SBCKiteboard.com
  SBCKiteboard.COM Twitter SBCKiteboard.COM Facebook

Kiteboarding Upwind: The Holy Grail

Oct 9, 2012

Author: By Joanna Kowalska

Staying Upwind Kiteboarding

Staying upwind on a kiteboard is The Holy Grail of kiteboarding.  There is nothing more reassuring than ending your session at the same spot that you launched from.  Kiteboarding is a downwind sport for beginners, but once you can ride both directions and do basic transitions you are ready to work on going upwind.  Consider these gear and technique tips, and you will be joining the ranks of other intermediate kiteboarders before you know it.

GEAR
-Go big on your kite size.  You need to be powered to be able to track upwind.  If you are underpowered, you will only be able to go downwind.
-Ride a board with a flatter rocker line.  Larger flatter boards often times will provide you with the surface area and flat edge that give you drive upwind.

RIDING TECHNIQUES
Speed is your friend.  Once you get your board speed, lock in your edge and push hard with your back leg.  It is really important to maintain your board speed no matter what the wind is doing.  If you are going fast you can go upwind.

Kite Low and Go. If you position your kite below 45degrees in the wind window, you can have better control of the kite by edging your board.  When the kite is high, you get pulled off your edge and go down wind.  With the kite low, you can edge hard, force the kite forward in the wind window and track upwind.

Stance is everything.  Keep your back knee bent and your front leg straight.  Dig your heels in so you are throwing a nice fan of spray off the tail of your board.  Open your shoulders and hips in the direction that you are going, and most importantly LOOK UPWIND!

Land Marks will help you keep tabs on your progress.  If you go whale watching out into the middle of nowhere, you will have a hard time gauging your progress upwind.  Establish a riding area that you are going to work in, set your land marks and ride to them.  Before you know it you will be riding upwind.

COMMON MISTAKES
Going too far upwind can happen if you edge too hard and the kite moves all the way out to the edge of the wind window.  Correct this problem by cycling the kite or flattening your board to regain your board speed.  Once you have that board speed, start edging again.
Don’t look at the kite.  If you are watching the pretty colors on your kite, you will go downwind.  Your kite is downwind, so if you are looking downwind at your kite rather than upwind, you are going downwind.
If you ride with your kite really high in the wind window, you will get dragged off your edge. When the kite is above 45degrees in the wind window, there is a ton of upward pull.  This causes you to flatten the board and skip out.  Bring that kite low, so you can edge it forward in the wind window.

Joanna Kowalska

Joanna Kowalska’s kiteboarding roots hail back Poland where she learned to kiteboard while she was in Veterinary School.  After graduating she traveled to Greece, Egypt, and Brazil before finally landing in Cape Hatteras in 2010, where she has coached hundreds of students at REAL WATERSPORTS.



Video
Control & Riding Upwind - Kitesurfing Technique...
July 15, 2013
This is an exert taken from the Riding & Staying Upwind video, which is part of the Progression...
Instruction
Kiteboarding Upwind: The Holy Grail
October 9, 2012
Staying upwind on a kiteboard is The Holy Grail of kiteboarding.  There is nothing more...
Video
Positively Kai : Me and Kainoa McGee - Episode 7
June 27, 2012
Kai's buddy Kainoa McGee is still determined to learn how to kitesurf. While he continues to put...
Video
Natural High's "Path of a Kitesurfing Student"
May 30, 2012
What's your favorite memory from when you learned to kiteboard? Post your answers in the comment...
Video
OBK Student Video (Lexi & Barb)
April 30, 2012
Outer Banks Kiting Students Lexi & Barb enjoy a great flat water session on the Pamlico Sound in...
Instruction
How To Launch a Kite From Your Truck's Trailer...
February 8, 2012
REAL Watersport's Matt Nuzzo demonstrates how to self-launch your kiteboarding kite using your...
Video
Bridglets on Blue Peter
April 19, 2011
Check out the UK's Bridge brothers. They are 9, 10 and 12 years old, and they rip! They even have...
Video
Trainer Kite Intro to Kiteboarding
April 6, 2011
Here is a good trainer kite video from Ocean Rodeo. http://www.oceanrodeo.com/kiting/trainer-kites
Video
Pro surfer Danny Wills first time kitesurfing
March 28, 2010
Danny Wills gets up & going in 2hrs. Scene from "The dirty South" benwilsonsurf.com/dirtysouth
Kiteboarding 101
Learn to Kiteboard
June 20, 2009
Kiteboarding is an exciting sport that has gained enormous popularity, over the past decade. As...
Video
Upwind Body Drag
June 19, 2009
Getting back to your board is easy with this tip from Progression Beginner. Check out more from...
Kiteboarding 101
Tips on Choosing a Kiteboarding School
June 19, 2009
Here are some things to compare when selecting an instructor or school. Not all instruction is...
Instruction
Upwind Body Dragging
June 19, 2009
Kiteboarding 101
How much time should you spend in instruction?
June 18, 2009
Scuba diving, hang gliding, boat operation and kiteboarding demand a realistic amount of...
Kiteboarding 101
Skills for becoming an independent kiteboarder
June 17, 2009
What should you learn during professional instruction before you go out on your own and continue...
[1] [2] [3] > » 

Editor's Video Picks!

 

 

THE LATEST

Video
Konstantin Tuludis - The Cape...
November 25, 2014
Video
Lolo, Lukas & Bubi - Egypt 2014
November 25, 2014
Video
The Island
November 24, 2014
Video
2014 Formula Kite Asian...
November 24, 2014
Video
The Oregon Trail
November 21, 2014
[1] [2] [3] [4] [5] > » 

SBC KITEBOARD ON FACEBOOK

What's Hot!!!

 

2014 Kite Reviews
SBC 2014 Kite Tests:...
March 12, 2014
2015 Kite Reviews
2015 Slingshot Rally
August 29, 2014
2015 Kite Reviews
2015 Slingshot Rally
August 29, 2014
2014 Kite Reviews
2014 Cabrinha Switchblade Review
March 12, 2014
Travel
Florida Kiteboarding Guide
September 11, 2006
[1] [2] [3] [4] [5] > » 

Download Kiteboard Desktop App

Newsletter Signup

 

SBCSKATEBOARD SBCSURF SBCWAKEBOARD SBCSKIER SBCKITEBOARD WINDSPORT SNOWBOARD CANADA SBC RESORT GUIDE  CONTACT ADVERTISE