Defensive trimming brings out the best.
pro rider Steven Akkersdijk on trimming for unhooked freestyle
1. CHECK YOUR STEERING LINE KITE CONNECTIONS
CORE kites have three speed settings for the steering lines. Medium, fast or super fast. Medium or fast work best for freestyle because these settings allow you to make small steering mistakes during your moves. The wakestyle setting is the most stable and forgiving position. The super fast wave setting is not recommended for unhooked riding at all. Rule of thumb is to go with the middle setting for your first session. And if you have to adjust your trim too often during your session, then use the wakestyle setting.
Steering pressure is also adjustable on your CORE kite, but it has no impact on freestyle and is more a personal preference issue.
2. STEERING LINE LENGTH
Every CORE kite has three steering line length options on each wing tip pigtail. In unhooked freestyle, a sluggish kite is preferred. One that responds more slowly to bar input. And one that accommodates small mistakes. The best setting for this is the middle or last knot on the steering line pigtails. If you are constantly trimming your kite with the adjuster, move your lines down to the end knot on the pigtails.
3. CLAMCLEAT TRIM ADJUSTER
Remember, the goal is to slow the kite down and prevent stalling. To determine which clamcleat trim adjuster setting is best, slowly pull the bar in fully (power up the kite) when the kite is at twelve o'clock. Do this in a safe location and in wind conditions where you will not get lofted. Did the kite fall back into the wind window when you pulled the bar in? If so, the kite stalled. Depower the kite until the kite does no longer stalls when you pull in the bar fully.
One more thing:
Wind speed has a huge impact on kite trim. In low winds, you may be tempted to power up your kite. This will put too much tension (not enough slack) on the back lines for your unhooked tricks. The kite will likely stall and lose power. You are much better off trimming defensively and playing with a slightly depowered kite. And a couple sessions from now, you will be layin’ ‘em down like a pro!
WHAT EXACTLY IS “SLACK”?
You may have heard the term used as it applies to unhooked riding. Slack is the moment after you load and pop out of the water and your kite stops pulling. The back lines slacken allowing you to nail that Raley or pull the bar in towards your hips for a slick handle pass. We call this moment of slack the sweet spot. Freestyle kites are designed to have a longer sweet spot than freeride kites which makes them better for unhooked maneuvers. You can also extend your sweet spot and get more height by really edging hard before you pop.