the sound of the waves and the wind in your ears, it’s easy to get addicted to the adrenaline rush of kiteboarding. One advanced skill that many kiteboarders want to learn is the backroll or backloop. It’s a move that involves spinning yourself and your kite 360 degrees in the air while jumping. However, doing a backroll can be intimidating and challenging, especially if you’re new to kiteboarding. In this article, we’ll break down the steps on how to perform a kiteboarding backroll and address common concerns that beginners may have.


What is a backroll in kiteboarding?

A backroll is a trick that involves jumping and rotating backward while your kite follows the same path. It’s a fundamental move in freestyle kiteboarding, and it can increase your control, confidence, and style. There are variations of a backroll, such as a kite loop, a late backroll, or a kite-loop backroll. Nevertheless, the basics of a backroll remain the same: you carve upwind, load up the kite, pop off the water, rotate backward, spot your landing, and land smoothly.


What are the prerequisites for a backroll?

Before you attempt a backroll, it’s essential to master the basics of kiteboarding, such as riding upwind, edging while going downwind, controlling your speed, and jumping high. You should also feel comfortable riding with one hand on the bar, transitioning between toeside and heelside, and keeping your kite stable in the power zone. Moreover, you need to have the proper gear and safety precautions, such as a helmet, a life jacket, a kite leash, and a buddy system. You should also make sure that the wind conditions are suitable for your skill level, and avoid performing backrolls in gusty or offshore winds.


How do you set up for a backroll?

To set up for a backroll, position yourself on a flat and open area of the water with enough space to steer your kite without any obstacles. Choose a downwind direction and carve upwind a few meters before your jump. Keep your kite around the 11 or 1 o’clock position, depending on your dominant foot, and sheet in the bar to gain speed. As you reach the apex of your jump, pull hard on your back hand and rotate your head and shoulders backward. This move will tilt your kite and start your bankroll.


How do you rotate in a backroll?

The key to rotating in a backroll is to keep your legs close together, your eyes focused on the horizon, and your arms extended. The centrifugal force of your body and the kite will create the spin. As you rotate backward, pull your knees towards your chest and look over your back shoulder. This move will make your body tuck into a ball and increase your angular velocity. As you complete the rotation, straighten your legs, spot your landing, and prepare to reengage the kite.


How do you land a backroll?

The landing of a backroll is critical since it determines your balance and speed for the next move. To land a backroll successfully, keep your kite at a constant angle above you, and your body tense but relaxed. As you approach the water, extend your legs and try to absorb the impact with your knees and ankles. Aim to land with the board flat and pointing downwind, and keep your body crouched over the board. This landing technique will help you maintain your momentum, prevent any crashes, and prepare you for the next trick.


How do you improve your bankroll?

Like any kiteboarding trick, a backroll requires practice, patience, and perseverance. However, there are various ways to improve your backroll and make it more stylish and advanced.

– Add a grab: When you’re comfortable with the basic backroll, try adding a grab, such as a melon, an indy, or a tail grab. A grab adds style, control, and difficulty to your trick.

– Increase your height: Make sure you pop higher off the water by loading up the kite and edging more aggressively. The higher you jump, the more time you have to execute the backroll, spot your landing, and prepare for the next trick.

– Combine with other tricks: Try linking your backroll with other moves, such as a frontroll, a kite loop, or a handle pass. Combining tricks creates a routine and a flow that showcases your skills and creativity.

– Record and analyze your performance: Use a camera or a coach to record your backrolls and analyze your technique, timing, and style. Look for areas that need improvement and practice them until you master them.



In conclusion, performing a kiteboarding backroll is a thrilling and rewarding experience that requires practice, skill, and safety. By following the steps and tips above, you can learn how to do a backroll and improve your style, control, and confidence. Remember to always respect the wind, the water, and the safety rules, and never attempt a trick beyond your comfort level. Happy backrolling!

Josh Mitchell

Josh Mitchell

"I live and breath boardriding"

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