The purpose of a downwind body drag is to learn how to generate power with the kite. We refer to the technique of generating power as a power stroke. This exercise is to get more familiar with the kite. It is to learn how to create and control power to get up on a board. We’ll go through the technique needed in the control bar.
Before getting into the technique you need to first have the fundamentals. The better understanding you have of the wind window, the more power strokes will make sense. Before even launching the kite, take a look at the wind and visualize the wind window for that wind direction.
Power strokes are taking the fundamental controls of steering a kite to the next level. The two fundamental controls to steering a kite are 1. balancing tension in the bar and 2. steering the kite. Get good at steering the kite by pulling one side in and pushing the other side out. Avoid steering the kite like you would drive a car.
Before going into the steps, make sure to get the kite in the correct position. For medium to strong winds position the kite at 12 o’clock. For lightwinds bring the kite to the opposite side of the wind window. If going left, bring the kite to 1 o’clock to start.
Make sure the kite is in the correct position to start. Step one is to pull in on the bar and dive the kite down.
Steer the kite up by pulling the top side of the bar in and pushing the bottom side out. A common mistake on this step is to spin the bar as if you were driving a car. Focus on keeping tension in the lines. One line should have tension while the other is slack. When the kite is traveling back up, push out a little on the bar.
This step stops the kite from diving down. Once the kite stops diving, it stops power. To begin with this exercise, practice by pulling the top side in as soon as you dive the kite. This will limit your power and make it more manageable.
How To Downwind Body Drag
A downwind body drag is an extension of the power stroke. Its doing multiple power strokes to generate consistent pull with the kite. The purpose of this exercise is to get familiar with the power of the kite. It is to control and understand the power needed to get up on the board.
Control and technique are the two most important focus points. To control this exercise, start slow. Make sure to work the kite between 12 and 10 o’clock if going left. If going right, keep the kite between 12 and 2 o’clock. The faster the kite moves, the more power can be generated. For technique, focus on tension in the bar and steering the kite appropriately.
Avoid moving the kite all across the wind window. For example, if going left, the kite shouldn’t reach 1 o’clock. Keep the kite going in the same direction.
The deeper the kite goes into the wind window, more power is generated. To get the kite deeper into the wind window, bring the kite opposite of the start direction. If going left, bring the kite to 1 o’clock to initiate the dive. If going right, bring the kite to 11 o’clock. The kite will cross closer to the center of the wind window generating more power.
This is one of the most important exercises when learning how to kiteboard. If you’re struggling to understand or control the power of the kite, schedule a lesson with us. We’ll get you rocking in no time!