A Resource of Kite Surfing Tricks & Tips

Back Mobe

Back Mobe is an unhooked back loop followed by a handle pass in the same direction as you travel. So in essence you´re doing a 720, two full rotations from the carve. The major problem people have when they try to perform this trick that they´re not sure if they are doing one spin, two and a half spins, one and a half spins or two spins, it can all become a bit confusing in the air.

Knowing this the fundamental behind a back mobe is a decent pop with a slow rotated back loop. The image below shows what we are aiming for.

back mobe

I t doesn’t matter if you land toeside or heelside. Your aim is to end up with your hands and hips together and your body fairly horizontal as you complete a full rotation. The key elements here are to keep your arms bent and bring your knees up. However there are many building blocks which don’t all follow the same path, so lets have a quick look at two of the most popular roots.

The back to wrapped. A great move in its own right and a potentially good lead into the back mobe. Only thing going against it, is if you are deliberately keeping the kite low to help you around the rotation, you will be throwing yourself around, trying to over rotate in order to land wrapped, which will do nothing for your pop or kite control. On the positive side it teaches you to hold onto the bar once you´ve released your back hand – this is a good thing!

The back to toeside. Yet again this can be a great step up to the back mobe but only if you see the toeside landing as a comfy alternative to a heelside landing. It´s very tempting to keep the kite low, say around 45 degrees and really throw yourself around. Once again you won’t be working on pop or controlling your rotation.

We want to try and get some elevation with our back loop from our back leg and we want some time in the air. To make this all a bit more achievable you´ll need to have your kite just under 11 or 1 o’clock, about 75 degrees if you´re into angles. The danger is now that you´ll spin under the kite so you need to work on how you rotate, the axis, and this is what takes the practice. By looking at the individual parts of the back mobe we’ll hopefully uncover how to get there in a controlled fashion.

So lets guide you through the steps.

back-mobe-the approach1. The Approach.

The single most important part of the set up to a controlled unhooked popped back loop. To bear away off the wind and unhook you must bend your back leg and really move your hips towards the tail of the board, pushing the nose off the wind. This way his weight is already where it needs to be to get a tight but quick carve upwind. Try not to carve off the wind on your toes as this will move your weight forward, making it much harder to resist against the kite and pop. But do make sure you go off the wind enough before carving up as otherwise you´ll take off too late, spin too quickly, and won’t have time to think.



Back mobe carve2. The Carve.

Carve hard upwind to initiate the back roll. Note that the front leg is fully extended, toes up to keep the front foot from pulling out of the strap, whilst your back leg is flxed and ready to pop. Even though your shoulders are leaning back into the rotation which will help you get horizontal, your hips are twisting upwind to allow you to resist against the pull of the kite, which keeps the board in between you and the kite and will let you pop off the back leg.




back mobe take off 3. The Take Off.

Firstly getting some up from the pop. Having initiated a good carve as in picture 2, kick down of your back leg before you get pulled over the board and it turns through the eye of the wind. Secondly keep your arms bent. This will allow you to rotate your hips towards your hands. If you had straight hands you wouldn’t be able to get your hands and hips together by the end of the back loop as the distance between them would be to great. Finally keep your head firmly between your shoulders and look forward. By not looking over your front shoulder you should rotate at a controllable pace, using the momentum from the carve to turn you. This means that you can save the energy from your head and use it slightly later on when you´ll need it.


back mobe end of back loop4. End of The Back Loop.

At this picture you are just about to finish your back loop. You can see that because your arms are bent the bar is not to far away. Imagine where the bar would be with extended arms… yup, no chance! This is where the practice pays off, as you need to anticipate this moment just before it happens. The more slow rotation back loops you do with bent arms, without trying to pass, the more time you will have to think as it seemingly happens slower and slower, and therefor the greater chance you have of pre-empting this moment.

Just as you approache this moment, you throw your head and shoulders down and around, which has the effect of rolling your hips up towards your hands. By keeping both hands on the bar you will have the strength to roll your hips up to the bar towards your hands as your head and shoulders go down, which in turn starts to twist the bar around behind your ass. Its really important that you don’t pull the bar into your hip with your back hand as the kite will rise and pull the bar away from you when you go for the pass.

back mobe letting go5. Letting Go.

