Kite Control can be broken down into two parts. The first part that this article will talk about will be balancing tension or “finding the sweet spot”. Your sweet spot along the bar is where you have enough tension that the kite steers based on your input but not so much tension that the kite pulls you.
The next part is steering the kite. We talk about the proper technique for steering a kite in this other article.
Best Kite Control: Relaxed Grip
The key point to finding your sweet spot or right amount of tension is to keep a relaxed grip. This is necessary to being able to “feel” the right amount of tension. A natural reaction is to grip the bar tight with white knuckles. The problem with a tight grip is that you can’t feel the right amount of tension.
Steering with the bar too far out
If you’re steering the kite with the bar pushed all the way out, then there’s not enough tension on the outside lines to steer the kite. In this situation your outside lines will have a lot of slack. Even if you have the bar angled hard, the kite will not respond. To correct this, pull in on the bar until you feel the kite respond to your input. Rather than have dramatic bar angles to steer the kite, pull in on the bar so there’s enough tension on the outside lines that the kite responds to subtle movements. When the kite begins moving it will generate power so ease out on the bar when it responds to your input.
Steering with the bar too far in
The most common mistake is steering with the bar too far in. This is what most people do when they are learning. A common misconception is that you need to be strong to kiteboard. If you need to be strong then there must be a lot of bar tension. This is not true! There is light enough bar tension that even a young girl can control the kite.
This point here is why you should take lessons. A natural reaction when you experience a pull is to pull back. The problem with this while kiteboarding is that the kite is stronger than you. We are not trying to muscle the kite. We are trying to finesse the steering. A relaxed grip will help you balance tension.
Balancing bar tension is important from launching a kite to riding the board. There’s a “sweet spot” that you want to feel. The key point to balancing the right amount of tension is to keep a super relaxed grip.
If you find yourself struggling to control the kite, contact us. We will get you on the right track with the right muscle memory to progress.