kiteboarding lessons is a very exciting time for any beginning kiteboarder.

With so much information being thrown at you in such a limited amount of time, beginners are often left with dozens of unanswered questions. While this guide should never take the place of actual kiting lessons, it does serve a great purpose of providing beginning kiteboarders and advanced riders alike with a reference for introducing and teaching the essentials of kiteboarding to those interested in the sport. Please feel free to copy this document and give it out to anyone and everyone who is thinking about getting into kiteboarding. All that we ask is that you give credit to the authors who dedicated their extra time to help us put this together.

Taking

Besides the wind, you also need to check the quality of the launch area. You always need to be aware of your safety zone – the half-circle of area downwind of you that your kite can fly over. If there are any solid objects or people in this zone, you should seriously reconsider launching your kite. A good rule of thumb is any object downwind of you within five line lengths should be considered a hazard. When getting ready to launch your kite, you always want to ask yourself what would happen if everything went completely wrong. If you lost control of your kite and it started pulling you, what would happen? If there are any solid objects around that cause you to worry when you ask yourself this question, find another site. So, what is the ideal place to learn to kiteboard? A place with steady side-shore to side-on winds of at least 12 knots (but not too much wind for the equipment you have) and a huge sandy beach with no solid objects downwind. In the ideal world, you would also add flat, shallow water. However, these ideal sites are rare, and there most likely isn’t one in your area. Choosing a site is ultimately a judgment call; a trade off of positives and negatives of the site. Knowing your limits is the key to your safety. Always talk to the locals if you are new to a spot, and they can help you decide if the beach is good for your skill level.

- Ryan Riccitelli Editor, The Kiteboarder Magazine

Learning the Wind
By Paul Lang o, you’ve decided you want to be a kiteboarder? You’ve seen a few people doing it at the local beach, and have probably seen it on TV a few times. You’ve even got a little wakeboarding and surfing experience, so it should be easy, right? While almost anybody can learn to kiteboard if persistent enough, learning on your own is just downright foolish. Kiteboarding equipment is not cheap, so think of lessons as an investment just like your kite or board. What good does saving $350 on lessons do you if you destroy your $1500 kite, or even worse, potentially end up in the hospital? When learning to kiteboard, remember that kiteboarding is a wind sport. It might seem silly that I bring this up, but it is often overlooked. Everything we do in kiteboarding is controlled by the wind, so it is extremely important to have a solid understanding of wind and how it relates to our sport. Most people without previous wind sport experience have a hard time finding where the wind is coming from because they’ve never had to think of it before. The first thing any kiteboarder should do when they arrive at their spot is find where the wind is coming from. There are a few ways of doing this that work better than licking a finger and holding it up.

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Anything on the ground, and/or near your kite and launch person can be a hazard. Don’t be afraid to move or find a more open space to launch if you feel the least bit wary.

Always take a good look at your launch area. There is nothing more dangerous than an unsuspecting person that is ill equipped to escape an out of control kite.

Lens: Ryan Riccitelli

There is no easier way to find out wind direction than by searching out a flag. Wind direction is a key factor in determining the safety of a site.

Watch your lines!! Getting snagged, or tangled could cause your kite to launch erractically endangering you and others in the path of the kite.

Finding the Wind
One of the best ways to find the wind direction is to look for a flag. Flags always point downwind, and also give a good indication of how windy it is. You can also find the wind direction by moving your head from side to side. When facing straight upwind, you will feel an equal pressure in both ears. Holding your arms out also helps you gauge direction. Ripples on the surface of the water are another good wind indicator, as they move downwind. Until it becomes second nature, you should constantly be reminding yourself where the wind is coming from, especially if you are having trouble flying your kite.
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Lens: Jim Semlor

Estimating the Wind Speed
It is also crucial that you check the wind speed where you want to kiteboard. Not only do you need to have enough wind to ride, but it’s also important that there is not too much wind for the equipment that you have. Despite what some may claim, the lower limit to learn to kiteboard is about 12 knots. In less wind than this, it can be extremely difficult to relaunch your kite from the water. If you have trouble estimating what the wind speed is, the best thing to do is to look at what size kite other riders are flying of comparable weight and skill level, and talk to other kiters on the beach. If you aren’t sure if

you have the proper size kite for the conditions, don’t hesitate to ask someone more knowledgeable. Wind quality is an important aspect of the wind that most beginners overlook. The better the wind quality, the steadier the wind is, both in its speed and direction. Gusty or shifty winds make riding challenging and learning very difficult and frustrating. The best way to judge the wind quality is to look out on the water, watching the texture of the wind on the water. The more even the texture, the better the wind quality. If you see a very obvious distinction between light and dark patches on the surface of the water, the wind quality could be too low to go out.

Choosing a Riding Spot
Choosing the proper site to learn to kiteboard is one of the most important decisions you can make when learning to kiteboard. Rigging up and attempting to go out in less than ideal conditions can not only be frustrating, but can also be very dangerous. When you get to the beach, the first thing you want to check is the wind. You need to know direction, speed, and the quality of the wind.

dangerous for kiteboarders because the wind is always trying to pull you away from shore. Offshore winds are gusty and can be extremely dangerous in a large body of water (like the ocean). As a general rule, even experienced kiters should never go out in these conditions.

and if you make a mistake, you could find yourself dragging across solid objects or lofted into something hard with a fully powered kite.

Onshore Winds: Onshore winds blow from
the sea directly onto land. Beginner kiteboarders should almost always avoid learning to ride in onshore winds unless you have assistance from an instructor or proper supervision. Your kite is always pulling you towards the shore,

Side-Shore Winds: This is what you are looking for as a kiter. Side-shore winds blow parallel to the shore and make the beach easy to safely leave and return to.
Combination winds are also common such as side-on or side-off. When learning to kiteboard, the best conditions are side to side-on (with the wind blowing onto the beach no more than 45-degree angle).

Offshore Winds: These winds blow from the land to the sea. Offshore winds are

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Lens: Rick Iossi

Getting a two-line trainer kite, with or without the aid of an instructor, is the perfect place to start with your kite experience. Most often these kites can be bought for under $100.00

Picking the right board shape and size for your riding conditions and skill level will aid your learning curve.

For light wind days, or for venturing out into the surf, adding a kite-specific surfboard to your quiver will be a must.

Judging Conditions
By Lindy Devries and Shanna DeVries-Merrill

A few years back, a kiter from our crew was lofted 20 feet into the air and drug into a snow fence. The rider escaped serious injury only by sheer luck. The same week, another rider was fatally injured under similar circumstances. These events and others around the world reinforce the importance of knowing and evaluating weather conditions.

Here are some safety tips to help you judge conditions:
Gauge the wind speed. Small whitecaps start to form at about 13 knots, and sand blows at just over 20 knots. Don’t go out in conditions that are above your skill level – you might get more air than you’re ready for. Usually 13-20 knots is ideal for a beginner. Don’t go out in surf you wouldn’t be willing to paddle out in. Whatever the conditions, you should never go out further than you can swim. Cold water can be dangerous. Use the 100º rule: air and water temperatures must add up to 100º to kite in the water. Always wear an appropriate suit for conditions. Going in the water without an adequate wetsuit is never fun, and puts you at risk for hypothermia. Check the weather forecast. Always! Watch for predictions of a quick and significant drop in temperature. This indicates a low-pressure system moving in with strong winds. This also can set the stage for storms and squalls, so watch the sky. If it’s black, head on back to the beach or do not go out.
There are many harnesses to choose from. Make sure yours fits right, and compliments your bar and riding style. Learning control and steering on a small kite will speed up your learning curve on an inflatable kite.
Photographs courtesy of REAL Kiteboarding

Your first purchase will be your kite. Knowing the wind you will be kiting in, as well as having a list of essential features will help you narrow your choice to quiver size and brand.
Lens: Jim Semlor

By Matt Nuzzo

By Paul Lang

Storm indicators:
- Fast moving squall lines, which look like a wall of dark clouds. - Fluffy white cumulus clouds growing taller and flatter at the top, resembling anvils. These are thunderheads or cumulonimbus clouds, which are indicative of gusty winds and storms. - Cirrocumulus, or “mackerel sky,” looks like thin lines of clouds packed closely together. This tends to precede turbulent weather conditions, including spotty precipitation and storms. - Mammatococumulus clouds, which look like the udders of a cow, can produce the funnel clouds of tornadoes. - A rush of cool air usually precedes a thunderstorm by about three miles. - You can estimate the distance of a storm by counting the seconds between lightning and corresponding thunder. Thunder takes about five seconds to travel one mile. Don’t wait until the storm is overhead – lightning is most common around the perimeter. If you ever see lightning, play it safe and stay off the water.
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hen you make the decision that you want to become a kiteboarder, one of the best things you can do for yourself is to go buy a trainer kite before your lesson. Trainer kites are cheap and can be passed on to friends or family. It is important to understand that flying a trainer kite is not exactly like flying the real thing. What trainer kites do well is teach you the mechanics of steering the kite and show you the wind window.

Trainer

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movements should be similar to Tai Bo punches. Concentrate on pushing away with the opposite hand, as most people have a tendency to pull with both hands. If you are steering the bar like a steering wheel, you are spazzing out and need to think back to Billy Blank’s Tai Bo punches.

he kiteboarding industry has been rapidly growing ever since Bruno Legaignoux made the first leading edge inflatable (LEI or C) kite. Every year we have seen some quality improvements in kites and boards, but 2006 has proven that this year’s gear is insane. Working at REAL we get to try almost all major manufacturer’s equipment, and I have to say that there were very few kites this year that we didn’t like. The new C style kites have much better wind range and usability, while the bow/flat/SLE kites have really stepped into a whole new realm of depower and functionality.

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CHOOSING YOUR QUIVER
When you are buying your gear you need to address a few main issues. These considerations will be your body weight and the wind conditions you will be riding in, the quality of the product and the reputation of the manufacturer, and your personal goals within the sport. Addressing the size and wind range that you will most typically be kiteboarding in is really the most critical consideration for choosing the right gear. For the average size male a good starting kite for most places will be a 12m to 13m. From there, add a 16m or 17m if you live in a lighter wind area, or an 8m or 9m for high wind riding. Your average sized woman will start out with a 9m or 10m and build her quiver starting with the larger or smaller kite sizes depending on the local conditions. The best thing to do is to talk to local shops and riders, who can help determine the best size kite for your area. Typically, you can cover 90% of all of your kiteboarding needs with three kites in your quiver.

WHAT ARE YOUR RIDING GOALS?
Finally, when choosing gear make sure that you get what is going to work best for the type of rider that you are and the type of rider that you want to become. We have seen people as young as 8 and as old as 78 out kiteboarding. These two types of kiteboarders have different needs, and so do all of the people in the middle.. Are you a big jumper, wakestyle, or a cruiser? There is gear out there best suited to each style of riding.

BOARD SELECTION
We always recommend getting a board that is one step above your ability level. We teach people to first ride on monster 170 to 180cm boards. They work great for learning, but most will outgrow this size in a couple of weeks of riding. Our most popular size board for a first time buyer is a 140 to151cm. I personally ride a Jimmy Lewis Model III 133cm board for all around powered conditions and the same board model but 145cm for light wind days.

LEARN THE WIND WINDOW
Once you feel you have good kite control it is time to learn about the wind window. The window is defined as anywhere the kite will fly. Along the edge of the window, where the kite is far upwind, the kite has the least amount of power and will respond slowly. The more downwind you fly the kite, the more power it will produce and the faster it will react. Practice flying the kite on the edge of the window, without powering it up. This will allow you to keep the kite in the air with minimal pull. Also practice doing figure 8s with the kite, Start at the top of the window and dive the kite down vertically towards the ground, then back up to the top of the window. Practice until flying your trainer becomes second nature. By spending time with your trainer kite, you will be able to progress more quickly and get more out of your first kiteboarding lesson.

CUTTING THROUGH THE HYPE
With so much gear on the market it can be really hard to weed through all the propaganda and see what kite and board will work for you. One manufacturer’s write up on their bow kite might say it is best suited for the safety-oriented beginner, while the next promotes that it is a high end wave killer, which is sure to leave anyone questioning who is it for, the beginner or the advanced rider? The answer is that many of the kites on the market will work for the beginner, but they will also perform for the advanced rider. With most other sports you need to upgrade your equipment as you increase your ability. With kiteboarding, if you buy the right kites, the only time you will need to upgrade them is when you ride them into the dirt or want to add more sizes to your quiver.

GETTING STARTED
Lay out the kite on the sand with the bridles up and the trailing edge towards the wind. Put sand on the trailing edge. Starting at the kite, unwind your lines by walking upwind. Straighten your lines by walking between them and attach them to your kite. When you are ready, simply tug on the bar and the kite should launch.

WHO CAN YOU TRUST?
Your second consideration in getting geared up is finding the kite and board manufacturer that has a good reputation and that you trust. There are a lot of brands out there; some are backed by good companies, and some are not. Through the R&D process, there will always be some ideas that just don’t work out in reality, and it is important to buy gear from a company you are confident will back up their products. Do a little research to find a company that you are confident will be able to service your needs as a consumer.

GET OUT THERE!
The main thing you need to consider is that the longer that you wait to get your new gear, the less time you will have on the water. If you already kiteboard, 2006 is your year to upgrade your equipment. If you are just starting to kiteboard, you need to remember the words of our friend Matt Raincock : “If you don’t learn to kiteboard now, you will still suck this time next year!”
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STEERING
Now that you have the kite in the air, the first thing you want to learn is how to steer. The way you steer a kite is by rotating it. You can rotate the kite to the left or right, and it will move in whatever direction you point it. To rotate the kite left, pull with your left hand and push with your right. Your

Taking a close look at the leading edge profile shows in the difference between a Bow Kite and C-Kite.

Don’t Skip This Step!
By Matt Nuzzo

By Matt Nuzzo

Bridles attached along the leading edge of SLE (Supported Leading Edge) kites, also referred to as Bow, Flat and Hybrid kites, control the kite’s angle of attack, allowing users to ‘dump’ air easily for wider depower range.

The wingtip of a traditional C-Kite is much smaller than the new designs of a Bow kite.

uning your kite is the most important piece of gear tech that you can learn. An improperly tuned kite will not only fly poorly, but it could potentially hurt you or others around you. There are a few characteristics that will be specific to the type of kite that you are flying. Get these key points down and you can make sure that you have a properly tuned kite.

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Fly your kite:
To get the proper tune on your kite you need to test your bar and kite match up. Many brands bars and kites are interchangeable if you have them tuned right. Getting all lines equal length is your best way to start, but flying your kite will really tell you if the kite is tuned properly. The best time to do this with any size kite is on the 10mph day. That is enough wind to keep the kite stable in neutral, but not enough wind to have everything go wrong if the kite is not tuned properly. Flying your kite on light wind days will not only make sure that it is tuned right, but you can practice valuable skills like self-launching and self-landing.

This is how your kite should look when it is properly depowered, with back lines slack.

Tuning a C Kite:
Test your bar:
You have to test your bar. If you don’t, this could be the problem with your riding that you could not figure out. Obviously it is not good to blame all of your riding problems on your gear, but an improperly tuned kite is one of the most common problems that we see people having on the beach. Generally speaking, all 4 or 5 lines should be the same length when you attach them to a single point. The wild card in this is the 5th line. The leading edge bridle length will determine how long the 5th line needs to be. The main point is that your two center or power lines need to be the same length as your rear lines when the lines are attached to a fixed point and the chicken loop is hitting the bar. If your rear lines are too short it will choke off the kite and make it fall backwards out of the sky. If the back lines are too long then the kite will not steer. If the 5th line is too long the safety will not work and if it’s too short, it will make the kite fly too forward in the wind window and not have any power.

Tuning a SLE Kite:
Test your bar:
SLE( Supported Leading Edge)/bow-style kites use a 4-line bar unique to their particular design. The main difference with the SLE kite bar is that it is has an extremely long chickenloop line. The bridle on an SLE kite will allow your kite to pivot off of the LE and dump a lot of power as you sheet the bar out. Tuning the bar is similar to most other standard 4 or 5-line bars in the sense that with the chicken loop at the bar, all 4 lines should be equal length.

Lens: Ryan Riccitelli

he SLE or ‘bow’ style kite is not new. This shape was one of the first types of kites made, but was abandoned because of complications that the original designs had. With their rebirth in 2006, there’s a lot of hype behind these designs. Having ridden a lot of the different styles, below are the major differences between SLE and classic C-shaped kites.

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TECH TIME!
. First we need to talk about the obvious di ferences between bow and C kites. The most obvious is the look of the kite. The C kite has a C-shaped leading edge, and has been the standard for the past five years. The SLE kite has a flatter profile, very swept back wingtips, and the leading edge is supported by a bridle. C kites can be flown on 4 and 5-line bars whereas bow kites are only 4-line.

PERFORMANCE
Next we can look at the major performance characteristics. The C kite will traditionally have smooth power output, light bar pressure, fast turning speed, a variety of safety releases, and overall ease of use. The SLE kite has a large wind range, handles gusts well, rapid

depower, and the option for hooked in safety release. The 2006 C kites have seen a great increase in wind range and usability. They have always been well rounded, but it seems that this year’s batch is particularly user friendly. Also, most C kites are rigged from the manufacturer with 5th line safety. I think the 5th line safety is by far the safest system on the market. A lot of manufacturers have introduced the SLE or bow style kites into their kite line-ups this year and the most noticeable feature is the wind range that these kites have. The chicken loop is twice as long as a C kite, which combined with the flat profile of the kite and leading edge bridle allows the kite to dump power on command. This feature can be a little challenging for the first time rider because you can turn the power on and off so fast. However, if you know how to ride a chicken loop bar, the range of these kites is impressive. Most of the SLE kite manufacturers promote letting go of your bar for the safety release. That can work in normal power situations, but in overpowered conditions can be very dangerous. Overall, the SLE kites are user friendly and have a lot of de-power, but they can be challenging to selflaunch and self-land.

THE CHOICE IS YOURS
You should buy a C kite if you want a reliable and tested safety system (5th line), smooth power output, performance for the beginner to the advanced rider, easy self launch and self landing, and a proven design. Buy the SLE kite if your riding area is extremely gusty and want to have maximum wind range, the latest in tech, 4-line ease of use, easy re-launch, and a safety system that can activate while you are hooked in.

Photos courtesy of southcoastkiteboarding.com

An example of a perfectly powered kite with even line tension.

Check your tuning in neutral:
The SLE kite is a little harder to see if it is not tuned right because of the very swept back wingtips. The swept back wingtips will not flare out if the kite has too much back line tension like the C kite will, so it is hard to visually tell if the SLE kite is not tuned right. You will find out if you have too much back line tension if the kite starts to back down out of the sky. To get the kite back to neutral you can sheet out the bar and just like the C kite, the SLE kite will climb back to the neutral position. A properly tuned SLE kite will sit parked in the neutral position when your bar is about 6” away from the top of the chicken loop. Just like the C kite, the most common SLE kite error is too much back line tension. For both C and SLE kites it is best to have a little more front line tension than back line tension.

When you have too much backline tension, the wingtips flair out and the kite becomes unstable.

Look at the wingtips: The wingtips on your C kite will tell you what is going on with the kite. The key thing to look for is to make sure that the wingtip of the kite is parallel with the wind direction. If the wingtips look really flared out or opened to the wind, it means that there is too much back line tension and the kite is being choked off. Choking off the kite is one of the most common problems in tuning the kite, so if the kite is falling backwards in the wind window or if the wingtips look flared out, this is probably the issue. To fix this problem you can adjust the tuning knots at the kite, pull the depower strap, or sheet the kite out to reduce the back line tension.
Lens: Sa nder Le n10

Fly your kite:
See part 3 of C kite tuning
ing Kiteboard Lens: North

A little advice on deciphering

the growing buyer’s market

Tip: Test your new kites and boards on light wind days and take the time to work through all settings
a board, the more responsive and lightweight it will be, but it will also be more delicate. Durability is an important factor, but don’t get so hung up on the durability that you get the wrong board. Most people will not break their board from riding unless they start to hit sliders or just generally abuse it. Put your feet in a board and make sure the pads and straps fit your feet. You can get most boards with fins only and add on the pads and straps that you want. There are a lot of good accessories out there and you can mix and match them if the ones that come with your board don’t work for your feet. Finally, invest in a board bag. Most of the wear that my boards take happens in the back of my truck or taking it in and out of my truck. A board bag will add a lot of life to your board, so the $50 will pay off in the long run. you will be kiteboarding on. Don’t be afraid of all of the new gear and the different kites on the market. There’s a lot of good stuff out there and not getting geared up now will leave you behind the times. Get good advice from people that have ridden the gear you are interested in, and buy what seems right for you. Try to read between the lines of hype and dial in a kite and board combo that will best suit your needs and riding conditions. Remember that everyone is different and has different likes and dislikes. The most important part is honing in on your gear needs and getting what will best serve you for the long run.

Basics for your new Gear
When you get your new gear, make sure you do a few things to be sure that you understand your gear. The best thing is to test your kites and boards on the light wind days. Go to the beach or local park (with a very wide berth!) and fly your kites. Change the tuning knots and see what makes the kite fly the best. Test the safety system and practice selflaunching and self-landing. To dial in your board, ride it behind a boat or a jet-ski if you can before your first session. You will not only improve your board skills, but it will also increase your comfort level on the board that

Don’t get confused and don’t tech out too much! You will drive yourself mad if you believe all the hype from every company and person on the beach. You need to assess what conditions you are going to ride in, what manufacturer you believe in, and what your goals are in kiteboarding. That will weed out a lot of kites right there. Once you get a gut feeling for what you want, go for it. At Real, we get the opportunity to ride most kites on the market and there were very few this year we did not like.
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As a trend, we have been seeing a lot of people going for SLE kites for 12m and smaller, and C kites for their larger kites. One of the reasons for this is that SLE kites tend to have more bar pressure that gets heavier as the kites get bigger. Many of the new C kites have very light bar pressure, and this is consistent from 5m to 25m kites in many manufacturers kite line-ups. For boards, you should get one that is a bit above your ability level if you are learning, but

most of the time a 140 to 151cm would be a great starting point. For powered conditions you can get a board based on your body weight. We see most people 100-140 lbs going with 120 to 132cm boards. For 140-180 lbs, most are riding boards in the 128 to 138cm range. For the 180lbs + mark, 132 to 142cm boards are the most popular sizes. The other considerations that you need to look at with boards are price, durability, and accessories. Generally, the more you spend on

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Want more water time? Learn how to self-launch
iving and riding in Cape Hatteras, you would be surprised how many good kiteboarders we come across who cannot self-launch or self-land their own kites. We are not talking about just beginners here. There are many riders who can stay upwind, jump, ride waves, and even pull basic tricks but cannot launch and land their kites by themselves.

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The ability to self-launch and self-land not only gives you the confidence to take a session anywhere in the world, but also directly addresses these questions:
“What if I’m the last one off the beach going out for a session?” “What if I’m the first one back to the beach after a session?” “In these situations, who will help me with my kite when there are no other kiteboarders around?”

Fold wingtip and secure with lots of sand.

Double check lines are free.

Photos courtesy of Realkiteboarding.com

By Bart Gaska

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Attach safety leash before you launch.

Reconfirm you are positioned correctly.

A major part of Kiteboarder Safety and Responsibility is taking responsibility for your actions and gear. While you would always prefer to have a fellow kiteboarder assist you in launching and landing your kite, it is far safer to self-launch and self-land than it is to rely on a non-kiteboarder, if there are no other kiters around. Non-kiteboarders can easily make a mistake, grab the wrong side of the kite, or release the kite before you are ready, opening up a titanic can of trouble that you never saw coming. By practicing self-launching and landing on light wind days, you will be ready for your first self-launch/land on the next windy day. As with any launch and landing, it’s important to follow the basics. As you travel from beach to beach, wind directions change, and it can be easy to lose your bearings and set yourself up incorrectly for the launch or land. To properly orientate yourself, stand with your back to the wind and extend your arms straight out to the sides. Sighting down your arms will show you the edge of the wind window, where the kite and rider should be positioned for a self-launch. Failure to orientate yourself and your gear in this manner can result in you “hot launching” the kite too far downwind, or having the kite upwind too much causing it to roll through the window to the hot launch position. Your wind window travels with you on the beach and water, anywhere you travel to kite in the world. Using the above method for wind direction will help you properly orientate yourself to any beach with any wind direction. Once you have defined the edge of the wind window, bring your kite there and secure the lower wingtip with sand. Grabbing one wingtip, let the rest of the kite follow the direction of the wind. Secure this wingtip to the beach by folding it over and piling a GENEROUS amount of sand on top of it. If you are self-launching on grass or other non-sand surfaces, using a sandbag to secure your wingtip can also do the trick. Double check that your lines are not folded around strut ends, pulleys, etc. and that they are tangle free back to your bar. As you walk from your kite to your bar, always keep an eye on your kite to make sure it -stays secured to the beach or ground surface. For SLE kites, you self launch the same way except you may want to put a little sand on the inside of the kite before you fold over the wingtip for extra stability. Never set your kite up for self-launch and then leave it that way. ONLY set up your kite for self-launch when you are ready to launch your kite. Once it is set up for self-launch, launch your kite immediately and get out on the water. For maximum safety, always remember to launch unhooked whenever possible.
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Maybe you’ve seen it before… a fellow kiteboarder rigs his lines up wrong, has an out-ofcontrol kite, or is being lofted right before your very eyes. While there is no doubt that safety systems have improved over the past few years, knowing and understanding your safety release options is imperative to kiting safely. Following are a few of the common systems you will see.

Photographs courtesy of REAL Kiteboarding

Pin Release – Most safety systems have some kind of a pin or Velcro release. Find out if it is activated by a push or pull motion and if it can be easily put back together before you have to use it. Practice using it and putting it back together until you can do it without looking. The standard wrist leash – It will depower the kite if you let go of the bar while unhooked. If you are hooked in, you have to first release your harness loop, either by unhooking or by pulling your pin release. Practice doing this BEFORE you get into a bad situation. If your system has a ring attachment for a leash, make sure it attached to the moving ring, not the fixed ring! Oh Sh!t Handles – Some riders choose to rely on these in lieu of a leash. To activate, you have to grab hold of the handle while releasing your chicken loop. This is not an ideal system, because it can be very difficult to grab the handle in an emergency situation. Punch-out – Some older designs utilize punch-out safety systems. You can activate it by simply pushing the bar away from you. Recon – This is a Cabrinha specific system that should be fully understood and practiced before ever going out on the water. Generation One and Two bars are very different, so be sure that you understand exactly how yours works.

Do one last visual check.

Check your lines again.

Rule: Never let a random bystander catch your kite. One wrong move and they could seriously hurt them self and you. 1. The international signal for kite landing assistance is tapping your head a few times with your hand. 2. Steer your kite slowly to the edge of the window (preferably toward the water) in the direction of your kite catcher.
Slowly pull bar to tension lines/kite. Commit with firm pull to launch.

By Trip Forman

3. Steady the speed as you lower the kite gently into your kite catcher’s hands. 4. Once you see that your kite catcher has the kite, unhook and go secure your kite to the beach.

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Landing Eitquette- ALWAYS help another kiteboarder land their kite. Don’t be that guy who is too cool for school to help out. The beach is a safer place with assisted launching and landing.

Bring kite up slowly.

Learning how to self-land could save you in a pinch
Once back at your bar, attach your safety leash and get ready to launch your kite. You will need to reconfirm that you are positioned correctly with the wind direction. To do this, slowly pull the bar to tension the lines and kite. Check the kite to make sure it is properly filled with wind and ready for launch. If it is luffing, move yourself upwind. If it is filled with wind and turning into the wind down towards the sand, this means that you are positioned too far upwind. Before launching, move yourself downwind to bring the kite closer to the edge of the wind window. All of these pre-launch checks are performed while the kite is still secured to the beach. Once you have found the proper position, firmly pull the bar towards yourself to release the sand from the lower wingtip. Slowly raise the kite upwards, grab your board and head out onto the water.
By Trip Forman

ifferent types of kites (4-line, 5th line, and SLE/bow style) require different styles of self-landing. Without a doubt, I think the safest and easiest type of kite to self-land is the 5th line. The 5th line leads straight to the center of the leading edge and grabs the kite “by the balls,” just like how you walk it down the beach. In this position, the kite will generate absolutely no power. To self-land a 5th line kite, make sure there is nothing downwind of you, and your leash is secured only to the 5th line. Unhook from the chicken loop and release the bar. All tension will transfer to the 5th line, causing the kite to flip upside down and float powerless to the land or water surface. Walk hand over hand up the 5th line until you get to the kite and secure it to the beach. NEVER wrap any kite lines around your hands.

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ground and slowly roll, without power, downwind. Walk your way up the line your leash is attached to, until you get to the kite and can secure it. Never wrap kite lines around your hands. Use a hand over hand method, quickly making your way to the kite. Properly secure your SLE kite to the land with plenty of sand or a heavy sandbag to make sure it doesn’t blow away. If your SLE kite does not have a ring/ring system on the front or back line, position your kite at the edge of the window near the ground. Fully depower your kite with your depower strap or trim cleat. With your safety leash attached to the chicken loop/safety leash attachment point, release the bar and the kite will fall powerless to the ground at the side of the window. Secure your chicken/leash point to the ground and walk your way quickly up the front line closest to the ground until you get to the kite and can secure it. Taking the time to learn the skills of selflaunching and landing will help to make you a more independent kiteboarder. Remember that you would always prefer to do an assisted launch or land with a fellow kiteboarder, but the ability to launch and land your kite on your own will come in handy when you find yourself to be the only kiter on the beach.

5th Line – Every company has their own way of activating their 5th line safety, so familiarize yourself with how your system works. 5th line systems give your existing set-up extra depower and allow for easier re-launchability than standard 4line set ups. If your kite is not 5th line compatible, you can get your local repair guy to do it for $20. The 5th line safety is largely acknowledged as the safest system currently on the market, but you can rip your kite in half if it rolls in the surf and the 5th line is wrapped around the kite. Bow/SLE/Flat kites – These kites haven’t been on the market long enough to determine the pros and cons of the various kites and bars. However, almost full depower can be achieved by simply pushing the bar away from you or letting it go. Suicide Leash – This leash is used by advanced riders who don’t want their kite to drop from the sky if they accidentally let go of the bar during an insane trick. It will NOT de-power your kite and can be very dangerous.
All kites are designed with one or more safety systems. Before your first session on new gear, understand how to activate and reset your safety releases. If in doubt, refer to your kite’s manual or ask a fellow kiteboarder. Keep yourself and others safe.

The safest way to self land your SLE kite is to combine the benefits of the SLE, with the proven methods of the 4-line self landing. Position your kite at the edge of the window, near the ground, with your safety leash attached to the ring/ring system on either your front (preferred) or your back lines. Unhook from the chicken loop and release the control bar. The kite will fall to the

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Keep your hand close to the center of bar to avoid over flying your kite. Lens: Mercedes Miccio/TKB

This is the ideal body position to go upwind and looks cool.

By Michael Giebelhaus

Everyone will lose their board while kiteboarding, whether you are just learning the sport or trying the latest trick. Couple this with currents, wind, and waves and you will be missing your board before you know it. Unless you have a buddy willing to dedicate their session to retrieving your board, you better know how to get back to it yourself! Follow the steps below to learn how to body drag upwind:

To be able to stay upwind while kiting, you first have to understand the main two components of going upwind: Proper Equipment and Proper Technique.

Proper Equipment
To get yourself upwind, you need a kite that will generate the proper amount of power for the board you are riding. Too little power and you will find yourself having to head downwind just to stay on a plane. Too much power and you will continually get pulled off your edge, sliding downwind towards the kite. Having the proper equipment for the conditions is critical for going upwind; even expert kiters have to do the walk of shame if they have too much or not enough power in their kites. Until you gain experience in picking the proper kite and/or board for the conditions, watch other riders on the water to judge how well their equipment is working for them.

Step 1. After regaining control of the situation hold onto the control bar using only one hand (opposite hand of sailing direction).

All kiteboarders go through the process of learning how to ride upwind. It often takes a lot of practice. Go out and concentrate on using proper technique and only staying upwind. Once you have the skill to ride upwind, you will get to spend your sessions kiting, instead of walking.

Step 2. Your other hand will act as the rudder and is extended in front of you and slightly upwind. Turn your body in the direction you want to go by trying to put your lead shoulder underwater.

Step 3. Move the kite to the side of the wind window you would like to travel. Keep the kite about 45º above the water’s surface.
An important aspect of body dragging upwind is to get the appropriate power in the kite. A good rule of thumb is to depower the kite first, and then power up as needed.

Proper Technique
Kiting upwind is not a hard skill, but there is a definite technique to it. When you pop up out of the water and start riding, do not worry about going upwind until you have a good amount of board speed. If you try to point the board upwind while you are moving slow, your board will start sliding and you will land on your butt. As your speed increases, weight your back foot progressively more and more and lean away from the kite to dig your heel edge into the water. The more you edge your board and weight your back foot, the further upwind the board will travel. Here’s where the tricky part is: If you edge too hard, you will slow down too much and force the kite to the edge of the window, which will cause you to lose power and sink back into the water. You have to develop a sensitivity to how powered the kite is. When you feel a lot of power, you weight your back foot and edge, and when

In lighter wind, keep your body upright and the board flat.

Step 4. Feel yourself gaining and losing ground upwind and adjust the angle of your “rudder” and the aggressiveness (sining) of your kite. Step 5. You will reach the edge of the window and will need to switch things to travel upwind on the opposite side. Follow steps 1-4 above in a zigzag pattern until you have reached your board. Even if you can’t get upwind, your board will drift downwind to you, as long as there is not much current.
If all else fails, $20 and a six-pack of good beer is a bargain price for board retrieval and is far cheaper than replacement.
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Depower your kite when you reach your board to avoid being pulled downwind. Lens: Bill McLees

Don’t do the frog squat; it doesn’t work and looks like crap.

Photographs courtesy of REAL Kiteboarding

Lens: Ryan Riccitelli

ack in the old days before we knew better, almost all kiteboarders used board leashes. After many leash-related injuries, it became common knowledge that wearing a board leash while kiteboarding was dangerous. However, many kiters don’t take the time to learn how to recover their board by body dragging upwind, so they have trouble keeping the board with them. Leashes solve the problem of losing your board, but can be dangerous as they cause the board to recoil back toward the rider. If you do decide to use a board leash, I recommend a reel-style leash and that you ALWAYS wear a helmet! If the leash is long enough, the board WILL hit you!

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By Paul Lang

f you are a beginning kiteboarder, then you are definitely familiar with the walk of shame. You ride back and forth for a while and suddenly find yourself a few hundred yards downwind of where you started. No matter how hard you try, you just can’t make it back to where you started from, so you are forced to come in and walk your humble butt back upwind. Being able to kiteboard upwind is one of the most important skills to learn in your progression to becoming a competent kiteboarder. It can also be very frustrating to learn if you are trying to figure it out on your own. Following are a few tips that will walk you through how it’s done.

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you feel the power going away, you flatten the board and shift some weight to your front foot. The key is to find a point where you can keep constant edge pressure, while still moving upwind with good speed. Correct body position will help you immensely in going upwind. When you edge your board, keep your front leg straight and your back leg slightly bent. Lean away from the kite with your shoulders, not your butt. Keep your back straight and think about driving your hips up towards the kite. As you edge, keep your ankles locked at 90º and lift up with your toes. It often helps to look over your forward shoulder at an upwind point.

Check your gear before every session to ensure everything is safe to fly and ride.

Lens: Matt Cotton

Profiles
Ryan Riccitelli is the editor of The Kiteboarder Magazine and runs South Coast Kiteboarding School based in Corpus Christi, Texas. For more information check out southcoastkiteboarding.com or TheKiteboarder.com.

By Paul Lang

Paul Lang is the owner of westcoastkiteboarding.com in San Diego, CA, and runs instructional clinics and trips down to Baja, Mexico. He is also a senior editor for The Kiteboarder and the sound engineer for ASNEWS.net podcasts. Matt Nuzzo and Trip Forman are the co-founders of REAL Kiteboarding in Cape Hatteras, NC. For more info about gear, tuning, riding, selflaunching and self-landing, check out the new REAL Instructional DVDs “Zero to Hero” and “Evolution” at your local kite shop or www.realkiteboarding.com . Bart Gaska is the manager and head instructor for Kitesurfari in Seal Beach, CA. A full service retail and online shop, Kitesurfari is an IKO approved school and an excellent resource for info on kiting in the Los Angeles area, and all the new gear.

Make sure you have good board speed heading into the jump, and get your kite at 45-60 degrees above the water. Remember, try not to move your kite a lot.

Stay loose and land with your knees bent and your board pointing downwind. Congrats! You just stomped your first air.

Photographs courtesy of REAL Kiteboarding

lmost all kiteboarders remember the first time they saw someone kiting. You probably thought, “Yea, that’s pretty cool” until you saw the rider jump out of the water, do a trick, and ride away like it was nothing. That’s when the “that looks cool” turns into “I want to do THAT.” For many, jumping is the whole reason they get into kiting. After leaning to stay upwind, learning to jump becomes the next hurdle to overcome.

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Have you tried to jump yet? If you have, I bet I know what happened the first time: You decided you were going to jump, so you sent the kite in the other direction, causing it to lift you above the water. You thought you would shoot 20 feet into the air just like the guys in

the videos, but you didn’t go up very far. Instead, you went flying downwind, splashed hard on your butt, and to add insult to injury, your kite fell out of the sky. This is a common mistake most beginners make. If you want to learn to jump properly, you have to first learn how to do an ollie: a small jump where you are using board pop, not the kite, to pull you off the water. Just like you have to learn to walk before you can crawl, you cannot jump 20 feet into the air if you cannot jump two feet with control. The ollie is the most basic trick – you are simply popping the board off the surface of the water. Once you are able to do this, you can combine an ollie with sending the kite. When

timed properly, this is how you jump HIGH. Learning to do small ollies before you try to jump big will teach you proper board technique for when you want to start going big.

Begin edging your board and putting your weight on your back foot. Progressively increase edge pressure. This is known as a Progressive Edge, which is how wakeboarders jump. As you are increasing edge pressure with your Progressive Edge, push down with your back foot. Pop the board off the water by standing tall and pushing off your back foot. The line tension will carry you up and forward. Bend your knees and land with the board pointing downwind.

Jumping Tips.
Start out riding with your board flat with good speed, and your kite 45-60º above the water. Through the whole maneuver move your kite as little as possible. In order to pop the board off the water, you need to do two things: create line tension and force the tail of the board down, which will cause the water to push up on your board. Start with your board flat on the water, moving with good speed.

It’s really that simple. This entire process happens in less than a second, and there is a lot of timing to get right, so practice, practice, practice! If you edge too hard or too quickly, you will force the kite to the edge of the window and lose power. If you edge too slowly, not hard enough, or do not have enough board speed, you will not get any pop. If you take the time to learn to jump using only your board skills, you will be able to work up to bigger and bigger jumps by sending the kite, timed with popping the board off the water. Before you know it, you will be the guy soaring above the waves, inspiring someone on the beach to say, “Now I want to do THAT!”

Michael Giebelhaus
established Kite-Line.com in 1999, a store which prides itself on excellent customer service and industry knowledge. Kite-line offers lessons in the Northwest and Baja, kite adventures and domestic/international sales. In the winter, Michael operates out of La Ventana, Baja, offering demos of the latest gear.

hile kiteboarding is all about freedom and the pursuit of happiness, sometimes there’s not much justice—just ask anybody whose favorite local spot no longer allows kiting. With this in mind, we offer up the following thoughts on kiteboarding etiquette.

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right of way, etc.). However, when it comes to actual on-water practice, don’t depend on those rules. It builds good faith, helps avoid accidents and rarely costs you anything to give somebody else the right-of-way whether it is rightfully theirs or not.

Go out of your way to protect the non-kiteboarders around you. Be sure you rig, launch, ride,
and land in a place where even an idiot can’t get hurt by you or your equipment.

Surfers/windsurfers: Don’t jump or spray them!
Swimmers: Avoid launching around swimmers at all times. Don’t practice new tricks around them either – the kite could drop, power up and seriously injure someone. When you are kiteboarding around a beginner, give them space. We were all beginners once and remember those first few sessions when we weren’t sure what was going to happen next. Having someone else crossing (or jumping) close upwind or downwind of you is terrifying. Give ‘em some space.

Avoid flying your kite over someone else on or off the water. With 30-meter lines and tons of power, we definitely have the potential to affect a large area around ourselves. In most places where kiteboarding access is being denied, it can be traced to reactionary governing agencies or unreasonably scared citizens. But if you dig deep enough you’ll probably also find a kiter or kiters that have done something stupid to piss off or scare others on the beach or in the water.

Todd Martin is Senior Research Analyst for Kite-line. As part of the Kite-line ‘tribe,’ he gets to test all the latest gear and reports to the shop and customers on the pros and cons of each. His day job is consulting on environmental restoration and waste management at former nuclear weapons facilities. Lindy DeVriesCampbell and Shanna DeVries-Merrill grew up in
South Haven, Michigan. Along with their husbands Chris Campbell & Mike Merrill, they founded Sharkless Boardsports, an online kiteboarding resource and plan on opening a retail shop and formal kiteboarding school in the spring of 2006.
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Everyone else has the right of way. Most know there are onwater nautical rules (e.g. the rider with the right hand forward has
Photographs courtesy of REAL Kiteboarding, North Kiteboarding, Best Kiteboarding, Amundson Customs/John Amundson, Ryan Riccitelli Photography

Remember, kiteboarding is a privilege, not a right, so a little extra effort to grease the social wheels is not that big a deal to ensure that we can continue our pursuit of freedom and happiness.

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SCHOOL

By Trip Forman Photos/Illustrations courtesy of realkiteboarding.com

positioning your back straight into the wind, then putting your arms straight out to each side and then moving them in front of you. To the side is where you launch and land, in front of you is where the max power is. I do this exercise EVERY time before I launch, even after riding for 8 years. It helps you orient yourself to new riding locations and wind directions and always puts you and the kite in the right position for a safe launch.

onshore or offshore winds. These directions are the most erratic in speeds and also drive you away from or straight onto the land.

when unhooked, you can very easily release the bar which will activate most safety systems, thus completely depowering and disabling your kite until you are ready to try again.

Launch Unhooked
Launching unhooked is the most reliable system of ensuring a safe launch. If your bar does not allow you to launch unhooked from the harness, you are putting your life in the hands of someone’s R&D. Depower your kite with the adjustment strap, launch unhooked, make sure everything is ok, hook in, grab your board and proceed immediately out into the water. If something goes wrong

Safety and Responsibility
Nothing ranks higher than a kiter that is safe and responsible. Know your gear. Know your limits. Take responsibility for your actions, both on and off the water. THINK when you are kiting. Don’t rely on safety systems to replace common sense. It is much easier to take the proper precautions in advance than it is to find a red quick release butt ball when the world is a speeding blur.
Trip Forman is the Co-Founder of REAL Kiteboarding. For more tips and instruction like these check out REAL’s new Zero2Hero Instructional DVD available at local kite shops or www.realkiteboarding.com .

Side and SideOnshore Launches ONLY!
Side-shore and Sideonshore winds are the steadiest and offer the rider an easy way back to the beach if equipment fails. As a general rule, riders should always avoid straight

With all the 2006 kite excitement going on right now, we thought it would be a great time to get back to basics. While the new kites, both bow and ‘C’ styles, have extended wind ranges compared to older models, they do not excuse the ignorant or even worse, abusive riders out there. “You only need one size kite! Works in 10-40 knots! Just push the bar away for total depower”. These statements can be found on almost every brand 12m 2006 kite. But let’s break it down to basics. 40 knots is 46.8mph of wind! When it blows over 35mph I don’t even want to go kiteboarding, not to mention put up a 12m! Sure if you push the bar away, the kite will depower, but what about when you pull it in, or even worse spaz out and pull one end in?
From a rider’s progression standpoint, although a kite with an extended range may allow you to “ride along” more comfortably outside of a traditional wind range, there will ultimately be a perfect size for the wind conditions at hand that will allow for the quickest and easiest progression of skills. Let’s face it. We all want to get better and the progression happening with a 12m in 40 knots could be an accelerated trip to the hospital. This article is not meant to be pro gear in one direction or another, it is only meant to advise riders on what is reality and what is fantasy. Gear and gear safety systems, while beneficial, can never replace common sense and good judgement. “Stick to the Basics” in 2006 or it will become the year of the most monumental loftings of all time. Following are a few basics to remember when taking a session. an indicator of what the upper and lower limits of fun and responsible kiteboarding are.

0-10 knots
Beginners : Practice launching, landing, flying, wakeboard, watch video. Intermediates : Practice self launches/landings, self rescue, wakeskate, surf, watch video. Experts : Fix your broken kiteboarding gear, surf, wakeboard, wakeskate.

10-20 knots
Beginners : Practice body drags upwind, board starts, water relaunching and self rescue. Intermediates : Practice going upwind, turns and first tricks. Experts : Perfect weather for learning new freestyle tricks and wave riding.

20-30 knots
Beginners : Kite Caddy for Intermediates, watch, learn. Intermediates : Smaller kite required, Stick to basics. Keep alert. Experts : Supreme boosting and wave riding weather. Know Your Wind Speeds
The other day in Cape Hatteras, it was blowing a steady 35knots plus. The guys who were claiming “10-40knots on one kite” weren’t there. I think they were hiding on the internet where 40 knots is a fun thing to say. The only kites that were on the water were 5- 7m, attached to riders 180lbs and larger. This should serve as

Know Your Wind Window
Many kiting accidents are caused by riders forgetting where their wind window actually is. Your wind window travels with you to different launches and on the water. Define your wind window by

30 Knots +
Beginners : Dig a hole. Intermediates : Caddy for Experts. Watch. Learn. Experts : Very small kite required. Experts only.

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This huge air will go down in the final record books as one of the biggest jumps of the week, courtesy of Leeshai Miller.
Location: Maui Lens: Christian Pondella

During the Red Bull King of the Air, Leeshai Miller launched himself off a wave and ended up getting the biggest jump of the event. I’m sure there are a lot of you out there who want to jump like “Knee-High” Leeshai, so let’s break down this jump and find out what made it so huge.
By Paul Lang

[frames 3-5]
On the way up: To get the most out of your jump, don’t over steer the kite. See Leeshai’s kite position. He flies the kite past 12 o’clock over to 11 o’clock and leaves it there.

window to get it back in front of him. Without aggressively steering the kite forward (or looping it, as Leeshai does), you will just swing under the kite and fall hard.

[frames 12-13] [frames 6-8]
At the top: As you feel yourself reach the peak of your jump, it’s time to steer the kite back forward to overhead. Here, Leeshai keeps the kite over his head. This is where a lot of riders go wrong. If you fail to get the kite back over your head as you lose upward momentum, you will start to plummet like a stone as you swing under the kite. This leads to the infamous butt slap and usually ends with the kite falling out of the sky. Approaching the landing: Cleared by air traffic control to come in for a landing, Leeshai extends his legs so he can bend his knees on touchdown. Look at his kite: it’s still high in the window (leading to a soft landing), but it’s on the way down (giving Leeshai power to ride cleanly away). Remember, it you want to jump like this, don’t expect to do so the first time you try. Start small, and work yourself up to bigger jumps as you gain skills and confidence. Water hurts when you crash land from 40feet high, so use caution when going for massive air. If you do pull off a jump like this, don’t ride back to the beach and brag; wait until someone mentions it and just say, “Yeah, that one was OK.”

[frames 1-2]
Take-off: This is where the magic happens. The take-off is the most important part of any jump. It helps to time your take-off with a wave, in this case, a 15-foot high Hawaiian haystack. As he approaches the wave, Leeshai bears off to pick up speed. He then progressively edges upwind as he rides up the face of the wave and steers the kite up towards the top of the window at the same time. At the top of the wave, he stands tall and pops the board off the water. Timing is critical! Look where his kite is when he takes off: It’s straight overhead.

Leeshai Miller surveys the epic Maui conditions prior to his launch at the final Red Bull King of the Air.
Location: Maui Lens: Christian Pondella

[frames 9-11]
On the way down: As gravity regains its hold on Leeshai, he keeps the kite overhead to float down to a soft landing. On this jump, he loops the kite high in the

Felix hates his portrait to be taken and begrudgingly let me shoot this photo on his first trip to Mauritius in 2004. Photo: Ryan Riccitelli

Felix sent me this photo a few years back getting barreled in New Caledonia. This was during his wakeboard and binding phase. Photo surfrider@mls.nc

t was 1999 when I crossed paths with Felix Pivic on my very first trip to Maui. I walked up to Kite Beach, and this long -haired Fabio looking kid was hucking 30-foot deadmans right next to the shoreline. Pivec and I hit it off the moment we met, which was later that afternoon when he launched my 3.5 meter Wipika two-line kite and then proceeded to rescue me 15 minutes later down at the sewage plant. Felix played a major role in teaching me how to ride and getting me stoked on kiteboarding. Our friendship began long before I even knew I would have a career in this sport. Over the years, I have watched Pivec make a name for himself by pushing the limits of kiteboarding both on flat water and in the surf. For certain, you will never meet another Australian quite like Pivec. At moments you want to ring his neck because of his crazy and outspoken sense of humor. However, when he is on the water, he is in his office, and he takes his work seriously. As controversial as Pivec can be, he has truly earned respect as one of the top wave riders in the world. He hasn’t kissed ass to get there. He has paid his dues, put his time in on the water, and is one of the last men standing of the original Maui crew. Not only is he still standing, but he is still riding professionally and winning events. I caught up with Pivec just as he got back from winning the Wave Riding Invitational in Mauritius, a private contest featuring many of the top wave riders in the world. In typical Pivec fashion, he shrugged it off as just another day of kiteboarding. Pivec agreed to answer any question I wanted to ask, as long as I promised not to change any of his words. Whether you agree or disagree with what he has to say, you have to respect that Pivec holds nothing back when speaking his mind about kiteboarding.

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How long have you been kiting and where did you start? I started kiting back in 1998 on the Gold Coast in Australia. In ‘99, I went over to Hawaii to see what was really up with this new sport called kiteboarding. All the pictures and video were coming out of a small beach by the name of Kite Beach, which soon after became the hub of kiteboarding. If you wanted to make it in the sport, this was where you could make a name for yourself. What was it like being on Maui during 20002001 riding two-line kites and watching the sport blow up? Those were the days when everyone was just so amped to ride and didn’t really know where the sport was heading. Everyday at the beach, someone would come down with some new style of board to ride or some different bar set up that they thought was going to be the next best thing. The coolest thing about the old days was the sport was so new that there was no standard style that overruled another. Everyone was just having fun pushing each other. In your early career, you were committed to two-line kites and going huge! How has your riding style and kite preference changed over the years? Back in the day, it was two-line kites and wakeboards to get the most power to punt huge
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My mom took this shot of Pivec and I in 2002 before we headed up to the Waddell Creek contest. We never knew we would make our careers in kiteboarding. Photo Chris Riccitelli

Words: Ryan Riccitelli

jumps. It was insane to see how big you could go. Some days you would just be flying. You might have three guys hold you down when you launched your kite and the guys on the beach would still be telling you to put up a bigger kite. These days, the two-line kites no longer exist. You were one of the last two-line kiters? Do you think you will be one of the last C-kite riders? You have to be joking! Bow kites have a long way to go before they work out the kinks. People

right now are thriving on hype and will believe anything in print. I have tried many different types, the ones you can unhook, of course. There was only one I liked out of many brands, and it only worked in one size. It had so much shit going on with bar I thought I was in the America’s Cup sailing out to the waves. Give it time I guess? Who knows. People might be buying C-kites again soon.

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I shot this photo during my first trip to Maui in 1999 shortly after Pivec rescued me. I never thought a few beers after a session would turn into a life-long friendship. Photo Ryan Riccitelli

Pivec tears the top off of one of his favorite waves in the world; the never ending left at Gnarloo, Western Australia. Photo Jeff Pfeffer

No, not right now, but let’s just see what happens to the market and what direction it takes. Right now, the C’s are working really well in the surf for me and many others. Why question performance? My sponsors haven’t been. Is it true that you do not ride anything larger than a 9-meter kite? This is correct. I really believe in efficiency and generating power from the kite and learning to fly it, rather than letting the kite just fly. What do you have to say to the people who say the reason you are so adamant about your way of riding is because you only ride in conditions that suit your style? To tell you the truth, my main focus has been to ride as many different spots all over the globe to better my riding. I like riding lefts and rights, different wind strengths and directions. This I believe will make you a good all-around rider when anything is thrown at you. You have traveled all over the world. Where is your favorite spot you have ridden? I would have to say, and by far, Kite Beach on Maui would have to be my favorite beach. Go there. It’s awesome, and if you want to kite a similar wave to the Zoo, go to Makena on Maui’s south shore. You used to ride boot bindings and a wakeboard in the waves. Do you still use a wakeboard in the surf, or have you crossed over to a surfboard exclusively? I crossed over about two years ago, and that’s all I ride. I prefer a traditional surfboard that I can paddle. The board has a dual purpose, which
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makes it perfect for traveling. If there is no wind, I can paddle it to free surf. There is a big controversy between unhooked and hooked in riding in the waves. Why are you so adamant about unhooked riding in the waves? Unless you are riding 20-foot waves, there is no need to be hooked in to a chicken loop. It’s all about performance, and to achieve performance, you need style and good body position. Being hooked in limits this. Have you ever seen a surfer surf a wave with his or her hands two inches from their crotch at all times? With your arms close to your body on a bottom turn, the balance is just not right. Unhooking allows your body to be free to get into any position you want, plain and simple. You are very outspoken about favoring Ckites over bows. What is your opinion on the two different kites? The bow needs time to develop. It’s still in its early stages. Why cross over to something that is going to hamper your style? For wave riding, you need a kite with direct input and that’s what a C-kite does -- especially when riding unhooked. We will have to “C” what happens in the future. Do you feel pressure from your sponsor to ride bow kites? How do they react to your criticisms of bows? Pivec’s radical, unhooked riding style has pushed the limits of kitesurfing in the waves. Photo Jeff Pfeffer

You have been quoted as saying that backside riding is lame in kiteboarding. Why do you feel this way when surfing backside is legit in the surfing world? This is right, and I will admit to it. I think it looks foul! No one yet has made it look like surfers making real surfing turns or getting more than three turns on a wave without their kite falling out of the sky. Kiting is its own sport. You have a kite in your hand giving you slight direction. This enables you to make sections a surfer would dream of making. When coming off the top, the hand position in backside riding in kiteboarding is totally backwards to paddle surfing. Take note next time you watch a guy go backside. Why not learn to ride switch? It’s fun. Skaters, surfers and snowboarders do it. You have been critical of many of the top kitesurfers in the world because they ride hooked in or backside. Why is this a big issue to you, and why are you so outspoken about it? I like to push my friends into stepping it up. In my opinion, if you are at the top level of the sport, you should be trying to bust out all the time, evolving to new levels instead of cruising. Keep stepping it up like the top freestyle riders. What do you think about BoarderX or the racing side of the sport? Would you follow the same logic that kiteboarders have used

in freestyle and in the waves and say a BoarderX rider is not legit unless they unhook and can ride switch? I never said backside or hooked in riding is not legit. It’s just not my style. BoarderX is about speed. I think it’s awesome; the fastest man that makes the least amount of mistakes wins. A major surf brand, Billabong clothing, recently sponsored you. How did you pull this off, and do you see more surfing brands getting involved in kiteboarding? Yes, once more of these companies see the potential for crossover marketing, I believe you will see a big push. You have been sponsored by Airush kites for four years. What kites do you ride full time? I have been sponsored by Airush for many years now. I would not be where I am without my Reactor kites. This kite has been ahead of its time for years. It might be a funny C-shape, but it still works better than any kite out there. Do you ride a stock bar and lines, or do you modify your set up? I ride a fixed four-line bar with a standard, old school harness line, with no chicken loop for depower. This way your kite always has the same shape, and it’s not all over the show when you are trying to unhook. What boards do you use for flatwater & surf? My surfboard. You can have so much fun strapless jumping. It’s insane and very much like skateboarding. We will for sure see more of this in the future.

What is the most dangerous wave you have ridden in your career? None to date! I’m not really into posing in front of big waves for the glory shots. You are either in them, or you might as well be riding the ocean out the back with the whales. You recently won the Mauritius wave event. What was it like competing in that event? That was an insane three weeks. The conditions could not have been better. It was great to see where the sport is at and where it is heading. It was a really good event to use as a foundation for future events. Thanks to the guys who made it happen. Keep charging! Do you think your outspoken personality has hurt you as a professional kiteboarder? No, not at all! I really believe in what I am doing and have seen a lot of changes in the sport. I am really honest and will tell you how it is. Why beat around the bush? Speak the truth and things will happen a lot quicker. I believe things happen for a reason. What do you have to say to anyone who laughs at your criticism and says you are an arrogant rider who is very close-minded? I use what works for me and will take my riding one step forward. That’s all it is. I really just love to get out there rather than talk about it. How many more years do you see yourself riding professionally? No one can put a number on that, but all I can say is that I really have a lot of fun riding and doing what I have been doing and would like to grow with the sport.

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Back to t he Basics
By: Paul Lang and Ryan Riccitelli

Learning new moves on the water will keep you coming back for more. Make sure your gear is properly tuned before you head out to your next session. You will be sure to progress more efficiently with gear that flies straight and a stance that fits you body type. Even the best riders should pay attention to their body position. in this issue, we decided to focus on a few basic concepts that are often overlooked. Even if you are pulling sick front rolls and back rolls, slow it down for a session and practice on maximizing a simple jump or the pop of your ollies. These basic fundamentals will only help improve your more advanced moves. Getting back to the basics will build a solid foundation for you to progress.
Lens: Gavin Butler

body position
If we are going to talk about the basics, we have to start by talking about your body position while riding. If you don’t have good form here, your progression will be limited. Before your next session, take a few minutes to watch the riders at your local spot. Even if they are just riding back and forth, you will be able to tell the good riders from the bad just from looking at their body position. Good form during jumps and more advanced moves starts with good form while riding back and forth. stand tall when you are kiteboarding! If your back hurts when you come in off the water, you are probably letting the kite pull your shoulders forward, causing you to break at the waist. Bending at the waist will make it very difficult to ride upwind. You simply cannot edge properly bent over. Concentrate on leaning your shoulders back and thrusting your hips towards your kite. Every time you edge hard, keep those stomach muscles tight and keep those hips driving forward. If you have short arms, you may have trouble depowering your kite without bending at the waist. If this is the case, trim your bar to bring the depower range closer to your body by shortening your harness loop. With your back straight, slightly bend your back leg while keeping your front leg relatively straight. In powered conditions, you should be riding with most of your weight on your back foot. You want to keep your front leg fairly straight, but don’t lock your knee, especially in choppy conditions. In chop, you need to use your knees like shock absorbers, otherwise you will bounce off of every piece of chop and your knees will feel pulverized after a long day of riding.

the science of stance
Board stance may be the most overlooked adjustment kiteboarders have available to them. Many boards are sold with footstraps already mounted, and most kiteboarders never bother to move them. if you don’t know what your stance is, chances are your board is not set up correctly. A board that is not set up properly will throw off your body position, make edging difficult, and can create knee problems. Most people have their board set with their stance too narrow. Experiment with the different positions for your bindings until you find the set-up that feels most comfortable. Measure your stance so you know what it is! Stance is measured from inner insert to inner insert. Try going wide (18” is considered wide, 20” is very wide) and slightly ducked out. A wide stance will be easier on your knees and lowers your center of gravity, stabilizing your body position and making grabs easier. Always keep both feet symmetrical and over the middle of the board. Mounting your straps to put your heels closer to the edge of the board may make it easier to edge hard, but will make riding toeside difficult. Once you find the perfect position for your straps, set up all of your boards this way. You may find that the board you thought rode like a chunk of plywood is actually a great board that was set up with an improper stance.
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tune your kite! please!
We’ve talked about it before, but we still see a lot of people riding gear that is not tuned properly. Tuning your kite is something that every level of kiteboarder needs to know how to do, especially beginners. A kite that is improperly trimmed will not fly correctly and may be prone to falling out of the sky. Take the time to set your gear up right, so that you can eliminate gear problems as the cause of your problems on the water. 1. Your first step is to hook all four or five lines to a solid object, like a tree or the bumper of your car. Pull the lines tight and adjust your lines, so they are all even. 2. Fly your kite with all lines even. While hooked in, put the kite overhead and let go of the bar. If the kite has a tendency to always turn one way at the top of the window, your steering lines are still off. Fix this by shortening the line opposite the way the kite turns (if the kite drifts left, shorten your right steering line). You can easily do this by tying a knot in your leader line. 3. Once steering problems are resolved, you can move on to front line-back line trim. An under-trimmed kite (front lines too short) will respond slowly and produce little power. An over-trimmed kite (front lines too long), will be unstable and have a tendency to stall backwards, especially at the edge of the window. Most kites, but not all, will be properly trimmed with all lines even. 4. A properly tuned C-kite will have both wingtips parallel, and a tuned bow kite will sit on the edge of the window without stalling backwards. To find this proper trim, power up your kite (lengthen your front lines) until you either see the wingtips flair out (C-kite) or the kite begins to want to move backwards (bow kite). Then depower your kite (shorten your front lines) until it becomes stable again.

The whole process shouldn’t take any more than 30 minutes, so be productive on the next light wind day and spend a little time making your gear fly right. Every kite is a little different, and some kites are more difficult to tune than others. Take the time to set up your kite properly. Don’t dismiss kite trim as being too difficult or unimportant! Dialing you kite is not just for techies, it’s for everyone. If you are having trouble dialing in your kite, talk to other kiters, the shop that sold you the kite, or your kite manufacturer.

How to Slog

You should never want to ride overpowered by choice, but there are many times when you will find yourself flying more kite than is ideal. With high depower kites, it is possible to ride with way more kite than is necessary, but this is a bad habit to fall into. Weather conditions change all the time, so you will end up overpowered sooner or later even if you choose the perfect kite every time you rig. Here’s how you should deal with it: The key to riding overpowered is speed control. If you can keep your speed under control, you can ride through the largest gusts with no problem. When you are overpowered, you actually want to ride slower than you would if you were perfectly powered. Riding slowly will keep the kite near the edge of the window, where the kite has less power. Riding fast causes your kite to drift back in the window, which creates more power and causes you to accelerate faster and faster until you explode in a ball of spray. Avoid this situation by keeping your speed under control. If you find yourself picking up so much speed that you cannot slow down by edging, carve downwind sharply without moving the kite. This must be done quickly and with confidence. Carving downwind for a moment will cause the kite to shoot forward in the window, reducing power. The first few times you do this, you will crash, but once you dial it in, it is a really functional way to dump extra speed and power. Back in the day before kites with super range, this was really the only way to depower, and good riders had to be very comfortable at high speeds to keep control of the kite.

Riding lit!

It would be great to have the right size kite for every condition, but the reality is that most of us only have two or three kites, leaving us wishing for more power on the lighter days. In some light wind spots, like San Diego, riding underpowered is a way of life. Riders in San Diego are able to have fun on days most others would write off as being unridable. There is a definite art to riding underpowered, and a little practice will expand your definition of conditions you think of as fun. start weighting your back foot and edging, but do it gently. If you edge aggressively, you will simply stop and sink. You can also pump your board to keep speed up and work your way upwind. Watch any surfer in mushy waves and you will see them pump their board to keep speed up to make a section. When underpowered, move your hands out to the ends of your bar and move the kite up and down as aggressively as you can. Remember that kite speed is just as important as board speed. Don’t just sheet your kite in all the way in and edge your board. You’ve got to finesse it. To get the most out of your power strokes with the kite, edge slightly harder when the kite is diving down and then ease up and flatten the board while the kite is on the way up. Kiting underpowered is frustrating and tiring. It usually helps to occasionally blurt out expletives. If nothing else, kiting in bottom of the barrel conditions will make you appreciate the good days even more.

Technique can go a long way to squeezing the most out of underpowered conditions, but your gear is the biggest factor in determining your low-end limit. Ride your largest kite with your biggest bar and normal length lines. Longer lines can help you kite in very underpowered conditions, but you start taking up way more than your fair amount of space when your lines get over 30 meters. Your board is a huge factor in determining your bottom end. A larger board with little rocker or a surfboard can keep you going when everyone else gives up. The big secret to kiting in light wind is in your feet. You have to shift your weight forward in the lulls and back in the gusts. If you are riding a surfboard with straps, get your feet out of the straps and move your feet forward on the board. In light wind, you can’t try to go upwind the whole time you are riding. Creating speed is more important than trying to go upwind. In the lulls, flatten the board and let yourself go downwind to build speed. As your speed increases, you can
Lens: Ryan Riccitelli

When riding overpowered, it’s important to have good edging skills, and this starts by having good body position. No matter how overpowered you are, don’t give in to the urge to bend at the waist. Keep your shoulders back, remembering to drive your hips towards the kite while focusing your weight through your back heel. Don’t forget to depower the kite using your depower strap, so you do not have to stretch your arms to get your kite’s full depower.

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Try this:
basics Moves for your next session

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Ollie 180

The ollie 180 is an easy move to learn and forms an important base from which to build more advanced moves. as we have said before, you’ve got learn to walk before you can run.

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1. Start by riding with good board speed and your kite 45º to 60º above the water. 2. Hold the kite steady as you pop the board off the water by standing tall and pushing off of your back foot. 3-4. Grab the board for style. To simplify learning this move, ignore the grab until you can do a 180 without the grab. 5-6. Rotate through the 180 by turning your shoulders and hips – your legs will follow if you commit to the move. 7. Spot your landing and stomp down with your back foot (this was your front foot at the beginning of the move). 8-9. Bend your knees to absorb the landing and ride away.

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Lens: Gavin Butler

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jump with control
a simple jump with lots of hangtime may not be the most technical trick, but few things beat the sensation of flying through the air. if your jumps are not going right, stop hucking yourself into the air and hoping for the best. Take the time to learn the proper technique, step by step. 1. Start by riding with good board speed with your kite 60º above the water. 2. Set up for your jump by pulling with your back hand to send the kite up and away from your riding direction. You must move the kite quickly, but not too far. As you send the kite back, you have to stop the kite’s movement just over your back shoulder. If you whip the kite too hard or too far behind you, it will pull you off your edge and you will not get very much elevation. 3. As the kite crosses overhead, edge upwind hard, sheet in, and pop the board off the water. The timing of when you edge and pop is critical to get the most out of your jumps. The exact timing varies with equipment and conditions and takes a lot of trial and error to get right. 4-6. As you near the apex of your jump, start pulling with your forward hand to bring the kite back over your head. The exact timing of this step takes awhile to perfect and depends on your gear, the conditions, and the height of your jump. 7. Fly the kite over your head to float gently back down. 8. As you near the water, pull hard with your forward hand to dive the kite so that you land with speed. 9. Bend your knees to absorb the landing and ride away.

Lens: Ryan Riccitelli

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WORKBENCH
Lens: Kim Kern

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The most common way to damage a board is to crush part of the rail or puncture it. The first thing you want to do is to dry the board out for at least three days before you do anything.

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File or grind the damaged area. Your repair will not be successful unless you remove all of the damaged material. Yes, this is going to make for a larger repair, but you will end up doing it again if you do not remove all of the damage. After you’re done, wipe the area with acetone to remove any dirt and oils.

if you have been riding long enough, you have probably damaged your kiteboard. most boards will stand up to normal everyday use, but let’s be honest, we all abuse our equipment. Whether you damaged your board jumping rocks and buoys or dropped it in the parking lot, most boards are easy to repair. With a little knowledge and motivation, anyone can repair their board.

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Use a thickened epoxy (thickened West Systems Epoxy or Marine-Tex work great) to fill in the missing material. Avoid cheaper polyester resin for repairs. It doesn’t adhere as well and is much more brittle than epoxy. Use a Popsicle stick to help you apply the epoxy.

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By Paul Lang

Once the epoxy has cured, remove the tape and use a hand file to shape the epoxy.

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Hand-sand the repair until you cannot feel a difference between the repaired area and the rest of the board.

Place clear packing tape over your repair to mold the epoxy to the shape of your board. Wipe up any excess material before it cures. The more excess epoxy you wipe off now, the less you will have to file off later.
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While you’re at it, run your hands over the rest of your board and sand out any little nicks you find. Don’t worry about making the board look pretty again, because it is just going to get scratched up on the beach. Now you’re ready to get back on the water. Next time, stay away from those solid objects!
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Joe cool
interview
By Paul Lang
started hearing the name more and more. After finding out that he was indeed real, I met Joe for the first time at the final Red Bull King of the Air in Maui in 2005. Before I sat down for this interview, I tried to find out whatever I could about Joe. I didn’t discover much. I was told that he was the “kite guru” on Maui in the early days and had been responsible for bringing the first kites there – if you wanted a kite back then, Joe was the man. Beyond that, nobody seemed to know much else about him. As it turns out, Joe Cool, whose real name is Joe Keuhl, is a kite flyer. You can’t really call him a kiteboarder, but he is a complete expert on kites and kite design. He has used kites to pull everything from himself on the beach to kayaks, buggies, boats, and outriggers. I didn’t learn about just Joe in this interview – I got a whole new education on the beginning of the sport of kiteboarding. Joe is an incredibly nice guy who can talk for as long as you’re willing to listen about kites and the history of kiteboarding. The truth is, he played a huge role in the early days of kiteboarding and all kiteboarders should know who Joe Cool is.
A shot from Joe’s personal archives documents the history of sailing with a kite. Photo courtesy of Joe Cool

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he first few times I heard the name Joe Cool, I had no idea he was a real person. I thought it was a joke; a name you call someone when they are acting too cool for their own good. As I began to get involved in the kiteboarding industry, I

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W h O i s

Joe talks about making Kiteboarding an Olympic sport.

Joe has always been a behind the scenes kind of guy in the kiteboarding world. Photo Paul Lang

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First thing first -- how did you get the name Joe cool? The first windsurfing event that I raced in was at the Royal Bahamian Yacht Club and it was really cool. At the awards ceremony they gave everyone nicknames. Joe Cool was just a play off my last name. It made a cool logo, so I used it on my artwork and sail designs. Very few people understand your involvement in the beginning of the sport. How did you become involved in kiteboarding? I started windsurfing in the late 70s in Key West, Florida, where I taught myself how to sew and make windsurfing sails. I was basically just a beach bum with an art degree who painted on

Laird Hamilton, Mike Waltz, and Dave Kalama power an outrigger during the late 90’s. Photo courtesy Joe Cool

and the designs kept having last minute changes. Because of this and also liability concerns, they dropped it after making just a few kites. Bruno had some cool ideas about kites and a friend of mine who worked for Neil Pryde at the time kept me informed of the developments. We would kick around ideas on how we could utilize the kite’s water launching design for boats and windsurfers.
Flash Austin pioneering wave riding in Maui. Photo by Peter Sterling 1988/courtesy of Joe Cool

It was the good old days on Maui, smoking the Maui Wowie and kicking around crazy ideas. everybody else thought for sure that heads and limbs were going to get tangled and amputated, so it was a super hard sell to get others to see the vision. Who were some of the characters you were experimenting with? Marcus “Flash” Austin, Lou Wainman, and Chris Gilbert were the truly hardcore believers and developers. They were the guys on the water all the time. There were other kiters that tried it out in the beginning, but only off and on. Flash, staying upwind and being sort of a soul-surfer type; Lou being a radical, all out skate and wakeboard type trickster; and Chris being the professional, cool business type shredder; are the guys in my mind who took it to the next level. At that time, I did a lot of running around picking kiters up downwind and taking them back upwind, fixing kites, teaching the You have to remember the two things that were necessary for the sport to happen, I mean for it to go from a goofy stunt-type of thing to a viable potential mass market type of sport. We had to find a kite that was easy to relaunch from the water and was able to stay upwind. Bruno’s water kite could do both of those things, so I called him up. He flew over from France and stayed with me while I ran When did you realize that kiteboarding would become a real sport with manufacturers and team riders? Was there a moment when it suddenly became more than a few people experimenting with a crazy idea? I realized it This is how I got the so-called world distribution of Wipika kites, but I needed to find a distribution network for Bruno to give me the first kites. I talked to a lot of people, and was turned down by everyone except one company. everyone who said no was afraid of the potential liability. I would go on to find out later that the one company that agreed to work with me owed everyone money. They were on the verge of shutting the business down, and so had nothing to lose by trying to distribute kites. Well, when we ordered 300 kites, my new partner and Bruno got into a royalty fee squabble. Bruno wanted me to go to court on his side and sue my own partner. It was a mess, and shortly after I went to work for another company that was getting into kiteboarding. How did the first Red Bull King of the Air come about? What was your involvement? Well, to push the sport and give it a burst, you really need some professional looking events to fake everyone out in the media world that you have it going on. I’d been working events for windsurfing for years as a judge and decided to take it to the next level. our first kitesurfing event was a year before the first Red Bull King of the Air and cost me $400 out of pocket. With help from friends like Kim Ball at High Tech Sailboards who handled all the hassles of permits and let us use all his equipment, Mike Waltze, who was a lot smarter than I was in dealing with lawyers and corporate suits, along with the usual cast of kite enthusiast characters, we pulled off a cool event that got great coverage from the photographers and writers of the surf rags. The big sponsors came the following year with their lawyers and took it even further. Mike did the hard work while I had fun on the beach promoting, setting up, and throwing parties. Man did we party. You relocated and moved to San Francisco. Why did you leave Maui? I gave a proposal to a large kite company to travel while promoting kites, all the while working on kite boat development with a F-24 trimaran, a super cool and fast trailerable sailboat. I cruised it from California to Key West for light air R&D, then up to the outer Banks, North Carolina, for medium wind, and then went back to San Francisco for heavy air and to try and make an impact with kite boating in the sailing world.
Joe cruises his little yellow windrider trimaran with one of the early water relaunchable kites. Photo by Jonathan Weston/courtesy of Joe Cool

The first kites didn’t even come with bridles. I had to make the first bridles by hand; it was madness.

windsurfing sails. That progressed into doing inlay work with the cloth to get a better look and then learning how to design sails. With all the scrap sailcloth lying around, I made some two-line stunt kites and got into sport kite flying. Kite flying was just a cool thing to do when it was too windy or too light to windsurf. Later on, a good friend of mine on Maui became the fastest sailor on earth for a couple of years when he broke the 40 knot barrier on a windsurfer. He would come back from speed events and tell me about all the cool stuff, like kites on boats and other crazy attempts at speed. Well, I saw all the pictures and he told me about Jacob’s Ladder, a modified Tornado catamaran powered by a stack of Flexifoils. These guys were trying it and that got me motivated. How was it that you became known as the “Kite Guru” on Maui? I had a small funky sail repair/artist loft above Hi-Tech Sailboards on Maui. Basically, I would work two hours, windsurf the rest of the day, and party ‘till I dropped each night. People knew that I flew kites and I would meet other kiters and people that were into traction kiting. Traction kites were big kites that created power to do things like buggy, sand-slide, jump, and eventually kiteboard. Sport kiting was growing and all the kites were made in China, in super-sized factories where the windsurfing sails were made. Companies like Neil Pryde saw the number of kites being sold and started to think about getting into the sport kite market. They bought a kite company that was about fifth place in the industry at the time and gave it a shot, but the attempt flopped. Soon after, a crazy French guy named Bruno Legaignoux started banging on their door with his wild Wipika concept, so they gave it a try. The kites were hard to make
A group shot of the early pioneers of kiteboarding after the first competition on Maui. Photo Joe Cool

What was the equipment like back then? Terrible! Totally loaded two-line kites with no instructions. The first kites didn’t even come with bridles. I had to make the first bridles by hand; it was madness. Bruno was a crazy guy like me with a dream, but with no business skills. He was a true believer in his design and he was right.

The program ended up not working out, so I found a good yacht club with a bar. The guys at the club are all good people so here we are, doing the obvious, flying kites from boats and building a few small ones. We’re getting ready to launch a custom 27-foot catamaran: a modified Stiletto with a large kite flying option. Is racing going to play a large role in the future of the sport? What do the yacht clubs and sailors think about kite races? Yes, I believe yacht clubs will bring the sport to a sailing level of acceptance. A lot has happened in the past year with the super big help of the St. Francis Yacht Club and their team. When there is overlap between a regatta and a kite race, the professional sailors are watching and the younger ones are starting to kite. These guys are a new breed of kiteboarders. They are getting into the sport not to jump or do tricks or ride waves, but to race competitively. What’s your view on the sport right now? Where is the sport heading? I’m probably the biggest fan of the sport and think racing could be the main driving discipline to take kiteboarding to the next level. I mean olympic level competition, maybe even a new America’s Cup level in the sport of sailing for not only kiteboarding but also kite boating. Hopefully, I can be on one of the kite boats racing before I kick it out of here.

basics of kite flying, promoting, knocking on doors to get kites into retail shops, and bullshitting to everyone on how kites were it and how kiteboarding was going to surpass windsurfing in five years. Well, it only took three.

him all around the island introducing him to everyone in the windsurfing industry.

when everyone got lawyers and started threatening to sue each other. Anyone with a connection in China and twenty grand could get as many kites as they wanted out the back door of the factory, or take a kite to their competition next door and have them make it. For many years, all of the kites were coming from only two factories. What is the scene like in Maui now compared with back then? Is Maui still as relevant as it used to be in kiteboarding? In Maui now, the scene is crowds. Maui sold out the land and overdeveloped before building up the infrastructure more — meaning there are traffic jams not only on the roads, but also on the water and at the beaches. Still though, it is a big blue ocean out there and Hawaii is one of the coolest windy warm spots on the planet. Every time I have seen you, you have a video camera in your hand. How far back does your footage go? My footage goes back to day one. I’ve got it all on tape and print, every part of my story. A good example would be the first day I met Flash. He showed up with his rad rainbow skim board, four line mattress kite, super long hair, and gold ringed fingers. He ripped -- of course he was still going downwind, but he ripped like I never saw anyone up to that point, even getting air.

The interview published here is the shortened version. We simply did not have the room to print all the words we wanted to. You can get the full story and see additional photos online at www.thekiteboarder.com

28 thekiteboarder.com

thekiteboarder.com 29

learned
By: marina chang

Lessons
ear has come a long way since the early days of kiteboarding, with better performance features and

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more safety options than ever before. Yet, despite all these advances, there’s one thing that nobody can control but you: common sense.

