Waterstarts can be one of the most challenging parts to kiteboarding. In this post we look at how to waterstart for kiteboarding. We break it down into 2 steps. Although there are other variables that need to be considered, we believe these 2 steps are the most important. If you’re struggling with waterstarts, take a lesson with us and we’ll be able to get you popping up on the board with control.
Pre Check For A Waterstart
Make sure you’re able to get the kiteboard on your feet. Being able to use one hand to balance the kite in one spot will help. When you go to put the board on your feet, push out on the bar.
Set yourself up for success. Angle the front of the board slightly into the wind. Use the ripples in the water as a point of reference. The ripples in the water will always run perpendicular to the direction of the wind. Bring the kite to 12 o’clock when you initiate the power stroke. In lightwinds or if underpowered, move the kite slightly to the opposite side of the direction you want to go before initiating a power stroke.
Keep both legs bent. Maintain an athletic stance from sitting in the water to standing on the board.
Step One: Initiate A Power Stroke
Being able to power stroke is the most important step. Before getting to the board you should know how to create and control power with the kite. You should be able to feel it in your finger tips and in the harness.
With the front of the board pointed slightly into the wind and the kite at 12 o’clock, initiate a power stroke. Pull in on the bar and dive the kite down. Once you begin to feel power in the harness, steer the kite up. Steering the kite up will pull you up on the board and stop the power of the kite
Variables To Consider
Things to consider are kite size, rider weight and wind speeds. With a bigger board, you can take out a smaller kite in lighter winds. Depending on how much power you have in the kite will determine how deep into the wind window you need to dive the kite.
Step Two: Ride Towards The Kite
Once you initiate a power stroke, ride towards the kite. Let the kite pull you up on the board. If you ride towards the kite you will not need as much power in the kite to get up. Think of this analogy, if you’re laying on the ground and someone tries to help you up. If you continue to lean into the ground the person will need more force to get you up than if you were to try and stand up.
Ride towards the kite just to stand up. Once you stand up, ride away from the kite to begin going upwind.
Although we break waterstarts down into two steps, it is very important to have fundamental kite control down. In our teaching plan, everything from the moment you hook into the kite in your first lesson is geared towards safely and efficiently riding. The better your kite control is, the easier it will be to get up on the board. No strength is required, it’s all about finesse!
Struggling with waterstarts? Take a private lesson on how to waterstart and we’ll get you going.
Have questions or stuck on a certain step? Send us a message!