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Tips & Tricks

HOW TO JUMP KITEBOARDING – Learn how to boost big kiteboarding

HOW TO SEND IT

Broneah Kiteboarding and Kiteboarding Magazine Video Instructional

How to Send It Big with Broneah Kiteboarding’s Matt MyersShot on location in Puerto Rico at the Broneah Lesson Center.


STEP 1: Carry lots of board speed with your kite at 45
STEP 2: Steer your kite quickly to neutral. Edge upwind against the pull of the kite.
STEP 3: When your kite reaches neutral, edge upwind, pull in on your bar and boost.
STEP 4: Keep your kite directly above your head and bar pulled in for hang-time.
STEP 5: Once you begin to drop, spot your landing and carefully steer the kite forwards.
STEP 6: Point your board downwind, land and re-set your upwind edge.


KEY POINTS
The faster you go the bigger you go.
Steer your kite as fast as you can towards 12 o’clock while edging upwind.
Steer your kite down quickly to land with speed, but dont drop it!
Once you get comfortable, take a look around and enjoy the view.


Unhooked Toeside Raley – Michigan Kiteboarding Video



Kiteboarding Magazine and Broneah Kiteboarding present
Unhooked Toeside Raley
with Broneah Kiteboarding’s Matt Myers
Shot on location in Traverse City, Michigan at the Broneah Lesson Center

First thing, make sure you have your Unhooked Raley’s dialed in.

Remember, getting pop off your toeside edge unhooked in flat water is really tough. Practice this move off of chop or small kickers to help get pop. Also make sure you go for the toeside raley on your switch foot.

Step 1: Riding on your switch foot, place trailing hand in center of bar, release edge and unhook.

Step 2: Hop to toeside and quickly load your toeside edge (this is the difficult part).

Step 3: Load your edge quick and hard as the pull is very awkward.

Step 4: “Flick” your board behind you as hard as you can. Throw your back leg forward.

Step 5: Land toeside, hop back to your heel edge and ride away.

KEY POINTS:
-Getting pop off of flat water unhooked on your toeside edge is really difficult. The pull from the kite and twist on your body is awkward, so get ready to feel like a kook the first few times you try this. Use chop or small booters at first if possible.

-Your board will want to suction to the water so it is important you load your edge hard with your back foot and “flick” your board behind you as you pop.

-Once you nail this move solid if feels sick. Great trick to add to the bag!


6 Tips from Kiteboarding Magazine Fantasy Camp


Kiteboarding’s first-ever Fantasy Camp was designed to help kiters like you progress to the next level, so you can be sure that some quality kiteboarding instruction went down during our week in the Florida Keys. Here, Cabrinha pros Jon Modica and Damien LeRoy as well as Broneah Kiteboarding’s Matt and Keegan Myers recount the best tips they dispensed during Fantasy Camp 2010.

Learning to Fly
Riding strapless, you should understand how your board feels while in the air. This feeling is like standing on the beach on a windy day and angling your board into the wind so it hangs on your fingertips. First, find a balanced point on your board. Then, with lots of speed, start hitting little waves and letting yourself “float” through the air. Don’t ollie; just let the board come up slowly. Avoid grabbing the board — that’s not balance, just force. Mastering this will help you learn airs and also keep your feet glued to the board when just riding around. — Jon Modica

Keep Growing
You don’t ever want to become too comfortable and grow stagnant. I mean, you’ll do two tricks to your left and one to the right for months — but really never try anything else. To counter this, step outside the box, visualize a new move and then make it happen. Sometimes we focus too much on tricks we already know and don’t keep growing with the sport. — Damien LeRoy

Visualize Success
When pulling any trick, visualization is a really important factor. If you can’t see yourself pulling a trick in your head, it’s going to be even harder in the water. I’ve used visualization for years. I’ll study videos and use slow motion replay to understand what the person is doing and what the kite is doing. Once you’re able to visualize everything, walk yourself through the trick on land, so your body gets a feel for the motion. — Damien LeRoy

Upwind Anchoring
The key to staying upwind is to set specific landmarks, so you know your position in the water at all times. Before your session, assess the wind direction and your riding location. Look for points on the water and on land you can spot while riding. Your goal should be to get back to these points on each of your tacks. — Matt and Keegan Myers

Spin Control
When learning spins, it’s important to maintain control of your kite throughout the rotation. Many riders will initiate the trick but then lose control of the kite. First, mentally process how you’ll control the kite, and most importantly, know which hand you’ll use to get the kite in the proper direction for landing. For nearly all tricks, you’ll use your back hand to send the kite and lead hand to direct the kite down for landing. — Matt and Keegan Myers

Geared Up

Always make sure you’re 100 percent confident in your equipment before you get out on the water. You should know how to tune your kite, so when it’s fully powered up, with the bar all the way to the chickenloop, it’s not over-sheeted — where the rear of the kite is pinched together. Over-sheeted kites are very common, and they can destroy your session even before you hit the water. If you completely understand how your kite functions, you’ll get the most out of every session. — Matt & Keegan Myers


S-Bend to Blind – Kiteboarding Video Instructional

kbmag-broneah-sbendKiteboarding Magazine and Broneah present

S-Bend to Blind

with Broneah Kiteboarding’s Matt Myers

Shot on location in Traverse City, Michigan at the Broneah Lesson Center

First thing, make sure you have your S-Bends dialed in.

Remember, the S-Bend to Blind is really just an over-rotated S-Bend.

Step 1: Place lead hand in center of bar, release edge and unhook.

Step 2: Load progressive edge, pop and throw your feet behind your head while rotating your forward shoulder down.

Step 3: Keep your head turned and look over your trailing shoulder, this will help you rotate.

Step 4: Spot your landing and release your trailing hand. Continue your forward rotation as you are dropping.

Step 5: Commit to the blind rotation! Land fully rotated and pass the bar behind your back.

Step 6: Hop or slide back to heelside, hook-in and ride away.

