Is a kiss-back shot a foul if the CB doesn’t hit a cushion?

Yes. A kiss-back shot is where the CB squarely hits an OB frozen to a cushion and bounces straight back after a double hit of the OB, leaving the OB close to where it was originally. With these shots, the OB does not return to the cushion, and since a ball must make contact with a cushion after contact, the shot is a foul if the CB does not reach a cushion. Here’s a video explanation, with numerous examples:

A game-situation example can be found here: NV B.13 – End-of-game frozen kiss-back safety option

And many more game-situation examples can be found in the following video:

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