Heel to Toe Carve Kitesurfing Technique

Heel to Toe Carve

Technique / Beginner

Introduction

Carving from your heels to you toes with grace whilst throwing up a wall of spray feels divine and looks pretty darn good too. Most of us stumbled from our toes back around to our heels, but somehow this turn causes a few more problems with timing and keeping the power. Once mastered it opens the door to gauging turns in the waves and makes non aerial down winders pure joy, roll on winter.

A good carve to toe side should not be considered as the way to learn toe side riding, so if you have not yet nailed toe side, it would be best to have it in the bag before trying this as it’ll make it a world easier. If you can ride toe side then you are ready and can concentrate on the timing of the kite movements and the change of body position.

The aim of a heel to toe side carve is to change direction whilst carving around nearly 180˚ whilst keeping your speed up and keeping power in the kite as in Video 1. We’ll ponder what we need to do with our body and how best we can compliment this with the kite.

Carvetastic

Carving has a kind of soulful following in many sports, and for us surfing is the place to look. Watching any half decent surfer you’ll notice how they bend both legs, keep their weight low and balanced over their feet, and literally drive through their knees, using as much of the board as possible - poetry in motion. However watch your average kiter and it’ll all be heavy on the back foot, standing bolt upright and actually pivoting around the back of the board.

In Pic A Karine is half way around carving from her heels. This is a good opportunity to check out her body position.

The first thing to note is that her entire body is centred over the board. That is to say that her hips, shoulders and head are all in line and perpendicular to the board. You need to visualise that you are not actually carving from you heel edge, but from a flat board. So if Karine were balanced over a flat board, her alignment would be vertical, now as she carves her entire body leans over the same amount as the board. There is no need to break excessively at the waist and bend over. This may enable you to touch the water, but it will prevent you from pushing through the board and keeping it stable, particularly in choppy water.

Now if we look at Karine’s knees we can see that they are both flexed and both knees are facing forward, this way they can drive through the turn together, as a single unit. If both legs are bending it means that there will be weight on both feet, and keeping some weight forward means that more of the board can be used to turn and that the board will be trimmed flatter (from front to back) and therefore will keep going for longer without power from the kite.

Karine’s head is looking forwards to where she is going, which will help her complete the turn and actually get all the way around onto her toe side edge. The head also leads the shoulders around, and as long as the board is carved over, her feet and hips will continue around.

Finally as far as kite control goes, Karine has committed to a strong pull on the bar and has kept the bar in close to her to use all the power and control the position of the kite. Her aim is to steer the kite across the window, from 1 to 11. This will give Karine a fairly constant pull and let her know where the kite is. The actual kite movement would not be dissimilar to that of a slide turn.

Pic B shows you how not to do it. Karine is leaning back over her left foot too much. Her left leg is very bent whilst her right leg is only slightly flexed. This pushes her hips back over the tail of the board and all her weight goes through her back foot, sinking the tail and slowing the board. Also if you look at her bar, Karine has let it pull away from her, so rather than use the power, she has let it go and the kite will flutter to the edge of the window. The end result will be Karine stopping as she comes to the face the other way, and the kite will be too far around to generate any power.

Getting There

So you know what the body needs to do to get around the turn, but how do you get there. Due to the close link between what you do with the board and the how you turn the kite we’ll look at two sequences, one for the entry of the turn and one for the exit.

As already mentioned the first thing you’ll need to do is let yourself be pulled up over the board and flatten it so that you are not on your heel side edge. By bending both knees the board will flatten and then you can rock up over your feet. Once here you can stand up over the board and initiate the carve. However as soon as the board is flat, you will be following the kite and therefore loosing power, so you’ll need to get the kite turning sharpish.

For the entry into Karine’s carve we look at sequence 1. Also check out the close up in Video 2.

Following Sequence 1

Now if you have a gander at Sequence 2 for the exit onto toe side.

