Kitesurfing: Going Beyond The Basics
You've launched your kite, got comfortable on your board and even got the timing for a proper heel-jibe turn sussed out.
United Kingdom (PRUnderground) July 21st, 2010
Now, you wonder, what’s next? Kitesurfing may be a relatively new sport, but it has enough depth and variety to keep your feet glued to the board and your hands strapped to the handle for a long time. Once you’ve mastered the basic skills of handling your kite, your body and your board, it’s time to get involved with the more interesting aspects of this fantastic sport.
Advanced kitesurfing is all about the various interactions between the three main elements of the sport: your body, the board and the kite (as well as the wind). Once you have mastered each of these areas separately, it’s time to take your skills to the next level by exploring how each element combines with the others and by learning new techniques that will open the way to new tricks and stunts or simply a greater sense of freedom.
Kitesurfing techniques: surfing in toe-side position
Learning to ride toe-side is useful for any kitesurfer moving on to advanced techniques. Riding toe-side means the act of turning your body so your hips face the opposite direction of the control bar. Apart from being really fun, learning to kitesurf in a toe-side position will allow you to do fancy transitions and set-ups for many tricks later.
There are two main ways you can end up in a toe-side position: you can slide into it or you can jump into it. Whether you do it by sliding or by jumping, the procedure is almost the same: you push with your back leg to initiate the slide and, as soon as the board has slided a good 90 degrees, change your weight to your front leg and switch your balance from heel-side to toe-side. It is important to remember to switch your weight from your heel-side to your toe-side at the right time – since you have already shifted your body weight, switching too late or too early can tip you into the drink. If you choose to change into a toe-side position while you jump, simply follow this procedure while you are in the air. Granted, switching into a toe-side position while jumping is more tricky because you have a very strict time window to complete the twist and you have to absorb the impact with your knees while your feet are in an awkward position. Nevertheless, the steps are mostly the same.
Remember that riding toe-side is probably going to feel awkward and uncomfortable the first few times you do it. This feeling will soon pass and within a few weeks you’ll feel the same as when you ride in the normal position. If you are still having problems, let go of one hand to free up your torso until you get more comfortable with this move.
Kitesurfing workshop with James Boulding
Practice makes perfect, but there is nothing like the advice of a true professional to take your skills to the next level. James Boulding is one of the top 20 kitesurfers in the world, and Exelement has invited him to give the first of a new series of kitesurfing workshops. This class is tailored to those riders who have mastered the basics and are looking to take their surfing to the next level. There’s no need to worry about it being too early to ask for Christmas gift vouchers as the prices are very accessible. Come to Rye on 25th July and enjoy a kitesurfing course that will change the way you surf.