KEY POINTS:

-Don’t try to rotate the blind landing unless you are ready to commit. If you under-rotate you will catch your heel edge and smack the water with the back of your head.

-Land pointing slightly downwind with your elbows bent and low by your hips. to make it easier to pass the bar.

-Keep your lead hand in the center of the bar with your center lines running between your pointer and middle finger.

-Try raley to blind or hop to blinds first.


Kiteboarding Wakestyle Instructional – Hoochie to Blind

keegan-hoochie-to-blind
Kiteboarding Magazine and Broneah present
HOOCHIE TO BLIND
with Broneah Kiteboarding’s Keegan Myers

Shot on location in Traverse City, Michigan at the Broneah Kiteboarding lesson center.

Before attempting a hoochie to blind it is key that you have your raley to blind and hoochie glides 100% dialed in. The hoochie to blind is a much more demanding trick because it requires you to be one handed (leading hand) from the start to the end of the trick which requires much more strength and momentum.
keegan-hoochie-to-blind2
Step 1: Ride powered with your kite low, unhook, release and load your progressive edge.
Step 2: As you load your edge let go of your trailing hand and pop into a full raley while throwing your trailing hand directly behind you to grab the heel side edge of your board between your boots.
Step 3: Once you feel a solid grab release the board and use your leading arm to pull the bar toward your lower back, which will rotate you into the blind position.
Step 4: Fully rotate to blind so you land going downwind, bring the bar to your lower back, pass the bar and ride away.

If you have any questions about the Hoochie to Blind, you can email Keegan at broneah@broneah.com or call the Broneah shop at 231-392-2212.


Kiteboarding Instructional Video- Vulcan

kbmag-broneah-vulcanKiteboarding Magazine and Broneah present
VULCAN
with Broneah Kiteboarding’s Matt Myers

Shot on location in Puerto Rico at the 2009 Broneah ‘Spring Break’ Kiteboarding Camp

The Vulcan is basically an S-Bend but under rotated. You want to throw a raley and make a 180 forward rotation, the trick is to stall your spin so you land on your toeside edge. This trick feels really cool when you nail it. Use it as a transition on your switch foot since you land toeside.

If you have any questions about the Vulcan, you can email Matt at matt@broneah.com or call the Broneah shop at 231-392-2212.

STEP 1: Place trailing hand in center of bar, release upwind edge and unhook.
STEP 2: Lean back, load your progressive edge and pop.
STEP 3: Throw a raley. At the peak of your jump rotate your lead shoulder down towards the water.
STEP 4: Once you spin a 180, stop your rotation and spot your landing. Release your lead hand to help slow the spin.
STEP 5: Bend your knees and land on your toeside edge. This move works great as a transition on your switch foot.


Wakestyle Kiteboarding Video Instructional- Air Krypt


kbmag-broneah-air-kryptKiteboarding Magazine and Broneah present
Air Krypt
with Broneah Kiteboarding coach Matt Myers

Once you master popping unhooked and have raleys dialed in on both your good and switch foot, you can mix it up and try landing toeside. The Air Krypt is essentially a raley landed toeside. It works really well as a transition on your switch tack since you are landing on your toeside edge, so you can easily move into a heelside carve.

If you have any questions about the air krypt, you can email Matt at matt@broneah.com or call the Broneah shop at 231-392-2212.

STEP 1: Place trailing hand in center of bar and unhook.
STEP 2: Lean back and load your progressive edge.
STEP 3: Pop off the water and throw your feet behind your head.
STEP 4: At peak of jump, release your lead hand and rotate your body to land toeside.
STEP 5: Land pointing downwind and bend your knees to absorb the impact. Ride away stoked.
STEP 6: This move works really well as a transition on your switch foot. Follow with a heelside carve, hook in, and have fun.


How to Install Liquid Force Strap Kit on a Kiteboard


Liquid-Force-Strap-Kit


Kiteboarding Video Instructional- Raley to Blind

 
kbmag-broneah-raley-to-blindKiteboarding Magazine and Broneah present
Raley to Blind
with Broneah Kiteboarding coach Matt Myers

Learning the blind rotation is not an easy process. Prepare to drop your kite a bunch and to hit the water pretty hard at times. Two things make landing blind unhooked so difficult:

1. the rotation is very unnatural feeling
2. you can not see your landing (hence landing “blind”)

Make sure you have unhooked raleys perfected before moving to this move. If you have any questions about the raley to blind, you can email Matt at matt@broneah.com or call the Broneah shop at 231-392-2212.

 

Step 1: Place lead hand in center of bar and unhook.
Step 2: Lean back and load your progressive edge.
Step 3: Pop and throw your feet behind your head.
Step 4: At peak of jump, release trailing hand and begin blind rotation.
Step 5: The key is to commit to the rotation.
Step 6: Land pointing slightly downwind to release line tension.
Step 7: Pass the bar and ride away.
Step 8: Hop back to heel edge, hook in, and ride upwind.


Kiteboarding Video Instructional- Aaron Hadlow

aaron-hadlow-kickersWorld champ Aaron Hadlow talks about hitting kickers and how he can throw different tricks with the boost from the wave. Try and throw some of these moves next time you are out on a choppy day!

Broneah offers one-on-one advanced instruction for those looking to take their riding to the next level. Check out our coaches on the Meet our Crew page and we will set you up with a private training session with one that suits your style and will teach you what you need to know. Give us a call today at 231-392-2212 to reserve your coach.


Kiteboarding Video Instructional: Unhooked Raley


kbmag-broneah-unhooked-raley-imageKiteboarding Magazine and Broneah present
Unhooked Raley with Broneah Kiteboarding coach Matt Myers

Step 1: Place lead hand in center of bar, release edge and unhook.
Step 2: Release your upwind edge.
Step 3: Load your progressive edge, lean back and pop.
Step 4: Throw feet behind your head, keep pull on lead hand.
Step 5: Spot your landing and point your board downwind.
Step 6: Hook in and ride away.


