Kitesurfing How To

26 October 2015

BWSURF Team Rider Kite Guide

Posted in Interviews, Kitesurfing How To

Tips, tricks and more from the BWSURF international pro team

BWSURF Team Rider Kite Guide

BWSurf team riders are incredible kitesurfers, but they’re also extremely talented surfers. In fact, many are pro-surfers who discovered kiting as a means to extend their time on the water and compliment their surfing. These guys are a big part of the BWSurf family. It’s their input into our R&D and constant feedback that allows Dano and Ben to create the best equipment to suit different riding styles and conditions. Having riders who are competent in both kiting and surfing, enables us to be innovative and at the cutting edge of surf-style riding. This ebook will give you a good insight into what drives our riders as well as some handy tips you can apply to your own riding.

22 October 2015

Boards: Part 2

Posted in Kitesurfing How To

What to look for in your next surf and kite board

Boards: Part 2

Part two on choosing your next board. Let's pick up where we left off... 

#4 Quality & Construction continued.

EPOXY boards are very buoyant and super light meaning they sit high on the water, something that makes for a rough ride on choppy water. However they are suitable for small, glassy waves, especially when surfing.

HIGH DENSITY PU (poly urethane) FOAM BLANKS are a lot more expensive than standard foam.HDfoam is much stronger and minimises dentingwhen kitesurfing. Quality blanks cost more but your board will last longer, perform better and feel alive in the water.

CROSS-HATCHED FIBREGLASS is added to increase multi-directional strength and flex, reducing the likelihood of a board snapping under pressure.

CARBON FIBRE PATCHES are kite-specific reinforcing that we include around the tail section and fin boxes to protect your board when landing aerials. 

22 October 2015

Boards: Part 1

Posted in Kitesurfing How To

What to look for in your next surf and kite board

Boards: Part 1

If you’ve bought a kiteboard or surfboard in the last few years you’ll know that it can be pretty tricky. The exhaustive numbers of manufacturers, shapes and build methods has spiraled out of control. Choosing the right board is tough enough for surfers who’ve been navigating the rough sea of board design for years, but if you come from a kite or windsurf background, it can be hard to know which way to go. Kitesurfing places different stresses on the board that require a different approach to the board construction.

Having the right board is critical and can mean the difference between a great session and frustration so take time to evaluate your requirements. The right board for you is a very personal choice that encompasses a range of factors so simply saying, “I’ll have what she’s having,”won’t cut it.

Here are some questions to consider when buying a board for kiting and surfing:

#1 LOCAL CONDITIONS–are the waves I usually ride large and steep or small and mushy?

#2 HEIGHT & WEIGHT–what volume & length is right for me?

#3 ABILITY–Am I a confident surfer/kiter or just starting out?

#4 QUALITY &CONSTRUCTION–was it produced using quality, kitesurf-specific materials by a reputable surfboard shaper?

#5 APPLICATIONS–will I be using this board for kiting, surfing or both?

22 October 2015

Josh Mulcoy: Words of Wisdom

Posted in Interviews, Kitesurfing How To

Why pro surfers love kiting

Josh Mulcoy: Words of Wisdom

For the last 6 or 8 years I've been saying that more surfers will eventually discover kiting the way we have; as a means to get in the ocean and ride waves as much as we can. There are always a few bold individuals who defy popular opinion and choose the road less travelled. Josh Mulcoy is the perfect example. His favourite places to surf are better known for snow than swell, but to a guy like Mulcoy this couldn't be more perfect. It's a struggle to find a wave to yourself in North America and utterly unheard of in Santa Cruz where he calls home (at least that's where his mail is sent). So Mulcoy packs his boards and kites and heads out of town. 

Here's a bit of insight into the mind of Mulcoy...

HOW DID YOU DISCOVER KITING?

I live in Santa Cruz and there’s a really good surfing wave just past Waddell. For years I’d drive by and see windsurfers. Eventually I started seeing kiters and had to stop to check it out. I thought to myself, “Wow, that turns the ocean into a big waterpark with endless opportunities to ride waves!” I was lucky enough to have a friend help me out and get me going. During this time I actually didn't surf for the whole month - just kited. I was addicted - there’s just something about gliding across the water...

