So, you’ve had a few lessons, you’ve mastered the water start and you are up on the board doing runs… well done!
Unfortunately, the walk of shame is still a reality and it’s frustrating and exhausting, don’t worry, we’ve all been there.
Once you have your kite flying skills nailed, mastered the board start and can kite a fair way in either direction, it is time to turn your focus to kiting upwind.
Here are our top tips to assist your upwind progression and the beginning of your kiteboarding freedom.
- Get speed and edge: You will not be able to go directly upwind immediately after a waterstart; you will need to go downwind first to gain speed. When you have enough speed you can then begin to turn your head and shoulders, dig in your back heel, and edge your body upwind. Don’t be disappointed if you can go upwind in one direction and not the other – this is completely normal as one side is generally dominant to the other.
- Kite Position: Once you are up and riding with speed, you will need to direct your kite to 10 and 2, ~45-degree angle. Park your kite in one place once you have sufficient power, rather than continually move it.
- Body position: Your head and shoulders should face the direction of your chosen point of travel. Your arms should be outstretched and not too bent – remove your front hand and keep your backhand on the bar to make it easier to turn your body. Your front leg should be straight, or close to straight, with your rear leg slightly bent. Ideally, your board should oppose the kite at 45 degrees.
Riding upwind can be a difficult progression step for many kiters after mastering the water start and being able to ride a short distance. The practice hours can be tedious, but nothing feels better than nailing it and avoiding the walk of shame!