Kiteboarding Video Instructional: How to Grab Indy

kbmag-broneah-indy-grab-imageShot on location in Patagonia, Argentina, Broneah Kiteboarding Co-Founder Matt Myers uses a point-of-view approach to showing the methods used to pull off a Hooked-in Indy Grab.

Learn more kiteboarding moves like this at any of our exclusive kiteboarding camps in Michigan, Puerto Rico, or Patagonia Argentina.


Kiteboarding 4 Most Common Faults and Fixes

Author: Matt and Keegan Myers
Published: Aug/Sept 2004 issue of Kiteboarding Magazine, www.kiteboardingmag.com

Are you sick and tired of dropping your kite on your water starts, exploding during gusts, skipping downwind during jumps, or falling on your face trying to pop a raley? If so, be assured that you are not alone. These are the four most common faults in kiteboarding.

kite-board-4-faults-fixes-1
Overpowerd Too Easily
So now you are up and riding and feeling good. The only problem is you lose the ability to maintain control of your board speed and blaze a 50mph path through the water to the point of explosion, feeling more like a Nascar driver than a kiteboarder. This particular problem can happen for a few reasons. First off, you have to make sure you are going out with the proper size kite for the conditions. If everyone is out on 8 meter kites and you take your 12m out because that is the only kite you have, then you will defiantly be experiencing the explosion effect. If you’re flying the proper size kite and still getting overpowered, often the problem is in your body position when trying to edge.

When you begin to feel overpowered, your goal is to edge as hard as you can and bring the kite to the edge of the wind window where there is minimal power. Position your body so that your front leg is nearly straight while your back leg is bent and weighted. By utilizing this body position, you gain control over your board, and therefore have the ability to control your board speed. By applying an increased amount of pressure to your back foot, you can slow the kite down and force it to the edge of the wind window. This is a good technique to use in gusts or over-powered situations.

For edging purposes you want to keep your kite low at about 45 degrees or less. If your kite is high in the wind window, up near neutral, it is difficult to maintain board control because the kite is constantly trying to pull you up and off of your edge. Another advantage to keeping your kite low is that if you start to get really over-powered you can just tap the wing tip on the water to stall or crash the kite.

kite-board-4-faults-fixes-2
Can’t Jump High
We all want to boost 40ft on our jumps and come down with butter smooth landings, but getting high requires some skill. If you keep finding yourself going further across the water rather than up in the air, then the following tips may help you out. The key to getting high or pulled straight up and not across on your jumps is properly loading up your edge and knowing what to do with the kite. To get a good high jump, edge very hard and hold that edge until the absolute last second. Be sure that you are edging hard by keeping your front leg straight, back leg bent and cutting up wind. If you can do this then you can go big!

The next step is to understand what to do with the kite. Start with the kite at about 60 degrees of off the water. The more aggressive you are in turning the kite up to neutral the higher you will go. Pull the kite back hard to neutral (not beyond) at the same time as releasing your edge. This technique is all about timing. Remember, your goal is to keep the kite at the very edge of the wind window before and during your jump.

Linking this all together is the tricky part for most riders. So you are edging like a machine and you can whip the kite back harder than Martin Vari, but can you combine each technique at the same time? Many people will loose that edge moments before they send the kite and end up going 200 yards straight downwind. Focus on maintaining a secure edge, and then flick your kite from 60 degrees, while continuing to edge, to neutral. Release your edge just as you pull the trigger. If you nail this then you will be going as high as you want all day long! Just be sure to bring the kite back down in the direction you started so you can stick it.

kite-board-4-faults-fixes-3
Can’t Get Planing
Probably the most common problem for the majority of today’s beginning kiteboarders is simply getting up on the board and planing. Many times the rider will dive the kite, just begin standing up, and crash the kite into the water. This fault occurs because getting up and planing is a multi step process. Just diving the kite down towards the water will not get you up and planing; the rider must follow through to the next step – bring the kite back up towards neutral. The two most critical strokes in kiteboarding are the initial down stroke, followed by the upstroke. Without the upstroke, you will not go anywhere but face first into the water!

So how do you fix this problem? Simple, before you even start your initial dive with the kite, sit in the water with the kite in neutral, stabilize yourself, then mentally go through the process of what you’re going to do. Think through the course of action, “Ok, I am going to go to the right, so I need to pull my kite down to the right then remember to pull back to the left to make sure the kite does not hit the water.” This step seems quite easy, but most beginners are so excited to hit the water they forget to think through what they are about to do.

Instead of dropping the monster dive bomb with the kite on your first down stroke, try doing a few mellow down then up stokes to get a good feel of how strong the wind is and how much power you will really need. Once you think you have a good feel for things, then go ahead and dive your kite down in the direction you want to go. Most importantly, remember to turn the kite back up towards neutral. This step will not only help to pull you up on plane, but will allow you time to stabilize yourself and set your edge before you really get cruising.

kite-board-4-faults-fixes-4
Can’t Get Pop
Diversity in riding styles and tricks is what makes kiteboarding such a dynamic and addictive sport. Wake style, or ‘no-whip’ tricks have been around from the beginning and are only increasing in popularity. Most no-whip tricks are done un-hooked, but many of the same maneuvers can be performed hooked in for learning purposes. To do this you need to learn how to get pop off of the water and not have to depend on the kite for getting air.

For no-whip tricks maintaining board speed is crucial; the faster you are moving the harder you will be able to pop against the kite. However, with the increased board speed you still need to be able to load up your edge. While riding with a constant edge and cutting up wind slightly bear off and point your board downwind. After letting off your edge for a moment, reload your progressive edge and release. By momentarily releasing your edge you are allowing the board to plane out and dropping the kite slightly back in the window. By reloading the edge you will create pressure between the board and water, and generate tension in your lines by forcing the kite back to the edge of the window. Remember, the harder you release and load the more pop you will get.