Kitemares happen - a line may break resulting in a long swim back to shore, you may have pushed the envelope to find yourself in challenging conditions, or you simply may not have time to react to a given situation. To help you avoid your own kitemare, we’ve compiled some of the scariest moments in kiteboarding so that you can learn from the mistakes of others. While all of these incidents occurred on pre-2006 gear, the outcome for most of the incidents would’ve probably been similar on today’s gear. Remember the words of the Dali Lama: when you lose, don’t lose the lesson!

46 t h e k i t e b o a r d e r . c o m

thekiteboarder.com 47

rs r that two surfe ned years late releases). I lear I wasn’t! I d quick K, when ap shackles an d them I was O was before sn t that I convince tually making r the lofting, bu ar before even t afte of thering my ge checked me ou ed out in front r five hours ga ER aimlessly fo entually pass ndered around YOUR WEATH me off apartment. I ev wa who got KNOW the wrong got a lifeguard, tting it outside lking to me and it home and pu e guy started ta fore som si rred. my building be Name: Rick Ios e incident occu w hours after th e hospital a fe to th deNt: the hospital for rhage), was in time of acci a (brain hemor come Ng level at ught. Ridi hematom nce, self-ta re I started to d an epidermal o years experie d at home befo outcome: I ha night, and Intermediate, tw essed up in be sm that first spent two week out my surviving Beach, FL; one week, then c called my Boca Raton s concerned ab neurologist wa f iNcideNt: ter, the head do My te o e months la back to reality. locatioN/da g my life. Thre . am lmet for savin , 2000, 10:30 credited the he September 17 lous.” covery, “miracu bar. complete re Kite with stock 00 9.5m 4-line Ckite: 20 Size/type of ARNED st s an d m LESS ONS LE im ag es , fo re ca about 80 feet fro an d sa te lli te land, standing st. yo ur lo ca l Ch ec k ra da r ach with kite in we at he r! s ap pl y to ge to the we pty sand be the coastal rid es e re so ur ce 1. Kn ow yo ur ed from an em t 200 feet from rs ta nd ho w th d: Solo launch nd s an d un de lauNch/laN house and abou from a re al tim e wi trees, 150 feet reatening ening weather some seagrape rn s. advance of th udy, no threat we at he r pa tte was s, partially clo and react in onshore wind when riding bedded squalls weather werful em -20 mph side miles 2. Watch the er band with po NditioNS: 15 er Tampa, 200 hurricane feed WeatheR co the water. was centered ov a 400-mile long hurricane weather on aware that hit with the n/water, e deteriorating ph gust spike noted. I was un e toward ocea the tree line. Th y that a 50-60 m 3. Launch kit in from behind adoes that da cords suggest sweeping arby wind re were also torn . Launch and Ne p on land kite. There ere I was kiting. and never jum I launched the northwest of wh ound the time be ready to ad onshore ar es unhooked; land C-kit r, FL. wind shifting de kites. spike in Jupite e way with flat gh it was mph gust sheet out all th along with a 70 mph and althou winds over 20 out ep your kite lmet for ching, ke it up to ab 4. When laun ually wear a he e and brought feet iNcideNt: I us my 4-line C-kit RiptioN of eed inland 150. solo launched deSc low and go d at high sp et anyway. I and s suddenly lofte slammed to wear a helm Your Friend, beach and wa rapes before I lighter, chose 5. Distance Is nny hop on the rough the seag r ly remembe nith, did a bu good hel-foot tunnel th a 50 wear a ver and on 75% near ze y body created y memory fore more. Always is d 45-feet up. M d a half from m asonable g to unhook (th horizontally an e. I lost a day an ct vest and re vainly strugglin met, impa house; and d rail of a hous s the trees and the wood guar into eeds toward safety gear. veling at high sp two things: tra

: S ON LEARNED LES

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m or e m ill io n tim es m ak in g ar e a go od de ci si on sk ill s an d VE L st em . 1. Ki te fly in g HELMETS SA e, a gust e or sa fe ty sy d. For exampl an an y re le as im po rta nt th lly with its spee mph. up exponentia 15 to 25 force goes an a gust from 2. The wind’s Pelton times worse th wh en a Name: Blake mph is about 30 we r pr od uc ed en ce in po from 40 to 50 . I’ve been r sp ik e (d iff er of a sm al l Nt: Advanced m id dl e) accide h th e po we d th ro ug h th e l at time of 3. If yo u gr ap ction kites for RidiNg leve ge vs . fu ll sp ee es . Al so , nally flying tra e ki te pr od uc e wi nd ow ’s ed and professio ilding ki te is on th sp ik e a la rg designing, bu to tro ub le as tic th an th e m or e dr ge t yo u in ki te , it is FA R th ey ca n al so 15 years. wh ic h m ea ns in Colorado; M UC H fa st er l lake th ey tu rn ta lly cideNt: Smal a he lm et it’s to d date of iN locatioN aN an d do n’ t we ar wa y qu ic ke r. rnoon. ok lik e a “d or k” pa ra m ed ic s te afte wa nt to lo by th re e June 8, 2005 la 4. If yo u do n’ t io n. I wa s to ld na tu ra l se le ct m e - al l pa rt of co ol wi th da y. m y lif e on th is e. th at it sa ve d 8m, 4-line C-kit e of kite: hits the fan, it’s Size/typ if the shit 5. When and arby. e obstacles ne people around unch with som ve competent good to ha Very small la gusts up a uNch/laNd: the 30’s, with my head, but la saved ly onshore in you. My helmet r, gusty, direct wate ding to ear day, choppy d me from blee NditioNS: Cl windsurfer save WeatheR co Greg!). ard’s death (thanks d me off my bo to 40-50mph. a big gust pulle se in case the beach when across r my relea ed and went fo I made one tack of iNcideNt: d off of it unharm se while I was deScRiptioN the beach. I rolle to pull my relea f t I think I tried boat parked on r. Disoriented, of d into a paddle at happened, bu edge an re exactly wh hand on the ba dive or through. Not su y feet, with one me back on m re to severely another gust ca ed around and enough pressu on the bar was trying to get turn much larger simultaneously e, my one hand jects that were t rid of the kit hit several ob d in a hurry to ge e ground and I t th balance an s. zone. My feet lef than two second ugh the power in probably less loop the kite thro thing was over and me. The whole in the hospital and harder than ies, two weeks re, three surger ive ca o days in intens licopter ride, tw der Magazine! outcome: He g The Kiteboar in bed readin lying three months of
Photo James Brown

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:

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Photo Laura

ED: ESS ON ELSEARN L M
TEST SAFETY
tler Name: Gavin Bu

SYST

Photo courtesy

r. kite with stock ba d was te: 2003 12m Cthe beach. Win ze/type of ki Si rs and lines on lots of kites, ba d downwind e with beach an t good launch sit rants along the d: Crowded bu ings and restau lauNch/laN mponent; build co slight side wind onshore with a steady site. s/dark clouds, from the launch weather system no impending ies, nshore, blue sk NditioNS: O WeatheR co 5% . At about 60-7 20 knots. ted toward land th the kite poin solutely no e kite wi st. I had ab : I launched th e restaurant fa of iNcideNt me towards th . I tried again deScRiptioN t it didn’t work ing and pulling release bu started loop into to pull the quick ross the sand zenith, the kite before s dragging ac shit and tried ows of relaxed as I wa knew I was in l, front wind die. So I steering contro into the glass I was about to d went straight ne of the s and then knew s sticking out an e other side. No with no succes g lunch on th the board rack bounced along everyone havin rant. I missed e of the restau . I then got , to the surpris the restaurant like Spiderman to the eaves of the restaurant d to slide up in and I continue windows broke

Photo Bruno Vongu

Photo Kai Murra

iate; ginner/intermed accideNt: Be l at time of jumps. d small RidiNg leve istently, and lan go upwind cons just starting to , 2003 Cabarete cideNt: June d date of iN locatioN aN rnoon. public, mid-afte Dominican Re

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on a drainpipe, ught on a nail y my lines got ca wn and pull m en one of out 30 feet wh le to hold me do the eaves for ab gh for four peop d up again. g enou it powere ed the kite lon behind it when which de-power into the building I didn’t fly away so a beer. quick release, d went and had off the sand an r a few I got up, washed re shoulder fo OCK and a so a bit. I was w bruises, SH a fe me out me scratches, relaxing helped outcome: So cky. I thinking shment. major. I was lu t ready for puni ing I chilled and go months - noth y to fight it, so e was no wa screwed. Ther around ts of other lines crowded with lo cially when it’s eck it, but we lines espe ought to ch 1. Check your fore anyone th ted. packed away be y the kite reac . My gear was and kites d, given the wa rant. es were crosse at the lin to the restau all deduced th ls by walking in especially if e lunch specia on your gear, sier to check th 2. It’s ea lease works w the quick re know ho 3. Check and ng or testing! nting, borrowi you’re re to die. you are about you feel 4. Relax when oulder injuries. 5. Ice helps sh

Photo Paul Menta

Photo James Bro

Iossi

wn

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H RESPECT HIG

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r m ak e th at ou t. I’l l ne ve or e = do n’ t go on sh s + st ra ig ht iedog” Murray 1. Hi gh wi nd Name: Kevin “Ir s. de in light wind iate. , but mostly ro ginner-intermed m is ta ke ag ai n. all. iate kiteboarder accideNt: Be ed all kite at at time of I was an interm not used to a sm RidiNg level 2. At the time, a beginner and n or h s definitely still r what directio ere Inlet, Sout I wa es, no matte Nt: Strathm In high winds, wind in the forti te of iNcide th d da ver been out wi locatioN aN pm. I should’ve ne r 9, 2003, 4:20 on my 7m kite h. rsey; Septembe ac Je ent more time how big of a be ve definitely sp ha gear: I should 4-line C kite. 3. Know your kite: 7 meter, s. gu t Size/type of en , I tru st m y t in nuking wind ou da y. Si nc e th sand before taking it ical east coast to go ou t th at t ach and typ ng fe el in g no edium-sized be 4. I ha d a st ro e Inlet has a m challenging for tip of Strathmer . The north itions that were fe el in g al wa ys e lauNch/laNd: of riding in cond d land a kite. e nch an mistake in thes slightest mistak y of room to lau n you make a 5. I made the dunes with plent to the mid-40s. eboarder. Whe kit with gusts t experienced e, super windy correct it. even the mos t directly onshor t have time to itioNS: Almos en him in ns, you may no eatheR coNd and I hadn’t se pes of conditio W ty eboarding l of a sudduced me to kit ed first when al other Kip intro cideNt: My br ing out. I launch and of iN s into go h the air deScRiptioN cketing throug talked ourselve up to see me ro ckled ride together, we g blood. Kip ta y brother looked ar. Anxious to a ye and gurglin Suddenly, m ce, unconscious raight onshore. d heard the my fa me an den it turned st the beach on were working on s dragged down the paramedics watched as I wa the $9K ride. I woke up while kite. remembered to release the wouldn’t have my lifeless body – otherwise, I ,a ready en route al ternal bleeding Helicopter was a lung, had in ys in ICU, d I punctured s an it, three da broke 10 bone the trauma un e initial impact l, left me with few hours with outcome: Th conscious. A in the hospita knocked un d eight days sion, and was chest tube, an concus n days with a orphine, seve six days on m
Photo Muff Murray

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I le to fly home, lung and unab m the collapsed a few weeks d fro later. After l bill. Grounde me six weeks a $100K medica fore heading ho for a month be d recovered in be to kiteboarding. apy, I was back of physical ther

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G. Butler

y

thekiteboarder.com 49

S O TN LEARESFOIDES BE AW
Name: Michae l Alpert

LEARNED:

Photo Stacey

Intermediate ad f accideNt: l at time o ry). RidiNg leve k in this catego perpetually stuc vanced (seem kBeach, Nantuc deNt: Jetties date of iNci . d til 2:30 am locatioN aN r 2002, 4 pm un etts; Novembe et, Massachus Size/type of kite: 12m C-kit e, 4-line.

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for help. r phone to call , and used thei er mints. ich I broke into wh some dinn -season hotel, e of wine and a closed-for-the asted on a bottl be rescued, I fe r a few While waiting to the hospital fo good! I was in but overall, outcome was the on my feet, ell, I’m here, so up a few cuts outcome: W ture and dress y core tempera m hours to regain was fine. . oaching storm r like sk with an appr rd find you late n’t go out at du the Coast Gua 1. Do ie. It’s ething to help m your hood rule one, do so ctive stickies on 2. If you ignore , or putting refle nja. flare or strobe l like a ni carrying a smal you’re dressed to see you when d that. since they foun ly hard for them real th it, ve been good ergy and go wi e kite would ha th Save your en 3. Staying with ht the current. fig cause I didn’t 4. I’m here be e, it for another fiv er. s and walked in you’ll last long tsuit for six hour peed in your we kiting again! 5. After you’ve before you go sh it thoroughly ake sure to wa m

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Fonas

fluky no obstacles or fe launch with ways have a sa to al e good fortune d: We have th s. lauNch/laN sandy beache y ethora of wide wa rm er th at da gusts and a pl wind . It wa s a lit tle ld ai r ar e gl an d is co ld w En ur e an d co ve m be r in Ne r wh en m oi st Nd it io NS : No wi nd s, an d te rs ca n oc cu W eath eR co rri ca ne -fo rc e wa y (N or ’e as te r on its pr od uc e hu in an d sn ow, ha d a No r’e as bu t we am ou nt s of ra du m p he av y pl en tif ul . Th ey a quick rf) . nted to get in cr ea te hi gh su sk, and we wa a new moon, hour before du , an Due to Nt: It was 3 pm oke a kite line. d N of iNcide heading in, I br es, I got tangle deScRiptio to wind my lin hit. As we were made e Nor’easter it. In an effort th ong with ng current session before but the outgoi oving, and I al me into shore e was really m ing it very the outgoing tid y tried dragging now dusk, mak feet. It was kite. A budd d to ditch the seas to 12-15 -degree water e and decide hours in 47 50 knots and th e. I spent 6.5 nd jacked up to s before finding opter to find m it futile. The wi ed for five hour ats and a helic ast Guard bo elf. I then walk ore mys hard for two Co to make it to sh and managed in pitch black

LES ARE DANGEROUS
TOW UPS
Name: Neil Hu tchinson at time of ac l RidiNg leve

: S ON LEARNED
cideNt: Adva nced.

g. If of tow up kitin der the rigors e to hold up un hold the boat Florida es are not mad self to a ski or : Islamorada, 1. Kites and lin not attach your of iNcideNt it your ed to try it, do N aNd date ewhere; make in locatio rnoon. ak link som you are determ 02, Sunday afte has to be a we ber 20 hand. There Keys; Septem rope with your u off the water. e C-kite. equipment. ough to get yo prototype 4-lin grip, not your too fast - just en of kite: 27m , harness. Size/type e ski or boat go lines, pig tails 2. Do not let th . knots in you tes are rigged ar carefully i.e deep water. Ki ge by knee in 3. Check your ch surrounded th the rider out water. yo u ar e fairly tight laun in two feet of es no t m ea n floating dock, wi The site has a Do not try this fil m in g yo u do ’ x 20’ wooden 4. uNch/laNd: ed from a 20 ca m er a m an la en launch e th er e is a y beach, and th 5. Ju st be ca us on a small sand . in de st ru ct ib le the water. ees, flat water. knots, 85 degr e-on about 8-10 t winds, sid trying NditioNS: Ligh y wind and we WeatheR co was hardly an d to a jet ski o shoot, there a vide d one en Nt: I was on and connecte et N of iNcide ropes together d over 100 fe deScRiptio I tied two ski s getting towe th me ng of the day. harness. I wa hi teboard wi ck of my to make somet uld take my ki r end to the ba I decided I wo kled the othe t Ski took shackle when down. The Je and snap shac my way ing the snap in one jump on I was almost r before releas ew and when into the ai every trick I kn up super fast d n and perform before. I shot ap shackle an on my next ru h faster than I pulled the sn jelly fishing. and went muc the kite nd violently oke and off into the wi I saw the kite hooked into br l over the ski, ess line I was directly vertica new fixed harn e brand same time, th almost at the of my hands. out ripped straight
Photo Ryan Ric

#6

out nel, which is ab -foot wide chan when I hit into the only 10 feet nscious e fell about 120 s knocked unco outcome: I fre deep water. I wa ood vessels unded by knee ussion, burst bl et deep, surro a severe conc 12-fe as the tar in spital with thing I smoked ke up in the ho ter the water and wo e it was a good lling m back on the wa d the doctor te ys later I was in my lungs an . A couple of da them ally protected my lungs actu y to be alive. ck feeling very lu

Photo Stacey Fonas

Photo Kim Kern

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citelli

50 thekiteboarder.com

Photo Ryan Riccitelli

own ing d reak B oll R

ack a B
By Will J ames ites / P /Blade K hotos Je ff Pfeffe r

Roll Back
1. To set up the back roll, keep your kite
relatively high and your speed at a nice easy pace. you don’t need a ‘ramp’ to initiate the back roll, but if a wave or piece of chop presents itself, try to time the jump so you turn up the face of the chop when you take off as this will help you out with your rotation.

3. As you come around in the rotation, you
will have to make a judgment call as to how high you are off the water, and how quickly you’ll have to come down before you over rotate. you can control your landing by pulling down on the kite with your forward (in this case left) hand. The harder you pull with your left hand, the quicker you’ll drop out of the rotation. This segment of the trick takes a little skill to get dialed, but when you get it down you will be able to come out of the rotation with speed.

Watch the back roll video instructional.

2. As you take off, look over your front
shoulder. Remember that wherever the head goes, the body goes. The more you look over your shoulder, the more you will rotate. If you come off the chop with a lot of rotation you’ll find you hardly need to look over your shoulder at all. It just takes a little practice to get the feeling down in order to figure out how much rotation you need to make it around.

o
72 t h e k i t e b o a r d e r . c o m

ver the past couple of years, I have done quite a few promotional trips and time and time again, no matter where I go, people always ask me to talk them through one move. No, it’s not a handlepass. It’s not an off-the-lip. It’s not a board-off - it’s a basic back roll. The back roll and

4. When you land a straight back roll, you’ll
probably come through slightly over rotated, so you’ll want to come down tail first.

back roll to revert aren’t going to win you any heats in the PKRA (at least not these days), but these are the first tricks any rider should learn. They are both technically easy and still look good. So here we go.

thekiteboarder.com 73

down aking Bre Roll

ack a B

cont.

REVERT TO ROLL BACK
1. First of all, the back roll to revert is just
Watch the back roll to revert video instructional.
a back roll where you rotate an extra 180 degrees and land toeside. Like all wakeboard moves, they stuck it with a fancy name to intimidate and confuse the rest of us.

head on the take off and you’ll probably come around perfectly into a toeside landing. Check out how the landing in this sequence is more inverted than the previous sequence of a straight back roll.

2. Because you’re actually trying to over
rotate this move, you can come off the wave or chop with more of an inverted spin. Go ahead and throw your feet up over your

3. Just like the back roll, you should be
coming down pulling with the front hand. This will help you drop out of the sky a little bit, and help stall out the rotation before the landing. you can see I dropped the front

hand off the bar after I had pulled enough with the front hand. Letting go with your front hand will make it easier for you to rotate your shoulders away from the kite as you come in toeside.

4. Continue rotating to get the extra 180 to
land toeside. Stomp the landing, smile, and claim it. you’re ripping.

74 t h e k i t e b o a r d e r . c o m

thekiteboarder.com 75

LauNCH
Bart Gaska stopped riding his regular board six months ago and now rides his hydrofoil exclusively. Photo: Roberto Vicens Peter Trow has the most fun with his hydrofoil on light wind, small surf days. Photo: Jason Wolcott/Flexifoil

Chip training for the US Nationals on a foil board.

Current TV interviews Chip Wasson on course racing and his weapon of choice at the US Nationals in San Francisco.

Hydrofoil
Imagine a pelican gliding just above the water, cruising on a cushion of soft air or the sensation you feel when riding across perfectly soft, deeppowder snow. These are just a few descriptions that kiteboarders use to describe how they feel when riding a hydrofoil board. If you live in a light wind area, are into course racing, or just want to try something new, foiling has come a long way since the days of the Airchair, cumbersome boots and bindings, and heavy metal hydrofoils. We caught up with a few riders that have embraced this ‘new’ type of board to give you some insight as to when and why they enjoy foiling. but not with the designs that existed at the time. So I set out to design a new foilboard that was more user-friendly and lightweight, to make it more appealing to all types of riders. Experiencing the sensation of a hydrofoil board while surfing or kiting is life changing.” Riders like Chip Wasson from the San Franciso Bay area, Peter Trow from the Central California Coast, Bart Gaska from St. Thomas and Neil Hutchinson from Florida are seasoned riders who agree with Mango that foiling definitely has some major advantages over their current twin tips or directionals. All have added hydrofoil boards to their kiteboarding quivers for different reasons.

A N e w R i d e:

Kiteboarding

a whole new meaning in terms of the angle it could achieve going upwind.” Chip has been using the Carafino foilboard in the Cabrinha Race Series in San Francisco – and winning. He chooses to ride it because he said with a foilboard, he can go upwind at a higher angle than anything else currently in the kite racing world. “I have been competitive in heavy winds but have been tough to beat in sub-18 conditions and indomitable in less than 14. I use the boots when racing for a more direct response to the craft and they’re also better in tight maneuvering situations. I use the footstraps for regular riding, mostly in light wind.”

afterwards.” He added, “Adrenaline oozes out of my ears every time I ride – it takes me back to when I first started kiteboarding. I started doing more freestyle tricks with this board because nobody thought I could. I shocked myself on an average day when my jumps were about 1/3 higher than on my regular board. Now, I can do about 80% of the tricks I can do on a twin tip – that includes kiteloops and unhooked power moves. Unless you are doing double handlepasses with kiteloops 30 feet in the air, you can do almost everything on a hydrofoil that you can on a twin tip.”

the conditions are right, but when the wind is over 20 or the surf is really clean, I’ll push it to the side in favor of my directional.” He continued, “I think foilboarding’s biggest growth potential is for light wind areas and perhaps racing. It’s not all there yet, but with more interest and R&D, it may become a much more commonly used board.”

think once more beaches get hydrofoil kiteboarders riding in 8 knots of wind and doing tricks in 10, is when foilboarding will begin its spike. It’s not a secret that the board can go in unbelievably light winds – people just need to see it more!” Mango is excited about the future but said that ultimately, the kiters will determine the success or failure of hydrofoil kiteboards. He feels that Carafino was way ahead of its time until now. “The smile on people’s faces says it all.” The most common misconceptions about hydrofoil boards are: difficult water start, fear of the foil hitting the rider, and inability to do freestyle moves. For experienced riders, most say it only took them a few days at most to dial in. For more info and video, see www.carafino.com

IDEAL CONDITIONS

LIGHT WIND MACHINE

RENEWED INTEREST

Much credit needs to be given to Mango Carafino, inventor and distributor of Carafino foilboards, for renewing interest in foiling with a kite. “I began Carafino nearly a decade again as a tow-in surfing fanatic here in the Hawaiian Islands,” Mango said. “When I got into kiteboarding, I knew that foiling could open up a whole new dimension to the sport, 
t h e k i t e b o a r d e r . c o m

RACING POTENTIAL

FREESTYLE MYTH

“I was first exposed to foilboarding in 2000 or so but only started to play with it behind a kite in 2005,” said Chip. “At first, foiling was interesting to me as a representation of the new “thing” and looked cool to do as floating above the water was intriguing. Once we started racing kites, the foilboard took on

Bart Gaska now rides his foilboard exclusively. Even though he is only 27, he said kiteboarding with his twin tip was starting to hurt when he rode hard and long. “The foilboard is so much easier to ride since you are just flying above the water and not having to deal with constant edging. I can go out now for a three-hour session, come back and hit the gym

Wave slayer Peter Trow said the foilboard is ideal when there’s mellow wind, the surf is minimal or when the waves are big but mushy. He said he can jam upwind and ride a kite two times smaller than normal, but in high winds and certain surf conditions, it’s more of a struggle and he’ll usually avoid it. Trow said, “Compared to riding a regular board, foiling is silent and smooth. I get really into it when

Neil Hutchinson agrees, especially where light wind is concerned. He purchased and started experimenting with the Airchair about six years ago. He eventually chopped the chair off and retrofitted the board with boots and bindings. It wasn’t perfect, but it did allow him to ride and have fun when others kiters were grounded or their kites were falling out of the sky. With the new innovations from Carafino, Neil is excited to get back into foilboarding and further explore the potential of this type of riding. “I

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411

ask the MD
topic HANDLING eMeRGeNCY SITUATIONS
By Dr. Steve Benaron, emergency Medicine Specialist

ack Sm
“BIG BOB” Sales... 1956 - 2007 The Caution family has lost a true brother, “Big Bob” Sales, to an unfortunate motorcycle accident. One of the gentlest giant you would ever get to meet, he stood an intimidating 6’5” at 300+ pounds and had a heart of gold. Bob spent his winters down in La Ventana, Baja Mexico, where he patrolled the beaches in his Jeep with his dog Boots, passing out Coronas to parched kiters. When he wasn’t on the beach, you could find him hustling travelers out of their hard earned money on the dirt golf course or row sham bowing someone for lunch. There will be a celebration of his life in La Ventana sometime in mid-January. Bob is survived by his two great kids, daughter Savannah (12) and son Brody (10). Next time you’re riding in 25+ knots, think about Bob on his 16m C-kite, and send it like he would. Bob was truly a wild man and will be missed! Bob you will never be forgotten... CFL!!! (Caution for Life) Latitude Ltd has purchased the company formerly known as SOF-X Extreme Sports. The line of the new company reflects the new designs and innovative technology of the sport itself. Latitude has taken the excellent technology of their new designers and blended it with their business capability to provide an affordable line of products with top quality. Latitude, with its strong financial background, is injecting the former SOF-X with new life, new energy and therefore will raise the company to an entirely new level. See www.latitudekiteboarding.com for more info. Transcend Apparel started in Boynton Beach Florida in 2003 when Andrew DeFilippis and a few of the local riders wanted a kiteboarding t-shirt that was not branded by an industry manufacturer. Their first shirt, GET BLOWN, was so well received that they made another that said PASS IT, and got the same positive reaction. Check out www.transcendapparel.com for the full selection.
Photo courtesy Caution

Dave Turner Interview at Surf Expo

Q
1 2 3 4 5 6

Not too long ago while kiting, I watched a friend do one of his erratic sent kite tricks which resulted in a head first landing in shallow water. He fell forward, hit his head, and did not move — a kiter’s worse kitemare. With the possibility of a major injury, how should you approach the victim?

Immediately ask someone to call 911 for emergency assistance. In most locations around the country, Emergency Medical Response will be available to assist in these situations, and stabilize or transport the injured party to the hospital if needed. If the injury turns out to be minor, there is nothing lost, as this is a service to most communities and the emergency responders will be available to assist in these situations, and stabilize or transport the injured party to the hospital if needed. Ask for further assistance from bystanders or other kiters to help the injured individual. If the kiter is face down in the water, immediately logroll the person over, being careful not to turn, flex, or extend the neck. Basic life support kicks in at this time following the ABC’s. If the person must be moved, use a kiteboard or surfboard to aid in moving, keeping the neck and head stable at all times. Most accidents are not life critical and usually, in this situation, once the airway is clear and the person is able to breath, they will wake up. However, the back up plan has already been initiated – the call to 911.

AIRWAY – check to make sure the

A

airway is clear of any obstruction i.e. water, sand, vomit etc., and sweep the mouth clear of any debris with your finger. If the airway is obstructed and you clear it as directed, most people will immediately start breathing on their own.

B C

BReATHING – make sure the person is breathing; if not, you must begin CPR. If you do not know CPR, ask any bystanders if they can help. The best advice here: if you do not know CPR, please take a course from your local Red Cross or Emergency Medicine Authority. Learning CPR is simple and can save a life. CIRCULATION – check for a pulse. If
there is one, you do not need to begin chest compressions. If there is no pulse, then you must begin chest compressions as well as breathing for the person as instructed in your CPR course.

If you find yourself in this situation with or without help, the simple maneuvers that you have learned here and in your CPR class can be lifesaving. If you follow these simple directions, a kiter in dire need may be able to kite another day—the stoke from saving a life will far outweigh any day of nuking wind.

Dr. Steve Benaron is an avid surfer and kiteboarder on the Central Coast of California. He is a specialist in Emergency Medicine and has been in active practice since 1984. His entire family of four kiteboards and can be found on any given day tearing it up in Pismo Beach, CA.

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Photo: Nikki Ivanoski

INSTRUCTIONAL
utler Gavin B Photos:
20 back arn. The 7 t d should le can an is importan every rider tations and turn, moves that multiple ro ld of you two downloop u to the wor , we bring move, the get into his month introduce yo ur second ct move to of tricks. O you want to perfe pertoire tions. If spin is the up your re your transi e downloop en or to , and th order to op d some flav g your kite to learn in plete it. Get al way to ad ownloopin ded to com and practic le simply d le to itment nee comfortab is a stylish ickly be ab e comm d to get d you’ll qu used to th u first nee already an teloops, yo way to get ki mellow ow them easy and u don’t kn turn is an moves if yo arn these d le . out there an your riding diversity in play a little dis

Mrosvsens T o coolrog e i g Tw You p
to keep
Staff By TKB

Tip

Make sure you commit to getting through two rotations. Most people try to spot their landing after the first rotation, which will cause you to stop rotating. Leave your chin tucked to your forward shoulder until you see your landing after the second rotation.

4. Use your knees to slow down or speed up your rotation:
Watch the 720 instructional clip.

720 Back Spin
RideR: Shannon BeSt
This is an easy and really fun way to begin learning moves that involve multiple rotations. Before you attempt this move, you should feel comfortable with sent jumps and regular back rolls.
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1. Like in any jump, start by riding with good speed and
your kite positioned 45º to 60º off the water.

extending your legs will slow down and pulling your knees to your chest will speed you up.

5. As you finish your second rotation, spot your landing
and stare at it. Always look where you are going. Your body follows your head.

2. Edge upwind and pop your board off the water while
bringing your kite overhead. As your board leaves the water, look over your forward shoulder and throw your board up and away from the kite.

6. Bend your knees to absorb the landing and pull the
kite back forward so you land with speed. If you are still rotating too fast, you can extend your arm to help you slow down.

3. Tuck your knees in and commit to rotating through two
full rotations. Keep your chin tucked to your forward shoulder. Keep the kite overhead.

7. Ride away and set up for your next move.
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INSTRUCTIONAL
Watch the back downloop transition instructional.

Photos: Gavin Butler

Tip

if you feel like you are getting yanked when you do this, let yourself travel more downwind as the kite travels to the other side of the wind window. However, do not point the board straight downwind as this will cause you to lose line tension and steering control. as long as you keep tension on your lines, your kite will react quickly and it will be very easy to complete the downloop.

RideR: iSmael mouSSed The downloop turn is a move that anyone can and should do. Besides giving a basic toeside turn a little style, it’s a very useful way of changing directions in a hurry. You should be able to ride toeside and do a regular toeside turn before attempting the downloop turn.

DownLoop Turn

1. Start by riding toeside with your kite 60º to 80º
off the water.

2. Before you begin turning your board, pull your
bar with your front hand. Commit!

3. Follow the kite with the nose of your board. 4. Ride away on your heel edge with speed.

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WORKBENCH

KITE PAGES
CALIFORNIA
Action Watersports (318) 827-2233 Aquan Watersport (650)593-6060 Bay Area Kitesurf (415) 573-2619 Board Sports (510) THE-WAVE Board Sports (415) 929-SURF CaliKites (619) 522-9575 CA CA CA CA CA CA CA CA CA CA CA CA CA CA CA CA CA CA CA CA CA CA CA CA CA CA CA CA CA CA (925) 212-2915 Xdream Sportz (858)481-9283 Xstreamline Sports (310) 518-1972 Xtreme Big Air (805) 773-9200 CA CA CA CA Tampa Bay Kiteboarding (727) 798-2484 Waterplay (800) 841-1225 Watersports West (888) 401-5080 Xrated Kiteboarding (888) 401-5080 FL FL FL FL (808) 870-2554 Hawaiian Ocean Sports (866) 488-5483 Kitesurf Maui (808) 873-0015 Maui Kiteboarding Lessons (808) 242-8015 Naish Hawaii (808) 262-6068 HI HI HI HI Off Da Lip (808) 255-6255 GA GA GA Second Wind (808) 877-7467 Vela Maui (800) 223-5443 HI HI HI HI

COLORADO
Colorado Kite Force (970)4853300 GAYLAN’S (720) 887-0900 Into the Wind (303) 449-5906 Larson’s Ski and Sport (303) 423-0654 Fuze Kiteboarding (303) 683-5033 PKS (970) 376-3159 CO CO CO CO CO CO

GEORGIA
High Tide Surf Shop (912) 786-6556 Locus Kiteboarding (404) 509-4229 Hanag20 Kiteboarding (912) 223-7856

Lead photo: Dallas McMahon

Captain Kirk’s (310) 833-3397 Delta Windsurf Company (831) 429-6051 Helm Sports (650 )344-2711 Inflight Surf and Sail (562) 493-3661 Kite Country (619) 226-4421 Kitesurfari (562) 596-6451

IDAHO
Groud Zero (208) 265-6714 ID ID

HAWAII
Action Sports Maui (808) 871-5857 Aloha Kiteboarding Academy (808) 637-5483 HI HI HI HI HI HI HI HI HI Caveman Kitesurfing (808) 389-4004 CT CT Extreme Sports Maui (808) 871-7954 Hawaiian Island Surf and Sport (808) 871-4981 Hawaiian Watersports (808) 262-KITE FL FL FL FL FL FL FL FL FL FL FL FL FL FL FL FL FL FL FL FL FL FL FL Hawaiian Surf & Sail (808) 637-5373 Kailua Sailboards (808) 262-2555 Kite High (808) 637-5483 Kiteboard Center (808) 276-2667 Kiteboard Maui HI

Fly Sun Valley (208) 726-3332

CONNECTICUT
Orbit Marine Sports (203) 333-3483 Tri State Kites (800) 510-0865

ILLINOIS
Windward Sports (773) 472-6868 Chicago Kiteboarder (312) 804-5482 IL IL

PULLEY PRIMER
f you have a bow or hybrid style kite, it is likely to be equipped with at least two pulleys, and some kites have as many as eight! While today’s pulleys are strong and breakage is rare, regular maintenance is critical because if they do not slide easily, they will quickly wear the bridle lines.

By ryan “Toast” Toahspern | Instructional photos courtesy of extreme Kites

KiteWindSurf (510) 522-WIND Live2Kite (415) 722-7884 Long Beach Windsurf Center

FLORIDA
Emerald Coast Kiteboarding (850) 235-2444 Learn 2 Fly (386) 986-9637 7 Kiteboarding (305) 664-4055 Ace Performer (239) 489-3513 Big Kite Miami (305) 303- 4107 East Coast Kiteboarding (954) 295-5778 Extreme Kites (904) 461-9415 Extreme Sports (321) 779-4228 Jupiter Kiteboarding (561) 373-4445 Ft. Lauderdale Kitesurfing Co. (954) 410-5419 Hydrotherapy (850) 236-1800 Island Style Wind & Watersports (941) 954-1009 Island Surf and Sail (954) 927-7002 Kite Surf the Earth (888) 819-5483 Kite World (321) 725-8336 KGB Kiteboarding (904) 434-8987 1st Coast Kiting (904) 424-2721 Liquid Surf & Sail (850) 664-5731 KiteMare (877) 829-0015 Miami Kiteboarding Inc. (305) 345-9974 Sandy Point Progressive Sports (386) 756-7564 Sea & Sky Sports (850) 598-3735 Ski Rixen (954) 429-0215

MASSACHUSETTS
Air Support Kiteboarding (866) Kite-Cod Kitesite.net (508) 398-1333 Skyhigh Kiteboarding School (508) 259-2728 Wind, Snow and H20 (508) 775-7756 Skyhigh Kiteboarding School (508) 259-2728 MA MA MA MA MA

i

HoW to repLACe Your puLLeY

PullEy MAINTENANCE
IS SIMPlE
Make it a habit to check them before you launch for sand, and check your sheave manually with your fingers to see if there is resistance. If your pulleys are jammed with sand, clear them with water or blow as much off as you can. If your sheave has resistance, yank the pulley back and forth across the bridle until it rolls free. Before you pack up, inspect your bridle for wear. Spending just a few seconds inspecting your bridle and pulleys will help ensure your fun factor the next time you pull your kite out of the bag. “Toast” is an affiliate of Extreme Kites in Florida and helps the shop test gear. He makes his home in Maui as an air traffic controller and loves wave riding and big air.

(562) 433-1014 Mako Surf Skate Snow (949) 367-1300 Malibu Kitesurfing (310) 430-KITE Manta Wind & Water Sports (858) 270-7222 Mission Bay Aquatic Center (858) 488-1000 Monkey Air (310) 457-6896 Murrays (800) 786-7245 x23 Offshore Surf Co (760) 729-4934 OOTO Kite School (650) 960-1721 Solutions (805) 773-5991 Soul Performance (310) 370-1428 Sky Kitesurfing School (925) 455-4008 VELA (800) 223-5443 West Coast Kiteboarding (619) 813-2230 Wind over Water Kiteboarding (650) 218-6023 Windsport (619) 488-4642 Kite Island

inSpeCt Your BridLe For WeAr
A clogged, sand-infested pulley can destroy a bridle in just a few sessions, so it’s critical to inspect them often for wear. upon inspection, the bridle may exhibit some discoloration, a common form of minor wear. If the bridle is getting rough to the touch, consider replacing the section. If you are short on time and the range of pulley travel (i.e. the part of the line the pulley travels on) is not centered on the section, simply reverse it so that the pulley is wearing on a fresh part of the bridle and replace the section as soon as you can. If you find parts of your bridle with exposed broken fibers, replace them immediately. Contact your kite manufacturer and they should be able to sell you a replacement bridle. Inspect your pulleys often, especially if you find the bridle is wearing quickly. If the sheave (the wheel part of the pulley) will not roll freely and the unit is full of sand, it is likely the axle or frame has deformed under load and you should consider replacing the pulleys. Pulleys with worn or chipped sheaves should also be replaced immediately. one popular option is the Ronstan 20101, a pulley with ball bearings and a perforated casing, which helps reduce the friction caused by sand. The working strength of these pulleys is higher than the blocks that come standard on many bridled kites and they only cost about $10 each.
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1

Free one end of the section of bridle that the pulley travels on. generally, one end will be easier to free than the other. Make sure you perform the replacement on one side of the kite at a time so that you have a correct side for reference.

2 3

pull off the old pulley and slide on the new one.

reattach the bridle section to the kite. if this involves a larks head knot, apply some tension to the bridle line to tighten. Spray the pulley with a dry lubricant like McLube SailKote to keep it rolling freely.

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Jason Slezak displays perfect upwind form and kite placement. Lens John Bilderback

Speed Control

By Paul Lang

Slow Down to SpeeD Up YoUr progreSSion
How do you control your Speed?

M

any intermediate kiteboarders want to learn how to improve

their jumping skills, go upwind faster, and ride waves better. What few people realize is that simply learning to control your speed will improve your kiteboarding skills as a whole. To become a better kiter, you must build a foundation of solid basic skills, and speed control is the first skill you should work on after you learn to get up on your board.

As a rider, you have a lot of control over your speed. You are not simply at the mercy of the wind. Since the introduction of high depower kites, many riders have begun to rely on the the chicken loop to control speed, but this is a bad habit. Focus on controlling your speed without using your chicken loop by learning how to edge your board more effectively and your board skills will dramatically improve.

Speed up
• • •

Stand up and put your body directly over the top of your board. Shift your weight further forward, so that your weight is evenly distributed between your feet. If you still want to go faster, cycle the kite in the window to produce more power.

upwind you go. Conversely, the faster you go, the less upwind you go. It’s that simple. To travel upwind as quickly as possible, you need to slow down, but remember to do it progressively. If you slow down too much, you will not be able to stay on top of the water and you will not go upwind very effectively, if at all.

• • • •

Slow down

Hold your kite steady at 45o to 60o above the water. While keeping your back straight, lean back against the pull of the kite and drive your weight through the heel of your back foot. This must be done progressively. If you suddenly put all of your weight on your back foot, you will slow down too much and sink back into the water. Think of the tail of your board as a brake. The harder you push on the brake, the more you slow down.

Once you become more proficient and focused on controlling your speed, you will notice that gusts and lulls are easier to deal with -- in gusty winds, slow down in the puffs and speed up in the lulls. If you do this, you will be able to stay in complete control, even in the most challenging conditions.

Speed and Jumping

SpeedS eFFect on upwind aBility

When you learn to control your speed, going upwind becomes much easier because there is a simple relationship between the two. Using your board skills to control speed, the slower you go, the further

Here is a tip that can really help both your riding and your jumping: riding upwind and jumping correctly requires different speeds. To get upwind quickly you have to ride slower than is proper for jumping. Think of riding upwind and jumping as two separate modes. In upwind mode, you are gaining ground upwind, but you will not be able to generate very much pop if you try to jump. To generate pop requires speed, and in upwind mode you should be traveling slowly. To switch into jumping mode, you have to focus on generating more speed and not
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Speed Control
Miguel Willis uses the power of the kite and regulates his board speed to place himself in the sweet spot of this wave. Lens Carlos Delicado

worry about trying to get upwind. Speed up by easing up on your edge and bringing your weight over your board. Shift your weight forward to take your foot off the brake. You can quickly regain any downwind distance you lose by slowing down and transitioning back into upwind mode.

are done with the wave, slow down and shift into upwind mode so you can do it all over again

FocuS on tHe BaSicS

uSing Board Speed in tHe waveS

Speed management is very useful in the waves. Go watch a group of kiters in the waves and you will see why. Most intermediate riders simply ride back and forth in the waves. Good riders speed up and slow down to get on and stay on the wave. Every wave is different, and some waves are faster than others. Depending on the wave, you will have to either slow down or speed up to catch it. Once on the wave, you can use your board speed to stay there. If you find yourself being pulled in front of the wave by your kite, slow down and let the face of the wave catch up to you. If the wave begins to crumble in front of you, you can speed up to get around the section and get back onto the face of the wave. When you
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Don’t forget that improving your kiteboarding skills is based on progression. You must master the basics before moving on to progressively more difficult moves. Too many riders begin hucking themselves into the air and charging big surf before understanding a concept as simple as speed management. You will ultimately progress much faster if you slow yourself down and take the time to master the basic skills before you try to imitate the riders in the latest available DVD. Make the effort to fully understand one concept before moving on to the next. The next time you ride, focus only on controlling your speed for the first 30 minutes. To get upwind, don’t focus on trying to get upwind. Focus on riding slowly and you will automatically get there. You have to learn to walk before you can run, and learning to control your speed is an essential skill to get you on your way to becoming a better rider.
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worKBencH

d

o you suffer from bladder issues? Symptoms include difficulty maintaining constant pressure, decreased stamina, and an overall decrease in performance. We’re talking about your kite here, not you. Over time, the bladders in your kite may develop small leaks, and many riders simply live with the problem, instead of doing something about it. There is a belief out there that the leading edge (LE) on a one-pump kite is extremely difficult to repair. This is not true. If anything, the one pump kites are as easy to repair as standard kites. Follow these steps to remove and re-install the LE bladder in your kite.

BladderIssues

By Paul Lang

Bladder removal:

1. On one wingtip of your kite, find and open the Velcro enclosure that holds the end of the bladder. Open it and pull the bladder out a few inches. 2. Tie a line onto the end of your bladder. 3. Disassemble your one-pump system. Do not lose any of the parts. After you remove the hoses from the LE, push the valve inside the LE. Also, disassemble the inflation valves and push them inside the kite. 4. Open the zipper or Velcro in the middle of your LE and pull half of the bladder out. 5. Repeat the process for the other side.

FIxIng Your Bladder:

1. To fix your bladder, you have to find the leaks. Hopefully, you have some spare plugs so you can seal all of the valves and inflate the bladder outside of the kite. If you don’t have extras, you can use your kite’s hoses and clips to cut off air, or get Airtime’s spare plugs at your local shop. 2. Spray the bladder with soapy water or Windex until you find the spot or spots that cause bubbles to form. Check the whole bladder, as you may have one or more leaks. 3. If the hole is very small, use the self-adhesive patch kit that comes with most kites. Use Tear-Aid for larger holes or tears. Don’t forget to clean the area first. Make sure you do this with ALL the air out of the bladder and NO wrinkles. 1. If you take the time to do this right, it’s easy. Don’t be in a hurry. 2. Make sure you orient the bladder properly. If you install it backwards, the valves will not line up. Look at the Velcro for the inflation valves – they will show you how the valves must be oriented by which side of the valve the plug must be on. 3. Starting in the middle of the bladder, carefully fold one side of the bladder like an accordion, applying baby powder as you go. The baby powder helps the bladder slip into place when you inflate it for the first time. 4. Tie the line on the end of the bladder and with the kite’s leading edge as straight as possible, pull the bladder back in. This is a two person job, one pulling the string and the other guiding the bladder into the LE. 5. Untie the line and fold the bladder into the Velcro closure at the wingtip. Do not leave the end of the bladder loose, or it will burst. 6. Stick your finger into each hole and fish the valves out. If you put the bladder in properly, they should be within a few inches of the hole. This is why one-pump kites are easy to repair. As long as the valves line up, it’s unlikely that the bladder is twisted. 7. Repeat the process for the other side of the kite. 8. Re-assemble your one-pump system. Every brand if different, so I hope you paid attention when you took it apart. Re-attach the inflation valves to their plugs. 9. Slowly inflate your kite. Stop about halfway through and massage the LE. Take time to work the bladder into any areas where the fabric is loose. If the bladder will not fill past one specific point, you twisted it. Pull it out and try again. 10. Inflate the kite all the way and make sure the bladder properly fills the LE. Let the kite sit for at least an hour so you can double check that you found and fixed all the leaks. The whole process is easy as long as you have a little patience. If you have never done it before, offer an experienced kiter a few beers and ask for help. The process may seem a little daunting, especially on a large kite, but it really is simple once you know what you are doing. If your friends ever give you grief about having baby powder with you at all times, you now have an excuse. It’s for your bladder problems.

re-InstallIng Your Bladder:

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B y JAm e s B r o w n An d r i Ck i o s s i

features checklist:
PurPose
• Impact resistant: the best is high-density foam.
• Durable materials: pick something that can handle some abuse. • Lightweight: you don’t want to feel the weight, ideally less than 500 grams. • Comfortable: pick one that feels natural. Try on many different brands and models till you find the right one. Soft, squishy foam can be very comfortable but offers less protection. • Low drag helmets for water kiteboarding: thicker, larger helmets can offer excellent impact protection until you start to hit water when they can become a pain in the neck, literally. • Straps: get adjustable straps that don’t chafe or choke. • Fasteners: look for ones that won’t rust or corode. • Compact: choose a close fitting helmet without protrusions. • Goggle shelf and strap (for snow helmets): indent for the strap to rest in so it doesn’t slide up or down, and a strap to hold it in the back. • Vents: for snow helmets more vents are best for warm days. There are two types -- slide vents allow on-the-fly open and close and vent plugs can be removed/replaced before your session. • Ear pads: protect your eardrums from bursting on impact. • Audio: most snow helmets offer standard or optional ear pads with speakers for listening to your tunes. You can also wear regular ear buds underneath the standard pads for snow or water. • Style: pick a style that you like. If you don’t wear it, you’ve wasted your money and lose all the great benefits of why you purchased it in the first place. Obviously you want to protect your skull and the gray matter we call your “brain” from impact trauma. You also want to avoid being knocked unconscious, which puts you at risk of drowning or being dragged into something. A helmet can help to do this by slowing impact by cushioning, spreading the impact area, and limiting piercing by sharp objects and abrasion.

anatomy of a helmet
THE dEmANd fOr SAfEr ANd mOrE STYlISH HElmETS fOr kITEBOArdINg HAS BEEN mET BY A grOwINg NumBEr Of mANufAcTurErS. wE cOuldN’T pOSSIBlY SHOw All Of THE vArIOuS mOdElS AvAIlABlE fOr wATEr ANd SNOw uSE, SO wE dESIgNEd THIS guIdE TO HElp YOu mAkE BETTEr dEcISIONS wHEN YOu gO OuT SEArcHINg fOr YOur NEw HElmET.
Clinton practices his F16’s. Photo Gavin Butler.

Added Benefits
Helmets also shade your head and eyes from sun and intense heat and can help keep your head warmer in cold conditions. If wearing sunglasses or goggles, they can keep them from getting yanked off. You can also put stickers on them! Some helmets are even equipped with waterproof earpieces and microphones for communications.

fitting
Your helmet should cover the forehead, back and sides of your noggin without slipping over your eyes, to the sides or backwards exposing the forehead. It should fit snug, but comfortable without readily pulling away much. The straps should hold it in place without any chafing and have adequate adjustment options to make it fit comfortably. After your first couple of sessions, you won’t even remember it’s there!

Helmets have three basic components: shell, cushioning and straps. The shell should resist breaking, crushing or piercing. The most common materials helmets are made from are plastic or carbon composite. Cushioning ranges from soft single-layer closed-cell foam (won’t soak up water) to high-density bike helmet style Styrofoam. The higher the foam density among other factors, the better protection you will receive from a violent crash. Bike helmet style foam is the best for land impacts, but they should be replaced in the event of a crash. Even softer so called “multiple-impact” helmets can be compromised by an impact without any visible damage. Your head is worth replacing a helmet if you have a bad crash. Some companies may give you a discount on a replacement helmet. Straps should be strong and have durable fasteners that won’t rust or corrode. Inspect your connectors when putting on a helmet to make sure they are free of sand that can readily cause the connector to open.
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ConstruCtion

what to avoid
Any protrusion like bills or visors, or a loose or poorly fitted helmet may cause excess drag or “bucketing.” Bucketing is what happens when a helmet scoops water or snow in a fall. It can cause damage or paralysis in your neck - even if the impact is only against water! Avoid excessively large helmets for water kiteboarding that create too much drag on impact with water, e.g. contoured bike helmets. Not all helmets on the market are necessarily appropriate for water or snow kiting. If you want a bill or visor, get one that can readily break away completely.

prEdATOr - NErO

mArkEr – m4

prEdATOr - SHOrT cuT

vOZ - EvOluTION

SHrEd rEAdY - full mETAl

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James Brown models his system. Photo Tyler Weisz. Inset Clarissa Hempel Photo Mike Minichiello

After much trial and error, Aqua Sport’s finally hit the magic formula with their mobile webcam van. Photo: Kimo Harlacher

LauN

CH

we relayed the webcam image six miles across Kahului harbor to Waiehu and found the magic formula,” said Kimo. “Also, strong winds, salt spray, hackers, and the large power requirements added additional challenges to keeping the camera online.” Kitebeachcam.com plans to roll out additional cams at Honolua Bay, Maalea, Waiehu, Windmills, and Hookipa, linking Maui’s most popular surfing and kiteboarding locations and their conditions at one internet site.

COMInG SOOn

Rider: Ruben Lenten | Photo: Craig Kolesky

The success of the Kite Beach cam inspired the creation of Fijiwebcam.com. The Fiji webcam site was brought online in 2007 to webcast the Hobie Cat races at Suva. According to Kimo, Suva Point also happens to be a fantastic kiteboarding spot, possibly one of the most consistent in Fiji with good wave exposure. He said, “The website soon started receiving requests for cameras up and down the coral coast, primarily from resorts wanting to display their good weather, waves, and winds. We now plan to roll out another nine webcams in Fiji in 2008, from Pacific Harbor to Plantation Island.” Matt Corey of iKitesurf.com said that they looked into enhancing their existing services with webcams about five years ago. Due to the high maintenance and technology available at that time, they tabled webcams and concentrated on increasing their sensors, forecasting tools, and user-friendliness of their website. Today, they have a few webcams online and they are definitely still on their radar but for now, iKitesurf will continue to focus and build upon what they do best. Many new features are coming down the line from them starting this March, so keep your eyes peeled for all the new bells and whistles. In the meantime, if you know of a webcam that ties in with an iKitesurf sensor or forecast, let them know so you can help others in your local riding community more accurately pinpoint the best place to ride for the day. With the popularity of mobile internet access on cell phones, you can now tell everything from crowd size, kite sizes, wave height, and wind speed and direction, all in the palm of your hand. Webcams are useful for viewing real time conditions at your favorite surf and kiteboarding spots. The continued development of webcam networks will bring more and more kiteboarding beaches to your computer or phone, saving you valuable time and gas money. Get some friends together and start scouting for webcam locations at your local spots and you might never have to drive to the beach just to check the conditions.

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check r window to outside of ou way to tell what’s able to look ough to be local ork, the only en’t lucky en h. Sitting at home or w ne who is there, apply ost of us ar ll someo e happens the beac s at er ca if ther ve the condition r local spots is to eith d wind sensors, or Webcams ha s an g at ou for yourself. e next level by st resource ly happenin real isting foreca ternet and take a look taking it to th to ex knowledge to the in any beach sites are t one but m cam, log on , some web to be a web r a long time but now e home to no t spot in your local ar fo e websites to find wha been around cam networks. Thes ms at once loping web eck many ca deve u to ch allowing yo webcams, conditions. ring the best area is offe

WindoWs
to t h e W i n d
Inspired by the Coastal Watch network, Maui’s Kimo Harlacher has been taking steps to establish webcam networks in Maui and Fiji. Kimo began development of the Maui webcams primarily as a way to beat Maui’s most expensive gas prices in the nation. “I developed the webcam on Kite Beach so that my friends and I could see the actual real-time conditions at the beach to decide if the cross-island drive was worth it,” said Kimo. Because people can check the conditions from far away, the webcam has helped reduce traffic and parking congestion at Kite Beach. The Kite Beach cam (www.kitebeachcam. com) can be manually controlled by visitors to the site so you can zoom in on kite sizes, waves, or even see what friends are out on the water or parked in the lot. The site has become very popular and is now a hub for kitesurfing information on Maui with listings of schools, shops, kiteboarding locations, kiter-friendly accommodations, local deals, and other webcams. The webcam at Kite Beach was first initiated in October of 2005, but the obstacles were many. The webcam is solar operated and located on the top of the Aqua Sports Kiteboarding school truck, which is parked right at Kite Beach. “At first the camera worked on a cell phone frequency, but the bandwidth was discovered to be insufficient. Next, wireless internet was used, only to have intermittent and irregular signals. Finally Webcam photo: CoastalWatch.com

reSOUrCeS:
COASTAL WATCH www.coastalwatch.com MAUI KITe BeACH CAMS www.kitebeachcam.com FIJI WeB CAMS www.fijiwebcam.com OTHer www.Xtremebigair.com www.iKitesurf.com

By Paul Lang

FrOM GrASS rOOTS TO BIG TIMe

If you’re lucky enough to have a local computer expert, perhaps this has already been done for your local riding sites, such as the one created by Xtremebigair.com for the Central Coast of California. Australia has the most comprehensive beach webcam network out there, hosted by Coastal Watch (http://www.coastalwatch.com). Launched in 1998, Coastal Watch is now home to over 85 webcams and has become the most popular watersports website in Australia.
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Topic
Marine VenoMs series:
sea Urchins and stingrays

ack Sm
traVel first aid kit for the water enthUsiast:
1. Basic first aid kit 2. Vinegar or 3% to 10% acetic acid 3. Shaving cream 4. Old credit card or piece of plastic 5. Oral antihistamine such as diphenhydramine (Benadryl) 6. Topical steroid cream - .5 – 1% hydrocortisone (Aristocort) 7. Baking soda 8. Utility knife 9. Thermometer 10. Safe Sea Lotion 11. Adolf’s or Papain Meat Tenderizers 12. Small sterile sharp knife, tweezers, sharp clean needles 13. Large syringe for irrigation 14.Pain medications 15.Soap
photo courtesy Daugherty

By dr. steve Benaron, emergency Medicine specialist This issue, we continue our marine venom series by focusing on sea urchins and stingrays. Although not as common as jellyfish or fire coral injuries, they both are still hazards to kiteboarders in sandy shore areas, shallow water, and on reefs. Their effects can necessitate immediate action, but with the right knowledge and tools, injury and pain can be minimized.

Sea U r chi nS

Sea Urchins are those spiny annoying creatures underfoot, encountered in shallow water on reefs, rocky shores, and rocky points. A small percentage of urchins are venomous - about 80 different species. Sea urchins spines cause injury from embedded broken spines and injected venom, along with an inflammatory reaction on the skin that causes pain, redness, and swelling. Additionally, the spines have a jaw or pincer-like mechanism (Pedicellariae) that clamp onto its prey. Even when separated, this anatomical part of the spine continues to function and inject venom. Stepping on an urchin often causes severe pain lasting for several hours.

syMptoMs
• Pain at the puncture site and if venom is present then the pain may climb up the extremity • Fluid and swelling localized to the puncture area • Partial paralysis of a limb with certain venoms • Systemic or allergic reactions if the venom is absorbed may include: - Facial swelling, muscle spasm, shortness of breath, generalized weakness - More severe symptoms include heart rhythm problems and loss of blood pressure resulting in shock The symptoms from the pincers on the tips of the spines (Pedicellariae) are usually more severe than the spines alone, and can result in difficulty talking, respiratory distress, and possibly death with large envenomations. Small children and those with debilitating diseases are susceptible to complications.

the puncture site is common and may need to be controlled (first aid). Infection of the damaged tissue may occur, along with infection in the bone.

syMptoMs

treatMent

• Soak the wound in thermometer tested hot water (40 to 44º C, or 104 - 110º F). • Protruding spines should be removed carefully without bending because they are easily broken. • Purple or black dye from the surface of a spine may tattoo the skin and lead to a false assumption that a spine is imbedded in the skin. The dye will be absorbed in 48-72 hours. If the mark remains visible after 72 hours, then a spine fragment is likely imbedded. • Use analgesics such as acetaminophen (Tylenol), ibuprofen (Advil), or naproxen (Aleve). • If the species possesses Pedicellariae (clamp or pincer system), apply shaving cream and carefully shave the area to remove all pincers on the surface. • Secondary infection may occur which would necessitate antibiotics and treatment. See a trained medical professional if secondary infection arises. • Surgical treatment will be required if the spine is imbedded in a joint space, nerve, or tendon. This could be particularly serious; symptoms to watch for are pain with any motion of the joint or tendon, numbness, and/or pins and needle type sensation around or near the wound.

treatMent

preVention

• Wear booties or some sort of foot protection • Be very careful when stepping on the bottom • Know the sea life in your area

Stin g r a y S

• Place the patient on their back and elevate the limb • Remove the spine or any foreign material • Irrigate with saline solution and scrub the surface with soapy water; • Immerse in thermometer tested hot water at 48.8º C or 120º F for 30-90 minutes • If bleeding has not occurred, a small incision may be advisable prior to immersion in hot water • Infiltrate with Lidocaine to help with pain control and to aid in thorough cleansing by a trained individual • Use analgesics such as acetaminophen (Tylenol), ibuprofen (Advil), or naproxen (Aleve). • Emergency department treatment may include: - Ten percent calcium gluconate 5-10 mL IV may relieve muscle spasms - X-rays if a foreign body is suspected - The wound can be closed loosely with suture and a drain - Antibiotic coverage - Monitoring for respiratory and cardiovascular collapse

photo courtesy Star Kites

• Pain • Loss of appetite • Wound complications, delayed healing, infection • Systemic and more severe symptoms as a result of significant envenomation include: - Diarrhea - Increased urination - Increase saliva production - Muscle cramping and tremor (uncontrollable shaking) - Significant weakness and sometimes paralysis - Seizures - Heart rhythm disturbances and cardiac death - Low blood pressure resulting in shock - Breathing difficulties, particularly shallow breathing

Attention military kiteboarders! An MWR affiliated kiteboard team is being established at Ft. Polk, Louisiana. The new program is scheduled to start February 20 with an organizational meeting, and first lessons will be held April 1 at the Houston Levy. Once established, the Ft. Polk team will be using the large reservoirs and vast coastline near the base. Now, soldiers who have been looking for an adventure sport will be able to learn, train and participate in this awesome activity. The team will serve as an outlet for soldiers who need a high adrenaline activity without sacrificing safety. To ensure the success of this program, organizers are encouraging all other military kiteboarders to contact their local MWR affiliates and discuss the formation of a team at their own post. A long term goal of this endeavor is to hold competitions between teams at various bases. For more information please contact Project Manager Jim Federkeil (337) 3533418 or Resident Expert Craig Daugherty at (205) 586-7757 or email craig.daugherty@us.army.mil.

Trix rider video

Mat Pendle safety update video

Podcast# 90

Star Kites based in the Dominican Republic will be hitting the shores of North America starting this March, doing demos of their new 2008 S-Bow and boards as well as looking for riders to join their international team. Plans are for them to hit as many riding spots as they can between Florida and Cape Hatteras. For more info or to set up a demo in your area, email contact@starkites.com. There’s no doubt that from coast to coast, more and more kiteboarders are getting into kite racing. If you happen to be in the San Francisco Bay area, be sure to check out the Cabrinha Race Series every Thursday night starting April 17, hosted by the St. Francis Yacht Club. If kite racing is something you’re interested in, this is the place to hook up with the best of the best! But don’t let this intimidate you. Although they’re serious about racing, they also welcome all visitors that are of intermediate or higher level to come participate. At press time, regional qualifiers and the US Nationals dates were being finalized but looks like there may be an event in Corpus Christi, Texas, in April with the kite racing championship taking place in San Francisco at Crissy Field June 12-15. See www. stfyc.com or www.bayareakiteboarding.com for the latest updates.

In the United States alone there are approximately 1500 reported emergency room visits for stingray injuries a year. Stingrays are commonly encountered in shallow waters with a sandy bottom, swimming just above the sand. Most of the injuries occur when they are startled by kicking or stepping on one as you walk into the water. In defense, the stingray reacts by swinging its muscular tail upward and forward driving one or several sharp barbed stingers into its victim. The stingers cause a deep puncture wound and may break off. Venom may be released by this action. Fatalities rarely occur from an extremity injury, but may happen if the chest or abdominal cavity is punctured. Most recently, Steve Irwin of The Crocodile Hunter series was killed due to the barb of a large stingray penetrating his heart. The venom is deactivated with heat. Immediate pain is the first symptom and peaks in about two hours and then fades over six to 48 hours. Bleeding from 16 t h eki t e b o a r d e r . c o m

preVention:

• Always shuffle your feet when you are walking on a sandy bottom • When stepping off your board, kick your feet at the bottom to clear the area Dr. Steve Benaron is an avid surfer and kiteboarder on the Central Coast of California. He is a specialist in Emergency Medicine and has been in active practice since 1984. His entire family of four kiteboards and can be found on any given day tearing it up in Pismo Beach, CA.

Chuck gears up for a Southern California session. Photo Joe McBride

g nk ! g iu C ar Ch
Ch ith w
iccite By Ryan R lli and Pa ul Lang

nless you’ve been kiting for awhile, you may not know who Chuck Patterson is. A few years ago, you could find Chuck in virtually every magazine and video out there. He was a true pioneer of kiteboarding in the waves and was known for riding kites two sizes larger than anyone else, but he would do it on fixed pulley bars with no depower. His refrigerator-like frame makes him a scary guy to run into in a dark alley, but Chuck is one of the friendliest guys you’ll ever meet. With new riders always coming up, the guys who have been around for a long time seem to lose their limelight, and that’s what happened to Chuck.

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Just because you don’t see someone in a magazine anymore does not mean that they aren’t still out there pushing the limits of kiting. Chuck continues to tear up the waves and splits his time between surfing, kitesurfing, tow surfing, stand-up paddling, and snow skiing. He is not only a pioneer kiteboarder, but a true waterman. We thought we would catch up with Chuck and give him the chance to talk about what he has been up to and how kiting has progressed since he began.
Chuck was one of the first snowkite pioneers in the US. Photo Joe McBride

HoW did you get into kiting? While wave sailing on Maui, I saw Elliot LeBoe and Lou Wainman getting into the kite thing, so I bought a 5.0 two-line Wipika at Hawaiian Proline and learned to kite at Kite Beach with the help of Mauricio Abreu, Elliot, and Lou. Riding with them every day really helped me get into it quickly and I was hooked. WHAt WAs tHe equiPment Like WHen you stARted kiteBoARding in tHe WAves? Back then we all flew two-line kites (Wipika or Naish) with no depowering system, just full throttle all the time. The safety systems were in major R&D mode and everyone had to MacGyver their own garage version to fit their style. I rode a wakeboard most of the time, but later I started riding my shorter tow boards. We didn’t use leashes, which led to a lot of swimming. you WeRe fAmous foR Riding ReALLy oveRPoWeRed on A fixed PuLLey BAR. WHAt equiPment do you Ride noW? WHAt do you tHink ABout BRidLed kites? Yes, I really loved riding overpowered, but years of that really ages you quick! I’ve been riding Caution kites for a long time because their kites have always been the best to me for wave riding and the equipment is bulletproof. I still like the regular C-kites, but the bridle system is what we all had on our twoline kites back in the day and it works even better on the new kites of today. you used to Be in ALmost eveRy mAgAzine And most of tHe videos And tHen ComPLeteLy dRoPPed off tHe RAdAR. WHAt HAPPened And ARe you stiLL kiteBoARding? Like in all the sports we live for, you put 150% into it and after you’ve accomplished just about everything you put your mind to in that sport, you’re off to the next new adrenaline rush. Since then I have continued my quest of chasing storms across the globe for tow surfing, stand-up paddle surfing, kiting, and snow skiing whatever Mother Nature gives me. WHeRe ARe some of tHe sPots tHAt you HAve Been kiting foR A Long time And HoW HAve tHey CHAnged oveR tHe yeARs? I started kiting the waves of Punta San Carlos in Baja about eight years ago with Peter Trow and we were always the only ones out among 40 or so windsurfers. Now, there are more kiters than sailors. It’s funny because in Maui when we all started kiting and the Red Bull King of The Air contests were going, there were hundreds of kiters everywhere and now when there’s solid surf and epic conditions you can still kite those same spots, but with just a handful of people out. WHAt is one of youR most memoRABLe moments in kiteBoARding? I would have to say going to Fiji for the Red Bull Watermens’ Bash with 15 of the best professional athletes in the world from kiteboarding, wave sailing, and surfing. We surfed, tow surfed, kited, wave sailed, foilboarded, spear fished, canoe-kited and partied for two weeks in epic conditions. do you tHink tHAt tHe neWeR kites exPAnd tHe PossiBiLities foR kiting in tHe WAves, oR is it A CAse of teCHnoLogy mAking uP foR LACk of teCHnique? I think it’s a little of both. The kites have come a long way and have made it much easier to ride waves and do kiteloops and other tricks, but riders like Lou, Mauricio, Martin Vari, Andre, and Robby Naish were doing many of the tricks guys are doing now except on older two and four-line kites. veRy feW PeoPLe knoW ABout HoW mAny diffeRent sPoRts tHAt you ARe ACtive in. WHAt sPoRts ARe tAking uP most of youR time noW? I’ve been traveling a lot pushing my tow surfing, stand-up paddle surfing, open ocean racing, and still snow skiing a fair bit for the magazines. you WeRe WoRking on A PRoJeCt foR imAx. WHAt WAs tHe ideA BeHind it? Quest was a two year project that followed several professional watermen as they chased swells in hopes to ride the biggest waves around the world. is it tRue tHAt you onCe HeLd tHe ReCoRd foR tHe HigHest veRtiCAL dRoP on skis? I really didn’t look at it as a record, but I jumped a 142-foot cliff on skis in the Tahoe backcountry while shooting for a ski film. does stAnd-uP PAddLing WoRk As CRoss tRAining foR kiting, oR is it Just A fun tHing to do WHen tHeRe is no Wind? Stand-up paddling is an awesome core workout as well as super addicting when riding the waves. It helps strengthen your balance, muscles, core, and just about your whole body. I get more of a work out stand-up paddle surfing a 10-foot day than I do wave kiting the same conditions. WHAt do you tHink ABout tHe PoPuLARity of Riding A suRfBoARd WHiLe kiting? I think Ben Wilson, Mauricio, and a handful of other pros have made it very popular. It’s great on lightwind and clean, hollow days.
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ChuCk’s wave kiting adviCe:
- Observe your local conditions, surroundings, and riders. - Make sure you have a couple of exit strategies in case you go down hard. - While riding waves, practice timing your bottom and top turns with the speed of the wave. - Ride within your skill level. If you can’t take the beating from a close out, stay on the beach.

On ChOOsing a bOard:
Chuck takes his Newfoundland puppy “Wade” for a paddle. Photo Joe McBride Coming in from a tow surfing session in Central California. Photo Courtesy of CWP

I would look into what demo programs are available at your local kiteboarding store or if any kiteboarding companies have demo days in your area because it’s always good to try before you buy.

Length: nothing longer than you are tall. raiLs: Tail rails should be thin and sharp for holding a
good edge. Can very depending on what kind of waves you’re riding. Go wider for flat and mushy waves or narrow for fast hollow steep waves.

width:

Fins: The best wave boards are either thrusters or quads.

Air dropping into Ghost Tree in Central California. Photo Tim Ditty Chuck, a.k.a. the Sparklett’s man, throwing buckets in Seal Beach, California. Photo courtesy Patterson

“Like in aLL the sports we Live for, you put 150% into it and after you’ve accompLished just about everything you put your mind to in that sport, you’re off to the next new adrenaLine rush.”
if tHeRe WAs A WAve Contest, WouLd you enteR? I’m all over it, but I will be the first to say that I would be more of a threat if I was surfing regular foot and the conditions were big and windy. did you eveR tHink tHAt fReestyLe kiteBoARding WouLd evoLve to WHeRe it is? WHAt do you tHink ABout tHe CuRRent LeveL of RideRs? After watching what Lou Wainman was pulling way back in the day, it’s great to see how far the new talent has taken it. WHeRe do you tHink kiteBoARding is HeAding And WHAt diReCtion WouLd you Like to see it tAke? It’s great to see it evolve into two separate styles, freestyle and wave riding. The great thing about kiting is you can combine them and go off. I would like to see more big wave kiting events. do you tHink tHe LeveL of kiteBoARding ComPetition And sPonsoRsHiP WiLL eveR ReACH tHe LeveL of otHeR ACtion sPoRts Like suRfing, WAkeBoARding oR snoWBoARding? It’s hard to tell here in the US, but it seems to draw bigger sponsorship dollars and crowds overseas. I think the sport needs to mature a little more for it to be taken to the next level in the US. WHAt do you tHink HAs tHe Biggest PotentiAL foR gRoWtH, WAteR oR snoWkiting? I think snowkiting has huge potential for growth because it’s on land and less intimidating for the average Joe.
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WHAt PRoJeCts ARe you WoRking on noW? I’ve just completed one of the biggest projects of my life and got married last September to my beautiful wife Susan. I’m also working with Hobie Surfboards as a team rider and spokesperson doing R&D for their stand-up paddle boards, tow boards, and surfboards as well as competing on their Watermen team. Additionally, I’m working with The Travel Channel on some sport adventure shows, training and mentoring young professional athletes, and staying busy any way I can to continue playing in the ocean.
POV shot in Fiji. Photo Joe McBride

HoW does kiting Big WAves ComPARe WitH toW suRfing? Tow surfing and wave kiting compliment each other because you get the same feeling when pulled by the ski edging your tow board into the wave as you do kiting. The upside about kiting is you never have to pay for gas, but the down side is if you get beaten by a huge set wave, you’re a puppet on a string that might need the assistance of a ski to get to safety. WHAt do you tHink ABout tHe CuRRent stAte of kitesuRfing in tHe WAves? It’s great to see guys like Ben Wilson, Felix Pivec, John Amundson, Reo, and several others really push the limits of getting deep in the tube and riding the pocket on solid, bowling waves. There’s nothing better than setting up for a hollow section, getting pitted while your kite lines cut through the lip and being spit out bottom turning into a gouging off the lip snap while it rains spray all over the place!

These days it seems like every kiter, even the ones who live hundreds of miles from the ocean, has a surfboard. Kiting on a surfboard has become incredibly popular and the trend doesn’t seem to be going away anytime soon. Almost every kiteboard manufacturer offers one or more surfboards, and you can find literally hundreds more choices if you start looking at the boards at your local surf shops. To someone without a surfing background, the choices can seem endless and overwhelming.

Choosing a Surfboard
Speed Rider Soul Rider

Photo: Paul Lang

You need to consider more than just your weight when choosing a surfboard. You have to think about how you want to kite in the waves. If you want to ride really fast with a lot of power (speed rider), a small board will work for you best. If you want a more realistic surfing experience and a board that is able to stay in the pocket of the wave (soul rider), go with a larger size. foR exAmPLe, foR A 175 Pound RideR: 5’6” to 5’10”: Best for riding fast with a lot of power from the kite. This size range is also good for high winds and big conditions.
By Alexis Rovira and Paul Lang

Size: How Big Should It Be?

For most kiters who have little experience surfing, a board from a kiteboard manufacturer will work best. These boards have footstrap inserts installed and are usually epoxy or sandwich construction, which will take years of abuse. Most of these boards are a good compromise between speed, upwind ability, and surfing ability.

5’10” to 6’3”: Best for riding with less power, using the energy from the wave to surf. Also better for smaller conditions and lighter wind.

Shape:

Where should you start when looking for a surfboard? Length, width, outline, weight, rocker, fins, fin placement, and construction all play a role in determining how a board will ride. Before you consider anything else, you first need to be realistic about how you want to ride a surfboard. there are two completely different ways of riding a surfboard with a kite and you need to decide which one you want to do: sPeed RideR: If you like to ride at full speed, throw as much spray as possible, and think you will want to jump with your surfboard, you will want a smaller, lighter, and more durable board. souL RideR: If your focus is on riding at surfer-speed, staying in the pocket, and doing turns on the actual face of the wave, you will want a larger board that is designed specifically for surfing. In general, a board with less rocker, more parallel rails, and fins with less toe angle will go upwind very well, but will not be very maneuverable on the wave. A board with the opposite traits will be at home on the face of the wave, but will ride slower and will not go upwind as quickly. When choosing a board for kiting, you have to be willing to make trade offs.

DIffeRent BOaRDS
fOR DIffeRent StyLeS
- Board primarily designed for kiting - Smaller, lighter board - Definitely with footstraps - More durable construction - Less rocker

If you decide that you want a pure wave riding board and are willing to give up some durability and upwind speed, don’t be afraid to look at surf shop boards. An average surf shop offers more different surfboards than are available in the entire kiteboarding industry, but they are not going to be nearly as durable as a general rule. Also, virtually all true surfboards do not have footstrap inserts, so you will have to either modify the board or use the stick on inserts. The info here is just a starting point. Entire volumes could be written about surfboard shapes. Just like any other piece of equipment, the best way to decide if you like a surfboard is to try it. Ask shops if they have demo boards or even demo fins. Borrow friends’ boards and talk to people you know who surf.

Surfboard shapes are all over the place, and it would be impossible to describe all the nuances of the different aspects of surfboard shapes here. Most shapes that work well for kiting can be broken into three groups: tHRusteR sHoRtBoARd: The most popular type of board; what many consider to be the standard shortboard shape; a middleground type of board that works very well for a lot of people. quAd sHoRtBoARd: Quads have become incredibly popular recently and their main difference from thrusters is their speed. Quads have less drag than thrusters and like to be ridden fast. They offer quicker turns as long as they are ridden fast. RetRo/fisH BoARd: Fish surfboards are usually much shorter and wider than thrusters and quads. The rails are much more parallel and they usually have two or four fins. These boards are extremely maneuverable and feel very skatey. They go upwind very well and can also be ridden in light winds.

What Should It Look Like?

- Board primarily designed to surf - With or without straps, depending on skills and preference - Larger board, more in line with a board that you would paddle surf in the same conditions -Less concerned about weight and durability

Photo: Stephen Whitesell

Board Construction: What’s It Made Of?

There are four major types of surfboard construction, each offering their own benefits and drawbacks. You can have a polyurethane (PU) or Epoxy board custom made exactly how you want; sandwich and pop-out boards are only mass produced. PoLyuRetHAne BoARds: Also known as poly or PU boards, these are the traditional surfboards. They are relatively low cost and offer the widest range of shapes. In your local surf shop, most of the boards are probably PU boards. A blank is either hand or machine shaped and then covered with fiberglass cloth and polyester resin. PU boards feel very lively under your feet, but are generally the least durable unless they have been made specifically for kitesurfing. ePoxy BoARds: Built similar to PU boards but with different materials, epoxy boards are hand or machine shaped from EPS foam and covered with cloth and epoxy resin. This leads to a stronger, lighter, and slightly more expensive board. Epoxy boards are more durable than PU boards and some surfers really like the lighter weight, but others complain that they lack the same lively feeling that you get from a PU board. sAndWiCH BoARds: These high tech boards use a variety of construction techniques, but almost all use a combination of foams of different densities covered with a glass skin. These boards are mass produced and each board is exactly alike. These boards are very durable, light, and expensive. PoP-out BoARds: Mass produced like sandwich boards, pop-outs are built in molds as two separate halves, then the two halves are joined and the middle is filled with an expanding foam. This leads to a cheap, durable, but heavy board. These boards are marketed towards beginners and are not going to be very high-performance, but they can be good for someone with no surf experience.

tHRuSteR

QuaD

RetRO/fISH

out board weight: for surfboa style. if ter isn’t always A note abends on your local conditions and yourrds, ligh you like to jump

better. it all dep but a light board will l want a very light board, with your surfboard, you wil conditions. A board with wave in big or choppy nced have trouble staying on the ot, but you will not be bou not feel as snappy underfo more weight will add weight ers actually h. Remember that tow surf around by the chop as muc e stable. mor to their boards to make them
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TKB review/interview

Photo: Paul Lang

fins:

Most kiters overlook fins when buying a kite surfboard. Fins and the fin placement have a huge impact on the handling of the board. There is an amazing amount of science that goes into developing surf fins, so don’t be afraid to experiment. fin PLACement: As a general rule, the further forward the fins are, the looser the board will be. fLex: A stiffer fin will have more drive and offer more control (especially good for big waves) while a fin with flex will offer a looser skate feel. fin foiL: A side fin that is foiled on the inside as well as the outside will have less drag, more speed, and more lift. That all add up to snappier turns. sWeeP: Also known as rake, the less sweep a fin has, the more the board will tend to pivot. Fins with a lot of sweep will make the board carve longer drawn out turns. BAse LengtH: A fin with a long base will have a lot of drive, while a fine with a short base will have sharper turning. dePtH: More depth leads to more stability and hold, like the keel of a sailboat. toe AngLe: This is the angle of the outside fins in relation to the board’s centerline. More toe creates more drag and makes the board more maneuverable. Fins that are more parallel have less drag and are very good for going in a straight line.

More Important than you think

fin Systems:

There are a number of fin systems out there, with the two most popular in the US being FCS and Future Fins. If you think you want to try different fins (believe us – you will want to try different fins), make sure they are available in your area. Even if you don’t think you will want to change them, you still need to be able to find replacements for broken fins. fCs: FCS fins and plugs are available all over the world. They offer the widest range of different fins and are relatively easy to repair. futuRe: Future Fins also has a very wide range of choices and are known to be strong, but can cause a lot of damage to your board if you damage the fin box. otHeR: There are tons of other types of fin systems that have their own unique features, but the drawback of any lesser-used fin system is going to be availability of different fins and materials to repair broken fin boxes.

How Do the fins attach?

50 th eki t e b o a r d e r . c o m

t h e kiit e b o arde r. co m 5 1 t h e k t e boar d e r . com

NAL UCTIO INSTR

lot of riders only jump on their strong tack, which means that you are only able to jump half of the time that you are riding. If you force yourself to begin jumping switch, you can easily double your number of jumps per session. The longer you wait to learn jumping switch, the harder it will be. Get out there and force yourself to jump switch. It will feel very awkward at first, but with a little practice you’ll soon be throwing your bag of tricks in both directions. Even though it feels odd, jumping switch is no different than jumping your normal direction. The technique for jumping is exactly the same for either direction, but it will take more concentration to get used to boosting switch.

a

Tips: 4
AS YOu REACH THE APEx OF YOuR JuMP, REdIRECT YOuR KITE BY PuLLInG WITH YOuR FORWARd HAnd. dOn’T PuLL TOO HARd AS YOu WAnT THE KITE TO BE HIGH In THE WIndOW FOR A SOFT LAndInG.

5

AS YOu COME In FOR A SWITCH LAndInG, YOu HAVE TO FIGHT THE TEMPTATIOn TO LAnd TOESIdE. SPOT YOuR LAndInG And FOCuS On KEEPInG THE nOSE OF YOuR BOARd POInTEd AT WHERE YOu WAnT TO LAnd.

- Learn to jump switch now! The longer you wait, the more unnatural switch jumps will feel and the harder they will be. - Don’t let yourself land toeside – that’s the easy way out. - Most people try to rush their switch jumps and get frustrated when they don’t get it right away. Approach every switch jump step by step and focus on relearning jumping technique. - Make sure you remember to point the nose of your board downwind so you can ride away cleanly. - Practice small switch jumps first. If you can’t do small jumps well, big ones won’t be any easier. - Force yourself to jump switch at least once on every tack. The more you do it, the more natural it will feel.

3

STAnd TALL And POP OFF THE WATER. KEEP An EYE On YOuR KITE SO YOu dOn’T OVER FLY IT.

78 t h eki t e b o a r d e r . c o m

1

7
START BY RIdInG WITH GOOd SPEEd And YOuR KITE HIGH.

RIdE AWAY WITH SPEEd.

Rider: Jeremie Tronet Words: Paul Lang Photo: Linn Svendsen

PROGRESSIVELY EdGE uPWInd And dIRECT YOuR KITE uP And In THE OPPOSITE dIRECTIOn YOu ARE TRAVELInG BY PuLLInG WITH YOuR BACK HAnd.

2

6

BEnd YOuR KnEES TO ABSORB THE LAndInG And POInT YOuR BOARd SLIGHTLY dOWnWInd.

How to Jump on your Switch Tack

BENCH WORK

1 3 4 5 6 7

ribe ubsc S
to the S

Photo: Dallas MacMahong

eboarding oul of Kit
Rider: Abel Lago | Photo courtesy RRD/Fiore/Canon

EMERGENCY LINE REpAIR
or kiteboarders, a broken line can mean more than just a swim back to the beach. If you don’t have a spare bar or extra lines, a broken line means that your session is over. If you happen to be on a trip far from any kite shops, it can mean that you are stuck watching others ride or begging to borrow gear. With the right knowledge and about $5 worth of materials, a broken line can be nothing more than a slight inconvenience. Lines usually break near the end, leaving you with a perfectly good line except that it’s a little short and missing the end. All it takes to put a new end on your line is a little sleeving material and the tool to install it on the line. Sleeving material can be found at just about any kite shop (kite shop, not kiteboarding shop). Look one up in the phone book and buy some sleeving for 500 pound line (it’s the only kind that is thick enough) and the wire tool used to install it. With these items you can shorten and sleeve your lines and be back in the water in a matter of minutes.

By Paul Lang | Inset Photos Paul Lang

F

HERE’S HOW:
broken line shorter than the you are going to have to of 1 Because thelength. Cut atwill besix inches below others,the line broke to get awaycut all anyyour lines to the same least where from damage. 2 Measure and cut 17 inches of sleeving material. 3 Slide the sleeving wire into the middle of the sleeve until it comes out the other side. to pull the end 4 Use the tool bunched up. of your line through the sleeve. Once through, smooth out the sleeve so that it is not a mark on end and a that the is even 5 Put mark. This your line 16 inches from theyour linesmakeup loop sothe same end of the linefinished. with the step makes sure that all of end being length when knot 6 Tie an overhandnext toas close to the end of the sleeving as possible. To keep it from slipping, tie a second overhand knot the first.
Photo: Dallas MacMahong

7 Repeat the process for all of your lines. Attach all lines to a solid object and check for evenness. 8 You’re done. Get back on the water.

8

The whole process only takes a few minutes. If your line broke at the bar end, flip it around so that the new sleeve is at the kite. This will prevent the knots from interfering with your safety system. The steps above can also be used to shorten your lines to whatever length you want. For a few bucks, you can have the tool and supplies that could potentially save your next session or kiting vacation - definitely worthwhile additions to your kiting tool kit.

TOOLBOx TIP

The Kiteboarder is all about spreading the stoke. Each issue focuses on the latest gear, travel destinations, instructional techniques/ tips, and in-depth interviews with the personalities who make up our sport. Take advantage of great subscription with DVD, 2008 calendar and apparel offers and start cutting through the hype today.

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8 2 th eki t e b o a r d e r . c o m

Top 10 QuesTions
F
ABout kItINg IN the surF
By Paul Lang

or kiteboarders who have already been surfing for years before they picked up a kite, the progression into the surf is a natural and relatively easy one. however, not every new kiteboarder is an experienced waterman. For some riders, kiteboarding is their first ocean sport. the surf can be an intimidating place for those who do not have any experience there, but the fun that can be had is well worth the effort. we pulled together the top 10 questions asked by kiters who do not have any ocean experience. If you are thinking about heading to the surf for your first time, remember to start small and work your way up from there.
a directional, you can ride a smaller kite and really get into the pocket and ride the wave, but twin tips can still be a blast in the waves. This depends a lot on how you ride. For your first sessions in the surf, you should just ride the same twin tip that you ride in flat water. If you want to ride a surfboard, the general consensus is that you should ride a board that is similar in size to a board you would paddle surf on if you want to really surf the wave. For the average size rider with little or no surf experience, a board in the 6’ range is a good starting point. No, you should not wear a leash in the surf as they can be very dangerous. Many people have been seriously injured when their board leash caused the board to slingshot back at them. If you cannot manage without a board leash, your skills are not yet ready for the surf. That being said, some riders do wear leashes under certain special circumstances, such as when the shore is rocky, which would cause a lost board to quickly become a broken board. If you ever use a board leash, then you absolutely need to wear a helmet, but we strongly recommend that riders do not use board leashes.

1 When am I readY FOr The surF? 2

In general, if you cannot handle yourself in flat water, things are not going to go any better for you in the waves. You should be able to ride comfortably in both directions and be able to quickly change directions before you tackle the surf. Pick a day with small waves for your first session in the surf and take baby steps from there.

4 WhaT sIZe BOard shOuld I rIde? 5 shOuld I Wear a leash?

new to being in the ocean, kiteboarding in the surf can be very intimidating. If you have never been in the waves before, give paddle surfing or even just swimming in the surf a try. The only way to get experience in the surf is to spend time in the water, and being comfortable in the waves is very important if you want to kite there.

WhaT can I dO TO geT mOre exPerIence In The surF? If you are

7 hOW dO YOu geT OuT When rIdIng sTraPless?

Despite the fact that almost everyone shows up at the beach with directional boards, you can still ride a twin tip in the surf. If fact, if you are beginning, sticking with your twin tip removes the factor of having to learn how to jibe while getting used to kiting in the waves. With
7 8 th ek i t e b o a r d e r . c om

I haVe TO 3 dOThe surF? rIde a dIrecTIOnal 6 shOuld I rIde WITh Or WIThOuT sTraPs? In

The first trick to getting out past the surf without straps is to pay close attention to the waves as you are setting up. At most locations, you will be able to see channels between the waves where the waves break less often and much smaller. Kite out through these channels and you can quickly find yourself on the outside without much effort. If you do need to go over a wave, slow down and keep your kite high. As you hit the whitewater, suck your knees up and try to be light on your feet. Keep more pressure on your back foot and guide your board up and over the whitewater while most of your weight is supported by your kite.

When you are just starting out kiting in the waves, you want small waves to learn on. Knee high waves with 15 knots of side to side on wind make just about ideal conditions for getting down the basics in the surf. In the surf, you have to give considerations to surf etiquette, which basically means that you should not get in the way of anyone who is surfing, whether that person is a kitesurfer, windsurfer, or regular paddle surfer. Always yield to the rider on the wave regardless of who is on port or starboard. Avoid riding near surfers and never spray them. Stay outside of the surf until you are ready to ride a wave. Don’t try to catch every wave out there. The ocean is not going to run out anytime soon.

are gOOd 9 WhaT cOndITIOns WaVes? FOr learnIng TO rIde

dO I need 10 WhaTeTIQueTTe?TO KnOW aBOuT surF

Most riders usually ride with straps, but it’s best to stay flexible and change it up based on the conditions. Kitsurfing strapless can be a lot of fun, or it can be incredibly frustrating. When the surf is relatively clean and smaller than chest high, go ahead and take the straps off. When the surf is choppy, you’ll usually have more fun with straps.

surF? 8 WhaT dO YOu dO IF The KITe crashes In The
If your kite goes down in the surf, get it back up as quickly as possible. A kite that gets sucked into a wave has a good chance of coming out broken. If you cannot get your kite up before the next wave hits it, swim towards the kite as it is hit to take the pressure off the kite.

t h e k i t e boar d e r . com 7 9

rider: F-one’s Mitu Monteiro. | Location: Cabo verde | Photo gilles Calvet

l uctiona instr

rep ccident a

ort

By rick Iossi

advances in kiteboarding technology continue to make our sport more fun and safe but nobody can teach you common sense. good judgment and kiting responsibility is just as important as knowing your gear and the basics of the sport. The TKB accident report is not meant to sensationalize kitemares. The Kiteboarder magazine has called on the expertise of safety guru rick Iossi to help you learn from the mistakes of others. Pass on the lessons learned and never be afraid to speak up in a respectful and helpful way—TKB staff

use care IF sOlO landIng
A kiter with 10 years experience had taken three months off from riding to heal kiting-related torn ligaments and tendons in both wrists. After slow restoration of function over months of physical therapy, he returned to evaluate a new 12m flat kite. he waited for afternoon winds to drop 11 to 16 knots, side onshore. he was uneasy about overloading or straining his wrists, wanting to avoid excess power and carefully setup, launched and rode for an hour and a half, then came in to land. he proceeded to solo land the kite using a technique that worked well with other flat kites over the last year and that he had used about an hour and half earlier with this same kite. this time, the kite behaved opposite of what he expected of sitting nicely on the ground at the side of the wind window. Instead, it drifted downwind a short distance and then started looping. the kiter was unhooked and so dropped the bar assuming the kite would emergency (fully) depower. Instead, the looping kite dragged him about 100 feet inland by the kite leash and through the dunes until it was caught by a tree. he was uncertain why the kite didn’t emergency depower, perhaps a wingtip bridle wrap? he was dragged on top of his leash attachment. By the time he thought to try to release the kite several seconds later, things had stopped. Fortunately, he didn’t hit anything particularly hard and was wearing a helmet and impact vest which may have helped. he got up, concluded he was very lucky to be in one piece and not unconscious or worse. he then noticed his ankle was the size of a softball. Following evaluation it was determined he had herniated a spinal disc, compressed three others, pinched two nerves, and had sprained both his ankles, neck and shoulder. All this from just sand in fairly light wind! the kiter could have utilized a new emergency depowering/solo Landing feature of the kite instead of the method that had worked over the last year on a large variety of flat kites. had he used the new landing approach, none of this likely would have happened.

sITe/cOndITIOns

4. Be practiced and ready to Emergency Depower your kite without delay. Accept, as with any mechanism, it may not always work for a variety of reasons. Work to avoid the emergency in the first place. 5. Don’t make the mistake of coming back to kiting too soon after an injury. Untoward distraction about new injury, discomfort and impaired function may pose significant but less obvious risks. More time off the water can easily result. Warm up and down carefully and pick mellow conditions for shorter sessions initially.

Consumer Reviews

KnOW land/WInd aFFecTs
sITe/cOndITIOns
A kiter reportedly with several months experience, perhaps self-trained, had just launched a flat kite. he was located in the lee or downwind of a landmass that extended 100 feet or more above the water and two miles upwind. the site is located outside of the usA. winds passing over and along the edge of this land mass would be very turbulent due to wind shadow. As a result, the wind would have pronounced gusts and lulls making kite flying difficult and even hazardous. given that this land mass was about 1/3 mile away, the intervening water would have been fairly calm. this may have prompted the kiter to set up here while less than a ¼ mile away, there was no land mass to windward and far more stable winds. A cold front was forecast to pass over the area that day. At times, cold fronts in this area have severe squall lines at the leading edge as they approach from the south. these squall lines can generate 30 to 60 knot gusts and drop temperatures 20 to 30° F. As the kiter’s view to the south was obscured he likely never saw approaching white water and clouds commonly associated with these systems and gust fronts in general. the man was standing on the beach, kite in the air when winds rose to approximately 40 knots. he was lofted approximately 40 feet high and 190 feet horizontally over the sand dune striking an object by a roadway. he reportedly never made an attempt to emergency depower and may not have even known how to do it. he suffered a traumatic brain injury, severe facial lacerations, fractured pelvis, ribs and entered into a coma, which he is now recovering from.

lessOns learned

lessOns learned

1. Take adequate, quality professional kiteboarding instruction. Carefully develop skill with experienced kiteboarders afterward. 2. Learn and regularly practice Emergency Depowering and if needed, do so early. Do not assume you will necessarily be able to “punchout” in a high wind emergency. Sometimes, once you understand what has happened and how to react, you have no time left to act. 3. Always do proper weather planning and monitoring for each kiting session. Understand weather hazards, prediction and appearance in your area. 4. All kiters should have a basic understanding of land-wind effects. Land masses particularly high ones upwind can disturb the quality of the wind, sometimes dangerously so. Upwind land masses cause wind rotor or turbulence and resulting lull-gust cycles. Your kite will see winds drop below stall speed potentially alternating with overpowering gusts. Location selection for favorable winds is critical, many launches are not suitable in all winds. Sometimes moving a short distance can make all the difference for a safer, fun session.

1. Don’t assume new kite systems will behave like similar kites, even those with the same name, from year to year. Even more important, less obvious aspects like flight behavior can and have changed at times. 2. Kites are released with new technology and procedures on a regular basis. Thoroughly acquaint yourself with and use manufacturer suggested, proven procedures. 3. Solo landing with many flat kites can be both complex and dangerous. Many current methods (“spin the kite,” use of anchors, etc.) can have shortcomings under certain conditions. Competent assisted landings are preferred.

8 2 th ek i t e b o a r d e r . c om

t h e k i t e boar d e r . com 8 3

H

ave you ever had one or more of your fly lines break and thought the only way fix the problem was to replace them? not true! A handy gizmo called the MicroHook braiding tool can save your lines and your pocket book. Most all kiteboarding fly lines are made out of non-core braided spectra. There are only a few brands or types of lines that this method does not work on. braids that are too tight make it very hard or near possible to splice, or a brand such as Q-Power, which has an internal core. To find out if your lines are able to be fixed using this method, grab your fly line with your hands about 1” apart. now push your hands together so that the braid separates slightly. The more it separates, the easier it will be to use the Micro-Hook to fix your line.

e kitepag

s

calIFOrnIa
Action Watersports (318) 827-2233 Airtime Kiteboarding (818) 554-7573 Aquan Watersport (650)593-6060 Bay Area Kitesurf (415) 573-2619 Board Sports (510) THE-WAVE Board Sports (415) 929-SURF CaliKites (619) 522-9575 CA CA CA CA CA CA CA

workbench

1 2

How to Fix a
Broken Fly line
by Jeff Howard | Photo Carol bolstad

3

MATerIALS
1. Micro-Hook tool 2. ruler or tape measure 3. Marker or pen

1. Start off by laying out your lines so you

have slack to work with. With the ends laid together where the line is broken, put marks at 5” and 9” on both sides of the break.

7. If all is correct, you should have about 1”

2. To make it easier to put your tool into the

of extra tips hanging out on both sides. using your tool again, go back a small bit along the line, so that when you pull these final ends into the braid they will be inside the braid. difference is that this line will end up about 12” shorter than your others. Layout your lines and check the length difference. on most systems, you can simply add a small link into the system at the bar end and all is good. but if you’re on a trip somewhere, the easiest and quickest way is to add the extra length to the correct pigtail on the kite end. This piece of line is supplied in our splicing kit, so that you can be back on the water in no time.

Captain Kirk’s (310) 833-3397 CA Delta Windsurf Company (831) 429-6051 CA Helm Sports (650 )344-2711 CA Inflight Surf and Sail (562) 493-3661 CA Kite Country (619) 226-4421 CA Kitesurfari (562) 596-6451 CA KiteWindSurf (510) 522-WIND CA Live2Kite (415) 722-7884 CA Long Beach Windsurf Center (562) 433-1014 CA Mako Surf Skate Snow (949) 367-1300 CA Malibu Kitesurfing (310) 430-KITE CA Manta Wind & Water Sports (858) 270-7222 CA Monkey Air (310) 457-6896 CA Murrays (800) 786-7245 x23 CA Offshore Surf Co (760) 729-4934 CA Kite School (650) 960-1721 CA Solutions (805) 773-5991 CA Soul Performance (310) 370-1428 CA

Sky Kitesurfing School (925) 455-4008 VELA (800) 223-5443 Wind over Water Kiteboarding (650) 218-6023 Windsport (619) 488-4642 Kite Island (925) 212-2915 Xdream Sportz (858)481-9283 Xstreamline Sports (310) 518-1972 Xtreme Big Air (805) 773-9200

CA CA CA CA CA CA CA CA

Orbit Marine Sports (203) 333-3483 Tri State Kites (800) 510-0865

CT CT

FlOrIda
7 Kiteboarding (305) 664-4055 FL Ace Performer (239) 489-3513 FL Bloodline Boardshop (321) 254-4668 FL Big Kite Miami (305) 303- 4107 FL East Coast Kiteboarding (954) 295-5778 FL Emerald Coast Kiteboarding (850) 235-2444 FL Extreme Kites (904) 461-9415 FL Extreme Sports (321) 779-4228 FL Jupiter Kiteboarding (561) 373-4445 FL Key West Kiteboarding (305) 407-6748 FL Kiteboarding Tampa Bay (813) 389-3683 FL Ft. Lauderdale Kitesurfing Co. (954) 410-5419 FL Island Style Wind & Watersports (941) 954-1009 FL Island Surf and Sail (954) 927-7002 FL Kiteboarding Tampa Bay (813) 389-3683 FL

Is your instructor or school insured? Have they been through an internationally recognized, certified instruction program? While insurance and certification don’t guarantee you quality, safe instruction, they can help you better qualify your choices. Introducing the TKB certified schools program. Look for the symbols by the listings! For complete info or to be recognized as a TKB Certified School, see www.thekiteboarder.com and click on the TKB Certified School graphic.

HOW SAFE IS YOUR INSTRUCTOR?

cOlOradO
Colorado Kite Force (970)4853300 GAYLAN’S (720) 887-0900 GG Wind Kiteboarding (970) 389-0683 Into the Wind (303) 449-5906 Larson’s Ski and Sport (303) 423-0654 Fuze Kiteboarding (303) 683-5033 PKS (970) 376-3159 Snowkite Steamboat 970 819 2997 CO CO CO CO CO CO CO CO

THE KITEbOARDER
CERTIFIED SCHOOLS
d Certifie
TKB CERTIFIED

LEGEND
INSURANCE

0THER
IKO OTHER

PASA

cOnnecTIcuT

braid, loosen the braid between the 5” and 9” marks by again pushing the line against itself. at the 9” mark in the direction of the break. once your tool is in about 1”, bring your tool back out for about ¼” then back into the braid for another 1”, out for another ¼” and back in, then out at your 5” mark. the hook and slowly work it into the braid following your tools path. don’t use brute strength to get the line through the braid; simply twisting or working the braid will get the line through. Again some are tighter then other lines so keep persevering! method for the other side, pulling each line end back through the other. and the ends hanging out each side, pull on these ends till they lock into each other at the center point. Then with your fingers, rub the area from the center out, tightening the braid on each side.

8. voila! Your line is fixed! now the only

1-2 3-4 5 6-7
8 4 th ek i t e b o a r d e r . c om

3. Insert your Micro-Hook tool into the braid

4. now hook the other broken line end into

8

5. once you have the line through, repeat the

6. now that both ends are through each other

Got an innovative modification? Share the stoke and contact ryan@thekiteboarder.com with your idea and you could win some great swag!

WWW.OCEANEXTREMESPORTS.COM
1-866-790-SURF
t h e k i t e boar d e r . com 8 5

WHAT’S IN A

By Paul Lang & Ryan Riccitelli

Up
LAND • LIGHT WIND • SURF • FREESTYLWE • WAKE/RAILS • SNOW • RACE
Photo gabe Brown

RideR
Name: Location: Weight: Height: Years Kiting: Alex Brown UK 169 lbs 5’11” 4

GeAR
Kite: Board: Bar: Harness: Straps/Bindings: Other equipment: Best Bularoo MBS Pro 6 Best 07 Bar Best Waist MBS F3s iPod for sure!

Pro riDErS ShoW you thEir EQuiPMEnt

Have you made any special modifications to your gear? We rebuilt a mountain board at MBS and fitted it with components and parts that would work with kiting, giving ultimate strength and riding performance. This is the Pro 6 I ride now. I fitted it with aluminum rims and made the deck stiffer. This resulted in more control when taking off and landing due to a more solid base. I have also spent a lot of time trying out different line lengths and pigtail set ups to give me a faster kite with more float. Are there any special techniques you use? Sometimes the depower is super useful. There are also a number of settings on the pigtails of each kite. These are great for powering up your kite for floaty jumps, or for adjusting your kite so it is an unhooking machine. What benefits does your set up give you? When riding on the land you need more lift as you don’t have water to pop off of. The kites I ride are great for this, and also work great for unhooking while using kickers or sliders. describe your most important piece of gear: It’s definitely got to be my PDA phone. You can email chicks, check the wind, watch kiting on it, tech out, and call people. Insane.

iteboarders spend a lot of time talking and arguing about what equipment works best. We have seen kiters at the beach yell at one other just because each was convinced their set up is superior. Reality is, your set up is often dependent on your local conditions and the style of riding you favor. With that said, we decided to ask seven different types of kiteboarders about their current set up. The kiteboarders we choose to answer our questions have each spent a lot of time figuring out what works best for them. We aren’t suggesting the riders featured here have all the answers, but they do have a lot of helpful advice. No one can tell you what your perfect set up will be, but the next few pages contain years of knowledge and experience. View the information here as suggestions, and you might find that there is a lot to be learned just by looking at different riders’ set ups.
cont’d next page. 40 t h e k i t e b o a r d e r . c o m

thekiteboarder.com 41

LIGHTWIND
RideR
Name: Location: Weight: Height: Years Kiting: Paul Lang San Diego, CA 200 lbs 6’0” 6

FREESTYLE
RideR
Name: Location: Weight: Height: Years Kiting: Billy Parker St.Petersburg, FL 165 lbs 5’9” 6 not to pull in too much on the bar - just enough to have good steering response. Stay on your edge and don’t get going too fast. What benefits does your set up give you? If I can confidently go out in all conditions and not have to worry about defects, instability in the kite, or making adjustments, I can concentrate totally on kiting and having fun while in total control and comfort. describe your most important piece of gear: The most important piece of gear for me would be my kite. You need a kite that can give you the most performance available while lasting through seasons of use and abuse. I ride to have fun and not trying new things is no fun for me, so my kite better be able to take some serious abuse.

GeAR
Kite: Liquid Force Assault 19 & 16 Board: 6’4” KG Twinzer Fish and custom 145 twin tip Bar: Stock 07 Liquid Force Assault Bar Harness: 07 Liquid Force Waist Straps/Bindings: Wax on the surfboard, straps with heel bungies on the twin tip Other equipment: Cell phone to check wind and talk smack when there’s no wind. Have you made any special modifications to your gear? The only modification I have made to my kites is to tune them so they fly properly. I also built my own light wind twin tip to use in flat water. Are there any special techniques you use? To kite in the lightest wind possible, you need to have a complete understanding of how to fly your kite and be able to react to the kite wanting to fall out of the sky. I ride a strapless surfboard

GeAR

4

Photo Kyle Stich

Kite: Board: Bar: Harness:

Flexifoil Ion2 10.5 &16.6 130x40 Flexifoil 07 Flexifoil Axis bar Mystic Warrior

SURF
RideR
Photo Paul lang

3
GeAR

in light wind and you need to learn how to move your feet around to respond to how much power you have. In underpowered conditions, ride with your feet close together and far forward. With more power, you can widen your stance and move your back foot towards the tail of your board. With a twin tip, you have to learn how to shift your weight forward in the lulls and back in the gusts. Practice relaunching your kite in light wind. It can be done.

What benefits does your set up give you? Even though I’m a big guy, I can kite in very light winds. Kiting in light winds is a fact of life when you live in San Diego. describe your most important piece of gear: My big kite and boards. Without a 19, I would get a lot less time on the water, but your board is the most important piece of equipment if you want to kite in light winds. Go for something wide with a flat rocker.

Have you made any special modifications to your gear? I like my gear to be simple and effective with little setup time and no adjustments necessary, so I make practically no modifications or adjustments. Are there any special techniques you use? If you want to be able to kite as much as possible, you need to know how to kite in all conditions. In lighter winds, you should keep the kite higher with the trim-strap powered up and stand up straight on your board with a less aggressive edge. In high winds, depower as much as possible with the kite in a lower position. This creates more resistance. Try

WAKE/RAILS
RideR
Name: Location: Weight: Height: Years Kiting: Denver Coon Hawaii 145 lbs 5’9” 7 the more speed I have, the easier it is to stay balanced and do tricks. What benefits does your set up give you? If the wind is a bit gusty, I find the Havoc works great for rails, because it stays powered and gives you a nice steady pull, perfect for wake style. I also think bindings are a huge advantage when hitting sliders. They make it much easier to control the board and stay balanced. The idea of one foot coming out of a strap when on a rail really freaks me out. describe your most important piece of gear: Definitely my waterproof mp3 player, because it gets me pumped to go big and try new tricks.

Name: Ian Alldredge Location: Anywhere along the West Coast, Santa Barbara/Ventura, CA Weight: 170 lbs Height: 5’11’’ Years Kiting: 5

5
GeAR

Kite: 07 Caution Answer Board: Caution Trespass 5’5’’ and 6’0’’ Stock Carbon Caution bar Bar: Harness: Dakine Tabu waist harness Straps/Bindings: Straps & strapless Other equipment: Sex wax Have you made any special modifications to your gear? I have noticed that using bigger fins on surfboards allows you to have more powerful turns instead of little snaps where your fins slip out from under you. I have been using the 4.25” rainbow fins. They have been really solid for the surf and have a lot of drive Are there any special techniques you use?
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When using a board with footstraps, you do not always have to be riding in the straps. Most of the time when I’m on a tack, my back foot is placed in the middle of my board. Doing this will give you more upwind ability and personal comfort. When riding a surfboard, you should keep your weight in the middle of the board. Do not assume that your back foot has to be on the tail. This would relate to plowing your board through the water and losing speed and ground. I also like to take out the smallest kite I can get away with.

What benefits does your set up give you? I can go out and push my limits and I do not have to worry about my gear breaking on me. Having strong gear that is reliable is very important and I definitely have that. describe your most important piece of gear: Personally to me, the most important piece of gear is my safety quick release. I have heard too many stories about people getting hurt. You never know when it’s going to be your turn to pay dues, so it’s always good to be prepared.

Kite: Liquid Force Havoc - the 8 is my favorite Board: Liquid Force Element 128 cm or the Recoil 132 cm, both without fins Liquid Force Havoc Bar Bar: Harness: Dakine Tabu Harness Straps/Bindings: Liquid Force Union Bindings Other equipment: LF’s Liquid Tunes mp3 player Have you made any special modifications to your gear? The only thing I do is take the fins off my board. It makes edging a little harder, but helps prevent the board from snagging along the rail when it slides into different positions. Are there any special techniques you use? I try to keep my kite low in order to get a similar pull to that of a jet-ski or boat. I find

Photo ryan riccitelli

Photo Paul lang

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SNOW
RideR
Photo Christian Nerdrum

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Name: Location: Weight: Height: Years Kiting:

Remi Meum Norway 165 lbs 5’10” 6

GeaR

Kite: Mostly Slingshot Fuel’s but also Ranger’s for backcountry riding Snowboard: Nobile Remi Meum Pro Model Bar: The shortest Profire bar by Slingshot Harness: Pat Love Straps/Bindings: Flow bindings Other equipment: Zeal Optics and Sweet protection helmets Have you made any special modificationsto your gear? I changed the depower strap on my chicken loop to a custom setup so it’s not in my way when hooking in and out. I always use the shortest Slingshot bar on all my kites, even though that makes my big kites slower. I feel much more comfortable with a short bar. I have a wide and ducked stance on my board (-14º and + 14º). I also like riding my kite a bit over-sheeted with tight back lines.

are there any special techniques you use? For relaunching, I just pull both backlines and my Fuel’s flip around immediately. This works even on the 15 in 5 knots. When it’s really freaking cold weather, I heat the pump valve with my breath to make the plug fit.

What benefits does your set up give you? The ultimate freestyle setup on snow. describe your most important piece of gear: The combination of all my gear working together is most important to me.

RACE
RideRS
Photo Joel Richman

Name: Location: Weight: Height: Years Kiting: Name: Location: Weight: Height: Years Kiting:

7

Shawn Richman Maui 155 lbs 5’7’’ 5 Jesse Richman Maui 120 lbs 5’2’’ 5

GeaR
Kite: Cabrinha Switchblades Snowboard: Custom Stretch race boards, custom race boards by Nils Stolzlechner Bar: Cabrinha Switchblade bars Harness: Jesse: Cabrinha Waist Harness, Shawn: Cabrinha Seat Harness Straps/Bindings: Cabrinha Straps Other equipment: Racing watches to time the start perfectly Have you made any special modifications to your gear?
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In kite racing, everyone is trying to figure out what the best gear set up is going to be. We are constantly trying to answer this question by testing new board and fin combinations while making sure that we are on the highestpointing kite available to us. Our boards are all custom-designed for racing. are there any special techniques you use? Racing is all about where you are in relation to where everyone else is. The goal is to get out ahead of the pack and make everyone follow you. Mastering this is still a work in progress. What benefits does your set up give you?

At the moment, we believe that we have some pretty solid gear. The Cabrinha Switchblade goes upwind better than any other kite we have flown. With our custom race boards from Stretch and Nils, we have the right gear for any condition. describe your most important piece of gear: When it comes to racing, the most important piece of gear is the board. With a good board you can make it to the upwind mark before everyone else and can hold the lead while going downwind. While every piece of gear is important, the board is the most critical.
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Ben cracks the lip with perfect form in Fiji.

wave riding
By Ben Wilson and The Kiteboarder Staff / Photos Ben Kotke

i

f you have never spent time in the ocean, kiteboarding in the waves can be a very intimidating experience. There are a lot of details when it comes to gear and technique. We decided to pick the brain of

kitesurf aficionado Ben Wilson to get some tips on the important aspects of wave riding. Make sure to pay close attention and you will be sure to up your game the next time (or the first time) you charge the surf.
Ben and Bailey show off their quiver.

Boards Surfboards have been around for a very long time, and we know that they work in the surf. Make sure to buy a board that is specifically designed to be used in the waves. Many manufacturers sell surf-specific surfboards that are proven to work in the waves. You will also find these production boards to be more durable than your everyday surfboard. Do your homework and find out who the shaper is, and make sure they understand how to shape a surf-specific board. If you already surf, you should try kiting on a board that is like your surfboard. If you don’t surf, start talking to kite and surf
62 thekiteboarder.com

shops to get an idea of what type and size board you need. If you are serious about riding waves, you need to focus on getting a board that is built for wave riding. Kites The hot topic in wave riding is bridled kites vs. C-kites. Whatever your opinion is, it comes down to personal preference in the end. Generally speaking, C-kites are simpler, especially if you ride with four lines. Bridled kites have more range and depower, therefore making it easier to ride the waves in offshore and gusty conditions. We could write a six page

article on this debate alone. The most important advice we can give you is the kite you feel most comfortable with is the kite you should use in the surf. accessories Only use a board leash when you absolutely have too, like when your board could be washed onto rocks or if there is any chance your board could hurt someone else if you lose it. If you don’t wear a leash, you will be much safer as they tend to load up and shoot your board all over the place when you wipe out. If you are riding strapless, make sure you wax your board with a

good base coat. Wax comes in different varieties for all water temperatures, but you should always use a cold water wax for your base coat. You can then apply the ideal temperature-specific wax on top of that. This will help keep a solid coat of wax on your board and prevent it from rubbing off under your feet. The best way to customize your surfboard is to buy a new set of fins. Fins do make a huge difference in how the board performs, but you should work on dialing in your riding skills before you start buying multiple fin set ups. Like any aspect of kiteboarding, you can’t overcome bad technique by buying more stuff.
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How to Hit tHe Lip Step-by-Step

1-2: At this point, I’ve already unhooked, positioned my kite, and am completing my bottom turn. Now I’m looking at where I’m going to hit the wave. Timing is critical. The key is controlling your speed and making sure you distribute your weight correctly through the turn. In these first two frames much of my weight is still on my back foot as I’m just coming off the bottom turn. 3-4: As I hit the lip and my fins release from the water, I center my weight between both my feet. Stay as centered over your board as possible. If you keep your weight over the tail of the board, it will slide out. The turn happens so quickly that you don’t have time to do anything with the kite. This is why it is important to position it before the turn. 5-7: When I feel my fins grip the water again, I apply more front foot pressure to maintain speed and start heading back down the wave. Don’t shift all of your weight forward as this will cause the nose of the board to catch in the water as you reach the bottom of the wave. 8-9: The turn is now complete and I’m just riding out of it with my weight centered over the board.

CONDITIONS Nearly all wind conditions other than offshore can work for kiting in the waves, as long as you have enough power to comfortably get to the outside. If you are new to the waves, you should start in small side-on to side-off conditions. You should never kite in waves that you wouldn’t feel comfortable surfing or swimming in. Always remind yourself that you may have to swim in if your gear breaks. If you don’t feel comfortable doing so, don’t go out.

ReADING THe WAVe Being able to read waves effectively comes from experience. Volumes of books could be written on the subject of reading waves, yet the information would not do you any good until you spent time in the ocean. Always take time to watch the conditions before you go out, especially if you are not familiar with the spot. Before you go out, you should know where the waves are consistently breaking, where the big sections are, where the channels are, the timing of the sets, currents that are present, and what the tide is doing. Going into the ocean without this information is ignorance.

GeTTING OUT When riding out in any wave conditions, you need to know the limits of what size whitewater you can ride over. The only way to learn this is through experience, so start small. Approach the whitewater at a moderate speed. As you ride over the wave, point your board upwind and absorb the wave with your knees. Once over the wave, point the board downwind to build speed for the next wave. If a wave breaks in front of you and you doubt you can make it over the whitewater, chicken jibe and wait for the set to pass. Before you leave the beach, spend some time studying the waves. Look for channels

where the waves tend not to break or where the waves are smaller when they break. If you choose the right spot and time to go out, it will be much easier for you to get out past the waves. RIDING WAVeS Finally, when you are out in the waves and ready to ride your first one, start practicing your bottom turn. It’s the foundation of wave riding. Let yourself travel downwind and concentrate on staying on the wave, not in front of it. Commit to your bottom turn. Lean into the turn and look at the wave where you will want to hit the lip. As you ride up to

the top of the wave, throw your weight into the tail of your board and turn back towards the beach. If you learn to do a good bottom turn, the top turn follows naturally, If you are kiting on the wave with a decent board, you will not have to worry about your kite, other than keeping it out of the water as the wave is providing the power to keep you moving. Remember that without doing turns on the wave, you are only kiting in the waves, not on them. The only way to get it down is to practice, so get out there and go for it. Commit to nailing your bottom turn. As it improves, all the other key ingredients, including timing and flow, will follow.

The most important advice we can give you is to have respect for everyone around you. Surfers and windsurfers have been in the ocean a lot longer than us, so please be respectful when sharing the waves. Generally speaking, if there are any surfers in the water, don’t kite there. Find somewhere else. Persistence is key. Surfing is a very hard sport to learn and it may take you years to develop proper technique in the waves. Remind yourself that you aren’t trying to surf while kiteboarding – you are just holding onto a kite while surfing.

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thekiteboarder.com 65

worKbenCH
as the connection between you and your board, your footstraps need to be set up and fit properly for you to get the most out of it. You don’t walk around in shoes that don’t fit, so why should you ride with footstraps that are too big? Sometimes, the most challenging aspect of learning a new move is simply trying to keep the board on your feet. Sounds simple enough, but it’s a constant challenge for people with small feet, as most footstraps on the market cater to men with an average size foot. With a few modifications, you can dial in your footstraps to keep your feet securely attached to your board, no matter what your shoe size.

Kite pageS
CaLiFornia
Action Watersports (318) 827-2233 Aquan Watersport (650)593-6060 Bay Area Kitesurf (415) 573-2619 Board Sports (510) THE-WAVE Board Sports (415) 929-SURF CaliKites (619) 522-9575 Captain Kirk’s (310) 833-3397 Delta Windsurf Company (831) 429-6051 Helm Sports (650 )344-2711 Inflight Surf and Sail (562) 493-3661 Kite Country (619) 226-4421 Kitesurfari (562) 596-6451 KiteWindSurf (510) 522-WIND Live2Kite (415) 722-7884 Long Beach Windsurf Center (562) 433-1014 Mako Surf Skate Snow (949) 367-1300 Malibu Kitesurfing (310) 430-KITE Manta Wind & Water Sports (858) 270-7222 Mission Bay Aquatic Center (858) 488-1000 Monkey Air (310) 457-6896 Murrays (800) 786-7245 x23 Offshore Surf Co (760) 729-4934 OOTO Kite School (650) 960-1721 Soul Performance (310) 370-1428 Sky Kitesurfing School (925) 455-4008 VELA (800) 223-5443 West Coast Kiteboarding (619) 813-2230 Wind over Water Kiteboarding (650) 218-6023 Windsport (619) 488-4642 Kite Island (925) 212-2915 Xdream Sportz (858)481-9283 Xstreamline Sports (310) 518-1972 Xtreme Big Air (805) 773-9200 CA CA CA Into the Wind (303) 449-5906 Larson’s Ski and Sport (303) 423-0654 Fuze Kiteboarding (303) 683-5033 PKS (970) 376-3159 CO CO CO CO

CA CA CA CA CA CA CA CA CA CA CA CA CA CA CA CA CA CA CA CA CA CA CA CA CA CA CA CA CA CA

ConneCtiCUt
Orbit Marine Sports (203) 333-3483 Tri State Kites (800) 510-0865 CT CT

FLorida
Emerald Coast Kiteboarding (850) 235-2444 FL Learn 2 Fly (386) 986-9637 FL 7 Kiteboarding (305) 664-4055 FL Ace Performer (239) 489-3513 FL Big Kite Miami (305) 303- 4107 FL East Coast Kiteboarding (954) 295-5778 FL Extreme Kites (904) 461-9415 FL Extreme Sports (321) 779-4228 FL Jupiter Kiteboarding (561) 373-4445 FL Ft. Lauderdale Kitesurfing Co. (954) 410-5419 FL Hydrotherapy (850) 236-1800 FL Island Style Wind & Watersports (941) 954-1009 FL Island Surf and Sail (954) 927-7002 FL Kite Surf the Earth (888) 819-5483 FL Kite World (321) 725-8336 FL Liquid Surf & Sail (850) 664-5731 FL KiteMare (877) 829-0015 Miami Kiteboarding Inc. (305) 345-9974 Sandy Point Progressive Sports (386) 756-7564 Sea & Sky Sports (850) 598-3735 Ski Rixen (954) 429-0215 Tampa Bay Kiteboarding (727) 798-2484 Waterplay (800) 841-1225 Watersports West (888) 401-5080 Xrated Kiteboarding (888) 401-5080

How to MaKe HeeL bUngieS if your straps fit you properlybut you still have trouble keeping theboard on your feet, you might want totry adding heel bungies.* all you need is a rollof duct tape and a spare bicycle tireinner tube.

FootStrapFOLLIeS 3 4

Words and photos by Paul Lang

1

mount the heel bungee between your footstrap and foot pad. CUStoMiZe yoUr FootStrapS footstraps don’t come in differentsizes, so you have to learn how to makeyour straps work for you and your feet. ifyour straps are adjustable, mount themto your board loose and slide your footin. tighten the strap until it is snug. if they fit well, you’re in luck! if they are still loose, below are tips on how to modify your straps.

if your strap doesn’t have more holes, you can make them with a soldering iron. try moving the mounting hole 1/2 inch towards the center of the strap, first on one side, then, if necessary, on the other.

4

FL FL FL FL FL FL FL FL FL

cut two 12-inch sections from the inner tube. this size works best for most people, but you may have to modify this length is you have very small or very large feet.

2

1

neatly wrap the ends with two layers of duct tape.

take the strap off the board and peel back the cover until you have access to the webbing around the mounting screw.

Someday, manufacturers will realize that riders don’t all have the same size foot and will offer straps in different sizes. until then, riders with small feet are stuck modifying their gear. Between these two modifications, you should be able to keep your feet solidly on your board, even if you have tiny ballerina feet.

CoLorado
Colorado Kite Force (970)4853300 GAYLAN’S (720) 887-0900 CO CO

georgia
High Tide Surf Shop (912) 786-6556 Locus Kiteboarding (404) 509-4229 Hanag20 Kiteboarding (912) 223-7856 GA GA GA

Kailua Sailboards (808) 262-2555 Kite High (808) 637-5483 Kiteboard Center (808) 276-2667 Kiteboard Maui (808) 870-2554 Hawaiian Ocean Sports (866) 488-5483 Kitesurf Maui (808) 873-0015 Maui Kiteboarding Lessons (808) 242-8015 Naish Hawaii (808) 262-6068 Off Da Lip (808) 255-6255 Second Wind (808) 877-7467 Vela Maui (800) 223-5443

HI HI HI HI HI HI HI HI HI HI HI

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2

With a paper hole punch, punch a hole in the middle of each strip of tape.
78 t h e k i t e b o a r d e r . c o m

Some manufacturers provide additional holes so you can move the mounting screw to make the strap smaller.

*Note: Beginner kiteboarders should not use heel bungies, as they can keep you attached to the board when you don’t want to be. Heel bungies also put you at greater risk for ankle and knee injuries as they make it more likely that you could have only one foot release from the board when you crash. If you do not wish to accept this risk, do not use heel bungies.

idaHo
Groud Zero (208) 265-6714 Fly Sun Valley (208) 726-3332 ID ID

Hawaii
Action Sports Maui (808) 871-5857 Aloha Kiteboarding Academy (808) 637-5483 Caveman Kitesurfing (808) 389-4004 Extreme Sports Maui (808) 871-7954 Hawaiian Island Surf and Sport (808) 871-4981 Hawaiian Watersports (808) 262-KITE Hawaiian Surf & Sail (808) 637-5373 HI HI HI HI HI HI HI

iLLinoiS
Windward Sports (773) 472-6868 Chicago Kiteboarder (312) 804-5482 IL IL

MaSSaCHUSettS
Air Support Kiteboarding (866) Kite-Cod Kitesite.net (508) 398-1333 MA MA

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411

ask the MD
MarinE topic JEllyfiShVEnoMS SEriES: anD firE Coral
By Dr. Steve Benaron, Emergency Medicine Specialist There is no doubt that kiteboarding is an exhilarating sport. Kiteboarders often find themselves distracted by what’s happening above the water but it’s also important to be aware of dangers below the surface. Two particular creatures, jellyfish and fire coral, can turn a great day of kiteboarding into an agonizing nightmare. However, with the proper knowledge, injury and pain can be minimized.

ack Sm
Susi Mai will host many of ee’s new shows.

GK V Sonic

GK kites podcast #90

aS a firSt rESponDEr to MarinE EnVEnoMationS, you nEED to rEMEMBEr thrEE iMportant StEpS:

1 2 3

Stop the action of the venom by inactivating it. Treat the local reaction or injury. If there are systemic reactions, meaning a reaction to the body that is beyond the point of injury, the person must be treated by a knowledgeable individual at the scene or at a medical facility.

1. Basic first aid kit 2. Vinegar or 3% to 10% acetic acid 3. Shaving cream 4. Old credit card or piece of plastic 5. Oral antihistamine such as diphenhydramine (Benadryl) 6. Topical steroid cream - .5 – 1% hydrocortisone (Aristocort) 7. Baking soda 8. Utility knife 9. Thermometer 10. Safe Sea Lotion 11. Adolf’s or Papain Meat Tenderizers

photo: paul Caswell

traVEl firSt aiD kit for thE watEr EnthuSiaSt:

J el l y f is h an d f i r e C o r al s t i n gs
Jellyfish stings are the most common type of marine envenomation. In Chesapeake Bay alone there are an estimated 500,000 annual jellyfish stings reported. Jellyfish have long tentacles with little encapsulated stinging cells know as nematocysts. These nematocysts contain the venom, and inject the venom into the skin causing a local reaction. Sometimes the venom may be injected into deeper tissues and be absorbed into the general circulation system, which can cause a systemic reaction. If traveling, check with the locals about jellyfish common in the area. Unlike the name suggests, fire corals are not true corals. Although similar in appearance, fire coral is more closely related to jellyfish and other stinging anemones. Fire corals have a bright yellowgreen and brown skeletal covering and are widely distributed in tropical and subtropical waters. Swimmers and divers often mistake fire coral for seaweed, and accidental contact is common. SyMptoMS of JEllyfiSh anD firE Coral ExpoSurE 1. Stinging sensation immediately on contact 2. Intensity typically increases over 10 minutes 3. Redness 4. Itching 5. Bumps, blisters and /or small pustules (pimples) may appear SyStEMiC SyMptoMS 1. Increased oral secretions – drooling 2. Stomach disturbances, pain, vomiting, diarrhea 3. Muscle spasms 4. Difficulty breathing 5. Heart rhythm disturbances and failure fiElD trEatMEnt 1. Immobilize the limb with a makeshift splint – a towel or piece of wood will do. 2. Inactivate the nematocysts by applying vinegar or 3% to 10% acetic acid. Human urine and alcohol are not effective because they may encourage the release of the toxin from the nematocyst. 3. Lift, rather than brush, remaining tentacles away. 4. Apply shaving cream and shave away any remaining nematocyst with an old credit card or piece of plastic. 5. Rinse with clean seawater if vinegar or acetic acid is unavailable.
1 8 th eki t e b o a r d e r . c o m

6. If necessary, dust the area with a fine sand, baking soda, powder or flour and then scrape away the remaining nematocysts with the back edge (dull side) of a knife . 7. Fresh water immersion in thermometer tested hot water 40 to 44 degrees C (104 to 110 degrees F) may help to neutralize the toxin in many, but not all jellyfish envenomations. Hot water may alleviate pain, but in some jellyfish, particularly the hair, fire, bluebottle and box jellyfish, cold water may alleviate the sting. 8. Papain or Adolf’s meat tenderizer may neutralize the nematocysts, but will not be helpful with pain relief. 9. Oral antihistamines such as diphenhydramine for the intense itching or rash may be helpful. 10. Topical steroid creams such as hydrocortisone cream 1% may be helpful for the local skin reaction and rash. thingS not to Do 1. The affected limb should not be immersed in cold water until the nematocysts have been neutralized and removed. 2. Do not vigorously rub the area to try to remove nematocysts. Avoid rubbing with sand or cloth until the nematocysts have been neutralized and removed. 3. Do not apply alcohol, fresh water, ammonia or bleach. 4. Do not apply a pressure dressing until the nematocysts have been neutralized and removed. prEVEntion: 1. Mechanical barriers such as wetsuits, booties, rashguards and other clothing may protect against stings. 2. A sting inhibitor, Safe Sea Lotion, mimics the mucous coating of some fish species susceptible to the sting of sea anemones. This lotion has been shown to be effective in high risk jellyfish areas. Dr. Steve Benaron is an avid surfer and kiteboarder on the Central Coast of California. He is a specialist in Emergency Medicine and has been in active practice since 1984. His entire family of four kiteboards and can be found on any given day tearing it up in Pismo Beach, CA.

extremeelements.com is launching a bunch of new bells and whistles in the New year that you definitely want to check out starting with the Extreme Sports Internet TV Show. Content will vary from rider profiles, lesson how-to’s, local reports and more for a variety of sports including kiteboarding. Currently, Susi Mai is slated to be a regular host. EE is also busy reworking the website to encourage User Generated Content. Website visitors and members will be able to rate hotels and sport centers as well have forum discussions about destination and locations. They look forward to people inputting info they currently don’t have so they can partner with these new businesses to help other people save money on their travel or to learn about other people’s experiences. Finally, live sales help was launched this past month and EE is ramping up a full support team to provide 24 hour online help within the coming months.

photo: eric Hertsens

The annual Master of the Ocean event will take place in Cabarete from Feb 26 through March 3. Competitors will compete in surfing, windsurfing and kitesurfing for a chance to claim the title. Qualifiers will take place on the 26 and 27 on Kite Beach where the top 16 competitors will be selected to compete in the finals at Playa Encuentro and Bozo Beach. For lodging and packages including gear rental, lessons and paragliding, see www.kitexcite.com. For event info, check out www.masteroftheocean.com

Wh en
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This photo really doesn’t back up the premise of this feature, “When Things Go Wrong;” however, we want you to prepared for those moments when they do.

Things
How to Get Out of the
By Paul Lang Photo courtesy F-One

go Wrong
Most Common Kitemares

1
Getting into trouble is a part of kiteboarding. Every kiteboarder has either had or will have an OH SH!T moment and how you handle the situation will determine whether you pick yourself back up and continue your session, or find yourself in the back of an ambulance. We have compiled a list of the most common kitemares and how you should react when caught in that situation. If you keep your wits about you and act rationally, you can keep the situation under control and will hopefully avoid injury to yourself, your gear, and your pride.

Kite tangle: More people are getting into kiting every year and riding spots are getting more crowded. If you have not tangled up with someone before, chances are you will someday. When you find your kite tangled with someone else’s, do not immediately release your safety. Many times, the kites will still be flying, and if both riders cooperate and figure out what exactly is tangled, you can get out of it quickly. Hold both kites low to the water while doing this and unhook your leashes so both riders are ready to completely release their kites if things get dicey. If either kite is not controllable, BOTH kites need to be released. line BreaK: When a flying line or bridle line breaks, there is no way to avoid a swim back to the beach. Activate your safety system (you may lose the kite when you do this if your safety is attached to the line that broke) and pull yourself up to the kite using one line only. Once at the kite, hold the wingtips and self rescue yourself back to the beach. Wind dies: Keep the kite flying for as long as you can. If you suddenly do not have enough power to stay up on the board, it’s time to relive the good ‘ole learning days by doing a body drag. Hold your board on the surface of the water in front of you and body drag as close to the beach as you can before the kite will not stay in the air any longer. Loop the kite through the wind window to squeeze everything you can out of the dying wind. At that point, pull yourself up one line to the kite and self rescue/swim the rest of the way in.

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UnhooKed on accident: First of all, every rider should be comfortable flying their kite unhooked so that when this happens, it’s no big deal. Practice unhooking and hooking back in until it feels natural. If you do come unhooked on accident, keep both hands at the center of the bar and pull in and down to hook in. If the pull is too hard, just let go. This will activate your safety and let the kite crash. You can then recover the bar, hook back in, and relaunch the kite. harness releases or BreaKs: If you are comfortable flying your kite unhooked, this is an issue that is easy to deal with. After your harness breaks, slowly bring your kite to overhead. Keep your hands towards the middle of the bar and ride back to the beach and land your kite. The further downwind you ride, the less pressure will be on the lines and the easier the bar will be to hold on to. caUght in Big sUrf: If you are caught in the impact zone, head back towards the beach. It’s a lot easier to go with the waves than it is to go against them. If you lose your board, don’t worry about it as the whitewater will probably wash it in to the beach for you. Simply body drag in to the beach. When your kite goes down in big surf, things get interesting. Try everything you can to get the kite back up before the next wave, but be prepared to completely release the kite before you or the kite gets pounded by a wave. When a wave puts you through the

rinse cycle, you do not want to be anywhere near your lines. If you do not release your kite when the wave comes, you have a good chance of being tangled with the lines and your kite will be more likely to be damaged. Remember, you have no business being in surf that you wouldn’t feel comfortable swimming or paddle surfing in.

to shore with the kite on the edge of the window. If you keep the kite on the edge of the window and keep as little tension on the lines as possible, you can keep a kite flying until there is basically no air left in it. Do this by holding the kite on the edge of the window and swim in, as opposed to using the kite to pull you in. lost Kite: You should have a leash system to avoid this, but failures can happen and you may have to separate yourself from your kite in some cases (big surf, for example). There is nothing to do but swim when this happens, so you better be used to it. An impact vest or PFD will save you a ton of energy in this situation. If you have a big twin tip or a surfboard, turn your harness around (so the hook is on your back) and paddle on the board. With small boards, push them in front of you as you swim. Remember: Never ride further from the beach than you can swim. Spend some time swimming so you know how far this is.

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tangled in the lines: This is probably the scariest thing that can happen to a kiter. Do all you can to avoid it. That rusty hook knife on your harness probably won’t do you any good (try cutting an old line with it sometime to see if it works). The best thing to do is to start pulling on one line only so that you can get to the kite. This way the kite cannot power up and you have something to hold on to that floats while you untangle yourself. Don’t panic and kick your legs as this will only make the situation worse. If you cannot pull on one line, grab any line or lines (but DO NOT wrap the line around your hand) above where you are tangled and hang on. You will probably end up with line burns or cuts on your hands, but that’s better than around your neck. Kite deflates: One-Pump systems are great, but they make it possible for your whole kite to deflate if something fails. Your first sign that you are losing air is the kite will try to fold in half every time there is a lot of load on the lines. If this happens, get off the board and body drag back

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tangled Bridle: Any kite with a bridle can end up with a bridle tangle, which usually happens when part of the bridle gets caught on a wingtip. This causes the kite to loop uncontrollably. If this happens to you, immediately release your kite onto the leash. The kite should stop pulling and crash into the water. If it keeps pulling, release your leash and let the whole kite go.

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t h e ki t e b o arde r. co m 7 5

Hamish MacDonald is in a very dangerous situation while trying to relaunch his kite with an oyster infested barrier in between him and his kite.
Photo: Paul Lang

caUght in a gUst front: The wise thing to do is to completely avoid kiting in unstable weather, but some people still find themselves caught on the water when a gust front passes. Keep your eye on the weather and get off the water at the first sign of instability (dark clouds, sudden wind shifts, etc.). If you do find yourself on the water when a gust front moves through, bring your kite down along the edge of the window to the water and release it onto your leash. If you try to keep your kite in the air, you may end up being lofted. If the wind has switched to onshore and you do not have enough room to bring the kite down, immediately release it onto your leash and be prepared to release your leash if the kite continues to pull. Kite is PUlling YoU toWards a solid oBject: The best way to avoid injuries in kiteboarding is to avoid solid objects. If you find yourself being pulled by your kite towards a solid object, you have to react immediately and your first action has to be the right one. Immediately release your kite onto your leash. Doing this HAS to be second nature so that you can react immediately. If the solid object is within one kite line length downwind of you, completely release yourself from your kite and leash.

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to crash hard, kick your board off. Make sure you get both feet off the board as leaving one foot will almost certainly lead to a knee or ankle injury. If you don’t think you can get both feet out, it’s better to leave them both in than to crash with only one foot in the straps. Look up, spot your kite, and the higher your kite is when you crash the less the impact will be. The first step of getting out of almost any kitemare is having a properly functioning leash system. When you release your kite onto the leash, there should be virtually no pull. It can be tempting to always hook your leash to your harness loop, but many kites will not completely depower this way. If your kite does not fully depower through the chicken loop, then your leash must be hooked up to a to a 5th line or a front or back sliding line, commonly called an Oh Sh!t loop. You need to know how your quick release works (and how to put it back together) and also must have a quick release on your leash so you can completely ditch your kite in dire situations. The best way to get out of a bad situation is to avoid the situation in the first place. Rig your equipment correctly, check your gear, know your limits, and avoid questionable weather. You can never completely eliminate the risk from kiteboarding, but you can reduce your risk of injury by understanding and practicing how to react when you find yourself in the middle of a kitemare.

Kitemare Do’s and Don’ts
DO stay calm and think rationally about how to get out of
the situation.

DON’T
can swim.

ever kite further from shore than you know you

DO go swimming so you are comfortable doing it and
know your limits.

DO practice using your quick release until using it is
second nature.

12 13

DON’T go kiteboarding in surf that you would not feel
comfortable paddle surfing or swimming in.

DO use a leash system that allows you to fully depower DO be prepared to completely release your kite if necessary. DON’T completely release your kite every time you have a
small problem. Your kite will become a danger to others and you better have a VERY good reason to let it go.

Bad landing: You can usually feel a bad landing coming, and there are a few things you can do to reduce the risk of injury. If you feel like you are about

DO know your limits and be realistic about your skill level. DO check your gear before every session. DON’T rely on others to save you every time something happens.
t h e ki t e b o arde r. co m 7 7

7 6 t h eki t e b o a r d e r . c o m

WORKBENCH
f you want your kite to live up to its full performance potential, it needs to be tuned correctly. the first step of tuning your kite has nothing to do with the kite itself and is often overlooked by most riders. not only is it a good idea to tune your bar the first time out of the bag to check for any manufacturing inconsistencies, you also need to check it throughout the season. If you don’t take the time to tune your bar a few times throughout the year, your kite’s performance will suffer. your lines stretch over time, and it’s not uncommon to stretch one line during a powerful kiteloop or a wipeout in big surf. Your kite will act differently depending on what line or lines are out of adjustment. One back line that is longer than the other will cause you to have to hold your bar at an angle to make the kite fly straight. A front line that is longer than the other will make the kite pull hard one way or the other resulting in a huge loss of performance. If the front and back lines are uneven to each other, the kite will be either prone to backing up and stalling (front lines too long) or it will steer slowly and not produce all of the power the kite is capable of (back lines too long). Be sure to check your lines periodically, especially after a big crash or if your kite just doesn’t feel right. Follow the steps below and learn to tune your bar to perfection.

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Wrap your leash or a piece of leader line around a tree or any other solid object and attach all four or five lines to the clip.

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If your bar is not parallel with your shoulders, you have one back line that is longer than the other. The line on the end of the bar that angles towards you will need to be shortened. While holding tension in the lines, feel both front lines. If they do not feel the same, one is longer than the other. The one with less tension needs to be shortened.

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Once you know what lines need to be adjusted, make small adjustments with the knots on the leader lines. Adjust the knots until all four (or five) lines are even with each other. With your bar adjusted, hook your lines to your kite and fly it. If your lines were off, you should notice a huge change in how the kite flies. There is no reason to suffer with a kite that doesn’t fly right. Take the time to tune your bar before your next session and make sure your kite is living up to its full potential.

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Pick up your bar and square your shoulders to the tree. Make sure your depower strap or line is eased all the way out (full power). Lean back and hold tension in your lines. Do not hook in to a harness while doing this.

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If your lines are adjusted properly, the bar will be parallel with your shoulders and all lines will have even tension when you pull on the bar.

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XLKITES.com Pure Kiteboarding

Trimming the 5th Line
there are a lot of 5-line bars out there, but you trim them no different than a 4-line bar. on almost all kites that use a 5th line, the 5th line should be trimmed so that it is even with the other four. When flying your kite, the 5th line should not be slack, but should not carry a lot of tension either. a 5th line that is too short will distort the kite and drastically reduce the power. Fly your kite after tuning the bar and check to be sure that the 5th line is snug, but not tight.
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Ventana Windsports
www.VentanaWindsports.com

m ask the

d

ack Sm
Photo Roberto Foresti/Canon

WATERMEN’S FIRST AID KIT
By Dr. Steve Benaron, Emergency Medicine Specialist

Whether traveling to an exotic location or just to your local beach, there is no doubt that a first aid kit comes in handy to treat minor injuries not requiring serious medical attention. In review of previous Ask the MD articles, we have put together a list of items that will treat many of the problems you may encounter on your various excursions. These problems include but are not limited to marine envenomations, jellyfish stings, fire coral, stingray barbs, surfer’s ear, surfer’s eye, traveler’s diarrhea, wound care, and wound infections. Please refer to each previous print article or the free online version of The Kiteboarder for more specifics on each topic.

WhAT To InCLUDE In yoUR BASIC FIRST AID KIT
JELLyFISh/FIRE CoRAL/ALLERgIC REACTIonS: • inegar or 3% to 10% acetic acid to neutralize jellyfish V and fire coral • Shaving cream and old credit card or piece of plastic to shave away the nematocysts from jelly fish or fire coral • Baking soda used to dust area of jelly fish exposure prior to scraping • Oral antihistamine such as diphenhydramine (Benadryl) for itching or allergic reactions • opical steroid cream, .5 – 1% hydrocortisone (Aristocort) T for skin inflammations • Utility knife • hermometer to test/adjust water temp to 104-110º F to T neutralize the jellyfish toxin • dolf’s Meat Tenderizer, Papain meat tenderizer or Safe A Sea Lotion to neutralize jellyfish toxin

• Surfer’s Ear wash treatment and prophylaxis with a 2:1 mixture of 70% isopropyl (rubbing) alcohol and acetic acid (vinegar) may be placed in the canal with a dropper TRAvELER’S DIARRhEA: • ral rehydration solutions: packets O of oral rehydration solutions mixed in clean drinking water or you can make a homemade solution by adding ½ teaspoon of salt,1/2 teaspoon of baking soda, and 4 tablespoons of sugar in one liter or quart of clean drinking water • Prescription antibiotics for traveler’s diarrhea include Cipro (500mg twice a day, not to be used with children or if pregnant). Azithromycin is a good alternative for children and pregnant women. A three-day course is recommended if not better in 24 hours. • ntimotility agents: Imodium AD does A not require a prescription. Lomotil is a prescription drug in the US. Should not be used in mild to moderate disease, and must be stopped with any worsening symptoms such as fever or cramps.
Got a medical issue you would like to see covered? Please email askthemd@thekiteboarder.com

Two competing international organizations will again be declaring individual world kite champions in 2009. Starting this year, all PKRA events will be sanctioned by the International Surfing Association (ISA), recognized by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) as the World Governing Authority for surfing and all surf-riding activities. The KPWT tour decided to align themselves with the newly founded International Kiteboarding Association (IKA,) sanctioned by the International Sailing Association Federation (ISAF) and recognized by the IOC as the World Governing Authority for all sailing-related activities. Will either alignment help or improve competitions or exposure? We’ll see what 2009 brings! www.kiteworldtour.com

Photo Kitesurfari

Message to all GlobeKites owners
On a drive down the California coast, Robert and Danny McCullough saw their first kiteboarder. Back in Long Beach, the two searched for lessons but instead ended up buying the Los Angeles area shop Kitesurfari! Focusing on certified quality instruction with jet ski support, the new Huntington Beach location invites you to say hi and demo gear. www.kitesurfari.com If you love discovering affordable new places to kite, check out the new Ecuador packages offered by www.thekitehouse.com The Humboldt current generates wind for Ecuador like clockwork everyday, and the waves offer lots of long lefts and fun rights. Cheap with a very colorful and warm culture, Ecuador’s main season is from June through November. Looking for an easy way to track your riding time and sessions? Check out http://waterlogged.me. The developers are constantly upgrading but it’s already very easy to use!

WoUnD CARE: • Antibiotic ointment to treat or prevent infections • mall, sterile and sharp knife, tweezers, sharp S clean needles • Large syringe for irrigation • Pain medications like Advil, Tylenol or Aleve • Soap to clean all wounds • asic bandages, first aid tape and wraps to treat minor B cuts, scrapes or sprains • rescription antibiotics that can be used for wound P infections include: Bactrim DS or Septra DS, Doxycycline and or Keflex. Any use of antibiotics must be discussed and reviewed with your doctor. SURFER’S EyE/SURFER’S EAR: • ye lubricant drops – brand names include Hypotears, E Refresh Tears II; many pharmacies have generic forms at a lower cost • ye lubricant ointment – brand names include Lacrilube, E Refresh PM, or a generic form from your pharmacy • ntihistamine Eye Drops – brand names Ocuhist, A Naphcon-A. Visine AC or generic • clean plastic bottle with clean water to wash out A your eyes at the end of a session
1 6 t h ek i t e b o a r d e r . c om

Dr. Steve Benaron is an avid surfer and kiteboarder on the Central Coast of California. He is a specialist in Emergency Medicine and has been in active practice since 1984. His entire family of four kiteboards and can be found on any given day tearing it up in Pismo Beach, CA.

info@litewavedesigns.com

U.S.A : +1.916.961.1117

www.litewavedesigns.com

GlobeKites

www.globekites.com

t h e k i tPatent-Pending Design e boar d e r . com 1 7

HANdBooK
EvEry yEAr, THE KITEBoArdEr MAgAzINE sTAff
publishes our annual Kiteboarding Instructional Guide. No matter how hard we have tried in the past, we seem to always be simply republishing the same basic information every year. This year we decided to try something a little different. We are choosing to not rehash the same basic instructional text contained in every single kiteboarding instructional guide ever published. Some info for the beginning kiteboarder is included in this supplement, but for a complete beginner’s guide, refer to our free online Instructional Handbook at www.theringmedia.com/thekiteboarder/archive.php. We distribute this guide for free because we think it’s important for everyone starting out or even just interested in kiteboarding has certain basic information in hand. For this year’s guide, we decided to include some information about how to get into the sport of kiteboarding, but much of the information here is for someone who is already riding. We realize that most of our readers are not complete noobies to the sport, so we wanted our instructional content to reflect that. Enjoy our annual TKB Instructional Handbook and as always, feel free to let us www.thekiteboarder.com

ANNuAl
All New TKB

nstructional I

The most important part of learning to kiteboard is choosing a qualified instructor that will help you learn quickly and safely. Photo: Dallas McMahon

52 th eki t e b o a r d e r . c o m

so you WANT To

Like everything they do, kids are able to pick up the skills needed for kiteboarding much faster than adults. Photo: Paul lang

BE A KITEBoArdEr
e
very kiteboarder has been approached by someone on the beach and asked, “What’s that sport called? how much does it cost? is it hard?” The first two questions are easy to answer: It’s called kiteboarding and it costs about $2000 to $2500 to get started. is kiteboarding hard? Well, that depends. We’ve seen people of all ages who the sport is easy for – people who are up and riding having fun on their first or second day. We’ve also seen people struggle for months, even years trying to learn the basics of the sport, always aspiring for a fun session that doesn’t end in a swim, but never quite getting there. For most new kiteboarders, the experience of learning to ride lies somewhere between those two extremes. There is no doubt that learning to kiteboard is a humbling experience for everyone when first starting out, but anyone can learn to kiteboard with a little determination and a lot of guidance from a qualified kiteboarding instructor. While kiteboarding is not an extremely difficult or physically demanding sport, there are a few things to consider before you commit to becoming a kiteboarder. To be a kiteboarder, you need the following:

WHAT To ExpEcT

Going into your lesson, the most important thing to understand is that you will not be jumping 30 feet into the air and shredding waves by the end of the day. Kiteboarding has a very steep learning curve at the beginning, so you will be learning a lot and improving very quickly, but expect your first days to be humbling. Most lessons can be broken down into three sections:

Beach Talk: Almost every beginning kiteboarding lesson begins with a talk on land, as there is a lot of information that should be passed on to the student before you touch a kite. Topics generally include the wind window, weather, local conditions, choosing a beach, basics of kiteboarding and most importantly, safety. Basic kiTe skills: After the beach talk, you will learn how to rig, launch, and fly a kite. Some schools start
off with trainer kites, which teach you the basics of kite flying. You will be learning some basics with the kite here, but not playing with the full power that can be generated. That comes in the next step.

WaTer TiMe: The first few times you go in the water with the kite, you will not be taking a board with you.

This step is unceremoniously called body dragging. This allows you to focus on learning to fly the kite without the complication of learning to ride the board at the same time. In this step you will work on relaunching the kite and improving your kite flying skills and power control. Once you can body drag with a great deal of control, you are ready to try the board. at the end of your lesson, talk to your instructor about what you did well on and what you still need to work on. if you are still excited about the sport after a long day or many days on the water, you are on the path to becoming a kiteboarder.

sWiMMing skills: You must be a reasonably strong swimmer
and be very comfortable in the water. When things go wrong out there, you may have to swim back in and a lot of people greatly overestimate their swimming skills. The general rule of kiting is, don’t kite further out than you’re prepared to swim.

for a sport that you only want to do a few times a year and be reasonably good at, kiteboarding is not it. Kiteboarding does not have to take over your life, but you do have to be willing to put the time in to learn the sport and wait for good conditions.

TiMe: Kiteboarding takes time to learn. If you are looking

experience traveling somewhere with more dependable conditions. In ideal conditions, you can learn and accomplish more in a week than you can in months of struggling in light and shifty wind. Whether looking close to home or looking for an exotic holiday, the internet is a great place to find out what is available. However, don’t book a lesson just because a school has a slick website. Do a little homework before you sign up for a lesson with any school and check out the magazine’s Kite Pages section for schools that carry insurance and certification to help you narrow down your options.

so I TooK A lEssoN, NoW WHAT?

resPonsiBiliTy: As a kiteboarder, you are using gear that can be very safe or dangerous to use if you do not operate your gear responsibly. You must be aware of your surroundings at all times and be honest in judging your skill level and whether or not you can go out in certain conditions.

insurance: Does the school have insurance? Insurance is very important
to protect not only the school but also the student in the unlikely event that there is an accident during the lesson.

lEssoNs oN lEssoNs

The most important part of becoming a kiteboarder is finding a qualified and competent instructor. A good instructor will make sure that your learning experience is a safe and fun one. A lot of people who are attracted to kiteboarding have never taken lessons in any sport, so why should kiteboarding be any different? Kiteboarding is different because you can put other people at risk if you do not know what you are doing. It’s one thing if you hurt yourself learning a new sport, but it’s something completely different if you loose control and injure someone who was just trying to enjoy the beach. This opens you to lawsuits and threatens beach access for all kiteboarders. Some people look at the expense of kiteboarding lessons as being a reason not to get them. You should think of lessons as cheap insurance. A proper kiteboarding lesson will not only give you the skills and knowledge to be able to safely launch and fly your kite, but will also greatly speed up the learning process and could end up saving you a great deal of money in the end. It makes no sense to shell out $1500 or more for a new kite, only to destroy it because you decided to save $300 on lessons. What if you injure yourself because you don’t know what you are doing? An injury can cost way more than a lesson in terms of money, time, and lost in come. If you look at kiteboarding lessons in those terms, you cannot afford to not take them.

ReFeRRals: Every good kiteboarding school has tons of stoked students

that love to talk about how much fun they had during their lesson. If a school is unwilling to give you referrals from previous students, you may want to keep looking.

Now that your lessons are done, it’s time to buy some equipment and get some time on the water. Talk to kite shops in your area about what size kite and board works best for someone of your size in your local conditions. There may be a lot of great deals on the internet, but make sure you are buying gear that will work well for you with current safety and performance features and not because it’s cheap. Talk to your instructor and the local shops about where you should go to continue working on your skills. When you show up to any beach as a rookie kiteboarder, talk with other riders before you go out. Kiteboarders are very friendly and nobody wants to see another rider get hurt. If a veteran rider says you should ride somewhere else or that today’s conditions are over your head, don’t take it personally – they simply don’t want to see you get injured. A

sTuDenTs To insTrucTor raTios: Ask the school how many

students each instructor teaches at a time. The lower the number the better. To maximize your time with the equipment, consider doing private lessons. weather does not cooperate. Kiteboarding is a weather dependant sport, so both the school and the student need to be flexible to accommodate the wind.

ReFunds/WeaTheR delays: Ask the school what happens if the

equiPMenT: How current is the equipment that the school uses? You

want to learn on gear that is as up to date as possible. What teaching aids does the school use? Is boat/PWC support available? Do the instructors use helmet radios? great way to start your sessions as a rookie is to start every session with a quick body drag. This will give you a little more time to just focus on your kite skills before adding the board to the mix. If you find yourself struggling with the board, go back to the basics and do another quick body drag. Focusing on the basics until you get them dialed will make you a much better rider in the end as opposed to rushing yourself through the skills.
t h e k i t e boar d e r . com 5 5

gETTINg scHoolEd

CeRTIFICaTIons: There are currently competing organizations certifying kiteboarding instructors and also many great instructors who are not certified, but a school that employs certified instructors shows that they were willing to jump through the necessary hoops and expense to keep their instructors current.
Don’t be afraid to call different schools and talk to them about what you want to do. it’s important that you choose a school and instructor who you are comfortable with and who will teach you to kiteboard safely.

The first thing you have to decide is where you are going to take your lesson. If you live in an area that has light or unreliable wind, you can have a much better
5 4 th eki t e b o a r d e r . c o m

video on water starts

gE TT INg

o NB oA rd
B
keep the board near you without one, you need to spend some more time working on your upwind body dragging skills.

very kite on the market today has an integrated safety system that can save your bacon if you get yourself into trouble. While the best way out of a bad situation is to not get into it in the first place, you have to prepare yourself mentally and physically for the worst. unfortunately, most riders never take the time to properly learn how their kite’s particular safety systems work. The best time to learn how to activate your safety system is on a calm day under controlled conditions, not in the middle of some emergency situation. Like anything, practice makes perfect with regards to activating your safety system. Take the time on a light wind day to pull your safety to see how it works and how the kite will react. Does it release with a push or a pull? How easy is it to grab? Repeat the motion of activating your safety system until it is programmed into your muscle memory so that you can react instinctively in an emergency. You should be able to find your release in an instant without looking at it. Just in case things get really bad, you need to know how and be prepared to completely separate yourself from your kite. Take the time to know your gear. Your safety system can help you get out of trouble, but only if you know how to use it!

sA fET y e

sy sT EM s

efore you can expect to have good results with the kiteboard, you need to have your kite skills dialed in. spend time body dragging until you know how the kite is going to react in certain situations and feel comfortable flying the kite with one hand without having to constantly look at it.

• Do not use a board leash. They are very dangerous If you cannot • Enter the water with the kite on the edge of the window. • Without moving the kite, place the board in front of you and lay
back in the water so you are floating.

sAfETy sysTEM cHEcKlIsT:
1. Keep your quick release(s) clean and free of
sand. Rinse them out after EVERY session.

2. Practice using your quick release until

activating it is second nature! You may not be able to figure it out in an emergency.

• Grab the heelside rail with one hand while you bend your knees up
to your chest and slide your feet into the straps. Bring your feet up to the straps, instead of trying to pull the board down to your feet.

3. Test your quick release every few sessions to
make sure it is working properly.

• With your knees pulled up to your chest, bring the kite towards the

top of the window and dive it in the direction you want to travel. As the kite pulls you out of the water, put more weight on your back foot and straighten your legs. Let the kite do all of the work here – don’t try to pull yourself up with your arms. edge away from the kite.

• As you pick up speed, put more pressure on your back foot and • Smile! You’re kiteboarding!

HoldINg grouNd

The first skill that every new kiteboarder aspires to have is being able to stay upwind. Once you can hold your ground and start going upwind, kiteboarding becomes another sport. Instead of stopping every 15 minutes to do the walk of shame back upwind, you get to spend the entire session out on the water having fun. Staying upwind is easy, but there are a few tips to speed up the learning process:

• To stay upwind, you need to be properly

powered. This means that you are flying a kite that is neither too big nor too small, but just about right.

• A correctly sized board will make a huge difference in your ability to kiteboard upwind. In general, larger boards with straight rail outlines and a flat rocker go upwind really well. If you think your board is the problem, talk to other riders and ask to borrow someone else’s larger board to see how it works for you. • Body position is critical to getting upwind: Your front leg should be straight with your back leg slightly bent. Keep your back straight and turn your head and shoulders to face the direction you want to travel.
• Avoid simply depowering your kite by sheeting out every time you
It might not seem like it on your first day, but it doesn’t take long to go from a complete beginner to having sessions like this one. Photo: Jody MacDonald get a gust. Learn to control your speed and power with the amount of pressure you apply to your rail.