Following Sequence 2

Final Words on the Kite

Your final bit of homework is to watch Video 3 to see the kite movement during the turn. The order is quite important, but hopefully you can see it. Christian comes of his edge, he then steers the kite across at the same time as starting the carve. This means that by the time he’s pointing downwind the kite is flying across the window, and therefore hopefully creating power. Christian can then carve against this power and exit full speed on his toes.

Top Tips

For your first attempts slow things down:

If you find that there is no power in the kite when you come around the turn, the likelihood is that you steered the kite too slowly so it went up over you head and then to the edge of the window. You’ll need to be more aggressive than you think.

If you keep coming out of the turn riding slightly downwind, remember to turn and face upwind onto toe side. Drop your upwind arm to gain some extra purchase.

Do you enjoy reading IKSURFMAG, using our App and website? We now need your support to keep IKSURFMAG going. Support IKSURFMAG from as little as £2 – and it only takes a minute. Thank you!

Support IKSURFMAG

This technique article was in Issue 11 of IKSURFMAG.

Related

Related

Kitesurfing Technique - Air Gybe
Kitesurfing Technique - Air Gybe
Air Gybe

The Air Gybe done well is the King of smooth: just freezing mid flight, maybe throwing in a cheeky grab, whilst hanging in the wind then casually changing direction before powering off back out to sea. Once fully mastered even the biggest air can be a mere method of turning, and any obstacle a plant. If you have conquered the…

Kitesurfing Technique - Back Loop
Kitesurfing Technique - Back Loop
Back Loop

The backloop has often been the defining moment in many a riders kitesurfing history. The first genuine “trick” to really wow the masses and motivate ones belief to keep learning, keep tacking time off work and keep spending money. However it does not have to be the starting point. If you can already jump and have the front loop sorted,…

Kitesurfing Technique - Back Loop Transition
Kitesurfing Technique - Back Loop Transition
Back Loop Transition

There comes a time in every kiters life when suddenly all the hours of battling the elements really starts to pay dividends. Once you have mastered the many basic fundamentals you will have a solid foundation on which to build many blocks. The backloop transition is without a shadow of doubt the first funky add on to the beloved foundation…

By Christian and Karine
www.ckperformanceclinics.co.uk
Christian and Karine have been working together as a coaching team, running improver to advanced kitesurfing clinics since 2003.

Problems? Ask Below

×

Subscribe it's Free!

Win a Re Solve Split Kiteboard From Kitelement this issue in our FREE subscriber prize draw.

By subscribing you will not only be first to read the mag but automatically entered into the prize draw every issue!

Draw closes on Wed 10th Apr, 2019
First name is required.