Getting pop is all about being aggressive and lit up. The more energy and power you put into the trick then the more pop you will get. This is very similar to the aggression you see in wakeboarders and cable park riders. Typically, if you don’t put in the energy you will not get any results. Once you master the ability to pop out of the water with explosion, you can greatly expand your bag of tricks into hundreds of wake style moves.


Kiteboarding Lesson: Straight-Air Transition

kiteboarding-tip-trick-straight-air-transitionBy this time you fully have you’re on the water transitions dialed in.  You should be easily performing your transitions going both directions with complete control of your speed coming in and out of the transition.  Once you feel that you’re at this stage in your transitions you can move to the next step, doing a transition while jumping.  Once you progress one of the best places to throw down a trick or send it for a huge air is during your transition.  Here I will describe the basic technique in your first aerial transition.

Step 1:  In any transition it is key to have full board and kite control before initiating your maneuver. While holding a solid edge loaded with power and your kite riding at about 10 or 11 o’clock in a stable position full of power.  When you’re ready to make the transition hold your edge while you send the kite quickly too neutral (the faster you send the kite, the more powerful your jump will be).  You may be able to send the kite just past neutral but any further than 1 o’clock will make things more difficult for the next maneuver.

Step 2: As soon as your kite is reaching the neutral position you want to pop and release your edge, at this moment you will be rising off of the water with your kite directly over your head in the neutral position.  Hold this position until the apex of your jump or until you loose the pull in your kite.

Step 3:  Once you have lost power in your kite and have reached the apex of your jump you will instantly want to power your kite back down in the opposite direction that you sent the kite up.  Going into the jump you pulled hard with your backhand to send the kite up.  You will again be pulling with that same hand on your way down, bringing you back in the same direction in which you started.

Hints:  Your first few attempts at this trick will most likely end up with you crashing hard on your butt into the water with no power in the kite.  This is because you still have to perfect your timing on when you should start to bring the kite back in the opposite direction to initiate the transition and how aggressively this needs to be done.  This can take a bit of time to perfect, but once you get that feeling of exactly when to power your kite you never loose it and will nail this trick every single time.


Kiteboarding Lesson- Launch Unhooked

Launch un-hooked and live to ride forever.

Author: Matt and Keegan Myers
Published: Aug/Sept 2004 issue of Kiteboarding Magazine, www.kiteboardingmag.com

The majority of all kiteboarding accidents happen on land or close to shore.  A preventative measure can easily be implemented into the launching and landing process to avoid unnecessary ‘kitemares’.  Un-hooking from your kite while on or near shore is a fool proof way to get on and off the water in one piece.

One of the largest safety factors stressed today is to launch un-hooked.  Unfortunately, the majority of the kiteboarding population does not follow this simple step in getting out on the water safely.  When I hear about a kiteboarding disaster or “kitemare”, and listen to how the accident happened, almost every time the rider would have been fine if they would have just un-hooked on that particular launch or landing.  The significance for this safety concern is that during launches and landings the rider is usually close to shore, therefore solid objects.  If something goes wrong due to an oversight such as crossed lines, gusty winds, or not being prepared for the launch, being unhooked allows the rider to simply let go of the bar to quickly escape harms way.
The key to launching unhooked is proper kite set-up and rider awareness.  With a chicken loop set-up, pull the de-power strap in to compensate for the increased front line length.  This will prevent over-sheeting of the kite.  Be aware of wind strength and consistency, and be prepared to hook-in when the kite is safely released and flying low in the window.  Remember to keep your kite low, hook in, and get on the water quickly.  Various chicken loops on the market almost mistakenly promote launching hooked in with lock-in-loops or shackles.  Practice launching your kite unhooked and show everyone at your beach how easy, stylish and proactive the process is.


How to Kite Alone

Author: Matt and Keegan Myers
Published: Oct/Nov 2004 issue of Kiteboarding Magazine, www.kiteboardingmag.com

Kiteboarding is a solo sport.  No matter how you look at it, when you are out on the water, the only person you can completely rely on is yourself.  Whether you are kiting in a pool of fifty other riders, or pioneering some desolate spot miles from civilization, when you hit the water, you must be prepared to take care of yourself in any situation.  Here are some pointers to get you on and off the water independently.

Kiteboarding alone is not recommended.  However, the reality is that many of us have no option but to ride alone.  Before you hit the water for a solo session, make sure you know what you are doing.  First off, NEVER kite alone if:
1. Wind and water temps are below the 50/50 rule.  You can expect to survive in 50 degree water for about 2-5 hours with a wetsuit.
2. The weather is volatile or has the potential for sudden change, either increasing or dying off completely.
3. The wind and wave conditions will take you away from shore if you have trouble.

The key to kiting alone is using common sense.  Know your limits and do your best to understand the weather.  Make sure you are comfortable with your selected riding location, and have a plan of attack ready for any rescue situation.  Here are some tips to keep in mind when kiteboarding alone:
1. Always notify someone of where you are riding and when you expect to return.
2. Avoid sketchy launches and areas that will fill up with beach-goers by the time you come in to land.
3. Ride in an area that has a safe downwind take-out in case you break down.
4. Ride conservatively.  It is not the best time to work on that new move that keeps spanking you.
5. Know your exit strategy at all times.  Pilots always have a plan if something happens and they have to do a forced landing.  A plan helps prevent panic and saves precious time when things go bad.
6. Get off the water if the weather is threatening or the wind picks up beyond your kites range.  Hanging on to a kite too big can make it difficult to self land safely.
7. Only go out as far as you are willing to swim in.  This is a no-brainer, but what doesn’t seem very far out can be a really long swim.
8. Have your self rescue technique wired.  This means having practiced it before, don’t just think you know what to do.  Reading about it and doing it are two different things, so on a light wind day, go out and practice these pointers!

