Kitesurfing Progression: Back Roll

Next up in our series of progression tutorials, you’ll learn how to do a back roll. This tutorial continues from our previous three in our series of kitesurfing tutorials, Riding Upwind, learning How to Jump and How to do a Board Grab. If you missed these lessons, and you are learning to kitesurf, we recommend reading them.

Back Roll Kitesurfing Progression Series

Back Roll (Backloop)

The back roll, or backloop as it is also known, is another relatively easy trick to master. As with the jump, you want to have enough power and be riding upwind. Start to build up some decent speed and keep edging with your kite at 1 o’clock if you are riding right foot forward (11 o’clock if you have your left foot forward). Move your hands to the centre of the bar so that you don’t turn the kite while rotating. Stand up off your edge for a meter or two, then edge hard upwind to start the backward rotation and release the edge, throwing the nose of your board upwind and turning your head to look over your front shoulder (in this example your right shoulder).

Lift your knees towards your chest a little to help you stay balanced in the air and to make the rotation easier. Remember that your body will rotate around your head and shoulders so stay committed and keep looking over that shoulder until you come around and spot your landing. Spot your landing and straighten your legs for impact. Bend your knees slightly as you hit the water to absorb the impact and ride away. Your kite should have stayed pretty much in the same place throughout the move.


Back Roll Video Demonstration

Common Mistakes

  • Once you’ve started the rotation backward you don’t throw your head around over your shoulder – this causes you to only turn half-way around and land backwards
    You must commit to the back roll and throw your head and shoulders around, and then your body will follow.
  • You don’t pop off the water enough and turn too flat
    Try to pop a bit harder so you rotate with your body more vertical, not horizontal. You can also bring your kite back toward 12 to do a small jump as you go for the back roll – just remember to redirect your kite back down again so you don’t land with the kite behind you.
  • You land with your kite going back toward or past 12 o’clock
    Keep your hands close to the centre of the bar, and when coming in to land, consciously pull a bit more on your front hand to bring kite down into the window again.
Back Roll Kitesurfing Progression Series

Back Roll | Image:

We love hearing from you, so if you have any questions, or back roll tips of your own, please share them in the comments below.

Written by

Calvin Da Silva (Kitesports)


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  1. Green Hat Kiteboarding says:

    Great tutorial pics and videos. Definately the first step to turning someone from beginner to advanced

    • Thanks Green Hat. You are right… this was the first trick I mastered after learning to jump, and boy did it feel good. I couldn’t stop doing them… for a while… ;-)

  2. Soufiane Ouirane says:

    what you think about my back roll ?
    this is my video :

    • Your back roll is looking great Soufiane! Now try it with one hand off the bar so you can progress towards a back roll and board grab at the same time… ;-)

      Keep at it mate!