By subscribing you are agreeing to our Privacy Policy

Subscribe Another
Re Solve Split Kiteboard From Kitelement

Issue 72 Wed 6th Feb, 2019

Compact Series Surfboard from ODO Kiteboarding

Giles

Issue 71 Fri 7th Dec, 2018

A 2019 Mercury 6/4 Freezip and Vex Harness from Prolimit

Gary

Issue 70 Mon 8th Oct, 2018

CrazyFly Raptor LTD Neon Board

Martin

Issue 69 Tue 7th Aug, 2018

GoPro Hero 6 Black Action Camera

John

Issue 68 Tue 12th Jun, 2018

GoPro Hero 6 Black Action Camera

Simon

Issue 67 Wed 11th Apr, 2018

Mystic Majestic X Harness

Andrew

Issue 66 Fri 9th Feb, 2018

6m Flysurfer Stoke

Ross

Issue 65 Tue 12th Dec, 2017

7m Cabrinha Drifter + Fireball Bar Set Up

Chris

Issue 64 Wed 18th Oct, 2017

Board You Desire From Shinn

Dave

Issue 63 Tue 8th Aug, 2017

GoPro Hero 5 Black Action Camera

Adam

Issue 62 Sat 10th Jun, 2017

CrazyFly 2017 Sculp 9m and Sick Bar

Dale

Issue 61 Mon 10th Apr, 2017

GoPro Hero 5 Black Action Camera

Sam

Issue 60 Sun 5th Feb, 2017

GoPro Hero 5 Black Action Camera

Steven

Issue 59 Mon 5th Dec, 2016

GoPro Hero 5 Black Action Camera

Edward

Issue 58 Thu 13th Oct, 2016

Fireball Set Up with an Apollo Kite from Cabrinha

Paul

Issue 57 Tue 11th Oct, 2016

Blade Trigger 10m Kite

Andrew

Issue 56 Sun 12th Jun, 2016

Board and Boot Set Up from Liquid Force

Peter

Issue 55 Sat 9th Apr, 2016

Nobile NHP Split Kiteboard

Andrew

Issue 54 Sat 6th Feb, 2016

Wetsuit and Harness from Manera

Gary

Issue 53 Tue 10th Feb, 2015

Ride Engine Harness!

Grahame

Issue 52 Wed 7th Oct, 2015

Prize Pack from TSHOTSH

Guy, Vince

Issue 51 Thu 13th Aug, 2015

Wainman Hawaii ManiaC Kite

Rich

Issue 50 Thu 4th Jun, 2015

Liquid Force Legacy Board

Daniel

Issue 49 Fri 10th Apr, 2015

Slingshot Vision Board

Michael

Issue 48 Fri 30th Jan, 2015

Blade Mist Kite and Bar

Gary

Issue 47 Mon 8th Dec, 2014

2015 Core GTS3 8m Kite and Bar

Wayne

Issue 46 Wed 8th Oct, 2014

Ozone Reo Wave Kite

Daan

Issue 45 Mon 4th Aug, 2014

Brunotti Board and a Pair of Sunglasses

Sean

Issue 44 Mon 9th Jun, 2014

Dakine Harness and Travel Bag

Matthew

Issue 43 Wed 2nd Apr, 2014

Manera EXO Harness and Goodies!

Ruben

Issue 42 Thu 30th Jan, 2014

North Gonzales Kite Board!

Johnny

Issue 41 Mon 2nd Dec, 2013

Best Spark Plug Kite Board

Christophe

Issue 40 Wed 9th Oct, 2013

Kiteloose Fatty Surfboard

Ben

Issue 39 Fri 2nd Aug, 2013

GoPro HD Hero 3 Silver Edition

Dave

Issue 38 Sun 2nd Jun, 2013

CrazyFly Sculp 9m Kite and Sick Bar System

Clara

Issue 37 Mon 1st Apr, 2013

Kitesurf Holiday Experience with Kirsty Jones

Vix

Issue 36 Sat 2nd Feb, 2013

2013 F-One Bandit 6 9m Kite

Paul

Issue 35 Mon 3rd Dec, 2012

Soul Drysuit by Ocean Rodeo

Ian

Issue 34 Mon 1st Oct, 2012

2013 Mystic Wetsuit and Harness

Mike

Issue 33 Sun 5th Aug, 2012

Wainman Joke Kitesurfing Board

David

  1. The Promotion is organised by IKSURFMAG and the participating brand stated on the subscribe page. You are providing your information to IKSURFMAG, not the participating brand. The information you provide will only be used for the purpose of facilitating the Promotion and notifying you when new issues of our totally free magazine are released. We will never sell or supply your details to any 3rd parties.
  2. You can opt out of any future emails by clicking the unsubscribe link within the footer of the email at any time.
  3. The winner will be notified by email shortly after the closing date shown. Previous winners will not be eligible to win again until at least three new Promotions have run.
  4. Winners must reply to our email within two weeks or a new winner will be drawn. Please check all spam folders to avoid loosing out.
  5. Participants only need to enter once in order to be eligible for all future prize draws.
×

Share - Heel to Toe Carve

×