One of the best things about surfing with a kite is the fact that the kite gives you all the speed you could ever want on a wave allowing the rider to go faster, jump higher and carve harder than traditional surfing. However, sometimes our strongest tools are also our biggest crutch. Most kitesurfers pay too much attention to the kite in their hands and not to the board under their feet. It’s easy to forget that speed can also come from your board and body posture when you have 25knt winds and a 9meter strapped to your waste.
There is a lot more than just pushing on the tail to turn. In this tutorial, I will help you work on body positioning to help you find the blend of the so you can actually “throw more spray” while drawing longer lines with your board and turning “kitesurfing” into “surfing with a kite”.
Of course by now, you know how to go “down the line” of the wave by either flying your kite keeping it one step ahead of you, or using you wave specific kite’s drifting capability and letting it drift down the line as you use the wave’s power to keep you moving. In this sequence, the wind is side shore and I’ve used the “flying your kite” technique to execute this turn.
- As I finish my bottom turn and approach the lip, I see that the wave is best for an open face turn and begin to start my turn half way up the wave. My kite is a little lower than I want it to be so I have put my hand on the opposite side of the bar to keep the kite in it’s current position throughout the turn.
- Lead into the turn by looking where you want to go while doing your best to point your chest in the direction you want to go. Use your backhand as a counter balance throughout the turn. By leading with your head and pointing your chest in the direction you want to go, your hips will follow and contribute to pushing on the tail to turn your board.
- Keep your back knee bent to be able to absorb the bump on the wave and keep steady pressure on the tail of your board.
- As you approach the last quarter of the turn, use the energy in the board to complete your turn. At this point, the kite is pulling the opposite way that your want your board to go so depower accordingly to keep the kite from stopping you from completing your turn.
- Continue to point your chest and look where you want to go while starting to bring your back knee towards your front knee allowing you to keep pushing on the tail.
- You’ll finally reach a point where you can no longer go in the opposing direction of the kite (the roundhouse is the current “holy grail” in kitesurfing). When you reach this point, use your front foot to push the nose of the board back down the line to continue on to your next turn.
Backfoot placement will majorly affect how a board will turn. By having your foot further forward will give you more “drive” and draw out a longer turning arch. By having your foot further forward, the fins will hold more and allow you to put a lot of pressure on your backfoot before the tail will break free. Move your foot further toward the tail to make your board pivot more. This will also make it easier to break the tail free and finish your turn with a tail slide.
If you are expecting the tail of your board to slide out from the fins breaking free, be sure to keep your weight centered over your board as you finish your turn. This will allow you to keep control of the board as the tail slides out. If you lean too much to the side, you will either fall back or forward when the fins break free.
Want to take this Tutorial to go? Download the E-book by signing up to the Reo Stevens Coaching mailing list to take this an many more tutorials with you to the beach on your mobile device! You’ll also stay up to date on new tutorials and travel trips offered by Reo Stevens Coaching.