12 October 2015
Getting Barrelled on a Kite
I’ve had some of my best barrels on the East and West Coasts of Australia where there are lots of rocky headlands and slabby reef breaks. Of course Indo has some really good spots as well.
The most important thing to remember for riding barrels is kite position. When you’re pulling into barrel you need to avoid your lines dipping into the lip and causing drag so keeping the kite low and in sight helps – it needs to drift at about 45 degrees or lower. Surfboards are important because when you’re in the barrel you have to switch from using the power of the kite to the power of the wave. You want that extra buoyancy. Normally when the waves are barrelling I prefer to surf anyway, unless I need the kite to tow in or I want to get out to reef breaks.
I think the best barrel conditions are short, slab barrels. When the wave is too long it can be hard to get the kite to sit properly so short. Side-offshore winds are also best for cleaner waves - when it’s side onshore or side-shore the waves can be too crumbly. A reef or low rocky headland is good to help protect the wave from becoming too choppy.
Some more tips on getting barrelled on your backhand .