How to ride further and control your speed 

You are now standing up on your board but only for a few meters, it’s time to get in control of the power, your speed, your kite and your body position and ride further and further. 

If you are slowing down and beginning to sink into the water, you are running out of power and if you are going too fast and are out of control, you need to take action. 

To ride further and to control your speed follow these sequences…

To get more power, to stop sinking and to speed up, take the following actions immediately and in the following order.

  1. Pull your bar in all the way.
  2. Move your kite aggressively back into the power by pulling hard on your opposite hand.
  3. Come off your edge by leaning forwards and turn your front hip towards the kite. This will point your board towards the pull of the kite and you will require less power to keep riding.

If you are going too fast and have too much power, to slow down, take the following actions immediately and in the following order.

  1. Push the bar away from your body and keep your bar pushed out until you slow down.
  2. Keep or move your kite lower in the wind window to at least 10 or 2 so you can lean back. 
  3. Apply more pressure in your heels so you can edge harder and turn your head away from your kite and over your shoulder. 

Board starting on your less natural side

To get back to where you started and to ride upwind, you have to be able to ride in both directions, to your left and to your right. Naturally one side will feel easier than the other. Don’t get frustrated too easily when board starting on your less natural side as everyone has a side that feels more difficult at first. The trick is to practice on both sides while you are learning. 

The benefits of training board starts in both directions

  • Training your less natural side will make your stronger side even stronger.
  • You will have less walking back up wind.

If you struggle on your less natural side then it is most likely that you are 

  • Pointing your board too far away from your kite and not pointing the board towards the direction of the pull from your kite, enough. Otherwise known as pointing your board too far upwind.
  • Not moving your kite into the power zone or pulling your bar in to bring on enough power.
  • Keeping your legs too stiff and straight and expecting the kite to pull you up out of the water. 


  • More practice on your less natural side.
  • Point your board across the wind or more downwind. 
  • Bring on a little more power.
  • Bend your legs even more and loosen up. 

Common board start challenges

At some point all Kitesurfers have had to deal with at least one of the following challenges. Most riders have had to deal with all of them, it’s part of learning to Kitesurf.

The Challenge – You keep falling over the front of your board. 

  • This is because you are bringing on too much power or you are extending your legs fully.

 The Solutions 

  • Be even more cautious with the power. Dive your kite down in to the power less by pulling less on your front hand. Start with your kite no further back in the wind window than 1 or 11.
  • Keep your legs bent all the time, lean back and stay low. 

The Challenge – You are finding it difficult to stand up.

  • This is because you have not got enough power, are not facing downwind or because you are not pushing back against your board by leaning forwards and extending your legs as you are pulled by your power stroke.

The Solutions 

  • To get more power, pull your bar in, pull it all the way to your stopper and hold it on maximum if you have too. 
  • Pull even harder on the side of the bar in the direction that you are board starting in. This will move your kite more into the power zone in front of you. 
  • Make sure you start the board start with your kite back to 1 or 11 in the opposite direction that you are intending to board start in. You need more power to initially stand up and to get going. 
  • Make sure that you have the wind on your back and that you are facing downwind so you are pulled from your front and not to your side.
  • Remember your kite doesn’t pull you out of the water, you have to stand up by pushing against your board as you dive your kite into the power when you feel the pull.

The Challenge – You stand up then skid over the water

This is because you have not pointed your board towards the pull of your kite and have probably bought on a bit too much power.

The Solutions

  • Turn your front hip so your board is pointing more towards the direction you are being pulled in. Otherwise known as more downwind. 
  • Bring on less power. This will make your board start slower and will give you more time to react.

The Challenge – You keep crashing your kite.

This is usually because you are not concentrating on your kite, have not pulled the bar in enough to gain control or are flying your kite too close to the water.

The Solutions

  • Keep your kite in the sky. Focus on your kite. Your kite is everything. It is the most important bit of equipment in Kitesurfing. It can get you back to land. It can turn into a sailing boat and rescue you. Your kite pulls you along on your board so don’t give up on it and only let go of your bar in an emergency, if you really have too. 
  • Pull your bar in to get control
  • If your kite is falling to your left, pull the right side of your bar and if it falls to your right pull on the left side of your bar.
  • Remember that you must pull on the opposite side of your bar when you first stand up during your board starts. 
  • Move your kite less. If you need more power, pull your bar in. You don’t have to move your kite so much to get power if your bar is pulled in
  • Imagine you are in a kite flying competition and if you keep your kite in the air, you win a million dollars, unless you are fabulously wealthy you would keep your kite in the air

The Challenge – You keep sinking when trying to ride away.

You are running out of power. Make sure you have the right size kite. Keep the power on. 

The Solutions 

  • Pull in your bar. 
  • Move your kite quickly, right back into the power zone.
  • Lean more forwards, turn your front hip towards the kite.  
  • Pump up a bigger kite or get a bigger board.

The Challenge – You spin around when you put your board on.

This is usually because you are doing nothing to stop yourself from spinning around.

The Solutions 

  • Practice balance body dragging 
  • See section on balance body dragging
  • Paddle with your hands to steady yourself. If you spin to your left, take your right hand off and paddle, if you spin to your right, take your left hand off and paddle. 
  • Stop staring at your kite all the time and look in front of you. Don’t be a kite Zombie. You can look at the lines to see where your kite is in the sky. 
  • Keep both your legs bent the same amount.

The Challenge

You are having trouble putting your board on

Don’t worry, it usually only happens when you are first learning. Keep going.

The Solutions 

  • Loosen your foot straps so they are as big as they can go while you learn to get the board on as you do not need tight foot straps.
  • Practice putting your board on in the water without your kite.
  • Keep to the same ritual of putting your board on every time and then it becomes automatic.
  • (if right handed) Use your right hand to hold the kite, your left hand to hold the board, sit back in the water and put your right foot in first. 
  • Resist pulling on your bar while you put your board on otherwise your kite will move and spin you around.
  • When you are ready to put your board on, put it on as quickly as possible. 
  • If you are really struggling because of body limitations, if it is safe to do so you could land your kite on the water at 9 or 3 and let go of the bar while you put your board on.

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