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tips for jumping

jo NE sIN g
l

To j u M p
of 60º above the water. travel by pulling gently with your back hand.

et’s face it – a lot of people want to get into kiteboarding so they can jump. you should learn how to stay upwind and do transitions before you start trying to jump, but we know that the reality is that you want to learn how to jump as soon as you are able to go 10 feet on a kiteboard. if you focus on good technique instead of just trying to huck yourself into the air, you will learn faster and be able to jump higher.

1. Start by riding with good speed and your kite in the area 2. Redirect your kite up and away from your direction of 3. Progressively edge your board harder and harder and 4. Pull up your knees up to stabilize yourself in the air
then stand tall and release your board from the water as the kite passes directly overhead. while gently pulling with your front hand to keep the kite overhead and redirect it to the direction you are traveling. the landing with your knees. As you land, the kite should be on its way down in the direction you are heading so you can ride away with speed.

5. Extend your legs as you approach the water and absorb

Tips:

• If you feel like you plummet from the sky and crash onto

your butt, you are probably sending the kite too far in the opposite direction. Make sure you bring your kite back overhead so it will let you down softly. or two above the water, you are not edging hard enough before you jump. Edge harder and pop your board off the surface of the water as the kite crosses overhead. avoid skipping out when you land.

• If you can jump far horizontally, but can only get a foot

• Point your board downwind as you approach the water to

This is what draws most people into the sport of kiteboarding: Big air. Naish designer Damien Girardin goes huge in Maui. Photo: Jon Malmberg

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Tu rN
l

Julie Simsar shows perfect form in the middle of this heelside turn. Photo: John Bilderback

earning to turn around and go the other direction is an absolute necessity, but learning to turn with style and control will take your riding up a level. The simplest way to turn around is to simply stop and then start again in the other direction, but this isn’t nearly as fun as carving a fast turn and throwing a bunch of spray while never even slowing down. There are two main kinds of carving transitions, toeside and heelside. Practice these turns in flat water until they are second nature, as these turns are the building blocks for riding waves.

A N d B ur N

Video tips for efficient turning

HEElsIdE:

1. To do a heelside turn, you must first be riding toeside.
The easiest way to do this is by slowing down and swinging your board around 180º, but you can add a lot of style to this turn by doing a pop 180º. your board.

2. Build up a good amount of speed and flatten 3. Move your kite up to the top of the window and carve
onto your heelside. The more weight you put on your back foot, the tighter the carve will be. turn with speed.

4. Dive your kite in the new direction so you leave the

ToEsIdE:

1. Start out by riding heelside with good speed. 2. Flatten out your board as you move your kite
towards the top of the window.

3. Carve onto your toeside edge by leaning forward and
putting your weight onto your back foot.

4. Dive the kite in the opposite direction you were
traveling to keep speed through the turn.

5. You are now riding toeside. To get back to heelside,

swing the board around by shifting more weight to your new back foot, or do a pop 180º for style points.

TiPs:

• The more speed you enter the turn with and the more
pressure you put on your back foot as you turn, the more spray you will throw. sending the kite in the opposite direction too quickly.

• If your kite is lifting you off the water as you turn,you are

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With a little practice, you can quickly turn your simple spins into more advanced moves by adding grabs or by unhooking like this. Photo: Jim stringfellow

Video top tips to land your back rolls

sI M pl E sp IN s
a

big jump can be a lot of fun, but let’s face it: Just flying through the air over and over again can get a little boring. an easy way to spice up your airs is with rotations. rotations are easy and they will add a lot of variety to your jumps, as you can spin frontside or backside for either one or multiple rotations. The key to rotations is all in your head, and we don’t mean your brain.

sINglE BAcKsIdE roTATIoN:

1. As you pop your board off the water, put your chin to
your lead shoulder and look over your shoulder. All rotations begin with your head. Wherever you throw your head, the rest of your body will follow.

2. Pull your knees in to speed up your rotation. If you

leave your legs extended, the rotation will be very slow and you might not make it all the way around. see your landing. When you see your landing, look at the water. Remember, your body will follow your head. slow your rotation and to absorb the landing. skipping out on your heelside edge.

3. Keep your chin tucked to your lead shoulder until you 4. As you approach the landing, extend your knees to 5. Land with your board pointing downwind to avoid

sINglE froNTsIdE roTATIoN:
back shoulder and bring your knees up. landing on the water. your rotation.

1. As your board leaves the water, tuck your chin to your 2. Keep looking over your shoulder until you spot your 3. Stare at your landing and extend your knees to slow 4. Land with your board pointing downwind to avoid
skipping out on your heelside edge.

TiPs:

• If you are only rotating about halfway through your

spins, you are not keeping your head tucked to your shoulder. Your body follows your head, so keep that chin on your shoulder and look for your landing. number of rotations before you take off. To get through two or more rotations, you will need to spin faster, which you can do simply by pulling your knees up tightly to your body. spin to slow your rotation.

• To do multiple rotations, you need to commit to the

• If you are over rotating, extend your legs earlier in the

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Video tips from Mark Doyle

loAd ANd pop
l
earning a few unhooked load and pop tricks adds a whole new realm of possibilities to your riding. unhooking is not just for young riders and is actually a lot easier than you think. Before you unhook, you want to make sure your kite will be properly trimmed when you unhook. if you usually ride with the bar eased out on the chicken loop, you will probably need to depower your kite a little bit to avoid oversheeting when you unhook.

sIMplE uNHooKEd loAd ANd pop

1. Hold your kite 45º to 60º above the water. Your kite will not move from this
position. Center your hands on the bar so you don’t accidentally move the kite. in tight to your body and keep your back straight.

2. Unhook by pulling the bar in and down. Once unhooked, keep your elbows 3. Flatten out your board and let yourself be pulled downwind to build speed. 4. Progressively load your edge by edging harder and harder. Stand tall and
push off the water with your back foot. This step all happens in less than a second.

5. As you leave the water, keep your elbows in tight and pull up your knees. 6. Extend your legs to absorb the landing. 7. Land with your board pointing downwind and hook back in by pulling the
bar in and down and then up and out.

rAlEy

1. Hold your kite 45º to 60º above the water and unhook. 2. Flatten out your board and let yourself be pulled downwind to build speed. 3. Progressively load your edge by edging harder and harder. Stand tall and
push off the water with your back foot.

4. As your board leaves the water, throw your board up and away from the

kite and extend your arms above your head. The momentum of throwing the board up and away will get your body horizontal. Remember, it’s not a raley unless the board is over your head.

5. As you reach the peak of your jump, start to bring the board back underneath
you. Imagine you are trying to break your bar over your front knee.

6. Bend your knees as you land and ride away with speed.

INdy glIdE

1. The indy glide is basically a raley with an indy grab. Hold your kite 45º to
60º above the water and unhook.

2. Flatten out your board and let yourself be pulled downwind to build speed. 3. Progressively load your edge by edging harder and harder. Stand tall and

TiPs:

push off the water with your back foot.

• Keep those hands centered and your elbows
in tight to your body to stay in control.

4. As your board leaves the water, throw your board up and away from the kite. 5. Pull your knees in close and grab indy by grabbing your toeside rail with
your back hand. Bone out the grab for style points by extending your legs while holding the grab. close to your body.

• When you unhook, let yourself be pulled
Don’t be afraid to try a few unhooked moves. It’s not as difficult as you might think. Davey Blair gives us a good example of how unhooking gives your body more freedom to move around in the air. Photo:John Bilderback downwind. This takes pressure off your arms and lets you build speed for your next maneuver. pop trick tend to have harder landings.

6. With the hand that is still on your bar, maintain control by keeping your elbow 7. Bring the board back underneath your body. Again imagine you are trying
to break your bar over your front knee.

• Bend your knees when you land as load and

8. Bend your knees as you land and ride away with speed.
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64 t h eki t e b o a r d e r . c o m

T HE T Ec HN IQ u Es o f

M

ost kiteboarding equipment works really well straight out of the bag, but there are a few things you can do to make sure your gear is performing as well as it should. even if your equipment is perfect at the beginning of the season, you should still check a few items every couple of sessions as normal use can cause lines to stretch, screws to work loose, and parts to wear.

BAr:

TuNINg

• Make sure all of your line lengths are even by hooking all four
or five lives to a line tied around a tree or other solid object. Your kite’s performance will suffer greatly if one line is off by even a small amount. line starts to get fuzzy, it should be replaced. make sure it is in perfect working condition.

• Check your lines carefully for wear. Once the outer part of any • Clean your quick release mechanism regularly and check to

KITE:

• Check your kite’s bridle lines for wear. If a line starts to show • Pump up your kite on a no wind day and search the whole
kite for small holes and rips. Use simple self-adhesive repair cloth to patch any small imperfections before they turn into large ones.

wear, replace it now before it breaks to avoid a lengthy swim.

BoArd:

• Tighten your footstrap and fin screws every few sessions. They
can work themselves loose over time. easy to use and hardens in the sun.

• If your kite has pulleys, check them to make sure they run

• Repair the dings on your board with Solarez resin. It’s super • Try adjusting your stance until you find a position that feels
right. Those different inserts are there for a reason.

freely every session. A stuck pulley will cause a lot of wear in a short amount of time.

WETsuIT/HArNEss:
it too.

• Check your harness straps for wear. If you see any wear at all,
replace the straps if possible or buy a new harness.

• Wash your wetsuit. It stinks, and yes, other people can smell

By taking a few simple steps, you can ensure that your gear is always performing at its best. Photo: gavin Butler

Tuning tips for a used and new bar
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Hooked in kiteloops

unhooked kiteloops

3. On your way up, before you reach the top of the jump, pull
as hard and as fast as you can with your back hand while also pushing forward with your front hand. Hold the bar sheeted in at full power. It’s important you initiate the loop while the kite is still on its way up so it will have enough speed to get through the loop. The loop will generate enough power to lift you up few feet or more. the bar a little to let the kite climb faster to overhead to allow for a smoother landing. generated by the loop.

4. As soon as your kite finishes the complete loop, sheet out 5. Land the trick going a little downwind to control your speed

lo o p
T
Brandon Bowe displays a textbook kiteloop. Remember to commit to the move, otherwise it WILL hurt. Photo: liviue drimbe/www.rhinostudios.com

Tips:
By Jeremie Tronet

• For the first few times, start looping while underpowered on
a smaller kite. Gradually progress, doing the trick in more and more wind with more and more power. Remember, the higher you go, the more time your kite will have to finish the loop and let you down for a smooth landing. You can work on lower technical loops once you have mastered the mechanics of this move.

he kite loop is one of the less technical tricks in kiteboarding. in fact, as a beginner, you might have looped your kite on accident, regretting the action as you were heading head first into the water! looping your kite isn’t hard – they’re all about control and commitment, but you must also follow a few important key points to be successful.

T HAT K IT E!

• The smaller the kite you are using, the easier and the faster

the kite will loop. You should go for this move with a 7, 8 or 9m kite, but other sizes shouldn’t be a problem if your kite is fast enough. Shorter lines on big kites may help. the loop. Stopping the loop will automatically make you crash hard. Always commit to finishing the loop. jump, and not on your way down. If you don’t loop on the way up, the kite won’t have enough speed and time to finish its loop, and you will end up landing very hard on your board.

1. Start by riding hooked in with plenty of power. Prepare your hands on the bar by
placing your back hand at the end of the bar for better leverage.

• Once you start looping a kite, never go back; always finish

2. Enter a normal jump by sending your kite and popping your board off the water.

Don’t send your kite too fast or too far in the opposite direction, otherwise the kite will end up to close to the edge of the window and the kite will not have enough speed to finish its loop.

• Start looping your kite on the way up, not at the top of your

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Great tips and photos from Ben Wilson Surf

THE off THE HooK

off THE lIp
a
n off the lip turn is basically just a heelside carve timed to happen on the face of a wave. This is the simplest way to begin having fun in swell. Practice this turn in small waves before moving up to the big ones as mistakes will hurt a lot less. remember, you have to learn to walk before you can run! kite about 60º above the water. Timing is the most important aspect of the off the lip turn. You want to be carving across the top of the wave just before it breaks. board and build speed.

1. Approach the wave toeside with your

2. As you near the wave, flatten out your 3. Just as you get to the bottom of the
wave, move your kite up to the top of the window.

4. Stomp hard on your tail and whip your

board around back towards the beach. Bend your knees as the board comes around. If you timed it right, you will go flying across the vertical or near vertical face of the wave. can ride away with speed.

5. Dive your kite towards the beach so you

TiPs:

• The faster you are moving and the tighter
you turn, the more spray will be thrown off the top of the wave. your butt, make sure you are bending your knees, especially your front knee, through the turn. instead of carving onto it, you are not carving a tight enough turn. Try being a little more aggressive, entering the turn with more speed and really throwing your weight onto the tail of your board.

• If you are skipping out and falling on

• If you are falling off the back of the wave

Surfing takes years to master, but once you are able to do heelside and toeside turns in flat water, you are ready to tackle the surf. Ben Myers demonstrates what you will be able to do with a little practice. Photo: stephen Whitesell

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I’ M fA sT Er
By Nils Stolzlechner

T H A N yo u !
a
1. KNoW THE rulEs
It is essential to know the rules in kiting, especially right of way rules. Read through the rules that are posted on the US Sailing web site for Kiteboarding Course Racing. You will want to know what the other racers are thinking and what they are expecting you to do while racing. In addition, you want to understand and be aware of what your rights are out there as well.

currENT rAcINg BoArd dEvElopMENT

s simple as it might seem initially, course racing is actually very technical and involves much more than just being able to handle your kite and board. Five years ago, Chip Wasson and I thought that getting people racing with kites would be pretty easy. after our first three races, we all knew that there was a long way to go. First off, hardly anyone knew the rules and a perplexed fleet of racers all started in different directions. There was lots of confusion. For a kiteboarder that wants to give racing a try, I recommend the following three things:

KITEBoArdINg coursE rAcINg BAsIcs

The latest kiteboard course board designs are still all over the place. For NJS Designs, the trend is heading towards larger, wider, and floatier boards. After testing different shapes all winter, the current Course Fish version is 5’11” long with a wide point of 20” and a tail of 17”. The rocker line is minimal, but is a key element to drive the board upwind and still have good control on deep downwind reaches. The biggest innovation for this year is that we finally figured out how to get the board off its edge and are able to ride it flat. By reducing the angle the board was in the water by over 50%, both the upwind angle and speed showed significant increases. As simple as they may look, the new boards have over 20 key areas that all need to work together. Just missing one of them turns a high performance board into a useless piece of driftwood.

3. prE-rAcE plANNINg & rAcINg

2. prAcTIcE

As much as people want to win or place well in races, very few actually train for the events. If you want to do well you need to train, which entails working out off the water and getting into perfect physical shape before you even put your harness on. I am usually in the gym on cardio equipment four times a week. On the water, I go through a minimum of three simulated 20 minute races on a pre-set course. Going upwind I try to blend the highest possible angle with the best speed and figure out the sweet spot between the board and kite. Good racers are in that optimal zone about 80% of the time. When you start I would say you might be there 10% of the time. Going downwind overpowered makes a grown man cry of fear. No matter how many times you train going fast through heavy chop, you will never get used to it.

No matter how good you think you are, most likely you will be at the end of the fleet for the first few races. This is normal and even if you have the latest gear it will not help instantly. Prior to your races, draw the course down on a piece of paper. Memorize the course instead of following people around. During the races manage your course, picking the fastest route around the marks. Remember that one fall will cost you a ton of ground that you will not make up. After you are done racing, do a quick recap, write things down that you did well and what did not work. Talk as much as possible to the top guys and what they recommend. The more you know the better you will do.

Racing is a great way to exercise your competitive spirit, without having to perform wild acrobatics like the kids on the freestyle tours. Photo: Dallas McMahon
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BE AwARE Of RiP CuRRENTS
A lone kiter rigged up at a beach not normally used by kiteboarders. there was insufficient wind at the time to kite, but it typically filled in for riding within a couple of hours. there were no lifeguards present and no bystanders nearby at the time of the incident. the surf was running about shoulder high with shore break and the air and water temperatures were at about 63° and 50° F. the area is known to have powerful rip currents, extending over 500 feet offshore and a football field wide at times. In some cases they were obvious and in others, more subtle.

site/Conditions

image courtesy noaa.gov

advances in kiteboarding technology continue to make our sport more fun and safe but nobody can teach you common sense. good judgment and kiting responsibility is just as important as knowing your gear and the basics of the sport. the tkb accident report is not meant to sensationalize kitemares. the kiteboarder Magazine has called on the expertise of safety guru rick iossi to help you learn from the mistakes of others. Pass on the lessons learned and never be afraid to speak up in a respectful and helpful way—tkb staff

t acciden report

by rick iossi

KEEP AN EYE ON OTHERS
winds were about 20 to 25 mph with an outgoing tide and air with moderate air and water temperatures. the area was sheltered by a banking reef but waves developed in the channel through the reef in the strong rip currents that came with the outgoing tide. waves were around head high and set up across several hundred feet across the sand bar.

site/Conditions

inCident suMMary

It isn’t known why the kiter went into the water as there were no witnesses. his gear remained on the shore indicating that he simply wanted to take a quick dip. At around mid day, a bystander saw him floating about 200 feet offshore face down. emergency services were called and brought the man back into shore. unfortunately, he had apparently drowned and couldn’t be revived. It is thought that he had been caught in a rip current, was carried offshore and either worked against the current until exhausted, swallowed too much water from breaking waves, panicked or experienced some other problem. rip currents carry water accumulated by waves inside sand bars, and seaward through deeper areas between sand bars. they form when a large volume of water is forced through a narrow channel.

inCident suMMary

lessons learned

Four kiters had ridden out from their launch behind a banking reef to ride some waves formed by the tidal rip current passing over a sand bar in a channel. one of the kiters noticed two windsurfers, one with a broken mast weighing in at about 190 pounds. his gear was configured (rolled up) for self rescue to paddle in. he had been in the cold water for an extended period of time trying to swim his rig to shore. the kiter kept an eye on the guy as this continued for about an hour. he went over and asked the windsurfer if he wanted help, but the windsurfer wanted to try on his own for a bit longer. the other windsurfer was trying to help and pull the guy in with little success. eventually he sailed in pretty exhausted with the effort. the kiter returned, and gave the windsurfer one end of his kite leash to tow him in. he proceeded to tow the windsurfer through waves and the outgoing current for over 40 minutes. he eventually got the windsurfer to shore, well spent himself with the extended effort.

No kite too torn! SEND TO: Kitecycle Reclaim you attic space! 607 Columbia Street A shredded kite is a tax deduction! Santa Cruz, CA 95060

1. Learn about an area before launching and if there aren’t other kiters, there may be a reason why. Always try to kite with a buddy or with people around for safety. 2. expect rip currents in the ocean and routinely look for signs of them. they may be marked by a calmer area bordered by breaking waves or a column of turbid water perpendicular to shore. rip currents can be permanent beach features at given locations and they can move around with the sand bars. rips can set up along barriers such as piers, jetties and through inlets with tidal activity. some rip areas are posted. tide changes can bring rip currents particularly related to inlets or cuts. rip currents are common and particularly powerful in some areas, traveling up to 5 mph and hundreds of yards offshore. 3. kiters should have strong swimming skills, especially when in the ocean. Be aware of your position relative to the shore using reference points. It is possible to get caught in a rip current, be swept offshore and not be fully aware of why. stay calm, tread water and analyze what is going on. swim parallel to shore to exit a rip current, then turn and swim to shore. do not try to swim in against the rip – this is a very common mistake. 4. wear reasonable safety gear including an appropriate flotation/ impact vest. they help keep you warmer, protect your ribs against wipeouts and can minimize your chances of drowning.
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lessons learned

1. stay aware of the status of others in the water around you. People may sometimes need help and not realize it or may simply need watching. All of us may find ourselves in this situation at one time or another. 2. kiting in an outgoing tide off an inlet may deliver waves but can create an unforgiving hazardous situation if something breaks, the wind dies or something else goes wrong. such conditions should be avoided, especially if no chase boat or rescues services exist. 3. carrying a 15 or 20 foot section of 1/8 inch diameter nylon can be just the trick for towing folks into shore and can also be used for your board when self rescuing or in challenging relaunch conditions. 4. If you are pulling a windsurfer in, it helps to have him (or her) configure for swimming in e.g. the sail rolled around the mast with the boom detached and between the windsurfer and his board. It is a good idea to have him remove the mast extension too so that he can ride more fully on the board. 5. expect to expend a lot of energy towing someone in. kiters have accomplished some amazing rescues but make sure you are able to help the person out and not inadvertently strand two people by accident. Make others aware of what you are trying to do. 6. use reasonable safety gear. Not having to worry about flotation during a rescue is a good thing. some kiters even carry signaling gear, which can be a godsend when you need it.
t h e k i t e boar d e r . com 9 1

e have had many people ask us what they need to do about worn out sleeving ends or a broken line that’s close to the end. Using the www.fixmykite.com Pre-sleeve kit and the following steps, you can easily replace your sleeved ends or shorten your fly lines and re-sleeve them anywhere you are to get you back on the water in no time.

W

workbenc

h

1

2 3 4

replacing Worn
by Jeff Howard | Photos Zach kleppe

or Broken sleeving
1. Layout your line ends so they all match and mark a point on all the lines that when cut clean, everything is even and ready for sleeving. 2. the Pre-sleeve kit comes with four sleeves. Figure out what color you want and where, and lay them out accordingly. 3. begin by picking the end of the pre-sleeve to release the inner core from the outer core on both ends. Pull the inner core out a little on one end, separate the braid and insert one fly line in about a half inch, and fold the fly line over. 5. now that the sleeving is on the fly line, remove the core and slide the sleeving down slowly to match the end of the fly line and tie a small knot. From this knot, slide your fingers down the sleeving to tighten the braid and tie another knot at the other end of the sleeving. this will keep the sleeving tight and back up the main knot. 6. the last thing you will want to do is fold the end over to match the sleeving ends and tie a figure eight knot. the figure eight knot allows more internal tension on the sleeving and line to keep it from slipping. 7. repeat this process for all your lines and you’re ready to go! to eliminate this type of wear, install full matching Pks kookproof pigtails – they help keep the wear on the thicker line and off your fly lines.

5 6
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4. From the other end pull the core out and slide, working the sleeving over the fly line end. once you have the first end over the fly-line, it will go on quick and easily.

www.youtube.com/watch?v=4fTczcOutg&feature=channel_page

For a Video oF tHis ProCess, CHeCk oUt

t h e k i t e boar d e r . com 9 3

The Kiteboarder Handbook

Wind and Weather to Ride
marine/Water foreCasts Check forecasts (predicted winds, direction, hazards, temperatures, cold fronts, tropical or strong systems). Learn how to anticipate changes by comparing forecasts to the actual weather in your area. http://www.nws.noaa.gov/ radar and satellite maps Are storms (often identified by bright colored masses), squall lines, or feeder bands inbound? Looping weather images can show trends and speed. http://www.nws.noaa.gov/radar_tab.php http://www.weather.gov/sat_tab.php?image=ir synoptiC maps Are there significant weather systems inbound (cold fronts, tropical systems, strong high/low pressure), or do you see tight pressure isobars indicating strong wind? http://www.weather.gov/outlook_tab.php real-time Winds How are winds upweather (the direction of the inbound prevailing system)? Frequently you can see a preview of what the front will bring to your area hundreds of miles upweather in advance. It’s a look at what may be the future. If unstable weather is coming (spikes/gusty and shifting winds), avoid it until it passes. http://www.ikitesurf.com/ at the BeaCh Check out and always be aware of wind speed, direction, and sky and water conditions at launch and during your session. Is the wind useable, or are sky conditions stable or threatening? What do threatening sky conditions look like in your area? You should know. Are there dark clouds and/or a wind/whitewater line inbound?
NWS radar map showing major system on eastern seaboard.

By Rick iossi Wind drives kiteboarders. When the wind is light, we crave more. When it’s on, so are we. Wind is good but “usable wind” is better. “Usable wind” matches our gear, experience, riding area, and realistic expectations. Too light, too strong/gusty, wrong direction, or too shifty and your session may fizzle or potentially be hazardous. you are definitely putting yourself at risk if you ride in conditions that are too extreme for your gear and/or experience. is the wind offshore, onshore, or turbulent from passing over land? These are conditions best avoided. Wind, weather, and signs vary throughout the USA far more than can be covered here, so do your homework and learn what applies to your area. Wind comes with the flow of air from high pressure to low pressure. The greater the pressure difference, the stronger the wind. Cold fronts can bring both usable and unusable winds (wind to be avoided). They can bring hazardous squall lines, dramatic increases in wind, 90o wind shifts, and substantial temperature drops, which have all taken kiters out in the past. Stronger sustained winds for powered kiting often follow shortly after squall lines and wind shifts. Avoid unusable winds (excessively gusty, from the wrong direction) and rig right for useable winds that may follow. tropiCal systems can have powerful embedded squalls with unusable gusty, shifting winds. Squall-free, useable winds can come with tropical systems but are less common, so be aware. So, how can you easily track the wind and weather? The internet is full of resources. learn which sites are best for your local riding area by asking more experienced riders what websites they use, and how they interpret the data. The most important thing to realize is that not all wind is ridable. you have to learn to distinguish usable from unusable wind.

NOAA map shows squall conditions in the southeast

When you see questionable weather approaching, don’t ride until the last minute. Land and secure your gear before significant wind or temperature changes. If caught out, consider totally depowering early - waiting too long has cost some riders dearly.
Location: Tipanniers, Moorea Island, Tahiti Rider: Kirsty Jones Photo: Richard Boudia

Ikitesurf is a great resource for forecasts and current wind conditions

The Kiteboarder Handbook

If you are ever in doubt about the weather, do not ride! Even the most experienced riders cannot control their kites if the weather becomes unstable. Don’t force yourself to ride in questionable conditions just because you drove for two hours to get to the beach. Sometimes you have to admit that the conditions are above your ability and wait for another day.

T

By RyAn RicciTelli

A picture-perfect example of an impending squall and storm system. Photo: Rick Iossi.

his year we decided to take a different approach to putting together our instructional issue. Rather than bore you with the same regurgitated newbie beginner information, we challenged several of the top instructional coaches in the world to write sections in The Kiteboarder Handbook that are both up-to-date and useful for every level of kiteboarder. With the evolution of equipment over the last few years, we felt it was imperative for a publication to provide current beginner-advanced instructional information that will not only help you improve your riding but also provide insight into instructional topics that are often left out. Please do not use this information to replace lessons or instructional programs. The Kiteboarder Handbook was designed to supplement the learning process. As always, the best way to learn to kiteboard is to take lessons from a qualified kiteboarding school.

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thekiteboarder.com 43

The Kiteboarder Handbook

fINDING THE CHOICE LOCATION
INSTRUCTIONAL BIOS
trip Forman - real Kiteboarding Trip Forman is the co-founder of Real Kiteboarding in North Carolina. Real is open year round and teaches lessons and camps seven days a week in Cape Hatteras from March thru November. In the winter months, Real sails south for “Real BVI” in the British Virgin Islands. Check their instructional series out at www.realkiteboarding.com
Real knows all the sweet spots to ride around Hatteras. Photo Realkiteboarding.com

Choosing the Right Gear
Kites
What are the differences between C-kites, bow kites, Sle kites, and hybrids? Two years ago, the kiteboarding industry was shook up by the introduction of kites known as bows. Since then, other types of kites have also been introduced, adding to the confusion of what a beginner should buy. By Paul lang every new kiteboarder has a lot of questions about what gear they should buy. Whatever kind of equipment you are thinking about purchasing, do your best to try the gear beforehand. Do your research and ask other kiters in your local area about their gear and why they chose it. Kiteboarding is not a cheap sport to get into, so take the time to make sure you are getting the best gear for your needs. Where should i buy my gear? choosing who to buy your gear from is probably the most important decision you can make in the search for the ideal set up. As a beginner kiteboarder, you do not want the cheapest kite you can find on eBay. you will need guidance in choosing the correct gear and the most obvious place to go would be your local kite shop. Ask other kiteboarders where they got their gear and how they felt about the service. Kiteboarding equipment is an investment and buying the wrong gear could be a very expensive mistake. if you do not have a local shop, get on the phone and talk to shops in other areas. Don’t just buy a kite because it was on sale on the internet or was the cheapest one you could find. There are a lot of great shops that sell kite gear on the internet, but always talk to someone first. Service after the sale does matter if you have any questions about how to use your gear; if there are manufacturer modifications, or if you have warranty issues.

C-KiteS

By TRiP FoRman When we first started kiteboarding back in 1998, all the pessimists said, “it won’t happen here, that’s just a Maui thing.” We didn’t pay any attention to them, and now kiteboarders are found all over the world. Along the way, we learned the best way for choosing effective kiteboarding locations. We had to, because kiteboarding was a new and unique sport that needed special conditions to work. These are not “hand me down” exwindsurfing spots, but launches specifically beneficial to kiteboarding and kiteboarders. As you grow to understand the sport of kiteboarding and its specific needs, you’ll learn that there are a set of characteristics both on the beach and in the water that make a perfect kiteboarding spot.

All inflatable kites made before the 2006 models were C-kites. C-kites are shaped like a “C” and are without bridle lines. C-kites are flown on either four or five lines. These are the tried and true kites. Most people who learned to kite before 2006 learned on a C-kite and they can still be used to learn. However, C-kites can have limited depower when compared to the newer styles of kites and can be more challenging to relaunch.

BOW KiteS

Bow kites are usually flatter than C-kites and are supported by bridle lines. Bows typically feature better low end and high end wind ranges when compared to C-kites and have an amazing amount of depower. All bow kites are flown on four lines. They are usually very stable in the sky and they relaunch very easily. Bow kites use pulleys on the control bar, on the kite’s bridle, or both. This can cause higher bar pressure in some models and the loss of a solid feeling connection to the kite.

Sle KiteS

Wind: Side, Side-OnShOre WindS
The key wind directions to look for when choosing a riding location are side shore and side-onshore winds. This means the wind is blowing either parallel to the beach or at a 45o angle onto the beach. These are the safest two wind directions for kiteboarding as they will blow you along or gently back towards the shore. Once you determine the wind direction for the day, look at a local map and find a launch site with these wind directions. As a general rule, do not ride in straight onshore or offshore winds. These can both be very dangerous wind directions and can blow you directly onto land and into hard objects, or out to sea.

A SLE (Supported Leading Edge) kite is basically a modified bow. Any kite that features a bridle could be called an SLE, even bows. Most manufactures that market their kites as SLEs are saying that their kites use a bridle but differ in some from way from a standard bow kite. The differences vary from brand to brand and not every SLE kite behaves the same.

hyBrid KiteS

T Wind Window he
Paul lang
The concept of the wind window is critical to understand when you are learning to kiteboard. The window is defined as anywhere in the sky that your kite will fly. It determines safe riding spots, where you will launch and land your kite, as well as where your kite will generate the least and most amount of power. Imagine the window as a quarter of a sphere that is projected into the sky in front of you as you face downwind. The window does not remain constant – as the wind speed increases the window increases in size. Some new kiters have trouble understanding the wind window because it forces you to think in three dimensions. As the kite flies through the window, imagine the kite as moving around on the inside of a ball that has been cut into fourths. Flying a trainer kite is a great way for you to become familiar with the window.
Graphic Flexifoil.com

Hybrid kites are the most difficult to describe as a group, as the kites that fall into this category can be very different from each other. A hybrid is not a bow, SLE, or C-kite kite but a combination of the benefits and performance of at least two. Some are like bow kites with simplified bridles or fifth line connections, and some are like bridled C-kites. Some hybrids are great for beginners and some are more suited for more experienced riders. Do your research and, if possible, fly the kite you are interested in before you purchase it.

spaCe: Clear, Open dOWnWind SpaCe
Kiteboarding and its gear take up a lot of space. Downwind space is key when choosing a kiteboarding location, both on the beach and in the water. You don’t want to launch just upwind of a bridge or rig and launch your kite upwind of hard objects on the beach. Never launch your kite directly upwind of people. Clear, open space both on the beach and in the water is the way to go. If your launch site is tight on the beach, you can “create” more open space by moving out onto the water before launching your kite.

Boards
how do i pick the right board? This question is almost impossible to answer here, as there are so many factors that go into what makes a board behave the way it does. A lot of people like to over simplify boards by claiming that because a board has a lot of flex it will do this and because it has a deep concave it will do that. All of the different features of a board work together, and you cannot look at only one factor to determine how a board will ride. Overlooked aspects of board design that make huge differences include edge shape, flex distribution, fin position, rocker, and outline. In short, you cannot know how a board will ride simply by looking at the bottom. You need to ride it.

share the BeaCh
It only takes one rider to ruin a good riding spot. Share the beach, think about and help other riders and wind up your lines if you are not going to launch your kite. Don’t lay your lines across car or bike paths. Be courteous to other beach users. Smile! Be a good ambassador for the sport of kiteboarding and keep our sites open. Always be completely friendly and cooperative with any local authorities, especially the lifeguards.

epiC Conditions
As your ability progresses, you will come to realize the two epic conditions in kiteboarding -- totally flat water or waves. If you have access to these, then everything in the middle can be left to windsurfing or fishing. When looking for the best flat water, scope out natural or manmade features that will block the chop but not the wind. Low lying islands, jetties, and sandbars all work perfectly for this. Ride just downwind of them to experience flat-water kiteboarding nirvana. If you are looking for waves, choose a spot with a well defined break that is not already packed with surfers. Carefully scope out the waves and how they break to make sure that it is safe to ride before giving it a go. The best resources for information on riding spots are local kiteboarding shops, area riders or local forums. If you notice that nobody ever kites in certain areas, ask before you go out; there may be a reason why. As always, stick with spots that are within your ability and keep an eye on the conditions throughout the day. Even a small wind shift can turn your epic session into a kitemare.

If you are a beginner, you can easily narrow the possibilities down to a few choices per brand. New kiters should look for a board that they will grow into, in the area of 135 cm to 160 cm, depending on rider weight. Entry level boards tend to be wider than others and you can ride a shorter board if it is wide. Boards in the area of 38 cm to 45 cm wide work best for beginners. Choosing a board that is too small will make it difficult for you to stay on top of the water. Boards that are too large cause you to become overpowered easily. Look for a board with four fins that are each about two inches long or less. When learning, stick with a twin tip board until you can ride that with no problem before moving on to smaller boards or directional, surf-style boards. The best way to see if a board will work for you is to try it, so ask shops if they have demos you can use.

tWip tip

direCtiOnal

harness

What kind of harness should i use? There are two main harness types: waist and seat. Waist harnesses fit around your waist and have a relatively high hook position. Seat harnesses have leg straps which keep your hook from riding up, and have a relatively low hook position. There are also hybrid (seat/waist) and board shorts with integrated harnesses available To choose a harness, go into a shop and try them on. Buy whatever feels comfortable. If you have any problems with your back, you should go with a seat harness as they transfer the kite’s pull directly to your legs.

Seat

WaiSt

hyBrid

The Kiteboarder Handbook

how to set up your board
INSTRUCTIONAL BIOS
Jeff Kafka – Wind Over Water WOW is located in the heart of San Francisco Bay. A full service center offering premium gear and beginner to advanced lessons with watercraft support, Jeff also runs winter clinics and trips to Skyline Ridge, Utah in the winter, with plans on board for a snowkite lodge. www.wowkite.com dan Schwarz - Calikites Dan is a partner, instructor, and repair-guru at Calikites in Southern California. Calikites is a full-service retail shop and repair facility, and a PASA certified kiteboarding school operating in San Diego Bay. Dan’s next goal in life is to teach his wife and dog to kiteboard. Calikites is currently taking bets on which one learns first. www.calikites.com neil hutchinson – tiki Beach Watersports/ Xrated Kiteboarding Neil was one of North America’s first pro riders. Located in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, he has participated in and hosted some of the biggest riding events and longest crossings in the USA. Neil is largely responsible for pioneering kiteboarding BoarderX events, and is a sought after race director for comps worldwide. www.tikibeacheast.com
Photo Ryan Riccitelli

tuning your kite
C-Kite tuning
With the kite at 12:00, sheet the bar in and watch the wingtips. If they flare out, your kite is oversheeted and you need to either lengthen your back lines or shorten your front lines. At full power, you want the wingtips to be parallel, but on the verge of flaring out. This is the reference point for trimming a C-kite, and from this point to depower the kite by lengthening the back lines. If your kite has a fifth line, it should generally be snug, with a small amount of slack when the bar is sheeted all the way in. By Dan schwaRz Maybe you’ve got a brand new kite, but it’s not flying exactly the way you want. Or, perhaps old faithful isn’t responding like it used to, and you just want to put the spark back in your old love. correct tuning of your kite is as much an art as it is a science – it can change the entire personality of a kite and increase the range of your current quiver. Pick a light wind day when you and your buddy won’t mind spending some time repeatedly landing and launching your kite, and get to work. For the most part, you’ll be adjusting the relative lengths of your lines, so if you have too much back line tension, you can either lengthen your back lines or shorten your front lines. With that in mind, let’s get to the tuning.

OVerSheeted

tuned

BOW Kite tuning tipS

Bow kite tuning is basically the same as tuning your C-kite, except that you do not have the visual clue of the wingtip flare to guide you. Fly the kite up to 12:00 and slowly sheet the kite in. Your kite should remain stable with your bar sheeted all the way in. If your kite begins to stall backwards, your kite is oversheeted and you need to lengthen your back lines. If your kite doesn’t seem to produce the power it should and turns slowly, your kite is undersheeted and you need to shorten your back lines. .

OVerSheeted

tuned

Sle hyBrid Kite tuning tipS

direCtiOnalS/SurFBOardS
Traction pads on your directional will help protect your board from heel dents and allow you to jibe without slipping off your board. They’re also a lot neater than wax and don’t melt on a hot day. Get enough traction to cover any part of the board where you expect to put your feet. I like to use one flat long board pad that will cover under the front strap and the deck, as well as short board traction for under my back strap and the tail. • If your surfboard has straps, first ride it strapless to find where your feet should go. Move your feet around the board until it feels right. Look down at your feet and remember where they are so you can mount your straps to the same spots.

Hybrid kites lie somewhere between C-kites and bows, so the tuning is a combination of the two. Fly the kite at 12:00 and sheet the kite in. Depending on what specific kite you are flying, you may be looking for visual clues like wingtip flare or you may need to look for the kite to become unstable and fly backwards or both. If you are having trouble tuning your hybrid kite, contact your manufacturer or local shop to help you as every hybrid is a little different.

OVerSheeted

tuned

By JeFF kaFka your board is a relatively simple piece of equipment. it’s basically a composite or fiberglass deck with fins on the bottom and a spot for each foot on top. Because of their simplicity, many riders do not put an effort into setting up their board correctly. Make the effort to get your board dialed in, and it will make a huge difference in its performance.

tuning your bar
By neil huTchinson The technology of kites has come incredibly far since the early days of kiteboarding, so it is more important than ever to have your lines set correctly. Any of the top-of-theline kites will fly horribly if your bar or kite is not tuned right. it’s almost like taking a new Ferrari and driving it with the wheels out of balance. On most kites, all lines should be exactly the same length when under tension. All new kites come with pre-stretched lines, but after a few sessions, your lines will stretch a little and need to be adjusted and tuned.

hOW tO CheCK yOur lineS:

The shape of a fin is as important as the shape of your board. Ask your local kite/surf shop or shaper what types of fins are recommended for your board. The fins used for kiteboarding should be mid-size short board fins. The center fin can be the same size as the side fins, but never bigger. The side fins should be pretty straight up and down, meaning not a lot of pitch. Towsurfing fins work great. Don’t be afraid to experiment with different fins – they make a bigger difference than you think.

tWin tipS Fins: What size fins you decide to use on your twin tip board is more personal
preference than anything else. Most often, the fins that came with your board will work perfectly fine. • In flat water, you can ride with no fins if you are learning how to do handlepasses or hitting a slider. In large chop or in the surf, you could use a fin up to four inches, but most people prefer fins close to two inches as this size works best for all around riding. • Everybody has their opinion, but I would avoid boards with more than four fins. If your board feels too loose or you want to travel slower, add bigger fins. If it feels like it is holding in too much, try smaller fins.

Walk out your lines as if you were going to attach them to your kite. • Remove any pig tails from the end of all flying lines. • Attach the ends to a fixed point, like a nail in a fence post or a line wrapped around a tree. • Hold onto the bar and lean back to apply pressure on your lines without using the chicken loop or engaging your depower strap.
Photo Ryan Riccitelli

SymptOmS OF StretChed lineS:

Footstraps: Set your straps up so they hold your feet in,
but are slightly loose. This will help you jibe easily and your feet will be able to come out of the straps if you fall.

tips
Your bar should be 90º to the fixed point. If not, either lengthen the short side or shorten the long side with the use of pig tails or the knots on your leader lines. Start letting the pressure off of you bar and make sure both front and back lines fall at the same rate. If your front lines start to fall first, they are too long and vice versa with you back lines. Once again, adjust the length using pig tails or leader lines until all lines fall at the same rate.

Kite is flying more to one side or the other when the bar is sheeted all the way in. Problem: One outside line is longer than the other. • Kite is flying more to one side or the other when the bar is sheeted out. Problem: One front line is longer than the other. • Kite tends to stall, crumple and fall when flying. Problem: Your front lines are too long or your back lines are too short. These can be adjusted on the go by engaging the depower strap, therefore shortening the front lines.
Photo Ryan Riccitelli

Photo Wayne Griswold/ECK

Stance: Ducked out to an even 13 to 15o works best for most people. The width
of your stance is going to be determined by your leg length. Stand over your board and figure out what feels right to you. Stance is measured from inner insert to inner insert. For most riders, a 15 to 20 inch stance will work best. As a rule of thumb, set your stance about as wide as your shoulders. Play around with a few set ups and ride what feels most comfortable to you.

Footstraps: The footstraps on a twin tip style board should feel snug when they

are dry, as they will loosen up a bit when they get wet. Riders with small feet may need to create extra holes in the footstraps in order for them to fit.

Remember that even if your kite is new, it becomes used after your first session. Check your lines often, and your gear will always ride like new!
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The Kiteboarder Handbook

setting up your kite
by Chris Moore Setting up your kite should never be rushed. Mistakes made during set up can not only cost you more time, but could put you in a dangerous situation. There are two main ways of rigging up your kite lines: you either lay your lines upwind or downwind from your kite. Both ways work well but it is best to stick with the same way each time if possible, especially when learning.

know your knots
1. 4. 2.
Basic
Words and Photos by the Kiteboardr staff It’s never fun when things break but being prepared when it happens can get you back on the water instead of cutting your session short. Whether your lines break, you need to replace your chicken loop, or if you need to tie new knots to tune your bar, there are a few basic knots you need to know. Before we start, you need to know the parts of a line: the bitter end, a bight, a loop, and the standing end.

3.

pick your spot

You should fully evaluate your launch area to determine the best way to set up your kite. Setting up an inflatable kite requires adequate room not only for the kite, but also the space needed to fully lay out your lines.

1. Bitter end 2. Bight 3. Loop 4. Standing end

how to inflate your kite

Bowline

Start by inflating the upwind strut. Be sure to remove any sand from the tip of the pump nozzle to prevent Photo Jody MacDonald sand from getting blown into the kite bladders as it can create punctures. Fill each strut firmly from upwind to downwind, and double check the valves for a solid closure. Don’t forget to securely close the Velcro. Now you are ready for the leading edge (LE). Secure your pump leash to the center of the LE and begin pumping. As the LE inflates, move your position and the kite so that your back is to the wind and the kite rises up to form a big “taco” shape. Once the kite is fully inflated and the valves are secured, flip the kite over with your leading edge down and into the wind, and weigh it down with sand or a sandbag.

The most commonly used knot is the Bowline. It’s used to attach your chicken loop to your trim strap. (1) Start this knot by threading the bitter end through the trim strap and making an overhand loop on the standing end. (2) Then, thread the bitter end from underneath through the loop. (3) Next, go around the standing end and come back through the loop. (4) Give it a nice tug to cinch the knot down, and make sure to check the overall length of your lines since you might have shortened or lengthened your center lines.

1

2

4

upwind or downwind?
• Depending

Photo TKB Staff

on the launch site, you may need to set up your lines upwind or downwind of the kite. Pick the appropriate direction based on the launch site. Starting at the kite, unroll your flying lines completely. If you are upwind of the kite, lay the bar down according to how you would fly it. If you are downwind of the kite, flip the control bar over so that it is upside down. • Walk your lines out from bar, separating each so that they are straight with no crossovers. Place them on the ground with plenty of separation so that when you pull on them to connect to your pigtails, they don’t tangle. Most newer kites are color coded and also have a male/female type connector to make attaching the lines very simple and make it difficult to make any mistakes. If you don’t have this type of feature, remember the saying “Front and Center” for front lines on the center of the bar or “Outback” for outside lines (on the bar) to the back of the kite. Before you launch, recheck all larks head attachment points to be sure that they are free from sand, secure, and the same on the right and left side of the kite. If you are unsure of anything, stop and double check! upwind method pros/cons Best for: Larger areas, windy unprotected areas, C-kites. pros - You pick your bar up and fly you kite with the bar the same way up (no spinning the bar); easier to lay out lines as kite lines are laid out going with the wind. cons - Harder to double check your lines visually; when someone picks up your kite they may pass the kite through the lines causing a tangle. downwind method pros/cons Best for: Smaller and restricted areas, bow or bridled kites, lighter winds and protected areas. pros - Easy to visually check your lines; easier to see and prevent bridle tangles. cons - Bar must be rotated the right way up to fly the kite. Lines can have twists when launching.

douBle fisherman

The Double Fisherman’s knot can save your day if one of your lines snaps. (1) Begin the Double Fisherman’s knot by laying the two broken lines down, one above the other. Work with one line at a time. Take the bitter end, and lay it underneath the second line. (2) Next, take the same end and bring it back over the top of the standing end. (3) Go back under again and make a second loop. (4) Then, simply thread through the loop. (5) Cinch it down and repeat for the other part of the broken line. Make sure to leave about an inch of extra line, and tie a stopper so the lines won’t slide through. Once both sides are done, pull the two standing ends apart. (6) You need to readjust your other three or four lines (including your fifth line) as best as you can. The broken line will be shorter and will affect your kite’s performance. Use the pigtails on your kite first. Hook up the unbroken lines as close to the kite as you can get and the shortest line to the knot furthest away from the kite. If that’s not possible, adjust the lines at the bar.

1

3

5

figure of eight

The Figure of Eight knot is the easiest knot to learn and is used as a stopper for your lark’s head knot. It can be useful when you need to make some knots on your pigtails. (1) Start this knot by laying down the line and making a bite in it. (2) Then, take the bite and turn it 360o. One way or another, it doesn’t matter. (3) Take the bitter end and thread it through the loop. (4) Cinch it down and you are done.

Tip: Line management tools such as the Time Manager or Turbolauncher from Kitelauncher.com
Photo TKB Staff

can help you more quickly set up and de-rig your kite, or help in tight launch areas/boat launches.

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The Kiteboarder Handbook

how to launch & land your kite
By Paul Menta Photos Courtesy of PhotoBoat.CoM Your wind window travels with you, wherever you are. You need to determine wind direction and launch or land at the edge of the wind window so that you are not violently catapulted across the beach or, even worse, into something solid. If your kite is too far downwind, it could result in a “hot launch.” Too far upwind, and your kite could roll through the wind window to the hot launch position. To determine your wind window, stand with your back to the wind with your arms fully extended out. When you feel equal wind pressure on both arms, that is your wind window. Sight down your arms, and this will show you the edge of the window, where the kite should be positioned when launching and landing. .

drift LAunching

Assisted LAunch/LAnding

Not everyone has the luxury of having a nice, wide sandy beach at launch. Drift launching is often a necessity but can also be very dangerous if the area is tight, leaving little to no room for margin of error. This launch technique should never be tried by beginners until they are at an intermediate knowledge and riding level as the kite can often launch very hot. The best way to learn this technique is to have an instructor or experienced kiter show you and to practice on a light wind day, with lots of room around you. c-Kites: 1. Connect the lines to your kite, do a thorough preflight check, and, if needed, wind lines onto the bar. 2. Bring the kite down to the water’s edge. Hook in, attach your safety to the 5th line, and grab your bar. If you wound your lines on your bar, carefully unroll them. 3. Keeping your back to the wind, put your kite into the water with the leading edge sideways so the kite has a better chance of drifting to the side of the wind window, and not straight downwind. 4. Let go of the kite and let the kite drift away from you until the lines are fully laid out, while walking upwind to the opposite side of the wind window to prepare to launch. Make sure you have plenty of space and that there are no objects downwind of you and your kite, or to either side of your wind window, within at least two line lengths. 5. Use your 5th line to open the kite up to get it in the launch position and bring it up as slowly as possible. If in doubt, be prepared to immediately pull your safety.

drift LAunching: Bows 1. Connect the lines to your kite, and do a thorough preflight check. Do not wind lines onto your bar as when drift launching bows, you must never engage the bar until you are ready to launch. 2. Bring the kite down to the water’s edge. Hook in to the chicken loop and connect your safety to where the kite will fully depower/flag out if engaged. Don’t touch the bar! Make sure you have plenty of space and that there are no objects downwind of you and your kite or to either side of your wind window within at least two line lengths. 3. Put your kite leading edge down into the water, keeping your back to the wind. Turn your kite so it is sideways, facing away from the beach. This will help your kite drift to either side of the wind window and not straight downwind. 4. Let go of the kite, and walk upwind to the opposite side of the window facing your kite, keeping an eye on it at all times to make sure it doesn’t power up. 5. When the lines tension and the kite is open, grab your bar and you are ready to go. If your kite is on its nose with ribs facing you, pull on an outside line OPPOSITE of the direction you want to launch to get it in launch position. If in doubt, be prepared to immediately pull your safety. Drift launches can be extremely dangerous. While realizing that the technique is often a necessity, The Kiteboarder does not advocate this method for launching. Do so at your own risk.

2

1
1. Generally, it is best to launch and land with your kite towards the water. Get your kite assistant to carry your kite to the edge of the window, holding the kite from the center of the LE without any tension on the lines.

3
3. When you’re ready to land, make sure you have the area to do so, then signal to someone who understands how to land a kite by tapping your head with a flat hand.

3

5

2
2. When the assistant is in position, walk upwind to tension the lines, and visually check lines to ensure they are connected correctly and not crossed. Double check your safety and give your launcher the international thumbs up sign to signal you are ready for launch. Bring your kite up slowly and in control.

4
4. Have the assistant stay in one spot and raise their hands, then bring the kite down to them, nice and slow. Once they have the kite, they can work their way to the center of the LE as you walk towards the rider to take tension off the lines.

seLf LAunching: Bows

1. Secure your chicken loop firm on the beach or to an object that will solidly hold it. The key here is to make sure the chicken loop is firmly secured! seLf LAunching c-Kites: 2. Walk your kite to the edge of the 1. Holding your kite by the center of your LE, wind window and put the kite in the bring it the edge of the wind window. Grab a launch position. Let go of the kite, wait wingtip, letting the rest of the kite follow the a minute or so to ensure it is stable, direction of the wind. then walk upwind to the opposite side of the wind window of the kite, keeping an eye on it at all times to make sure it doesn’t power up. 3. Hook into your chicken loop without touching the bar or any lines. 4. When you are ready to launch, grab the bar and slowly sheet in to give tension to the lines. 5. When the kite gets tension and is open, launch the kite as you would in an assisted launch. This method also works for some SLE or hybrid kites that have total depower when the bar is fully extended, pushed out. Don’t guess - ask your local dealer, shop or rider. When in doubt, don’t use this method!
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seLf LAnding

c-Kites: If your kite doesn’t have a fifth line attachment point, get it modified at a kite repair shop. The cost is nominal and the benefits are tremendous. 1. Make sure there is nothing downwind of you and your leash is secured only to the fifth line. Bring your kite down to the edge of the wind window, unhook from your chicken loop and release the bar. All tension will transfer to the fifth line. 2. Walk hand over hand up the fifth line until you reach your kite and secure it to the beach.

2. Secure the wing tip you are holding to the beach by folding it over at least one strut, and pile a generous amount of sand or sandbag on top of it.. Make sure your lines are clear and not caught on anything.

1

2
iMPortAnt note: The techniques described here DO NOT work with every kite out there and are recommended as general guidelines that can be used on many kites. You must consult your local dealer, shop, or rider who can show you the proper techniques for self-launching and landing that are approved for your particular kite. Make sure to try self launching and landing with a friend standing by until you feel comfortable trying it on your own. Also, when self or drift launching, it is critical to make sure you check your lines to ensure there are no tangles and that they cannot get caught on anything such as debris on the beach, bridles, pulleys, and struts.
thekiteboarder.com 51

3. Walk to your bar, and position yourself on the opposite side of the wind window from your kite. Watch it the entire time to make sure it stays secure. For maximum safety, launch unhooked whenever possible but always make sure your safety is connected before launching.

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4

Bows: 1. Bring kite down on beach or water’s edge, let go of bar and let kite rest in this position. You can unhook if desired, but leave your safety attached. 2. Without touching your bar, begin to walk downwind while pulling on the top center line. 3. As the kite starts to fall over, pull the top center line very hard towards you so it drops the leading edge down on the beach and into the wind. 4. Unhook and go and secure your kite. Again, this method also works on some SLE or hybrid type kites that do not have fifth lines. Don’t guess! Ask your local dealer, shop or rider who has the same gear. When in doubt, don’t use this method.

4. Reconfirm that you are positioned correctly by slowly pulling the bar to tension the lines and kite. If it is luffing, move upwind. If it is filled with wind but turning into the wind and toward the sand, you are too far upwind. 5. Once you are in the correct position, firmly pull the bar towards you to release the sand or bag, slowly bring the kite up, grab your board, and head out! If you have an SLE or hybrid type kite with a more swept back trailing edge, you may want to pull a little sand on the inside of the kite for extra stability before you fold over the wingtip. This method does not work with all kites, so ask your local dealer, shop or rider for advice.

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5

It is good to practice self launching and landing in lighter winds, so you will know the reaction of your kite and the timing before heading out in stronger winds. Remember, you can always activate your safety if you feel there is a problem.

3

The Kiteboarder Handbook

how to switch directions effIciently
by Jay CraWford The first skill every kiteboarder learns is how to get up and ride their board. The second skill you will quickly need to learn is how to go the other way, and to do that, you have to change directions. The easiest way to do this is to stop, and then start again in the new direction.

how to stay upwind
Photo Broneah.com

directional Board

If you want to kite in the surf, directional changes are a complete necessity. Sooner or later, a head high wave will break right in front of you causing you to need to change directions in a hurry, or take a pounding. To get the hang of switching directions more efficiently on a directional board, practice in flat water first. Before you attempt to smoothly change directions, work on being able to ride heelside and toeside in both directions. The easiest way to change directions on a directional is to just simply redirect the kite to the opposite direction and then chase the kite with the nose of your board. Do not worry about changing your feet; simply exit the turn riding toeside. Start slowly and do not redirect your kite quickly, otherwise your kite will generate a huge amount of power while you are turning. Once you have this mastered in flat water, take it to the waves.

1. Slow down by shifting almost all of your weight to your back foot. Slowly move your kite to the top of the window. 2. As you slow to a stop, shift a little more than half of your weight to your front foot (soon to be your back foot). 3. Dive your kite in the new direction and follow it with your board. If you time it right, you should be able to slow to a stop, and then take off in the new new direction without sinking.
Photos TKB Staff

twin tip Board

by Whit Poor Most kiters will agree that staying upwind is the key to the start of having great sessions. It is the ability to go upwind that allows riders to start trying jumps and tricks, as well as the first requirement for renting equipment in foreign countries. Being able to stay upwind is what separates the beginners from the intermediates. If you have been wakeboarding or snowboarding, you already have some of the skills you need as both sports require back foot pressure as well as the need to set a rail in order to ride continuously in a straight line. In order to get both of these concepts down, there are three things we must look at: kite position, body position and speed control.

directional Board transition tips:

Photo Ryan Riccitelli

• You do not have to move your feet. Simply ride toeside half the time. • Keep your kite high and slowly start your transition until the board is pointed in

the direction you want to go, then dive your kite in the new direction. • If you do not want to ride toeside, try switching your feet before or after you turn, but not during. Do it when your kite is high so that you are light on your feet. Switch your feet with two quick and confident steps. • Don’t rush your transitions, or you will be ripped off the board.

downlooping:

Photo Tracy Kraft

You can downloop your kite if you need to change directions in a hurry. There is still a myth out there that downlooping is only for pros. Anyone can do it as long as you commit. This maneuver can really help when riding in the waves or if you need a quick directional change. With your kite high, pull the bar with your front hand, and keep pulling. Follow the kite with your board until you end up riding in the new direction. Go out and try it. It’s easy, functional, and looks cool.

straight and lean your whole body away from the kite. Keep your elbows at your side, rotate your hips in the direction you are traveling and look at where you want to go. Don’t let yourself bend over at the waist and focus on driving the pull from the kite into the board through your back foot.

speed control

Photo Ocean Rodeo Photo Kim Kern

kite position

riding etiquette
general guidelines
• When

By keeping the kite in the same position, the rider can focus on what is going on with their body and board, rather than their kite. Center your hands on the bar and move the kite as little as possible, holding the kite at a steady 45o angle to the water. If you hold your kite too high, it will pull you up and make it difficult for you to set your edge.

Body position

by Paul lang One of the questions most often asked by new kiters is, “how do you not get tangled up with someone else?” I have also talked to beginners who showed up to the beach on a perfect day, only to be too intimidated by the crowds to get on the water. With a little knowledge, crowds are a lot less intimidating. Here are the kiteboarding etiquette rules for flat water and kiting in the surf.
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two riders are approaching each other from different directions, the rider with his right hand forward has right of way. This means he should keep on going, while the rider with his left hand forward gets out of the way. • When two riders are traveling the same direction, the rider who is further downwind has the right of way. • You should never jump without at least 150 feet of room downwind of you. • Never jump within 100 feet of the beach. • When two riders cross paths, the further upwind rider should keep his kite as high as possible, while the downwind rider flies their kite as low as possible. • Look behind you before you change directions. • Stay away from the launching area when riding. Give riders room to get on the water. • Do not launch your kite until you are ready to get wet. Flying your kite on land takes up space and can be dangerous.

Kiteboarders who cannot yet stay upwind should launch and ride downwind of the experienced kiters.

Body position is the key to riding upwind. With your front leg straight and your back leg slightly bent, keep your back

You can master kite and body position, but still not make it upwind without proper speed control. This is accomplished not only through powering and depowering the kite, but through board control and the angle the rider takes into the wind. By cutting too hard into the wind, the rider will lose speed and sink back into the water. By traveling too far downwind, the rider has a tendency to gain too much speed too quickly. This causes you to go downwind in a hurry and leads to an out of control rocketship ride. The rider has to travel downwind to get speed, and then slightly depower the kite to allow control and stability while edging the board upwind. Once the rider is effectively edging against the kite, then they can control their power with the bar and board. If you cannot stay upwind consistently, practice it until you can. Devote a portion of every session to kiting upwind until it becomes second nature.

The most important part of riding in a crowd is to be aware of what is around you. Most kite tangles could have been avoided if one or both riders simply looked where they were going. Avoid problems by spotting them early and taking action. If you notice that you are riding straight at another rider from 100 yards away, don’t wait until you are ten feet away to do something about it. When you take your sessions to the waves, you need to not only follow the kiteboarding etiquette rules listed above, but you also have to follow the rules for wave etiquette. The rules for wave etiquette have been around for much longer than kiteboarding has, so follow them if you are in the surf, even if that means you have to yield to a surfer or windsurfer.

riding etiquette cont.
surf guidelines

The rider (or surfer or windsurfer) closest to the peak of the wave has the wave. Everyone else should back off and let him ride it out. • Do not get onto a wave when someone else is already on it. Get your own. • If you are learning, do not get in the way of others. Go upwind or downwind away from the crowds.

In addition, if all kiteboarders followed the next few rules in the surf, everyone would catch more waves: • Never ride through a pack of surfers. • Do not jump where people are riding waves.

Take the dangle jumps out to sea or away from the best waves. • Follow a circle pattern when in the waves: ride the wave downwind, and then work your way back upwind outside of the waves. If all riders followed this, every wave could have a kiter on it and no one would get in the way. • If you are riding back and forth (kiteboarding in the waves, not on the waves), stick with riding outside of the waves. • Never jibe onto a wave downwind of another kiter. You have to remember that there are only so many waves out there to be caught, and many kiters take wave riding very seriously. If you ruin another rider’s wave because

you did something stupid, don’t be surprised if you get a stern talking to back on the beach. Take the time to learn the rules of etiquette before your next session. If everyone followed the rules, we would all get along. That would mean more waves for everyone, and the world would be a better place.

Photo Realkiteboarding.com

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The Kiteboarder Handbook

everything you need to know about board leashes
Photo Ryan Riccitelli

how to take Care of your gear
by daryl droWn Spring is here and summer is coming. Before the season is upon us, take the time to take care of your gear so it will last the whole season. Here are a few tips to prolong the life of your new toys and to service your equipment if you have been off the water all winter.
Photo TKB Staff

by Paul lang For the most part, kiteboarders should avoid board leashes whenever possible. The average kiteboarder can safely ride without a leash 99% of the time, even if they are just learning. Many riders use leashes as a shortcut to avoid learning proper technique, and are only hurting their skill progression by using one. Beginners like to use leashes because it keeps the board close. However, that’s also the problem with leashes. When you crash, the only solid object near you is your board. You want to be as far away from it as possible, not attached to it. When I learned to kite, I used a board leash because that’s what everyone did. Everyone who learned to kite back then knew someone who was injured by their board leash. At the time, we just didn’t know any better. The real danger with a board leash is the possibility that your leash could stretch like a rubber band causing the board to slingshot back to you. Without a leash, you simply leave the board behind when you crash. If it’s nowhere near you, it cannot hurt you. If you find it impossible to ride without a board leash, the simple answer is that you are not yet ready for the board. If you have good control over the kite and have been taught the proper techniques, body dragging back to your board is easy. If it is difficult, you need to work on your kite skills some more. Don’t use a leash to make up for your lack of skill.

INSTRUCTIONAL BIOS
paul lang/assistant editor Paul’s strong background in kiteboarding instruction comes from his years as a sailing and windsports instructor. He is the Assistant Editor at The Kiteboarder, the technical engineer for the ASnews.net podcasts and manages an aquatic center in San Diego, CA. www.thekiteboarder.com hunter Brown – Blowing in the wind Hunter Brown is the owner of BITW/Gokitesurf. com in Wilmington and Wrightsville Beach, NC. BITW was established in 2000 and is a full-service shop offering gear from many top brands, demos and repair service. Known for honest advice and professional lessons, BITW is “Your local shop no matter where you ride,” www.gokitesurf.com daryl drown – extreme kites Daryl has been into power kites for about 20 years and opened Extreme Kites in 1999 in a 600 square foot retail shop in St. Augustine, FL. One of the first online retailers, he has since moved to a nicer location, doubled his space and expanded his selection of gear and accessories. www.oceanextremesports.com rick iossi – fka Rick started kiteboarding in 1998 and founded the Florida Kitesurfing Association, Inc. (FKA) in 2001. The forum is a wealth of information on weather, safety, accident analysis, and what’s happening in Florida and the Caribbean. Rick and his wife Laura live in SE Florida where he is employed as an engineer. www.fksa.org whit poor – kite wind surf Whit Poor is an instructor for Kite Wind Surf, a full service kiteboarding, windsurfing and surf shop in the San Francisco Bay area. One of the largest schools in California, the shop has an extremely knowledgeable and friendly staff who are all passionate about watersports. www.kitewindsurf.com chris moore – kitty hawk kites Chris pioneered the PASA Kiteboarding Division, and developed a teaching method still in use by the organization today. He manages Kitty Hawk’s kiteboarding center on the Outer Banks of North Carolina where they conduct lessons and ride 390 square miles of flat shallow ‘sound’ waters almost year round. www.kittyhawk.com Jay crawford – outer Banks kiting Jay has been immersed in kiteboarding since 1999. He learned and worked with the pioneers of Cape Hatteras before branching out on his own with Outer Banks Kiting, the newest school on the island. Jay’s school utilizes modern teaching methods, boats, jet skis, beaches and water to give a complete understanding of the sport. www.outerbankskiting.com paul menta – the kite house Paul is one of the original kiteboarding pioneers in the USA. He helped develop the first formal instructional programs for Wipika and PASA. Paul lives in Key West, Florida. With several locations, The Kite House offers instructor training and kite lessons year round at locations in Florida, Puerto Rico, and the Caribbean. www.thekitehouse.com

kite

Despite the dangers of using a leash, some riders still choose to use one. There are a few special cases that may warrant their use. If you are kiting in the waves, you may choose to wear a leash if the shoreline is rocky to keep your board from ending up in pieces. If your local spot has extreme current, a leash could be useful. However, you should never jump with a board leash. That is just asking for trouble. If you do decide to use a leash, you absolutely must wear a helmet. Choose a reel leash, as they are less likely to slingshot the board at you. For helmet recommendations, see the March/April07 issue of The Kiteboarder.

If you have a kite with a single inflation point, check to make sure the connections between the struts and leading edges are not chafed, dried, or cracked. If in doubt, use the replacement connectors that came with the kite. • Check your canopy for small tears. If you find any that are ten cm or less, they can be easily be repaired with rip stop from your local shop. Clean and dry the area before applying the tape to both sides of the tear. Tears over ten cm need to be repaired by a professional. • Check the high wear areas, particularly the leading edge, for abrasions in the Dacron. If you have a SLEtype kite, check the bridle carefully, particularly the sections near the pulleys. Sometimes, the pulleys cease to roll freely due to sand contamination, which can increase the wear on the lines. If they are visibly worn, replace the section if possible, or order a bridle replacement kit from your local shop. • Examine all your pigtails carefully for wear. This will require loosening them to check where they make contact with the kite, a location that tends to wear the fastest. • To increase the life of your quiver, store your kites in a dry location and don’t leave your gear inflated or sandy. Your bladders can pop from overheating, and the sand can rub against the canopy of your kite causing added wear. When you are on the beach, don’t leave the gear baking in the sun or flapping in the breeze for more than 20 minutes.

general care
• Rinse

how to body drag back to your board
by hunter broWn Body dragging back to your board is one of those skills that every kiteboarder should learn early on. Leashes are dangerous so the quicker you get away from them, the safer you will be. Everyone falls and loses their board. The quicker you can get back to your board, the more time you will spend riding, improving your skills, and learning new tricks. Body dragging back to your board is not difficult; it just takes practice and knowledge of a few simple tips.
Photo Ryan Riccitelli

and dry as much of your gear as often as is practical. Keep sand away from all of your gear as much as you can. If you wash your gear with fresh water, it must be completely dry before you put it away, otherwise it will cause mildew. • Dry your soft goods (wetsuit, harness, etc.) after every use. There is nothing worse than having to crawl into a stinky and damp wetsuit. • Get a board bag. You would be amazed how much wear and tear happens to your board when you are not using it. • Fix or replace problems as soon as you see them. There is no reason to ride ghetto gear and it’s not safe to ride gear that could self destruct at any moment. • Put together a kiteboarding repair kit and always keep it with you. • Treat your gear like an investment. Have you ever bought anything that cost over $1000 that you threw in the sand and dragged through the mud?

Bar & lines

Check each line for abrasion or knots. Knots will weaken the lines considerably and should be removed. Soak the line in water and work the knot out with your fingers, using a needle if necessary. Make sure that the fibers were not compromised. If these lines have seen a lot of sessions, consider getting a replacement line set. It is better to be safe than shark bait. Never expect to get more than to wash or not to wash one season from a set of lines. • Examine both your chicken loop QR and your kite leash QR. Inspect the chicken loop carefully. On many systems, the bar will tend to wear the spectra line. If this goes unnoticed, you are going to be swimming in one day. surface of the water, effectively using your whole body as one large fin to help you stay upwind or even gain ground upwind.

The basics of body dragging back to your board are easy. When you fall and lose your board you need to body drag from side to side, trying not to go downwind. Your board will drift downwind and you will get back to it. So how do you best achieve this?

look over your shoulder

pump
• Unless

learn the right way to fall

going side to side

To body drag side to side, fly your kite with one hand to one side at about 45o off the water with moderate power. Too much power will drag you downwind, so depower your kite if needed. Extend your other arm, which is your lower arm, using it as a rudder to guide yourself to one side. You want your body to be straight and stiff while keeping your back and chest perpendicular to the
54 thekiteboarder.com

When you fall, the kite wants to pull you downwind away from your board. To minimize this, you should immediately go into a sideways body drag. This will help you to get back to your board quicker.

Here’s a great tip to judge whether you will reach your board on a tack. If you are body dragging away from your board to the right and you can comfortably look over your left shoulder and see your board, you should be able to get it on the next tack back. Knowing this helps you do longer tacks that will get you back to your board in a minimum amount of time.. If you follow these tips you should be able to fall into a sideways body drag, look over you shoulder and know you can get your board, and turn around and get the board on the next tack. This will result in more time riding on the water and less dragging through it.

you are Dizzy Gillespie, you will need a pump to inflate your kites. Without regular care and proper usage, manual kite pumps are prone to breakage. Use a pump leash and keep both hands on the pump. One-handed, off-axis pumping will lead to an early demise of your pump or loosen the ever desirable tight seal. Lubricate your shaft regularly using McLube SailKote and keep it clear of sand.

Paul lang

to wash or not to wash?
You really do not need to worry about washing the salt from your gear after every use, but you should treat sand as the enemy. Folding up a wet and sandy kite and cramming it into its bag is the equivalent of sanding your kite with 80 grit sandpaper. Washing your gear will definitely make it last longer, as long as your gear is completely dry before you put it away.

longer tacks

Every time you tack to get back to your board, you will lose ground and get pulled downwind a bit. Doing longer tacks in one direction will get you back to your board more quickly.

There is a debate out there as to whether kiters should wash their gear or not. The truth is that it never hurts to wash your gear with fresh water. However, if you do, you must completely dry your gear before you put it away. Fresh water will cause mildew if you ever put it away wet. Salt water does not have this problem, so it’s ok to put your gear away slightly damp if it is wet.

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(a)

universe to
our own......
By Jeff Kraemer Lens: Jody MacDonald
ur captain, Gavin McClurg, is an admitted Star Trek fan. He likes to quote Captain Kirk of the Enterprise with a twist, “to boldly kite where no one has gone before.” This is actually a great way to describe my experience on Offshore Odysseys’ maiden voyage which brought us from Grenada to St. Lucia, and everywhere in between.
the land of pirates, rum and free spirits. This area is described by many as the “South Pacific of the Caribbean.” It is wild beyond the imagination. No land farers would know a sailing life like this even existed. Say to someone, The Grenadines, and they will probably hand you a sugary drink. The most dominant and life changing factor for me wasn’t that I was kiteboarding with world superstar Clinton Bolton, or that the water was warm and pristine, or even that the meals were 5-Star in any Zagat guide; but that I was in awe of the captain’s sensibility, knowledge, and experience of handling such a large and beautiful vessel. Sailing is always unpredictable. Things break, sand is the enemy and winds dictate life aboard. We were never scared or even worried with Gavin and first mate Jody McDonald at the helm. up a bit by the coral. Fortunately, the ship’s medical personnel (Gavin) addressed it quickly and we were able to kite the next day. Do you remember hurricane Ivan? It stands for “it’s vast and nasty.” A direct hit devastated Grenada and even hit the United States twice, three years ago. This area of our universe is still under repair as Ivan destroyed or damaged 90 percent of all structures. Grenada is known as the “spice island,” because there are more varieties of herbs, spices, fruit, and vegetables grown here than on any other Caribbean island. After a beach party Sunday night, I went back to Hog Island to take some starscape photos via the ship’s escape pod, the kayak. I came upon
continued next page. Shannon best tears across the crystal clear flats of barbuda.

FEB 10: FIRST IMPRESSIONS
On the very first night of this journey we came across a 500-pound, Leatherback turtle laying eggs on the beach. She was as large as a Volkswagen! This happened right at our first port, Grand Anse, Grenada. On day two of the maiden voyage of The Best Odyssey, Gavin brought us to Hog Island, on the south side of Grenada. This island has no permanent residents and no sign of fellow kiters. Several of us on our “space walks” got banged

THE ADVENTURE
Being on a 60-foot Catamaran sailing through the Grenadines was truly like being in outer space traveling from port to port on the most astonishing spaceship ever, Discovery. This majestic ship set sail in early February on a 15day journey to distant lands, foreign to everyone onboard. The course is remarkable, taking us through the windward chain of the West Indies,

...FROM GRENADA TO
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ST. LUCIA, AND EVERYWHERE IN BETWEEN
thekiteboarder.com 69

a massive amount of bioluminescence in the water. I have seen it before in other parts of the world, but this was absolutely unreal! I called back to Discovery on the two-way to let them in on my secret. Everyone was up for hours playing in the brilliant, greenly illuminated water.

continued from page 71.

Chilling out after long days of exploring new places are often the most memorable moments of a trip like this.

FEB 13: MOVING ON
Day three we took an automotive transporter on the island in search of the best beach and the strongest wind to kite while Gavin and our chef, Trisha, sailed Discovery up the leeward side. Nationalism is contagious on Grenada and it shows. Many of the island’s population are descendants of African slaves who were brought over by European settlers so every sign, bridge and roadway is painted fully in the colors of that nation -- red for blood, gold for the sun and green for the earth. We toured the windward side of Grenada and finally landed in a spot called Sugarloaf Island. This was our first wide expanse of a Caribbean beach with white sand and crystal clear waters. As the ship’s videographer, I wanted to go up the mast to do some shooting. Twenty feet up, a splice in the halyard (the line holding me up) broke and I was suddenly faced with a dizzying drop. Everyone watching shrieked, but luckily I grabbed onto the lazy jacks tightly and was able to climb down. I wanted to try it again when we reached the Tobago Cays, a group of five tiny, uninhabited islands just north of our starting point. Instead, I climbed to the top of Petit Beteau, one of the teeny islands, a much safer alternative. Day four we anchored off the south end of Carriacou, near Saline Island. It was perfect for diving, snorkeling and more importantly for us, kiteboarding. We woke up to 27 knots with some perfectly protected flat water. Clinton boosted repeatedly over both the dingy and stern of Discovery, much to the delight of those onboard. I never imagined I would kite in such a paradise. Our schedule dictated we stay on the move, so from Saline we sailed an easy distance north to Mopion, which is a tiny “motu”, Polynesian for a small island. We found soft sand, a lone palapa and nothing else. This was our lunar landing, a tiny isolated spot devoid of life other than our own. We claimed it for ourselves and sent three spacewalkers out to kite under a spectacular sunset.
continued on page 74.

Clinton bolton jumped on board and ended up staying for three weeks.

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70 t h e k i t e b o a r d e r . c o m

u n i v e r s e TO OUR OWN
“CANOUAN WAS A PINNACLE STOP ON OUR JOURNEY.”

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continued from page 72.

FEB 19: HIDDEN TREASURE
Canouan was a pinnacle stop on our journey. This magic and permission to board the island was island is unspoiled and virtually undiscovered. granted! Frequenting celebrities include Princess We came ashore in our Zodiac and were quickly Margaret, Bill Gates, Mick Jagger, Johnny surrounded by locals competing for our attention Depp, Kate Moss, David Bowie, Bryan Adams (fine print – money). I was invited right away by – you get the picture. If you are accepted, the “Bobby Shawn” to come and have dinner with his minimum nightly fee at the Firefly Hotel is family, for a price of course! I never got his real $1000 US. No cell phones, babies or cameras name, but his mother Viola King cooked some of are allowed in the common areas. We got the the finest Caribbean food I’ve ever tasted. It was evil eye from the concierge and were prompted just chicken, but it was delicious. to leave. No problem, as the Discovery cabins We traveled up the windward side of Canouan are large doubles complete with oversized heads and fell in love with Carenage Bay. Discovery was (shower/restroom), DVDs, flat screens, and air anchored all alone in less than six feet of crystal conditioning; along with a huge amount of clear water protected by a barrier reef, providing storage and cabinet space. killer waves for those inclined and butter flat water on the inside. We were all up and rigged by 7am; FEB 23: FINAL DAYS the sky a kaleidoscope of Slingshot and Best kites. We headed northward and Clinton got in a very Alas, our good fortune was cut short as the Trump sketchy session over a shallow reef near Bequia, resort kindly insisted that we depart at the end of too scary for any of us mortals to attempt. We the day, wary of a lawsuit. Apparently, a kiter had then embarked on our longest sail past St. Vincent mangled himself on the reef some weeks earlier. all the way to St. Lucia. Gavin and I were the only ones on deck as we sailed through the night. FEB 22: ON TO MUSTIQUE I was up because I wanted to learn more about Mustique is an enchanting, exclusive island. the sailing life. But Gavin was more accustomed Although the island is part of St. Vincent and to these night sails, and I couldn’t keep my eyes the Grenadines, it is wholly private. Through open past 1am so I decided to adjourn to my some finagling, our trusty captain worked his rocking bed. I left Gavin to sail on his own until
exploring mysto spots often means launching off the discovery.

Jody’s watch around 3am. Next thing I knew it was daybreak, and we were in St. Lucia; not far from Anse de Sable kiteboarding beach. What a remarkable beach – with miles of white sand, side-on wind, and many local kiters to help launch and land. The first day there wasn’t great wind, but the next morning it was blowing 20 knots. Clinton and I rigged as the others had already departed. He was performing aerial tricks right off the beach and blowing away all the lookie-loos and even the local pros. I regret that I didn’t film any of this, but I sure had a great time on the water! Jody finally had to pull me off and get me packing to take me to the other side of the island where I was to catch my flight home – a reality I’d been trying to avoid. I found terra firma strange beneath my feet and one last look at Discovery left me already anticipating our next mission to exotic lands and wilder escapes.

living off the land and sea is not as bad as it sounds on the discovery.

Jeff Kraemer is the owner of Eclipsefilms. com and is producing a video of his adventure. To follow more of the places and people involved in the Best Odyssey, see www.offshoreodysseys.com

Clinton pioneers a new kite beach somewhere near bequia.

“MILES OF WHITE SAND AND SIDE-ON WIND”

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72 t h e k i t e b o a r d e r . c o m

u n i v e r s e TO OUR OWN

clockwise: caption goes here. caption goes here. caption goes here. caption goes here.

professional land boarder alex brown hopped on board for a week of r & r.

thekiteboarder.com 73

WORKBENCH

Tool box gear
Spare screws for your footstraps and fins. Extra bladder plugs, one-pump hoses, and zip ties. Spare parts for your bar: Some items on your bar will never wear out, but keep spares anyway. If something breaks you might lose parts. 1/4-20 and 10-24 taps: You can use these to clean threads on almost any board and fin.

PARKINg LOT
RePaIR KIT
Words and Photos Paul Lang

Baby powder and line for installing bladders. Spare bladders: I only carry two spare bladders – one the size of the largest rib in my biggest kite and one the size of the smallest rib of my biggest kite. With these I can replace any rib on any of my kites. You can also carry a replacement LE bladder for your bread and butter kite, but I find I can usually repair it instead of replacing it. Extra fins, especially if you ride a surfboard. Spare kite leash: I don’t know why, but I lose these all the time. Replacement pump hose. A complete spare bar: I always have a spare bar with me as this is your most likely piece of gear to have problems. FCS installation kit and spare plugs: This item may seem excessive, but I can use it to repair fin plugs that have been ripped out of my board. Duct tape: It fixes everything. Don’t put it on your kite unless you absolutely have to though! Spare straps for your harness. Sail repair tape: Good sail repair tape can temporarily fix tears up to about three feet long. Bladder repair material. Solarez: This stuff is available at any surf shop and is a great product that anyone can use to repair dings and chips on your board. Superglue: If you have it, you will find a use for it. Basic tools: You only need a few tools to work on kite gear. You should have screwdrivers (I especially like the ratcheting ones with interchangeable ends), scissors, a razor knife, pliers, a set of allen wrenches, and vise grips. Also carry spare fin keys for your surfboard. Spare spectra line: Carry enough spectra to replace the leader lines on your bar. Spare chicken loop: This might be the piece of kite gear that fails the most. Spare lines: You can also count the lines on your spare bar as an extra set of lines.

if you have never had any gear problems, then you probably haven’t been kiting for very long. there is nothing more frustrating than broken gear, especially since it seems most likely to break on the epic days or when you are pressed for time. the only way to avoid sitting on the beach is to have the tools handy to fix the problem. i do about half of my kiting south of the border, very far from anything resembling a kite shop. if i break gear in Baja and can’t fix it, it ruins a whole trip instead of a single session. over the years i’ve learned what is important to have and what can be left behind. here’s a look at what’s in my kiting tool box that can fix almost anything, short of a completely shredded kite. Get a tool box that has small divided sections built into it. if you can’t keep your spare parts neat, you’ll never even be able to remember what you have.
The best way to fix gear is to never have it break in the first place. Take care of your gear and inspect it often. If you see a problem, don’t use it until it breaks. Build yourself a repair kit and always have it in your car – it doesn’t do you any good sitting in the garage at home. With the right repair kit, you can fix problems that would send other riders home for the day. Learn to fix your gear when it breaks and you will never have to miss an epic day because of gear problems.
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thekiteboarder.com 75

D asK M

Topic

Swimm e r ’ S e ar

Swimmer’s Ear is formally known as Otits Externa in medical terminology. Swimmer’s Ear is an inflammation of the external canal and ear. Aquatic athletes can take steps to prevent the commonplace and irritating infection. Several factors contribute to the development of Swimmer’s Ear. Absence of cerumen (the waxy substance inside the canal), high humidity and temperatures (tropical locations), and local trauma (use of cotton swabs, hearing aids or ear plugs) can result in infection in the canal. Repeated exposure to water results in removal of the wax that lines the canal, resulting in dry skin. This drying may cause itching, which often leads to use of a Q-tip (cotton swab) and scratching or traumatizing the surface skin. The breakdown of skin in a moist environment leads to a localized skin infection. Obstruction of the canal by excessive ear wax, debris from dirty water, contaminated water, or a narrowed canal (Surfer’s Ear), may lead to increased risk of infection.

1. Basic first aid kit 2. Vinegar or 3% to 10% acetic acid 3. Shaving cream 4. Old credit card or piece of plastic 5. Oral antihistamine such as diphenhydramine (Benadryl) 6. Topical steroid cream - .5 – 1% hydrocortisone (Aristocort) 7. Baking soda 8. Utility knife 9. Thermometer 10. Safe Sea Lotion 11. Adolf’s or Papain Meat Tenderizers 12. Small sterile sharp knife, tweezers, sharp clean needles 13. Large syringe for irrigation 14. Pain medications 15. Soap 3. Avoid water contact in polluted waters. 4. Ensure that the ear canals are emptied of water after contact. 5. Prophylactic ear drops: A combination of two parts isopropyl (rubbing) alcohol with vinegar may be used after each episode of water activity to assist in drying and acidifying the ear canal. 6. Generally, ear plugs should be avoided, unless specifically recommended by a healthcare provider. Ear plugs may traumatize the canal and predispose it to the development of swimmer’s ear.

Travel firST aid kiT for The waTer enThuSiaST:

photo courtesy asI

By dr. Steve Benaron, emergency medicine Specialist A storm just passed and the clearing winds are starting to kick in, so you head to your favorite kite spot. The wind is nuking, but the water is browner than the Mississippi; yet you decide to kite despite the dubious water quality. On your way home from an epic session, your ear begins to hurt. Over the next several hours your ear has mild pain and itchiness and feels like it has fluid in it. Your hearing may be obstructed by the strange liquid sounds. There is obviously something wrong with your ear–what should you do?

Swimmer’S and Surfer’S ear

ack Sm
Trix rider video
Cabrinha and Adventure Sports recently added Melissa Gil and Matt Collins to their National Team. Melissa Gil, one of the top female riders in North America, resides in Florida and has been a leading performer at US events over the last several years. She prefers the Switchblade kite and Custom board for her freestyle riding, but is also involved in the competitive racing scene. Matt Collins is only 13 years old and is riding waves like a champ and sticking powered handle passes. Like Melissa, Matt also prefers the Switchblade kite but rides the Imperial which better matches his riding style. Matt represents the strong youth movement in the sport and looks up to riders like Jon Modica and Damien Leroy for inspiration. Congratulations to both Melissa and Matt! Since its inception in 2001, the International Kiteboarding Association (IKO) has grown to include over 130 affiliated kite centers worldwide and more than 3000 instructors that have gone through their 5-day intensive training workshops. Now IKO is taking their training one step further with the addition of online home study training, a new power kite rating certification, a revamped instructor rating and review system and a fresh new section for regular kiteboarders. These four new programs are currently being implemented and will be live by late spring or early summer. Additionally, IKO can now offer competitive, worldwide, comprehensive insurance to shops and schools including the US and Canada as well as individual rider and instructor coverage. Check out the new website at www.ikointl.com

GK kites podcast #90

SympTomS
1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9.

TreaTmenT

1. Management of pain with over the counter medications. 2. Removal of debris from the external canal. This may be done by gently cleansing the canal with fresh, warm water; never by applying, inserting something or obstructing the canal. 3. Mild infections can often be managed on a first aid basis. After cleaning, gently irrigate the canal with a 2:1 mixture of 70% isopropyl (rubbing) alcohol and acetic acid (vinegar) with a dropper. Use enough to fill the canal, let it drain, and the rest will evaporate. Do not do this if there is considerable pain or concern of a ruptured eardrum. 4. Moderate infections—ones that do not improve with the above regimen or have considerable pain, swelling, fever etc.—should be evaluated by a local healthcare professional. 5. Keep the ear dry during the course of treatment, limiting water activities until symptoms are completely resolved (usually around 5 days).

A fURThER nOTE On SURfER’S EAR: 1. Use Prophylactic ear drops for prevention. 2 Persistent symptoms need to be evaluated and treated by an ear specialist. 3. Wearing a helmet or hood at all times can help curtail Surfers Ear.

prevenTion

1. Do not insert foreign objects such as cotton swabs into the canal. 2. Avoid frequent washing of the ears with soap as this may upset the natural acid/base balance in the ear and predispose it to problems.

Dr. Steve Benaron has practiced Emergency Medicine on the Central Coast of California since 1984. An avid surfer and kiteboarder, Steve and his family of four just discovered snowkiting this year and have been tearing up the hills in Utah and Colorado with their newfound passion.

16 t h eki t e b o a r d e r . c o m

photo silvan Wick

Ear pain – mild, rarely severe Sensation of fullness or fluid in the ear Itching Discharge –clear and odorless, becoming cloudy and foul smelling Decreased hearing Ringing in the ear Lymph node swelling around the ear or in the neck Fever is uncommon, but if present represents a serious problem In severe cases, the whole external ear may be inflamed with redness and swelling down the neck and into the face and jaw.

S u r f e r’ S ea r

Surfer’s ear is a bony abnormality of the external ear canal that causes a gradual narrowing of the canal. Surfer’s ear is common in people with a history of cold water exposure (surfers and swimmers). Water users on the West Coast of the United States often develop these growths in there right ear due to irritation from the typical northerly winds.

photo Nick Bowers

Consumer Reviews

Rideable Wind
and WeatheR
wind luSt. Many of us have felt the pangs. Unfulfilled
wind lust makes us waste time waiting for wind and can compel us to ride in potentially hazardous weather conditions. Hazardous conditions vary according to a rider’s experience, but they can be defined as those conditions with a higher probability of messing up you and your gear. 13 kiters were lost to hazardous weather conditions worldwide in 2007. A man in Denmark was reportedly lofted over 400 feet into a building while both new and experienced kiters were undone by stormy and excessively strong conditions. Wind and weather knowledge is as essential to any kiteboarder as knowing your gear, the wind window, and emergency rescue procedures.
By Rick iossi, Fksa.oRg

Florida

Rick Ios

So, how can you eaSily track the wind and weather to reduce wind waiting?
1. Marine/water and hazard ForecaStS Check forecasts (predicted winds, direction, hazards, temperatures, anticipated changes, cold fronts, tropical or strong systems). Anticipate changes; don’t fall into them. Find out what weather sites are accurate for your area. http://www.nws.noaa.gov/

eg nnual B a

ins

guide ct i o n a l tru
inn

nc t o a d va er

ed

2. radar & Satellite MapS - Are storms (often
bright colored masses), squall lines, or feeder bands inbound? Looping weather images can show trends and speed. http://www.nws.noaa.gov/radar_tab.php http://www.weather.gov/sat_tab.php?image=ir

Rick starte d kiteboarding in 1988 and founde d the Florida Kite surfing Associatio n, In in 2001. An c. (FKA) ea kitemare go rly interested t him in co the weather llecting incident da ta and patterns in appetite to Fl learn more orida whet his about fore great reso casting. A urce for th e industry, worldwide kiteboarde and Florida rs lo to many m agazines an cals, Rick contributes d forums w and has he or lped us all gain better ldwide how we ca in n kite safe r and pres sight into erve access .
www.

Kite Fo rum

si

fksa.org

Be chooSy

It’s that tIme of year agaIn! The season is about to kick off and everyone at The Kiteboarder Magazine put their heads together to improve upon and expand the scope of The Kiteboarder Instructional Guide from last year. Rather than bore you with the same regurgitated newbie beginner information, we enlisted the help of many of the top instructional coaches in the country to share their expertise with you and also added some new sections to ensure The Kiteboarder Instructional Guide is both up-to-date and useful to every level of kiteboarder. With the evolution of equipment over the last few years, we felt it was imperative for a publication to provide current beginner through advanced instructional information that will not only help you improve your riding, but also provide insight into instructional topics that are often left out of guides such as this. Please do not use this information to replace lessons or instructional programs. The Kiteboarder Instructional Guide is designed to supplement your learning process. As always, the best way to learn to kiteboard is to take lessons from a reputable, qualified kiteboarding school and instructor.
By TkB staff and Top instructors from across North america

Many riders think that any wind is good wind, but USEable wind is best for your fun factor and safety. Useable wind matches your experience, gear, riding location, and realistic expectations. If the wind is outside of these parameters, you may have a long swim in, work too hard for too little, or worse, find yourself in conditions you have no idea how handle resulting in a trip to the emergency room or, at the very least, to the kite repair shop. As a general rule, especially if you are a beginner, avoid offshore, onshore or turbulent winds passing over land. Local wind, weather and warning signs vary substantially so your best bet is to get yourself schooled in the basics of weather 101, then ask locals and research for yourself which weather resources provide the most accurate forecasting and real time information for your area. wind is created by the flow of air from high to low pressure. The greater the pressure difference (known as the gradient), the stronger the wind will be. FrontS bring both USEable and UNuseable winds (wind to be avoided). Fronts are marked by hazardous squall lines, dramatic increases in wind, extreme wind shifts, and substantial temperature drops. Cold temperatures bring hazards all on their own. Stronger sustained winds for powered kiting may follow shortly after squall lines and wind shifts. Avoid UNuseable winds (excessively gusty, from the wrong direction) and rig right for USEable winds that may follow. Tracking fronts and squall lines is EASY via the Internet. tropical SySteMS can have powerful embedded squalls with UNuseable gusty and violently shifting winds. Squall-free USEable winds can come with tropical systems but are less common, so be aware.

3. Synoptic/Frontal MapS - These resources help
you determine if significant weather systems are inbound and check for incoming cold fronts, tropical systems, strong high/low pressure gradients and pressure isobars for strong wind. http://www.weather.gov/outlook_tab.php

4. real-tiMe windS - How are winds upweather (the
direction of the prevailing system)? Are gusty and shifty winds inbound? Frequently you can see a preview of what the front will bring to your area hundreds of miles upweather in advance. If unstable weather is coming, avoid it until it passes. http://www.ikitesurf.com/windandwhere.iws?regionID=201
Wind chart, ikitesu rf

s Radar map, NW

5. at the Beach and while riding - Always be
aware of wind speed, direction, sky, and water conditions at launch and during your session. Is the wind useable? Are sky conditions stable or threatening? What do threatening sky conditions look like in your area? You should know. Are dark clouds and/or a wind/whitewater line inbound? Always be aware of your surroundings, the current weather, and temperature changes.

6. it’S alMoSt here! - Land and thoroughly secure
gear early BEFORE significant wind, temperature changes or threatening weather arrives. Systems can move 50+ mph and hit with minimal warning. If caught on the water, consider totally depowering early or engaging your safety systemwaiting too long has taken riders away from us.

learn aBout weather. you’ll Be glad you did!

satellite image, NWs

a shelf cloud in cabarete shows an approaching summer squall related to a tropical depression. Photo Rick iossi

Photo Ryan Riccitelli

38 th eki t e b o a r d e r . c o m

tkb beginner

the Wind WindoW
and Site Selection
the wind window
One of the first concepts you’ll learn about as a beginner is the wind window. The wind window is the area in the sky where your kite can fly. To determine the wind window, stand with your back to the wind and hold your arms out straight to the left and right. The area between your arms and straight overhead is the wind window. The wind window is the quarter sphere of the sky downwind of you. Your kite will generate the least amount of power along the edge of the window (to your sides and straight overhead). All landing and launching should be done at the edge of the wind window. The further downwind in the window you move your kite, the more power it will generate. Where you put your kite in the wind window will determine how it will pull you. If you wish to ride to your left, you will dive your kite downward and to the left. This will generate more power and cause you to travel to the left. Same goes for the right. The direction you dive your kite determines what direction you will end up riding or body dragging (more on that later) in.
By HuNTeR BRoWN, gokiTesuRF.com
a trainer kite is a great way to learn the wind window and can help save you hours of lesson time and money. Photo TkB staff

chooSing the
Right geaR
By Paul laNg, TkB sTaFF

Paul lang
TKB Staff
Paul’s strong background in kiteboarding instruction comes from his years as a sailing and windsports instructor. He is the Assistant Editor at The Kiteboarder, the technical engi neer for our weekly live podcast inter view s and manages the Mission Bay Aqua tic Center in San Diego, CA.

Years ago, it was not difficult to choose what kiteboarding gear you should buy. Back in the “old days,” you went with whatever gear you could get your hands on. Times have changed and the gear has made leaps forward in safety and ease of use. Now, there are so many choices available that it can be overwhelming for a new kiter to pick out their first set of equipment. The best thing you can do to help make this decision it to try as many different kites as possible. For a new kiter, this is easier said than done. An overlooked option is to seek out a school that uses gear from multiple brands so you can get a feel for a few different kites and boards before you are done with your lesson. Ask your instructor lots of questions about the differences between the different kites and boards. Hang out at the beach and talk to the other kiters in your local area about their gear, why they chose it, and how they like it. A simple fact of kiteboarding is that you have to pony up a large initial investment to get the equipment you need to ride. Take the time and do your research to make sure that you will be happy with your investment.

SaFety: You want a kite that has an easy to use quick release and 100% depower system. Make sure to ask about these as not all kites completely depower in an emergency situation. StaBility: A stable kite is easier to learn on. You shouldn’t be worried about terms like boost and hangtime when you are still body dragging. Focus your questions about the performance of a kite around the kite’s stability. relaunch:

Wind window basics

www.

thekiteboarder.com

can’t i juSt Buy uSed to Save Money?
Sure, you can go on eBay and end up with a kite for under $100. Buying used can save you money on the front end but you may pay for it in the long run, so proceed with caution. Find out how old the gear actually is, not just its current condition (you would be amazed at how many “brand new” 5-year-old kites are floating around out there). Ask a more experienced kiter to look at a used set up before you buy. You might think you are getting a great deal, but I have seen countless new kiters show up at the beach with absolute junk that they are convinced they got a good deal on. It’s much better to spend $2500 on new equipment that you will be happy with than $500 on an old and unsafe pile of gear that will make learning to kite much more difficult. In that case, you are not saving $2000, you’re wasting $500. As a beginning kiteboarder, you want the safest and easiest to use equipment available. Unless you have a trustworthy kiteboarding friend who wants to sell you used (but still relatively new) gear, your best bet is to stick with new gear. Consider buying last year’s kite on closeout if you are working within a budget. Once the newest kites come out, the previous models often drop substantially by at least 20-30% off retail.

New kiteboarders crash their kites a lot. If your kite is difficult to relaunch, then all you will do is become a more accomplished swimmer, not a better kiteboarder. A kite that is very easy to relaunch will let you spend less time swimming and more time riding.

how do i pick the right Board?
This is another question that is impossible to give a simple answer for. A lot of people like to over simplify boards by claiming that because a board has a lot of flex it will do this and because it has a deep concave it will do that. All of the different features of a board work together and you cannot look at only one factor to determine how a board will ride. Overlooked aspects of board design that make huge differences include edge shape, flex distribution, fin position, rocker, and outline. In short, you cannot know how a board will ride simply by looking at the bottom. You need to ride it. If you are a beginner, you can easily narrow the possibilities down to a few choices per brand. New kiters should look for a board that they will grow into, in the area of 135 cm to 160 cm, depending on rider weight. Choosing a board that is too small will make it difficult for you to stay on top of the water. Boards that are too large will cause you to become overpowered easily. When learning, stick with a twin tip board until you can ride that with no problem before moving on to smaller boards or directional surf-style boards. The best way to see if a board will work for you is to try it, so ask shops if they have demos you can use.

Site Selection

Choosing where to ride can be one of the most important decisions you make as a kiteboarder. It can determine if you have enough (or too much) wind to ride, how much fun you will have, and most importantly, how safe you will be. By selecting the proper location, you can minimize the risk of hurting yourself or others around you. There are a few key things you must consider when choosing a spot to ride. You must first evaluate what direction the wind is blowing in relation to the beach. You never want to ride at a beach when the wind is blowing offshore (from the land to the water) unless you have some type of boat support or are willing to ditch your gear and swim in. If you do ride in offshore conditions and something goes wrong, you will drift away from land, which is not a good thing. Also, in many circumstances, offshore winds are gusty and not as enjoyable to ride in. The opposite of offshore is onshore winds, where the wind blows from the water to the land. If something goes wrong in onshore winds, your kite could pull you onto the beach and into any solid objects that are on the land. Even very experienced riders should never ride in onshore wind, as a general rule. Ideally, you want to look for beaches with sideshore (wind parallel with the beach) or slightly side-onshore wind conditions. This will allow you to safely leave and return to the beach while minimizing your risk or either being pulled out to sea or onto the land.

Once you know what direction the wind is blowing in relation to the beach, you want to look downwind. If something goes wrong when launching a kite or kiteboarding on the water, you will end up downwind of where you started, sometimes very quickly! If you have an obstacle such as a pier, jetty, rocks, boats, people, or any other hard object in close proximity downwind, you are putting yourself at risk of being pulled into them. By selecting a spot with no obstacles downwind, you will eliminate the possibility of getting pulled into something and lower the chance of serious injury or death. It is important to remember that people on the beach or in the water are obstacles too. You do not want to endanger an innocent beachgoer, swimmer, or surfer by kiteboarding directly upwind of them. Unlike a trash can, people can sue you if you crash into them. Minimize the number of people downwind of you to reduce the chances of hurting someone else. You want to keep in mind that many kiteboarding locations are good for certain wind directions only. It is good to ask your local shop or area riders which spots are best to ride for different wind directions. As a beginner, the best advice for choosing a location is to ask other kiters in your area. Other riders or the local shops can point you to the best locations for developing your skills.

com graphic Flexifoil.

where Should i Buy My gear?
Choosing who to buy your gear from is probably the most important decision you can make in the search for the ideal set up. If you are new to the sport, you will need guidance in choosing the correct gear and the most obvious place to go would be your local kite shop. Ask other kiteboarders where they got their gear and how they felt about the service. Price is not the only consideration here. You want to find a shop that you feel comfortable spending large sums of money at. Look around until you feel you are going to get the service you deserve. If you do not have a local shop, get on the phone and talk to shops in other areas. Don’t buy a kite just because it was on sale on the internet or was the cheapest one you could find. There are a lot of great shops that sell kite gear on the internet, but always talk to someone at the shop before you buy. Service after the sale does matter if you have any questions about how to use your gear, if there are manufacturer modifications, or if you have warranty issues.

what kind oF harneSS Should i Buy?
There are two main harness types: waist and seat. Waist harnesses fit around your waist and have a relatively high hook position. Seat harnesses have leg straps which keep your hook from riding up and have a relatively low hook position. You can also buy a harness that is built into a pair of board shorts. The best way to choose a harness is to go into a shop and try them on. Buy whatever feels comfortable, not what you think looks cool. If you have any problems with your back, you may want to go with a seat harness as they transfer the kite’s pull directly to your legs.

Blowing in

hunter br

the wind

own

Hunter is the ow ner of Gokitesurf.com , with locations in Wi lmington and Writghtsvil le, North Carolina. Hunte r says there’s more to North Carolina than jus Hatteras, and inv t ites you to come the conditions, check out sights and soun ds further south. Hunter off ers gear from many top brands, demos and repair servi ce. He has established him self as a North specialist so if you have any questions abou t North gear, Hunter’s your ma n.
www.

what kind oF kite Should i Buy?
This is an impossible question to give a straight answer to. Truth be told, most new kites that are currently on the market will work fine for a beginner. Some will work better than others, but all new kites are better and safer than any kite that is more than a few years old. For a new kiter, the most important features to look for are:

gokitsurf

.com

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tkb beginner
t h e k i t e boar d e r . com 4 1

MuScle MeMoRy
and Safety SySteMS
The skill you will use The mosT in kiTeboarding
An unknown skill that is not talked about much in kiteboarding is muscle memory. This may well be the skill that you will need the most when dealing with unexpected and potentially dangerous situations. Webster’s dictionary describes muscle memory as “when an active person repeatedly trains movement, often of the same activity, in an effort to stimulate the mind’s adaptation process, the outcome is to induce physiological changes which attain increased levels of accuracy through repetition.” So what does muscle memory have to do with kiteboarding? It helps you to:
By Paul meNTa, THe kiTeHouse
engaging the ha kite flags out and depowers when Paul menta demonstrates how a cabrin The kitehouse primary safety release. Photo courtesy

3 Fly The kiTe (sTeering skills) 3 learn noT To look aT The kiTe (your hands will Tell
you where The kiTe is)

3 relaunch 3 geT on The board 3 ride 3 repeaT Tricks 3 and mosT imporTanTly, know how To acTivaTe your
saFTey sysTem! All kiteboarders will use their safety system for an emergency at some point. For every ten kiteboarders I meet, six have never tried their system or know how to put it back together. Knowing how to activate your safety system and how it reacts is a huge part of kiteboarding. The only way you can have this become a muscle memory is through practice. Put your hand on the system’s release every time you ride and engage your safety at the end of your session when landing your kite to gain repetition. Any time you are on a new system, you need to activate the release while the kite is on the ground and then try it again while it is flying. On the ground, you can see how it operates and also learn how to put it back together. When you activate the release while flying, your memory will now know what to expect when the kite safety system is activated so it’s not a shock to you when you have to engage it for real. It is theorized that anyone learning a new activity or practicing an old one has significant brain activity during this time. So whether you know it or not, your brain is really working when you are doing a new activity. The good thing about all this is when you are in a position where you need to activate your safety system, there is often little to no time for you to think, so your muscle memory takes over to help you activate the release like it’s a natural act. This may not happen quickly enough if you do not practice the skills and understand ouse The KiteH how your system works. Learning and participating in this sport is a lot of fun, but only you can develop muscle memory. Not a bad way to learn something, being outside on the water to develop a skill - things could be worse. Just by reading this instructional topic you have already started the process of muscle memory. Take a look at some of the systems available to see how they work or refer to the kite manufacturer’s guide book or website for more info.

Depower loops (also known as chicken loops) are released by either:

SaFety SySteMS

Video from F-One

Freak Dog/EH

Slingshot

Naish

TKB kite review

n Pulling a release

n Pushing the

n Some systems also

handle to open the depower loop, activating the safety system.

quick release above the depower loop, separating you from the loop and engaging the safety system.

have a release that is a pin which is activated when you pull a handle that opens Velcro to activate the system.

Consumer Reviews

Paul Menta

All kiteboarding bars look the same, but can act very differently from each other. On some, you can let go of the bar and the kite falls to one side or the other completely depowered while still hooked in. This also works the same when you unhook or activate your quick release or depower loop. Fifth line systems have what the name implies: a fifth line. This line normally runs down from your center line to a ring that you connect your leash to. Once the depower loop is released, the system activates and the kites lands leading edge up with no power. Four line systems can also have a metal ring (mini fifth line) on the center line that, when released, lets the bar travel forward and stops the kite’s power. If a bar has connection points on the outside lines (round metal rings), that is generally where you should connect your safety leash. When unhooked, you let go of bar and the bar slides up towards the kite and stops the power, leaving your leash holding the kite with one line. This is called flagging the kite and is very useful for self landing. Some outside lines also have handles connected to the rings. We call these the “OH SH!T” handles. You can grab one of these and release your depower loop so the bar will travel up the kite to flag it, while still holding the handle. Handles are often used for self landing, when your kite crashes in big surf, or for emergency situations. You can see there are many variations to safety and bar systems. Read the manual that comes with your kite and ask your instructor, retailer, or kite manufacturer rep how the system works so you will have a full understanding of all the options you have to make your kiteboarding safer.

Paul is one of the g original kiteboardin s pioneers who wa en living in Maui wh hit kiteboarding first ner its shore. The ow with of The Kitehouse s West, Turks/Caico i, Key locations in Miam was very involved nd Cayman, Paul and Gra fore ster Instructor be with PASA as a Ma op KiteU, on his own to devel he split off this which will launch an online resource ers of all for recreational kit spring/summer rs. levels and instructo
www.

.com thekitehouse

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aSSiSted launching
and landing
By Neil HuTcHiNsoN, Tiki BeacH easT | PHoTos Paul PoRTeR

Neil Hutchinson
Tiki Beach East
Neil was one of North America’s first pro riders and operates out of Fort Lauderdale, Florida. He is largely responsible for pioneering the kiteboarding boarderX com petition format and was one of the lead ers and riders who organized the Florida to Cuba and Florida to Bimini Island crossings. Neil’s talent as an emcee has made him very popular as an event announcer for competition s across the country such as the USW&WO, KB4 C and Kite4Girls.
www.

getting up
on the boaRd
By micHael PeRcy, xl kiTes PHoTos couRTesy xl kiTes

since the beginning of formal instruction, there has been debate over whether you should launch toward or away from the water. my experience is reflected in the instruction which follows but it really depends on many factors including but not limited to obstacles, the width of the launch area and wind strength. How you launch or land is more about assessing the launch/land area, double checking your lines and bridle, and always being one step ahead. ask yourself if all goes wrong for whatever reason, where would i be best positioned?

n When finally ready, give a clear “thumbs up” to your assistant for the launch, at which point your assistant should just let go of your kite. n Bring your kite up slowly and under control along the edge of the window. Always be ready to pull your quick release if there is a problem.

Michael Pe rcy
XL Kites
Michael Percy founded XL Kit es in 1998. Michael was in the first class of kiteboarding instructors to be certified in the US thousands of kit and has taught eboarders. XL Kites now operates shops and traini ng centers in South Padre Island, Ho Dallas and Fort uston, Walton Beach, Florida.
www.

aSSiSted landing oF your kite

n When returning to the beach, give the universal

aSSiSted launch oF your kite
In normal conditions with a large and wide you’re launch site, it is best to launch your kite towards Thumbs up means dy for launch. rea the water using the following steps. n you kite close to the waters edge. Rig n Attach your safety leash. n your kiteboarding knowledgeable Have assistant hold your kite by the center of the leading edge on its side pointing into the wind. Never grab a random person on the beach to launch your kite. n your bar 90º to your kite with slack Walk in the lines. This will place your kite on the edge of the window. n Make sure you bar is the right side up and start to tension your lines. n you have to adjust the angle of you and your kite to the wind to If achieve 90º, you move, not the assistant. n Visually look down your lines for bridle/line tangles or knots, and make sure your lines are connected to the correct sides of the kite. n Just before giving the OK to your assistant, take one last glance around you for obstacles that may have appeared, i.e. bystanders, lifeguards etc.

sign of tapping your head with a flat hand to your knowledgeable assistant. Tapping your head means “Please catch my kite.” n Slowly lower your kite along the edge of the window to your assistant. n When your assistant catches your kite by the leading edge,start walking towards him or her, putting slack in your lines. n Walk to your assistant, take your kite, and secure it.
Tapping your head means help me land.

h board is to not rus up and riding on the ickest way to get actually slow you The qu soon will to do too much too e flying, the process. Trying just to keep the kit g your concentration kite, and in the lon wn. if it takes all do re time with the t ready. get some mo you are no ss more quickly. run you will progre

reparation ta equipMenmakesnd pup and staying up much easier, and you getting you get. . It

tikibeacheast.co m

Get a big board matter how good t ard for light wind no always use a big bo slides in easily but no can gh so that your foot so you can edge footstraps loose enou Set your of your board r heels near the edge tion to too far. You want you don’t have the floata t. Impact vests just recline and relax in perly. Wear a life ves it pro n lets you water. Good floatatio keep your head above r feet. g your board on you the water while gettin

xlkites.com

n

launching and landing tipS

When at a narrow launch or a launch with many obstacles, launch your kite towards the beach with you on the shoreline, or if possible, in the water. edge of your kite should be tight and not flapping. If it is flapping, you are too far downwind. If the kite is trying to knock your assistant over and he or she is having a hard time holding it in place, you are too far upwind. depower strap.

sTeP 1:

n When finding 90º to the wind, with your kite lines tensioned the trailing

n Always launch C-kites unhooked with the kite depowerd via the n Always launch bow kites hooked in and adjust the power by sheeting out

on the bar.

Right of Way RuleS
foR kiteboaRding
By maRTiN kiRk, kiTeBoaRDiNg scHool oF maui | PHoTo couRTesy iko

get the Board on your Feet Keep the kite overhead with one hand on the control bar. With your other hand, put the board in front of you and hold one footstrap while you stick a foot in the other footstrap. With one foot in the board you can control it enough to get the other foot in. With both feet in the straps and both hands back on the bar, you are through the hardest part.

SMoothly get up Bend your knees as much as you can so your rear end stays centered in the middle of the board. Starting with the kite at or near overhead, dive it down through the window. As the kite pulls you up, put your weight on your front foot to point the board downwind. Once up, start to edge to control your speed.

sTeP 4:

it may come as no surprise to learn that kiteboarding is the fastest growing water sport on the globe. To continue this growth spurt and to keep beach access open, each rider must assume responsibility for looking out for other beach and ocean users as well as learn the basic right of way (RoW) rules for sailing. knowing ahead of time how to respond correctly to other kiteboarders, windsurfers, and sailboats as well as where to fly the kite to avoid collisions is absolutely essential. listed below, RoW rules 1-5 are adapted to kiteboarding from international sailing rules (sailing.org), and rules 6-10 have been generally adopted by kiteboarders worldwide. Remember, it is each rider’s own responsibility to Kiteboarding maintain a good lookout at all times. School of Maui

generally adopted kiteBoarding

row ruleS

Martin Kirk

Martin Kirk, a lifelong sailor, began buggy kiting in 1986 and kiteboarding in 1999. Martin co-developed the curriculum that was adopted by PASA kiteboarding, is former president of Hawaii Kiteboarding Association (renamed Maui Kitesurfing Community) and holds a current US Coast Guard Captain license with sailing endorsement for 100 Ton vessels. KSM instructors are all IKO affiliated.

international Sailing row ruleS

applied to kiteBoarding

www.

ksmaui.com

1. Avoid collisions at all costs (if you can’t control the kite well enough to avoid collisions, avoid heavily trafficked areas). 2. If kiters converge and are on opposite tacks, the port tack kiteboard (kite on left side of wind window) must give way to starboard tack kiteboard (kite on right side of wind window). Starboard tack has ROW. 3. If kiters converge and are on the same tack, the upwind kiter must give way to the downwind kiter. Downwind (leeward) kiter has ROW. 4. Kiters passing (overtaking) must give way to kiters being passed. Kiter being passed has ROW. 5. Kiters returning to the beach must give way to kiters leaving beach. Kiter leaving the beach has ROW.

6. Kiters must keep clear of others more restricted in their ability to maneuver. Kiters down in the water, surfers, canoe paddlers, windsurfers, fishermen, and swimmers have ROW. 7. If kiters converge and there is a risk of kites colliding, upwind rider flies kite as high as possible and downwind rider flies kite low. 8. Kiters heading out or jumping the wave must give way to kiters surfing the wave. Kiter on the wave has ROW (this rule is opposite of windsurfing ROW rule). 9. Kiters heading out have right of way over a kiters surfing a shorebreak wave but a prudent rider waits for the kiter on a wave close to shore to clear before going out. Kiter going out in shore break has ROW. 10. Kiters jumping must yield to all other kiters. Remember to keep a two line length downwind buffer zone to avoid putting others at risk.
When passing on opposite tacks, upwind kiter keeps the kite high while downwind kiter keeps the kite low.

keep the Board in Front oF you aS you driFt with your kite overhead. Bend your knees a lot so you are close to your board and centered over it. If you start to get pulled around to one side, shift your weight and angle the board to bring it back in front of you. If you get pulled around to where you are no longer facing the kite, immediately kick out of your board and roll over onto your belly so you are facing the kite again.

sTeP 2:

sTeP 5:

keep going! Sweep the kite up and down as needed until you are up to speed. When you have enough power, park the kite - leave it in one position without flying it up and down. Then control your power by pulling the bar in or letting it out, and control your speed by edging your board.

sTeP 3:

check how Much power you need Move the kite to the edge of the window. Fly the kite very gently up and down along the edge. The kite will gently pull and lift you as you fly it up and down. This will tell you how much harder you will need to work the kite to get up on the board.

how to water start

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hoW to body dRag
upWind
By VaDim PoloNsky, gReeN HaT kiTeBoaRDiNg
Photo Dallas mcmahon

Riding upWind
By cHRis mooRe, kiTTy HaWk kiTes

Whether you’re a beginner just learning to get up on the board or a pro mastering the latest trick, body dragging upwind should be second nature for every kiteboarder. This essential fundamental skill is very simple and is something you should learn early on.

Kitty H moore awk Kit es

chris

every kiteboarder remembers that day they rode back to the beach and came ashore at the same place they launched. it’s also what every beginning kiteboarder pines for; an end to the non-stop walks of shame. once you can ride upwind, you have reached kiteboarding nirvana as this means kiteboarding self-sufficiency, no more walking upwind, and no more exit plans on how you are going to get back to your car!

reaSonS to learn to Body drag upwind

3 to quickly get Back to your Board 3 to get Back to the Beach when you are not aBle
to ride Back (the wind iS too light to get on plane, your Board iS Broken or loSt, you’re trying to reScue another kiteBoarder, etc.)

here are Few tipS to get you riding upwind FaSter
Start with a SMaller kite and Bigger Board
Look at what others are riding and try to go one kite size smaller with a larger board. This will help you to understand what is going on with the kite and board placement because your board won’t sink quickly and you won’t get dragged around to the point of exhaustion. With the larger kiteboard and smaller kite, practice your riding so that you can reach a point of consistent speed, i.e. not too slow and not too fast. This may require that you initially take a downwind direction to build up speed and then slowly change your path to a more upwind reach. Try not to slow down so that you stop completely as this will cause you to lose valuable upwind ground.

clinton Bolton shows perfect form as he rides upwind to set up his next move. Photo: Ryan Riccite lli

Chris’ pass ion for the spor t and his ge nuine personal in terests in his stud ents shines thro ugh as man instructor of one of th ager and lead e nation’s kiteboarding largest centers. Ki tty Hawk’s waterfront locations ar e located in Outer Bank the s of North Carolina w can take ad here vantage of some incred you conditions for learning ible .
www.

BaSicS oF Body dragging upwind
Body poSition
n Lay on your side in the water n Extend your lower arm (your “fin”) and point it upwind

How to body drag

kittyh awk.com

How to ride upwind

y olonsk Vadim P

Body dragging upwind is simple; however, there are a few tricks which can make learning it even easier. kite Flying n First, learn to control your kite with one hand without looking at it. Practice this on an empty n Fly the kite one handed using your upper hand beach in knee to waist deep water if possible. n Keep your control hand close to the center of the bar; try not to put too much pressure on n Keep the kite stable and low in the window that side to avoid steering the kite in the opposite direction. You can also put your thumb over the center of the bar to help keep the kite stable. getting to your deStination n When body dragging, straighten out your body and open up your shoulders. Keep your body n Tack upwind by switching the kite and your body position back on its side, perpendicular to the water surface – the idea is to create the maximum size and forth from one side of the wind window to the other. Before fin with your body. you switch directions, go further than you think you need to. n Keep your “fin” hand open, parallel to and just below the surface of the water. Keep your fingers close together. n When extending your “fin” arm, point it towards your kite and about 20º upwind. Once you get a little speed, you can point it more upwind (up to about 40º). Make sure to keep your body in a straight line and aligned with your “fin” arm. n Fly the kite low. If you fly it too high, you will be more likely to be pulled downwind by the kite. n If you get good at flying the kite one handed, you can try making small figure 8s with the kite to increase the power. Make sure to keep the kite low. n Hat Gree ing n Do not try to look at your destination (board, beach, etc.) all the time, only glance at it when you switch tacks. eboard Kit n Time your tacks. You get dragged a bit downwind with each tack – longer tacks will get you upwind faster. However, make coVadim is a sure not to go too far or you can lose sight of your board. r and PASA founde n If you have your board with you, you can use it to body drag upwind more efficiently. Just grab the handle or a foot strap with structor certified in your “fin” hand and make it an extension of your body. t at Green Ha in New n Look at your feet to avoid swallowing a lot of water. Once every few seconds, hold your breath and look in front of you to make Kiteboarding nwide tio sure nothing is in your path (other kiteboarders, boats, reef, etc.). Jersey. A na arding n If approaching a breaking wave, power up your kite (bring the bar closer to you), keep it low and stable and dive into the wave g in kitebo in r specializ at assisted retaile to avoid being caught in the break. ring bo school offe lved in gear and a s been invo ul lesson s, Vadim ha Photo Ryan Riccitelli lesson successf Green Hat’s l demos, and designing loca ganizing te. exposed reef or harsh is that program, or ny’s websi Another side effect of using a board leash the compa onshore shorebreak. working on dragging upwind.

tipS

Body poSitioning: look upwind
Once you can ride at a consistent speed, it is time to work on your body positioning to go upwind. Look upwind and find an object on the horizon that is over your lead shoulder. As your head turns upwind, your shoulders will naturally follow. This will in turn start rotating your hips and direct the board upwind. It is critical that you are trying to steer the kiteboard upwind, not just edge the board upwind. Realize that you can direct the board upwind by rotating your hips and this is independent of edging or digging your heels into the board. A common mistake is to ride with too much power and try to edge upwind. Edging can cause you to lose kite power as you apply a braking or plowing motion with the board.

open your Body and drop your lead hand
The next step is to drop your lead hand so you can really rotate your shoulders upwind. This helps to turn the kiteboard upwind, plus it is fun! Go ahead and drag a hand in the water. Be sure you move the other hand more to the center of the control bar to avoid losing control over the kite’s movements or accidentally steering it off course.

at greenh g.com rdin kiteboa
www.

Board leaSheS

ing how to It’s not uncommon for some to skip learn upwind and replace this necessary step body drag cut as it’s with a board leash. Watch out for this short ling as it may seem. A board dragging not as appea which will behind you is likely to dig into the water, of tension on the leash. Once this energy create a lot ds you with is released, the board will slingshot towar This could be very dangerous. full force.

you will never practice body a situation Sooner or later you will definitely get in n leash, (not enough wind to get on a plane, broke that will require this skill and your rescue, etc.) board leash will not help.

a board There are some rare situations where t make sense. For example, areas with leash migh strong a combination of high boat traffic and might make it dangerous to be body currents ase the dragging and a board leash would decre t in the water, or wave spots where time spen to an a lost board means a broken one due

If you must use a leash, go with a retractable reel leash or consider OR’s GO-Joe which attaches to your board and helps to accelerate it back downwind to you when you lose it. If you use leash, you absolutely must wear a helmet.

kite poSition
Your kite should be positioned on the edge of the wind window about 45º-60º above the water. This helps to give you a bit of lift from the kite and you don’t need to edge too hard because you aren’t over powered and you have a slightly larger board.

leg poSitioning
Try bending your back leg so as to put your knee into the back of your lead leg’s knee. This movement will help control the amount of pressure on the board. A tiny bit more pressure on your lead leg will give a little more speed. A tiny bit more pressure on your back leg will slow you down.

Practice makes Perfect and you should slowly ease into more and
more kite power. As you get comfortable riding upwind, you will be able to stay upwind in more powered conditions and will be ready to move towards a smaller board and larger kite.

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hoW to tune
youR geaR
By jeFF HoWaRD, PRokiTesuRF

Launching SLE Kites

jeff How ProKit ard
eSurf
Jeff has been involved in all design aspects of kiteboardi ng and accessories since the early 90’s, and many of his ideas and techniques ha used by indu ve been stry manufac turers in som way or other. e Remember Ai ru strap in the early days? Th sh’s great trim at was Jeff’s design. In 20 00, Jeff star ted Prokitesu Corpus Chris rf in ti, Texas, whi ch is also on the oldest an e of d most expe rienced kite centers in th repair e country. He is also involve with Crazy Fl d y boards.
www.

Self launching
and landing
By scoTT guy, mac kiTeBoaRDiNg | PHoTos couRTesy Paul meNTa

The first step in getting a good reference point regarding where to start adjusting your system correctly is to follow the manufacturer’s recommendations in your owner’s manual. These days, most designers work very hard to make it much easier for the customer to have a system and kite ready to fly right out of the bag. With that said, there are still many systems out there that will need adjustments to get to their optimal flying positions. if for some reason you do not have the manual or it doesn’t describe tuning very well, i would recommend that you start with the middle knots when attaching your lines to the kite. With your kite connected and your leash attached, you’re ready to get the kite in the air. These steps will be much easier with someone assisting you, so grab a friend or riding buddy for some help. With your kite ready to launch and your assistant holding your kite, the first step is to make sure to position yourself to where your kite is near the edge of the window. Pull your bar in and out. As you pull the bar completely in you should have some amount of tension being pulled on the back lines, if they remain slack with the bar in, you will need to adjust the back lines closer to the kite one knot at a time till you have at least some amount of tension to the rear of the kite. With this done, you’re ready to get your kite in the air for the next step. On most SLE, hybrid, and bow kites, there is plenty of travel for the bar in the out position to completely depower the kite, so the out position of the bar is pretty much already set.

where and when to adjust, you will find yourself in most cases doing this adjustment maybe only a few times during your whole riding session. I personally can take one run, adjust to where I want the sheeting set and never touch it again for a whole riding session. Adjusting and setting up your system isn’t hard, it’s just knowing where and when you need to adjust everything. Take your time and understand how your system works and what does what because the worst thing is not knowing what to do when you want to change things.

self launching or landing should only be attempted as a last resort. When done correctly in perfect conditions, it can be very safe and effective. However, there are many things that can go wrong, especially in high winds. you should practice these methods during light winds and with an experienced assistant prior to attempting them on your own. Be sure to allow 200 feet of open space downwind of you.

SelF launching a Bow kite
sTeP 1. Firmly secure your
chicken loop on the beach or to an object that will solidly hold it. The key here is to make sure the chicken loop is firmly secured!

SelF launching a c/Sle kite
sTeP 1. Place the kite flagged out on its back
near the waters edge. Fold the upwind wing tip over and place enough sand on the folded wingtip to hold the kite down. For some SLE kites with the more swept back wingtips, you may want to place a little more sand on the inside of the kite before you fold over the tip.

sTeP 2. Walk your kite to the

c-kite tuning tipS

prokite surf.com

correct poSitioning and riding SettingS:

With the kite directly overhead, sheet the bar in and watch the wingtips. If they flare out, your kite is oversheeted and you need to either lengthen your back lines or shorten your front lines. At full power, you want the wingtips to be parallel, but on the verge of flaring out. This is the reference point for trimming a C-kite, and from this point you depower the kite by lengthening the back lines. If your kite has a fifth line, it should generally be snug, with a small amount of slack when the bar is sheeted all the way in.

edge of the wind window and put the kite in the launch position. Let go of the kite, and walk upwind to the opposite side of the wind window facing your kite, keeping an eye on your kite at all times to make sure it doesn’t power up.

sTeP 2. Making sure the lines are clear from not tuned
snagging on the kite’s struts and bridles (sand them to the ground if needed), pick up your bar and position yourself so the kite is at the edge of the wind window. Slowly walk backwards into the wind so the far wingtip lifts and begins to fill with air. Positioning is very important at this point. If the kite is diving forward you are to far upwind of the kite. If the kite is falling backwards you are to far downwind. A few steps either way should correct this.

sTeP 3. Hook into your chicken loop without touching the bar or
any lines.

sTeP 4. When you are ready to launch, grab the bar and slowly
sheet in to give tension to the lines and kites.

tuned

sTeP 5. When the kite gets tension and is open, you are ready to go.

After many years of teaching and helping people adjust their systems for optimal riding, there is still only one main point I see all the time that can change your riding style and that is shoulder position relative to your hips during riding. When riding along in slightly gusty or in normal conditions, take notice of where your shoulders are relative to your hips. Other than in major gusty conditions, your shoulders should never come in front of your hips! Your upper body is what gives you control over your board’s edge as well as advantage over the kite’s power. Keep this in mind at all times during riding, as this will tell you when you need to adjust your sheeting system to give you the best overall riding position. So now knowing where your body position should be, let’s move on to how to keep this positioning correct using your bar setup. On all setups you will find a sheeting system, either the below the bar chicken-loop cleat system or the above the bar strap or cleat system. They all do the same thing, which is to adjust where along the line the bar causes the kite to be powered or depowered. I have found that some of the above the bar systems can be very hard to reach for anyone with normal to short arms, so when choosing a kite system make sure to take note, because when you do need to make adjustments you will find that your body positioning will be shoulders in front of your hips, which is the area we are trying to avoid. While riding, notice where your shoulders are and move your bar in and out using your aRms oNly. If you find at anytime your shoulders moving too far forward to get the depower you are after, trim in on your sheeting system so that now when the bar is in that same position your shoulders are in line with your hips. If you find you’re holding your bar all the way in against the chicken loop to get the power you want, trim the line out. If your bar is all the way out and still seems to want more power, you will need to bring your kite down and take those back lines again one knot at a time closer to the kite. Once you figure out how to use the system correctly and

Bow kite tuning tipS

Launch the kite as you would in an assisted launch. This method also works for some SLE or hybrid kites that have total depower when the bar is fully extended. Don’t guess: ask your local dealer, shop, or rider. When in doubt, don’t use this method!

Bow kite tuning is basically the same as tuning your C-kite, except that you do not have the visual clue of the wingtip flare to guide you. Fly the kite up to 12:00 and slowly sheet the kite in. Your kite should remain stable with your bar sheeted all the way in. If your kite begins to stall backwards, your kite is oversheeted and you need to lengthen your back lines. If your kite doesn’t seem to produce the power it should and turns slowly, your kite is undersheeted and you need to shorten your back lines.

not tuned

sTeP 3. After positioning yourself correctly, step
backwards to tension your lines. Gently but firmly tug on the bar to release the sand and slowly launch the kite like you would for an assisted launch.

SelF landing a Bow kite
sTeP 1. While on land, bring the kite to the edge
of the wind window near the waters edge and push the bar away. At this point the kite should be resting on the surface of the water at the edge of the window.

tuned

SelF landing a c-kite
sTeP 1. To safely self land a C-kite, it must be
equipped with a fifth line. If your kite does not have one, you should have it modified at your local repair shop. While you are on the beach, bring the kite to the edge of the wind window near the waters edge and unhook from the chicken loop.

sTeP 2. While keeping downward pressure, grab the

Sle/hyBrid tuning tipS

Hybrid kites lie somewhere between C-kites and bows, so the tuning is a combination of the two. Fly the kite at 12:00 and sheet the kite in. Depending on what specific kite you are flying, you may be looking for visual clues like wingtip flare or you may need to look for the kite to become unstable and fly backwards or both. If tuned you are having trouble tuning your hybrid kite, er or local shop to help you as every hybrid contact your manufactur is a little different.

not tuned

top front line and walk toward the kite using the hand over hand method. Never wrap the lines around your hand or bar as this can be very dangerous. Upon reaching the kite, place the leading edge down and secure the kite.

sTeP 2. Hold the fifth line and let go of the bar. Keep
tension on the fifth line by reaching hand over hand as you walk to the kite. Upon reaching the kite, place the leading edge down and secure the kite.

Drift Launching

Bar tuning tipS

On most kites, all lines should be exactly the same length when under tension. All new kites come with pre-stretched lines, but after a few sessions, your lines will stretch a little and need to be adjusted and tuned. here are a Few tipS that Should help you trouBleShoot: all n Kite is flying more to one side or the other when the bar is sheeted the way in. proBleM: one outside line is longer than the other. out. n Kite is flying more to one side or the other when the bar is sheeted proBleM: one front line is longer than the other.
n Kite tends to stall, crumple and fall when flying.

DRiFT lauNcHiNg a BoW kiTe
sTeP 1. Set up your kite on the beach and lay out and attach the lines. Double
check your setup and hook into the chicken loop to ensure that the lines do not get tangled. Do not engage the bar.

Photo Ryan Riccitelli

sTeP 2. Carry the kite by the leading edge to the water and place it leading edge down in the same manner that it would rest on the beach. The wind will begin to push the kite downwind. sTeP 3. Walk or swim away from the kite so it stays on the edge of the window.
As the lines tension, the kite will spin and be ready to water launch.
Drift launches and self launching/landing can be extremely dangerous. All are sometimes a necessity. Do so at your own risk.

proBleM: your front lines are too long or your back lines are too short. These can be adjusted on the go by engaging the depower strap, therefore shortening the front lines.

Scott Guy is IKO certified and is the head instruct or and kiteboarding manager at Mac Kitebo ardi the Midwest’s ng, fir and one of th st kiteboarding e largest schools/shop s in the Grea Lakes area. t Teac spring and su hing water lessons in th e mmer and sn owkiting in th winter, the sh e op and lesson s are offered year round. M ac Kiteboardi ng also host annual King s the of the Great Lake and will add a demo of 20 s competition 09 gear to th event this ye eir ar.
www.

mac kitet guy boardin

scot

g

tkb beginner
4 8 t h eki t e b o a r d e r . c o m

Launching Bow Kites

tkb intermediate
t h e k i t e boar d e r . com 4 9

mackiteb oarding .com

the baSicS
of juMping
By ToNia FaRmaN, WomeN’s kiTeBoaRDiNg associaTioN
getting your jumps down Photo courtesy F-one is essential to progressing to more difficult moves.

Podcast #108 with Carafino kiteboarding

There are two fundamental methods to jump in kiteboarding: load and pop and sending the kite. Both types of jumps can be executed once you can confidently ride upwind. you will lose upwind ground once you start jumping, so make sure you can ride upwind to get back to where you started.

Consumer Reviews

Sending the kite

This is the easier of the two jumping methods and the one used most often when you see kiteboarders gliding through the air. In this method, you are using the power of the kite as you “send it” or fly it across the top of the wind window to generate lift. The speed at which you send the kite, combined with your ability to hold your edge on the board before liftoff will affect the height and distance of the jump.

tonia Women’s farman Kit
e

b Associat oarding ion

How to jump

sTeP 1. Ride controlled and moderately fast. Bring the
kite up to 11 am (or 1pm if on opposite tack). sTeP 2. Edge hard on your heelside, then use your back hand to pull on the bar, quickly steering the kite up to 12 pm (or 11am if opposite tack). When you feel the kite pulling you up, release your heelside edge and pull your legs up for extra momentum and height. sTeP 3. As you take off, almost immediately pull on your front hand to bring the kite overhead. You want it back near 11 am (or 1pm if opposite tack) on approach for your landing. sTeP 4. Spot your landing, turn your board to point downwind, and ride away toward your kite.

coMMon proBleMS and how to Fix theM
3 Not getting any lift out of the water
1. Increase your board speed. 2. Send your kite more aggressively across the top
of the window.

Tonia Farman is an avid rider, ad vocate and promoter for kiteboardi ng. She heads up the Women’s Kite boarding Association, leading group kite cli lessons thro nics and ughout North America to ge more women t into the spor t. Sh Kiteboarding 4 Cancer, teac e also runs hes private kiteboarding lessons in he r home region the Gorge an of d rides for Li quid Force.
www.wo me

3. Edge your board harder and release it when you
send the kite.

nskitebo arding.co m

3 i crash like a bomb from the sky and

sometimes my kite even falls out of the sky as you jump to bring the kite back to the top of the window for a smooth landing.
sequence photos: gregg gnecco

1. Increase front hand pressure on the bar as soon

2. You may be sending the kite too hard.
Send the kite across the top of the window less aggressively.

Hoe to Load and Pop

load and pop

This method of jumping, often used for wakestyle moves, uses the release of the load of your board on edge against consistent tension of the kite to pop you off the water. These jumps are fast, require quicker rider response, and are generally lower to the water.

sTeP 3. Progressively edge your board, carving into
the wind and building tension in your lines.

coMMon proBleMS and how to Fix theM 3 Not getting any pop
1. Increase your speed. 2. Edge more aggressively and stomp that

sTeP 4. Once you are at maximum load of kite

sTeP 1. Start by flying the kite low, 45º above
the the water. Your kite will remain in the same position for the entire jump. sTeP 2. Bear off your edge, heading downwind slightly to increase your speed.

tkb intermediate
50 th eki t e b o a r d e r . c o m

tension against board tension, quickly push backfoot harder prior to edge release. down on your back foot and use all that tension to release your edge for the pop. 3 i butt-check or crash forward on my landing Lifting your front leg will help. 1. Make sure your board is pointed downwind sTeP 5. Spot your landing by turning your board to on landing. Landing with the board sideways or on edge to the wind creates tension that point downwind, and ride away toward prevents you from landing smooth. your kite.
t h e k i t e boar d e r . com 5 1

youR fiRSt RollS
By sTePHeN BaRTRam, juPiTeR kiTeBoaRDiNg

Back rolls and front rolls will bring some excitement and game to your usual repertoire. The back roll and front roll can be done with your kite parked at 45º. since you don’t need to send the kite as you would for a boosted jump, you’ll need to approach both tricks with a decent amount of speed and pop. This is going to require you to use your legs to push off the water hard for the pop in order to get the height needed for each kind of rotation. With either move, you want to really focus on using your head to initiate the rotation and generate the momentum for the rest of your body to follow. if you’re unsure about which one to try, the back roll is a good starting point, because the rotation feels more natural.

stephen bartram
jupiter kiteboarding
Stephen is originally from Chicago and works for Jupiter Kiteboarding, organizers of the annual Jupiter Kite Invasion in Florida every year. A PASA certified instructor, he has been kiting for 7 years, rides Cabrinha and loves freestyle kiteboarding and strapless kitesurfing. His goals are to stay positive and participate in more comps this year.

how to do a Front roll
sTeP 1.

kite at 60º. The higher kite Come in with good speed and hold your requires a get your timing down since the front roll position will help you little more commitment. edge hard for the pop. Really push Bear off your edge to build speed, then the end for forward momentum. off with your back foot at lead shoulder forward to help bring Concentrate on throwing your head and and more parallel with the water. your body up d your back shoulder while Maintain the rotation by looking hard aroun tucking your shoulders forward. your knees in to speed Keep your arms in nice and tight. Bring rotation if necessary. Spot your landing when you see the wate Absorb the impact and wave to everyone r come into view. on the beach. up the

sTeP 2. sTeP 3. sTeP 4. sTeP 5. sTeP 6. sTeP 7.

how to do a Back roll
sTeP 1.
Find a smooth patch of water and come in with good speed (flat water is ideal for learning, but waves and chop can add a new element to the maneuver for you to get creative).

sTeP 4. As you leave the water, look hard over your lead shoulder

towards the sky. Use your head and upper body for torque and bring your board up off the water in an arc.

sTeP 5. Keep looking over your front shoulder until your see the water sTeP 6. Bend your knees and absorb the landing. sTeP 7. Ride away clean.

.com www.jupiterkiteboarding

sTeP 2. Park your kite 45º off the water and flatten your board,

again. Spot your landing by looking at where you want to land.

bearing off slightly downwind to build speed (gripping the middle of the bar with both hands helps prevent the kite from steering during the trick).

sTeP 3. Load and pop by resetting your heelside edge quickly building
up tension in your kite lines and pushing off hard with your back foot.

Back Roll Instructional

Rider: shannon Best | sequence photo: gavin Butler

Blade kites sequence photo: jeff Pfeffer

tipS:

if you’re not getting enough height or are crashing a lot, try to: n Pop harder to get more height. n Bring your knees to your chest after you leave the water to speed up the rotation. n Park the kite slightly higher at roughly 60º, but try to do the roll with the kite lower once you gain confidence. n Rotate harder with your head and shoulders. n Visualize and go for it. Don’t chicken out.

tipS:
n

n n

the pop to get your Push off harder with your back foot during body spinning forward. der a little Look up higher and around your back shoul with the back roll. more aggressively than and shoulders Fully commit to the move. Keep your head until you spot your landing. thrown forward

52 th eki t e b o a r d e r . c o m

tkb intermediate
t h e k i t e boar d e r . com 5 3

hoW to unhook
By kuRT milleR, TkB sTaFF

at first, unhooking from your kite defies all logic as a kiteboarder. When riding unhooked, the kite is at maximum power with no ability to depower. sounds like a situation to avoid! even so, unhooking is the gateway drug to more advanced maneuvers. Without going unhooked, a kiteboarder will miss the pure adrenalin rush of feeling the kite’s power directly through the arms. This rush, however, is not without consequence; if you are not prepared to crash your kite or experience a bit of pain, do not unhook. additionally, it is unwise to unhook if you have shoulder problems.

kurt mil ler tkb
staff
jesse Richman shows perfect form in this unhooked grab. Photo: kim kern

riding unhooked

The first thing to check before you even think about unhooking is that you have plenty of room downwind. Unhooking will inevitably take you downwind a great distance (at the beginning anyway), so if there are objects or other kiters nearby, do not attempt any unhooked maneuvers. The second thing to check is the sheeting of your kite. Maximum power should be with the bar pulled all the way to the chicken loop. Oversheeted kites do weird things, particularly when unhooked. You can cure this by trimming the kite with your depower strap a little. Once your bar is tuned correctly and you have ample space, ride downwind to slacken your lines, pull out your donkey stick, and unhook by pulling in and down on the bar. Immediately you will feel out of control due to the lack of depower, but this is OK. That feeling will go away once you have done it a few times. The best way to learn how to control the power of the kite when unhooked is to ride downwind with your hands centered on the bar. Once riding you will notice how it is easy to control your speed when allowing yourself to head downwind. If you try to ride upwind while unhooked, I can guarantee that you will end up skipping across the water. There are two main methods for hooking back in:

Kurt Miller is currently a se nior at the Unive rsity of California, Sa nta Barbara. He is cofounder and president of the kitebo club at UCSB arding and an instru ctor for Kite Wind Surf in Alameda. Ku rt has roots the San Dieg in o surfing sc ene and beca kiter severa me a l years ago to complemen addiction to t his watersports .
www.

thekiteb oarder.c om

lessons all year long. Kite Rental :: Retail Sales

Kitesurf in Paradise...

(808) 242-8015
mauikiteboardinglessons.com

sTeP 1.
sTeP 2.

Ride downwind, slacken your lines, pull your bar into your body, and slide the chicken loop up into the harness hook. You can also hook in using the depower of your SLE kite by grabbing the chicken loop with one hand, letting go of the bar, and sliding the chicken loop around your harness. Be very careful to not pinch your fingers in your harness hook if you do it this way. Once hooked back in, rinse and repeat.

Podvast #107 with Paul Menta

the raley

After you get the hang of riding unhooked and hooking back in, it is time to add a raley to your trick repertoire. The raley is the most basic unhooked maneuver because it involves no spins or handle passes. Raleys provide an important foundation for more advanced tricks (such as S-bends). To initiate the raley:

Rider: kristin Boese

| Photo: gavin Butler

sTeP 1. sTeP 2.

Ride downwind with the kite low in the sky and unhook. After unhooking, point upwind, build up some speed, and load up the edge of your board. You should be able to pop off the water using the tension created by edging your board against the power of the kite. Remember to keep your hands centered and your kite lower in the wind window. This prevents you from sending the kite and dangling in the air. sTeP 3. Once in the sky, throw your legs up and away from the kite. It’s not a real raley unless you get the board over your head. sTeP 4. After fully extending, bring your legs back underneath you by crunching your stomach and pulling in on the bar. sTeP 5. Stick your landing and ride away stoked.

Raley Instructional

tkb intermediate

t h e k i t e boar d e r . com 5 5

baSic gRabS
By maRk Doyle, PRo kiTeBoaRDeR iNsTRucToR | PHoTos kim keRN

Riding in the SuRf
By Paul laNg, TkB sTaFF

grabs are a fun way to express yourself and add style to both basic and more complex moves. The trick is to hold the grab for as long as you can before landing and riding away smoothly. i’ve outlined 11 basic grabs that will get your started. once you’ve got them down, adding rolls, rotations, bending or twisting at your waist or boning out (extending) one leg will add some more style points to your bag of tricks.

tindy: Bend your legs up and reach with your back hand to grab the toe side rail behind your back foot (this grab is the easiest to reach and therefore is not legitimate in professional kiteboarding). tail:
Bend your legs up and reach with your back hand to grab the tail of the board (you can bone it out by straightening your front leg; back leg must be bent in order to reach the board).

indy: Bend your legs up and

reach with your back hand to grab the toe side rail between your feet (you can bone this grab out by straightening your legs or tweak it by rotating half way into a front roll, stopping and reverting back. This is known as an Indy Glide).

Mute: Bend your legs

How to Grab Crail

Now that you have your basics dialed in, it’s time to head for the surf. Before you venture into the waves, you should be very comfortable riding in flat water and have your transitions dialed. if you have never been in the surf before, it would be very beneficial to try paddle surfing, body boarding or even ocean swimming first to get a feel for the waves. Be prepared to pay your dues in the ocean and start with small waves. Remember, you never want to go out and kite in surf that you would not feel comfortable swimming in.

amy Naff hits a section off the coast of

california. Photo Peter Trow

up and reach with your front hand to grab the toe side rail between your feet (a back roll with this grab can help open your body up and makes a very stylish but simple move).

crail: Bend your legs up and reach with your back hand to grab the toe side rail forward of your front foot (you can bone this grab out by straightening your back leg). SloB:
Bend your legs up and reach with your front hand to grab the toe side rail forward of your front foot (you can also bone this one out by straightening your back leg; a back roll rotation also works well with this grab).

what Board Should i ride?

Direction of Travel

Tindy Tail Lein
L

Indy

Mute

Crail

Don’t worry about getting a directional board for the waves yet. For beginning waveriding, a twin tip works fine, but go ahead and use a directional if you already have one. If you are riding a directional, please do everyone (including yourself) a favor and learn how to jibe at your flat water spot first. A twin tip will let you build skills, ocean awareness, and confidence without having to learn to jibe at the same time. As your skills build, you will definitely want to transition to a directional, but you will learn more quickly if you stick to your twin for the first few ocean sessions. Whatever board you ride, do not use a board leash as a general rule. Board leashes in the waves can be even more dangerous than in flat water. (make sure you change that to than)

Slob Nose

noSe: Bend your legs up

what conditionS are good For BeginnerS?

Stale sh
L

Melon
R

Method
R

lein: Bend your legs up and

reach with your back hand to grab the heel side of your board behind your back foot (you can bone this grab out by extending your back leg).

and reach with your front hand to grab the nose of your board (like the crail and slob grab, you can bone it out by straightening your back leg; both back or front rolls also look good with this grab).

With waveriding, you want to start small. Look for side to side-on wind conditions and knee-high surf. Knee-high waves have enough size to be fun to play on, but are small enough so that you are not going to take a big pounding every time you fall down. With kite selection, choose a kite that will leave you a little underpowered instead of overpowered.

Ben Wilson Tips

Podcast with Ben Wilson

how do i get out?

StaleFiSh: Bend your

In Traveling t Pro Rider Slingsho

oyle mark dstructor -

legs up and reach with your back hand to grab the heel side of your board between your legs (similar to the Melon but this grab is a little more difficult and can look very good if you arch your back).

Melon:

Bend your legs up and reach with your front hand to grab the heel side of your board between your legs (this grab is a little harder to reach and can be very stylish if you arch your back, which enables you to reach the board better anyway).

Method:

Bend your legs up and reach with your front hand to grab the heel side of your board forward of your front foot (you can tweak this grab out by extending your back leg and make it stylish by adding a front or back rotation).

Mark Doyle has nal been a professio kiteboarder for is eight years and in currently living and, South Padre Isl xas, managing Te also offers st location. He ar XL Kites’ newe oughout the ye riding clinics thr advanced and abroad. egon, California in Texas, Or over 100 ready to release Mark is getting progress eos to help you instructional vid your riding.

tipS:
n

Don’t rush yourself. Walk into knee-deep water and put your board on. Dive the kite and start riding towards the waves. The waves nearest the beach are smallest and the easiest way to get over small whitewash is to edge upwind and bend your knees just before you reach the wave. In knee-high surf, edging and bending your knees is the only technique you need to get to the outside. In larger surf, you will need to edge before you reach the wave and pop off the tail of your board to jump over the wave. You don’t have to actually clear the wave – your goal is to be very light on your feet as you ride over the whitewash. Bend your knees, keep your kite at 45º, and keep your speed up so you are ready for the next one. If you are approaching a wave that you don’t think you can get over, no problem. Just turn back towards the beach and try again.

Mark Shinn Wave riding 101

how do i ride the waveS?

n

Load and Pop off the water first before you let go and start to reach for the grab (if you let go of the bar too early, your one arm that is holding the bar will get too much load and your other arm will not be able to reach the grab). If you find that you are not able to reach the grab, try bending both legs up to bring the board closer to your body.

what aBout SurF etiquette?

There is one rule that you must follow in the surf: do not interfere with another person’s wave. If another kiteboarder, surfer, or windsurfer is on a wave, give them room to enjoy it and don’t get in the way; launch upwind or downwind of the main peak and stay outside of the waves unless you are riding one. Give surfers the respect they deserve and never jump near them or spray them, even on accident.

As a beginner, you want to start working on timing your turns with the waves. Start from near the beach and ride towards the waves. As you approach a wave that is about to break, start to swing your kite towards the beach and jibe on the face of the wave. Your goal is to do your turn on the face of the wave and be heading back towards the beach with good board speed. You can do either a frontside or backside turn. Just do what feels comfortable at first. It’s going to take a lot of turns to get the timing down, so get out there and practice, practice, practice.

yle www.do

ing.com kiteboard

56 thekiteboarder.com o m th eki t e b o a r d e r . c

tkb intermediate
t h ethekiteboarder.com 5 7 k i t e boar d e r . com 57

ARUBA

BAJA

MAUI

LOS ROQUES COCHE

CABARETE

JERICOACOARA SAN CARLOS

Setting an exaMple
By Rick iossi, Fka.oRg

Positive role models possess qualities that motivate us to improve. We look to role models whether we realize it or not. Their actions influence our behavior for better or worse.

2. is leaDeRsHiP By examPle gaiNiNg imPoRTaNce FoR THe iNDusTRy?

C OOL PLAC ES

access is threatened in many areas and positive role models are needed more than ever. if respected kiters act to preserve access and avoid problem behaviors while riding incredibly well, we may follow suit. if they ride carelessly, that example is frequently copied and negative consequences are shared. simple things can help like giving adequate distance to water/beach users, staying out of swim areas and lineups, and showing courtesy, skill and control as a capable waterman while avoiding careless riding. Role models act for effect and lead by example. Talk is good but without effective action, little benefit may be realized. a leader may do things that need doing for no other reason. Taking this course can be lonely at times but necessary.
Pete cabrinha and Robby Naish, global role models in kiteboarding and watersports, were asked for their input.

Pc) Responsibility and self policing are important to our sport. Every beach needs a dedicated crew working to preserve access. Moderation and the ability to work with all sides of the issues are key. RN) Government looks out for the interests of the majority: kiteboarders will never be in the majority. We need to stay “invisible” while riding and having fun. Kiters are obligated to protect access; one dude can ruin it for everyone. There is a fine line between being a “dork” kite cop and retaining self-dignity and effectiveness with riders at large.

3. Team RiDeRs as RePReseNTaTiVes

FRIENDLY FAC ES

www.velawindsurf.com

Pc) We try to tap into our athlete’s strong points. We definitely don’t sponsor riders that are known to be anti-social or aggressive to other riders, no matter how good of an athlete they are. RN) Team riders represent 24 hour a day and don’t clock out at 5 pm. Carry yourself well and be a good rider on and off the water. Let your riding speak for itself; it will speak louder than bragging about it. Don’t be a wave hog or do tricks too close to shore. Have fun and show you are doing the sport for the right reasons.

4. aDVice FoR DealiNg WiTH PRoBlem kiTeRs?

1. imPoRTaNce oF Role moDels?

Pc) If your riding skills or actions get someone off the couch and safely into the water, then you’re a valuable asset to the sport. RN) Pro and leading riders have an obligation to set as good an image as possible, particularly for young participants.

Pc) Approach every situation with a smile. People are more responsive to ‘suggestions’ vs. attacks. Be diplomatic until all options have been exhausted. If it is critical, grounding a kite until things are sorted out is within reason. RN) This may not be a problem if you are the biggest, toughest guy on the beach, otherwise use strength in numbers and talk to the guy as effectively as you can. Some will respond, others will say I’m good enough, been kiting for years, you can’t tell me what to do. It is a privilege to use the wind and the waves. Be smart, tactful and practice what you preach. Never tell other guys what to do and ignore it yourself. Everyone needs to get involved.

PRO INSTRUC TION

exploRing neW
locationS
By gaViN mcluRg, oFFsHoRe oDysseys

Offshore Odys g seys
What began as a dream almost three years ago has been a successful reality for Gavin McClurg and his first mate, Jody MacDonald. Together they launched Offshor e Odysseys, a yachtshare concept catering to kiteboarders who are as passionate about exploration and enjoying life as the y are. Offshore Odysseys also offers sing le trips if they have openings.

Gavin McClur

GREAT GEAR

These days, travel has become a lot more complicated but if you follow some basic guidelines, it will cut down on the stress so you can ride more and pay less.

3. ReseaRcH THe Time aND Place

1. Pack THe RigHT sTuFF

SAN CARLOS!
LEARN IN PARADISE C ALL NOW! 1-800-223-5443
email: info@velawindsurf.com www.dare2fly.com Powered by Cabrinha's new Crossbow and Switchblade
58 th eki t e b o a r d e r . c o m

New Location –

Our clients repeatedly tell us that the “Golf bag” gig is up at the airlines. You can still use these board bags, but the trick is telling the agent trying to nick you for a $100 bucks that you are only carrying kites. DO NOT ever say surf, and DO NOT ever say board. We believe a two kite, two bar, one board quiver is the best if you’re going remote and are concerned about weight. If you’re traveling with a group, share pumps. Remember to keep it under 50 pounds! Photo jody macDonald

2. Back uPs

On day two of your 10-day dream trip to a virgin kite spot, you tangle with a reef. Not a problem, you’ve got a small repair kit. The repair kits sold by Kitefix.com are excellent for kites and bladders. Then have a small tube of sun-cure epoxy for the boards, and a spare set of fins and hardware (which also comes in handy if you blow a screw on your footstraps). Don’t forget a Leatherman or similar multi-use tool.

You can get skunked on even a well-researched trip. But these tips will keep the wind in your kites more often than not. Get any needed documents like passports and visas early, check the airline for their bag policies so you have no surprises at check-in and look for alternative activities before you leave so you’re prepped for any non-wind days. If you’re going to a location in the trade belt (within 25 ° of the equator) it’s all about seasons – December through April head north of the equator and June through October go south. Avoid transition months between the monsoons (November and May). If you’re heading to a well-documented spot, sites like windguru are all you need, but if you’re going remote you’ll need other www.offsho tools like buoyweather.com which give the big picture. reodysseys.com Reading these weather maps takes some practice, but like kiting, the more you do it, the better you get.

4. sTay HealTHy

We’ve seen a number of people have their trip cut short by something easily preventable, most commonly sunburns and reef cuts. If you’re going somewhere warm, the things you need should fit into one small bag: two pairs of shorts, a long shirt, rash guard, sun hat with tie down, booties, polarized sun glasses you can use while kiting, cash and your passport. Having these few items leaves plenty of room for the more important things like high quality sunblock, a tube of zinc and a medical kit. Your medical kit should have at a minimum some cotton swabs, hydrogen peroxide, betadine, and an oral antibiotic in case cuts get infected (Ciprofloxacin or similar). Clean your reef cuts immediately, and take any bandages off at night so they dry out. Booties will prevent a good portion of reef injuries.

tkb advanced
t h e k i t e boar d e r . com 5 9

advanced tRickS:
S-bend
RiDeR: gisela PuliDo | WoRDs: ZacH klePPe | PHoTos: Regis moRTieR

tipS
n

The s-Bend combines a raley with a front roll rotation so you should be able to do both independently before you try this move.

Keep the bar pulled in close to your chest while throwing your feet away from the kite before entering into the rotation. Otherwise it’s not going to be a true S-Bend. slightly on your back hand when spotting your landing to keep from over rotating.

n Pull

How to do a S-Bend

sTeP 3. Once unhooked,
edge hard and stand tall to push off the tail of your board for the pop needed.

sTeP 4. Throw your feet and board up and away from the kite for the raley while pointing your front shoulder towards the nose of your board as soon as you’ve released your edge. This helps you go into a forward rotation while doing the raley, enabling you to complete the S-bend.

sTeP 5.

sTeP 2. Place your kite at 45-60° or 10 o’clock in the wind window, hold your edge, make sure both hands are centered on the bar and unhook. sTeP 1. Come in with moderate speed, similar to when you’re getting ready to jump.

By pointing your front shoulder toward the nose of your board, you are forcing yourself into a forward rotation while unhooked. Extend your arms and body so you go into a horizontal position. Keep rotating until you face the water again.

sTeP 6. Now that you have done a full front rotation (S-bend) and you see the water, pull slightly with your back hand to bring your board back underneath you. sTeP 7. Now that your board is
underneath you, you’re ready to land back on your heel side edge. Spot your landing and brace for impact.

sTeP 8. Point your board slightly downwind to control the speed of your landing so you don’t skim out and butt check. This will allow you to set your edge when landing so you can ride out of the trick and hook back in.

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tkb advanced

t h e k i t e boar d e r . com 6 1

advanced tRickS:
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RiDeR: keViN laNgeRee | WoRDs: cliNToN BolToN | PHoTos: sTePHeN WHiTesell

tipS
n

Remember to come in with moderate speed. Speed helps you with everything in
this trick. If you don’t have speed coming in to do the trick, then everything else won’t be easy to do.

The 313 is a raley with a front side 360 handle pass. When doing this trick, you have to remember to maintain your speed, rotate quickly, and keep the bar close to your body.

sTeP 4. sTeP 1..Come in with moderate sTeP 2. Once your kite is at 45-60°,
unhook and edge hard. You will feel the kite wanting to slingshot you towards it (this will help you flick your board up behind you going into the raley).

sTeP 3. Release your edge, and
extend your body into a raley.

speed as if you were to do a regular jump and bring the kite to 45-60° above the water.

While doing the raley, quickly pull the bar to your hips bringing your board back underneath you. This will make it easier to pass the bar while keeping the bar close to your body.

n

You have to rotate quickly to keep the bar close to your body. Rotating quickly makes it easier to pass the bar allowing you to not use much muscle effort and also helps bring your body back to the heelside edge instead of under rotating and landing on your toeside edge.

How to do a 313

sTeP 5. Once your body is coming to a vertical

position and your board is underneath you, release your front hand but keep pulling with your back hand to rotate quickly. By still pulling with your back hand, this will help you rotate your body in order to make the pass, plus by rotating quickly it will help you keep your bar close to your body letting you use little muscle effort and making the bar easier to pass.

Once you have released your front hand, swing it back behind you making your back face the kite.

sTeP 6.

