If you want to prevent injury while kiteboarding, learning how to crash will help. It doesn’t matter what level you’re at, whether you’re learning new tricks or technical handlepasses.
Know Your Skill Level
Before you can run you must first learn how to crawl then walk. The same is true for kiteboarding, there’s a progression for every trick and it is important to stick to that progression. You wouldn’t be successful if you tried a Blind Judge without learning how to Raley or Raley to Blind first. Your chances of getting injured are greatly increased if you try a trick out of your skill level.
Whether you’re learning how to kite or learning how to do a double back roll, kite control is key. The better kite control you have, the better kiteboarder you will be. Having excellent kite control can also save you from a bad crash. If you know you’re going to crash you can use the kite to lessen the impact by redirecting it over you and sheeting in. A common mistake among riders when they first learn how to jump is to pendulum under the kite. The rider forgets to redirect the kite in the direction they want to go and therefor lose all tension in the kite and crash. Having awareness for where the kite is at all times will prevent bad crashes.
Know When To Bail
There’s an art to learning when to bail. If you want to progress, you need to accept the crashes. A lot of injuries occur when you try to force a trick that you most likely will not land. Know where you are in the air and if you feel like you’re off-balanced and there’s no way to recover, then brace yourself for a crash. When you’re bracing for a crash you want to continue to steer your kite. Kite control will help lessen your fall.
Understand How You May Get Injured
In some instances it’s important to understand how you could get injured. If you’re learning how to foilboard, you want to be cautious of the foil underneath the board and do what you can to keep the foil in the water or fall away from the foil. A lot of knee injuries that occur on unhooked tricks are from one foot coming out of a footstrap on a hard landing so it may be worth investing in a pair of boots at this level. Doing tricks close to shore is a recipe for disaster so always keep a safe distance from land.