Self Launch
Have you ever showed up at the beach to discover perfect conditions, but not a knowledgeable soul in sight to help you get your kite in the air?  Instead of trying to teach an elderly sea-shell collecting beach-goer how to hold your kite, learn how to set your kite up for a self launch.  In some cases, self launching is one of the safest ways to get your kite in the air.  It requires that you can asses the current conditions, confidently set-up your gear by yourself, and keeps a launcher out of harms way.  There are two safe ways to get your kite launched independently; a beach launch and a drift launch.  If you are kiting at a location with a beach, utilize the beach launch method.  If your riding spot does not offer a wide open space, try using the drift launch technique.

Beach Launch
1. Set your lines up as usual and place your kite at the waters edge.  Hold the kite in the air from the bottom wing tip to find the exact angle you should set your kite on the beach.
2. Fold the bottom wing tip over and pile sand on it to weight the kite down and hold it from flying away.  Make sure to pile sand only on the fold of the wing tip, not on the inside of the kite canopy.  If the wind is strong, you will need to pile a good amount of sand to keep the kite still.  Make sure your lines are not wrapped around a strut or crossed.  Lay them on top of the pile of sand.
3. Hurry back to your bar to secure your leash.  Do not waste time from the point of setting your kite up to attaching your leash.  Your kite is vulnerable to fly away if a gust hits the kite or you did not pile enough sand on the wing tip.
4. Pull in your de-power strap all the way and prepare to launch unhooked.  Slowly walk back away from the kite, gradually filling the kite with wind.  If the top wing tip keeps racing forward toward the ground, your kite is too far downwind and will launch hot.  If the kite keeps falling back and is not filling with wind, the kite is too far upwind.
5. Once you find the right angle to the wind and your top lines are taut, quickly step backwards pulling the bar evenly, and pop the sand off of the bottom wing tip.  Visually assess that your lines are attached properly.
6. Steer your kite up to about 45 degrees, hook in, grab your board (which should be waiting for you at the waters edge) and get in the water.

Drift Launch
1. Set your kite up as usual.  Hook your leash up, grab your bar and walk to your kite.  Do not trip on or tangle your lines.
2. Grab your kite from the center of the leading edge (while holding onto the bar) and walk into the water.
3. Set your kite leading edge down into the water and begin walking backwards as the kite drifts downwind.
4. When the lines are tight and the kite is in the belly of the power zone, flip the kite onto its back as you would for water re-launch.
5. Once the kite is flipped on its back, point your bar at the kite so that your bottom wing tip lines are shortened and your top lines are lengthened.  This will allow the kite to creep to the edge of the window without trying to launch.
6. With the kite at the edge of the window, gently pull back on the top wing tip line and launch the kite.

Self Rescue
Breaking a line or blowing out a leading edge are two common problems you might incur while kiteboarding alone.  Each situation requires you to wind your lines while swimming in the water.  This sounds easier than it actually is.  The key to a successful self rescue is to not panic.  Webster describes panic as “a sudden, unreasoning, hysterical fear, often spreading quickly.”  If your kite is down in frigid cold water with a blown out leading edge and you notice that as you pull your lines in, one of them is wrapped around your feet, do not panic.  If you panic, you will only make the situation worse.  Instead, slow down what you are doing, conserve your energy, think through your rescue plan, and swim upwind of your lines with your arms.  Gradually pull your feet free of the line and continue to wrap it around your bar.  Keep your cool and stay focused.  Remember that even “warm” water is below your average body temperature and will weaken you.

Pro Tip:  When riding alone, stuff an extra leash in the back pouch of your harness.  You can use this leash to attach to your board when wrapping your lines in deep water.

Line Breaks
1. Begin to wrap one line around your bar while you swim upwind to keep free from the other lines in the water.  Wrap the line until your kite is completely de-powered (approximately equal length to the span of your kite), and then continue wrapping all of the lines.
2. Once you reach your kite, secure the lines by hitching the lines around the end of your bar.  This will keep your lines from falling off.
3. Securely grab one wing tip of the kite while you pull along the leading edge, working your way to the other wing tip.  This step can prove to be quite difficult and should be practiced.
4. Hold each end of the wing tips and open your arms up to allow the kite to fill with wind.  Aim the kite towards shore and let the wind do the rest of the work.

Blown Leading Edge
1. Begin to wrap one line around your bar while you swim upwind to keep free from the other lines in the water.  Wrap the line until your kite is completely de-powered (approximately equal length to the span of your kite), and then continue wrapping all of the lines.
2. Once you reach the kite, grab one wing tip and begin to roll the kite around your bar.
3. Roll the kite completely up with the struts fully inflated.  This will be your temporary raft for the swim in.
4. Lie on top of the kite and swim in as you would on a paddle board.

Self Land
So you just finished an epic sunset session only to realize that there is no one around to land your kite for you.  Don’t fear the answer to self landing is here!  Self landings can be done quite easily as long as you understand what you are doing.  Self landing in strong on-shore wind in never recommended.  If possible land your kite in a wind shadow; otherwise make sure you keep your kite away from shore and downwind of any pedestrians on the beach.

Self Land
1. Unhook from your harness loop and steer your kite down towards the water, away from shore.
2. With the bottom wing tip in the water and your kite leash securely fastened, let go of the bar to let the re-ride safety system take over.  In high wind, the kite will lift off the water and drop back down like a flag blowing in the wind.  Ensure that you have plenty of room downwind free of sharp obstacles that could rip your kite or worse yet, hit a person.
3. Keep your kite leash attached and pull in on your leash line all the way to the kite.  Only pull in one line to ensure that your kite does not re-power.
4. Securely grab the kite and place it on the beach.


Kiteboarding Magazine Editors Letter: Mark It

kiteboarding_mark_itAuthor: Matt and Keegan Myers
Published: Oct/Nov 2004 issue of Kiteboarding Magazine, www.kiteboardingmag.com

“By the way, how old are you?” we asked our new Italian friend just before launching his kite off the beach in Porto Pollo, Italy.  “Oh, I’m only 75” he answers with a slight grin.  Once we heard these words from a kiteboarder moments before jumping in the water back in 2001, it was a done deal.  We were sold on kiteboarding.

