How to retrieve your board with a bodydrag.
You need to fly the kite a bit low and as far forward in the wind window as you can.
Keep your body on it's side and point you feet out straight keeping your body as straight asd you can.
Sink your upwind shoulder into the water with the arm extended (sort of like superman flys).
Hold your hand out flat and use it as a keel.
Don't try to point too far upwind... you need to make a couple or more tacks to get upwind.
If you point too far upwind you sort of stall your body movement. Point a bit less upwind so you move faster. Fast at a low angle will get you upwind sooner.
It really helps if there is a buoy or something in the water so you can see you progress.
It's also a good idea to work your way just upwind of your board so you can approach it with the board in good view to avoid a wave pushing it into your head or face.
What's also important is to avoid getting dragged downwind when you turn while body dragging.
Best thing to do is turn the kite to the other side right at the top of the wind window and do so slowly.
Basically you don't want the kite to generate much power while turning. While you turn the kite spread you legs out to each side so as to resist getting dragged downwind.
One last thing. One of you two tack directions will be the best for dragging upwind due to the wave direction.
Also make your tacks pretty long because when you turn you will lose some ground.
And also depower your kite so that it flies further towards the edge of the wind window and has less power when changing direction.
When you change direction and you fly you kite high over your head let it lift you a bit so that you can see where your board is.
Also when you are out riding without your leash and need to body drag it really helps if a fiend kiting near you can point out your board to you. I think that one of the things that makes it hard to learn how to body drag upwind is fear of losing your board.
One common mistake is to be trying to hard to look for your board while you tack upwind. This makes you lift your head too much and without your body down in the water you lose the keel effect and lose ground.
Also when body dragging upwind with waves stick your head through the waves instead of trying to bob up above the wave. Keeping you body and extended arm in the water is key to going upwind.
- If you are close to shore, and have sideshore conditions, drag back to the beach, walk upwind, drag back to the board...might be faster in some occasions.
- Trickiest part is flying the kite one handed. Keep your one hand in the middle of the bar and aim for a slow constant pull from the kite. Aim your body plane upwind about 20 degrees or so. Not too much. Your board will blow downwind a little as you go upwind a little, and you'll meet in the middle.
When you drag through the water, your body should be positioned like in this picture: