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The Waterstart

The Waterstart

The waterstart is a must-know technique for all kiteboarders. First you need to practice it on land and with a trainer kite. The kite needs to dive through the power zone to pull you out of the water. Position the kite at 11 o’clock and dive it towards 2 o’clock to make it deliver the power needed to pull you out of the water.

You need to steer the kite with one hand only as you need the other hand to place the kiteboard under your feet. Position the back foot towards the back side and extend your front leg. Once you dive the kite you will find yourself in the correct riding position. Practice these moves on the beach until you get used to them.

As you enter the water keep the kite positioned towards it and lowered to avoid unwanted lifts. Take the board with one hand as you steer the kite with the other. In time you will learn to feel the board and position it under your feet without looking at it. Keep an eye out for the kite to make sure you don’t throw it into the power zone. This way you will avoid being dragged through the water.

Keep the kite above your head, position the board in front of you by holding it from one of the straps and insert your foot in the other strap. Let go of the board, than place the other foot in the other strap and you are ready to ride. You might want to drift down wind a bit, until your feet are set tight into the straps. Dive the kite in the power zone when you are ready. Remember to keep the back foot towards the back side and extend the front foot.

When you are up the board you will be moving downwind in a fast plane. Lean back and edge the board on the heel side rail to head upwind. If you are underpowered, you need to steer the kite a few times through the power zone to get you planning. Once you reach a good speed keep the kite in a stable position and focus on riding.

You can also perform a quick start, meaning that you jump on your board and start to ride. To do that make sure there is enough space downwind, because there is a chance you crash before getting it right. 

If you fall and the board is still beneath your feet, you can steer the kite upwards through the power zone to pull you out of the water. Position the knees underneath you to keep the board on your feet.

Previous kiteboarding tutorial: The Kiteboard. Next one: The Water Relaunch.

Back to: The Newcomer's Handbook to Kiteboarding.