With the sport of motocross consuming our life for many years, we never imagined another sport could compare.  How wrong we were.  In a moment’s time, the energetic sensation of blasting a berm bar-to-bar with a fellow motocross racer transformed to smashing the lip of a head-high wave while enjoying the earth’s precious wind and water.  Kiteboarding allows one to ride with the same aggression and focus as on the track, but with minimal risk of injury.  Witnessing first-hand someone enjoying a sport through their later years in life was flat-out inspiring.

Not only is kiteboarding one of the most addictive and progressive sports to ever exist, but the variety of people involved is what truly makes it so amazing.  We have been teaching people to kiteboard full-time for the past two years and throughout that time have been continually shocked by the vastly dissimilar types of people intrigued by the sport.  “Kiteboarding is an ‘extreme sport’ and only crazy people do it.”  Isn’t that what everyone says, or that’s just what we saw on Inside Edition last month.  This statement could not be more misleading; kiteboarding is one of the safest and most gratifying sports to date.

The variety of people learning to kite is not going to diminish anytime soon.  Whether a fifty year-old Harley riding, long-bearded, leather-pant-wearing, tattooed, 300 pound man struts through our door, or a ten year-old ballerina still in her tutu after dance practice bounces in, with some commitment, they will be converted into kiteboarders.  It doesn’t matter what your background is; motocross, wakeboarding, stunt kites, gymnastics, accounting, 3rd grade, retired Vietnam vet; whatever it may be, you are in the market for kiteboarding.  When we go to the beach and observe the assortment of people actually kiteboarding, we can’t help but be convinced that this is the best sport for anyone no mater age, gender, income, or environment.

So with this being said, our definition of the all important “kiteboarding market” is “everyone and anyone, including your grandma!”  In actuality, the market is anybody who would be at all interested in attempting one of the most powerful, humbling, free, and addictive outdoor activities in the world!  Don’t you believe people of all walks of life would enjoy to take part in an “extreme sport” that you can still be progressing in even when your as young as 75?


Kiteboarding Pick-Up Lines

kiteboarding_linesAuthor: Matt and Keegan Myers
Published: Dec/Jan 2005 issue of Kiteboarding Magazine, www.kiteboardingmag.com

While comparing kiteboarding to golf might seem like heresy, the two sports do share some similarities – like choosing the right equipment for the job. Just as a golfer chooses a particular club to maximize control for certain shots, a kiteboarder uses particular length lines to maximize control for certain riding techniques.

Selecting the correct-length lines can make or break a session. The key is understanding how different line lengths affect the power, control and response of your kite. “I use short lines when I want more punch for kite loops, and I use longer lines for more consistent power and control,” says Cabrinha team rider Cameron Dietrich. “A simple adjustment to my kite’s lines dramatically changes how it performs.”

Think of anything below 22 meters as short lines, 22 to 27 meters as average lines, and more than 27 meters as long lines. Manufacturers design kites for optimal performance with lines of 22 to 27 meters. Longer lines create a large, consistent pull, ideal for light wind and big, lofty airs, while shorter lines generate a small, punchy pull through the power zone, good for high wind and explosive jumps. If you want to produce more power with your kite, lengthen the lines; to decrease your kite’s power, shorten the lines.

Slingshot team rider Bertrand Fleury, who is to kite loops what Tiger Woods is to blasting golf balls, uses 10- to 15-meter lines to generate quick bursts of power for his loops. Shorter lines also give the rider more control over the timing of the kite, helping make the power stroke as brief as possible and allowing the rider more control for landing.

Some of the world’s top wave riders shorten their lines for optimal power in different sections of a wave, like when dropping in or smacking the lip. “The bursts of energy generated by short lines are vital to create the speed of the way I want to ride the wave,” says legendary waterman Chuck Patterson. They also let you depower the kite quickly and regain power instantly by diving the kite back through the power zone while riding the face of a wave.

If you want to impress the crowds with huge, lofty airs, ride 30-meter lines and up. Turning speed and overall response become slightly delayed, but the longer lines generate a larger power zone, more kite stability and more constant power without tons of work by the rider, allowing you to use a smaller kite in lighter wind.

Just as a golfer would use a driver off the tee and a nine iron in the fairway, a kiteboarder would use long lines for big, lofty airs and short lines for laid-out kite loops. Experiment with different line lengths to find out what you are most comfortable with and to dial in your particular riding style. And oh yeah, we promise never to compare kiteboarding and golf again.


Kiteboarding- Board Length

kiteboarding_board_lengthAuthor: Matt and Keegan Myers
Published: Dec/Jan 2005 issue of Kiteboarding Magazine, www.kiteboardingmag.com

Visionaries once thought big, from the Great Wall of China to the world’s largest pepperoni pizza. But in today’s world of microchips and nanotechnology, small is in. Add kiteboards to that list. Boards we once considered small are now large compared to the lunch-tray-size rides you’ll find in some quivers. Is the minimalist movement something to latch on to? That depends.

“No matter what your skill level is or what the conditions are, you can maximize your fun factor with the right-size board,” says Dave Turner, owner of Litewave Designs. “You can’t be like, ‘I just want to ride my wakeboard,’ because in the wrong conditions, a wakeboard can be pretty useless.”

Unless your first session involved “borrowing” your buddy’s custom Jimmy Lewis 90 cm deck, most people start out on a bigger board, usually 150 cm to 180 cm. A larger board’s volume keeps it afloat more easily, letting you ride in light wind, and the added stability gives the novice more room to learn. “Starting out on a larger board gives you leeway to learn the kite and handle the board,” Turner says. “Once you’ve got it, you can make the transition to a smaller, more responsive board.” Smaller boards, from 90 cm to 136 cm, take more power to ride. The key is using your leg muscles to keep your balance on the board.

“Small boards give greater edge control, increasing upwind ability, power control and maneuverability, and creating more light-wind potential,” says Nick Bowers, designer for Squall Kiteboards in South Carolina. Innovations in concave design, and new flexes and construction materials, have motivated many designers to create smaller boards in water sports from surfing to skiing.