15 October 2015

Kite Position

Posted in Kitesurfing How To

Catching Waves and General Riding

Kite Position

Setting yourself up to catch a wave requires some calculation, as you need to think about both your position in relation to the wave and the angle of the kite. It’s important to keep your kite at 45° or lower. This is where you have the most control so always work from here whether you’re riding a wave or tacking up-wind.

In contrast to surfing, when you’re kiting aim to catch the wave further out, well before it breaks. Once you’re in position and have chosen a wave, adjust the angle of your kite and prepare yourself to catch it. Parking the kite in the right position and allowing it to drift down the line allows you to ride the wave and pick it up again when needed.

Check that you are always:

  1. Turning the kite before the board
  2. Making the same turn with the board as with your kite
  3. Travelling at the same speed and in the same direction as your kite

15 October 2015

HOW TO PERFECT A LAYBACK CARVE

Posted in Kitesurfing How To

By Brodie Adlington

HOW TO PERFECT A LAYBACK CARVE

This is one of my favourite kiting moves as it throws off a huge amount of spray and feels epic!

 

1. Speed - it's all about the speed... The more speed you've got, the bigger the turn will be and more water you're going to move. So make sure you've got a whole bunch of speed before hitting the section.

 

2. The Section - You can perform one of these off many sections but you really want to aim for the right one to maximise the ‘sick-ness’ of the turn. I look for a section that has a lot of push behind it, is just about to break but still has a bit of wally part next to it.

 

3. Timing and technique - These two things are crucial for making the turn look sick. Time it wrong and you'll be hitting a fat section or you'll be too late to even hit it. The perfect time to hit it is just before it's about to break. As for technique, race at whatever angle you want to the section (depending on how you want it to turn out, the harder the angle the more vertical you'll be when you hit it) then throw your back arm into the water behind you just as you lean back to throw all your weight and power onto your back foot. Using your arm as a stabiliser behind you, transfer your weight to your front foot - this will make your fins throw out and the tail of your board will slide. 

15 October 2015

General Body Position & Riding Upwind

Posted in Kitesurfing How To

General Body Position & Riding Upwind

Whether you’re on water or land, the closer together your legs and more upright you stand, the less balance you’ll have. The further you spread your feet apart whilst lowering your centre of gravity, the more stable you are. To keep a solid stance on your board, make sure you bend your knees and bring your centre of gravity lower. Try to make sure your body is always relaxed and not stiff.

Foot placement also affects the way you ride. The closer your back foot is to the tailpad, the sharper and more vertical your turns will be. Weight is kept mainly on the front foot and through the toes/ball of foot while the back foot controls your direction and keeps you balanced. Being mobile on your board allows for more variety and control, allowing dynamic moves and also helping you get around efficiently.

When trying to maximise up-wind direction, move your feet as far up the board as possible and make sure your board is as flat as possible in the water so you’re maximising its surface and planing area. 

15 October 2015

Choosing Your Kitesurfing Equipment

Posted in Kitesurfing How To

Kites, Boards, Harnesses & Bars

Choosing Your Kitesurfing Equipment

The Right Kite

Kitesurfing is a three-dimensional sport with a lot of elements at play, so having simple equipment that won’t tangle you up is crucial. More bells and whistles means more lines and unnecessary gadgets to get in the way. Before you hit the water, you need to choose the right kite for wave riding. You’re looking for something that sits comfortably in the air and turns consistently throughout the power zone so you aren’t jerked around. A kite that turns erratically when you’re trying to surf will end up pulling you off the wave and leaving you stuck between sections and out of rhythm. You also need a kite that drifts well and floats down the line with you.

 

12 October 2015

How to Land an Upwind Back Roll

Posted in Kitesurfing How To

By Ian Alldredge

How to Land an Upwind Back Roll

Land an Upwind Back or Front  

 

1. You’re edging up-wind pretty hard and aiming for a ramp or section to boost off. Try to get as much height as you can, keeping the kite stable at roughly 45 degrees. 

 

2. Turn your head over your leading shoulder and lean back. Keep your back foot and body weight centred over the board. Point the board into the wind and keep the bottom pushing directly into the wind so it stays on your feet. Your shoulders should be rotating. Looking over your leading shoulder will help to keep your body twisting. 

 

3. Spot your landing and remember to keep your knees bent to absorb the impact and also to help keep your feet connected with your board. 

