After learning how to get up on a board, learning to ride upwind is the next major milestone in your kiteboarding career. The session when you finally return to the same spot on the beach you left from without walking is a day every kiteboarder remembers as the day they really started having fun kiteboarding. North team rider, Colleen Carroll shares some upwind riding tips and tricks from Tkb’s Beginner Instructional Guide.
HOW TO STAY UPWIND
After you get up and build speed, park the kite and gradually increase heel pressure on your back foot. Correct riding posture is key to getting upwind. Focus on riding with your front leg straight and back leg bent, keeping most of your weight on the back leg. Bring your shoulders back, leaning out into the harness. You may need to depower your kite slightly to achieve this position. Open up your shoulders and rotate your upper body to face your direction of travel instead of facing your kite. Take long tacks, with few transitions and make sure you carry enough board speed to be planing the majority of the time on each tack.
Edging too hard — This will slow you down too much and cause you to sink. If you slow down to where you start to come off your plane, ease up on your edge pressure to build up speed again before applying edge pressure again. Having the kite oversheeted — This will make the kite sit deeper in the window making it more difficult to ride upwind. If you feel like you’re being pulled downwind towards your kite, try pushing the bar away from you a few inches. Bending at the waist — Keep your shoulders back and your hips up to maintain correct body position. If you feel you have to bend at the waist to depower your kite, trim your lines to depower your kite by shortening your front lines.
TIPS FOR RIDING UPWIND
- Focus on a stationary object onshore that is slightly upwind of you and turn your head and shoulders to face this landmark. Looking upwind of your path will keep the rest of your body in the correct position.
- If sufficiently powered, take your front hand off the bar to allow your shoulders to open up even further to your direction of travel.
- Slow down for transitions. You’ll lose less ground if you do a slow and controlled turn without getting yarded.
Click here to watch how to ride upwind
For more beginner tips
and tricks, download
Tkb’s Beginner Instructional Guide.