The idea of a short board sounds great: lightweight, easy to travel with and fun as hell to thrash around with in the waves. But what’s the reality of using a short board in light wind? “The beauty of a super-short board is the lack of rocker, fins and size, giving it the upper hand in drag,” Bowers says. “Short boards are fast in every sense of the word. This allows the kiter to use apparent wind created by the kite’s forward movement.” The adequate surface area of a short, wide board, plus minimal drag resistance and increased board speed, equals a speedy, responsive kiteboard that muscles upwind even in light-air conditions.

Just as you wouldn’t wear a neon-pink jump suit to a Hell’s Angels rally (or would you?), make sure your board promotes your riding style. “A larger board gives a smoother, carvy ride, like a snowboard,” says Florida-based pro Hamish MacDonald, who rides an 86 cm board, roughly the size of a Tony Hawk skateboard. “It’s easier on the knees, and when you’re in a wave, you can carve a much deeper trench on bottom turns.”

Lengthy boards, 150 cm and longer, still hold a place for beginners, providing buoyancy and stability. But they’re not always the best option for light wind since the birth of short, wide boards, proving that sometimes great things do come in small packages.


Kiteboarding-Know your Set-up

kiteboarding_setupAuthor: Matt and Keegan Myers
Published: Feb/March 2005 issue of Kiteboarding Magazine, www.kiteboardingmag.com

RIDER STYLE: WAKE

Description: You dream about glassy, flat water, and the slightest chop annoys you no end. When you discover a sandbar, pier or wind-blocked riding area, you almost explode while waiting to see how flat the water is at 20 knots.

Kite: A moderate- to low-aspect kite that pulls hard, sits back in the wind window and lets you load and pop all day long.

Board: A short board (110-135 cm) with an aggressive rail that will allow you to edge your brains out, with a slight rocker and flex to pop 15 feet off the water without sending the kite.

Building Your Quiver: You’re going to want small through huge. Wake-style riding requires power, so get kites that pull you hard even in moderate wind speeds, which are usually huge.

RIDER STYLE: ALL

Description: You love the flat water, but can’t wait to ride waves. You’re dying to pop a huge raley, but love doing huge, flat 360s 20 feet high.

Kite: Moderate-aspect kites work well for all styles. Get a kite with multiple connection options on the wingtips for easy adjustment.

Board: A board with a soft rail that is about 125-135 cm in length works well in flat water and waves. Avoid extremely large or small sizes.

Building Your Quiver: You’re going to want a full quiver of kites that will work in all winds (8, 12 and 17 meters). Multiple boards work for riding waves one day and flats the next. A surfboard and wake-style board will maximize your session stoke.

RIDER STYLE: HUGE AIR

Description: It’s all about sending the kite as hard as you can and flying as far as possible. Pulling the trigger is what keeps you stoked.

Kite: Two words: high aspect. Find a kite that rides directly at the window’s edge, pulling you straight up when sending the kite. Fast kites that rip through the window will send you to stratospheric heights.

Board: Speed is key. Look for a flat board that tracks fast and allows you to stop your edge to load up before blastoff.

Building Your Quiver: Going huge means you need to be lit up on smaller kites (6 to 12 meters). Get a pack of small high-aspect kites, and pack a small, light twin-tip and a mutant-style board with large fins to keep the board speed up and the edging tight.

RIDER STYLE: CRUISER

Description: You spend your week daydreaming of riding, and whether it’s 10 knots or 30, you’re just happy to be on the water. You enjoy the beauty of the sport and the great exercise it gives you. You want dependable, easy-to-use gear.

Kite: Get a moderate- to low-aspect kite with easy-to-use safety systems and effortless relaunch. Simplicity is key; look for a kite with “kook-proof” connections and a large depower range.

Board: Look for a bigger board that gets you up and going easily and edges upwind without even trying.

Building Your Quiver: Stock kites for all winds (8, 12 and 17 meters). Keep a smaller board (120-135 cm) for windy days and a cruiser (150-170 cm) for the light-wind days.

RIDER STYLE: SURF

Description: All you dream about is smacking the lip of a 10-foot face, digging into your bottom turn and smacking it again! Your sessions completely depend on the waves.

Kite: Get a kite that can take a huge wave eating it up if you drop it in a set. You need a stable kite that you don’t have to think about when you’re riding the face, but is there for you when you need to pull out of a closeout section.

Board: Buy a mini surfboard (4 -5 feet) with either a pad or foot straps, or a directional (mutant style) board. Soft rails and large fins keep you locked and powered on turns and off the lip.

Building Your Quiver: Get a nice stack of moderate-aspect kites – 8- to 14-meter kites work in most wind. Your larger board keeps you planing in the lulls, while the smaller, fast kite generates power.


Kiteboarding Lesson- 4 Questions to Ask Before You Buy

kiteboarding_questionsAuthor: Matt and Keegan Myers
Published: Feb/March 2005 issue of Kiteboarding Magazine, www.kiteboardingmag.com

Before you slide your hand across that ding-free, shiny new board you just bought, make sure you’re getting your money’s worth. How? Ask the right questions. Here are four you need to ask before buying your next piece of equipment.

Is this the right-size kite or board for me to use?

Riding the wrong-size equipment is not only frustrating, but also prolongs the learning process. Make your first gear purchase a foundation you can expand upon. The typical 180-pound rider just starting out should look for a 12-meter kite or smaller, and a board over 150 cm (larger riders look for a bigger board, not a larger kite). With those, a 16- and a 9-meter kite are perfect complements, as well as shorter 120 to 138 cm wake, surf or directional-style boards.

If I break the kite will you be able to repair it for me?

If your first session involved kite-looping a tree, you want to be sure the kite can be fixed. Airtime (airtimekite.com) recently released its Pro Support Plan with one year of Òno questions asked complete kite repair coverage. Also, if your local shop can’t recommend a kite repair person, check kite-x.com. This nationwide service can get you and your kite back in the water within two days.

