The Raley (sometimes spelt Railey) could be described as a gateway trick. In much the same way as smoking weed is considered the first step towards a life of hard drugs. The Raley kitesurfing trick is generally considered the initial tentative move towards a life of hard, unhooked riding that your knees will never forgive you for. Read on to find out how to do the Raley.
The Raley will be most people’s first unhooked trick for two simple reasons. Firstly, the pull that a rider will experience when unhooking the kite lends itself well to the movement of the Raley. And secondly, it gives the rider a solid basis for the hard tricks – the meth and smack of the kiting world – tricks such as the Blind Judge and the S-Bend.
How to do the Raley
Anyway enough of these dark analogies, let us take our first steps down this rabbit hole and find out how to do the Raley.
Step 1: depower the kite
First things first, make sure you’ve depowered your kite by shortening your centre lines a few inches before unhooking. Failing to do this will lead to your kite falling, trailing-edge first towards the water when you have the bar fully pulled in.
Step 2: check your leash
The second thing to make sure is that your leash isn’t only attached to your safety line – if this were the case and you let go of your kite it would go into emergency pack down mode and become very difficult to relaunch. The best thing to do is ride what is known as ‘suicide’, this is when you attach your leash directly to the chicken loop.
So, once you’re up and riding, slip the ‘donkey dick’ out of its cozy spot in your harness so that it’s easy to unhook the chicken loop when the time comes. Then spot a nice stretch of flat water and get ready to go for it.
Step 3: come off your edge
There will be too much pressure from the kite for you to unhook when you are going up wind. The best thing to do is to come off your edge and let yourself ride downwind so that your lines become slack for a few seconds.
Step 4: unhook
At this point it’s time to unhook. Once you do this you’ll feel a sudden rush of power. This is what’s supposed to happen so don’t worry. It is, though, important to avoid sending your kite up past 12 o’clock like a normal jump – keep it steadily at either half past one or half past ten, depending on which side you’re jumping on.
Step 5: let the pressure build
So, once you feel this pressure the time is right to begin edging away hard from the kite, making sure to put pressure on your heels – especially your back heel. Keep your back straight, lean hard away from the kite and you should feel a large amount of pressure building up.
Step 6: the fun part
Now comes the fun part of the trick. Release your edge, throw your legs out behind you and let the pull of the kite stretch you out in a superman-esque movement. All the while make sure most of your bar pressure is on your front hand – to stop your kite looping back towards twelve and beyond.
Step 7: landing
When you start to descend back to the reality of the water below, drag your legs back under your body, point your board down wind and prepare yourself for what will hopefully be a smooth landing. Having nailed the Raley ride away like a thug.
If you found this kitesurfing trick tutorial on how to do the Raley useful then you might also like our learn to Tantrum article.