How To: Mute Grabs With Chippa Wilson
You don't see a ton of mute airs, and there's a reason: they ain't easy. On the upside, because of how close your upper body needs to be to your board to grab mute, your center of gravity will be nice and low. On the downside, they're harder to go big with because you'll normally bend down to grab the board as opposed to a frontside air where you can bend your knees and suck the board up higher to your feet to produce some more height. Still, they're steezy and different.
-Aim for a nice buttery launch section. Widen out that stance coming up the face just before lifting off.
-You'll punt with your front knee bent more heavily than a typical air so that your front hand is closer to the deck of the board for the grab. You want to grab earlier than normal to keep your board from flicking away.
-Ideally, you want to land tail forward. If you land sideways you're likely to dig a rail, and it kills your momentum—both things that make it very tough to ride out of. If you can let go of the grab before you touch down, good for you. Most likely you'll want to hold it 'til you land.
-In the split second after you land, your fins will catch and will whip your nose back around. It happens quick; just keep low and go with the motion, and you'll be riding out like a champ.
-Even more so than others, this is a majorly wind-dependant air; you'll need either no wind or a slight onshore breeze. Anything else makes it really difficult to hold the board to your feet on backside airs.
-Your best bet is an open face, not an end section, which will usually have too turbulent of a landing pad. As well, you'll be landing pretty much blind, so the fewer surprises (and whitewash spikes), the better.
-Keep in mind that since you're grabbing and down low to your board, it's harder to use your arms for little counterbalances. This means you really need to have backside airs wired and get the right section served up to make one of these.
Above: Mason Ho stomps a couple mean mutes.