Can I demo the kite?

To learn what kite will work best for you, check with your local kiteboarding shop to see if they offer “try before your buy” or “demo days.” Ask the salespeople if they’ve ridden the gear, and find out if you can test the gear before you buy. Kites are a fragile item and typically cannot be returned as new after usage.

Can I use this kite on the snow as well as on the water?

With the growth of kite snowboarding, many people buy foil kites during the winter and then realize in the spring that they want the benefits of a leading-edge inflatable kite for the water. Look for a kite with a relaunch feature, durable construction and easy inflation that will work well in all seasons.


Kiteboarding Lesson- Re-leash

kiteboarding_leashAuthor: Matt and Keegan Myers
Published: April/May 2005 issue of Kiteboarding Magazine, www.kiteboardingmag.com

Kiteboarding with a faulty leash is like driving with a broken seat belt – you may get away with it for a while, but eventually things go wrong, and you end up paying huge consequences. A kite leash not only can prevent injuries, but more importantly, it can protect innocent bystanders from a flyaway kite. Follow these five simple, kookproof tips so the leash does its job without being an inconvenience.

Don’t Wrist” Your Safety
If you still attach the leash to your wrist and not your harness, now is the time to crawl out of your cave and update your leash system. Wrist leashes are cumbersome, always seem to get tangled on the board or bar, and could possibly pull your arm out of joint if the depower system fails. Secure the leash to your harness with the manufacturer’s safety clip or a shackle, and you free up both of your hands.

Find Your Length
If the leash constantly annoys you, try changing the length. An extra-long leash easily tangles, while a short leash prevents you from safely launching or jumping unhooked by tensioning the leash line and involuntarily steering the kite. Use a leash that gives a few inches of slack when you unhook and fully extend your arms. We find that a 4.5- to 5-foot leash with 2 feet of stretch works best.

Be Quick to Release
If you are getting yarded toward shore and your depower system fails, you need to release the kite at once. During launching or water relaunching, the lines can unintentionally get “rat’s nested,” causing the bar to slide only partially up the leash line – just out of reach – so the kite steers out of control. Your best bet in this situation is to ditch the kite. Your kite should have a plastic clip or a Velcro release mechanism. If not, use a load-bearing quick-release shackle that you can easily locate and pull in a panic situation.

Be Materialistic
Never use heavyweight fishing line, bungee cord or other “barnyard” material for a leash. Under tension, nonstretching, sharp line can slice your skin like a knife, while an extra-large rubber band can easily break and snap back at you. Weak line can break and improperly secured knots can come undone while riding. Look for a nylon- or plastic-coated leash that has some stretch to it (about 4 inches of stretch for every foot of length) and can hold a few hundred pounds of weight.

Don’t Commit to a Suicide Leash
The name itself says it all: suicide. We do not recommend suicide leashes but are aware that many kiteboarders use them. Advanced riders use suicide leashes because when practicing handle passes, they frequently let go of their bar and do not want to deal with tangled lines caused by the re-ride system.


Kiteboarding Lesson- Go Bigger

Author: Matt and Keegan Myers
Published: April/May 2005 issue of Kiteboarding Magazine, www.kiteboardingmag.com

The best way to go big is to have the right equipment for the job. Rig a slightly larger kite, use 27- to 30-meter lines and ride a board that you can edge hard. This combination of gear is sure to launch you! When you’re edging hard with your front leg straight and back leg bent, and you have plenty of board speed, quickly increase your edging power while simultaneously pulling the kite from about 45 degrees off the water straight to neutral as fast as possible. As the kite starts to rise, release your edge and prepare for liftoff. Hold the kite straight above your head until the apex of your jump. As you start to descend, quickly bring the kite back down in the direction you were headed, bend your knees and prepare for landing.


Kiteboarding Magazine Editors Letter: Undiscovered Country

kiteboarding_undiscoveredAuthor: Matt and Keegan Myers
Published: April/May 2005 issue of Kiteboarding Magazine, www.kiteboardingmag.com

“HOLY SH%&!  I cannot believe this spot exists! You have got to be kidding me!  This place must have been designed by god for kiteboarding.”

Have you ever had the chance to say this shortly after discovering a new spot?  If you haven’t, then you need to go trippin.  Kiteboarding is truly a sport that opens up the doors to discovery and possibilities.

It seems like every kite trip we take we find another spot that completely amazes us; whether its behind the rocks at kite beach, following the OBX locals through the canals to Planet of the Apes, navigating a wooden yola to some offshore mangrove reefs in Puerto Rico, or just exploring more of the coast in our own backyard.  Travel to new beaches, 4X4 down old dirt roads with who knows what’s at the end, take a coastal tour on your boat or PWC; no matter how you find it, just take the time to get out and do it.  The beauty of this sport is in its simplicity, your biggest kite can pack down into a small bag and you can use a short board!  A little time spent searching now could easily result in endless sessions in the future.

More than ever last season proved to us how important getting out and exploring is.  With so many great beaches located just outside our door, what was the point in taking the time and energy to fumble around searching for another riding spot?  We were proved extremely wrong after a short jet ski ride down a secluded coastline with no road access where we truly found Kiteboarding paradise.  A spot that we would have never in our wildest dreams imagined being so near our home. If we hadn’t taken the time to find it we would had never known about it, and worse yet, never enjoyed the countless epic sessions day after day all summer long.

Kiteboarding and traveling go hand and hand, if you kiteboard you need to travel!  We are not saying you have to fly 5000 miles or take a 10-hour road trip; all we are saying is explore your own areas. The next day there is light wind and you just cant wait for your next session, get off your butt and go discover some place new. Pack your car full of gear (leave some room for your riding buddies) and hit the road.  Even if you don’t discover that epic spot you spent daydreaming about all winter, you are guaranteed plenty of laughs and memories. You just might be amazed at what you will find in your own backyard.