You will know when to let go because you´re arm will be in the way! The main difference between learning the back mobe and watching the pros do it, is that they will be letting go so much earlier than you´ll get away with at the beginning. If you´re a bendy kid your limbs may let you pass some distance for your body, but if you´re a grown adult, keeping the bar in close for that little bit longer makes life considerably easier. You can see here a similarity between the secret of many pass moves, the bar is already twisted enough to grab as you let go. This allows you turn more, and more quickly and means that you don’t have as far to reach with your free hand. You can help yourself here by keeping your knees bent which will stop the board from dropping and dragging you away from the kite.

back mobe reach6. The Reach

Nothing too complicated here as the bar is waiting for you so you don’t let go. Keep both hands on the bar for a split second. By holding on you can rotate around your arm and therefor keep the bar nearer for your reaching hand. If you let go a fraction too early the bar will ping away and you´ll miss it. However the speed ay which you reach around to grab the bar is the key. You want to take the shortest and quickest route around your waist with as little movement as possible. If you’re already claiming Shifty 3s you should be used to this, but if you´re new to passes practising passing a bar behind your back on dry land will serve you well.




back mobe stomping it7. Stomping It.

As you can see in the picture, the front arm is bent. Its all good and well passing the bar with wnough height to land, but it won’t mean jack shit unless you sail away. A nearly will give you confidence but a landing lets claim it as in the bag. By keeping your arm in after passing, the kite will pull you around enough to land comfortably at speed on a flat board. If you let your arm pull out straight the chances are you just won’t turn enough and you´ll get pulled over the nose of the board when you land. This can be the most frustrating part to conquer. After you pass try and bend your arm from your elbow so that your hand comes towards you shoulder rather than pull your hand in towards you.


Top Tips

Once you´ve obsessed about back loops with a slow rotation and are ready to go for the pass, really try to visualize the movement of one slow back loop followed by a second very quick off axis rotation. As Walt Disney said, “if you can dream it you can do it”.

If you have a tendency to list the kite as you go to pass try pushing down on the bar as you turn your head down. With the bar twisting down towards the water this pressure will stop the kite from moving.


  1. With the kite around 11 o’clock and weight well back over, carve hard into wind with your hips and shoulders, explode up from your back leg into a slow back loop.
  2. Keep your arms bent and hands close as you leave the water. Look forward.
  3. Bring up your knees as you start to rotate.
  4. Three quarters the way around your back loop it’s time to start use your head.
  5. As the back loop is completed, throw your head down and around towards the water to initiate the pass, but hold onto the bar with two hands, twist it around you so that you can roll your hips up to the bar.
  6. As your hips rise and meet your arms, release the bar with your front hand.
  7. Swing your free arm around and in front of your waist and continue to twist the bar around behind your back.
  8. Reach back around your harness.
  9. Rotate around your back arm until you can grab the bar with your front hand.
  10. Once the bar is grabbed release your back hand.
  11. When you drop lift your head to keep your weight over the board.
  12. Lift your left hand towards your shoulder to stop your arm from extending and pulling you off balance.
  13. Land over a flat board, reach around to grab the bar and sail off.

back mobe all sequences

Common Problems

Your kite drifts up fast as you try and bring your hips up.

This is most likely caused by you trying to pull the bar down to your hips rather than bring your hips up to the bar. Try hold the bar with both hands and use the movement of your head and shoulders dropping to pivot your hips up.

That said splitting the fingers of your back hand over the centre line will help to keep the kite from moving up as you go to pass. And if you feel you must pull the bar in make a conscious effort to steer the kite down with the front hand as you pull.

You land on your board still moving, but you didn’t manage to grab the bar. This is a classic for riders getting into the mobe.

The reason for this is likely to be that you are trying to throw a double rotation, rather than control a back loop and then pass. As a result you are spinning on a more vertical axis, your hips won’t roll up and you have no chance to get near the bar. If this is happening to you, go back to the slow back loop and try to separate the two rotations.

You always pass, land and then fall.

This was a personal favourite and has everything to do with not holding the bar in once you´ve passed it. If your arm just extends like rubber you´ll get pulled off balance as the board brakes on impact. By keeping the hand nearer to you with tension on your front arm you and the board will move forward on touch down.


  1. Carve hard with weight back to initiate back loop.
  2. Look forward for a slow rotation.
  3. Head and shoulders at end of first rotation.
  4. Hold on with both hands until hips up.
  5. Hold on with back hand until you grab the bar.


We end this article with a nice little video from Progression Me

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  1. Pingback: Back Mobe with Alby Rondina | Kite 2012

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