Aerial Buggy Freestyle
You’ve nailed all of your flatland manoeuvres, (so that if you land awkwardly strapped in you know how to recover), it’s time to jump to the moon! Start by relearning all your flatland tricks strapped in, it does feel a bit weird at first when you add foot straps & a lap belt.
From your first jumps through to full aerial rotations, these how-to's will get you there.
Wheel Stand Transition
When coming into a turn, fly your kite to the opposite side of the wind window. At the point where you feel the kite wants to take you out of the back of the buggy, lift your front feet up in the foot straps & twist the buggy around 180 degrees.
During your jump, twist the buggy sidewards away from the kite by lifting up on your kite side foot peg & your kite side hip and pushing down with the other side foot peg & hip.
Sidewinders towards the kite take a little more practice but are a good introduction to hand plants.
Foot Offs etc
Once you’re happy with straight jumps, randomly taking hands off bars/feet out of foot pegs etc adds a nice bit of variation.
Here’s a few clips of Nicki & me.
As you jump, use your feet and knees to swing the buggy 180’ downwind and redirect your kite to the opposite side of the wind window.
2 Wheel Jump to 2 Wheel Land
As Nicki demonstrates:- Take off on 2 wheels but start learning these by maintaining that position in the air until you land. Focus on keeping your weight over the kite side side rail.
2 wheel jumps are great for helping create enough edge to get airborne when winds are light.
As you leave the ground push your hips forwards and try to stand up on your foot pegs. Don’t worry if your front wheel doesn’t leave the ground, claim it anyway & call it a wheelie ;)
Forwards Aerial Rotations
Practice plenty of flatland upwind 360s then send the kite a little more each time. There’s a definite pause between take off & rotation you need to wait for to ensure your front wheel is off the ground to avoid face plant! Turn your shoulders from the waist, not just your head. Then remember to redirect & spot your landing to stop the rotation, then ride away.
Practice this by grabbing your rear axle where the side rail joins whilst you are still strapped in. Once you’ve got this dialled its time to unstrap.
A similar feeling to a sidewinder towards the kite, so I’d recommend learning those first. Just plant your hand before you pop!
Pull up with your feet & knees until the front wheel is perpendicular to the ground. Push down to get the wheel back down to land.
Reverse Aerial Rotations
Helen explained ...These jumps feel completely unnatural to do to begin with due to your back-end feeling very close to the floor and taking off backwards, but amazing once you have the knack. Just get a good amount of speed up, send the kite (as quickly as you dare) once you have been lifted redirect straight away & lean back. Then turn your front wheel towards the kite (direction you are travelling) and look where you want to go. Remember redirect, redirect, redirect!
Riding a comfortable speed with the kite at 11, edge away from the kite redirecting the kite to 1o'clock. Pull the bar in , breathe, redirect the kite back to 11 and spot your landing. Now shout yippee