5 Steps to Better Kite Control
There are a few things you can do to dramatically improve your kite skills. In this video, Blake Olsen Breaks down five things you can do to get better fast.
Rigging & making sure you have the right setting for the conditions. The first thing I would like to talk about is choosing the right size kite for the conditions. Every kite model and size is going to have a predetermined wind range where it will perform optimally. You can usually find this chart in the packaging or listen on the manufactures website. It's important to stick within these parameters if you want to have any fun and progress.
Every kite is going to have that grey area where it will still perform albeit, not optimally. In these situations. Most kites will have two to three knots you can chose from. If you are appropriately powered, you will want to choose the middle knot. If the wind is light you will use the knot closest to the kite. If the wind is strong, you will use the knot furthest away from the kite. This will change the angle of attack and make a big difference in power.
It's important to trim your kite so that it will not backstall. Experiment with the the trim o before your session. Park the kite at noon& pull the bar all the way in. It should just sit there perfectly above your head.
The wind window will change with different winds.There is a light wind skill set, a moderate wind skill set, and a high wind skill set. Sometimes in gusty you need to use all three skills sets in the same session. Something I've noticed while teaching kiteboarding lessons over the years is that my students will take a lesson and do well. Then a few days later they get back out in different wind conditions and it's like starting all over again. Light wind can be the most frustrating of all. It takes the most skill to be able to ride up wind and do tricks on a light wind day. Remember, these are the safest days to learn and you're going to get the most out of them. So do yourself a favor and have fun and practice.
Have a point of reference downwind and realize that It may shift or change during your session. It's not uncommon for new kiteboarders to get going and as they get up on the board they lose their point of reference. This causes them to fly the kite at the edge of the wind window where there is very little power. The next thing they know, they are sinking in the water. If you know where down wind is, you can work your kite where it needs to be so you can keep riding or get upwind.
Fly the kite with your fingertips. While learning people like to hold on really tight and over steer the kite. Always be gentle with the bar. Kite control is a very subtle thing. Also just feel out the line tension. The goal is to keep soft even line tension. If you're flying and the lines get really tight or really slacked the kite will be aggressive. So line tension is everything. If you are aggressive with the kite, it's going to be an aggressive ride. If you are smooth and gentle, well, it's going to be a gentle ride. Modern kites really are amazing, they basically have auto pilot, so relax and let the kite do the work for you.