Perhaps the easiest way to learn how to do a kiteboarding downloop is on a waterstart. This can be dangerous so it is important to choose the right conditions! Situational awareness is important when learning how to do a kiteboarding downloop. Here are a few variables to be aware of:
- Practice in underpowered conditions in under 15 kts of wind
- Keep a safe distance from the beach: at least three full kite lengths
- Walk far upwind from launch spot
- Avoid offshore conditions
- Make sure nobody is downwind or within your zone
The first thing to do is to get the board on and position the kite at 12 o’clock. If going to the left, loop the kite to the right. If going to the right, loop the kite to the left. Before initiating a kiteboarding downloop, make sure to be aware that your lines will crisscross. This is okay! Do not follow the lines with the bar or try to prevent the lines from crisscrossing. We will deal with this later.
One Key Point
The one key point to this trick is to pull one side of the bar in and push the other side of the bar out. If looping to the right, pull the right side in and push the left side of the bar out. Hold this position until the kite completes its loop and is pulling you to the left.
After completing the loop, the kite should pull you in a direction. If the kite was looped to the right, it should pull you to the left. Ride with the lines crisscrossed for a few seconds. Let go of the bar and spin the bar to straighten the lines. Continue riding.
The most common mistake is to try and follow the kite with the bar as the kite loops. The key point to focus on is creating tension on one side of the outside steering line and slack on the other. The harder you pull one side in and push the other side out, the quicker and easier the loop will be.
Another common mistake is trying to spin the bar too soon. The kite will still fly with the lines crisscrossed. Ride for a few seconds with the lines crisscrossed. Steer the kite slightly up, then let go and spin the lines.
Once comfortable with a waterstart downloop, here are some more tricks with a downloop involved: