Adding grabs to your riding not only adds style, it strengthens your abdominal muscles, and they're fun to do. The key to any good grab is to know exactly where you're going to grab before leaving the water. If you are sending the kite, try not to bring the kite up to high as it will pull you up into extension, making it very difficult and stressed to reach for the grab. Instead, focus on your pop and release to ensure height. This is done by increasing the edge connection of your board against the resistance of the water, than releasing the edge off quickly, creating a "pop" off the water. This technique allows for swing momentum of the board, making for an easier grab. Once you execute a proper takeoff, you will have the time and balance to grab wherever you want.
When you first start to grab the board, practice pulling your knees up to your chest to bring the board closer to you. It's a lot easier to grab with the board easily in reach then having to try and stretch down, over your harness, to get to it. In most all grabs, you will be pulling your board up to you for the grab.
Once you get used to bringing your knees and board up, start taking one hand off the bar and bringing it down to your side when you jump. You might just be touching or slapping the board at this point, but really try and GRAB it! This will be a lot easier if you get that board up to you.
For wake style grabs, be sure to load your edge and get as much pop as possible. As soon as you pop, bring your legs up, make your grab and spot your landing to ride away. This is a very quick and aggressive grab style that requires swing momentum of the board and a quick response!
For big air grabs, you will have more time to grab, but will also have to more efficiently control the kite more while you're performing the grab. You will be using the kite to jump, as well as to smoothly land. First, send the kite to jump. Make sure you have your hands at the center of the bar, so that when you take one hand off to grab, you can still control the kite. Just at the apex of the jump, bring the board up, take your hand off the bar (making sure the other hand is centered on the bar) and go for the grab. As you grab, start putting forward pressure on the bar (turning it down or to the front) to start your descent and landing. Keeping enough front-hand pressure on the bar will keep you from landing bomb-drop style (dropping straight down into the water) versus a smooth forward-moving downwind landing.
Grabbing is the best way to make any of your jumps look smoother, add style and impress all your fans on the beach. Check out our master list of grabs to get started on!