Wave Kitesurfing Video Tutorial: Timing Your Turns (Lesson 1)

For those who love riding waves with a kite or want to learn wave kitesurfing, we’re pleased to present a 5 part wave Kitesurfing video tutorial series, brought to you by the guys at KITEKAHUNAS Advanced Kitesurfing School in Cape Town.

Wave Kitesurfing Video Tutorial

What You’ll Learn in this Wave Kite Series

This 5 part series of professionally produced wave riding tutorial videos will help you quickly master the art of Kitesurfing waves. The great news is that as an intermediate freeride kitesurfer, you’re only ten days of practice away from becoming a legit wave kitesurfer!

Over the next few weeks you will learn:

  1. How to Start Wave Kitesurfing: Timing your Turns
  2. Your first turns with timing and usage of the entire wind window
  3. Riding your first waves backside
  4. Top-turns and bottom-turns, performed both frontside and backside
  5. How to gybe

How to Start Wave Kitesurfing: Timing your Turns

Watch the video tutorial above to learn how to perform carving transitions with the right timing, and then get out and practice, practice, practice… If you are reading this article in an email or RSS feed, watch the video here.

Getting Started

If you can ride upwind and toe-side, then you are ready to learn to ride waves with a kite.

If you don’t live near a kite spot with waves, you can start preparing to learn wave kitesurfing on flat or choppy water using your twin-tip board. This will allow you to get used to the fundamental moves before you take a trip to a good wave riding location.

Wave Kitesurfing Tutorial Twin Tip Board

Carving Transitions

Carving transitions are turns where you keep the same foot in front during your entire transition. Smoothly turning from and to toe-side and heel-side in both directions is essential for riding a wave board or directional board. This means you have four different turns to practice.

Timing the turn of your kite and board is crucial for a successful transition. Before pointing your board downwind, steer the kite sharply through the power zone in the opposite direction. Then shortly afterwards, follow your kite around by steering your board’s nose downwind and then into the opposite direction. If you get pulled over your board, steer your board downwind harder or faster. If you sink into the water you most likely moved the kite to 12 o’clock and didn’t steer the kite quickly enough through the power zone.

Important:  first turn the kite, and then turn the board. One strong pull on the bar with your back hand should do the trick. Watch the video above to learn the correct technique.

Don’t forget, if you want to wave kite in various conditions such as with the wind from the left and from the right, you need to be able to do your turns on your weak side as well. So practice both ways from the start.

Get on a Wave Board

After you’ve mastered all four turns while powered on your twin-tip board, start practicing the exercises on a directional wave board.

Wave Kitesurfing Tutorial Surf Board

Switching to a wave board might take some getting used to, and you need to adjust your riding technique slightly. Make greater use of the fins to help you to ride upwind instead of riding the board on the edge like you would when riding a twin-tip board.

You’ll find that your wave board has less drag in the water. It will also speed up quicker so you should find it easier to move the kite through the power zone. Try this while carving downwind in a smooth slalom line and enjoy getting into the flow of things.

Important: Keep in mind that your wave board has large fins which are fragile, so avoid riding in shallow water where they might get caught in the sand and break off.

For now, don’t worry about switching your feet (gybing). You will learn to gyb later, as it’s a bit more difficult to learn than just riding the waves. In the meantime, if you do want to change your feet, simply slow down and drop yourself in the water, turn your board around manually and head back in the other direction.

Wave Kitesurfing Tutorial Wave Board

Downwinders for Kitesurfing Waves

While cruising in slalom lines you will be heading downwind and losing a lot of ground. Kiting back upwind will take time, effort and energy. The same applies when you’re riding down the line on a wave. For this reason, most wave riders like to do downwind trips from one point to another. All you need to do is organise transport at the end of your downwinder to get you and your gear back to your starting point.

The advantage of doing a downwinder instead of kiting in one spot is that it will maximize your net practicing time on the water. It will help you reach your learning goal at this stage faster, which is steering the kite in a controlled manor through the power zone while turning the board in the other direction. It’s also just the most enjoyable way to wave kitesurf!

Wave Kitesurfing Tutorial Downwinder

Lesson Summary

  • Practice the four different types of carving transitions: from heel-side to toeside, from toeside to heel-side (goofy and regular stance)
  • Timing: First turn the kite, then steer the board to follow the kite
  • Steer the kite through the power zone while turning the board downwind
  • Practice alternating between all 4 types of carving transitions in a slalom line downwind

If you enjoyed this tutorial, then keep an eye out for our next lesson in this wave riding series: “Your first turns with timing and usage of the entire wind window” by subscribing to our updates. If you have any questions or feedback, please feel free to post them in the comments below.

This wave kitesurfing video tutorial was brought to you by KITEKAHUNAS Kitesurfing School and KITEKAHUNAS Wave Camps.

KITEKAHUNAS is an advanced Kitesurfing School in Cape Town, South Africa. In addition to their regular kiteboarding lessons, they also offer Wave Camps designed for wave kitesurfing beginners and experts. The camps include 2 weeks of pure wave riding pleasure, guidance, accommodation and transport from downwinders – all in all, an unforgettable experience.

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