 

4. If you lose momentum towards landing, pull in on the bar for additional speed. 

 

12 October 2015

How to Gybe (jibe)

Posted in Kitesurfing How To

How to Gybe (jibe)

Learning to gybe (jibe) is important but not essential on a directional board if you wish to switch stance when you change direction to save riding toe-side all the time. It involves swapping from goofy to natural (or vice versa) while also changing the direction of the kite.

You can either switch feet then turn the kite or turn the kite then switch feet. It’s not essential to do it all at once so break it down into steps to make it easier. 

 

Depending on whether you’re coming out of your favoured stance, you may want to switch your feet before or after you turn the board. Practise on land then flat water so it becomes a habit. With time it should become a smooth, fast hop between stances.

 

 

12 October 2015

Kitesurfing Self-Rescue

Posted in Kitesurfing How To

Kitesurfing Self-Rescue

Firstly, it’s always a great idea to assess the location before you head out. That way, if you break a line beyond the waves or crash your kite in the waves, you’ll know where you’re going to end up and how to manage the situation. Ask yourself, “Am I going to wash up onto the beach? Is there a reef? Where will I end up?”

 

 

12 October 2015

Toe-side Upwind Riding

Posted in Kitesurfing How To

Toe-side Upwind Riding

Whether you're riding toe-side or heel side, strapped or unstrapped, riding efficiently upwind means shifting your body weight up towards the nose. This helps your board plane more effectively. If you place too much weight on the tail, you'll sink and slow down, making upwind travel really difficult. If you're riding with straps, try taking your back foot out and move it forwards. If you're still struggling to get upwind, you can take out your front foot too, and move both feet up towards the nose. 

 

Also remember, when you move your back foot closer to the tail of your board your turns will be sharper. Moving it towards the nose will produce more flowing, carving turns, so to get the most out of a session - on waves or simply going upwind - move your feet!

12 October 2015

Waxing Your Surfboard for Kiting

Posted in Kitesurfing How To

Waxing Your Surfboard for Kiting

Whether you're surfing or kiting, keeping a good layer of wax on your board is so important! Neglecting the little things can ruin a great session and cause some unnecessary frustration. 

 

Start with a thick base coat of tropical wax, applying all the way toward the nose, and re-applying every time you head out. Because wax heats up and moves around when you're kiting, I like to keep a bit in my pocket for long sessions and re-apply every hour or so. You can save time and wax up out in the water by hopping off your board and either parking your kite at 12 o'clock or sitting it on the water, as if you're about to launch. If you're feeling particularly clever, you can apply it on the go (preferably while getting barrelled) and hope someone sees how slick you look. 

 

12 October 2015

Getting Barrelled on a Kite

Posted in Kitesurfing How To

Getting Barrelled on a Kite

I’ve had some of my best barrels on the East and West Coasts of Australia where there are lots of rocky headlands and slabby reef breaks. Of course Indo has some really good spots as well.

The most important thing to remember for riding barrels is kite position. When you’re pulling into barrel you need to avoid your lines dipping into the lip and causing drag so keeping the kite low and in sight helps – it needs to drift at about 45 degrees or lower. Surfboards are important because when you’re in the barrel you have to switch from using the power of the kite to the power of the wave. You want that extra buoyancy. Normally when the waves are barrelling I prefer to surf anyway, unless I need the kite to tow in or I want to get out to reef breaks.  

I think the best barrel conditions are short, slab barrels. When the wave is too long it can be hard to get the kite to sit properly so short. Side-offshore winds are also best for cleaner waves - when it’s side onshore or side-shore the waves can be too crumbly. A reef or low rocky headland is good to help protect the wave from becoming too choppy.

Some more tips on getting barrelled on your backhand 

12 October 2015

Should You Wear a Legrope Kiting?

Posted in Kitesurfing How To

What I tell my coaching students

Should You Wear a Legrope Kiting?

Leg ropes: to wear or not to wear, that is the question.

 

I use a leg rope 100% of the time as I hate taking time out of my session if I lose my board. That's 5 minutes I have to spend swimming after my board that I could have spent kiting! If you're not used to wearing one and find you get caught up changing stance etc, rest assured, you will get used to it - it's all about time on the water.

 

 

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