The South East breeze can be a bit of a disappointment Often the forecast doesn’t pan out or it is pouring rain or a squall. A lot of times it just doesn’t fill in to its full potential. But there are those days where the rain holds off, the wind blows and when you throw in a bit of swell you can end up with some pretty excellent conditions.
We get a lot more West and South West days than South East. So for regular stance kitesurfers that means a lot more frontside days than backside. There isn’t anything wrong with that but more and more I am learning that there is something incredibly cool about backside surfing as well. I used to think it was much harder surfing back side than front. But when you break it down it is only really harder in one key area. That’s the bottom turn.
I’ve realized recently that backside top turns are actually just as easy or easier even than their frontside counterparts. In fact the backside turn at the top is a pretty natural motion and because you are compacting your body as opposed to opening it up it tends to make it a much tighter pivot at the top of the wave. Much more of a snap than a hack. Once you get in the groove it is pretty easy.
But it is the bottom turn that makes backside riding so much more challenging. Turning blind into the wave is part of it and I think steering the kite is the other part that is really more difficult on the backside. On my frontside bottom turn I can pretty much fly the kite around with one hand and stretch the other arm towards the wave as a pivot point to turn around. But on the backside its more of a two hand on the bar situation. Its just not as natural or comfortable.
Still, satisfaction comes from achieving the challenging tasks and every backside day recently has been the best backside session of my life. Plus the sent jumps on the way out off perfect kickers just can’t be beat. So bring on more 130 with plenty of surf and I’ll see you out at Tom Nevers to enjoy it.