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go Upwind on your Kiteboard

Once you can ride both directions and do basic transitions you are ready to work on going upwind.

Few points to riding upwind:

CORRECT KITE SIZE:

Choosing the correct size of kite is essential to upwind riding. A kite that is underpowered will require you to be constantly moving it to generate power. This will result in a downwind pull from the kite and make it impossible to fly the kite wide for less downwind pull. The correct kite size will allow you to set your kite position once you are moving across the water and will allow you to settle into the correct stance and posture to drive the board upwind.

CORRECT STANCE/POSTURE:

This is the keystone to upwind riding technique.  Sing along!  ♪♫ ♬ “Head, Shoulders, Knees and Toes; Knees and Toes…♪ ♫ ♬

Head: Turn your head to look where you want to go. Very often, beginner riders are so focused on the kite that they aren’t aware of how much they are going downwind. By looking where you want to go, you will recognize sooner if you are not going upwind.

Shoulders: Open your shoulders and hips in the direction that you are going, and most importantly LOOK UPWIND. This will increase your edging against the kite and will allow you to resist downwind pull from the kite. Allow your shoulders to rotate with your head to face the direction of travel. This continued rotation through the body will help you put more pressure through the heel of your back foot and will drive the kiteboard

Hips: For efficient upwind riding and to prevent lower back pain, move your hips towards the bar so that you are not in a seated position, allow your hips to follow the rotation of your head and shoulders. Your hips will be open towards your direction of travel.

Knees: Keep your back knee bent and your front leg straight. To keep your rear knee position strong, your knee must align with your rear hip and foot. To achieve this, squeeze your outer leg muscles and ensure that your knee is not collapsing inwards of your toes.

Your rear leg will be bent and will be supporting more of your weight than your front leg. You want to lean back on your heel edge so the board is carving into the surface spraying water away from you.

Toes: Bring your toes up on your leading, this will direct more pressure into your heels, and will allow you to resist downwind pull from the kite and prevent the board skidding or even catching your toe-side edge and flying over the front of your board. This will help the angle of your board in the water.

KEEP THE KITE LOW:

If you position your kite below 45degrees in the wind window, you can have better control of the kite by edging your board.  When the kite is high, you get pulled off your edge and go down wind. If no one is riding in front of you, fly your kite lower. A high positioned kite will lift your weight making it harder to sink your weight into your heels to edge.

 Keep the kite low and you can edge hard, force the kite forward in the wind window and track upwind.

DON’T RIDE TOO FAR INTO THE WIND:

Over edging your kiteboard will reduce your speed and cause you to sink.

USE THE CORRECT BOARD SPEED:

To go upwind better, you need to control your speed. If you go too fast, you’ll lose control of your board’s edge and will skip downwind. If you go too slow, you’ll sink and stop. Control your speed by controlling your board angle and bar tension. Once you get your board speed, lock in your edge and push hard with your back leg.  It is really important to maintain your board speed no matter what the wind is doing. 

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