Grab the bar and release your back hand. Once you have grabbed the bar with your front hand, the pull of the kite and the speed of your rotation will help bring you back to your heelside edge.

sTeP 7.

sTeP 8. Now that you rotated back to heelside, spot your landing and brace for impact.

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tkb advanced

t h e k i t e boar d e r . com 6 3

advanced Wave Riding
By BeN WilsoN | PHoTos Will scHouTeN

once you are comfortable in the surf on a directional board, it’s time to start working on some more advanced moves. if you don’t already have surfing skills, smooth turns on the wave will take a lot of practice to dial in. What’s that you say? Turns on a wave not an advanced move? We beg to differ. Watch the guys who are really good wave riders at your local spot and try to pick out the nuances of timing, kite placement, board speed, and weight distribution. it takes a lot of practice to develop stylish and smooth turns. As you gain skills and confidence in the surf, you want to focus on surfing on the wave, not doing turns in front of the wave. Following, I will take you step by step through frontside and backside top turns.

Ben Wils ilson on Surf

Ben W

BackSide top turn

Top turns can be performed on either a steep face or by actually hitting the lip. in this unhooked, unstrapped backside top turn, i have chosen to hit the lip.

sTeP 1. When setting up for this turn, you want

FrontSide top turn

in waves like these, the unhooked, strapped front side top turn is perfect practice for bigger and better moves. learn to do these turns properly and you will have a solid foundation for bigger things. Note: Make sure you anticipate the turn as early as possible so you can set your kite low and moving forward so it is in an optimal position for the turn.

to have as much controlled speed as possible. At this stage I have already positioned my feet in the sweet spot of my board, unhooked, and started to hit the lip. I looked over my leading shoulder during my bottom turn to spot where I wanted to do the turn (remember the amount of back foot pressure is directly related to how tight the turn will be).

Ben believes the true fundam entals of surfing appl y when riding the w aves with your ki te and is one of the sport’s top pro kitesu Focusing on rfers. instruction an d travel vers competition, us Ben runs kite wave camps in Australia and Indonesi a and recent released a co ly mprehensive , step-by-step instructiona l surf DVD ca lled Smack beginner to for advanced rid ers. Ben rides for Slingsho t and is very involved in th company’s R& e D process.
www.

benwilso nsurf.com

sTeP 1.

How hard, tight, or vertical you want to make the turn will determine the amount of back foot pressure you need. In this one, I haven’t gone very vertical so my approach was more of a steer up the face rather than a full on bottom turn, but of course with as much speed as possible.

Note: The most important thing about doing an unhooked backside turn like this is kite position – you need to be doing the turn while you have no power in the kite, so it’s all about having the kite set up in the optimal position before you do the turn. The best way to do this is to keep your kite low and moving in the same direction as you are riding with subtle adjustments, while visualizing and anticipating your turns well before doing them.

sTeP 2. Here I have reached the point at the top of the wave where I initiate the turn by
applying even more back foot pressure.

sTeP 2. In this shot I have reached the pinnacle of my turn and changed my upwards direction

sTeP 3. This is the critical point of the turn where you need to move your weight forward to
avoid falling out the back of the wave.

to start heading back down, so I have shifted all my back foot pressure to the center of my board by lowering my center of gravity.

sTeP 3. Here I’m still going through the midway point of the turn and just focusing on staying sTeP 4. Now I’m

sTeP 4. In this shot

centered over my board while preparing to move all my weight forward to head back down the wave. If you don’t, you will stall and fall out the back of the wave.

the wave has become quite steep and I’ve had to transfer my weight back to my back foot to set up for executing the turn and to avoid nose diving.

How to wave ride

distributing all my weight to my front foot to head back down the wave and execute the turn.

sTeP 5. Here I have

spotted my landing and flattened out my board to get ready for it.

sTeP 5.As you head

sTeP 6. As you land,
absorb the impact by bending you knees.

back down the wave, flatten out the board to avoid nose diving and keep your knees bent to absorb the drop. Remember to keep your kite down low and forward so you don’t ride underneath it.

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tkb advanced

t h e k i t e boar d e r . com 6 5

putting

your

Bar and

lines away
1. Unhook your lines from your kite. If your kite has a bridle, hook your front and back bridles together to help keep them from becoming tangled. 2. Pick up your bar and wind your chicken loop and outside lines in a figure eight pattern over the middle of the bar until you have all four leader lines in your hand. This step will keep the large chicken loop line out of the ends of your bar.

Bench work

3. Wind the line around the ends of the bar in an figure eight pattern, pulling the line tight as you go. The figure eight prevents twists in your lines as you wind them up.

4. When you have about three feet of line left, form a loop with the lines and put the loop over the end of the bar. Pull it tight and wrap the remainder of the line sideways around the bar.

5. Place the very end of the lines in the end of the bar and secure them with your bungee loops if your bar is equipped with them.

put your

put your gear away
so easy eVen a kid can do it!
Words and photos by paul Lang

away

kite

You might think that putting your equipment away is too simple of a topic to justify magazine space to, but watch different people put their gear away at the end of your next session and you will see why we chose to address this topic. I have seen countless riders put their bar away in a way that will unnecessarily create tangles followed by stuffing their sloppy and sandy kite into their bag. It’s not because they are lazy (well, maybe some are) - it’s just because no one has ever taken the time to tell them differently. Spending a few extra moments to put your gear away properly will make it easier to set up next time and will save a lot of wear and tear. You can cause a year’s worth of normal wear by trying to cram a wet and sandy kite into your bag like it’s a sleeping bag. Take the time to do it right. It’s so easy that even a kid can do it!

ground, tuck your bridle lines just inside of the wingtips and roll the kite from the wingtip to the 1. Flip your kite over so the middle. Keep the leading struts are facing up and let edge together and force the all the air out. air out as you go.

2. With the kite flat on the

of the kite, rolling from the wingtip to the middle. Roll slowly and force all the air out as you go. If you roll quickly, you will just force the air into the other side of the kite, causing it to unroll.

3. Roll up the other side

www.oceanextremesports.com

toolBoX tip
• Look for a grassy area to fold your kite, especially if it is wet. • Don’t worry about salt water on your kite. However, a kite that is wet with fresh water will mildew if not completely dried first. • Sand is the enemy! Keep if off your gear as best you can. • Take the time to put your gear away right so it’s ready to use and easy to set up for your next session. • Train a kid to put your gear away, so you don’t have to.

4. To get all the air out of a one-pump kite, now roll the kite from the trailing edge to the leading edge. Roll it tightly to get the air out of the struts.

5. Unroll the kite (just the part you did in step four) and fold the kite into thirds. If your kite came with a strap, secure it around the folded kite and pull it tight.

6. Brush off any loose sand and put the kite into its bag. It should fit easily if you folded the kite properly. You don’t want to stuff it in – your kite is not a sleeping bag.
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Sky carves a backside turn in front of the camera. Lens: John Bildeback.

By Sky Solbach Photographs by John Bilderback

John Amundson never thought Western Australia’s warm, turquoise water and perfect waves would deliver with precision-like consistency. Lens: John Bilderback

“ The past three months had been filled with plenty of memorable days. We’d ridden everything from small, playful beach breaks, to big, stormy surf, to gaping pits of death at The Zoo. It was everything we’d hoped it would be and probably the best season of wave riding that Jaime and I ever had. Based in Margaret River for kite testing, Jaime and I had covered most of Western Australia in search of waves and wind and scored some really good days. Finding good wind and surf requires patience and persistence and these three months had afforded us more than enough time, or so we thought, to get a real taste of all this coastline had to offer. We’d exchanged a few emails here and there with John Amundson about coming down to Western Australia to hang out and ride. But from the sounds of it he seemed pretty happy right at home on the North Shore where he was taking advantage of an unusually good start to the winter season. Out of the blue we got an email from John saying, “I’m on my way!” At about the same time, photographer John Bilderback and his wife Alexis showed up in Margaret River and had some free time to shoot. The plan quickly fell into place and I found myself on a two week paid vacation in WA with my two good friends Jaime and John, world class photographer John Bilderback and his wife Alexis. Our sole purpose was finding wind and waves. ” -Sky Solbach

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John Amundson floats the boat during another Indian Ocean evening session. Lens: John Bilderback

Margaret River Dream Session
Margaret River is a kite/surfer’s dream. With so many world class waves and variety of setups all within a short drive from one another, you can pretty much take your pick of whatever fits your mood. Add to that a beautiful countryside with a vast expanse of wineries and vineyards, bountiful sea life and a layed back hippie lifestyle, and you’ve found paradise. We were up at dawn every morning to take advantage of the light, offshore breezes and clean, hollow surf. Like clockwork, the wind would kick in just after our mid-morning nap. We kited gnarly dumping beach breaks, chunky reef breaks and messed around on strapless boards for hours in mushy onshore surf. John, a regular footer like the rest of us, had almost never ridden backside on a kite. He quickly adapted a mutated form of a backside turn where he would get completely vertical and upside down under the breaking lip and somehow emerge from the madness still on his feet and right into the next bottom turn. Jaime became one with his little 5’8” strapless fish and was pulling the sickest front-side airs in the onshore mush, all the while JB and Alexis captured it all on stills and video. Simply put, it was a dream trip. Adding to this we had an amazing house five minutes from the beach, more than enough kites and surfboards and stellar conditions.

Margaret River in itself is worthy of this entire travel story. But somewhere out there a swell was headed to a remote spot in the Northern Territory called Gnarloo and little did we know what awaited us. . .

Trek to Gnarloo
JB and Alexis came over frothing at the mouth that morning. Frantic. With our photo shoot all wrapped up, I was packed and ready to head off to the airport but apparently JB had other plans. He had just spoken to an old friend who gave him the latest forecast for a spot called Gnarloo. You can’t always just sit around and wait for surf. Sometimes you have to place all your hopes (and budget) on a forecast and go find it. Another $400 ticket change later and a quick stop at the camping store to stock up on fly hats, tents, sleeping bags and cooking gear, and we set out on our 18-hour trek into no man’s land. The drive took forever. Two full days of straight, hot roads. Out here, if you miss a gas station, chances are you will not make it to the next one. We traded off the monotonous task of holding the wheel straight for hours on end. We finally made our last stop in civilization to stock up on all the food and water we needed for the 5 day trip before hitting the last two hour stretch of dirt roads.

Our sole purpose was to find wind and waves
-Sky Solbach

JB first came here 15 years ago to help with the filming of Jack McCoy’s Psychedelic Desert Groove surfing contest video and has been back almost every year since. It is one of the longest waves in the world and is known for offering up life-altering rides. We pulled up in our dusty, overheated car and camper van in the fading evening light just in time to set up camp. We watched a few head high sets roll through from our new beachfront campsite. It looked really long and clean! With the swell on the rise, we anticipated what treasures the morning light would bring. . . The morning brought even smaller surf. With little else to do in this desert wasteland, we explored the beaches had and a fun surf session on a small break near shore. The second day I will never forget. We awoke to glassy, peeling four to six-foot surf. Although the waves were just a couple feet overhead, they were by far the longest any of us had ever seen. It was unreal. We stood in awe of the sheer length of these waves peeling across the reef in perfect uninterrupted form. That morning we surfed the longest wave of our lives with only the three of us in the water. Then, when the wind came up, kited the longest wave of our lives all by ourselves! Most of the water shots were taken about three quarters through the main part of the wave. 15, 20 turns. . .it’s hard to say; all I know

Sometimes youth, nature and art come together freezing that perfect moment. Sky running full. Lens: John Bilderback

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Gnarloo’s rocky terrain, shallow reef and strong current is no place for intermediates. Lens: John Bildeback

Sky gets a taste of Gnarloo’s legendary, freight train left. Lens: John Bilderback

By the time I reached the inside section, my legs were burning . . .
-Sky Solbach
is that by the time I reached the inside section, my legs were burning, and I was ready for the wave to be over. Most long waves tend to change shape as they move across the reef. Not this one. From start to finish, every section of this wave was identical; turn after turn, refining each snap as you made your way down the line. Jaime was throwing these sick 3’s off the lip and landing straight back down the wave. John’s lifetime of surfing shone through in fluid carves and vertical snaps. The third and fourth day were equally as rewarding as the second. We spent the mornings surfing and hiding from the flies in the camper. When the wind began filling the lineup we’d paddle in, have lunch and pump up our 9’s for the afternoon session. Under normal circumstances we probably would all have been freaking out with our living conditions at this point. With no showers, no running water, and almost nowhere to escape the dust and wind aside from our tents and camper, it was anything but comfortable. The waves were just so good that suddenly none of those things mattered anymore and we just resigned to being salty and dirty. hour drive to Perth we were forced to pack up and leave to catch our departing flights. We watched the lines of swell slowly fade away in the rearview mirror as we left in the early morning light. We blazed straight through to Perth where we were rewarded with what seemed like the best hot showers of our lives at an airport hotel. I hopped a 30-hour plane ride back to Portland, Oregon that night and was sick and in bed for almost a week from exhaustion. I didn’t care. I just know that those waves will keep me more than stoked for at least another year until I can go back and do it all over again. . .

Showers and Plane Rides Home
On the dawn of the fifth morning the swell was still pumping and on the rise. Faced with a 15-

The sun shines through the back of the wave, lighting the way for John to get slotted. Lens: John Bilderback

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Pimp Yo Bar

Make Sure Your Lines are Even! People often forget that your lines shrink and stretch as they age. You can’t drive a race car if it pulls to the right, and you sure as hell can’t learn tricks to blind when your kite is all over the place. Kites are designed to fly with all lines the same length coming off the bar (that’s why those pigtails on your kite aren’t the same length on the leading and trailing edge). This is especially important when you have a 5th line bar, after a particularly windy session or when your gear is a year old. Make sure all lines are the same length, and then adjust the nose line on the kite so there is little to no tension. Tie your leash to a tree or other solid object and then hook the end of your lines to your leash clip. Grab the bar and pull lightly to make sure all or your lines are exactly the same length. Hooked up to the tree, it is easy to see if one line is coming slack sooner than the others. After you are done, hook up your kite and fly it at neutral. If properly balanced, your kite will sit steadily above your head without pulling either left or right. Stopper Ball: Add a stopper ball to your chicken loop above and maybe even below the bar. Putting a ball above the bar prevents it from getting away from you short armed riders. For those rippers killing it unhooked, it keeps the kite flying more like a fixed four line kite. If you get an adjustable ball or bar set-up, then it is easy to ad-

just the amount of chicken loop in your setup so you can go from the waves (with lots of chicken loop play) to wake style on the flats. You long armed apes may like a stopper ball below the bar (or a bigger harness loop). A ball below the bar will prevent the kite from oversheeting, even if you unhook. Simplify: Keep your bar simple and clean. If you still have a fixed loop on your bar, take it off (unless you ride a fixed bar). If you still use a shackle, get rid of it. The use of the donkey stick makes shackles not necessary, plus shackles are goofy looking and can be dangerous. Shackles belong on sailboats, not kites. Can you reach? If you are short, you probably have to bend at the waist when you depower your kite. This is not good form. Change out your harness loop for a smaller one so you can keep your back straight, even when you depower. If you are really tall, you might want to get a longer harness loop, so you don’t look like T-Rex when you hold the bar in at full power. If you are short like Riccitelli, you can add extensions to your depower strap so you can reach it. Make ‘Em Last: If you make spectra pigtails for your lines, they will last twice as long. This will protect the sleeves from wearing through, and you probably need to buy spectra anyway to make kook proof connectors. Borrow a candle from your girlfriend and rub it on your chicken loop. The wax will protect the line from chafe. Don’t use surf wax. It will actually collect sand and make the line wear faster.

Pimp Yo Kite

Connection Points: Most kites give you the option to tune the feel of the kite by changing the front or back line connection points. If you want the kite to respond slower, move your rear lines forward. This is especially helpful for wakestyle riders. If you look closely, you’ll see that most kites have at least two different connection points for your front lines. Your kite will produce more power if you move your front lines back. Of course, this comes at a cost as the kite will be a little more sluggish since, for you aerodynamic junkies, it is running at a higher angle of attack, and generally it will be a little more difficult to go upwind. With some of the new hybrid kites, this change may be the difference between your kite being more bow styled (when you are on the forward connection) to acting a little more like a traditional C-kite (on the back setting). In this case, you won’t notice the negative effects mentioned of the aft setting. Kook Proof Connectors: Every kite should have kook proof connectors, not because you don’t know how to rig your lines, but because it’s easy to make mistakes when you are rigging your kite as fast as you can. They are easy to make out of little pieces of spectra. Most common is to put knots at the end of your front lines and loops at the end of your back lines.

Fix the Holes: Check your kite for little nicks, scrapes, and holes. You can fix anything under two inches long yourself. Leave anything over two inches for the professionals at the sail loft. Go buy some sail repair tape and always keep it with you. A tiny cut can become a huge tear if left alone. Place the tape on both sides of the kite, and round the corners of the tape to keep them from peeling off. If you don’t like white repair tape all over your kite, go buy a set of colored markers and color the tape to match your kite. Keep it Clean: Never put your sandy kite back in the bag. This is like throwing sheets of sandpaper in with it. Take it home, inflate it on the grass, and hose it down. Don’t put it in the bag until it is completely dry. A wet kite in the bag will produce mildew and mold. If you don’t want the colors to fade, spray 303 onto a sponge and evenly apply it to your canopy as needed. Don’t overdo it! Lube: If your kite has pulleys, go buy a can of McLube Sailkote. Keep your pulleys clean and spray them and the line that runs through them often. This will keep them working well and extend the life of your bridles.

Bucky Ashcraft shows us how to pimp yo ride with Texas pride. Lens: Ryan Riccitelli

Tag It: Some people paint their kites to customize them. For example, Bucky Ashcraft painted a Texas Flag on his kite with acrylic spray paint. We do not know the long term affects, so please use at your own risk. As a minimum, you should definitely tag your name and contact information on your kite. A permanent marker works really well.

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PIMP YO BOARD

Keep It On Your Feet: Buy a bicycle tube and make heel bungies. Cut to length, wrap the ends in duct tape, and poke holes. No more throwing the board off your feet in the middle of your backrolls. Fix Your Stance: If you don’t know what your stance is, it probably isn’t right. Most people set their stance too narrow. Get a tape measure! Try going wider – 18 to 20 inches is considered wide (measured from insert to insert). A stance a little wider than your shoulders is a good rule of thumb. Experiment with different stances until you find something that feels right. Don’t forget to duck your feet so your toes are angled towards the ends of the board. This allows your knees to bend more naturally and helps avoid knee breaking landings.

Get a Tap: No, not for beer. Go to the hardware store and get a tap (for cutting threads). Most boards use ¼” x 20 threads. You can use the tap to clean all the sand and junk from your inserts. Get Rid of the Wax Mess: Wax keeps your feet on your surfboard, but it melts, gets all over your car, and you have to constantly apply more. Go to a surf shop and buy traction pads or XM fly paper. They keep your feet on the board with no mess, and help prevent heel dents by padding your feet. Try Different Fins: Try shorter fins and longer fins. You won’t know what you like until you try it. You don’t have to buy fins to try them. Just borrow them from your buddy’s board to see if they work for you. Shorter fins will give your board a looser “skatey” feel, while longer fins will make your board track in a straighter line. If your new fins don’t fit the bottom of your board, put a piece of sandpaper on the bottom between the board and fin and sand the fin to fit.

Pimp Yo Bar
Grip It: If you are using an older bar (just tell everyone it is classic), your grip tape is probably worn. Go buy some hockey tape and wrap your bar with it so you can still hang on to the thing. Keep it Clean: Take your bar out of the trunk every once in awhile and wash it! This will not only make it last longer, but it will get rid of that funky smell. Do the same for your kite, harness, and board. Sandy, salty gear smells funny, and doesn’t last as long. Old pirates should be salty, not your gear. Whenever you wash any of your gear with fresh water, do not put the gear away until it is completely dry, unless you like mildew spots.

In September we moved into our new office, The Kiteboarder Magazine Compound, located on Packery Channel, in Corpus Christi, Texas. Our new crib has six bedrooms, two separate garages, a fully dedicated kite workshop and is right on the sickest launch in town. Lens: Ryan Riccitelli

Don’t Get Squirted in the Eye: If you have extra holes in your board (like unused fin holes) use a candle to melt wax into the holes. If you don’t, water will shoot through the holes and squirt you in the eye. Paint Your Board: Customizing never hurts. Paint pens, spray paint and permanent markers work great. Make sure to add your name and phone number to your board.

Sand It: Get some sandpaper and sand all the little nicks in your rails and fins. This will keep them from getting bigger and keep your fingers from getting cut when you reach for a grab. If you have any questions about pimping your gear, we will be more than happy to walk you through it. Just email ryan@thekiteboarder.com or paul@thekiteboarder.com. Remember to keep your pimp hand strong!

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FRONTSIDE 360
If you can pull this move, your picture belongs in this magazine. You need to be solid on sliders and surface 360s before you even think about putting the two together.
1-2. 3. 4. 5-7. 8-9. 10. Unhook and ollie onto the slider with speed and confidence. If you need a description on how to do that, you are not ready for this move. Keep your knees bent and stay balanced. Let go with your forward hand and force the handle to the small of your back. Stay upright as you rotate. Do not lean away from the kite, unless you want to eat rail. In a smooth motion, pass the handle and continue rotating to finish the 360. Spot your landing and bend your knees as you come off the slider. Ride away with style and speed.

By The Kiteboarder Staff

Every issue we get emails from loyal readers around the world that have raised their level by taking our sequences and instructional features seriously. One guy wrote in to tell us that he goes as far as cutting out the pages and laminating them, so he can take them to the beach and study the moves closely between sessions. This issue, we strategically chose four moves that are closely related to one another. If you are intimidated by going blind in the front roll and back roll sequences, take the blind part out and focus on landing simple front and back rolls. If unhooking intimidates you, stay hooked in and learn the basics until you are ready to take it to the H-N-L (Hole Nother Level). For all of you cocky, pro action kiteboarders out there, we added the Dre slider sequence to give you something to shoot for. The most important tip we can give you is to always remember the phrase “No Pain! No Gain!”

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RALEY
The raley should be one of the first tricks you learn. You have to unhook to do a raley properly, and you do not have to send the kite. Any level of rider can learn the raley.
1. 2-3. 4-6 7-9. 10-15. 16-18. Unhook with the kite 45 to 60 degrees above the water. Remember to keep your hands centered on the bar. Load against the kite by edging upwind. Stand tall and push off the tail of your board for pop. As you leave the water, throw your board up and away from the kite. Let your shoulders come down as your board travels upward. Your goal is to get the board above your head. Hold this position until after the peak of your jump. As you approach the water, you need to get your feet back under your body. Imagine trying to break your bar over your forward hip to quickly bring the board underneath you. Bend your knees to absorb the landing and ride away with speed.

Tips:
1. 2. You must commit to this move. Try hooked in raleys to get comfortable with loading and popping off the water. Let go with your back hand and land with your board moving toward your kite.

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S-BEND
The S-Bend is an easy, stylish move. You should be able to do raleys and front rolls before you try the S-bend, as this move is a combination of the two. The S-bend begins exactly the same way as the raley.
1-2. 3-4. 5-6. 7-8. 9-10. 11-14. 1. 2. Unhook with the kite 45 to 60 degrees above the water. Remember to keep your hands centered on the bar. Load against the kite by edging upwind. Stand tall and push off the tail of your board for pop. As you leave the water, throw your board up and away from the kite. Let your shoulders come down as your board travels upward. Your goal is to get the board above your head. As your body becomes horizontal, start your rotation by tucking your head to your lead shoulder and throwing your lead shoulder down. Spot your landing as you come around. If you stare at the spot you want to land, it will help stop your rotation. Again, imagine trying to break your bar over your forward hip to quickly bring the board underneath you. You must commit to this move. Unhook to get the correct extension. Try to find a nice piece of chop to pop off into the rotation. Remember to land with your board pointing towards your kite.

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FRONT TO BLIND
The front to blind is basically an over-rotated front roll. It is fairly easy because the natural rotation of the move wants to take you towards the blind position. You should be solid on your front rolls and s-bends before you try this one.
1-6. 7-9. 10-11. 12-13. 14-17. Start the move like a normal front roll. Pop off the water, tuck your chin to your back shoulder, and throw your lead shoulder forward and down. Pulling your knees up will help you get through the rotation. Throw the move harder than you would throw a front roll, as you have to rotate an additional 180 degrees. Spot your landing as you come around, and then look away. Concentrate on looking 180 degrees from your landing. Make sure to look over your leading shoulder. Let go with your back hand and force the handle to the small of your back. Commit to getting the board all the way to the blind position, otherwise the landing will not be pretty. Bend your knees on the landing, and concentrate on putting your weight on the toes of your back foot. Pass the handle after you land, or just do a surface 180 to get out of the blind position.

Tips:
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Remember to keep your knees bent when landing and riding blind. Make sure you have good board speed so you get enough pop.

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BACK TO BLIND
Taking your backroll to blind elevates the move to a whole new level. Before you try this move, you should be able to do a backroll without thinking about it. If you want to learn how to do a backroll, follow these steps, but take out the blind landing.
1-7 8-10. 11. 12-14. 15-16. 1. 2. Start the move like a normal backroll. Pop off the water and throw the board up and away from the kite. Tuck your chin to your lead shoulder. At the peak of your jump, let go with your back hand and look hard over your back shoulder. This is a good time to grab for extra style points. To rotate all the way to the blind position, try to force the handle to the small of your back. Commit to the move! If you don’t rotate all the way to te blind position, the landing is going to hurt. Bend your knees on the landing, and concentrate on putting your weight on the toes of your back foot. Pass the handle after you land, or just do a surface 180 to get out of the blind position. Make sure to keep your knees bent when landing and riding blind. Make sure you have good board speed so you get enough pop.

Tips:
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The corners of the cable are great places to launch moves. Lens: Shanna Devries-Merrill

Andy Hurdman cross trains at the Ski Rixen in Florida. Lens: Matt Cotton

Learning moves like this on the cable and then translating them over to kiteboarding has helped Andy become one of the top riders in the world. Lens: Matt Cotton

By Shanna DeVries-Merrill and Shannon Best Our 12-year-old son, Erik, had been itching to get some water time. With fall contests approaching, we thought it would be a great excuse for the family to take a short kiteboarding trip. Even the windiest spots are a long shot in mid-summer in Michigan. Instead of searching for wind, we decided to drive nine hours to the nearest cable park -- KC Watersports in Paola, Kansas. Prior to leaving, we were lucky enough to connect with former cable park world champion and professional kiteboarder, Shannon Best. Shannon is well known for utilizing cable parks to cross train for kiteboarding. Erik asked Shannon for some tips on how we could make the best of our time on the cable. Check out his tips over Erik Merrill learns his first dock start. on the left. Lens: Shanna DeVries-Merrill

Shannon Best’s Tips:
Go introduce yourself to the operator; they see everything and make great coaches. Odds are they ride better then most there. Wear a helmet and a life jacket that fits. Even if you’re not hitting the obstacles, it protects the most important things from all impacts. Take your time. The learning curve is high on a cable. I have seen several kids go from complete beginner to double sbends to blind (the hardest trick on the cable) in 18 months. Andy uses a trampoline to work through rotations. Lens: Matt Cotton It’s all in the handle. Handle placement is the most important thing. Without the handle, you’re just a swimmer. Have fun. Having fun is the most important thing.

Erik charges the kickers. Lens: Shanna DeVries-Merrill something different or just want to get some miles behind your board, a trip to the cable park provides some great practice time to work on your tricks and style. Special thanks to www.kcwatersports.com.

Was it worth the nine-hour drive?

Despite the temperature reaching 106 degrees, Erik rode non-stop for almost seven hours. With the help of KC’s top-notch staff, he progressed from shaky take-offs to jump launches. Once he was comfortable with the cable, Eric hit a few of the kickers and worked on his grabs.

Cable riding feels significantly different from kiting, but the constant pull of the cable provides an excellent opportunity to hone board-riding skills and work on style. On the way home we all agreed that the cable park was fun, but we would rather be kiteboarding. However, when you have a limited amount of time, want to try

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Ben Meyer signs his name on the section. Lens: Erik Aeder

ur crew here at The Kiteboarder was sitting in a meeting pondering features. Paul Lang and Marina Chang coincidentally both threw out the idea of doing a wave riding instructional. At that moment, my mind started racing. Who would be legit enough to help answer some of our staff’s wave riding questions? A plethora of names crossed my mind, but my top choices were Felix Pivec and Kevin “Top Hat” Senn. Pivec and Hat have clocked more wave hours than most. Luckily, I was able to get in touch with the boys between wave sessions on the North Shore of Oahu. Felix and Hat dug deep to answer some of our questions and to give us some of their top secret riding tips. Hopefully this stuff will help you improve your skills or motivate you to do some wave kiting.
performance and control. With the right size kite flown in control, you are able to unhook and surf the waves free of restraint. Most bow kites these days don’t allow you to unhook. This limits your whole riding performance from where your body is and how the kite is pulling you down the wave. Q: What size board is best to use in the waves for what conditions? A: This really depends on your personal preference and conditions where you ride. Everyone has their thing. We have been riding surfboards from 5’0’’ to 6’6’’ from our sponsors and local surf shops. In our opinion, if you cannot paddle the board onto a wave, you are not riding a surfboard nor will you get a true surf ride. Surfboards are also a huge bonus when traveling when the wind is light or non-existent. Q: Should I use a surfboard or a twin tip/wakeboard? A: This is a tough one and often depends on where you live. If you don’t have relatively easy access to waves, you can still have a lot of fun on a wakeboard or twin tip. If you are just beginning, both you and the people at the beach will also appreciate you using these boards, as they will allow you to switch directions effortlessly and recover from wipeouts quicker. Once you are comfortable riding in the surf, go out and get yourself a real surfboard. Make sure you put a nose guard on as a board in the eye will make it hard to spot the next wave you are about to catch. Soft edge fins are not a bad idea either. Q: What are the first things that I should work on to build my waveriding skills? A. Learn to read the waves at your local beach or any spot by visually watching the

By Felix Pivec and Kevin “Top Hat” Senn

Q: Should I use the same gear that I normally would use for my everyday wind conditions (kite and board size)? A: You should use whatever you feel comfortable with at first. Then with time you can make the transition to different style boards and smaller kites. Just get a taste first and have fun. Q: Are bow kites really THAT MUCH BETTER in the waves than C-kites? A: 90% of people that like the new bows will say yes. As far as modern technology goes, bows make kiting easier for the average kiter. This is why we believe everyone is amped on the bow kites in the waves. The down side to this is many people become reliant on the chicken loop for control and stabilization of the kite, instead of simply spending more time learning to fly their kite in the wind window to reduce pull and increase riding

Pivec and Top Hat give up the goods on being successful in the waves

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Pivec and Top Hat give up the goods on being successful in the waves
spot for awhile before you go out. If you have experience surfing, then you probably already have the skills. Try to adapt some of the concepts to your kiting style. Watch the best guys at your beach and check out surf videos to imitate body position through moves. Try not to get yanked down the wave by your kite. Using the right size kite is key. Think smooth and fluid. Q: What wind conditions/directions are best in relationship to wave direction? A: Today’s kites make it safe to fly in almost all conditions, even in offshore winds as long as you have boat back up. Never go out further than you are willing to swim in. If it can go wrong, it will go wrong. Q: Should I ride overpowered or underpowered? A: It is always safer to go underpowered. A surfboard’s buoyancy replaces the need for a larger size kite. This allows you to fly the kite without losing edge control, which is a very important key in riding big waves. Overpowered kiting is best for freestyle and big jumps. Q: How do I best position myself to catch a wave, so I’m not riding whitewash? A: As in everything it takes time and with practice, it will come. It does help to enter the wave either before or at the peak of the wave (peak meaning where the wave is at it highest when first forming). With each wave should come more knowledge. Q: Where should I enter the wave when first starting waveriding? A: There are many types of waves. As a rule of thumb, it is always good to start at the start of it or the peak. Q: Where should I position my kite to start a bottom turn? A: It really depends on what kite you fly. Bow users will keep their kite in one spot and just sheet in and out of the loop, hardly moving the kite. This is why they use a bigger kite than a C-kite rider. A C-kite rider flies their kite more generating more power from the wind window. Usually, you send your kite back towards the wave before you even go into your bottom turn. Then, when going for your top turn, your kite should already be facing the shore putting it into the right position to do two or more turns without moving it. Then, you do it all over again. Q: How do you keep from getting overpowered when unhooked? A: Make sure your kite size is not too big. If you are surfing towards your kite, you should never get yanked. Your body positioning and arm should act as a shock absorber moving with the flow of your riding. Be one with your kite.

Ben Wilson fades into a carving cutback dragging his hand with style. Lens: Ben Kottke

Q: In general, where should my kite be when riding a wave? A: This is tough to answer in only a few sentences. The best tip is to watch some guys ride waves at your local beach or in a video. A lot of it is trial and error. As you get better, you will become more aggressive with the kite. Q: What is the trick to riding switch tack? A: Start practicing switch on a wakeboard or twin tip just to get use to transferring you weight the right way. Then, adapt it to

a surfboard. Your natural stance will always be stronger. If you put the time in you will soon become a switch master. Starting on flat water doing little turns is a great way to learn the basics. As soon as you feel confident, adapt it to the surf. Q: Are their any other things I should know? A: Waves are the future and any average kiteboarder can get into the surf whether hooked or unhooked, strapped or strapless. In the end, it is all about having fun.

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In my opinion, every rider should be comfortable with unhooking. Not only does it allow you to take your riding to another level, but it also allows you to easily deal with situations when you come unhooked on accident (every rider WILL come unhooked at some point, even if they never want to). Before you unhook, make sure your leash will still be functional and check that your kite is trimmed properly. You may want to add a stopper ball below the bar or simply depower the kite with your sheeting strap before unhooking.

Jesse Richman proves you can unhook from a bow kite. Lens: Kim Kern

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ometimes kiteboarders remind me of a bunch of high school kids; everyone’s afraid to be the first one in the group to try something new, for fear of being made fun of by the rest of the group. It’s easy to get set in your ways and avoid trying new things. I hear a lot of talk on the beach about what works and what is fun, but I rarely actually see people step outside of their comfort zone and genuinely try something new.

Try This:

1. Move your hands to the center of the bar and pull the bar towards you and down in a smooth motion to unhook. Keeping your hands centered will keep you from over steering the kite. 2. While unhooked, keep the bar low and your elbows in close to your body. Keep your back straight and your shoulders back. Don’t let the kite pull you over (don’t bend at the waist). 3. To hook back in, pull the bar in and down, then push it up and away to get the harness loop into your hook. Practice doing this motion before you launch your kite until you can do it without looking down.

We want riders to always be trying new things and pushing themselves, whatever their level of riding. With that in mind we bring you the first installment of a new department here at The Kiteboarder. “Try This” kicks off with two topics, looping the kite and unhooking, and we will bring you something new to try each issue. We hope that riders of all levels will open their minds to new ways of riding enough to go out there and Try This!

Being able to do simple tricks unhooked. Start with raleys and backrolls. Remember to keep your hands centered and use your board to pop off the water. Grabbing unhooked gets more style points than grabbing while hooked in. Center one hand on the bar, with the chicken loop between your index and middle fingers. Unhook in the surf to allow your body more freedom to move. Again, keep your hands centered on the bar.

Work Towards:

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Bucky Ashcraft burns a turn in front of the Corpus Christi Harbor. Lens: Ryan Riccitelli

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ot every kite loop has to be a super powered, aerial trick. Think of looping the kite as simply another way of maneuvering it in the window. Kite loops can help you generate a little extra power in light wind or add a lot of flavor to your transitions. Try This:
1. Riding heelside with your kite about 60° above the water, pull hard with your forward hand. 2. As the kite powers up, turn downwind and carve onto your toeside. Commit to getting the kite all the way around. 3. Continue to carve onto your toeside until you are riding in the opposite direction. You should exit the turn with the kite low and with plenty of board speed.

Work Towards:

Doing this maneuver immediately after landing a jump to turn any trick you can do into a transition. Down looping the kite while jumping: COMMIT!

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ette: etiqu
Why you need to be a Responsible Kiteboarder
By Paul Lang

Riders: F-one team | Location: Secret spot Caribbean | Photo Manu Morel

helping others

If someone asks you to launch their kite, don’t hesitate to help. Too many kiters act like they don’t want to be bothered with launching and landing kites. Go out of your way to help others. When another rider comes in and taps his or her head, drop what you are doing and catch their kite. It only takes a minute – you’ll still have plenty of time to ride. This should be a general rule for all kiters: HELP oTHERS. Answer questions that come from new or potential kiters. Launch and land kites. Help kiters in trouble without hesitation.

giving others room

Why do kiteboarders tangle with each other? The simple answer is because they get too close. Honestly, there is no good reason for two riders to tangle lines. Every time it happens, one or both of the riders is being irresponsible and both riders’ lives are being put in danger. Be aware of what is around you at all times. Look behind you before you turn. If another rider is in front of you, don’t ride all the way to the beach, forcing them to the sand. Don’t follow closely behind another rider. Give people room!

right of way

being a beginner

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t’s time to face a simple truth about kiteboarding: it’s growing, and local beaches everywhere are getting crowded. A few years ago, when it was rare to see more than 20 kiteboarders on the water together, there was almost always enough room for everyone to do their own thing and not bother anyone else. Now, that just simply isn’t the case. In some areas, 40 or 50 kiters might be a mellow day. It is no longer unheard of to have over 100 kites in the sky at one single beach.
With the escalating crowds have come increasing problems. Many people who have been kiting since the beginning feel they are entitled to do whatever they want. Riders who started on bow kites two years ago are so overconfident in their skills that they feel they can tackle any conditions out there. Many riders are so focused on landing a new move or riding one more wave that they either don’t notice or care that they cut other riders off. Some riders like to jump near shore or in a crowd of kiters because they feel they can handle it. All of these examples are very bad for our sport and are causing tempers to wear thin. It has progressed to the point that the general feeling at some beaches is downright unfriendly. Kiteboarding as a whole is still almost completely free of any outside regulations, and if we want to keep it that way, we all are all going to have to learn how to play nice. It’s time for everyone involved in this sport to seriously WAKE UP! If we want to keep local access and control over our own sport, we have to be able to rely on ourselves to enforce a reasonable code of conduct. Serious regulations are coming if we don’t do something about it now. To sum it up, as long you are courteous and use some common sense, you can help keep kiteboarding kiteboarder controlled.

getting into kiteboarding

DoN’T BE A DoNKEY – PLEASE ENCouRAgE oTHERS To FoLLoW THE SuBSEquENCE guiDELiNES.

If you think this sport is for you, take a lesson. Don’t learn on your own. If you have friends that want to try kiteboarding, tell them to take a lesson. Kiteboarding is a sport that should require lessons. Yes, they are expensive and you may have to travel for them. Look at them as insurance. Kiteboarding lessons are much cheaper than a trip to the emergency room or a destroyed kite. New kiters are much more likely to stick with the sport if their first experience was a controlled and positive one. All current kiteboarders need to insist that new kiters take lessons.

choosing a site to launch

If you are kiting in an area for the first time, do your research ahead of time to find out where you should ride. Show up at a known riding spot or local shop and talk to the local riders. Some areas have restrictions on where you can and cannot kite. Simply launching wherever you want can put access at risk for an entire area. If you think you have discovered an epic spot with no one out, take the time to find out why it’s deserted – there probably is a very good reason.

In case you don’t already know them, here are the rules for when two riders meet: 7 When two riders are on opposite tacks, the rider with their right hand forward has right of way over the rider with their left hand forward. 7 When two riders are on the same tack, the rider further downwind has right of way over the rider further upwind. 7 When one rider passes another, the rider being passed has the right of way. When riding in surf, you must also add the following rules that apply in the surf zone: 7 The kiter, windsurfer, or surfer nearest to the peak has the wave, and all others should back off. 7 Never ride through a pack of surfers or spray them. 7 When leaving the beach, yield to any kiter, windsurfer, or surfer who is on a wave. 7 Only ride in the surf if you are surfing waves. Work your way back upwind outside of the waves. When you meet another kiter, be courteous and position your kite in a way that allows the other rider to cross your path easily. If you are further upwind, hold your kite high. If you are downwind, bring your kite low. It’s as simple as this: Don’t be a dick. There are a lot of waves out there; the ocean is not going to run out. Be the courteous rider on the water and everyone will be much nicer back on the beach.

There is nothing wrong with being a beginner. At one time, everyone on the water was one. If you just started kiteboarding, do yourself and everyone else a favor. Stick with conditions and locations that are within your skill level. I know it’s tempting to want to go shred head-high surf or throw kite loops in 30 knots, but you need to be realistic about your limitations. Going out in conditions that are over your head is not going to make you a better rider. You’ll just end up struggling during your entire session and will be in the way of riders who are experienced enough to be out. If you want to progress your skills, stick with conditions you feel comfortable in. Take baby steps. Jumping from flat water and 15 knots of wind to six-foot shore pound in 25 knots is only going to end badly. If you are at a spot where all levels of kiters ride, launch downwind of the main crowd until you are comfortable riding upwind. This will keep you separated from the more advanced riders, and everyone will be happier.

being the local pro

setting up

Good kiteboarding etiquette starts before you get on the water. When you arrive at a spot where kiters have already set up, take a minute and watch how everyone else lays out their gear and launches their kites. Go with the flow and do what everyone else does. Don’t inflate your kite on top of someone else’s lines. Set your lines up the same direction as everyone else (i.e. upwind or downwind) so you don’t take up more than your fair share of beach space. Don’t be the guy who has to be different.

If you are the rider that others look up to at your local beach, you must act as a good role model. Every area has their rider or riders that everyone else aspires to ride like. If you are one of these kiters, others will imitate what you do. If you jump next to shore and in crowds, so will everyone else. If you show no respect for surfers or other beachgoers, every other kiter in your area will do the same. If you ride and jump safely, show others respect, and take the time to help others, everyone will copy you. When you become the rider that everyone else looks up to, you have a responsibility to be a good role model and that responsibility must be taken seriously.
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Everybody can do their part to encourage a feeling of community. Be friendly with the other kiters at your beach – you will be seeing them every time the wind blows.

Alvaro Oneida is known worldwide for his aloha spirit and sportsmanship. Photo gavin Butler

dealing with the bad eggs

Every beach has them. These riders are the ones who think they are so good that no one can tell them what to do. They crash their kite on the beach and in the middle of a surf lineup. They go out in conditions beyond their skills. They put every other rider’s privilege to kite in jeopardy every time they kite. I know you can think of at least a few at your own beach. How do you deal with the trouble kiters? They must be confronted, and it’s your responsibility to do so. 7 Confronting the bag eggs works best when you can have a whole group confront an individual. Don’t yell or argue, just tell the troublemaker what he/ she is doing wrong and that they are risking your ability to ride. Getting a few friends to back you up will help your case. 7 If you think someone doesn’t know what they are doing or are getting ready to go out in conditions beyond their skills, start by asking them questions like, “Have you ridden here before? What size kite are you going to put up? Have you been out in this much wind before?” If you think this person has no clue what they are doing and you think they are going to be dangerous, tell them they should wait for a more mellow day or refer them to an instructor. Again, don’t yell and don’t argue. If all else fails, simply refuse to launch this person’s kite and get others to back you up. 7 If talking to the person doesn’t solve anything, you may have to take matters to the lifeguards or any other authority you might have at your beach. If this person really is a danger to others, tell the lifeguards what the problem is. Let them know that this person has been non-responsive to suggestions about safety and that they aren’t a representative of the other area kiters. 7 Do not just let it go. At every riding spot across the country, a few bad eggs are putting other riders in danger. Don’t let a bad egg shut down your beach because you didn’t say something before they caused an accident.

If you are one of these riders, think about what you are doing. Do you want to be the one rider who causes a beach to be closed? If others at your local beach confront you, don’t get angry. Listen to what they have to say and take it seriously. There is not a single rider out there who is too good or too cool that they can’t ride safely and courteously. gET A REALiTY CHECK. You ARE NoT THAT gooD.

creating a community

Working toward create a feeling of community among kiters in your area will help to promote etiquette on the water. Why? Because people are much less likely to anger someone they consider a friend or someone they shared a few beers with at then end of the last session. If everyone knows each other, it also makes it much easier to confront the bad egg or eggs. If you are a shop or school owner, this should be your responsibility and you should feel at least a little obligated to give back to the community that supports your business. Organize movie premiers or kite nights at your shop. Most kiteboarders like beer, so a few beers can go a long way toward getting a few kiters to hang out together. Everybody can do their part to encourage a feeling of community. Be friendly with the other kiters at your beach – you will be seeing them every time the wind blows. Remember, it’s up to each and every one of us to keep kiteboarding under our own control. If we let our local spots get so out of hand that outside authorities have to step in and impose rules, we are going to see a massive and rapid decline in what we are allowed to do as kiteboarders. Follow the etiquette guidelines and be a good role model to others. As more and more kiters ride responsibly, there will be more pressure on others to do the same. We make up a very small percentage of water users and it is too easy for the authorities to ban kiteboarding if they decide that we are a danger to others. DoN’T LET THAT HAPPEN.

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very kiteboarder eventually reaches a point when they have too much gear to keep in the car all the time. You might not be there yet, but you definitely will be someday. Kites are easy to stash into any odd spot you can cram them in to, but boards, especially surfboards, are completely different. I’m lucky enough to have a small garage, but even then it’s hard to find a good spot to store a pile of boards. They’re big and relatively fragile, so you don’t want them to fall over or take up too much space. THE SIMPLE SOLUTION IS TO INSTALL A BOARD RACK. With some basic tools, you can build and install this board rack in your garage, house, or apartment within an hour or two and for less than $20. While anyone can build this rack, ask a handy friend for help if you have never used power tools before. The great thing about this design is that you can modify it to fit as many or as few boards as you want. Here’s how you can tidy up your board collection, free up space, and keep your boards from falling over:

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Xdream Sportz (858)481-9283 Xstreamline Sports (310) 518-1972 Xtreme Big Air (805) 773-9200 CA CA CA

KiteMare (877) 829-0015 Miami Kiteboarding Inc. (305) 345-9974 Otherside Boardsports (305) 853-9728 Sandy Point Progressive Sports (386) 756-7564 Sea & Sky Sports CO CO CO CO CO CO CO CT CT (850) 598-3735 Ski Rixen (954) 429-0215 Tampa Bay Kiteboarding (727) 798-2484 Watersports West (888) 401-5080 Xrated Kiteboarding (888) 401-5080 FL FL FL FL Hawaiian Watersports (808) 262-KITE Hawaiian Surf & Sail (808) 637-5373 Kailua Sailboards (808) 262-2555 Kite High (808) 637-5483 Kiteboard Center GA GA GA (808) 276-2667 Kiteboard Maui (808) 870-2554 Hawaiian Ocean Sports (866) 488-5483 Kitesurf Maui (808) 873-0015 Maui Kiteboarding Lessons HI HI HI HI HI (808) 242-8015 Naish Hawaii (808) 262-6068 Off Da Lip (808) 255-6255 Second Wind (808) 877-7467 Vela Maui (800) 223-5443 HI HI HI HI HI HI HI HI HI HI HI HI HI FL FL FL FL FL

colorado
Colorado Kite Force

caliFornia
Action Watersports (318) 827-2233 Airtime Kiteboarding (818) 554-7573 Aquan Watersport (650)593-6060 CA CA CA CA CA CA CA CA CA CA CA CA CA CA CA CA CA CA CA CA CA CA CA CA CA CA CA CA Bay Area Kitesurf (415) 573-2619 Board Sports (510) THE-WAVE Board Sports (415) 929-SURF CaliKites (619) 522-9575 Captain Kirk’s (310) 833-3397 Delta Windsurf Company (831) 429-6051 Helm Sports (650 )344-2711 Inflight Surf and Sail (562) 493-3661 Kite Country (619) 226-4421 Kitesurfari (562) 596-6451 KiteWindSurf (510) 522-WIND CA CA

(970)4853300 GAYLAN’S (720) 887-0900 GG Wind Kiteboarding (970) 389-0683 Into the Wind (303) 449-5906 Larson’s Ski and Sport (303) 423-0654 Fuze Kiteboarding (303) 683-5033 PKS (970) 376-3159 Orbit Marine Sports (203) 333-3483 Tri State Kites (800) 510-0865

TOOLS
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Drill or drill press Tape measure Pencil Drill bits: for the large hole, I recommend using a Forstner or butterfly bit • Ratchet and socket to install the rack

georgia
High Tide Surf Shop (912) 786-6556 Locus Kiteboarding (404) 509-4229 Hanag20 Kiteboarding (912) 223-7856

SUPPLIES

• Pine 4x4, 39 inches long (longer if you want to store more boards) • Five 1 3/8 inch dowels, cut into 19 inch lengths (more if you want to build a bigger rack) • Wood Glue • Two 5/16 lag bolts, 4 inches long • A scrap of carpet, 39 inches long

Florida
Emerald Coast Kiteboarding (850) 235-2444 Learn 2 Fly (386) 986-9637 7 Kiteboarding (305) 664-4055 Ace Performer (239) 489-3513 Big Kite Miami (305) 303- 4107 East Coast Kiteboarding (954) 295-5778 Evolve Watersports (800)-841-1225 Extreme Kites (904) 461-9415 Extreme Sports (321) 779-4228 Jupiter Kiteboarding (561) 373-4445 Kiteboarding Tampa Bay (813) 389-3683 Ft. Lauderdale Kitesurfing Co. (954) 410-5419 Hydrotherapy (850) 236-1800 Island Style Wind & Watersports (941) 954-1009 Island Surf and Sail (954) 927-7002 Kiteboarding Tampa Bay (813) 389-3683 Kite Surf the Earth (888) 819-5483 Kite World (321) 725-8336 KGB Kiteboarding (904) 434-8987 1st Coast Kiting (904) 424-2721 Liquid Surf & Sail (850) 664-5731 FL FL FL FL FL FL FL FL FL FL FL FL FL FL FL FL FL FL FL FL FL

hawaii
Action Sports Maui (808) 871-5857 Aloha Kiteboarding Academy (808) 637-5483 Caveman Kitesurfing (808) 389-4004 Extreme Sports Maui (808) 871-7954 Hawaiian Island Surf and Sport (808) 871-4981

racK ‘em up! BUILDING YOUR OWN BOARD RACK
BUILDING THE RACK:
This rack has four slots when finished, with each slot holding two to three boards. You can modify these plans to make a longer or shorter rack for your own needs. If you don’t have the tools to cut the wood to the correct length, just ask the store to cut it where you bought your supplies. Most places that sell wood have no problem cutting it to the length you need.

Words and photos by Paul Lang

COST: $15 TIME SPENT:

TWO HOURS

INSTALLING THE RACK:

Live2Kite (415) 722-7884 Long Beach Windsurf Center (562) 433-1014 Mako Surf Skate Snow (949) 367-1300 Malibu Kitesurfing (310) 430-KITE Manta Wind & Water Sports (858) 270-7222 Monkey Air (310) 457-6896 Murrays (800) 786-7245 x23 Offshore Surf Co (760) 729-4934 OOTO Kite School (650) 960-1721 Solutions (805) 773-5991 Soul Performance (310) 370-1428 Sky Kitesurfing School (925) 455-4008 VELA (800) 223-5443 Wind over Water Kiteboarding (650) 218-6023 Windsport

So now you have a beautiful homemade board rack, but it doesn’t do you any good until you install it. First, you have to find the studs in your wall to attach the rack to. If you just install the rack into drywall, it will fall down. If you don’t know how to do this, ask a handy friend or buy a stud finder.

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1. On your 4x4, measure 1 ½ inches from the end and mark with your pencil. From this mark, place another mark every 9 inches. The last mark should end up 1 ½ inches from the opposite end.

2. Using a 1 3/8 inch bit, drill holes two inches deep at each mark. You can do this with a hand-held drill, but it is much easier if you can use a drill press.

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1. Find the studs you will be mounting the rack to and measure the distance between them. Mark this distance centered on your rack. 2. Drill two ½ inch holes through the 4x4 at the spots you just marked. These are your mounting holes. 3. Using the holes in your rack as a reference, drill two ¼ inch holes into your wall. Again, is important that these holes line up with the studs behind your wall.

4. Install your rack using the lag bolts. Place a carpet scrap below the rack to protect the ends of your boards.

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3. Route or sand the edges and corners of the 4x4 if you want it to look a little nicer. 4. Squeeze wood glue into each of the holes you drilled and push a 19 inch dowel into each hole. You want enough glue in the hole so that it squishes out. Clean off the excess glue and sand the ends of the dowels that stick out so there are no hard edges to damage your boards.

5. Sit back and enjoy your mad carpentry skills!

(619) 488-4642 Kite Island (925) 212-2915

8 2 th ek i t e b o a r d e r . c om

t h e k i t e boar d e r . com 8 3

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By Brian Wheeler

In sports such as wakeboarding, skateboarding, snowboarding, and now even surfing, grabs are an essential ingredient to developing one’s skills as a well-balanced and stylish rider. Kiteboarding is no different. Given how young our sport is, naturally its growth and evolution has been greatly influenced, and partly determined, by sports with much deeper roots. Take for example the spiritual drive to connect with the ocean taken from surfing, all the technical mobes (KGB, Slim Chance, Mobe, Pete Rose, 313, etc.) assimilated from wakeboarding, or all the grabs inherited from the broad pool of boardsports. With the unparalleled possibilities inherent in kiteboarding, such as downloop mobes, grabbed kite loop inverts, and the comparatively limitless potential to take to the sky, kiteboarding is a sport all its own. However, wherever you look, the language of one boardsport seems to be connected to the path of another. In case you aren’t familiar with the rich tradition of grabbing, a majority of them are right here at your fingertips… so that you can put them into your fingertips. Grabs are a gateway for riders to express and explore their own unique style. So what are you waiting for — get your grab on!

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Keep your hand in close to the center of the bar. This will help keep you from overlying your kite as you reach for the grab.

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Canadian Bacon: rear hand reaches around back leg, between feet and grabs toeside edge. Chicken Salad: rear hand grabs heelside edge between feet, with wrist rotated inward and front leg is boned. Crail: rear hand stretches across body and grabs in front of the front foot on the toeside edge, with back leg boned. Indy: bring knees up towards chest and grab toeside edge with rear hand, in between feet. Extend arm more towards front foot to avoid grabbing Tindy. Bone-out front leg and turn this grab into an Indy Nose Bone, or straighten both legs for an Indy Stiffy. Japan: front hand grabs toeside edge in front of the front foot (like Slob), and board is extended back so it is parallel to the water. Bend front knee and arch back as the board is pulled up and back. This is a grabbed form of a raley. Lien: with the body leaning over the nose of the board, the front hand grabs behind the front foot, on the heelside edge. Melon: front hand grabs heelside edge, in between feet, with rear leg boned. Method: front hand grabs heelside edge (like Melon), with both knees bent to make the board perpendicular to the water. Use legs to twist board across the body, toward the kite. Back leg tends to be straighter than the front, if not fully extended. Mute: front hand grabs toeside edge, in between feet. Similar to the Indy, but with front hand. Nose: front hand grabs nose of board. Bone-out back leg for extra style. Nuclear: rear hand stretches across body and grabs heelside edge in front of front foot. Palmer: basically a Melon with a twist (twist nose of board toward kite). Roast Beef: rear hand grabs on heelside edge, between the feet. Wrist is straight. Seatbelt: front hand reaches across body and grabs tail of board, with front leg boned.

For bonus style points, you can reach around and grab your fin. Actually grab the board and hold it - don’t just slap the bottom of your board and claim a grab.

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Bending or twisting at the waist is a great way to tweak out your grabs and put more style into your riding.

Andy Hurdman throws down a textbook grab. Lens: Gavin Butler

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Once you have the grab, bone it out - fully extend one leg and hold it there. Do it like you mean it, the more effort you put in to tweaking your grab the better it looks.

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Try one of these:
Hold the grab longer. Add a spin, a flip, or an extra rotation. Work the grab into a transition. Go huge and do a floaty, stalled-out 360, and don’t forget that grab. Try the grab “wakestyle,” without sending the kite. Keep the kite powered and fairly low (at about 45 degrees or so) and rely on your edging to give you pop. Do it unhooked. Be sure to keep your arms in close to your hips before you pop off the water. It will help you stay balanced and get more spring. Once you’ve got this down, work towards more extension. Try the front-handed grabs. When sending the kite this will mean you have to steer the kite with your back hand once you’re up in the air (unless you start the grab while you are descending from your jump). Be careful not to over-steer the kite. Front-handed grabs might be a bit easier if you do them “wakestyle,” but be sure your back hand just rests on the bar, otherwise you might accidentally initiate a transition, a kite loop, or just get yarded. Ouch!! Integrate the grab into a kite loop or downloop. If you are consistently stomping some sort of mobe, throw in a grab, and be sure to send the photos to The Kiteboarder! Add a grab to a Flat 360 handlepass or Flat 540 while launching off a wave, chop, kicker, or while doing a kite loop. Pick a simple trick like a powered backroll, roll-to-revert, toeside backroll, or front flip, and see how many grab variations you can do with it. A great way to test your grabs. If all else fails, be persistent and most importantly, be creative.
Cesar Portas shows a picture perfect unhooked grab. Lens: North

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Give it a tweak and add some style:
Do a Stiffy: get the grab then straighten (bone) both legs out. Stiffies can be a nice and fairly simple complement to the Indy, Mute, and Roast Beef grabs. Bone it out: extend either your front or rear leg out, but not both. Think of it as doing half of a Stiffy: extend just one leg, not two. Give it a Poke: similar to a Bone, except that you don’t leave your leg extended very long. Just as if someone were to poke you, it would happen quickly. Pretend you’re poking the wind with your board. Once you have the grab, give the board a poke. Make it a Shifty: rotate your upper body and lower body in opposite directions, then return them to their normal positions and prepare to land. Turn your grab into a Glide: chances are you’ve heard of an Indy Glide, which is basically an Indy grab where you let the board kick back and away from the kite, almost like a raley. To turn your grab into a Glide, let the board drift back, up and away from you as you throw in the grab. Need more of a challenge? Do it unhooked.
Brian Wheeler is a freelance writer, poet, and IKO certified instructor, sponsored by North, DaKine, and Air Time Kite Repair. He resides in Southern California.

Experiment with grabbing different parts of your board. Your back hand does not have to grab the tail of your board.

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To turn a grab into a glide, throw the board up and away from the kite as you would to do a raley, while holding the grab.

GLOSSARY
Slob: front hand grabs toeside edge, between the front foot and the nose of the board. Stalefish: rear hand wraps behind rear foot and grabs heelside edge, between feet. Consider poking the rear leg out. Suitcase: just like the Method, but once knees are brought upwards the front hand reaches across the board and grabs toeside edge, between the front foot and nose of the board. Tail: rear hand grabs onto the tail of the board. Tailfish: rear hand grabs heelside edge, between the rear foot and tail of board. Like the Tindy, try to avoid this one. Many boardheads consider it lame, but not as much as the Tindy. Taipan: front hand wraps behind front foot, through legs and grabs toeside edge. Be sure to bend front knee inward so it touches the board. Tindy: rear hand reaches straight down to toeside edge and grabs somewhere in between the rear foot and the tail. Many consider this grab lame (it’s TOO easy) so avoid doing it unless this is you’re just learning. Slightly more difficult, but more “acceptable” alternatives include: Indy, Tail, Stalefish, and Roast Beef.

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Extend your whole body to style out your move. Straighten your arms and legs as much as you can and then pull yourself back together for a smooth landing.

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When grabbing unhooked, hold the middle of the bar so you don’t accidentally dive or loop the kite in the middle of your move.

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DEPARTMENT

The Bowline Knot

3 SIMPLE KNOTS TO KEEP YOU CONNECTED

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By Bart Gaska
If you ever had to repair your broken lines, replace your chicken line, or tie new knots to tune your bar you might have spent some time trying to figure what was the best knot for the application. To understand basic knots, there are a few simple terms you need to know: the bitter end, standing end, a bite, and a loop. The most commonly used knot is the Bowline. It’s used to attach your chicken line to your trim strap. Start this knot by threading the bitter end through the trim strap and making an overhand loop on the standing end. (1) Then, thread the bitter end from underneath through the loop. (2) Next, go around the standing end and come back through the loop. (3) Give it a nice tug to cinch the knot down, and make sure to check the overall length of your lines since you might have shortened or lengthened your center lines. The Double Fisherman’s knot can save your day if one of your lines snaps and you are miles away from a shop (Tip: keep at least one spare line in your bag that can fit on either your front or back lines). Begin the Double Fisherman’s knot by laying the two broken lines down, one above the other. Work with one line at a time. Take the bitter end, and lay it underneath the second line. (1) Next, take the same end and bring it back over the top of the standing end. (2) Go back under again and make a second loop. (3) Then, simply thread through the loop. 4) Cinch it down and repeat for the other part of the broken line. Make sure to leave about an inch of extra line, and tie a stopper so the lines won’t slide through. Once both sides are done, pull the two standing ends apart. (5) You need to readjust your other 3 or 4 lines (including your 5th line) as best as you can. The broken line will be shorter and will affect your kite’s performance. Use the pigtails on your kite first. Hook up the unbroken lines as close to the kite as you can get and the shortest line to the knot furthest away from the kite. If that’s not possible, adjust the lines at the bar. The last one is the easiest! The Figure Eight is used as a stopper for your lark’s head knot. It can be useful when you need to make some knots on your pigtails. Start this knot by laying down the line and making a bite in it. (1) Then, take the bite and turn it 360 degrees. One way or another, it doesn’t matter. (2) Take the bitter end and thread it through the loop. (3) Cinch it down and you are done. These basic knots could get you back on the water instead of cutting your session short to drive to your local shop or to get your backup accessories. Check your gear often and tune your bar after every 15 to 20 times you ride. Don’t try to save a buck till the last minute if your lines are worn out and your chicken loop is about to break. I was cheap before and in the long run, it cost me nearly five times more money to repair a kite after my chicken line snapped and my kite wrapped around a lifeguard tower. Bart Gaska is the manager and head instructor for Kitesurfari in Seal Beach, California. A full service retail and online shop, Kitesurfari is an excellent resource for info on kiting in the Los Angeles area, and all the new gear.

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Double Fisherman’s Knot

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Figure Eight Knot

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kiteboarding lessons is a very exciting time for any beginning kiteboarder. With so much information being thrown at you in such a limited amount of time, beginners are often left with dozens of unanswered questions. While this guide should never take the place of actual kiting lessons, it does serve a great purpose of providing beginning kiteboarders and advanced riders alike with a reference for introducing and teaching the essentials of kiteboarding to those interested in the sport. Please feel free to copy this document and give it out to anyone and everyone who is thinking about getting into kiteboarding. All that we ask is that you give credit to the authors who dedicated their extra time to help us put this together.

Taking

Besides the wind, you also need to check the quality of the launch area. You always need to be aware of your safety zone – the half-circle of area downwind of you that your kite can fly over. If there are any solid objects or people in this zone, you should seriously reconsider launching your kite. A good rule of thumb is any object downwind of you within five line lengths should be considered a hazard. When getting ready to launch your kite, you always want to ask yourself what would happen if everything went completely wrong. If you lost control of your kite and it started pulling you, what would happen? If there are any solid objects around that cause you to worry when you ask yourself this question, find another site. So, what is the ideal place to learn to kiteboard? A place with steady side-shore to side-on winds of at least 12 knots (but not too much wind for the equipment you have) and a huge sandy beach with no solid objects downwind. In the ideal world, you would also add flat, shallow water. However, these ideal sites are rare, and there most likely isn’t one in your area. Choosing a site is ultimately a judgment call; a trade off of positives and negatives of the site. Knowing your limits is the key to your safety. Always talk to the locals if you are new to a spot, and they can help you decide if the beach is good for your skill level.

- Ryan Riccitelli Editor, The Kiteboarder Magazine

Learning the Wind
By Paul Lang o, you’ve decided you want to be a kiteboarder? You’ve seen a few people doing it at the local beach, and have probably seen it on TV a few times. You’ve even got a little wakeboarding and surfing experience, so it should be easy, right? While almost anybody can learn to kiteboard if persistent enough, learning on your own is just downright foolish. Kiteboarding equipment is not cheap, so think of lessons as an investment just like your kite or board. What good does saving $350 on lessons do you if you destroy your $1500 kite, or even worse, potentially end up in the hospital? When learning to kiteboard, remember that kiteboarding is a wind sport. It might seem silly that I bring this up, but it is often overlooked. Everything we do in kiteboarding is controlled by the wind, so it is extremely important to have a solid understanding of wind and how it relates to our sport. Most people without previous wind sport experience have a hard time finding where the wind is coming from because they’ve never had to think of it before. The first thing any kiteboarder should do when they arrive at their spot is find where the wind is coming from. There are a few ways of doing this that work better than licking a finger and holding it up.

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Anything on the ground, and/or near your kite and launch person can be a hazard. Don’t be afraid to move or find a more open space to launch if you feel the least bit wary.

Always take a good look at your launch area. There is nothing more dangerous than an unsuspecting person that is ill equipped to escape an out of control kite.

Lens: Ryan Riccitelli

There is no easier way to find out wind direction than by searching out a flag. Wind direction is a key factor in determining the safety of a site.

Watch your lines!! Getting snagged, or tangled could cause your kite to launch erractically endangering you and others in the path of the kite.

Finding the Wind
One of the best ways to find the wind direction is to look for a flag. Flags always point downwind, and also give a good indication of how windy it is. You can also find the wind direction by moving your head from side to side. When facing straight upwind, you will feel an equal pressure in both ears. Holding your arms out also helps you gauge direction. Ripples on the surface of the water are another good wind indicator, as they move downwind. Until it becomes second nature, you should constantly be reminding yourself where the wind is coming from, especially if you are having trouble flying your kite.
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Lens: Jim Semlor

Estimating the Wind Speed
It is also crucial that you check the wind speed where you want to kiteboard. Not only do you need to have enough wind to ride, but it’s also important that there is not too much wind for the equipment that you have. Despite what some may claim, the lower limit to learn to kiteboard is about 12 knots. In less wind than this, it can be extremely difficult to relaunch your kite from the water. If you have trouble estimating what the wind speed is, the best thing to do is to look at what size kite other riders are flying of comparable weight and skill level, and talk to other kiters on the beach. If you aren’t sure if

you have the proper size kite for the conditions, don’t hesitate to ask someone more knowledgeable. Wind quality is an important aspect of the wind that most beginners overlook. The better the wind quality, the steadier the wind is, both in its speed and direction. Gusty or shifty winds make riding challenging and learning very difficult and frustrating. The best way to judge the wind quality is to look out on the water, watching the texture of the wind on the water. The more even the texture, the better the wind quality. If you see a very obvious distinction between light and dark patches on the surface of the water, the wind quality could be too low to go out.

Choosing a Riding Spot
Choosing the proper site to learn to kiteboard is one of the most important decisions you can make when learning to kiteboard. Rigging up and attempting to go out in less than ideal conditions can not only be frustrating, but can also be very dangerous. When you get to the beach, the first thing you want to check is the wind. You need to know direction, speed, and the quality of the wind.

dangerous for kiteboarders because the wind is always trying to pull you away from shore. Offshore winds are gusty and can be extremely dangerous in a large body of water (like the ocean). As a general rule, even experienced kiters should never go out in these conditions.

and if you make a mistake, you could find yourself dragging across solid objects or lofted into something hard with a fully powered kite.

Onshore Winds: Onshore winds blow from
the sea directly onto land. Beginner kiteboarders should almost always avoid learning to ride in onshore winds unless you have assistance from an instructor or proper supervision. Your kite is always pulling you towards the shore,

Side-Shore Winds: This is what you are looking for as a kiter. Side-shore winds blow parallel to the shore and make the beach easy to safely leave and return to.
Combination winds are also common such as side-on or side-off. When learning to kiteboard, the best conditions are side to side-on (with the wind blowing onto the beach no more than 45-degree angle).

Offshore Winds: These winds blow from the land to the sea. Offshore winds are

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Lens: Rick Iossi

Getting a two-line trainer kite, with or without the aid of an instructor, is the perfect place to start with your kite experience. Most often these kites can be bought for under $100.00

Picking the right board shape and size for your riding conditions and skill level will aid your learning curve.

For light wind days, or for venturing out into the surf, adding a kite-specific surfboard to your quiver will be a must.

Judging Conditions
By Lindy Devries and Shanna DeVries-Merrill

A few years back, a kiter from our crew was lofted 20 feet into the air and drug into a snow fence. The rider escaped serious injury only by sheer luck. The same week, another rider was fatally injured under similar circumstances. These events and others around the world reinforce the importance of knowing and evaluating weather conditions.

Here are some safety tips to help you judge conditions:
Gauge the wind speed. Small whitecaps start to form at about 13 knots, and sand blows at just over 20 knots. Don’t go out in conditions that are above your skill level – you might get more air than you’re ready for. Usually 13-20 knots is ideal for a beginner. Don’t go out in surf you wouldn’t be willing to paddle out in. Whatever the conditions, you should never go out further than you can swim. Cold water can be dangerous. Use the 100º rule: air and water temperatures must add up to 100º to kite in the water. Always wear an appropriate suit for conditions. Going in the water without an adequate wetsuit is never fun, and puts you at risk for hypothermia. Check the weather forecast. Always! Watch for predictions of a quick and significant drop in temperature. This indicates a low-pressure system moving in with strong winds. This also can set the stage for storms and squalls, so watch the sky. If it’s black, head on back to the beach or do not go out.
There are many harnesses to choose from. Make sure yours fits right, and compliments your bar and riding style. Learning control and steering on a small kite will speed up your learning curve on an inflatable kite.
Photographs courtesy of REAL Kiteboarding

Your first purchase will be your kite. Knowing the wind you will be kiting in, as well as having a list of essential features will help you narrow your choice to quiver size and brand.
Lens: Jim Semlor

By Matt Nuzzo

By Paul Lang

Storm indicators:
- Fast moving squall lines, which look like a wall of dark clouds. - Fluffy white cumulus clouds growing taller and flatter at the top, resembling anvils. These are thunderheads or cumulonimbus clouds, which are indicative of gusty winds and storms. - Cirrocumulus, or “mackerel sky,” looks like thin lines of clouds packed closely together. This tends to precede turbulent weather conditions, including spotty precipitation and storms. - Mammatococumulus clouds, which look like the udders of a cow, can produce the funnel clouds of tornadoes. - A rush of cool air usually precedes a thunderstorm by about three miles. - You can estimate the distance of a storm by counting the seconds between lightning and corresponding thunder. Thunder takes about five seconds to travel one mile. Don’t wait until the storm is overhead – lightning is most common around the perimeter. If you ever see lightning, play it safe and stay off the water.
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hen you make the decision that you want to become a kiteboarder, one of the best things you can do for yourself is to go buy a trainer kite before your lesson. Trainer kites are cheap and can be passed on to friends or family. It is important to understand that flying a trainer kite is not exactly like flying the real thing. What trainer kites do well is teach you the mechanics of steering the kite and show you the wind window.

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movements should be similar to Tai Bo punches. Concentrate on pushing away with the opposite hand, as most people have a tendency to pull with both hands. If you are steering the bar like a steering wheel, you are spazzing out and need to think back to Billy Blank’s Tai Bo punches.

he kiteboarding industry has been rapidly growing ever since Bruno Legaignoux made the first leading edge inflatable (LEI or C) kite. Every year we have seen some quality improvements in kites and boards, but 2006 has proven that this year’s gear is insane. Working at REAL we get to try almost all major manufacturer’s equipment, and I have to say that there were very few kites this year that we didn’t like. The new C style kites have much better wind range and usability, while the bow/flat/SLE kites have really stepped into a whole new realm of depower and functionality.

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CHOOSING YOUR QUIVER
When you are buying your gear you need to address a few main issues. These considerations will be your body weight and the wind conditions you will be riding in, the quality of the product and the reputation of the manufacturer, and your personal goals within the sport. Addressing the size and wind range that you will most typically be kiteboarding in is really the most critical consideration for choosing the right gear. For the average size male a good starting kite for most places will be a 12m to 13m. From there, add a 16m or 17m if you live in a lighter wind area, or an 8m or 9m for high wind riding. Your average sized woman will start out with a 9m or 10m and build her quiver starting with the larger or smaller kite sizes depending on the local conditions. The best thing to do is to talk to local shops and riders, who can help determine the best size kite for your area. Typically, you can cover 90% of all of your kiteboarding needs with three kites in your quiver.

WHAT ARE YOUR RIDING GOALS?
Finally, when choosing gear make sure that you get what is going to work best for the type of rider that you are and the type of rider that you want to become. We have seen people as young as 8 and as old as 78 out kiteboarding. These two types of kiteboarders have different needs, and so do all of the people in the middle.. Are you a big jumper, wakestyle, or a cruiser? There is gear out there best suited to each style of riding.

BOARD SELECTION
We always recommend getting a board that is one step above your ability level. We teach people to first ride on monster 170 to 180cm boards. They work great for learning, but most will outgrow this size in a couple of weeks of riding. Our most popular size board for a first time buyer is a 140 to151cm. I personally ride a Jimmy Lewis Model III 133cm board for all around powered conditions and the same board model but 145cm for light wind days.

LEARN THE WIND WINDOW
Once you feel you have good kite control it is time to learn about the wind window. The window is defined as anywhere the kite will fly. Along the edge of the window, where the kite is far upwind, the kite has the least amount of power and will respond slowly. The more downwind you fly the kite, the more power it will produce and the faster it will react. Practice flying the kite on the edge of the window, without powering it up. This will allow you to keep the kite in the air with minimal pull. Also practice doing figure 8s with the kite, Start at the top of the window and dive the kite down vertically towards the ground, then back up to the top of the window. Practice until flying your trainer becomes second nature. By spending time with your trainer kite, you will be able to progress more quickly and get more out of your first kiteboarding lesson.

CUTTING THROUGH THE HYPE
With so much gear on the market it can be really hard to weed through all the propaganda and see what kite and board will work for you. One manufacturer’s write up on their bow kite might say it is best suited for the safety-oriented beginner, while the next promotes that it is a high end wave killer, which is sure to leave anyone questioning who is it for, the beginner or the advanced rider? The answer is that many of the kites on the market will work for the beginner, but they will also perform for the advanced rider. With most other sports you need to upgrade your equipment as you increase your ability. With kiteboarding, if you buy the right kites, the only time you will need to upgrade them is when you ride them into the dirt or want to add more sizes to your quiver.

GETTING STARTED
Lay out the kite on the sand with the bridles up and the trailing edge towards the wind. Put sand on the trailing edge. Starting at the kite, unwind your lines by walking upwind. Straighten your lines by walking between them and attach them to your kite. When you are ready, simply tug on the bar and the kite should launch.

WHO CAN YOU TRUST?
Your second consideration in getting geared up is finding the kite and board manufacturer that has a good reputation and that you trust. There are a lot of brands out there; some are backed by good companies, and some are not. Through the R&D process, there will always be some ideas that just don’t work out in reality, and it is important to buy gear from a company you are confident will back up their products. Do a little research to find a company that you are confident will be able to service your needs as a consumer.

GET OUT THERE!
The main thing you need to consider is that the longer that you wait to get your new gear, the less time you will have on the water. If you already kiteboard, 2006 is your year to upgrade your equipment. If you are just starting to kiteboard, you need to remember the words of our friend Matt Raincock : “If you don’t learn to kiteboard now, you will still suck this time next year!”
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STEERING
Now that you have the kite in the air, the first thing you want to learn is how to steer. The way you steer a kite is by rotating it. You can rotate the kite to the left or right, and it will move in whatever direction you point it. To rotate the kite left, pull with your left hand and push with your right. Your

Taking a close look at the leading edge profile shows in the difference between a Bow Kite and C-Kite.

Don’t Skip This Step!
By Matt Nuzzo

By Matt Nuzzo

Bridles attached along the leading edge of SLE (Supported Leading Edge) kites, also referred to as Bow, Flat and Hybrid kites, control the kite’s angle of attack, allowing users to ‘dump’ air easily for wider depower range.

The wingtip of a traditional C-Kite is much smaller than the new designs of a Bow kite.

uning your kite is the most important piece of gear tech that you can learn. An improperly tuned kite will not only fly poorly, but it could potentially hurt you or others around you. There are a few characteristics that will be specific to the type of kite that you are flying. Get these key points down and you can make sure that you have a properly tuned kite.

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Fly your kite:
To get the proper tune on your kite you need to test your bar and kite match up. Many brands bars and kites are interchangeable if you have them tuned right. Getting all lines equal length is your best way to start, but flying your kite will really tell you if the kite is tuned properly. The best time to do this with any size kite is on the 10mph day. That is enough wind to keep the kite stable in neutral, but not enough wind to have everything go wrong if the kite is not tuned properly. Flying your kite on light wind days will not only make sure that it is tuned right, but you can practice valuable skills like self-launching and self-landing.

This is how your kite should look when it is properly depowered, with back lines slack.

Tuning a C Kite:
Test your bar:
You have to test your bar. If you don’t, this could be the problem with your riding that you could not figure out. Obviously it is not good to blame all of your riding problems on your gear, but an improperly tuned kite is one of the most common problems that we see people having on the beach. Generally speaking, all 4 or 5 lines should be the same length when you attach them to a single point. The wild card in this is the 5th line. The leading edge bridle length will determine how long the 5th line needs to be. The main point is that your two center or power lines need to be the same length as your rear lines when the lines are attached to a fixed point and the chicken loop is hitting the bar. If your rear lines are too short it will choke off the kite and make it fall backwards out of the sky. If the back lines are too long then the kite will not steer. If the 5th line is too long the safety will not work and if it’s too short, it will make the kite fly too forward in the wind window and not have any power.

Tuning a SLE Kite:
Test your bar:
SLE( Supported Leading Edge)/bow-style kites use a 4-line bar unique to their particular design. The main difference with the SLE kite bar is that it is has an extremely long chickenloop line. The bridle on an SLE kite will allow your kite to pivot off of the LE and dump a lot of power as you sheet the bar out. Tuning the bar is similar to most other standard 4 or 5-line bars in the sense that with the chicken loop at the bar, all 4 lines should be equal length.

Lens: Ryan Riccitelli

he SLE or ‘bow’ style kite is not new. This shape was one of the first types of kites made, but was abandoned because of complications that the original designs had. With their rebirth in 2006, there’s a lot of hype behind these designs. Having ridden a lot of the different styles, below are the major differences between SLE and classic C-shaped kites.

