Kitekahunas - Learn Wave Kitesurfing: Lesson 3

Your first turns with distancing and usage of the entire wind window





If you have any questions about this lesson, ask our virtual instructor by commenting at the bottom of this page.


 

Previously learned in Lesson 2 of this wave kite surfing course

Once you have mastered your four types of turns, with the right timing and co-ordination between controlling your kite and the steering of your board, and once you can add these turns together into a smooth harmoniously flowing downwind slalom movement (Lesson 2 of this wave kitesurfing course), you are ready for the next step: Turns with the right distance control.

Later, you want to hit a wave with a spectacular maneuver of a top-turn at exactly the right moment. This is why you have to train your turns with the right distancing. You don’t just want to carve an elegantly performed turn, you also want to perform this turn in the right place. You simply add, to what you have learned in Lesson 2, the component of distance.

 

Distancing for your turn when wave kite surfing

Before you perform a turn, choose a small wave, to mark where you intend to perform your turn. The distance from the start of the turn to its apex depends on the size of your kite. A good distance is usually between 5 and 10 meters. In the beginning you will often get it wrong. You will either go too far or you will go too short, turning before the wave.

If you don’t have the luxury of waves at your home ground, you can also, at this stage of your practicing, go on a lake or on the sea with choppy water. Simply visualize a spot for your intended turn in the chop. Then try to turn at that intended spot.

Wave kite

Practice the maneuver on both your strong and your weak side from the very beginning. Practice it from heel-side and into heel-side. This is important, because you would later want to enjoy all conditions, with wind from the left and wind from the right. If you only train your strong side, and neglect your weak side at this early stage of your wave kitesurfing development, you will limit yourself to certain wave and wind conditions. The difference between your strong and your weak side will become bigger, making it almost impossible to catch up later. Also, as we know from sports sciences, training your weak side will improve your strong side too. The beginning is sometimes difficult, but well worth the effort. You will realize that you will get it right increasingly more often. You will perform your carving transitions more often with the right timing, and turning on the exact spot that you had in mind when you started the maneuver.


Your hands when wave kite surfing

Let’s briefly focus on the bar and your hands. In wave kitesurfing you keep your hands together. Your hands are placed directly to the left and to the right of your center line. You will often need to control your kite one-handed, and should be able to effortlessly change hands. If you have not yet got used to placing your hands together whilst kitesurfing, now is the time. It will take a day or two to get used to it, and this is your riding style from now onwards, also in freeride and freestyle kiteboarding.

wave kite tips

Progress for your turns in wave kite surfing

As soon as you get more confident, and as your timing between kite and board control becomes second nature, you can carve your turns more tightly. Fly your kite lower and always plan where you intend to reach the apex of your carve, and practice completing the maneuver.

 

The wind window in wave kite surfing

While doing this, you will notice that your understanding of the wind window has changed. In the past you understood your wind window only as a two-dimensional semi circle, with your kite positions

9 o’clock, 10 o’clock, 11 o’clock, 12 o’clock, 1 o’clock, 2 o’clock and 3 o’clock. As your wave kitesurfing develops, your understanding of the wind window will improve. For a wave kitesurfer, the wind window becomes a full three-dimensional quarter sphere, on which your kite can be located at any position. You will actively fly your kite through this quarter sphere. Your understanding of the wind window will drastically change and become much more developed and sophisticated when you wave kite.

Wave kite course

The crucial elements for the turns are:

- Precise control of your kite

- Flying your kite low in the wind window

- Precise control of your board through the carving transition

- Precise timing and co-ordination between kite control and board control

- and of course perfect balance.

These maneuvers are not only for changing direction, so that you can determine where to go, but more so, they will later form the basis of your spectacular bottom-turns and top-turns in the waves.

SUMMARY

- Add to your turns, with the right timing between controlling the kite and the board (covered in Lesson 2), the right distancing to an intended spot on the water surface.
- Place your hands together directly to the right and to the left of the center line.
- Practice tighter turns with a lower kite.
- Understand the wind window as a quarter sphere.



Hints to other kitesurfing Video Lessons:


Lesson 2: How to start wave kitesurfing - turns with the right timing
Lesson 4: Surfing a wave - backside riding and turns on a wave
Lesson 5: Frontside top-turn

wave kitesurfing instructor




Wave Kite Video Course



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