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Heading Upwind

Heading Upwind

When you get onto the board and start riding you will usually go downwind. It is a good start, but you will probably want to go upwind at some point, to return from where you left. To do that you need to perform a zigzag move across the wind. Do not go straight into the wind.

To go upwind safe and comfortable you need to have enough power. It means that you must be able to park the kite in a stable position while you are riding. You also need to control your speed. You can do that by leaning back and edging the board to resist the traction force. Doing this you push the kite towards the edge of the window and begin heading upwind.

It is easier to edge the board if you keep the kite in a lower position. The weight distribution on the board plays an important role in edging and going upwind. It weight should be distributed 80% on the back foot. Bent the back leg, extend the front one and twist your hips in the direction you want to go. You will have a solid grip with the tail of the board, while the board will point upwind.  At the same time you must set the power of the kite with the trim loop to avoid being dragged downwind.

If you are dragged downwind raise the kite easily above your head and go downwind. When the kite is positioned above the head the pull will decrease and you can head upwind again.

You can set a point upwind as marker to see if you are making any progress. If you let the front hand off the bar it will help you to twist your hips forward and oppose the pull of the kite.

Keep the kite low, put around 80% of the weight on the back foot, edge the board and take it slowly and you will head upwind without problems.

Previous kiteboarding tutorial: The Water Relaunch. Next one: Kiting Around Other Riders.

Back to: The Newcomer's Handbook to Kiteboarding.