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TECH TIME!
. First we need to talk about the obvious di ferences between bow and C kites. The most obvious is the look of the kite. The C kite has a C-shaped leading edge, and has been the standard for the past five years. The SLE kite has a flatter profile, very swept back wingtips, and the leading edge is supported by a bridle. C kites can be flown on 4 and 5-line bars whereas bow kites are only 4-line.

PERFORMANCE
Next we can look at the major performance characteristics. The C kite will traditionally have smooth power output, light bar pressure, fast turning speed, a variety of safety releases, and overall ease of use. The SLE kite has a large wind range, handles gusts well, rapid

depower, and the option for hooked in safety release. The 2006 C kites have seen a great increase in wind range and usability. They have always been well rounded, but it seems that this year’s batch is particularly user friendly. Also, most C kites are rigged from the manufacturer with 5th line safety. I think the 5th line safety is by far the safest system on the market. A lot of manufacturers have introduced the SLE or bow style kites into their kite line-ups this year and the most noticeable feature is the wind range that these kites have. The chicken loop is twice as long as a C kite, which combined with the flat profile of the kite and leading edge bridle allows the kite to dump power on command. This feature can be a little challenging for the first time rider because you can turn the power on and off so fast. However, if you know how to ride a chicken loop bar, the range of these kites is impressive. Most of the SLE kite manufacturers promote letting go of your bar for the safety release. That can work in normal power situations, but in overpowered conditions can be very dangerous. Overall, the SLE kites are user friendly and have a lot of de-power, but they can be challenging to selflaunch and self-land.

THE CHOICE IS YOURS
You should buy a C kite if you want a reliable and tested safety system (5th line), smooth power output, performance for the beginner to the advanced rider, easy self launch and self landing, and a proven design. Buy the SLE kite if your riding area is extremely gusty and want to have maximum wind range, the latest in tech, 4-line ease of use, easy re-launch, and a safety system that can activate while you are hooked in.

Photos courtesy of southcoastkiteboarding.com

An example of a perfectly powered kite with even line tension.

Check your tuning in neutral:
The SLE kite is a little harder to see if it is not tuned right because of the very swept back wingtips. The swept back wingtips will not flare out if the kite has too much back line tension like the C kite will, so it is hard to visually tell if the SLE kite is not tuned right. You will find out if you have too much back line tension if the kite starts to back down out of the sky. To get the kite back to neutral you can sheet out the bar and just like the C kite, the SLE kite will climb back to the neutral position. A properly tuned SLE kite will sit parked in the neutral position when your bar is about 6” away from the top of the chicken loop. Just like the C kite, the most common SLE kite error is too much back line tension. For both C and SLE kites it is best to have a little more front line tension than back line tension.

When you have too much backline tension, the wingtips flair out and the kite becomes unstable.

Look at the wingtips:
The wingtips on your C kite will tell you what is going on with the kite. The key thing to look for is to make sure that the wingtip of the kite is parallel with the wind direction. If the wingtips look really flared out or opened to the wind, it means that there is too much back line tension and the kite is being choked off. Choking off the kite is one of the most common problems in tuning the kite, so if the kite is falling backwards in the wind window or if the wingtips look flared out, this is probably the issue. To fix this problem you can adjust the tuning knots at the kite, pull the depower strap, or sheet the kite out to reduce the back line tension.
n10 nder Le Lens: Sa

Fly your kite:
See part 3 of C kite tuning
ing Kiteboard Lens: North

A little advice on deciphering

the growing buyer’s market

Tip: Test your new kites and boards on light wind days and take the time to work through all settings
a board, the more responsive and lightweight it will be, but it will also be more delicate. Durability is an important factor, but don’t get so hung up on the durability that you get the wrong board. Most people will not break their board from riding unless they start to hit sliders or just generally abuse it. Put your feet in a board and make sure the pads and straps fit your feet. You can get most boards with fins only and add on the pads and straps that you want. There are a lot of good accessories out there and you can mix and match them if the ones that come with your board don’t work for your feet. Finally, invest in a board bag. Most of the wear that my boards take happens in the back of my truck or taking it in and out of my truck. A board bag will add a lot of life to your board, so the $50 will pay off in the long run. you will be kiteboarding on. Don’t be afraid of all of the new gear and the different kites on the market. There’s a lot of good stuff out there and not getting geared up now will leave you behind the times. Get good advice from people that have ridden the gear you are interested in, and buy what seems right for you. Try to read between the lines of hype and dial in a kite and board combo that will best suit your needs and riding conditions. Remember that everyone is different and has different likes and dislikes. The most important part is honing in on your gear needs and getting what will best serve you for the long run.

Basics for your new Gear
When you get your new gear, make sure you do a few things to be sure that you understand your gear. The best thing is to test your kites and boards on the light wind days. Go to the beach or local park (with a very wide berth!) and fly your kites. Change the tuning knots and see what makes the kite fly the best. Test the safety system and practice selflaunching and self-landing. To dial in your board, ride it behind a boat or a jet-ski if you can before your first session. You will not only improve your board skills, but it will also increase your comfort level on the board that

Don’t get confused and don’t tech out too much! You will drive yourself mad if you believe all the hype from every company and person on the beach. You need to assess what conditions you are going to ride in, what manufacturer you believe in, and what your goals are in kiteboarding. That will weed out a lot of kites right there. Once you get a gut feeling for what you want, go for it. At Real, we get the opportunity to ride most kites on the market and there were very few this year we did not like.
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As a trend, we have been seeing a lot of people going for SLE kites for 12m and smaller, and C kites for their larger kites. One of the reasons for this is that SLE kites tend to have more bar pressure that gets heavier as the kites get bigger. Many of the new C kites have very light bar pressure, and this is consistent from 5m to 25m kites in many manufacturers kite line-ups. For boards, you should get one that is a bit above your ability level if you are learning, but

most of the time a 140 to 151cm would be a great starting point. For powered conditions you can get a board based on your body weight. We see most people 100-140 lbs going with 120 to 132cm boards. For 140-180 lbs, most are riding boards in the 128 to 138cm range. For the 180lbs + mark, 132 to 142cm boards are the most popular sizes. The other considerations that you need to look at with boards are price, durability, and accessories. Generally, the more you spend on

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Want more water time? Learn how to self-launch
iving and riding in Cape Hatteras, you would be surprised how many good kiteboarders we come across who cannot self-launch or self-land their own kites. We are not talking about just beginners here. There are many riders who can stay upwind, jump, ride waves, and even pull basic tricks but cannot launch and land their kites by themselves.

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The ability to self-launch and self-land not only gives you the confidence to take a session anywhere in the world, but also directly addresses these questions:
“What if I’m the last one off the beach going out for a session?” “What if I’m the first one back to the beach after a session?” “In these situations, who will help me with my kite when there are no other kiteboarders around?”

Fold wingtip and secure with lots of sand.

Double check lines are free.

Photos courtesy of Realkiteboarding.com

By Bart Gaska

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Attach safety leash before you launch.

Reconfirm you are positioned correctly.

A major part of Kiteboarder Safety and Responsibility is taking responsibility for your actions and gear. While you would always prefer to have a fellow kiteboarder assist you in launching and landing your kite, it is far safer to self-launch and self-land than it is to rely on a non-kiteboarder, if there are no other kiters around. Non-kiteboarders can easily make a mistake, grab the wrong side of the kite, or release the kite before you are ready, opening up a titanic can of trouble that you never saw coming. By practicing self-launching and landing on light wind days, you will be ready for your first self-launch/land on the next windy day. As with any launch and landing, it’s important to follow the basics. As you travel from beach to beach, wind directions change, and it can be easy to lose your bearings and set yourself up incorrectly for the launch or land. To properly orientate yourself, stand with your back to the wind and extend your arms straight out to the sides. Sighting down your arms will show you the edge of the wind window, where the kite and rider should be positioned for a self-launch. Failure to orientate yourself and your gear in this manner can result in you “hot launching” the kite too far downwind, or having the kite upwind too much causing it to roll through the window to the hot launch position. Your wind window travels with you on the beach and water, anywhere you travel to kite in the world. Using the above method for wind direction will help you properly orientate yourself to any beach with any wind direction. Once you have defined the edge of the wind window, bring your kite there and secure the lower wingtip with sand. Grabbing one wingtip, let the rest of the kite follow the direction of the wind. Secure this wingtip to the beach by folding it over and piling a GENEROUS amount of sand on top of it. If you are self-launching on grass or other non-sand surfaces, using a sandbag to secure your wingtip can also do the trick. Double check that your lines are not folded around strut ends, pulleys, etc. and that they are tangle free back to your bar. As you walk from your kite to your bar, always keep an eye on your kite to make sure it -stays secured to the beach or ground surface. For SLE kites, you self launch the same way except you may want to put a little sand on the inside of the kite before you fold over the wingtip for extra stability. Never set your kite up for self-launch and then leave it that way. ONLY set up your kite for self-launch when you are ready to launch your kite. Once it is set up for self-launch, launch your kite immediately and get out on the water. For maximum safety, always remember to launch unhooked whenever possible.
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Maybe you’ve seen it before… a fellow kiteboarder rigs his lines up wrong, has an out-ofcontrol kite, or is being lofted right before your very eyes. While there is no doubt that safety systems have improved over the past few years, knowing and understanding your safety release options is imperative to kiting safely. Following are a few of the common systems you will see.

Photographs courtesy of REAL Kiteboarding

Pin Release – Most safety systems have some kind of a pin or Velcro release. Find out if it is activated by a push or pull motion and if it can be easily put back together before you have to use it. Practice using it and putting it back together until you can do it without looking. The standard wrist leash – It will depower the kite if you let go of the bar while unhooked. If you are hooked in, you have to first release your harness loop, either by unhooking or by pulling your pin release. Practice doing this BEFORE you get into a bad situation. If your system has a ring attachment for a leash, make sure it attached to the moving ring, not the fixed ring! Oh Sh!t Handles – Some riders choose to rely on these in lieu of a leash. To activate, you have to grab hold of the handle while releasing your chicken loop. This is not an ideal system, because it can be very difficult to grab the handle in an emergency situation. Punch-out – Some older designs utilize punch-out safety systems. You can activate it by simply pushing the bar away from you. Recon – This is a Cabrinha specific system that should be fully understood and practiced before ever going out on the water. Generation One and Two bars are very different, so be sure that you understand exactly how yours works.

Do one last visual check.

Check your lines again.

Rule: Never let a random bystander catch your kite. One wrong move and they could seriously hurt them self and you. 1. The international signal for kite landing assistance is tapping your head a few times with your hand. 2. Steer your kite slowly to the edge of the window (preferably toward the water) in the direction of your kite catcher.
Slowly pull bar to tension lines/kite. Commit with firm pull to launch.

By Trip Forman

3. Steady the speed as you lower the kite gently into your kite catcher’s hands. 4. Once you see that your kite catcher has the kite, unhook and go secure your kite to the beach.

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Landing Eitquette- ALWAYS help another kiteboarder land their kite. Don’t be that guy who is too cool for school to help out. The beach is a safer place with assisted launching and landing.

Bring kite up slowly.

Learning how to self-land could save you in a pinch
Once back at your bar, attach your safety leash and get ready to launch your kite. You will need to reconfirm that you are positioned correctly with the wind direction. To do this, slowly pull the bar to tension the lines and kite. Check the kite to make sure it is properly filled with wind and ready for launch. If it is luffing, move yourself upwind. If it is filled with wind and turning into the wind down towards the sand, this means that you are positioned too far upwind. Before launching, move yourself downwind to bring the kite closer to the edge of the wind window. All of these pre-launch checks are performed while the kite is still secured to the beach. Once you have found the proper position, firmly pull the bar towards yourself to release the sand from the lower wingtip. Slowly raise the kite upwards, grab your board and head out onto the water.
By Trip Forman

ifferent types of kites (4-line, 5th line, and SLE/bow style) require different styles of self-landing. Without a doubt, I think the safest and easiest type of kite to self-land is the 5th line. The 5th line leads straight to the center of the leading edge and grabs the kite “by the balls,” just like how you walk it down the beach. In this position, the kite will generate absolutely no power. To self-land a 5th line kite, make sure there is nothing downwind of you, and your leash is secured only to the 5th line. Unhook from the chicken loop and release the bar. All tension will transfer to the 5th line, causing the kite to flip upside down and float powerless to the land or water surface. Walk hand over hand up the 5th line until you get to the kite and secure it to the beach. NEVER wrap any kite lines around your hands.

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ground and slowly roll, without power, downwind. Walk your way up the line your leash is attached to, until you get to the kite and can secure it. Never wrap kite lines around your hands. Use a hand over hand method, quickly making your way to the kite. Properly secure your SLE kite to the land with plenty of sand or a heavy sandbag to make sure it doesn’t blow away. If your SLE kite does not have a ring/ring system on the front or back line, position your kite at the edge of the window near the ground. Fully depower your kite with your depower strap or trim cleat. With your safety leash attached to the chicken loop/safety leash attachment point, release the bar and the kite will fall powerless to the ground at the side of the window. Secure your chicken/leash point to the ground and walk your way quickly up the front line closest to the ground until you get to the kite and can secure it. Taking the time to learn the skills of selflaunching and landing will help to make you a more independent kiteboarder. Remember that you would always prefer to do an assisted launch or land with a fellow kiteboarder, but the ability to launch and land your kite on your own will come in handy when you find yourself to be the only kiter on the beach.

5th Line – Every company has their own way of activating their 5th line safety, so familiarize yourself with how your system works. 5th line systems give your existing set-up extra depower and allow for easier re-launchability than standard 4line set ups. If your kite is not 5th line compatible, you can get your local repair guy to do it for $20. The 5th line safety is largely acknowledged as the safest system currently on the market, but you can rip your kite in half if it rolls in the surf and the 5th line is wrapped around the kite. Bow/SLE/Flat kites – These kites haven’t been on the market long enough to determine the pros and cons of the various kites and bars. However, almost full depower can be achieved by simply pushing the bar away from you or letting it go. Suicide Leash – This leash is used by advanced riders who don’t want their kite to drop from the sky if they accidentally let go of the bar during an insane trick. It will NOT de-power your kite and can be very dangerous.
All kites are designed with one or more safety systems. Before your first session on new gear, understand how to activate and reset your safety releases. If in doubt, refer to your kite’s manual or ask a fellow kiteboarder. Keep yourself and others safe.

The safest way to self land your SLE kite is to combine the benefits of the SLE, with the proven methods of the 4-line self landing. Position your kite at the edge of the window, near the ground, with your safety leash attached to the ring/ring system on either your front (preferred) or your back lines. Unhook from the chicken loop and release the control bar. The kite will fall to the

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Keep your hand close to the center of bar to avoid over flying your kite. Lens: Mercedes Miccio/TKB

This is the ideal body position to go upwind and looks cool.

By Michael Giebelhaus

Everyone will lose their board while kiteboarding, whether you are just learning the sport or trying the latest trick. Couple this with currents, wind, and waves and you will be missing your board before you know it. Unless you have a buddy willing to dedicate their session to retrieving your board, you better know how to get back to it yourself! Follow the steps below to learn how to body drag upwind:

To be able to stay upwind while kiting, you first have to understand the main two components of going upwind: Proper Equipment and Proper Technique.

Proper Equipment
To get yourself upwind, you need a kite that will generate the proper amount of power for the board you are riding. Too little power and you will find yourself having to head downwind just to stay on a plane. Too much power and you will continually get pulled off your edge, sliding downwind towards the kite. Having the proper equipment for the conditions is critical for going upwind; even expert kiters have to do the walk of shame if they have too much or not enough power in their kites. Until you gain experience in picking the proper kite and/or board for the conditions, watch other riders on the water to judge how well their equipment is working for them.

Step 1. After regaining control of the situation hold onto the control bar using only one hand (opposite hand of sailing direction). Step 2. Your other hand will act as the rudder and is extended in front of you and slightly upwind. Turn your body in the direction you want to go by trying to put your lead shoulder underwater.

All kiteboarders go through the process of learning how to ride upwind. It often takes a lot of practice. Go out and concentrate on using proper technique and only staying upwind. Once you have the skill to ride upwind, you will get to spend your sessions kiting, instead of walking.

Step 3. Move the kite to the side of the wind window you would like to travel. Keep the kite about 45º above the water’s surface.
An important aspect of body dragging upwind is to get the appropriate power in the kite. A good rule of thumb is to depower the kite first, and then power up as needed.

Proper Technique
Kiting upwind is not a hard skill, but there is a definite technique to it. When you pop up out of the water and start riding, do not worry about going upwind until you have a good amount of board speed. If you try to point the board upwind while you are moving slow, your board will start sliding and you will land on your butt. As your speed increases, weight your back foot progressively more and more and lean away from the kite to dig your heel edge into the water. The more you edge your board and weight your back foot, the further upwind the board will travel. Here’s where the tricky part is: If you edge too hard, you will slow down too much and force the kite to the edge of the window, which will cause you to lose power and sink back into the water. You have to develop a sensitivity to how powered the kite is. When you feel a lot of power, you weight your back foot and edge, and when

In lighter wind, keep your body upright and the board flat.

Step 4. Feel yourself gaining and losing ground upwind and adjust the angle of your “rudder” and the aggressiveness (sining) of your kite. Step 5. You will reach the edge of the window and will need to switch things to travel upwind on the opposite side. Follow steps 1-4 above in a zigzag pattern until you have reached your board. Even if you can’t get upwind, your board will drift downwind to you, as long as there is not much current.
If all else fails, $20 and a six-pack of good beer is a bargain price for board retrieval and is far cheaper than replacement.
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Depower your kite when you reach your board to avoid being pulled downwind. Lens: Bill McLees

Don’t do the frog squat; it doesn’t work and looks like crap.

Photographs courtesy of REAL Kiteboarding

Lens: Ryan Riccitelli

ack in the old days before we knew better, almost all kiteboarders used board leashes. After many leash-related injuries, it became common knowledge that wearing a board leash while kiteboarding was dangerous. However, many kiters don’t take the time to learn how to recover their board by body dragging upwind, so they have trouble keeping the board with them. Leashes solve the problem of losing your board, but can be dangerous as they cause the board to recoil back toward the rider. If you do decide to use a board leash, I recommend a reel-style leash and that you ALWAYS wear a helmet! If the leash is long enough, the board WILL hit you!

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By Paul Lang

f you are a beginning kiteboarder, then you are definitely familiar with the walk of shame. You ride back and forth for a while and suddenly find yourself a few hundred yards downwind of where you started. No matter how hard you try, you just can’t make it back to where you started from, so you are forced to come in and walk your humble butt back upwind. Being able to kiteboard upwind is one of the most important skills to learn in your progression to becoming a competent kiteboarder. It can also be very frustrating to learn if you are trying to figure it out on your own. Following are a few tips that will walk you through how it’s done.

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you feel the power going away, you flatten the board and shift some weight to your front foot. The key is to find a point where you can keep constant edge pressure, while still moving upwind with good speed. Correct body position will help you immensely in going upwind. When you edge your board, keep your front leg straight and your back leg slightly bent. Lean away from the kite with your shoulders, not your butt. Keep your back straight and think about driving your hips up towards the kite. As you edge, keep your ankles locked at 90º and lift up with your toes. It often helps to look over your forward shoulder at an upwind point.

Check your gear before every session to ensure everything is safe to fly and ride.

Lens: Matt Cotton

Profiles
Ryan Riccitelli is the editor of The Kiteboarder Magazine and runs South Coast Kiteboarding School based in Corpus Christi, Texas. For more information check out southcoastkiteboarding.com or TheKiteboarder.com.

By Paul Lang

Paul Lang is the owner of westcoastkiteboarding.com in San Diego, CA, and runs instructional clinics and trips down to Baja, Mexico. He is also a senior editor for The Kiteboarder and the sound engineer for ASNEWS.net podcasts. Matt Nuzzo and Trip Forman are the co-founders
Make sure you have good board speed heading into the jump, and get your kite at 45-60 degrees above the water. Remember, try not to move your kite a lot. Stay loose and land with your knees bent and your board pointing downwind. Congrats! You just stomped your first air. of REAL Kiteboarding in Cape Hatteras, NC. For more info about gear, tuning, riding, selflaunching and self-landing, check out the new REAL Instructional DVDs “Zero to Hero” and “Evolution” at your local kite shop or www.realkiteboarding.com .

Photographs courtesy of REAL Kiteboarding

lmost all kiteboarders remember the first time they saw someone kiting. You probably thought, “Yea, that’s pretty cool” until you saw the rider jump out of the water, do a trick, and ride away like it was nothing. That’s when the “that looks cool” turns into “I want to do THAT.” For many, jumping is the whole reason they get into kiting. After leaning to stay upwind, learning to jump becomes the next hurdle to overcome.

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Have you tried to jump yet? If you have, I bet I know what happened the first time: You decided you were going to jump, so you sent the kite in the other direction, causing it to lift you above the water. You thought you would shoot 20 feet into the air just like the guys in

the videos, but you didn’t go up very far. Instead, you went flying downwind, splashed hard on your butt, and to add insult to injury, your kite fell out of the sky. This is a common mistake most beginners make. If you want to learn to jump properly, you have to first learn how to do an ollie: a small jump where you are using board pop, not the kite, to pull you off the water. Just like you have to learn to walk before you can crawl, you cannot jump 20 feet into the air if you cannot jump two feet with control. The ollie is the most basic trick – you are simply popping the board off the surface of the water. Once you are able to do this, you can combine an ollie with sending the kite. When

timed properly, this is how you jump HIGH. Learning to do small ollies before you try to jump big will teach you proper board technique for when you want to start going big.

Begin edging your board and putting your weight on your back foot. Progressively increase edge pressure. This is known as a Progressive Edge, which is how wakeboarders jump. As you are increasing edge pressure with your Progressive Edge, push down with your back foot. Pop the board off the water by standing tall and pushing off your back foot. The line tension will carry you up and forward. Bend your knees and land with the board pointing downwind.

Jumping Tips.
Start out riding with your board flat with good speed, and your kite 45-60º above the water. Through the whole maneuver move your kite as little as possible. In order to pop the board off the water, you need to do two things: create line tension and force the tail of the board down, which will cause the water to push up on your board. Start with your board flat on the water, moving with good speed.

It’s really that simple. This entire process happens in less than a second, and there is a lot of timing to get right, so practice, practice, practice! If you edge too hard or too quickly, you will force the kite to the edge of the window and lose power. If you edge too slowly, not hard enough, or do not have enough board speed, you will not get any pop. If you take the time to learn to jump using only your board skills, you will be able to work up to bigger and bigger jumps by sending the kite, timed with popping the board off the water. Before you know it, you will be the guy soaring above the waves, inspiring someone on the beach to say, “Now I want to do THAT!”

Bart Gaska is the manager and head instructor for Kitesurfari in Seal Beach, CA. A full service retail and online shop, Kitesurfari is an IKO approved school and an excellent resource for info on kiting in the Los Angeles area, and all the new gear.

Michael Giebelhaus
established Kite-Line.com in 1999, a store which prides itself on excellent customer service and industry knowledge. Kite-line offers lessons in the Northwest and Baja, kite adventures and domestic/international sales. In the winter, Michael operates out of La Ventana, Baja, offering demos of the latest gear.

hile kiteboarding is all about freedom and the pursuit of happiness, sometimes there’s not much justice—just ask anybody whose favorite local spot no longer allows kiting. With this in mind, we offer up the following thoughts on kiteboarding etiquette.

W

right of way, etc.). However, when it comes to actual on-water practice, don’t depend on those rules. It builds good faith, helps avoid accidents and rarely costs you anything to give somebody else the right-of-way whether it is rightfully theirs or not.

Go out of your way to protect the non-kiteboarders around you. Be sure you rig, launch, ride,
and land in a place where even an idiot can’t get hurt by you or your equipment.

Surfers/windsurfers: Don’t jump or spray them!
Swimmers: Avoid launching around swimmers at all times. Don’t practice new tricks around them either – the kite could drop, power up and seriously injure someone. When you are kiteboarding around a beginner, give them space. We were all beginners once and remember those first few sessions when we weren’t sure what was going to happen next. Having someone else crossing (or jumping) close upwind or downwind of you is terrifying. Give ‘em some space.

Avoid flying your kite over someone else on or off the water. With 30-meter lines and tons of power, we definitely have the potential to affect a large area around ourselves. In most places where kiteboarding access is being denied, it can be traced to reactionary governing agencies or unreasonably scared citizens. But if you dig deep enough you’ll probably also find a kiter or kiters that have done something stupid to piss off or scare others on the beach or in the water.

Todd Martin is Senior Research Analyst for Kite-line. As part of the Kite-line ‘tribe,’ he gets to test all the latest gear and reports to the shop and customers on the pros and cons of each. His day job is consulting on environmental restoration and waste management at former nuclear weapons facilities. Lindy DeVriesCampbell and Shanna DeVries-Merrill grew up in
South Haven, Michigan. Along with their husbands Chris Campbell & Mike Merrill, they founded Sharkless Boardsports, an online kiteboarding resource and plan on opening a retail shop and formal kiteboarding school in the spring of 2006.
53

Everyone else has the right of way. Most know there are onwater nautical rules (e.g. the rider with the right hand forward has
Photographs courtesy of REAL Kiteboarding, North Kiteboarding, Best Kiteboarding, Amundson Customs/John Amundson, Ryan Riccitelli Photography

Remember, kiteboarding is a privilege, not a right, so a little extra effort to grease the social wheels is not that big a deal to ensure that we can continue our pursuit of freedom and happiness.

M

1%-28)2%2')

DEPARTMENT

A worn chicken loop/trim line can spell disaster. Check frequently for wear.

3 SIMPLE WAYS TO SAVE YOUR GEAR
By Bryan Eagle

Fun isn’t cheap if you happened to not notice, so taking care of your gear and protecting your investment is a smart move. The conditions are punishing on kiteboarding equipment and a no wind or rainy day is a great time for maintenance. Taking the time to clean, inspect and repair your quiver will ensure happy hours riding on the water instead of frustration sitting on the beach.

A simple coating of surf wax will help prolong the life of your line.

Chicken loop:
The chicken loop/trim line is a critical component which should be inspected and replaced before it breaks. Friction and abrasion created from repeatedly passing through the bar, cleat and stopper screws are the most common causes of trim line failure. Line wear to the point of a decreased diameter will also reduce the tensile breaking strength significantly. Applying surfboard wax to the trim line will reduce friction and wear, protecting and increasing its lifespan.

Fins:
Losing fins can become expensive so it’s a good idea to inspect and tighten the screws frequently. A thread locker such as Loctite is an excellent product to ensure a tight bond between the screw and insert. It is recommended that you only use a thread locker with metal screw inserts, because the product turns into a plastic-like substance once cured. - Whether you desire the bond to be permanent or temporary will determine the type of Loctite you will need. - Loctite is available in three different colors for specific applications. - The blue is recommended for fins as the bond can be broken with hand tools. - The red and green Loctite require the application of heat in order to break the bond. - Allow a minimum of 20 minutes for the thread lock to cure before exposure to water. Sharpened fin edges and nicks can damage board bags and inflatable boats. Burrs, nicks and sharp fins can be sanded with sandpaper. Simply round the flat and rough spots with a medium grit, sanding only the damaged and immediate surrounding areas, and finish with fine grit sandpaper. Fin tips that have been ground flat or have cavitations can be rebuilt or repaired with a 2 part epoxy, sanding the cured epoxy to shape.

Loctite will help secure your fins in place.

Allow at least 20 minutes for the Loctite to cure. Also, double check on the color to make sure you get the right kind.

Prep your kite so you start with a clean slate.

Kite Canopy:
The kite canopy UV resistant coating degrades with prolonged exposure to sunlight, salt and abrasive sand. The canopy material may fade, crease and become brittle, leading to torn panels and seam separation. Utilizing a product such as 303 Aerospace Protectant replaces the UV-screening protection, and restores a like new color, luster and gloss. It also prevents fading, repels dust, and minimizes soiling and staining. Regular applications will significantly increase the lifespan of the kite canopy. Inflate kite and rinse with low pressure fresh water. Allow to air dry. Spray 303 on outer canopy and leading edge. Wipe dry with a sponge. Reapply every two months or as needed.
Bryan Eagle, a Florida paramedic, is the owner and PASA/IKO certified kiteboarding coach of Tampa Bay Kiteboarding Inc. For info on lessons, launch sites and weather information in Tampa Bay, check out tampabaykiteboarding.com 70

303 protects your kite from UV damage, a kite killer.

Author Bryan Eagle. If you see him in Tampa, buy him a beer as a way of saying ‘Thank You’ for his great cost-saving tips.
The Kiteboarder Magazine and The RIng Media assume no liability for any modifications you make to your gear. Use above tips at your own risk.

if you are wondering what the big deal is about stand up paddling, you owe it to yourself to give it a try. Photo Jim Brewer

Check out the TKB Store for SUP DVDs

Stand Up Paddleboarding

Instructional Guide
sinCe this is a magazine about kiteboarding, you may be asking yourseLF, “What is a stand uP PaddLeboarding instruCtionaL guide doing here?” Ask a few of your kiteboarding friends

if they have tried stand up paddleboarding and you will have your answer as to why we chose to do this. Over the past year, it has become very obvious to us that a great majority of our readers either already have their own stand up paddling equipment, have given it a try, or are interested in getting into this rapidly growing sport. The sad truth about kiteboarding is that our sport is condition dependant, meaning that we need a certain set of weather conditions in order to get out on the water. When conditions are to our liking, we are in heaven, but when the wind doesn’t show up for long periods of time, kiteboarders are known to become grumpy, irritable, and just downright mean. Stand up paddleboarding offers a cure to the no-wind blues, as it offers an alternative for kiteboarders to still get on the water when we would otherwise be at home checking and rechecking wind sensors and forecasts to see if there is any hope of the wind blowing, even when we know deep down that there is absolutely no chance of it happening. Stand up paddlleboarding (SUP) gives us the chance to get our water fix and some exercise instead of pouting on the beach because of the lack of wind. We are not at all suggesting that SUP is a replacement for kiteboarding or that we should all sell our kites and buy stand up boards. We see SUP as a great compliment sport to kiteboarding, as when conditions are not to a kiteboarder’s liking, they are typically perfect for SUP. Conversely, when the wind comes up and conditions are no fun for SUP, it’s time to put up the kites and do what we do best. If you go to the beach with kite and SUP gear, you are guaranteed to not get skunked. Since we know many of you have either started standup paddling or want to start soon, we decided to bring a little standup into this issue and consulted with the top SUP companies to help you choose your first setup or improve your skills. We hope you enjoy, and, as always, let us know what you think.

5 6 th ek i t e b o a r d e r . c om

HOW TO CHOOSE A BOARD

the sea is full of different SuP designs, so the best way to find the right board is to get out there and try as many as you can. Photo courtesy Starboard

Interview w/ Jimmy Lewis

h Jim Brewer, Paddle Surf Hawaii (US Distributor)

The three most important things to consider when purchasing your first SUP board are main usage (more for flat water or waves), your weight, and, if you are planning on using the board in the surf, your level of surf experience. Bigger, longer boards have better glide and the wider your board, the more stable it will be. For surf, smaller/narrower boards work great for maneuvers, but trade off on stability.

h Blane ChamBers, Paddle Surf Hawaii

Just like surfing, it is easier to learn on a bigger board than a short one. As a general rule, your first priority is choosing a board with stability which means for most, a board with at least a 30” width. Chances are you will grow out of it within a few months, or it may become your flat water cruising board or spare for family and friends. The best advice I can give to anybody wanting to get into SUP is to demo as many boards as you can, do your research on the internet and develop a relationship with a retailer who takes the time to ask you tons of questions to get you your first setup. www.standupzone.com is a great online resource for info.

h Ken russell, Jimmy lewiS (US distributor)

Choosing a standup paddleboard is like finding the perfect girlfriend: We all think we want the centerfold pinup that we saw in the magazine, but the reality is that we’d probably be happier with something a little friendlier and easier to manage. Fortunately, there are plenty of shapes and sizes to choose from, and you should definitely do some sampling before you make the big commitment. If you don’t have the time or ability to get out there and ride a bunch of demos (we’re talking about boards now), then use this simple guide to help you make your decision:

There are Three BasiC Types of Boards:

Interview w/ Jimmy Lewis

Wave Specific SUP, Flat Water Glide SUP, and a hybrid of the two. The first two are catering to a specific niche of paddlers who are dedicated to their corners of the sport. These boards are very good at what they do, but do not cross over well to other aspects of the sport. The wave specific boards have more rocker and a pulled-in nose and tail. They are meant to maximize performance on the wave, which sacrifices a little bit of the flat water stability and glide. The flat-water distance and race boards are meant for those looking to win races and exercise with the greatest efficiency and speed. These are hydrodynamic missiles with little ability to carve. If you are a surf junkie or a marathon paddler, then you already know your answer. For the other 80% of the paddling population, the all-around hybrid design is the way to go. These boards come in several flavors that either lean more towards flat water or waves, but are usually pretty good at both. The best way to find the right board is to get out there and do some paddling. You’ll find the right one soon enough.

SuP boards come in every shape and size, ranging from surf-specific carvers to flat-water cruisers and everywhere in between.

5 8 th ek i t e b o a r d e r . c om

t h e k i t e boar d e r . com 5 9

OnBoard Watersports Online

Paddle Surf Hawaii Online

Distributor of Paddle Surf Hawaii SUP Boards.

Santa Barbara, California

Photo - Jim Brewer

Team Rider - Genelle Ives

805 845-5466

Colorado Charlie MaC
Choosing the proper paddle will lead to more efficient paddling and a more comfortable SuP experience. Photo Courtesy naish

HOW TO piCk A pADDlE

Photo: Todd Patrick

roots in Pure Hawaiian tradition

maldives BriaN KeaUlaNa

and is the leader in SUP technology, performance, and innovation. From our home surf on Oahu, we design and produce the finest STAND UP PADDLE boards, paddles, equipment and accessories for wave-riding and flatwater fitness touring and training. Visit us for more at www.C4Waterman.com.

C4WATERMAN has

h Ken russell, Jl

h Todd Bradley, C4

The paddle is sometimes overlooked, but is just as important of a tool as the board. Also important is the length of your paddle, not only to your technique, but also for your body’s wellness. Too long a paddle will place more pressure on your shoulder and arm joints as well as limit your power. Too short and you risk lower back issues with bad posture and again not having efficient power. However, the twist on this is once you find the correct paddle height for your size, the type of board and style of paddling you do can play a roll in your paddle height. For surfing, you are usually on a thinner board and you are in a more crouched position, therefore a shorter length is better. I recommend 3-6” longer than your height. For touring and racing style paddling, the boards are traditionally thicker. I recommend a paddle length of 8-10” longer than your height. The quick rule for all uses that you can’t go wrong with is one “Shaka” over your height. Paddles are a personal preference and it is

The paddle you choose is just as important as your board. The factors involved with your decision are efficiency, comfort, power, and price. The least expensive paddles are plastic or wood. Wood has a nice aesthetic and feel while more tech-conscious paddlers swear by carbon fiber. This strong, light material is incredibly stiff and gives you a direct-drive feeling, but it’s also the most expensive. Fiberglass paddles (my personal preference) are a little less expensive, and offer a flexibility that is easy on the joints and gives a spring-like propulsion on the release from the water. For the paddler who has to share his paddle with others, adjustable paddles allow you to change the length of the shaft.

h Jim Brewer, Paddle Surf Hawaii

HAWAII TODD BraDleY

For flat water, go with 9” overhead and a 9” blade. For surf, you want a smaller blade (under 7.5”) and a length of about 6” overhead. Don’t skimp on your paddle -- you get what you pay for! Poor paddles don’t track right and tweak your back and neck.

hBlane ChamBers, PaddleSurf Hawaii
Paddles are a personal preference thing. The typical paddle length most people are using is within 6 to 10” above your height. Smaller blade paddles under 8-1/4” provide an easier pull and are becoming the choice for many entry level paddlers. Paddles with larger blades pull more water. This means an entry level paddler still trying to get their balance may have a harder time.

Photo: Allen Mozo

ADVENTURE
surf to

AND START AN

PADDLE

STAND UP

recommended you try more than one brand, as many have different shafts and blade configurations, flex, and blade design. Remember, a SUP board is a planning hull and is not the same as canoeing which is a displacement hull. Choosing the correct tool will help increase your learning curve as well as your fitness.

C4 Waterman Online

C4WATERMAN.COM

h anne-marie reiChman, Starboard

HOW TO STAND Up

The easiest way to stand up is to first practice on the beach by kneeling on your board. Since the beach is not moving underneath you, you can practice putting your paddle in front of you and standing up while taking your paddle with you. Once on the ocean, you do the same. After making a little speed by paddling on your knees (speed creates stability), you can put the paddle in front and stand up. Place your feet next to each other and focus on your breathing, as you would with yoga. Keep your knees bent and focus on your core stability.
Before you stand up, kneel on your board to gather your balance and get a feel for the board.

Tips on sTaBiliTy
ChuCK Badar, Solo PaddleSurf
• Keep looking at the horizon, not at your feet. This makes balancing on the board much easier. • When you encounter balance issues always remember to keep your knees bent, especially when there is wind chop or a passing wake. A lower center of gravity equals better balance. Standing upright will come naturally as you spend more time on the board.

Tips on how To fall off your Board
peTer Trow, PaddleSurf Hi
When falling, you may have the tendency to want to grab your board on your way down in a last effort to save yourself. This is incorrect and is an easy way to get injured. When you begin to lose your balance and fall, never try to stay on or near the board. Always fall off to the side of the board while pushing the board away from you. Hold your paddle up over your head or off to your side so you don’t fall on it. This will help avoid any injuries and get you back on your board in one piece. As more SUP’ers are taking to the surf, paddle and fin injuries are becoming more common. I recommend that you wrap the edge of your paddle with two applications of electrical tape to help protect your board and body.
Stand up in one smooth motion, taking your paddle with you. once on your feet, keep your knees slightly bent, back straight, and focus on involving your core muscles in your paddle stroke.

C4 Waterman How-To Videos
Photos robert Sullivan

h Todd Bradley, C4

I like to say SUP’ing is like spinning a ball on your finger. Once it is spinning, you just need to keep the body still and use the paddle in short quick strokes to keep it up. Technique is also important for your body’s wellness and maximizing the overall benefits of SUP. Stand with your feet parallel and body positioned at the center balance point of board in the water. Keep your knees slightly bent, back straight, and chin up while looking ahead. Your bottom hand is always on the same side of the board as your blade. Your abs will be supporting your posture and this is the key to building the best exercise and core fitness. The stroke should be done with the least amount of body bending and more upper torso twisting. The stroke begins near the chin and is a drive and extension of the top arm like a punch utilizing the bottom hand as a fulcrum point. The stroke should be short and crisp with the catch of the stroke being the key to the power application. After the top arm is fully extended, the twisted shoulder pulls the blade until the release out to the side near the feet. The bottom arm continues to be the fulcrum point and stays fairly straight. If you are pulling with the arms too much you are transferring the stroke power to arm paddling and away from the large muscles of the core. Remember not to bend at the waist.

h Ken russell, Jl

If it’s your first time, get ready to look like a baby deer on the ice. It’s easy to fall and hit your head, so start on your knees in the center of the board. Paddle around a little and feel the limits as you lean from one side to another. Set your paddle down, either across the pad in front of you or lengthwise between your legs or along your side. Place your hands on the board in front of you and come up to all fours. Keeping your knees bent and your torso straight grab your paddle and come up to your feet like a weight lifter. You will learn very quickly that your movement is limited like a tight-rope walker. As long as your balance is centered, you can move around quite freely. While in flat water paddling mode, you will always be standing 50/50 with your shoulders and hips squared forward.

paddling:

(cont’d from Ken Russell):

Much like in a canoe, you will be taking a few strokes on either side before switching hands and paddling on the opposite side. If you want to increase your endurance and glide, work on very efficient strokes that propel you forward. With each stroke, your top hand should come across your body so that both hands are pulling along one side of the board. Don’t rely on your arms alone. This is a full core exercise, so make sure you are keeping your abs and lats active throughout the stroke. If you end your session with Popeye arms but no burn anywhere else, then you’re not using all the muscles you should.

Tips on feeT posiTion and sTroKe angle
miChi sChweiger, NaiSH feeT Too Close: If your feet are positioned close together you’ll have less stability than if they’re spread wide apart. I tend to like my feet shoulder-width apart and I’ll point my toes outward slightly. Doing this gives me an even wider footprint that offers enhanced stability. BaCKward paddle posiTion: A paddle’s optimum position for creating forward movement is when it’s 90° to the water. When the paddle is positioned backwards, the stroke is effective until the paddle reaches your toes. From there, the paddle’s angle is pushing water upward, which doesn’t propel you forward. When a paddle is positioned correctly, the paddle is effectively propelling you forward until the stroke reaches your hip. That difference, between the toes and the hip, is about 20% of your paddle stroke. Take a close look at your paddle blade, and the angle it’s been set to. The Polynesians put that angle into the paddle to maximize its efficiency.

t h e k i t e boar d e r . com 6 5

the basic turn involves simply taking a stroke further from the edge of your board to turn yourself in the opposite direction. Photo courtesy C4

h anne-marie reiChman,

Starboard
I like to let people feel the turning motion by paddling on their knees first. This way, you can discover the effects when paddling forward and backwards. Then you can copy those motions very easily when standing up.

Solo Paddlesurf Online

h Blane ChamBers,

PaddleSurf Hi
To make a turn, dig your paddle into the water in the direction you wish to turn. Once you start your turn, paddle on the opposite side until your turn is completed. Once you get the hang of it, you can move one foot back which weights the tail. Paddle on the opposite side till the turn is completed and continue on. This is a more advanced, but much quicker turn (see the 180° Turn by Michi Shweiger below).

h peTer Trow, PaddleSurf Hi

To make a quicker turn, take a stroke further off the rail of the board; this will push you around in a tighter radius. For a very tight radius turn try back paddling. Take a stroke from the tail of your board towards the nose. If you back paddle on the left side of the board you will quickly turn to the left; back paddle on the right and you will turn to the right.

h miChi shweiger: NaiSH:

The 180° Turn is an advanced turn I use get the board around in as little space as possible and is the turn used most often to catch waves. 1. Assume a surfing stance, and put weight over your back foot back to bring the nose of the board up. 2. As your bodyweight is lifting the nose of the board, stroke sideways to initiate the turn. 3. The power of the stroke combined with your weight-back body position makes the board turn quickly. 4. Focus your eyes on where you want to turn to and continue to stroke wide to keep the board turning. 5. Start to bring your weight forward as the board nears the three-quarter point of the turn. 6. Continue shifting weight to front foot as you prepare to make another stroke. 7. When you’re almost all the way around, continue to stroke and looking in the direction you want turn. 8. Your weight will naturally shift on both feet as you’re finishing the board’s turn with a final stroke to the side. 9. Go back to a parallel stance to paddle in a new direction.

HOW TO TURN

hanne-marie reiChman, Starboard

HOW TO SURF YOUR SUp

When you enter the ocean for the first time, ask for some advice from a local. What is the tide doing, how is the current, where can you be surprised by reef/rocks? Is the swell picking up, or is it dying down? These are all important elements to know while you are out there. Also, check where the surfers are and never sit/stand in the middle of a pack of surfers. Use your advantage since you are standing on your board. You can also see the swell lines and that way you can choose which wave you want to take. Try to take the last few waves of a set, so it is easier to paddle back out again.

as all-around waterman robby naish shows, there’s no reason to miss out on great surf just because the wind isn’t up. Photo naish/D.wong

h Ken russell, Jl
how To handle surf
The two big challenges are getting beyond the break and, of course, catching the wave. Without the ability to duck-dive these big boards, you need to pick your path and timing wisely. With as much speed and mobility as you have, you should go around the break if you can. If not, then tackle the waves head-on for best balance. Power through the wave with an aggressive stroke while leaning forward. If you see the wave starting to break before reaches you, you may consider jumping off the board and diving into the wave. Do not get caught between your board and the shore as the wave can bring it right on top of you. Once you’ve pulled through the wave, grab your leash and get back to the board. If you’re not wearing your leash, get ready for the long swim to shore and the explanations to all the parents of children who were decapitated by your runaway board. OK, now you’re out past the break, and spotting your wave. Line yourself up and paddle up to speed. Use short fast strokes between the nose of the board and the front of your feet. Long full strokes are not as good for quick acceleration. As soon as you are on the wave, step back so that you don’t sink the nose and to create your first gentle turn. Assume the surfing stance, but don’t be afraid to move around to get the board to react. Use your paddle for balance, acceleration, and as a rudder. Do not ride the shore break into the beach. It’s a good way to break your board and yourself. Now go back out and get your freak on again. You’ll be amazed at how small a wave you can catch, and how big a wave you can handle.

CaTChing waves
Choosing waves is the most critical part of the surfing experience. You need to give yourself time to turn around (which will take you a bit longer in the beginning). It is important to not get hectic and to not waste all your energy for that process. Make sure you are far enough out so that you don’t pick the waves in an area where they are already too steep. The leverage you get with the paddle lets you catch the waves very early. It will take some practice to get a feeling for that. 1. in ParaLLeL stanCe: You can again use the stable parallel stance to turn around and start paddling for your selected wave. Keep your knees bent which will make it easier to keep balance and to adjust to bumps. Turn your board to get ready for the take off by paddling a bit sideways on one side. When you are pointing towards land, make sure you take off 90° to the wave. Use short and fast strokes which will get you going and will give the wave the chance to pick you up. Keep your knees bent and when you are certain that your board is gliding and on the wave switch to surfing stance (regular or goofy depending on your preference). 2. in surFing stanCe: Again this requires a bit more balance and practice, but is ultimately the fastest and most effective way as you do not have to change your stance when on the wave. You also have a better option to move your weight back and forth in order to stall or accelerate right away as well as to adjust to the steepness of the take off. When putting weight on your back foot and paddling on one side, you can turn the board pretty much on a dime and react to wave selection very quickly. You can also position yourself better and adjust your takeoff angle. Again use a fast short stroke which will give you the best acceleration. Don’t stop paddling until you are certain that the board starts gliding and is fully carried by the wave.

h miChi sChweiger, NaiSH

how To surf your sTand up Board
geTTing over The whiTe waTer
There are two basic ways to make your way out over the white water into the lineup. Generally it is best to choose a spot that has a channel so that you can paddle around the main break, but off course not every place offers this luxury, which makes it necessary to know how to get over waves and whitewater.

1. using a ParaLLeL stanCe: The parallel stance is the most stable position
for paddling in a straight line. Create speed and keep your knees bent while approaching the whitewater. Upon impact, stop paddling and use your knees as a shock absorber. The wave will pass under your feet and you need to start adjusting with your knees once the whitewater passes. Due to the turbulence it is hard to keep your balance, but you will find that using the paddle as a stabilizer gives you additional support.

surfing your sTand up Board
Surfing your stand up board is very much like longboarding, except that you are already standing up when catching the wave. The main thing is positioning. You want to be close to the breaking part of the wave where most of the energy is and use that to create speed down the line. Turning the stand up board requires a certain technique that is based on longboarding. As the boards are bigger it is important to start the weight distribution to the rail in your ankles and knees. Initiate the turn from there – only when you feel the board turning you can apply additional pressure by leaning into the turn. Remember that riding high on the wave gives you a better chance to create speed and position yourself on the wave. In no time you will have the hang of it – fun from the beginning is guaranteed.
t h e k i t e boar d e r . com 6 9

2. surFing stanCe (one Foot ForWard): You can also cross the wave
in surfing stance which requires a bit more balance but lets you get over bigger waves or white water as you can spread your weight more efficiently. Again, make sure you create enough speed before you hit the wave. When the whitewater approaches your front foot, move your weight towards your back foot with your knees bent. When the water lifts the nose of the board and passes under your center point, move your weight forward and you will basically pop over the obstacle. Again, the turbulence will try to throw you off balance. Use your paddle to stabilize.

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SUp BACkgROUNDERS

miChi sChWeiger: naish suP ProduCt manager Originally from Austria, Michi Schweiger runs Naish’s SUP division. His job includes everything from coming up with the product line to testing and bringing the product into commercial production. Naish has been developing stand up boards for the past 5 years. Michi said that when the sport first started to appear through Laird Hamilton and Dave Kalama, Naish developed their own boards with their shaper Harold Iggy, mainly for personal use. This gave them the advantage of actually having a lot of prototyping done and being right on target when they decided to launch SUP boards commercially. ChuCk badar, soLo PaddLesurF Born and raised in the Philippines, Chuck first started windsurfing in Maui on a summer trip to Hawaii. Soon after, he became a full-fledged boardhead for the next 19 years including training and competing with the Philippine National Windsurfing team for 6 years. Chuck permanently moved to California in 1997 and discovered kiteboarding in ‘99. He started paddlesurfing in early 2007 and has been doing SUP 4 to 5 days a week since. He is a co-founder of Solo Paddlesurf which launched in 2008.

time exploring and tapping into the Central Coast’s endless SUP possibilities and is currently sponsored by Onboard Water Sports and Paddle Surf Hawaii. ken russeLL, FuaCata sPorts (us distributor Jimmy LeWis) Fuacata Sports was founded by industry veterans Garry Menk and Ken Russell. The company name (pronouncedFWAH-KAH-TAH!) is spanish slang meaning “Wham!”, used to describe a surprising high impact. Jimmy Lewis began shaping custom surfboards in Maui over 40 years ago. He has shaped boards for many of today’s top riders and companies. His production lineup now includes 9 kiteboard models in 27 sizes, 5 SUP models in 12 sizes, and 7 Surfboard models in 14 sizes. The current production process combines epoxy construction, hand shaped rails and a high gloss automotive finish for maximum speed, control, quality, and design. anne-marie reiChman, team rider starboard Based in Maui, dutch pro Anne-Marie Reichman is not only a pro rider on the Starboard SUP team, she is also a world champion windsurfer, passionate surfer and accomplished painter. Her goal is to share her passions with other people around the world during clinics, interviews, promotion activities and events. By doing what she loves to do most, she wants to motivate and inspire others to follow their dreams and passions in life. Her motto is: “Dream of life, live your dream.” bLane Chambers, PaddLe surF haWaii Blane Chambers is one of the most well known Stand Up Paddle Surfboard shapers in the industry. He founded Paddle Surf Hawaii and builds boards for many of the elite surfers and paddlers around the world. He is also one of the leading SUP surfers and on the invite list to the prestigious Ku Ikaika Big Wave Challenge held at Makaha every year. todd bradLey, C4 Todd Bradley along with co-founders Brian Keaulana and Mike Fox base their business philosophy on the four core disciplines of a waterman – balance, endurance, strength, and tradition – leading to their C4 brand. An accomplished waterman in canoe paddling, surfing and SUPing, his passion and energy are huge driving forces in the C4 mission of further exploring the waterman lifestyle.

PErformancE BoarDriDing

Jim breWer, onboard WatersPorts (us distributor PaddLe surF haWaii) A third generation surfer, Jim started doing standup paddlesurfing 5 years ago in Santa Barbara. He first got hooked up with Ron House out of San Clemente, one of the very first shapers to start doing custom SUP boards. As time passed, he became a sales rep for Ron House, Gerry Lopez SUP boards and Quick Blade paddles. Jim is currently owner of BlueLine Standup Paddlesurf Santa Barbara, one of the largest SUP retail stores in the world and is also the owner of OnBoard Watersports, the US distributor for Paddle Surf Hawaii SUP boards.

NaishSUP Online

Peter troW, team rider PaddLe surF haWaii Peter Trow grew up in Northern California surfing and windsurfing from age 13. He became absorbed in kitesurfing in 1997 and quickly became a professional kiteboarder competing and traveling around the world. Today Peter is still involved in the kiteboarding industry running the US distribution for Flexifoil Kiteboarding USA. Now residing on the Central California Coast, Peter’s newest passion is stand up paddle surfing. He now spends most of his free

Watch Robby Naish in Hawaii

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Look forwarD to winDLEss Days
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SUP Boards Gerry Lopez Surfboards Paddles Quick Blade Outrigger Paddles Leashes Board Bags Kites and Kite Boards

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Kite Beach Hotel Online
By rick iossi

advances in kiteboarding technology continue to make our sport more fun and safe but nobody can teach you common sense. Good judgment and kiting responsibility is just as important as knowing your gear and the basics of the sport. the tKB accident report is not meant to sensationalize kitemares. the Kiteboarder magazine has called on the expertise of safety guru rick iossi to help you learn from the mistakes of others. Pass on the lessons learned and never be afraid to speak up in a respectful and helpful way—tKB Staff

KiteCycle Online

don’t Grab that!
Site/ConditionS
This incident could pretty much be any site under a wide range of conditions but takes a kiter and at least one other person. Also, the kiter needs to be standing still, typically on the beach long enough for someone to come up to him. This is a common occurrence for many of us. This problem may be more common in more populated areas, perhaps with intoxicated people at times too. Conditions vary from light to strong and the “other” person has even been a kiter in the past as well.

Let Go and Punch out!
Site/ConditionS
A kiter had just put up his kite at an advanced inland launch. The launch area was wind shadowed by nearby hills and a tree and the wind direction was less than optimal, resulting in excessively gusty winds with pronounced lulls. Wind records in the vicinity show speeds ranging from 12 to 28 mph. The launch was tight with numerous boulders close by. Winds were sufficiently erratic to where other local kiters had opted not to launch.

inCident Summary

This report isn’t about one incident but many over several years since near the start of our sport. It involves a bystander coming up and pulling on one end of your bar, sending your kite out of control and perhaps looping down the beach, possibly dragging you behind it. The first instance of this type happened in strong winds around 2001 resulting in a pro kiteboarder being severely injured when she was pulled under a parked van. The pro rider asked for help from a non-kiter before she hit the van, but obviously had had no idea that the help involved the guy grabbing her bar and sending the kite into loops accidentally. Children, not knowing any better as well as adult have done this too. Worse, sometimes bystanders have intentionally pulled on a control bar or line to punish a rider. This happened to a young competitor last year and a 60-year-old rider on vacation more recently. This isn’t an everyday problem but it happens often enough to be something that you need to be aware of.

inCident Summary

An intermediate kiter was out for the second session of the season with a new kite. He had just landed to pump up a strut he had missed inflating, given the new system. Upon relaunching, the kite was near the zenith when a pronounced lull hit, stalling his kite. When the line tension vanished his chicken loop fell from his harness hook as he was riding without a chicken finger (donkey dick, chicken tongue, etc.). He was hit by a gust and his kite fully powered up. The rider had been hammered by gusts following lulls in the past here and had dropped his bar diffusing the situation. This time he attempted to fly the kite towards the water, made it part of the way there and then was lofted over a large boulder and into some rocks. The kiter struck head first and credits his helmet as saving his life. He suffered a badly broken elbow.

No kite too torn! SEND TO: Kitecycle Reclaim you attic space! 607 Columbia Street A shredded kite is a tax deduction! Santa Cruz, CA 95060

LeSSonS Learned
1. Avoid asking inexperienced kiters or bystanders for help. Kiters have been nearly killed for making this mistake in the past. Kite with a kite buddy and ideally near other kiters where experienced help should be close by. Know how to self land your gear or pull your safety when in doubt. 2. Avoid crowded areas particularly near beach bars if you can. If you can walk another few hundred feet away or can hit less crowded areas it is a good idea for more reasons than someone just messing with your bar. It may fuel access issues in your area. 3. Minimize the amount of time you stand around on the beach, especially with a kite in the air at noon. Avoid having conversations with anyone with a kite up. It feels natural but at times it can go wrong. Be polite but firm, particularly during pre-flighting, launching and landing. You could easily miss something with the distraction. Expect that if someone just grabs your stuff, they may not let go, even with you yelling at them at the top of your voice. It has happened many times this way in the past. 4. If you have reason to believe someone with hostile intent is coming up, get the kite down or ride out of the area -- just don’t sit there with their weapon, your kite, in your hands. This is a rare thing but sadly not unheard of, particularly in recent years. 5. If something like this happens, Emergency Depower or pull the trigger as fast as you can. Don’t try to fly out of it as many haven’t succeeded in doing so. 6. It mainly comes down to awareness and common sense. Still, you may be focused on something and a shocker may come at you out of the blue. Be aware and take care. Strange things sometimes happen when someone comes at you out of left field.
9 0 th ek i t e b o a r d e r . c om

LeSSonS Learned
1. Watch what the local riders are doing. If they are sitting conditions out, find out why. There’s usually a very good reason. 2. If you’ve been away from kiting for awhile, do not make the mistake of tackling challenging conditions too soon. Get back into things in moderate conditions, particularly if you are using new gear. 3. Don’t park your kite directly overhead in gusty winds. It is best to keep it pointed offshore and/or angled away from any solid objects. 4. Be prepared and rehearsed what to do if hit by an excessive lull. DO NOT wait until the emergency to figure out what you will do as many elect. 5. If you don’t use a chicken tongue expect your chicken loop to unhook at times and be prepared to manage the situation very fast without hesitation. Your first awareness of the tongue falling out may be the kite fully powering up. Dropping the bar to your kite leash may be the only reasonable option open to you vs. attempting to hook back in. Make this reaction natural. 6. Kite launching assistants need to be careful not to release the kite into a lull. Don’t just drop or throw the kite up. In proper conditions the kite should want to “bite” into the air or take off. 7. Work to have the largest buffer the launch area can reasonably offer, even if it means walking further. Some launches are inherently tight and unforgiving, allowing few mistakes on an off day. 8. This rider’s life may have been saved by a helmet. Think carefully about getting a well fitting helmet, appropriate for the demands of kiting and wearing it whenever you ride.

Wind Cult Online

Transcend Online

k or h w nc be

diY Kite repairs
ot every kite repair needs to be sent in to a professional. If the damage is relatively simple and clean, you can repair the canopy of your kite yourself, reduce your downtime and even save some money. KiteFix is a Canadian company specializing in kitesurfing equipment repair kits and materials that quickly and solidly repair tears, broken valves and more from maneuvers gone bad. It’s the easiest, cheapest, and longest lasting repair a do-ityourselfer can perform. You just have to clean the rip, let it dry, attach the thatched material, apply glue and let it cure. SIMPLE!

N

By Zach Kleppe | Photo Dallas McMahon

STEP 1 – Once the kite is laid out

flat, locate the rip in the kite and clean the material with the alcohol swabs that come in the kit.

1
STEP 3 – After applying

Mac Kiteboarding Online

INCLUDED IN THE COMPLETE

STEP 2 – After the material around the rip has been cleaned

KITEFIX REPAIR KIT
1 Glufix tube (1oz) 2 Self-adhesive Dacron rolls (5in. each) 7 Fiberfix tapes (4in. each) 1 Bladder ultra-adhesive patches (3in. x 7in.) 1 Peel2Fix valve repair system 1 Talkine bottle (3oz) 1 Glufix applicator 3 Tie raps 1 Detailed user guide 1 Brush 1 Scissors 1 Marker 1 Plastic bag 1 KiteFix sticker

choose one of the seven Fiberfix tapes to tape the rip together. The strip of Fiberfix tape may need to be cut to size depending on how big your rip is.

3

the Fiberfix tape you will use the Glufix and Glufix applicator to apply the Glufix over the Fiberfix tape. Let it dry completely.

2

9m Session Kite, Proof Board Luxury Straps, Luxury Waist Harness FREE SHIPPING & FREE BoNuS Progression DVD
12m package $1,399 - 16m package $1,499

09 Session Package $1,299

STEP 4 – Flip the kite over and locate the rip on the back side of
the kite, Once you have located the backside of the rip, apply the Glufix to the backside of the tear and let this sit in the sun until it is dry once more. For video and more info, see www.kitefix.com

4
t h e k i t e boar d e r . com 9 3

ONCE THE GLUE AND TAPE BONDS TO THE KITE THE REPAIR IS FINISHED AND THE KITE IS READY TO FLY AGAIN. GO KITE!

9 2 th ek i t e b o a r d e r . c om

Unstrapped toeside Jibe
Made easy
Rider: Bill Kraft | Photos by Gavin Butler | Words by Paul Lang

Many kiteboarders have discovered how much fun riding a surfboard-style directional board can be, but many of those who haven’t are intimidated by having to learn how to jibe. Fear not! It’s really not as hard as you might think it is. After a little practice, you’ll be able to ditch that twin tip and carve some real turns!

1 2 3 4 5
7 8 t h e k i t e b o a r d e r . c om

Approach the turn with moderate speed and direct the kite up to the top of the window. Don’t direct the kite too quickly or it will just pull you off the board. As the kite reaches the top of the window, dive it down in the new direction as you follow the kite with the nose of your board. Once stable on your toeside edge, hold the kite high (about 60° above the water) and get ready to switch your feet. Moving your feet has to happen in one quick and fluid movement. Think about being light on your feet and just go for it. Move your back foot up next to your front foot, and move your old front foot to the back of the board while turning your body to face the kite. Dive the kite to ride away with speed.

tips
• You’ll have more success learning the toeside jibe in flat water. • Don’t pause in the middle of switching your feet. You will fall. Switching your feet has to be done in one fluid motion. • Wait until the turn is completed and you are stable riding on your toeside edge before switching your feet. • Carve a harder turn and throw more spray by entering the turn with more speed and by throwing more weight into your back foot during the turn.

thekiteboarder.com 79

The Battle of the Paddle had many kite/wind brands competing and demoing gear along with kiteboarders from Southern California participating. Photo Gary Martin

What other SUP paddlers had to say:
Chuck Bader – Owner - Solo Paddlesurf
“We don’t have a dedicated race board in our line-up yet but I do agree with you that racing will be one of the fastest growing segments in the sport. We mainly surf and it’s hard to go into something that we don’t do ourselves or are good at. But if an opportunity comes up in terms of working with a good shaper who specializes in race boards, then that will definitely be something that we will look into.”

In its fourth year, the Naish SUP Maliko to Harbor Race. Photo: D. Wong

Pono Bill (aka Bill Babcock) – Frequent poster on Stand Up Zone
“I did an amazing upwind/downwind run at Hood River yesterday. Just magical. I started paddling downriver as the wind rose. It was already pushing whitecaps and big swells as I began, but I tucked into wind shadows along the banks and gutted through the head on sections. I made it about four miles before i came to a section so exposed I just couldn’t punch through. What a beautiful paddle though, the inspiration to keep going was the amazing scenery from the river. My plan originally was just to go around Wells Island, but the incredible scenery kept pulling me on. I finally turned, paddled out to take advantage of some big swells I saw in mid-river, and the ride was on. My F18 caught runners almost continuously. Small ones, but very fun, and it was great practice for getting the most out of a swell. The F18 makes it easy, but it’s pretty remarkable how quickly you can start learning where to point the board to get the best speed and longest ride.”

SUP DISTANCE PADDLING
By Gary Martin

One of Naish’s new race boards, easily recognized by its spear-like appearance. Photo D. Wong

Distance Paddling, Downwinders, and Racing
This is the last feature in TKB’s three-part series focusing on the growing sport of stand up paddle boarding, a great crossover sport to kiteboarding when there’s no wind. Similar to kiteboarding, distance downwinders and racing are becoming popular segments within the sport with many kiteboarding events now adding SUP to their event line up.

DOWNWINDERS
A downwinder is basically paddling downwind, riding flat water or the wind waves and open ocean swells. You want the wind on your back, hence you will be paddling downwind. You can do this when it is calm or flat water, but the swells are best when it is windy. Paddlers often park a vehicle at the downwind leg. This is fun in a group or solo.

Greatdane – Medium poster on Stand Up Zone
“Just wanted to open a discussion regarding limiting boards to 12’6” at some races. We have the Naish series coming to Seattle and I am totally grateful to get a chance to race against other SUP’s and not just surf skis and OC’s. They are limiting board size to 12’6” and I am totally ok with that, even though I would love to race my 18’ (that’s what it’s there for). I guess my concern is to keep it fair, so should they also limit it to 12’6” boards that are not race specific? I would assume that paddlers who show up with 12’ Hobie or Bark race boards will have a bit of an advantage over 12’ surf sups. If the promoter is trying to level the playing field, should there also be a restriction to non-race SUP’s?”

What makes SUP distance boards different?

RACING
Course racing is paddling around a set of marks determined by a Race Committee. The start can be from the beach or on the water. The finish line is typically at the beach. Paddlers are divided into classes according to gender, age, and board length.

SUP distance boards are long and narrow and typically spear-like in appearance. Some of the longer boards have rudders that you steer with one foot. The rudder makes it easier to steer and surf or ride ocean swells. Distance boards vary in length from 12’6” to 18’ plus. The length of the board or water line increases board speed. They are specifically designed for either riding swells, paddling in flatter water, or a combination of both. Most of the custom boards are made with exotic materials and are more expensive than production boards.

What are the manufacturers doing?

What is the appeal of distance paddling?

Men, women, boys, and girls of all ages are getting into distance paddling, downwinders, and racing. Distance paddling can be done first thing in the morning, over a long lunch hour, after work, or anytime you can squeeze a few hours out of your hectic schedule to get on the water. In an hour you can feel totally recharged! Time goes by quickly when you are gliding on top of the water and taking in the sights. Soak up the sounds of nature, listen to the water rushing under your board, feel the sun on you face, or concentrate on your paddle stroke and breathing.

Many of the major manufacturers of standard SUP boards now include distance boards in their production line. C4, Hobie, Naish, Jimmy Lewis, Starboard, and Surftech are a few of the companies that have committed to this type of paddling. Some of the more surf-oriented companies like Paddle Surf Hawaii make 12’ big wave guns that can also be used in distance paddling, therefore having a dual purpose. Using a board from a manufacturer allows you to race in the stock class. Custom boards are in a whole different category. These boards are more expensive and like custom kiteboards, are hand-shaped to meet a rider’s weight and specific riding conditions. The designs are constantly changing, just like in kite racing, as they strive to find the ultimate board for speed. Some of the famous custom board builders like Bark, Stamps, Ron House, and Sandwich Island Composites can’t keep up with the demand for these boards!

What can I use a SUP distance board for?
DISTANCE PADDLING
Start at one point and return to that point. For practice, pick a point two to three miles from your starting point and time how long it takes to do a round trip. Try a distance race at a local event. A distance race might be a 6-mile paddle for the stock class SUP (12’6” and under) or a 9 mile for the unlimited class SUP (12’6” or bigger). This is a great way to meet other paddlers.

Tips:
Jimmy (middle) and his SUP race team show off the new Albaratross, Bombora and Slice racing boards. Photo Ken Russell

1. Wear a leash. 2. Never go out further than you can swim back. 3. Keep yourself well hydrated. 4. Be safe and courteous to others. 5. Consider wearing a PFD.

More surf-oriented companies like Paddle Surf Hawaii don’t have distance boards in their line up yet but many lighter riders have found their 12-footer does the job. Rider: Blane Chambers Photo: Allen Mozo

7 0 t h e k i t e b o a r d e r . c om

thekiteboarder.com 71

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Jim Kleppe entertains the on his line-mounted GoPro Camera. Zach Stringfellow switches crowd with a particularly good wipeout. Photo Jim Stringfellow

Densely populated areas seem to be experiencing the majority of multi-use challenges. Photo Katina Arnott

Check out Jim Stringfellow's photo and video library

By Marina Chang

The Surf Hero Package includes the Hero Wide camera and everything you need to quickly mount it to any board. Photo Paul Lang

By Paul Lang 1 2 t h e k i t e b o a r d e r . c om

Have you ever tried to explain the feeling of blasting across flat water, flying through the air, or riding waves to someone who has never experienced kiteboarding? The things that put week-long smiles on our faces are difficult to articulate to others, but with the help of a small digital camera that more and more kiters are using, you don’t have to explain yourself to others. You can show them.

The cover of the last issue of The Kiteboarder Magazine featured a unique picture taken by Brendan Richards from Caution Kites that made you feel as if you were right there riding that Northern California wave with him. Believe it or not, that killer point-of-view image was shot by a $159 waterproof digital camera. The camera Brendan used was the GoPro Hero Wide, a 5-megapixel camera that comes with a water housing and an assortment of different Photos and video from the GoPro Hero Wide give the viewer a peak at what kiteboarding is really mounts to secure the camera like. Photo Jim Stringfellow to any number of surfaces. “They are great because of the fisheye, which allows you to take photos of yourself, even Fifth Element bars.” This allows you to mount the camera in a unique place, just a few feet hand held,” said Brendan. “Of all the cameras I have worked away from the rider. Check out Stringfellow’s website (www.jimstringfellow.com) for more with, it has the best wide-angle out of the box, and this makes sample photos and videos showing how to use the Kite Hero mount. it the only camera that is ideal for the average kiter who wants to capture themselves kiting.” The old saying “You get what you pay for” definitely applies to photography equipment, so GoPro Cameras (www.goprocamera.com) currently if you are getting a camera, housing, and mounts for less than $200, then you have to be manufactures two cameras they market as “wearable giving up something compared with more professional equipment. With the GoPro, you are sports cameras.” They are essentially the same 5-megapixel giving up a screen to easily review images on and also having to settle for image quality camera that can either shoot stills or video, but with different that is only average. Without an LCD screen to review images, it’s impossible to see what lenses. The standard lens offers a 54° angle view, while the the images will look like until you plug the camera into a computer. This isn’t really a big wide version serves up an amazing 170° angle of view. Both deal, but it does create a challenge when you are testing out a new angle and you cannot capture either still images or video and can be mounted immediately see the results. The virtually anywhere, but we’ve found that the Hero Wide is images and video that the GoPro suited very well to capture unique point-of-view images and creates are great for online use, video of kiteboarding. I am 6’ tall, and the extremely wide but they are not ideal for print, angle of view on the Hero Wide allowed me to mount the even though we have used images n Photos taken with the sun behind the camera will camera to the nose of my 6’2” surfboard and easily fit my captured by the GoPro in this look much better than with the camera looking whole body into the frame. Mounted on a helmet, the video magazine. With that said, at a price into the sun. footage gives an incredibly realistic view of what kiteboarding of $159, the GoPro gets you the n Look into the camera when doing a trick, no one looks and feels like. most bang for the buck compared cares what the top of your head looks like! to any other options for taking a n When you press the shutter button to start taking Even though GoPro makes and sells mounts to mount the camera out on the water while pictures or recording video, look at the display on GoPro in almost any situation they could come up with, they the camera to make sure you actually started it. kiteboarding. The unique shots that do not sell any products to easily attach the camera to your n Brendan Richards captured last issue’s cover you can capture with this camera flying lines. Pacific Northwest kiter and photographer Jim shot by simply holding the camera in his hand by placing it in unique places that Stingfellow has developed a GoPro mount specifically and pushing the shutter button at the opportune you would not even attempt with for kiteboarding. He calls it the Kite Hero (available at time. This method is for advanced riders only, other cameras more than makes up but can allow you to take a photo at just the right www.kitehero.com) and it quickly attaches the camera for its average performance. moment instead of it possibly being missed by the to your kite’s center lines. “I have designed this mount to camera’s two- or five-second interval timer. Use a be used on any front line system,” said Stringfellow. “It By the time this issue is printed, camera leash if you try this! utilizes each front line for positioning and security, while still GoPro will have release an n Pull your board shorts down once you start riding. providing the safety of a front line flagging safety system. This None of your friends want to see 400 photos of upgraded model, the GoPro HD mount works on many four-line systems including Best, Liquid your white thighs. Hero. The Kiteboarder was given a Force, Slingshot CSS, Naish Smart Loop, and Eclipse bars. I n When you are working your way upwind, stop sneak peak at some preproduction have also used this on the Naish Shift system and the North taking photos or recording video if the camera test footage from the new camera, is easily accessible. Many short video clips are and we were absolutely blown much easier to edit into something cool to look at away by the quality. The HD than one really long clip. Mount the camera to Hero will retail for $299, and you the nose of your board n Whatever mount you use, make sure the camera is so you can prove to will be able to use this camera rock solid, as the GoPro does not float! all of your friends just to record professional-looking how good that one wave really was. video of yourself out on the water. Photo Paul Lang If you have friends that don’t really understand what it is about www.goprocamera.com kiteboarding that is so exciting, www.kitehero.com put together a little video or a few Sample GoPro Wide Video Footage shot by photos with a GoPro camera. It will The Kiteboarder Magazine: make them understand why you get www.youtube.com/watch?v=4KJfnW-BEcY nutty every time the wind blows.
thekiteboarder.com 13

Josh checks out the scene at one of his favorite local breaks.

josh mulcoy
GEAr SET-UP

clO

AGE: 36 HEIGHT: 6’0” WEIGHT: 170 lbs. yEArS KITING: 8 FAvOrITE SPOTS: Anywhere in the Santa Cruz area FAvOrITE CONDITIONS: Side off FAvOrITE MOvES: I don’t have a favorite move, anything to do with riding a wave SPONSOrS: Liquid Force, Dakine, Fox, Kaenon, Vans Centurion and Stretch

SE-u

p

BOArDS: 6’0” LF Quad BINDINGS: None KITES: LF Havocs HArNESS: DaKine Pyro

Although Josh travels to many exotic locations, his favorite place to ride is his hometown of Santa Cruz.

1. I feel it is good to drop in on waves like a surfer which means sometimes slowing down and waiting for the wave or stalling and waiting for it to peak up. 2. Depending on the wind, if it is side onshore this means you need to loop the kite to keep it in front so it doesn’t fall out of the window and drift back towards the beach. 3. Depending on the wave, try to stay in the pocket and not get way out in front of it. The pocket is where the lip is! 4. When traveling, always bring stickers or some good tape to fix your kites or boards. 5. I don’t wear straps but still always bring them as you never know when it is going to be huge and you will want them. What do you think of stand-up paddling? It’s fine but not for me. The only thing that kills me about it is when all of a sudden a guy buys one and paddles 20 yards past everyone and tries to catch every wave. It’s not the board or the paddle that makes it bad, it’s the person that doesn’t understand surf etiquette. That is what drives me crazy but kiting can be this way too. Who have been your major influences in the sport? Peter Trow, Morris, Moe, Ian and Ben Wilson. What do you think makes an ideal surf kite? A kite that sits there so you can surf the wave like a surfer. What kind of directional board would you recommend to a kiter with no surfing background and what are the top three skills you think they should work on first? I would recommend a surfboard with straps around 6 feet for both experienced and novice surfers. I think beginners should work on their style and flow with the wave. Take your time to figure out where to put the kite and feel the power of the wave. I would go by the quote that you can’t run before you can walk. I see people attack waves but their style is horrible. Take your time and work on your fundamentals and the basics of wave riding. What do you think is the biggest challenge facing the kiteboarding industry? In wave riding, it is to get it out to the public better. I see it all the time in the surf industry — people don’t have any idea of what is going on in wave riding with a kite. I think guys like Ben Wilson are one of the best things going on in our sport right now.The movies he makes showcase wave riding at its finest. When I am on a surf trip with my friends and I show them one of Ben’s movies, they are blown away. If kitesurfing can get into the surf industry better, it would blow up. What is your worst wipe out/scariest kiteboarding experience? When I was first learning I went to the beach by myself with no one around. I had no idea about kite sizes, hooked my lines up backwards and the kite launched and started going in death spins. I was getting picked up and slammed on the sand. It was a humbling experience and taught me to always double check my lines! Where is your favorite place to kite and why? Anywhere around Santa Cruz ‘cause it’s home. What is your most memorable kiteboarding experience? I was on a island off of Tahiti with Moe, Morris and Scott. We surfed this reef the day before and it was perfect barrels — so fun. I woke up at dark and tried to paddle out but the current was too strong. So I came in, grabbed my kite and got to ride perfect barreling waves with no one around. Then the current died, I landed the kite and went surfing. It was like a dream. What are your must have’s that you can’t live without? My surfboard! Any words s of wisdom you want to share with our readers? Do what you love for the enjoyment of it and good things will come.
t h e k i t e boar d e r . com 3 7

By Marina Chang | Photos Chris Burkhard

Open up any surf magazine and you’ll probably find a photo of Josh Mulcoy hitting the lip of some dream break you’ve been fantasizing about. Born and raised in Santa Cruz, California, Josh has been a sponsored pro since high school and has been living the dream and traveling the world ever since. About 8 years ago, he saw Dave Broome and the Schiebels from Caution riding at Waddell. They made it look like so much fun that he was immediately intrigued with the sport’s potential of turning the ocean into a big water park and being able to go wherever you wanted instead of only being limited to one spot. Today, Josh is sponsored by Liquid Force and doesn’t travel anywhere without at least one kite. When, where and why did you start kiteboarding? I started 8 years ago. I drive up the coast from Santa Cruz a lot to surf and would stop and watch the kiters at Waddell. It just looked too fun. Then I saw a video of Peter Trow and he made wave riding look so good I had to do it. Luckily Dave took me under his wing and helped me out. Did you start out on a twin tip or go straight to a directional? I started on a LF Trip wakeboard. Do you only ride waves or throw in some freestyle every once in awhile? I only ride waves as freestyle isn’t for me. I like to watch the guys that kill it. Pretty damn impressive what people are doing in freestyle now! What boards are you riding and why? I am riding LF 6’0” quads. I feel so lucky to be getting boards from Pat Rawson. He is one of the best shapers ever and to be able to get boards for kiting is so insane. I hope the kite world realizes how lucky we are to have shapers like Pat involved in our sport. Do you ride strapless, strapped or both? Strapless as I I like to kite just like I surf. I don’t use straps surfing so why do I need to in kiting? Do you think kiteboarding can ever run a legit kitesurfing competition and what do you think it will take? Yes, I think all the best guys need to get together and make it happen. If they all get together and set the judging scale and how to judge like a surf contest I think we can pull it off. You really need to have surf judges that understand style and how critical your maneuvers are or are not.
3 6 t h ek i t e b o a r d e r . c om

A little kite karma goes a long way. Next time you see someone struggling, see if they need help. Courtesy of www.thekitehouse.com

By Paul Menta

M

ost of us have experienced seeing another rider whose kite is down and is having trouble relaunching. Here’s my question: Did you consider helping out, or did you just watch as the kiter thrashed around, thinking to yourself that they’ll be OK? In the past few months, I have done more tow-ins, assisted relaunches and rescues than I have done in the past few years. For whatever reason, I have noticed that more riders seem to be getting themselves into more trouble. We are all out for the same reason and we all rely on each other to stay safe. If you see someone in trouble, you should want to help out, just as you would want someone to help you out if it was you struggling out there. Too many times I have watched kiters struggling while no one helps out. This bothers me, so I started asking people why they don’t help riders that are in trouble. I was surprised to find out that most riders simply don’t know how to help someone out. This is a valid point; why risk getting in trouble yourself because you don’t know what you’re doing? There are many ways to help out, a few of which are described below. Remember, a little kite karma goes a long way.

