Twin Tip Heel to Toe Tack Kitesurfing Technique

Twin Tip Heel to Toe Tack

Technique / Intermediate

It’s funny how moves that are the norm on other kite craft are not so often practiced on the trusty twin tip. The Duck Tack and Toeside Duck Tack were legitimate rip offs from the surfboard collective. This issue we’re unashamedly borrowing from kiting’s most recent, at least in popularity terms, evolution. Not quite loyal to the foil, but cheers for the move.

Yet again, much like the aforementioned surfboard tacks, this is also a great way to get your head around performing the move on a foil or surfboard, whilst remaining in the comfort zone that is footstraps and twin tip. However, rest assured that this is still very much a bona fide move in its own right. So, what is the twin tip heel to toe tack. A 180 turn upwind, starting in a heelside riding position. Crank it up and through the wind, throw your weight forward, and power out on your toes in the other direction. Read on for a more depth...

Your Approach Pic A.

To make this achievable, hunt out some flat water. You need speed and momentum so that you can carve your board as far as possible, and chop will only slow you down. As such make sure that you approach on a good upwind edge with plenty of speed. However, make sure that you don’t hold too much power on the bar, leave it gently on or just above the sweet spot and keep your weight up on the board. You’ll want your kite parked around 11 or 1 o’clock, but no lower. You will need to drift your kite up, and if it’s low it’ll take too long and potentially generate unwanted lift. You can see in the pic that Christian is flying in, but he’s not holding the same power as he would coming in for a jump or transition. This move needs to flow, so it’s about efficiency and not grunt. As Christian approached he takes his front hand off the bar and slowly drifts the kite up towards 12 o’clock. If you feel the kite lift, ease out the bar so that it doesn’t lift you or slow you down.

Carve Up Pic B.

Once the kite is high enough your job is to carve the board up and as far through the wind as feasible. If there is any tension on your back/steering lines this will not be possible. Here Christian has sheeted the bar out, while still keeping the bar steering the kite up. With little or no tension, he is able to drop his weight both low upwind and back over the tail of the board. In this position Christian can turn his head and shoulders, and carve the board hard up into the wind, leading with his free hand. It is important to keep weight on your feet, so that you can drive the board up into the wind. If you drop your weight but support yourself in the harness you won’t be able to carve up.

Keep Going Pic C.

This part is a continuation of the carve. It’s important as the temptation is to ease off once the board starts to turn, whereas the opposite is true, you must keep applying pressure through the edge of your board so that it continues to carve. You can see that Christian is driving through his back leg as it slowly extends. This straightening of the leg is done with feeling to keep pressure. You can’t kick the leg away from you (yet), rather slowly increase the pressure on your heel. This pressure will also hold you up. As the nose of the board approaches the eye of the wind try to reach up and get your free hand back on the bar, but don’t pull in just yet as you want the kite to carry on drifting over 12.

The Final Push Pic D.

The crux of the move, your success hangs in the balance here! You need to eke out as much from the carve as possible. The further you get around the better your chances. It is however a rather counter intuitive position. Looking at Christian you can see that he is downwind of his board, the kite is high and his body weight is fairly low. The obvious solution is to pull on the bar for support, whereas in fact you need to drive the board even further, extending the back leg more, pushing hard against the tail so that the board turns to face in the new intended direction. If you pull on the bar now the kite will lift you and plonk you unceremoniously onto your behind. Looking at Christian’s bar you can see that his kite has drifted past 12 o’clock. This is perfect. As the kite drifts into the other side of the window, any power will pull you in that direction, so patience is indeed a virtue.

Pull & Kick Pic E.

To ride out of this you need to get the board back underneath you and pointing off the wind nose first. To get here is a question of timing. Simultaneously you must pull gently on the bar for support whilst also kicking you back leg fully away from you. Turning your head and shoulders to look downwind and finally pulling your front leg underneath you while diving the kite with your new front hand. That’s a fair list on the multi-tasking scale, but it is this combo that will rotate you and the board into position. With the kite supporting Christian’s weight, he is able to scissor his legs, pushing the tail away and pulling the nose under him. However, be subtle with the bar. Too much pull and you’ll get lift rather than support and suddenly you’re in the air and it’s no longer a tack but a dodgy BLT to toeside!!!

Dive Captain Dive Pic F.

All that’s left is to get moving and claim this puppy. The kite has continued to drift so it should be patiently waiting where you want it, which is in the new side of the wind window. Here Christian gives the kite a healthy dive with his new front hand. The kite then pulls him back up and over the board into a toeside position. Only note of caution here, as demonstrated, is to keep your weight back over the tail of the board and keep your body tight, so you and the board start moving together, as opposed to the board sinking and you being hauled on the handlebars.

Top Tips

Whilst attempting this for the first time you should really concentrate on sheeting the bar out and dumping your power. It’s the only way to carve upwind, and if you’ve never practiced a move like this it’ll be a very odd sensation. You will however find that it works a treat and that your board will start carving through the wind as long as you have weight on your feet.

It’s worth noting that if your sweet spot is trimmed a long way out, it will be difficult to dump the power and carve. Ponder that it’s all about dumping the power, drifting the kite and carving your board.

Now have a gander at the sequence and videos for a slice of reality.

Common Problems

If you’re having trouble getting the board to carve. As already hammered out, make sure you feather the bar out so that you can turn the board. If all is good and you’re letting the bar out and the kite is high, then the chances are that the problem is that as you start to push against your back foot, you’re also swinging your hips forwards toward the nose of the board, as if you’re about to transition. Keep your hips back.

If you’re getting lifted at any stage during the move, you’re pulling on the bar. As the kite is high, it won’t take much of a pull for it to pick you up.

