World champion MIKAILI SOL talks us through her favorite trick of the moment, the learning process to get there and how you can push your progression with help from the ACADEMY APP from Duotone Kiteboarding.
Hi Mika, do you have a signature or favourite trick? My favourite trick at this moment would be the Blind 315. Just the feeling you get when you are going into the second handle-pass and when you stomp the landing cleanly is one of the best feelings in the world! It’s so amazing and I couldn’t ask for anything more than that.
What were the challenges of learning this trick for you? The main challenge is commitment if you go into it full speed and commit you won’t catch your back edge. But when you’re going for the second pass sometimes you might want to hesitate before entering in the second pass and this can cause you to have the biggest back edge crash and whiplash. You can pass out or get a concussion even, so that’s the main thing. Once you get over the fear of that then you can do anything!
When you were learning for the first time was there a Eureka moment where something clicked? And what was it that enabled you to get the trick dialled to become a consistent move in your repertoire? I got help from a lot of the guys on the world tour and the Duotone team, they helped me a lot, but I think the main thing that helped the most when I started to get them more consistent, (I’ve only been landing them since last year and have landed maybe 10) was to put the kite lower, so you get the pull and then the slack so you can land with kite low so your shoulder is not getting pulled up and pulling you off balance. That will help with a clean landing, it will feel like you are falling out of the sky but when you land you’ll have so much more stability. It makes all the difference.
It's a really difficult trick for any kiter to try, what would be the path to get to the Blind 315 in your eyes? On the path to learning this trick, you need a solid base, have really solid blind landings and have your handle passes down. You need to be able to make a Blind 313 and be super comfortable on the lands and then practice popping too blind as soon as you land. This really helped get the second handle pass down so it became automatic. Evolve your riding, going step by step, don’t try and rush things if you are not ready for them. It’s just dedication and time!
Do you have any friends who use the Academy App? I think the Academy App is revolutionary! Before when you wanted to learn something you would have to search online through videos and they weren’t very clear. With the App, you really get step by step advice from someone telling you what to do. I have a few friends that use the Academy App and they love it! It helped them improve so much in the sport and they were stoked Duotone was able to make this App a reality.
What trick do you want to learn next? I want to learn all the double handle passes, but I also want to get the style Noe and Gianmaria have in their tricks. They can do Mummywraps and land blind with ease and a variety of grabs. That style is amazing and looks incredible on video clips and in photos.
What trick from the Academy App should everyone try? I think the trick everyone should try is the Hooked in Frontroll to Blind. A Hooked-in Blind covers the bases for so many other tricks, it will help your riding so much. It’s the trick that looks so simple but it helps you improve so much. I remember in Sri Lanka a few years on a training trip with Fabio (Ingrosso) my coach. He told me to warm up with some basic tricks and said go and do a hooked in front to blind. I went to try it and caught one of the worst back edge crashes of my life! I couldn’t believe I can do heart attacks no problem but couldn’t do a hooked in front to blind! Once i got that trick dialled it helped my blind landings so much, it was insane how much that easy little hooked in trick can help you improve drastically.
Thanks for the insight and thanks for your time today Mika. For sure! Thanks!