Assessing the Situation
Signs to look for:
to relaunch
u Kite down for more than three minutes and no attempt u Seeing an emergency system activated, such as a flagging u Kite in neutral for a long time and no attempt at riding u Shape of kite on water not normal, i.e. deflated u Friend of kiter on beach looking panicked; go ask them u Body dragging back and forth multiple times, more than u If they look injured or are not moving at all, the first thing you must do before you or others

What kind of trouble is the person in?

or completely released kite

what’s wrong

go to assist is to call 911 to let them know what’s going on so they can have professionals there as soon as possible. u Ride out to the person and look over the situation. They may only need a little advice to be able to return to shore on their own. A bit of moral support is very comforting when you’re out there on your own. u Talk to the person to determine what kind of trouble they are in. Are they calm or panicked? Ask them if they need help and start coming up with a plan.

likely they can’t get to or find their board

t h e k i t e boar d e r . com 7 9

Body dragging a rider back to safety using your board as a rudder and with them holding onto your shoulders is a much more efficient and controlled way to bring someone back to shore than riding back with them holding onto the back of your harness strap. Courtesy of http://imagesbydoc.com/

Towing a Kiter In

If the person needs to be brought in because they aren’t going to be able to make it themselves, you will possibly need to bring something with you to tow them in. The best piece of equipment to have is a lifeguard buoy, which can be left on the beach for anyone to use in case of a rescue. The buoy should have 4-5 feet of line with a carabineer at the end of it. If you tow someone too close behind you, they will tend to be pulled underwater. Also, the buoy is great because if someone is panicked, you can toss it to them first. Once they have something that floats to hold onto, they will probably calm down. Be careful when approaching a panicked person in the water, as they may try to grab onto you and this could get you into trouble as well. If you don’t have access to a buoy, then they can hold onto you. Do not have them hold onto your harness, as they probably won’t have the strength to hold on and will also have water coming over their head. Instead, have them grab your shoulders so they are at the same height as you. This will allow them to easily hold on and you will be able to quickly body drag in.

drag. When a person sees you and hears your plan, they will feel safer and things will go smoothly. Tow them in with the lifeguard buoy or body drag with them holding onto your shoulders.

Kite released, rider and board only: Send someone

Kite deflated in the water, person oK: Once you come upwind and can speak to the person, find out if they need support to float. Next, have them wrap their lines up to the kite and then roll up the kite as best they can. While this is going on, you should be riding around the person, watching them and giving advice or encouragement. If they can’t manage wrapping up the lines, simply release the kite and bring them in as the kite is going nowhere. Once the person is set, ride up to them and body drag them back in. Kite down, but can’t relaunch: OK, this is always a tricky one. Ride upwind of the downed rider and find out what the problem is. If you feel safe flipping their kite over, make sure the kiter knows which direction you will try to relaunch them, so they can be ready and will turn the bar the correct way. 1. Ride down towards the kite and ride by a few times to see if the lines/bridles are tangled and to sort out how you will approach the kite. 2. Ride below the kite and sit in water with your board on. As you drift by the kite, grab the skin of the kite or part of leading edge to pull it over. As you continue drifting by, the kite should roll over. If it doesn’t work, don’t try again until you ride back up wind and drift by again. It is easier to take another try then to be past the kite and trying to hang on. 3. If the kite relaunches, ride away from the kite as quickly as possible. Keep your eye on the rider until they are back to the beach.

downwind after the kite. As long as the wind is not offshore, the kite will make its way in. Ride up to the rider in the water and tow them in with the lifeguard buoy or body drag them in on your shoulders. If you have practiced it, you can tow them in while both of you ride your own boards.

retrieving a loose Kite or board: This is a move for advanced riders only. For this article, we wanted to focus on bringing attention to a possible situation and how to address it. We will follow up in detail with instructional on how to safely retrieve a loose kite or board in the April 2010 issue.
As with anything, practice makes perfect, so it would be great to practice these techniques with a friend on a light wind day. To prepare for rescue situations: u Practice rescue techniques so you aren’t trying to figure them out in an emergency situation. u Make a rescue buoy for the beach that all kiters know about and can use. u Body drag a friend around, so you see what it feels like. u Tow a friend behind you on a surfboard to see how it feels. I have been doing this since the 90s in Maui when it was a common practice to retrieve a kite or person. You didn’t even think about it. If another rider needed help, you helped. Let’s get back to helping out someone in need; it will bring you good karma and lots of friends. Remember, we all end up getting rescued at some point.
t h e k i t e boar d e r . com 8 1

Approaching by Kite

When heading out to help on your kite, make sure you have some kind of plan in your head before you get there. If you are approaching a person with a downed kite, stay upwind of them. u Being upwind, you stay clear of their lines and they won’t drift into you. u You can speak to them so they can hear you since you aren’t yelling into the wind. u If you are having trouble hearing each other, use simple hand signals, like thumbs up or thumbs down. The OK symbol works as well. Make sure you both understand what is going on and what you will do to get back.

Plans for Pick Up

Kite is down, person is exhausted and needs help: Give them something that floats
(a lifeguard buoy or your board) and then have them release their kite. You can recover the kite later after you make sure the person is safe. Once they are comfortable, go to them and get set for the body
8 0 th ek i t e b o a r d e r . c om

Tip: Use the tension in your kite as you drift by to help you gain leverage to pull
the kite over as you go by. In other words, just grab the kite, hold on for a second, and let your kite pull you away as you roll the kite over.

K or h w nC be

1.

Kite s Page
caLIFornIa

LeaDInG eDGe or StrUt caSInG rePaIrS – Any casing tear, cut or rip in the Dacron that covers the internal bladders on any kite should be repaired by an AKRC. These areas take a very large amount of stress and load and if not repaired correctly can turn into a major problem or damage down the road.

2. 3.

canoPy rePaIrS – Repairs to the canopy area that do not exceed 5 to 8” and do not intersect with the LE or struts can usually be repaired using sail repair tape applied to both sides. Anything other than this should be taken care of by an AKRC.

Action Watersports (318) 827-2233 Airtime Kiteboarding (818) 554-7573 Aquan Watersport (650)593-6060 Australian Kitesurf Academy (714) 955-7832 Bay Area Kitesurf (415) 573-2619 Board Sports (510) THE-WAVE Board Sports (415) 929-SuRF CaliKites (619) 522-9575 Captain Kirk’s (310) 833-3397 Delta Windsurf Company (831) 429-6051 Helm Sports (650 )344-2711 Inflight Surf and Sail (562) 493-3661 Kite Country (619) 226-4421 Kitesurfari (562) 596-6451 KiteWindSurf (510) 522-WIND

CA CA CA CA CA CA CA CA CA CA CA CA CA CA CA

Live2Kite (415) 722-7884 CA Long Beach Windsurf Center (562) 433-1014 CA Mako Surf Skate Snow (949) 367-1300 CA Malibu Kitesurfing (310) 430-KITE CA Manta Wind & Water Sports (858) 270-7222 CA Monkey Air (310) 457-6896 CA Murrays (800) 786-7245 x23 CA Offshore Surf Co. (760) 729-4934 CA Kite School (650) 960-1721 CA Solutions (805) 773-5991 CA Soul Performance (310) 370-1428 CA Sky Kitesurfing School (925) 455-4008 CA VELA (800) 223-5443 CA Wind over Water Kiteboarding (650) 218-6023 CA Kite Island (925) 212-2915 CA Xdream Sportz (858) 481-9283 CA Xstreamline Sports (310) 518-1972 CA Xtreme Big Air (805) 773-9200 CA Colorado Kite Force (970) 485-3300 GAYLAN’S (720) 887-0900 GG Wind Kiteboarding (970) 389-0683 Into the Wind (303) 449-5906 Larson’s Ski and Sport (303) 423-0654 Fuze Kiteboarding (303) 683-5033 PKS (970) 376-3159 Snowkite Steamboat (970) 819-2997 Orbit Marine Sports (203) 333-3483 Tri State Kites (800) 510-0865

coLoraDo

CO CO CO CO CO CO CO CO

to fix OR not THE QuESTION! to fix? THAT IS
By Jeff Howard, www.fixmykite.com

BLaDDerS – In most cases the hardest part of repairing bladders is removing and re-installing them correctly. As for fixing a cut or blowout, up to about 5” can be easily repaired with the correct material and process. For removal and repair check out the DIY section on www.fixmykite.com. Other then that in most cases simply replacing a bladder can be easier and guarantee that there are no leaks. BrIDLeS – Bridles are a very important, but highly overlooked part of a kite. If a bridle breaks and is not replaced or repaired correctly, not only will the kite not fly at optimized performance, but your safety could be compromised. If you notice any wear or tear to a bridle line or pulley, I recommend getting a replacement, and any true AKRC can build you one or as many lines you need.

Is your instructor or school insured? Have they been through an internationally recognized, certified instruction program? While insurance and certification don’t guarantee you quality, safe instruction, they can help you better qualify your choices. Introducing the tKB certified Schools program. Look for the symbols by the listings! For complete info or to be recognized as a TKB Certified School, see www.thekiteboarder.com and click on the TKB Certified School graphic.

HOW SAFE IS YOUR INSTRUCTOR?

(321) 779-4228 FL Jupiter Kiteboarding (561) 373-4445 FL Key West Kiteboarding (305) 407-6748 FL Kiteboarding Tampa Bay (813) 389-3683 FL Ft. Lauderdale Kitesurfing Co. (954) 410-5419 FL Island Style Wind & Watersports (941) 954-1009 FL Island Surf and Sail (954) 927-7002 FL Kiteboarding Tampa Bay (813) 389-3683 FL Kite Surf the Earth (888) 819-5483 FL Kite World (321) 725-8336 FL KGB Kiteboarding (904) 434-8987 FL 1st Coast Kiting (904) 424-2721 FL Learn 2 Fly (386) 986-9637 FL Liquid Surf & Sail (850) 664-5731 FL KiteMare (877) 829-0015 FL Miami Kiteboarding Inc. (305) 345-9974 FL Otherside Boardsports (305) 853-9728 FL The Kite Shop (305) 361-0168 FL Sandy Point Progressive Sports (386) 756-7564 FL Ski Rixen (954) 429-0215 FL Tampa Bay Kiteboarding (727) 798-2484 FL Triton Kiteboarding (727) 453-9577 FL Watersports West (888) 401-5080 FL XL Kites (866) 955-4837 FL Xrated Kiteboarding (888) 401-5080 FL All Out Kiteboarding (912) 234-8260 GA High Tide Surf Shop (912) 786-6556 GA Locus Kiteboarding (404) 509-4229 GA Hanag20 Kiteboarding (912) 223-7856 GA Action Sports Maui (808) 242-8015 HI Aloha Kiteboarding Academy (808) 637-5483 HI Caveman Kitesurfing (808) 389-4004 HI Extreme Sports Maui (808) 871-7954 HI Hawaiian Island Surf & Sport (808) 871-4981 HI Hawaiian Watersports (808) 262-KITE HI

Hawaiian Surf & Sail (808) 637-5373 HI Kailua Sailboards (808) 262-2555 HI Kite High (808) 637-5483 HI Kiteboard Maui (808) 870-2554 HI Hawaiian Ocean Sports (866) 488-5483 HI Kitesurf Maui (808) 873-0015 HI Maui Kiteboarding Lessons (808) 242-8015 HI Naish Maui Pro Center (808) 871-1500 HI Naish Hawaii (808) 262-6068 Off Da Lip (808) 255-6255 Second Wind (808) 877-7467 Vela Maui (800) 223-5443 Groud Zero (208) 265-6714 Fly Sun Valley (208) 726-3332 Windward Sports (773) 472-6868 Chicago Kiteboarder (312) 804-5482

(508) 259-2728 H2AIR Productions (302) 227-1105 Broneah Kiteboarding (231) 392-2212 Detroit Kiteboarding (248) 245-5016 Grand Bay Kite Co. (231) 929-0607 Great Lakes Kiteboarding (586) 822-6511 MacInaw Kite Co. (800) 622-4655 Tawas Board Riders (989) 362-9906 Motor City Kiteboarding (586) 943-5172 Sharkless Kiteboarding (269) 639-SuRF uncle Doug’s Kiteboarding (810) 985-3732 Scuba Center Wind/Kite (612) 925-4818

MA

MaryLanD MIcHIGan

HI HI HI HI

MD

MI MI MI MI MI MI MI MI MI

IDaHo

ID ID

ILLInoIS

IL IL

Air Support Kiteboarding (866) Kite-Cod MA Kitesite.net (508) 398-1333 MA Skyhigh Kiteboarding School

MaSSacHUSettS

MInneSota

MN

GeorGIa

connectIcUt
CT CT

your grandma and her machine, or in most cases, an authorized Kite repair center (aKrc). How do you determine what you can fix yourself and what you should leave to the pros? Following describes some of the most common repairs needed and a suggestion on how you should go about dealing with them.
8 4 th ek i t e b o a r d e r . c om

face it! at some point every kite will have to be repaired, either by you,

4.

THE KITEbOARdER
CERTIFIEd SCHOOlS

lEGENd
d

Many small repairs are DIY, but leave the big stuff to the AKRC’s — we know how to do it and do it right. Here at www.fixmykite.com we have guaranteed all repairs since day one, even if you sell your kite. If you’re looking at doing your own work, we carry everything you need. Feel free to give us a call if you would like some guidance.

certifie

TKB CERTIFIED

INSuRANCE

0THER
IKO OTHER

PASA

7 Kiteboarding (305) 664-4055 FL Ace Performer (239) 489-3513 FL Bloodline Boardshop (321) 254-4668 FL Big Kite Miami (305) 303-4107 FL East Coast Kiteboarding (954) 295-5778 FL Emerald Coast Kiteboarding (850) 235-2444 FL Extreme Kites (904) 461-9415 FL Extreme Sports

FLorIDa

HawaII

In my interviews with many SUP and surfboard shapers, I discovered that the majority of them don’t really think about it or use volume as a tool. Most of the shapers I spoke to look at volume as just another number, one the computer will give you, but not a good reference tool. It is a number the computer spits out after they have done numerous prototypes and have scanned the final version they will use.

What do Professional Shapers had to say?

The volume tank at Legends Surf Shop in Carlsbad, CA. Photo Gary Martin

Many variables are involved in a SUP design. Length, width, and thickness are the most common and these numbers are usually put on the bottom of the board on the stringer. Rocker or the bottom curve from nose to tail is also very important and affects speed, maneuverability, and stability. A good board combines all the elements. As your skills improve, board choice will become more of a personal choice, depending on your discipline or style. For instance if you are paddling for distance, riding swells, or surfing you need different designs to best suit those specific disciplines. It is my opinion that one board can do all of these things but not all of them perfectly. Unfortunately, unless you have boatloads of money you probably can only afford one board. If you take just one number like thickness or the thickest part of the board, you must also consider how the rocker tapers to the nose and tail. Volume is an important comparison number if most other dimensions are the same, length and width being the two most important. Rail shape and bottom contour are next and difficult to measure.

How board dimensions relate to volume?

Brian Keaulana of C4. Photo: Allen Mozo.

PSH founder and shaper Blane Chambers. Courtesy Blane Chambers

Legends runs a volume test on a Naish SUP. Photo Gary Martin

Brands that currently post volumes: Paddle Surf Hawaii Jimmy Lewis Naish Starboard Surftech 1. The CAD program calculates volume after the shaper’s plug
has been scanned.

Board volume is just another number that should help you, not confuse you when looking for a Stand Up Paddle Board that will meet your needs. It is my goal to help you understand the basics of board volume.

SUP - Stand Up Paddle

How is volume measured?

Board Volume 101
Why is this important?
The only thing volume tells you is how buoyant a board is. Everyone will have a different number depending on his or her weight and ability. Once you have the same shape or specific line of boards being made in multiple sizes, your personal volume number becomes more useful. You should establish a mid-volume point and use that as your beginning reference number, down to the lowest number you are comfortable with. These numbers will go down some, as you become a more experienced SUP’er.

2. By using a volume tank.
The volume tank helps you determine the shortest board you can float on. Photo Gary Martin

By Gary Martin, TKB Technical Editor

Why understanding board volume can help you.

The volume spread in SUP tin boards. Photo Gary Mar

length board is huge for same

The tank is a few feet longer than your longest board and is filled with a predetermined measurement (in liters) of water. With two or three people, depending on the size of the board, you submerge it to the stringer or centerline of the board. Note how much the water has risen on a scale. Double that number and you have the actual board volume number of that board. Please refer to the photos of the tank built by Whitney Guild that was used at Legends Surf in Carlsbad, CA, to determine volume of many boards ranging from 100 to 140 liters.

History

Most of the talk about volume seems to have its roots from windsurfers. Windsurfing companies have posted volumes on their boards for years. Windsurfers learned early on what board would float them for the specific discipline they were riding; waves, bump and jump, or racing.
7 8 th ek i t e b o a r d e r . c om

For beginners and intermediates it can be used as a point of reference, but not the Holy Grail. Remember it only gives you a reference number on how buoyant a board is. Volume is important because it can help you determine what the smallest board you can stand on in flat water is. For instance, for SUP surfing, this could be your high performance board but not your long distance board.

“Volume tells you how much a board will float. It is a great tool in comparing boards of different sizes within a model line. If you can stand up on it and paddle it back out, then you can rip on it. The smallest volume that you can achieve this on will allow your board to rip harder.”
– Whitney Guild – waterman, designer of

What other riders have said:

volume tank shown in this article.
t h e k i t e boar d e r . com 7 9

“The value in volume is not a gauge of overall performance but a starting point in determining if a board has the correct floatability for you. Right now, you hear people saying I have a 10’ that I am comfortable standing on, so I am thinking of dropping to a 9’-4” or so. Worth a chuckle right? The volume spread in our sport is huge right now for same length boards. Some 9 footers are actually pretty huge boards while some 10’s are actually pretty small.”
-Randy, Administrator for Stand Up Zone

“For SUP I think it can be useful in telling you what a board will be like for your weight. If you had sophisticated testing methods for a volume to weight ratio and a volume to length ratio, this could give you performance indications. But for the most part it’s floatation — nothing beats a demo for that. For me the rule is kind of simple – if I can see the deck it’s cool.”
-Bill Babcock, Waterman, frequent poster on

Stand Up Zone Forum

Thanks for the following Contributors
Blane Chambers – Paddle Surf Hawaii Todd Bradley – C4 Waterman Jimmy Lewis – Jimmy Lewis Paddle Whitney Guild – Naish Hawaii Jeff Warner – Legends Surf Phil Rainey – Boardworks

Naish shaper Harold Iggy. Courtesy Naish

Paddle Surf Hawaii Online

Solo Paddlesurf Online

Always self launch and land with plenty of room around you As you position yourself in the launch position, do one last check to ensure your lines and bridle are clear. With the kite on the left side of the window, pull on the right outside line to rotate the kite into the launch position.

truc ins nal tio

Continue pulling on the outside line and wait for the kite to launch.

aunch & Land L
b y yo u r s e L f

ease the bar out as the kite starts to come up.

Paul Lang Words and Photos by

While it’s always best to launch and land your kite with the help of a fellow kiteboarder, there are many times when you need help with nobody around to assist you. With a little practice, self launching and landing your kite is very easy and, if done correctly, can be just as safe as launching or landing with the help of another person. You’ll want to practice this in light winds, on a beach with plenty of room. Remember that every kite is different, and you may have to slightly modify these steps to work with your particular kite. If you have any questions, you should contact the manufacturer of your kite or your local retailer to ask them the proper self launching and landing techniques.

don’t over steer the kite as it takes off. It should just surge forward to the edge of the window.

Get on the water!

seLf Launching:
1. 2. 3. 4. 5.

To self launch your kite, you need a beach with plenty of room as the kite will move on the sand a little as you launch it.
Place your kite in the normal down position and then slightly rotate the kite on the ground away from your bar until the downwind wingtip just begins to catch air. Don’t turn it too far or it could blow away before you get to your bar. Before leaving the kite, check your lines and bridle lines to make sure everything is clear. Quickly go to your bar and pick it up. Be careful to keep the lines loose until you are ready to launch the kite. Position yourself so the kite is just slightly downwind of a normal launch position. Look up your lines to make sure there are no tangles and that your lines do not get caught on anything on the ground. Once you are ready, back away from the kite to tension the lines. At the same time, pull on the right outside line (if you are launching on the left side of the window as in these photos). The kite should rotate and begin to take off. As the kite takes off it will have more power than in a normal launch, so ease the bar out or even let it go until the kite reaches the edge of the window.

• never wrap th hand when you e lines around your horrible idea grab them. This is a th and lost finger at will lead to cuts s. • Most kites are you ease the ba easier to launch if trying to rotat r out while you are launch position e the kite into the .

Tips:

* THIS edITorIAL IS MeANT AS A GUIde ANd SHoULd NoT rePLACe ProFeSSIoNAL INSTrUCTIoN. USe THeSe TIPS AT yoUr oWN rISk. 8 2 th ek i t e b o a r d e r . c om t h e k i t e boar d e r . com 8 3

Grab your lines above the chicken loop or your 5th line to start the process. As the kite begins to fall, let go of your bar, but hold on to the front lines.

once your kite is on the beach, quickly secure it with sand.

As the kite approaches the ground, pull on the top front line so the kite will land flat on the beach into the wind.

keep pulling!

instructional
As long as you pull enough on one line and hang on, the kite cannot power up, even if it doesn’t land smoothly.

every kite requires a slightly different technique, so practice with yours in light wind to get it dialed.

Self landing your kite is an important safety skill in case you end up away from other kiters and need to get your kite out of the sky.

seLf Landing:

1. 2. 3. 4. 5.

Move your kite to about 30° above the land on the edge of the window. Grab your chicken loop above your bar and pull. This will cause your kite to shoot further upwind out of the window, which causes it to stall. If you have a 5th line type safety system, grab that instead. As the kite begins to fall, let go of your bar while you continue to hold onto the chicken loop. If you have a 5th line safety system, let go of the bar and continue to pull that line in As the kite approaches the ground, pull on the top front line. This will turn the kite slightly so it lands on its leading edge. When the kite lands, it should stay put if you do it right. Immediately go to the kite, rotate it to the correct beach position, and put some sand on it to secure it.

* THIS edITorIAL IS MeANT AS A GUIde ANd SHoULd NoT rePLACe ProFeSSIoNAL INSTrUCTIoN. USe THeSe TIPS AT yoUr oWN rISk. 8 4 th ek i t e b o a r d e r . c om

ap the lines around • never never ever wr l on them. if your hand when you pul l probably no the kite powers up, you wil ten without to longer be able to count n’t do it! . do taking your socks off y put when it • if the kite does not staone front line the lands, pull more on The kite cannot or 5th line and hold on.o just one front power up if you hang ont h of the 5th line or have pulled enoug line in. and medium winds • practice this in light solid. overpowered n until you have it dow ds is not the on a small kite in high win is. th time to learn how to do
t h e k i t e boar d e r . com 8 5

Tips:

THE EXCEPTION:
By Brendan Richards | Photo Chris Tronolone

WITH AWAreNeSS For ProPer BoArd ANd kITe HANdLING SkILLS, A SUrF LeASH IS HeLPFUL TooL IN STrAPLeSS rIdING. So Here Are My TIPS:

1 2 3 4

Use a medium length leash: a 6-foot leash will put the board in your face and a 9 to 10 foot leash will cause too much drag. An 8-foot leash seems to work the best. Use a cord thickness commensurate with the size of your waves thin leashes snap in double overhead waves, thick leashes cause excessive drag. The moment you are separated from your board, depower your kite by pushing the bar away from you; this prevents the kite from loading up the board leash. When in the water separated from your board, bring your kite up to neutral, keeping it depowered as much as possible to prevent the board from becoming a tombstone.

6 7

SUrFING WITH A LeASH

Try experimenting with a calf leash. Its velcro strap is large enough to attach just below your knee, elevating a good portion of the leash out of the water and reducing drag. Wear a helmet or chest protector because unless you have a surgeon for a friend or in the family, stitches can be expensive.

I

’ve heard “the surf leash is what ruined surfing.” even if that were true, it would be hard to say the same for kitesurfing. one of the greatest developments in kitesurfing in the last five years has been the discovery and evolution of riding strapless surfboards in the waves. regardless of whether you start riding surfboards because of light wind or for entertainment on small wave days, one thing is clear; riding strapless surfboards is fun and challenging and has only just begun. The problem is that once you start riding strapless in head-high waves or larger, the risk of losing your board causes you to ride more conservatively or spend a good part of your session body dragging after your board. The leash debate in kitesurfing is contentious. Threads on the forums criticize the leash’s potential to cause injury, but from my experience, the board leash has become an essential piece of equipment when packing for any kitesurfing trip. In Santa Cruz, California, some of the best reef breaks are not kite-friendly with variable wind shadows and waves smashing directly onto rock cliffs, often with no beach in sight. In these spots, separation from your board is not an option or it’s pretty much guaranteed to end your session. With wave etiquette becoming a major issue at crowded kitesurfing breaks, routinely body dragging for your board is bound to ruin someone else’s wave. The occasional mistake is typically forgiven, but repeated fishing expeditions in the line-up for a strapless board is a surefire recipe to sour friendships, and may even create some enemies. After a couple of years of riding with a leash, my biggest concern is getting taken down in turbulent white water; the leash keeps your board in close proximity and the wave’s powerful chaos can thrust the board back at you when you least expect it. This risk is one of many, but risk is a fundamental aspect of our sport and we deal with it every time we launch a kite. Ultimately, surf leashes should only be used by advanced riders, those already committed to charging challenging conditions. If you want to experiment with leashes, make sure you invest in appropriate protective gear and check out my tips to help you get started.

When you retrieving the board, use – often helps to window 5 is brought arethe same side of the wind the leashas ityour board. if the kite

PROS OF WEARING A LEASH
• In big surf you can go for anything and know that your board is always within arm’s reach. • You won’t spend half your session on a fishing expedition. • Your friends will no longer hate you for the countless times you body dragged through their set while looking for your board. • If you’re headed out and the lip throws right in front of you, you can jump off your board and duck dive into the wave, collecting your board quickly on the other side. • You have a better chance of getting back on your board before the next set wave rolls you.

CONS OF WEARING A LEASH
• Bad technique can lead to endless tombstones and whizzing boards. • Leashes inevitably add drag while going upwind or dropping in on light wind days. • Since your board stays in your vicinity you have a better chance of getting whacked in the head. • If both you and your kite go down in turbulent white water, the board and leash can end up threaded through your flying lines making things much worse.

Lou Wainman on a Maui bomber.

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WeatHer to ride... or Not?
Kiteboarding gear is safer than ever yet incidents continue to happen, many times to seasoned riders. Experienced kiteboarders are all too often indifferent to weather hazards. They may not bother to think about it or assume they have the skill level to deal with whatever comes their way. As a result, many kiteboarders are needlessly injured each year.

Words and photo by rick Iossi

SceNario #1
A well experienced kiteboarder was riding light 10 to 14 mph winds with a 16m flat kite. The wind died as a squall moves in. Most riders landed in the “lull before the storm” but the experienced kiter did not. Other riders see white caps racing before the squall and yell at him, “don’t go out” as the temperature plunges. The rider stood in the shallows with his kite near zenith and made no attempt to emergency depower or prepare for the squall. The wind suddenly boosted from near nothing to about 30 mph, faster than he could react at that point. He gets lofted, flying fast towards shore. People on land are yelling and running all over as the kiter seems to fly almost straight up. He was estimated to rise to about 80 to 100 feet above the land. As he was lofted, he pushed the bar out to depower the kite but as the motion was primarily vertical, not much happened in response. The wind shifted in the squall and drove him in the opposite direction. He pushed the bar out again and this time dropped precipitously while racing towards a narrow section of water with a fence beyond at high speed. He struck and landed in 1.5 feet of water and was very lucky; normally it is exposed land at low tide. He released his kite which was caught by an obliging tree, suffering no real injury. He covered about 1200 feet over land in only a 30 mph squall gust.

LeSSoNS LearNed
1. Understand weather in your area, what to look for and what to avoid. If you are traveling, seek out good local advice in advance of riding. 2. Learn what to expect for that day’s session through proper weather planning (marine & hazard forecasts, color radar and satellite imagery and real time wind up weather from where you are riding). If a weather change is on the way, know what to look for and keep your eyes open. Always be aware of changing weather and act early to come in and secure well before the hazardous conditions arrive. 3. Some are convinced that their flat kites will depower through most gusts and so just ride in about anything. The trouble is they may fail to emergency depower in time for a variety of reasons. The time to act is well before the weather hazard arrives; the outcome is uncertain after. Don’t rig to be overpowered. Target winds in the low to mid range for your kite, per manufacturer specs. 4. Kiters are a community, with similar interests and drives. Not everyone reads information like this in “The Kiteboarder Magazine” or follows related threads on the Internet. Like it or not, we really have an obligation to share information with fellow kiters that may spare them from harm and to preserve your access. Knowledge is power so share the wealth. If you see someone who may be a threat to themselves in the future, speak to them with genuine interest and concern in a non-threatening way and don’t make them feel like an idiot. If the threat seems to be imminent, grab as many of your kiter friends as you can and talk with the guy as effectively as you can in a group. 5. If you are fortunate to receive some good advice, think about it very carefully. No one session should be worth an extended time off work and the water, rehab or the rest of your life.

SceNario #2
A bunch of kiters were out on a summer day enjoying small waves and moderate wind. A cold front with squalls and strong winds was forecast to come through and a cloud line moved ashore with heavy rain at one end. The rest of the cloud looked like a regular cumulus cloud e.g. not real threatening but a water spout also formed at the base of the cloud and steadily grew in diameter and length as it moved shoreward. As the water spout moved closer to shore and grew more threatening in appearance, kiters kept riding, indifferent or perhaps oblivious. This continued until several riders were lofted, yanked off the water and blown inland, apparently by the waterspout! One guy managed an emergency depower landing safely on the beach while another was lofted into a car, destroying its front end and messing himself up pretty seriously in the process.
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The Kiteboarder Handbook

Wind and Weather to Ride
marine/Water foreCasts Check forecasts (predicted winds, direction, hazards, temperatures, cold fronts, tropical or strong systems). Learn how to anticipate changes by comparing forecasts to the actual weather in your area. http://www.nws.noaa.gov/ radar and satellite maps Are storms (often identified by bright colored masses), squall lines, or feeder bands inbound? Looping weather images can show trends and speed. http://www.nws.noaa.gov/radar_tab.php http://www.weather.gov/sat_tab.php?image=ir synoptiC maps Are there significant weather systems inbound (cold fronts, tropical systems, strong high/low pressure), or do you see tight pressure isobars indicating strong wind? http://www.weather.gov/outlook_tab.php real-time Winds How are winds upweather (the direction of the inbound prevailing system)? Frequently you can see a preview of what the front will bring to your area hundreds of miles upweather in advance. It’s a look at what may be the future. If unstable weather is coming (spikes/gusty and shifting winds), avoid it until it passes. http://www.ikitesurf.com/ at the BeaCh Check out and always be aware of wind speed, direction, and sky and water conditions at launch and during your session. Is the wind useable, or are sky conditions stable or threatening? What do threatening sky conditions look like in your area? You should know. Are there dark clouds and/or a wind/whitewater line inbound?
NWS radar map showing major system on eastern seaboard.

By Rick iossi Wind drives kiteboarders. When the wind is light, we crave more. When it’s on, so are we. Wind is good but “usable wind” is better. “Usable wind” matches our gear, experience, riding area, and realistic expectations. Too light, too strong/gusty, wrong direction, or too shifty and your session may fizzle or potentially be hazardous. you are definitely putting yourself at risk if you ride in conditions that are too extreme for your gear and/or experience. is the wind offshore, onshore, or turbulent from passing over land? These are conditions best avoided. Wind, weather, and signs vary throughout the USA far more than can be covered here, so do your homework and learn what applies to your area. Wind comes with the flow of air from high pressure to low pressure. The greater the pressure difference, the stronger the wind. Cold fronts can bring both usable and unusable winds (wind to be avoided). They can bring hazardous squall lines, dramatic increases in wind, 90o wind shifts, and substantial temperature drops, which have all taken kiters out in the past. Stronger sustained winds for powered kiting often follow shortly after squall lines and wind shifts. Avoid unusable winds (excessively gusty, from the wrong direction) and rig right for useable winds that may follow. tropiCal systems can have powerful embedded squalls with unusable gusty, shifting winds. Squall-free, useable winds can come with tropical systems but are less common, so be aware. So, how can you easily track the wind and weather? The internet is full of resources. learn which sites are best for your local riding area by asking more experienced riders what websites they use, and how they interpret the data. The most important thing to realize is that not all wind is ridable. you have to learn to distinguish usable from unusable wind.

NOAA map shows squall conditions in the southeast

When you see questionable weather approaching, don’t ride until the last minute. Land and secure your gear before significant wind or temperature changes. If caught out, consider totally depowering early - waiting too long has cost some riders dearly.
Location: Tipanniers, Moorea Island, Tahiti Rider: Kirsty Jones Photo: Richard Boudia

Ikitesurf is a great resource for forecasts and current wind conditions

The Kiteboarder Handbook

If you are ever in doubt about the weather, do not ride! Even the most experienced riders cannot control their kites if the weather becomes unstable. Don’t force yourself to ride in questionable conditions just because you drove for two hours to get to the beach. Sometimes you have to admit that the conditions are above your ability and wait for another day.

T

By RyAn RicciTelli

A picture-perfect example of an impending squall and storm system. Photo: Rick Iossi.

his year we decided to take a different approach to putting together our instructional issue. Rather than bore you with the same regurgitated newbie beginner information, we challenged several of the top instructional coaches in the world to write sections in The Kiteboarder Handbook that are both up-to-date and useful for every level of kiteboarder. With the evolution of equipment over the last few years, we felt it was imperative for a publication to provide current beginner-advanced instructional information that will not only help you improve your riding but also provide insight into instructional topics that are often left out. Please do not use this information to replace lessons or instructional programs. The Kiteboarder Handbook was designed to supplement the learning process. As always, the best way to learn to kiteboard is to take lessons from a qualified kiteboarding school.

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The Kiteboarder Handbook

fINDING THE CHOICE LOCATION
INSTRUCTIONAL BIOS
trip Forman - real Kiteboarding Trip Forman is the co-founder of Real Kiteboarding in North Carolina. Real is open year round and teaches lessons and camps seven days a week in Cape Hatteras from March thru November. In the winter months, Real sails south for “Real BVI” in the British Virgin Islands. Check their instructional series out at www.realkiteboarding.com
Real knows all the sweet spots to ride around Hatteras. Photo Realkiteboarding.com

Choosing the Right Gear
Kites
What are the differences between C-kites, bow kites, Sle kites, and hybrids? Two years ago, the kiteboarding industry was shook up by the introduction of kites known as bows. Since then, other types of kites have also been introduced, adding to the confusion of what a beginner should buy. By Paul lang every new kiteboarder has a lot of questions about what gear they should buy. Whatever kind of equipment you are thinking about purchasing, do your best to try the gear beforehand. Do your research and ask other kiters in your local area about their gear and why they chose it. Kiteboarding is not a cheap sport to get into, so take the time to make sure you are getting the best gear for your needs. Where should i buy my gear? choosing who to buy your gear from is probably the most important decision you can make in the search for the ideal set up. As a beginner kiteboarder, you do not want the cheapest kite you can find on eBay. you will need guidance in choosing the correct gear and the most obvious place to go would be your local kite shop. Ask other kiteboarders where they got their gear and how they felt about the service. Kiteboarding equipment is an investment and buying the wrong gear could be a very expensive mistake. if you do not have a local shop, get on the phone and talk to shops in other areas. Don’t just buy a kite because it was on sale on the internet or was the cheapest one you could find. There are a lot of great shops that sell kite gear on the internet, but always talk to someone first. Service after the sale does matter if you have any questions about how to use your gear; if there are manufacturer modifications, or if you have warranty issues.

C-KiteS

By TRiP FoRman When we first started kiteboarding back in 1998, all the pessimists said, “it won’t happen here, that’s just a Maui thing.” We didn’t pay any attention to them, and now kiteboarders are found all over the world. Along the way, we learned the best way for choosing effective kiteboarding locations. We had to, because kiteboarding was a new and unique sport that needed special conditions to work. These are not “hand me down” exwindsurfing spots, but launches specifically beneficial to kiteboarding and kiteboarders. As you grow to understand the sport of kiteboarding and its specific needs, you’ll learn that there are a set of characteristics both on the beach and in the water that make a perfect kiteboarding spot.

All inflatable kites made before the 2006 models were C-kites. C-kites are shaped like a “C” and are without bridle lines. C-kites are flown on either four or five lines. These are the tried and true kites. Most people who learned to kite before 2006 learned on a C-kite and they can still be used to learn. However, C-kites can have limited depower when compared to the newer styles of kites and can be more challenging to relaunch.

BOW KiteS

Bow kites are usually flatter than C-kites and are supported by bridle lines. Bows typically feature better low end and high end wind ranges when compared to C-kites and have an amazing amount of depower. All bow kites are flown on four lines. They are usually very stable in the sky and they relaunch very easily. Bow kites use pulleys on the control bar, on the kite’s bridle, or both. This can cause higher bar pressure in some models and the loss of a solid feeling connection to the kite.

Sle KiteS

Wind: Side, Side-OnShOre WindS
The key wind directions to look for when choosing a riding location are side shore and side-onshore winds. This means the wind is blowing either parallel to the beach or at a 45o angle onto the beach. These are the safest two wind directions for kiteboarding as they will blow you along or gently back towards the shore. Once you determine the wind direction for the day, look at a local map and find a launch site with these wind directions. As a general rule, do not ride in straight onshore or offshore winds. These can both be very dangerous wind directions and can blow you directly onto land and into hard objects, or out to sea.

A SLE (Supported Leading Edge) kite is basically a modified bow. Any kite that features a bridle could be called an SLE, even bows. Most manufactures that market their kites as SLEs are saying that their kites use a bridle but differ in some from way from a standard bow kite. The differences vary from brand to brand and not every SLE kite behaves the same.

hyBrid KiteS

T Wind Window he
Paul lang
The concept of the wind window is critical to understand when you are learning to kiteboard. The window is defined as anywhere in the sky that your kite will fly. It determines safe riding spots, where you will launch and land your kite, as well as where your kite will generate the least and most amount of power. Imagine the window as a quarter of a sphere that is projected into the sky in front of you as you face downwind. The window does not remain constant – as the wind speed increases the window increases in size. Some new kiters have trouble understanding the wind window because it forces you to think in three dimensions. As the kite flies through the window, imagine the kite as moving around on the inside of a ball that has been cut into fourths. Flying a trainer kite is a great way for you to become familiar with the window.
Graphic Flexifoil.com

Hybrid kites are the most difficult to describe as a group, as the kites that fall into this category can be very different from each other. A hybrid is not a bow, SLE, or C-kite kite but a combination of the benefits and performance of at least two. Some are like bow kites with simplified bridles or fifth line connections, and some are like bridled C-kites. Some hybrids are great for beginners and some are more suited for more experienced riders. Do your research and, if possible, fly the kite you are interested in before you purchase it.

spaCe: Clear, Open dOWnWind SpaCe
Kiteboarding and its gear take up a lot of space. Downwind space is key when choosing a kiteboarding location, both on the beach and in the water. You don’t want to launch just upwind of a bridge or rig and launch your kite upwind of hard objects on the beach. Never launch your kite directly upwind of people. Clear, open space both on the beach and in the water is the way to go. If your launch site is tight on the beach, you can “create” more open space by moving out onto the water before launching your kite.

Boards
how do i pick the right board? This question is almost impossible to answer here, as there are so many factors that go into what makes a board behave the way it does. A lot of people like to over simplify boards by claiming that because a board has a lot of flex it will do this and because it has a deep concave it will do that. All of the different features of a board work together, and you cannot look at only one factor to determine how a board will ride. Overlooked aspects of board design that make huge differences include edge shape, flex distribution, fin position, rocker, and outline. In short, you cannot know how a board will ride simply by looking at the bottom. You need to ride it.

share the BeaCh
It only takes one rider to ruin a good riding spot. Share the beach, think about and help other riders and wind up your lines if you are not going to launch your kite. Don’t lay your lines across car or bike paths. Be courteous to other beach users. Smile! Be a good ambassador for the sport of kiteboarding and keep our sites open. Always be completely friendly and cooperative with any local authorities, especially the lifeguards.

epiC Conditions
As your ability progresses, you will come to realize the two epic conditions in kiteboarding -- totally flat water or waves. If you have access to these, then everything in the middle can be left to windsurfing or fishing. When looking for the best flat water, scope out natural or manmade features that will block the chop but not the wind. Low lying islands, jetties, and sandbars all work perfectly for this. Ride just downwind of them to experience flat-water kiteboarding nirvana. If you are looking for waves, choose a spot with a well defined break that is not already packed with surfers. Carefully scope out the waves and how they break to make sure that it is safe to ride before giving it a go. The best resources for information on riding spots are local kiteboarding shops, area riders or local forums. If you notice that nobody ever kites in certain areas, ask before you go out; there may be a reason why. As always, stick with spots that are within your ability and keep an eye on the conditions throughout the day. Even a small wind shift can turn your epic session into a kitemare.

If you are a beginner, you can easily narrow the possibilities down to a few choices per brand. New kiters should look for a board that they will grow into, in the area of 135 cm to 160 cm, depending on rider weight. Entry level boards tend to be wider than others and you can ride a shorter board if it is wide. Boards in the area of 38 cm to 45 cm wide work best for beginners. Choosing a board that is too small will make it difficult for you to stay on top of the water. Boards that are too large cause you to become overpowered easily. Look for a board with four fins that are each about two inches long or less. When learning, stick with a twin tip board until you can ride that with no problem before moving on to smaller boards or directional, surf-style boards. The best way to see if a board will work for you is to try it, so ask shops if they have demos you can use.

tWip tip

direCtiOnal

harness

What kind of harness should i use? There are two main harness types: waist and seat. Waist harnesses fit around your waist and have a relatively high hook position. Seat harnesses have leg straps which keep your hook from riding up, and have a relatively low hook position. There are also hybrid (seat/waist) and board shorts with integrated harnesses available To choose a harness, go into a shop and try them on. Buy whatever feels comfortable. If you have any problems with your back, you should go with a seat harness as they transfer the kite’s pull directly to your legs.

Seat

WaiSt

hyBrid

The Kiteboarder Handbook

how to set up your board
INSTRUCTIONAL BIOS
Jeff Kafka – Wind Over Water WOW is located in the heart of San Francisco Bay. A full service center offering premium gear and beginner to advanced lessons with watercraft support, Jeff also runs winter clinics and trips to Skyline Ridge, Utah in the winter, with plans on board for a snowkite lodge. www.wowkite.com dan Schwarz - Calikites Dan is a partner, instructor, and repair-guru at Calikites in Southern California. Calikites is a full-service retail shop and repair facility, and a PASA certified kiteboarding school operating in San Diego Bay. Dan’s next goal in life is to teach his wife and dog to kiteboard. Calikites is currently taking bets on which one learns first. www.calikites.com neil hutchinson – tiki Beach Watersports/ Xrated Kiteboarding Neil was one of North America’s first pro riders. Located in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, he has participated in and hosted some of the biggest riding events and longest crossings in the USA. Neil is largely responsible for pioneering kiteboarding BoarderX events, and is a sought after race director for comps worldwide. www.tikibeacheast.com
Photo Ryan Riccitelli

tuning your kite
C-Kite tuning
With the kite at 12:00, sheet the bar in and watch the wingtips. If they flare out, your kite is oversheeted and you need to either lengthen your back lines or shorten your front lines. At full power, you want the wingtips to be parallel, but on the verge of flaring out. This is the reference point for trimming a C-kite, and from this point to depower the kite by lengthening the back lines. If your kite has a fifth line, it should generally be snug, with a small amount of slack when the bar is sheeted all the way in. By Dan schwaRz Maybe you’ve got a brand new kite, but it’s not flying exactly the way you want. Or, perhaps old faithful isn’t responding like it used to, and you just want to put the spark back in your old love. correct tuning of your kite is as much an art as it is a science – it can change the entire personality of a kite and increase the range of your current quiver. Pick a light wind day when you and your buddy won’t mind spending some time repeatedly landing and launching your kite, and get to work. For the most part, you’ll be adjusting the relative lengths of your lines, so if you have too much back line tension, you can either lengthen your back lines or shorten your front lines. With that in mind, let’s get to the tuning.

OVerSheeted

tuned

BOW Kite tuning tipS

Bow kite tuning is basically the same as tuning your C-kite, except that you do not have the visual clue of the wingtip flare to guide you. Fly the kite up to 12:00 and slowly sheet the kite in. Your kite should remain stable with your bar sheeted all the way in. If your kite begins to stall backwards, your kite is oversheeted and you need to lengthen your back lines. If your kite doesn’t seem to produce the power it should and turns slowly, your kite is undersheeted and you need to shorten your back lines. .

OVerSheeted

tuned

Sle hyBrid Kite tuning tipS

direCtiOnalS/SurFBOardS
Traction pads on your directional will help protect your board from heel dents and allow you to jibe without slipping off your board. They’re also a lot neater than wax and don’t melt on a hot day. Get enough traction to cover any part of the board where you expect to put your feet. I like to use one flat long board pad that will cover under the front strap and the deck, as well as short board traction for under my back strap and the tail. • If your surfboard has straps, first ride it strapless to find where your feet should go. Move your feet around the board until it feels right. Look down at your feet and remember where they are so you can mount your straps to the same spots.

Hybrid kites lie somewhere between C-kites and bows, so the tuning is a combination of the two. Fly the kite at 12:00 and sheet the kite in. Depending on what specific kite you are flying, you may be looking for visual clues like wingtip flare or you may need to look for the kite to become unstable and fly backwards or both. If you are having trouble tuning your hybrid kite, contact your manufacturer or local shop to help you as every hybrid is a little different.

OVerSheeted

tuned

By JeFF kaFka your board is a relatively simple piece of equipment. it’s basically a composite or fiberglass deck with fins on the bottom and a spot for each foot on top. Because of their simplicity, many riders do not put an effort into setting up their board correctly. Make the effort to get your board dialed in, and it will make a huge difference in its performance.

tuning your bar
By neil huTchinson The technology of kites has come incredibly far since the early days of kiteboarding, so it is more important than ever to have your lines set correctly. Any of the top-of-theline kites will fly horribly if your bar or kite is not tuned right. it’s almost like taking a new Ferrari and driving it with the wheels out of balance. On most kites, all lines should be exactly the same length when under tension. All new kites come with pre-stretched lines, but after a few sessions, your lines will stretch a little and need to be adjusted and tuned.

hOW tO CheCK yOur lineS:

The shape of a fin is as important as the shape of your board. Ask your local kite/surf shop or shaper what types of fins are recommended for your board. The fins used for kiteboarding should be mid-size short board fins. The center fin can be the same size as the side fins, but never bigger. The side fins should be pretty straight up and down, meaning not a lot of pitch. Towsurfing fins work great. Don’t be afraid to experiment with different fins – they make a bigger difference than you think.

tWin tipS Fins: What size fins you decide to use on your twin tip board is more personal
preference than anything else. Most often, the fins that came with your board will work perfectly fine. • In flat water, you can ride with no fins if you are learning how to do handlepasses or hitting a slider. In large chop or in the surf, you could use a fin up to four inches, but most people prefer fins close to two inches as this size works best for all around riding. • Everybody has their opinion, but I would avoid boards with more than four fins. If your board feels too loose or you want to travel slower, add bigger fins. If it feels like it is holding in too much, try smaller fins.

Walk out your lines as if you were going to attach them to your kite. • Remove any pig tails from the end of all flying lines. • Attach the ends to a fixed point, like a nail in a fence post or a line wrapped around a tree. • Hold onto the bar and lean back to apply pressure on your lines without using the chicken loop or engaging your depower strap.
Photo Ryan Riccitelli

SymptOmS OF StretChed lineS:

Footstraps: Set your straps up so they hold your feet in,
but are slightly loose. This will help you jibe easily and your feet will be able to come out of the straps if you fall.

tips
Your bar should be 90º to the fixed point. If not, either lengthen the short side or shorten the long side with the use of pig tails or the knots on your leader lines. Start letting the pressure off of you bar and make sure both front and back lines fall at the same rate. If your front lines start to fall first, they are too long and vice versa with you back lines. Once again, adjust the length using pig tails or leader lines until all lines fall at the same rate.

Kite is flying more to one side or the other when the bar is sheeted all the way in. Problem: One outside line is longer than the other. • Kite is flying more to one side or the other when the bar is sheeted out. Problem: One front line is longer than the other. • Kite tends to stall, crumple and fall when flying. Problem: Your front lines are too long or your back lines are too short. These can be adjusted on the go by engaging the depower strap, therefore shortening the front lines.
Photo Ryan Riccitelli

Photo Wayne Griswold/ECK

Stance: Ducked out to an even 13 to 15o works best for most people. The width
of your stance is going to be determined by your leg length. Stand over your board and figure out what feels right to you. Stance is measured from inner insert to inner insert. For most riders, a 15 to 20 inch stance will work best. As a rule of thumb, set your stance about as wide as your shoulders. Play around with a few set ups and ride what feels most comfortable to you.

Footstraps: The footstraps on a twin tip style board should feel snug when they

are dry, as they will loosen up a bit when they get wet. Riders with small feet may need to create extra holes in the footstraps in order for them to fit.

Remember that even if your kite is new, it becomes used after your first session. Check your lines often, and your gear will always ride like new!
thekiteboarder.com 47

46 t h e k i t e b o a r d e r . c o m

The Kiteboarder Handbook

setting up your kite
by Chris Moore Setting up your kite should never be rushed. Mistakes made during set up can not only cost you more time, but could put you in a dangerous situation. There are two main ways of rigging up your kite lines: you either lay your lines upwind or downwind from your kite. Both ways work well but it is best to stick with the same way each time if possible, especially when learning.

know your knots
1. 4. 2.
Basic
Words and Photos by the Kiteboardr staff It’s never fun when things break but being prepared when it happens can get you back on the water instead of cutting your session short. Whether your lines break, you need to replace your chicken loop, or if you need to tie new knots to tune your bar, there are a few basic knots you need to know. Before we start, you need to know the parts of a line: the bitter end, a bight, a loop, and the standing end.

3.

pick your spot

You should fully evaluate your launch area to determine the best way to set up your kite. Setting up an inflatable kite requires adequate room not only for the kite, but also the space needed to fully lay out your lines.

1. Bitter end 2. Bight 3. Loop 4. Standing end

how to inflate your kite

Bowline

Start by inflating the upwind strut. Be sure to remove any sand from the tip of the pump nozzle to prevent Photo Jody MacDonald sand from getting blown into the kite bladders as it can create punctures. Fill each strut firmly from upwind to downwind, and double check the valves for a solid closure. Don’t forget to securely close the Velcro. Now you are ready for the leading edge (LE). Secure your pump leash to the center of the LE and begin pumping. As the LE inflates, move your position and the kite so that your back is to the wind and the kite rises up to form a big “taco” shape. Once the kite is fully inflated and the valves are secured, flip the kite over with your leading edge down and into the wind, and weigh it down with sand or a sandbag.

The most commonly used knot is the Bowline. It’s used to attach your chicken loop to your trim strap. (1) Start this knot by threading the bitter end through the trim strap and making an overhand loop on the standing end. (2) Then, thread the bitter end from underneath through the loop. (3) Next, go around the standing end and come back through the loop. (4) Give it a nice tug to cinch the knot down, and make sure to check the overall length of your lines since you might have shortened or lengthened your center lines.

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upwind or downwind?
• Depending

Photo TKB Staff

on the launch site, you may need to set up your lines upwind or downwind of the kite. Pick the appropriate direction based on the launch site. Starting at the kite, unroll your flying lines completely. If you are upwind of the kite, lay the bar down according to how you would fly it. If you are downwind of the kite, flip the control bar over so that it is upside down. • Walk your lines out from bar, separating each so that they are straight with no crossovers. Place them on the ground with plenty of separation so that when you pull on them to connect to your pigtails, they don’t tangle. Most newer kites are color coded and also have a male/female type connector to make attaching the lines very simple and make it difficult to make any mistakes. If you don’t have this type of feature, remember the saying “Front and Center” for front lines on the center of the bar or “Outback” for outside lines (on the bar) to the back of the kite. Before you launch, recheck all larks head attachment points to be sure that they are free from sand, secure, and the same on the right and left side of the kite. If you are unsure of anything, stop and double check! upwind method pros/cons Best for: Larger areas, windy unprotected areas, C-kites. pros - You pick your bar up and fly you kite with the bar the same way up (no spinning the bar); easier to lay out lines as kite lines are laid out going with the wind. cons - Harder to double check your lines visually; when someone picks up your kite they may pass the kite through the lines causing a tangle. downwind method pros/cons Best for: Smaller and restricted areas, bow or bridled kites, lighter winds and protected areas. pros - Easy to visually check your lines; easier to see and prevent bridle tangles. cons - Bar must be rotated the right way up to fly the kite. Lines can have twists when launching.

douBle fisherman

The Double Fisherman’s knot can save your day if one of your lines snaps. (1) Begin the Double Fisherman’s knot by laying the two broken lines down, one above the other. Work with one line at a time. Take the bitter end, and lay it underneath the second line. (2) Next, take the same end and bring it back over the top of the standing end. (3) Go back under again and make a second loop. (4) Then, simply thread through the loop. (5) Cinch it down and repeat for the other part of the broken line. Make sure to leave about an inch of extra line, and tie a stopper so the lines won’t slide through. Once both sides are done, pull the two standing ends apart. (6) You need to readjust your other three or four lines (including your fifth line) as best as you can. The broken line will be shorter and will affect your kite’s performance. Use the pigtails on your kite first. Hook up the unbroken lines as close to the kite as you can get and the shortest line to the knot furthest away from the kite. If that’s not possible, adjust the lines at the bar.

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figure of eight

The Figure of Eight knot is the easiest knot to learn and is used as a stopper for your lark’s head knot. It can be useful when you need to make some knots on your pigtails. (1) Start this knot by laying down the line and making a bite in it. (2) Then, take the bite and turn it 360o. One way or another, it doesn’t matter. (3) Take the bitter end and thread it through the loop. (4) Cinch it down and you are done.

Tip: Line management tools such as the Time Manager or Turbolauncher from Kitelauncher.com
Photo TKB Staff

can help you more quickly set up and de-rig your kite, or help in tight launch areas/boat launches.

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48 t h e k i t e b o a r d e r . c o m

thekiteboarder.com 49

The Kiteboarder Handbook

how to launch & land your kite
by Paul Menta Photos Courtesy of Photoboat.CoM Your wind window travels with you, wherever you are. You need to determine wind direction and launch or land at the edge of the wind window so that you are not violently catapulted across the beach or, even worse, into something solid. If your kite is too far downwind, it could result in a “hot launch.” Too far upwind, and your kite could roll through the wind window to the hot launch position. To determine your wind window, stand with your back to the wind with your arms fully extended out. When you feel equal wind pressure on both arms, that is your wind window. Sight down your arms, and this will show you the edge of the window, where the kite should be positioned when launching and landing. .

drift launching

assisted launch/landing

Not everyone has the luxury of having a nice, wide sandy beach at launch. Drift launching is often a necessity but can also be very dangerous if the area is tight, leaving little to no room for margin of error. This launch technique should never be tried by beginners until they are at an intermediate knowledge and riding level as the kite can often launch very hot. The best way to learn this technique is to have an instructor or experienced kiter show you and to practice on a light wind day, with lots of room around you. c-kites: 1. Connect the lines to your kite, do a thorough preflight check, and, if needed, wind lines onto the bar. 2. Bring the kite down to the water’s edge. Hook in, attach your safety to the 5th line, and grab your bar. If you wound your lines on your bar, carefully unroll them. 3. Keeping your back to the wind, put your kite into the water with the leading edge sideways so the kite has a better chance of drifting to the side of the wind window, and not straight downwind. 4. Let go of the kite and let the kite drift away from you until the lines are fully laid out, while walking upwind to the opposite side of the wind window to prepare to launch. Make sure you have plenty of space and that there are no objects downwind of you and your kite, or to either side of your wind window, within at least two line lengths. 5. Use your 5th line to open the kite up to get it in the launch position and bring it up as slowly as possible. If in doubt, be prepared to immediately pull your safety.

drift launching: Bows 1. Connect the lines to your kite, and do a thorough preflight check. Do not wind lines onto your bar as when drift launching bows, you must never engage the bar until you are ready to launch. 2. Bring the kite down to the water’s edge. Hook in to the chicken loop and connect your safety to where the kite will fully depower/flag out if engaged. Don’t touch the bar! Make sure you have plenty of space and that there are no objects downwind of you and your kite or to either side of your wind window within at least two line lengths. 3. Put your kite leading edge down into the water, keeping your back to the wind. Turn your kite so it is sideways, facing away from the beach. This will help your kite drift to either side of the wind window and not straight downwind. 4. Let go of the kite, and walk upwind to the opposite side of the window facing your kite, keeping an eye on it at all times to make sure it doesn’t power up. 5. When the lines tension and the kite is open, grab your bar and you are ready to go. If your kite is on its nose with ribs facing you, pull on an outside line OPPOSITE of the direction you want to launch to get it in launch position. If in doubt, be prepared to immediately pull your safety. Drift launches can be extremely dangerous. While realizing that the technique is often a necessity, The Kiteboarder does not advocate this method for launching. Do so at your own risk.

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1. Generally, it is best to launch and land with your kite towards the water. Get your kite assistant to carry your kite to the edge of the window, holding the kite from the center of the LE without any tension on the lines.

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3. When you’re ready to land, make sure you have the area to do so, then signal to someone who understands how to land a kite by tapping your head with a flat hand.

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5

2
2. When the assistant is in position, walk upwind to tension the lines, and visually check lines to ensure they are connected correctly and not crossed. Double check your safety and give your launcher the international thumbs up sign to signal you are ready for launch. Bring your kite up slowly and in control.

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4. Have the assistant stay in one spot and raise their hands, then bring the kite down to them, nice and slow. Once they have the kite, they can work their way to the center of the LE as you walk towards the rider to take tension off the lines.

self launching: Bows

1. Secure your chicken loop firm on the beach or to an object that will solidly hold it. The key here is to make sure the chicken loop is firmly secured! self launching c-kites: 2. Walk your kite to the edge of the 1. Holding your kite by the center of your LE, wind window and put the kite in the bring it the edge of the wind window. Grab a launch position. Let go of the kite, wait wingtip, letting the rest of the kite follow the a minute or so to ensure it is stable, direction of the wind. then walk upwind to the opposite side of the wind window of the kite, keeping an eye on it at all times to make sure it doesn’t power up. 3. Hook into your chicken loop without touching the bar or any lines. 4. When you are ready to launch, grab the bar and slowly sheet in to give tension to the lines. 5. When the kite gets tension and is open, launch the kite as you would in an assisted launch. This method also works for some SLE or hybrid kites that have total depower when the bar is fully extended, pushed out. Don’t guess - ask your local dealer, shop or rider. When in doubt, don’t use this method!
50 thekiteboarder.com

self landing

c-kites: If your kite doesn’t have a fifth line attachment point, get it modified at a kite repair shop. The cost is nominal and the benefits are tremendous. 1. Make sure there is nothing downwind of you and your leash is secured only to the fifth line. Bring your kite down to the edge of the wind window, unhook from your chicken loop and release the bar. All tension will transfer to the fifth line. 2. Walk hand over hand up the fifth line until you reach your kite and secure it to the beach.

2. Secure the wing tip you are holding to the beach by folding it over at least one strut, and pile a generous amount of sand or sandbag on top of it.. Make sure your lines are clear and not caught on anything.

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important note: The techniques described here DO NOT work with every kite out there and are recommended as general guidelines that can be used on many kites. You must consult your local dealer, shop, or rider who can show you the proper techniques for self-launching and landing that are approved for your particular kite. Make sure to try self launching and landing with a friend standing by until you feel comfortable trying it on your own. Also, when self or drift launching, it is critical to make sure you check your lines to ensure there are no tangles and that they cannot get caught on anything such as debris on the beach, bridles, pulleys, and struts.
thekiteboarder.com 51

3. Walk to your bar, and position yourself on the opposite side of the wind window from your kite. Watch it the entire time to make sure it stays secure. For maximum safety, launch unhooked whenever possible but always make sure your safety is connected before launching.

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Bows: 1. Bring kite down on beach or water’s edge, let go of bar and let kite rest in this position. You can unhook if desired, but leave your safety attached. 2. Without touching your bar, begin to walk downwind while pulling on the top center line. 3. As the kite starts to fall over, pull the top center line very hard towards you so it drops the leading edge down on the beach and into the wind. 4. Unhook and go and secure your kite. Again, this method also works on some SLE or hybrid type kites that do not have fifth lines. Don’t guess! Ask your local dealer, shop or rider who has the same gear. When in doubt, don’t use this method.

4. Reconfirm that you are positioned correctly by slowly pulling the bar to tension the lines and kite. If it is luffing, move upwind. If it is filled with wind but turning into the wind and toward the sand, you are too far upwind. 5. Once you are in the correct position, firmly pull the bar towards you to release the sand or bag, slowly bring the kite up, grab your board, and head out! If you have an SLE or hybrid type kite with a more swept back trailing edge, you may want to pull a little sand on the inside of the kite for extra stability before you fold over the wingtip. This method does not work with all kites, so ask your local dealer, shop or rider for advice.

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It is good to practice self launching and landing in lighter winds, so you will know the reaction of your kite and the timing before heading out in stronger winds. Remember, you can always activate your safety if you feel there is a problem.

3

The Kiteboarder Handbook

how to switch directions effIciently
by Jay CraWford The first skill every kiteboarder learns is how to get up and ride their board. The second skill you will quickly need to learn is how to go the other way, and to do that, you have to change directions. The easiest way to do this is to stop, and then start again in the new direction.

how to stay upwind
Photo Broneah.com

directional Board

If you want to kite in the surf, directional changes are a complete necessity. Sooner or later, a head high wave will break right in front of you causing you to need to change directions in a hurry, or take a pounding. To get the hang of switching directions more efficiently on a directional board, practice in flat water first. Before you attempt to smoothly change directions, work on being able to ride heelside and toeside in both directions. The easiest way to change directions on a directional is to just simply redirect the kite to the opposite direction and then chase the kite with the nose of your board. Do not worry about changing your feet; simply exit the turn riding toeside. Start slowly and do not redirect your kite quickly, otherwise your kite will generate a huge amount of power while you are turning. Once you have this mastered in flat water, take it to the waves.

twin tip Board

1. Slow down by shifting almost all of your weight to your back foot. Slowly move your kite to the top of the window. 2. As you slow to a stop, shift a little more than half of your weight to your front foot (soon to be your back foot). 3. Dive your kite in the new direction and follow it with your board. If you time it right, you should be able to slow to a stop, and then take off in the new new direction without sinking.
Photos TKB Staff

by Whit Poor Most kiters will agree that staying upwind is the key to the start of having great sessions. It is the ability to go upwind that allows riders to start trying jumps and tricks, as well as the first requirement for renting equipment in foreign countries. Being able to stay upwind is what separates the beginners from the intermediates. If you have been wakeboarding or snowboarding, you already have some of the skills you need as both sports require back foot pressure as well as the need to set a rail in order to ride continuously in a straight line. In order to get both of these concepts down, there are three things we must look at: kite position, body position and speed control.

directional Board transition tips:

Photo Ryan Riccitelli

• You do not have to move your feet. Simply ride toeside half the time. • Keep your kite high and slowly start your transition until the board is pointed in

the direction you want to go, then dive your kite in the new direction. • If you do not want to ride toeside, try switching your feet before or after you turn, but not during. Do it when your kite is high so that you are light on your feet. Switch your feet with two quick and confident steps. • Don’t rush your transitions, or you will be ripped off the board.

downlooping:

Photo Tracy Kraft

You can downloop your kite if you need to change directions in a hurry. There is still a myth out there that downlooping is only for pros. Anyone can do it as long as you commit. This maneuver can really help when riding in the waves or if you need a quick directional change. With your kite high, pull the bar with your front hand, and keep pulling. Follow the kite with your board until you end up riding in the new direction. Go out and try it. It’s easy, functional, and looks cool.

straight and lean your whole body away from the kite. Keep your elbows at your side, rotate your hips in the direction you are traveling and look at where you want to go. Don’t let yourself bend over at the waist and focus on driving the pull from the kite into the board through your back foot.

speed control

Photo Ocean Rodeo Photo Kim Kern

kite position

riding etiquette
general guidelines
• When

By keeping the kite in the same position, the rider can focus on what is going on with their body and board, rather than their kite. Center your hands on the bar and move the kite as little as possible, holding the kite at a steady 45o angle to the water. If you hold your kite too high, it will pull you up and make it difficult for you to set your edge.

Body position

by Paul lang One of the questions most often asked by new kiters is, “how do you not get tangled up with someone else?” I have also talked to beginners who showed up to the beach on a perfect day, only to be too intimidated by the crowds to get on the water. With a little knowledge, crowds are a lot less intimidating. Here are the kiteboarding etiquette rules for flat water and kiting in the surf.
52 thekiteboarder.com

two riders are approaching each other from different directions, the rider with his right hand forward has right of way. This means he should keep on going, while the rider with his left hand forward gets out of the way. • When two riders are traveling the same direction, the rider who is further downwind has the right of way. • You should never jump without at least 150 feet of room downwind of you. • Never jump within 100 feet of the beach. • When two riders cross paths, the further upwind rider should keep his kite as high as possible, while the downwind rider flies their kite as low as possible. • Look behind you before you change directions. • Stay away from the launching area when riding. Give riders room to get on the water. • Do not launch your kite until you are ready to get wet. Flying your kite on land takes up space and can be dangerous.

Kiteboarders who cannot yet stay upwind should launch and ride downwind of the experienced kiters.

Body position is the key to riding upwind. With your front leg straight and your back leg slightly bent, keep your back

You can master kite and body position, but still not make it upwind without proper speed control. This is accomplished not only through powering and depowering the kite, but through board control and the angle the rider takes into the wind. By cutting too hard into the wind, the rider will lose speed and sink back into the water. By traveling too far downwind, the rider has a tendency to gain too much speed too quickly. This causes you to go downwind in a hurry and leads to an out of control rocketship ride. The rider has to travel downwind to get speed, and then slightly depower the kite to allow control and stability while edging the board upwind. Once the rider is effectively edging against the kite, then they can control their power with the bar and board. If you cannot stay upwind consistently, practice it until you can. Devote a portion of every session to kiting upwind until it becomes second nature.

The most important part of riding in a crowd is to be aware of what is around you. Most kite tangles could have been avoided if one or both riders simply looked where they were going. Avoid problems by spotting them early and taking action. If you notice that you are riding straight at another rider from 100 yards away, don’t wait until you are ten feet away to do something about it. When you take your sessions to the waves, you need to not only follow the kiteboarding etiquette rules listed above, but you also have to follow the rules for wave etiquette. The rules for wave etiquette have been around for much longer than kiteboarding has, so follow them if you are in the surf, even if that means you have to yield to a surfer or windsurfer.

riding etiquette cont.
surf guidelines

The rider (or surfer or windsurfer) closest to the peak of the wave has the wave. Everyone else should back off and let him ride it out. • Do not get onto a wave when someone else is already on it. Get your own. • If you are learning, do not get in the way of others. Go upwind or downwind away from the crowds.

In addition, if all kiteboarders followed the next few rules in the surf, everyone would catch more waves: • Never ride through a pack of surfers. • Do not jump where people are riding waves.

Take the dangle jumps out to sea or away from the best waves. • Follow a circle pattern when in the waves: ride the wave downwind, and then work your way back upwind outside of the waves. If all riders followed this, every wave could have a kiter on it and no one would get in the way. • If you are riding back and forth (kiteboarding in the waves, not on the waves), stick with riding outside of the waves. • Never jibe onto a wave downwind of another kiter. You have to remember that there are only so many waves out there to be caught, and many kiters take wave riding very seriously. If you ruin another rider’s wave because

you did something stupid, don’t be surprised if you get a stern talking to back on the beach. Take the time to learn the rules of etiquette before your next session. If everyone followed the rules, we would all get along. That would mean more waves for everyone, and the world would be a better place.

Photo Realkiteboarding.com

thekiteboarder.com 53

The Kiteboarder Handbook

everything you need to know about board leashes
Photo Ryan Riccitelli

how to take Care of your gear
By Daryl Drown Spring is here and summer is coming. Before the season is upon us, take the time to take care of your gear so it will last the whole season. Here are a few tips to prolong the life of your new toys and to service your equipment if you have been off the water all winter.
Photo TKB Staff

By Paul lang For the most part, kiteboarders should avoid board leashes whenever possible. The average kiteboarder can safely ride without a leash 99% of the time, even if they are just learning. Many riders use leashes as a shortcut to avoid learning proper technique, and are only hurting their skill progression by using one. Beginners like to use leashes because it keeps the board close. However, that’s also the problem with leashes. When you crash, the only solid object near you is your board. You want to be as far away from it as possible, not attached to it. When I learned to kite, I used a board leash because that’s what everyone did. Everyone who learned to kite back then knew someone who was injured by their board leash. At the time, we just didn’t know any better. The real danger with a board leash is the possibility that your leash could stretch like a rubber band causing the board to slingshot back to you. Without a leash, you simply leave the board behind when you crash. If it’s nowhere near you, it cannot hurt you. If you find it impossible to ride without a board leash, the simple answer is that you are not yet ready for the board. If you have good control over the kite and have been taught the proper techniques, body dragging back to your board is easy. If it is difficult, you need to work on your kite skills some more. Don’t use a leash to make up for your lack of skill.

INSTRUCTIONAL BIOS
paul lang/assistant editor Paul’s strong background in kiteboarding instruction comes from his years as a sailing and windsports instructor. He is the Assistant Editor at The Kiteboarder, the technical engineer for the ASnews.net podcasts and manages an aquatic center in San Diego, CA. www.thekiteboarder.com hunter brown – blowing in the Wind Hunter Brown is the owner of BITW/Gokitesurf. com in Wilmington and Wrightsville Beach, NC. BITW was established in 2000 and is a full-service shop offering gear from many top brands, demos and repair service. Known for honest advice and professional lessons, BITW is “Your local shop no matter where you ride,” www.gokitesurf.com daryl drown – extreme kites Daryl has been into power kites for about 20 years and opened Extreme Kites in 1999 in a 600 square foot retail shop in St. Augustine, FL. One of the first online retailers, he has since moved to a nicer location, doubled his space and expanded his selection of gear and accessories. www.oceanextremesports.com rick iossi – Fka Rick started kiteboarding in 1998 and founded the Florida Kitesurfing Association, Inc. (FKA) in 2001. The forum is a wealth of information on weather, safety, accident analysis, and what’s happening in Florida and the Caribbean. Rick and his wife Laura live in SE Florida where he is employed as an engineer. www.fksa.org Whit poor – kite Wind surf Whit Poor is an instructor for Kite Wind Surf, a full service kiteboarding, windsurfing and surf shop in the San Francisco Bay area. One of the largest schools in California, the shop has an extremely knowledgeable and friendly staff who are all passionate about watersports. www.kitewindsurf.com chris moore – kitty hawk kites Chris pioneered the PASA Kiteboarding Division, and developed a teaching method still in use by the organization today. He manages Kitty Hawk’s kiteboarding center on the Outer Banks of North Carolina where they conduct lessons and ride 390 square miles of flat shallow ‘sound’ waters almost year round. www.kittyhawk.com Jay crawford – outer banks kiting Jay has been immersed in kiteboarding since 1999. He learned and worked with the pioneers of Cape Hatteras before branching out on his own with Outer Banks Kiting, the newest school on the island. Jay’s school utilizes modern teaching methods, boats, jet skis, beaches and water to give a complete understanding of the sport. www.outerbankskiting.com paul menta – the kite house Paul is one of the original kiteboarding pioneers in the USA. He helped develop the first formal instructional programs for Wipika and PASA. Paul lives in Key West, Florida. With several locations, The Kite House offers instructor training and kite lessons year round at locations in Florida, Puerto Rico, and the Caribbean. www.thekitehouse.com

kite

Despite the dangers of using a leash, some riders still choose to use one. There are a few special cases that may warrant their use. If you are kiting in the waves, you may choose to wear a leash if the shoreline is rocky to keep your board from ending up in pieces. If your local spot has extreme current, a leash could be useful. However, you should never jump with a board leash. That is just asking for trouble. If you do decide to use a leash, you absolutely must wear a helmet. Choose a reel leash, as they are less likely to slingshot the board at you. For helmet recommendations, see the March/April07 issue of The Kiteboarder.

If you have a kite with a single inflation point, check to make sure the connections between the struts and leading edges are not chafed, dried, or cracked. If in doubt, use the replacement connectors that came with the kite. • Check your canopy for small tears. If you find any that are ten cm or less, they can be easily be repaired with rip stop from your local shop. Clean and dry the area before applying the tape to both sides of the tear. Tears over ten cm need to be repaired by a professional. • Check the high wear areas, particularly the leading edge, for abrasions in the Dacron. If you have a SLEtype kite, check the bridle carefully, particularly the sections near the pulleys. Sometimes, the pulleys cease to roll freely due to sand contamination, which can increase the wear on the lines. If they are visibly worn, replace the section if possible, or order a bridle replacement kit from your local shop. • Examine all your pigtails carefully for wear. This will require loosening them to check where they make contact with the kite, a location that tends to wear the fastest. • To increase the life of your quiver, store your kites in a dry location and don’t leave your gear inflated or sandy. Your bladders can pop from overheating, and the sand can rub against the canopy of your kite causing added wear. When you are on the beach, don’t leave the gear baking in the sun or flapping in the breeze for more than 20 minutes.

general care
• Rinse

how to body drag back to your board
By Hunter Brown Body dragging back to your board is one of those skills that every kiteboarder should learn early on. Leashes are dangerous so the quicker you get away from them, the safer you will be. Everyone falls and loses their board. The quicker you can get back to your board, the more time you will spend riding, improving your skills, and learning new tricks. Body dragging back to your board is not difficult; it just takes practice and knowledge of a few simple tips.
Photo Ryan Riccitelli

and dry as much of your gear as often as is practical. Keep sand away from all of your gear as much as you can. If you wash your gear with fresh water, it must be completely dry before you put it away, otherwise it will cause mildew. • Dry your soft goods (wetsuit, harness, etc.) after every use. There is nothing worse than having to crawl into a stinky and damp wetsuit. • Get a board bag. You would be amazed how much wear and tear happens to your board when you are not using it. • Fix or replace problems as soon as you see them. There is no reason to ride ghetto gear and it’s not safe to ride gear that could self destruct at any moment. • Put together a kiteboarding repair kit and always keep it with you. • Treat your gear like an investment. Have you ever bought anything that cost over $1000 that you threw in the sand and dragged through the mud?

bar & lines

Check each line for abrasion or knots. Knots will weaken the lines considerably and should be removed. Soak the line in water and work the knot out with your fingers, using a needle if necessary. Make sure that the fibers were not compromised. If these lines have seen a lot of sessions, consider getting a replacement line set. It is better to be safe than shark bait. Never expect to get more than to wash or not to wash one season from a set of lines. • Examine both your chicken loop QR and your kite leash QR. Inspect the chicken loop carefully. On many systems, the bar will tend to wear the spectra line. If this goes unnoticed, you are going to be swimming in one day. surface of the water, effectively using your whole body as one large fin to help you stay upwind or even gain ground upwind.

The basics of body dragging back to your board are easy. When you fall and lose your board you need to body drag from side to side, trying not to go downwind. Your board will drift downwind and you will get back to it. So how do you best achieve this?

look over your shoulder

pump
• Unless

learn the right Way to Fall

going side to side

To body drag side to side, fly your kite with one hand to one side at about 45o off the water with moderate power. Too much power will drag you downwind, so depower your kite if needed. Extend your other arm, which is your lower arm, using it as a rudder to guide yourself to one side. You want your body to be straight and stiff while keeping your back and chest perpendicular to the
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When you fall, the kite wants to pull you downwind away from your board. To minimize this, you should immediately go into a sideways body drag. This will help you to get back to your board quicker.

Here’s a great tip to judge whether you will reach your board on a tack. If you are body dragging away from your board to the right and you can comfortably look over your left shoulder and see your board, you should be able to get it on the next tack back. Knowing this helps you do longer tacks that will get you back to your board in a minimum amount of time.. If you follow these tips you should be able to fall into a sideways body drag, look over you shoulder and know you can get your board, and turn around and get the board on the next tack. This will result in more time riding on the water and less dragging through it.

you are Dizzy Gillespie, you will need a pump to inflate your kites. Without regular care and proper usage, manual kite pumps are prone to breakage. Use a pump leash and keep both hands on the pump. One-handed, off-axis pumping will lead to an early demise of your pump or loosen the ever desirable tight seal. Lubricate your shaft regularly using McLube SailKote and keep it clear of sand.

Paul lang

to wash or not to wash?
You really do not need to worry about washing the salt from your gear after every use, but you should treat sand as the enemy. Folding up a wet and sandy kite and cramming it into its bag is the equivalent of sanding your kite with 80 grit sandpaper. Washing your gear will definitely make it last longer, as long as your gear is completely dry before you put it away.

longer tacks

Every time you tack to get back to your board, you will lose ground and get pulled downwind a bit. Doing longer tacks in one direction will get you back to your board more quickly.

There is a debate out there as to whether kiters should wash their gear or not. The truth is that it never hurts to wash your gear with fresh water. However, if you do, you must completely dry your gear before you put it away. Fresh water will cause mildew if you ever put it away wet. Salt water does not have this problem, so it’s ok to put your gear away slightly damp if it is wet.

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