And finally, if you’re getting around but then get pulled onto your back rather than out onto toeside. This is a result of the kite not drifting across into the other side of the wind window. If you dive the kite from 12 o’clock it’ll pull you straight downwind, and because you’re facing upwind it’ll be onto your back. Make sure the kite drifts across to at least 11 or 1 o’clock. Dived from her the kite will pull you forwards and out of the move. Sweet.


  1. Speed and gentle on the bar
  2. Drift kite up, bar out and carve
  3. Hips back and drive board through the wind
  4. Gentle pull and hefty kick
  5. Dive kite from new side of window

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!


This technique article was in Issue 72 of IKSURFMAG.



Kitesurfing Technique - Air Gybe Nose Grab
Kitesurfing Technique - Air Gybe Nose Grab
Air Gybe Nose Grab

Another splendid way to make the essential art of turning around both exciting and aesthetically pleasing. There must surely be enough transition variations to keep you busy during a reasonable session, ensuring that you never need to pull off the same move twice. Now that’s something we can all appreciate. Before adding this feather to your bow, we should perhaps…

Kitesurfing Technique - Air Gybe to Toeside
Kitesurfing Technique - Air Gybe to Toeside
Air Gybe to Toeside

Rather than being an extension to one of the most popular transitions, the Air Gybe landed to toeside is in fact a very good way to learn an Air Gybe. Why? The answer is all about playing to your strengths. Most of us have a stronger or preferred side, the foot that we like to have leading. This side was…

Kitesurfing Technique - Air Gybe with Late Kite Loop
Kitesurfing Technique - Air Gybe with Late Kite Loop
Air Gybe with Late Kite Loop

This move is really as much a cheat as it is a trick, and a very useful one at that. If the title doesn’t give away what it is have a look at Video 1. A late kite loop in this case means that the kite loops once you are on the water, not in the air. You’ve probably seen…

By Christian and Karine
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


Issue 71 Fri 7th Dec, 2018

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


Issue 70 Mon 8th Oct, 2018

CrazyFly Raptor LTD Neon Board


Issue 69 Tue 7th Aug, 2018

GoPro Hero 6 Black Action Camera


Issue 68 Tue 12th Jun, 2018

GoPro Hero 6 Black Action Camera


Issue 67 Wed 11th Apr, 2018

Mystic Majestic X Harness


Issue 66 Fri 9th Feb, 2018

6m Flysurfer Stoke


Issue 65 Tue 12th Dec, 2017

7m Cabrinha Drifter + Fireball Bar Set Up


Issue 64 Wed 18th Oct, 2017

Board You Desire From Shinn


Issue 63 Tue 8th Aug, 2017

GoPro Hero 5 Black Action Camera


Issue 62 Sat 10th Jun, 2017

CrazyFly 2017 Sculp 9m and Sick Bar


Issue 61 Mon 10th Apr, 2017

GoPro Hero 5 Black Action Camera


Issue 60 Sun 5th Feb, 2017

GoPro Hero 5 Black Action Camera


Issue 59 Mon 5th Dec, 2016

GoPro Hero 5 Black Action Camera


Issue 58 Thu 13th Oct, 2016

Fireball Set Up with an Apollo Kite from Cabrinha


Issue 57 Tue 11th Oct, 2016

Blade Trigger 10m Kite


Issue 56 Sun 12th Jun, 2016

Board and Boot Set Up from Liquid Force


Issue 55 Sat 9th Apr, 2016

Nobile NHP Split Kiteboard


Issue 54 Sat 6th Feb, 2016

Wetsuit and Harness from Manera


Issue 53 Tue 10th Feb, 2015

Ride Engine Harness!


Issue 52 Wed 7th Oct, 2015

Prize Pack from TSHOTSH

Guy, Vince

Issue 51 Thu 13th Aug, 2015

Wainman Hawaii ManiaC Kite


Issue 50 Thu 4th Jun, 2015

Liquid Force Legacy Board


Issue 49 Fri 10th Apr, 2015

Slingshot Vision Board


Issue 48 Fri 30th Jan, 2015

Blade Mist Kite and Bar


Issue 47 Mon 8th Dec, 2014

2015 Core GTS3 8m Kite and Bar


Issue 46 Wed 8th Oct, 2014

Ozone Reo Wave Kite


Issue 45 Mon 4th Aug, 2014

Brunotti Board and a Pair of Sunglasses


Issue 44 Mon 9th Jun, 2014

Dakine Harness and Travel Bag


Issue 43 Wed 2nd Apr, 2014

Manera EXO Harness and Goodies!


Issue 42 Thu 30th Jan, 2014

North Gonzales Kite Board!


Issue 41 Mon 2nd Dec, 2013

Best Spark Plug Kite Board


Issue 40 Wed 9th Oct, 2013

Kiteloose Fatty Surfboard


Issue 39 Fri 2nd Aug, 2013

GoPro HD Hero 3 Silver Edition


Issue 38 Sun 2nd Jun, 2013

CrazyFly Sculp 9m Kite and Sick Bar System


Issue 37 Mon 1st Apr, 2013

Kitesurf Holiday Experience with Kirsty Jones


Issue 36 Sat 2nd Feb, 2013

2013 F-One Bandit 6 9m Kite


Issue 35 Mon 3rd Dec, 2012

Soul Drysuit by Ocean Rodeo


Issue 34 Mon 1st Oct, 2012

2013 Mystic Wetsuit and Harness


Issue 33 Sun 5th Aug, 2012

Wainman Joke Kitesurfing Board


  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 - Twin Tip Heel to Toe Tack