Hitting a kicker for the first time can be really intimidating. Nowadays most cable parks have a smaller kicker that is beginner friendly so it is the perfect place to start.
A heel side approach to the kicker is easiest for most people and you are in luck if a smaller kicker is available on your preferred stance.
When you are about 5 meters off from the entry of the kicker you can start with a continuos heelside edge, eyes, body aiming for the tip on the kicker on the furthest side.
Don’t forget to try to keep your elbows bent close to your body as you edge.
When you are a meter away from the kicker you can release your edge, keep the board flat on the water as you enter the kicker, make sure your knees and arms are bent keeping your body tonic and compact.
As you go through the kicker which is going to last for a second make sure your board is flat to avoid slipping backwards on your ass which is a common first try mistake.
As you get out of the kicker make sure your board is perpendicular to the water which will make you land safely back on the water and bend your knees as you reach impact, ride away and viola! your first kicker hit is on the bag :)
A common first kicker variation is a frontside 180.
This means you are landing on the opposite foot as you entered (switch) and rotating so that your chest faces forward rather than you back (backside).
As you get to the top of kicker you can place your board parallel to you and or the edge of the kicker, make sure your elbows are still close to your body, this body position naturally allows your body to turn facing the cable forward.
To land 180, the easiest would be to let go of your new back hand from the handle and land with bent knees in switch.
Written by Paula Rosales