I am a total newbie to the sport Ive had about 6hours of lessons (4 in water) and just got my kiting gear. However I am still having a lot of trouble getting my feet in the board. usually what happens is I have trouble getting my feet in foot straps , end up loosing focus at keeping kite at 12:00 and then inadvertently turn it causing it to crash or me to get yanked. Is this something that I will get after a lot more practice? any tips to make this easier. I was planning on getting lessons but didn't want to do them again until I can consistently get my board on .
KlutzKiter wrote:I am a total newbie to the sport Ive had about 6hours of lessons (4 in water) and just got my kiting gear. However I am still having a lot of trouble getting my feet in the board. usually what happens is I have trouble getting my feet in foot straps , end up loosing focus at keeping kite at 12:00 and then inadvertently turn it causing it to crash or me to get yanked. Is this something that I will get after a lot more practice? any tips to make this easier. I was planning on getting lessons but didn't want to do them again until I can consistently get my board on .
Practice with a trainer kite until keeping your kite under control is second nature. When you go back to lessons try putting one foot in at a time.
As a recent learner I feel your pain. I was really embarrassed to ask for help on this. Here's what works for me:
Keep in mind that I take off and head out to my right, so that is my frame of reference. Also, all of this should be done with the kite as the focus. Don't take you eyes off of it. Priority should be given to flying the kite first and foremost.
So, first I walk out until the water is at least waist deep keeping the kite at my 2 o'clock. I never fly it directly overhead as a sudden gust/lull can cause it to crash. With my back directly to the wind, I sit down in the water and hold the bar with my left hand (the kite wants to continue down to the right, so the left hand pulls a little to keep it at 2 o'clock) and the board handle in my right hand.
Then, I stick my left foot in the strap. Move my right hand over to the right foot strap. Stick my right foot in. If you start to turn in the water, let go with your right hand and use it to keep your back directly to the wind.
If you take your time and relax it is a lot easier. Fly the kite smoothly and avoid any sudden inputs. Right as you start to dive the kite into the power, look where you will be going (downwind). Don't keep staring at the kite. I made that mistake. Fly the kite with your peripheral vision from now on. Look where you want to go and you will. That really helps me deal with the initial big pull from the kite and the second pull when it rounds back up into the window.
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I'm pretty sure that when I hold the left strap and put my right foot into the right strap, its easier to keep the kite just to the left of 12 o'clock until I get both feet in. I found its harder to feel where the kite is when its at 12.
Just get out and practice practice practice. Once you get going do not ride far... Stop and go the other way... Keep the board on if you can but if your cannot you get more practice putting it on.
I just witnessed my wife struggle with the same thing... I told her to suck it up buttercup and keep practicing... She's got it down now!
One thing that helped her was learning to fly the kite with one hand from walking back up wind...which she no longer needs to do... It's all part of the curve my friend... Practice!
One more hint... Don't have your straps so tight that you struggle to get your feet in.. On land before you go out make sure you can slip in and out easily... Straps should not be so tight that you cannot easily kick the board off if you need to.
Also, I like to pull the bar in a bit so that the kite supports my weight, this also helps you to know what the kite is doing.
Good luck and be safe.
Last edited by Laughingman on Wed Aug 29, 2012 11:45 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Make sure the hand that you have on the bar is centered with two fingers on the left side and two fingers on the right side. This way the kite will stay rock solid overhead and won't move. When riding you rarely need to move your hands past halfway to the ends of the bar. Helps with over-steering the kite.
float on your back in the water. fly the kite with one hand. crunch your legs in. hold one side of the board. Put in first leg. push board against water gently with the leg that is in, and your other foot will easily find the other strap.
it is super easy. You are probably doing something weird that is making it difficult.
if you lack control of the kite with one hand go back and practice more body dragging.
you should be already be expert at body dragging before you go to the board because otherwise there's no way to get your board if it falls off.
Don't use the handle. Do like these guys are saying and put one foot in while holding the other strap. The hand on the strap can then move to the tip of the board for a few seconds while the second foot goes in - you don't have to hold the tip, you can just brace your fingers against it briefly since you are going to have the kite giving you a tiny bit of downwind drift while you do this.
The faster you get two feet just barely into the straps the faster you can stabilize yourself before your powerstroke (if needed).
Keeping the straps loose is the right move too- while you're starting just think about barely getting your toes in and then squaring off to the wind. You can work your feet further in either while you're in the water, bracing against the downwind drift, or after you get up.