Kite Control: Steering Your Kite
Steering your kite is a technique that you will have to take on to maintain proper kite control. The better your control is, the easier it will be to learn how to kiteboard. The main focus during our kiteboarding lessons is to make sure that you get the feel for the kite. Then when you are able to turn safely and with purpose, you will gain confidence in the kite. It is not always easy to master these initial techniques but when you get it down, you can enjoy balanced steering.
Learning how to steer the correct way is done best with an instructor. You can progress quicker when working with a licensed kiteboard instructor. They will take you through the initial techniques without the board for controlling your kite and then progress to more advanced levels. The more advanced steering is for when you start learning how to loop the kite allowing you to jump higher and turn much faster. Techniques like learning the down loop is crucial to controlling your kite quickly and turning efficiently. Thus making your landing safe and soft.
When learning how to steer the kite in the water you want both hands in the middle or closer to the center lines. Then when moving the kite in the wind window on the left side you want to push your right hand up to the sky and pull down with your left. When steering right you will pull your right hand down and push your left hand up to the sky. Although this may seem simple, the kite is very responsive so do not pull the control bar abruptly unless directed to do so. For increasing the power of the kite just simply pull the bar down with both hands. This will lift you straight up. For getting power going left or right, pull the bar down first before turning the kite. This is also a very basic guide for steering the kite and we highly recommend learning first with an instructor. Every kite flies differently so learning from an instructor will help keep you safe and better understand how to fly your kite. When resting or wanting to sit still keep your kite parked at 12 o’clock or directly above you.
A trainer kite is a great way to get the motions down. A trainer kite is a smaller kite that is usually a bit slower and easier to turn. You can focus on pulling and pushing and staying smooth so that you are not pulling too hard. For most of the trainer kites, you do not need a harness just wind. You may even want to consider a trainer kite if it is your first year with kiteboarding.
Mistakes That Are Common
The most common mistake made when steering a kite is treating it like the wheel of a car. The control bar requires a balance of power and finesse. When a border pulls down on the control bar and expects an instant reaction from the kite they often overcompensate and this leads to sudden stalls or even falling off the board. Keep subtle tension in the line and be ready to react if the tension is lost in a fast turn. Another factor to pay attention to is how much wind there is in the area you are kiting. If you notice a sudden drop of wind the kite will be less reactive and require more power. The same goes for the opposite. If there is more wind the kite will be highly responsive and require less power and more control.
Another common mistake comes down to moving the kite with your body. Shifting your weight can be dangerous if you are steering with a kite. Trying to stay planted and using your hands on the bar to control the kite is essential. You can certainly affect the kite movement with your body, but if you are constantly repositioning you could be losing speed causing the loss of balance.
Practice Without The Board
When you manage the tension in the bar and understand the steering system it will increase your progression and confidence. Most lessons involve some form of instruction on land or in shallow water with the kite. As you handle the kite without the board, you can focus on the feeling of moving the kite from side to side in the wind window. You will also begin to notice how responsive the kite is and how much power is needed. Over time you will develop muscle memory and know-how to steer the kite without looking up at it.
If you could use assistance with your kiteboarding in St. Petersburg, contact us today.