Before getting into how to do a kiteboarding transition, you must first be able to ride upwind. If you cannot ride upwind consistently, then transitions will be far more difficult. Here are our three recommended steps to a transition.
Edge the front of the board into the wind —> as you edge the board into the wind push out slightly on the bar (***do NOT move the kite yet***) —> this should cause you to stop.
Practice slowing down and almost coming to a stop with the kite low.
- Keep the bar out
- Do not move the kite up or down yet
Once you almost come to a stop by edging the front of the board into the wind and pushing out on the bar is when step two starts. Step two is to gently pull in on the bar and slowly move the kite up and across the wind window. As the kite moves up the wind window push out slightly on the bar. Once the kite crosses the wind window pull back in for power. Make sure to keep your legs bent and to lean your weight away from the pull of the kite.
- Hands close together to slowly move the kite across the wind window
- Focus on bar tension -> as the kite comes up to 12 o’clock release some tension. Once its on the other side of the wind window pull back in on the bar.
Moving the kite across the wind window will cause you to go in the opposite direction **moving the kite slowly will help you better balance the tension in the bar**. For step three, make sure to go downwind with the board once the kite crosses the wind window. As soon as you build some speed begin cutting back into the wind.
- Ride downwind once the kite crosses 12 o’clock
- Think of riding in the opposite direction like a waterstart
Key Topics: Kiteboarding Transition
Your fundamentals are super important. You want to have a clear understanding of how to effectively steer a kite by angling the bar appropriately and balancing tension on the bar. To complete a kiteboarding transition you want good fundamentals and to be able to ride upwind!
People bringing the kite up first. This is WRONG. The reason this technique is wrong is because as you continue traveling in the same direction, the kite is now traveling to the opposite side of the wind window. By the time you stop the kite is already on the far edge of the wind window, the neutral zone, and you sink. You then have to bring the kite back up to 12 o’clock and start again.
Avoid this by almost coming to a stop with the kite low and in front of you, then move the kite up and across the wind window.
It is common for people to overthink what you need to do with the board. If you’re already edging the front of the board into the wind, then when it’s time to change direction, the back of the board is already pointing downwind. Just focus on trying to go upwind by edging the board into the wind before doing anything with the kite.
As the kite moves across the wind window, shift your weight away from the kite. ***Keep your legs bent*** —> having your legs bent in an athletic stance will increase your stability.
If you’re struggling with a kiteboarding transition take a lesson from us! We utilize a jetski to coach you through the key points while it’s happening in real time.