If you want to get into foilboarding, particularly foilboarding in lightwinds, there are a few key skills to know. With the right skills you can ride efficiently in 7-11 mph… with a 12m kite! So when the sea breezes lighten up during the summer time in St. Petersburg, FL, you’ll still be able to ride.
Key Point 1: Know Your Wind Window
I don’t mean know what the wind window is, everyone who kiteboards should know that, I mean be able to visualize it while you’re out on the water. You always want to know the wind angle and where downwind is. When kiteboarding in extreme light winds, you need to be able to position your kite as deep in the window as possible to maximize your power. This leads us to our next key point..
Key Point 2: Downloops
You can use downloops for many things when foilboarding in lightwinds, for example to waterstart or transition. You want to be at a point where you have 100% control over your loops. Know that a tight loop on the outside of the wind window will cause less power than a large loop closer to the center of the wind window. Your technique is very important, if you can’t downloop with two hands on the bar or differentiate between tight or long loops then schedule a short and custom lesson with us. We’ll take kiteloops one step further for our next key point.
Key Point 3: Be In Sync
Be in sync with your kite, especially when downlooping. Sometimes you’ll be in the middle of a downloop and you have all the power you need. You need to be able to turn that power off in an instant without crashing, stalling or dropping the kite out of the sky. Another trick we’ll do with the downloop is when the kite is climbing back up, we’ll sheet in to get upward lift. Be in sync with your kite and know how/ when to create or dump power.
Key Point 4: Your Board Creates Power
Your board creates power or dumps power by how you angle it. Most of us are used to leaning back and edging a twintip boards really hard into the wind to get upwind, this habit makes learning how to foilboard difficult. For foilboarding you want to start by pointing crosswind, lean forward and slightly point either upwind or downwind depending on how much power you need.
Extra Points to Know
- How to self rescue
- How to water relaunch in deep water and 10 mph of wind