Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Getting up on your board

You have been through a few lessons, you are really excited that you now understand what figure 8's are, you can fly the kite one handed and have bodydragged to your hearts content.  Its now time to put a board on your feet!
This is it, you are becoming a fully fledged kiteboarder, however this is the part that most people struggle with, its a bit like patting your head and rubbing your tummy, you have to do two independent actions at the same time and not concentrate too much on one or the other.
I am not an instructor, please take proper lessons to learn to kitesurf, however I do have a few tips that helped me during those early stages and I find are the most common mistakes I see newbies make:

1 - Don't pull the bar in when you are starting. As you stand up you decrease the tension in your lines which depowers your kite, you have to counteract this by moving the bar (or your arms) a little. You can't do this when your bar is pulled all the way in. Pulling the bar in when you are kiting will power you up, but it has the opposite effect when you are starting because of the movement of your body.
You might not notice you are pulling the bar in, but its the most common mistake with beginners as they don't account for their body moving forward towards the kite as they stand up.

2 - Point your board downwind. When you put your board on and your kite is at 12 your board will be pointing at 9 and 3 O'clock. If you are going left, point the tip of your board at 10 and the back at 4 O'clock. When you power up your kite to start your kite will fly from 12 to 10 O'clock, meaning that the tip of your board should point at your kite.

3 - When you are riding, don't bend at your waist, this is causes you to be too flat on your board and faceplant or go downwind really FAST! Push the bush a little more and lean back a bit, this will help you to go upwind.
 You will lose you board during this period, try to learn your board skills in waist height water so you can walk back to your board and try again :)

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