Going Upwind with a Kite: Some Tips

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Upwind sailing point

Here are the secrets to improve your upwind:

  • First common mistake is to have too much power in your hands. A powerful kite will make you do a lot of effort for no reason and you will not make you able to learn the right technique.  The bar must transmit a normal pressure, that you should be able to contrast with the used of couple of fingers. To do all this with precision it is necessary to know how to trim (regulate) the kitesurf and this would be another immense chapter to be developed in all its many rules. Our instructor anyway will explain in details all you need to know.
  • The more you hold the kite low during navigation the more you will increase your boost but it will be much more complicated to move towards the wind, the more you will hold the kite towards the zenith the more you will easily move to the wind but you will loose power. This means that you will have to find the right compromise by moving the kite to and avarage position, and up and down if needed. With a lot of wind this movement will be less accentuated, but with a weak or gusty wind it will be essential to know how to move it to maintain your ride and continue your windward without drifting (technically: losing water).
  • The more you speed up, the more it gets complicated as dynamics and pressures that are difficult to manage come into the game. So make a fair, moderate speed that allows you to have everything under control without having to struggle because it is not the speed that will make you do the wind of life but rather it will be exactly the opposite.
  • We must try to transfer the force that the kite generates to the board thinking that the force generally develops in the center of the twintip and the rider must be able to move it further backwards or forward depending on the situation. The resistance that we exert on the kite throw through the upwind edge of the board (inclined between 10 and 50 degrees) must be combined with the right load that we put on the back foot focusing on sliding the board and keeping the front leg slightly bent (while the rear leg is totally bent) and soft.  Having the fornt leg totally straight is something that you will notice on the poeple kiting around you: anyway this will generate many more sketches and you will transmit many stresses to your whole body and every time you find wind holes in the sea, you will inexorably lose water. So, especially in the beginning of learnig path, it is really not recommended.
  • Turn the pelvis slightly with the shoulders towards the wind and look in the direction that you would like to reach. When you are learning you should always aim to point upwind, as long as when you learn this point of sailing you will be considered to be independent as long as you can come back to the beach alone. A fundamental concept, typical of all board sports, from surfing to skateboarding: the body follows the head. Do you want to turn right? Turn your head and look in that precise direction you want to go and first your shoulders, then your chest will turn in the same direction, allowing you to turn.


In conclusion, you do not learn anything with a really strong wind, you need to know what it means apparent wind and how to generate it with a wing of the right size because at sea the kite behaves in a very different way than on land and know it moving around in a constantly moving wind window is the thing that will make you “make a difference”.

Now it’s up to you to decide, if you want to continue to stay on the beach, continuing to find unnecessary excuses listening to unlikely theories or becoming that kiter over wind that is so talked about! 🙂

The next step

If you want to speed up your growth process with the kite the next step is to take one of our courses.

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Categories: Kite

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