Walking With a Kite Kitesurfing Technique

Walking With a Kite

Technique / Beginner

Introduction

This one is for anyone who has just had their first lessons, or had their lessons last year and may need a reminder on the best and safest method for walking around whilst attached to a flying kite. So whether you’re heading down to the coast or tripping off abroad being confident and safe on terra firma should see happily progressing in your kiting.

12 O’clock Shadow

If you look at Pic A. you can see Karine standing with her kite at 12 o’clock, right up above her. Often this seems like the easiest way to control your kite as you have two hands on the bar and the kite can move either way without you dropping it. Also if the wind is not too strong you can inch back upwind in a fairly straight line, walking backwards.

However for those few positives there are heaps of cons. Lets firstly consider the safety factor. With your kite at 12 o’clock should a strong gust or squall surprise you there is only one way you can go, and that is up. Once you’re airborne over land or shallow water you have two choices go where the kite takes you or release. If the wind is blowing onshore and you are lofted towards something hard, then going with the kite is not an option. However if you’re high over solid ground then releasing your safety is also not an option either, as you’ll just drop. In this scenario you are quite literally stuck between a rock and a hard place, neither option looks good!

If that’s not enough to make you consider another option then lets ponder carrying the board. With the board in one hand and the bar in another it is nigh on impossible to keep the kite at 12 whilst walking backwards, so you’ll need to keep dropping the board, swapping hands, general mincing in the shallows!

Finally as good citizens we should all be conscious of other water users, particularly our fellow kiters. If you are in your depth and wander around with your kite at 12 o’clock you are an obstacle. No other riding kiter can get past you unless they are sufficiently upwind. If a few people wander around with their kites above their heads a spot soon becomes full. Admittedly in an ideal world we should all give each other ample space but this is not always possible.

A Better Option

Pic B. demonstrates a far better alternative. With her kite somewhere between 10 and 11, or 1 and 2 Karine is much safer.

With her kite over to one side or another there is very little chance of Karine getting lofted up into the air. Any surprises and the worst that can happen is that she gets pulled onto one side or the other. Should this be the case she’ll have plenty of time to release the bar and pull/push her safety without travelling through the air. She may get sandy or muddy but she won’t get hurt!

As far as carrying a board goes, seeing as she’ll only have to control the kite on one side of the window, one hand will be plenty, and we’ll see how shortly.

Walking will also be considerably easier as Karine can turn and face upwind, and thus use her legs as nature intended.

And finally with her kite held at this angle should Karine be walking around in the shallows other kiters will still be able to pass, as she is not creating an obstruction. Smiles all around.

Remember How?

So a quick reminder of how to get yourself set up for a leisurely walk with your kite.

Pic 1. To start with Karine places both hands near the centre of the bar. And makes sure that the chicken loop and finger are in place. Then using both hands Karine steers her kite to the side that most favours the direction in which she wants to walk. Walking upwind means that you will be heading either to the right or left, so if you have far to go you’ll potentially need to zig zag, as you would to walk up a steep mountain. She keeps tension in the lines by keeping the bar in just enough so that she can still steer the kite.

Pic 2. Once she has the kite where she wants it, in this case at about 45˚, she takes her front hand off the bar and turns her head, shoulders and hips to face upwind. Karine keeps the bar pulled in to keep tension on the lines. As long as the wind is constant the kite should not move too much because her hand is in the centre of the bar. From this position Karine can start to walk. The more she twists her body the more directly into the wind she can walk.

Pic 3. As she walks the kite will no doubt have a mind of its own and start to move. Just by walking slightly into the wind Karine is actually generating more power in the kite and therefore it will react to any movement of the bar, deliberate or not. In this picture Karine felt the kite rising, which means that there must be more tension on the left hand side of the bar (the one she is holding). So to stop the kite rising Karine eases her hand away from her, tiny bit by tiny bit until she feels the kite drop slightly.

Pic 4. Karine let the bar out too much so now the kite is dropping back down. To stop the kite steering down Karine now pulls in on her hand, which puts tension back on the left of the bar, which in turns takes the kite back up. Genius

The best way to practice your one handed control is whilst standing still. Once you get a feel for where the kite is you will be able to feather the kite with short yet abrupt movements of your steering hand. Added to this if the wind is constant you can use your wrist to steer the kite as you would whilst body dragging upwind (see issue 11).

Talk Through

We’ve added some speech to the videos so have a butchers and a listen and try it next time you go down to the beach. Best of British.

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 21 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 - Walking With a Kite

×