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Beginner going upwind question

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sergei Scotland
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Beginner going upwind question

Postby sergei Scotland » Tue Oct 08, 2019 10:29 am

With decent wind for a given kite size and me moving nicely - should I sheet in to go upwind better or sheet out a bit? Would my kite move to the side of wind window and still pull well enough if I sheet in? How does it work if any difference at all?
I am just learning to stay upwind and not getting it consistently, hence the question.
It feels that sheeting out a bit gives more raw power, but I just wonder if this also may stop me from going upwind quicker?

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Re: Beginner going upwind question

Postby leeuwen » Tue Oct 08, 2019 11:24 am

I think the answer is "it depends" and you need to balance based on the conditions.

When you sheet out the kite will move further up in the window making it slightly easier going upwind due to the vector of the pull.
However this comes at the costs of the power of the pulling force making it a delicate balance.

When you sheet in you get more power but the vector will be more downwind.
Also sheeting in to far can choke or back-stall the kite which make you lose power which you always want to prevent.

In general speed is king since you will create more apparent wind (basically adding a few knots to the windspeed perceived by the kite).
Many beginning kitesurfers tend to want to go upwind to quickly in low wind situations.
So in light wind conditions it is more important to get speed first over immediately going upwind.
Once you have speed you can slowly turn more and more upwind.
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Re: Beginner going upwind question

Postby Kristan » Tue Oct 08, 2019 12:05 pm

Your perfect bar position should always be in the middle of depower line.

Pulling on the bar to the chickenloop might choke the kite and you will lose speed. But if you would reduce your upwind angle, pulling the bar would help you gain required speed to reach the apparent wind that would help you to go upwind.

Bar control is intricate matter that comes with practice. You will feel your wing, when you should pull more or release it, your kite feedback will tell you that.

So you gotta remember main rules of going upwind: Upright posture, bar in the middle or pulled a bit closer, moderate speed, and of course proper gear for actual wind conditions.
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Re: Beginner going upwind question

Postby Peert » Tue Oct 08, 2019 12:53 pm

Kristan wrote:
Tue Oct 08, 2019 12:05 pm
Your perfect bar position should always be in the middle of depower line.
I would have agreed if you would have written 'somewhere' in the middle.
Actually it is very dependant on size of kite and and bar you are using.

In addition to Leeuwen and Kristans comments assuming TT:
- Look over your shoulder in the upwind direction you want to go... this is an 'easy' trick to get the proper body position for going upwind.
- In low wind conditions have your kite a bit higher than 40 degrees above the horizon and stretch your body. Doing this the kite will carry a bit of your weight allowing you to aim higher upwind.
- In high wind conditions 'make yourself small' keep your weight close to the rail of your board and keep your kite lower than 40 degrees above horizon. The low and more forward kite position prevents the kite from pulling your board edge out of the water and loosing grip (your weight close to the rail helps with that as well) and the kite vector pulls you more upwind as well.
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leeuwen
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Re: Beginner going upwind question

Postby leeuwen » Tue Oct 08, 2019 2:12 pm

Kristan wrote:
Tue Oct 08, 2019 12:05 pm
Your perfect bar position should always be in the middle
This is only true if your kite/bar are trimmed for the conditions in that way.

So you first need to know how to trim your kite.
There are some videos about this to give some indication. However riding around it might change all the time due to wind changing /gust / currents and other things influencing kite and riding behavior.
In reality you will need to experiment a lot and get a feeling how the kite flies optimally. Sheet more out or in and see/feel what happens.

So I usually ride a more sheeted out or in as the conditions change. You can also trim the kite 100 times each session but that gets old real quick.

Eg with fast currents when you change direction you might need to change the bar sheet position quite a bit.
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Re: Beginner going upwind question

Postby knotwindy » Tue Oct 08, 2019 5:25 pm

If you were trimmed perfectly and the wind was perfectly steady all that might make sense but those conditions are never how you ride, especially as a novice. The bar ‘position’ is not what matters. As a beginner you need to learn to feel the pressure against the bar with your arms as steady. You want the kite to pull steady to go upwind and to do that you have to keep the pressure against the bar steady. When a gust hits the pressure you will feel will increase so let the bar out a bit to keep the pressure consistent. In a lull the opposite, the pressure you will feel will decrease so pull in a bit to keep the pull steady. As you get better at it you can then use the gusts to turn upwind a bit farther which will not just get you upwind farther but also move the kite to the edge of the window and keep the pull steadier. You don’t ride in a straight line to get upwind, you scallop into the gusts. The ‘trick’ with kiting is all in the feel of the kite. Sheet in & out for best power level and maintain that pressure against the bar. Also, picture an eye on your forward hip and try to ‘look’ upwind with your shoulders back a bit to keep just enough edge to not sideslip downwind but still move at a decent speed. Long, sorry.
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Re: Beginner going upwind question

Postby JakeFarley » Tue Oct 08, 2019 5:31 pm

I'm not sure if Knotwindy meant this but rotate your body upwind a bit and look upwind. Where you look, you will go. You also might try keeping the kite higher without getting pulled off edge or losing too much power, if the wind permits. Hope this helps some.
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sergei Scotland (Tue Oct 08, 2019 5:37 pm)
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sergei Scotland
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Re: Beginner going upwind question

Postby sergei Scotland » Tue Oct 08, 2019 5:35 pm

leeuwen wrote:
Tue Oct 08, 2019 11:24 am

1.When you sheet out the kite will move further up in the window making it slightly easier going upwind due to the vector of the pull.
However this comes at the costs of the power of the pulling force making it a delicate balance.

2.In general speed is king since you will create more apparent wind (basically adding a few knots to the windspeed perceived by the kite).
...
1.Are u sure? From when I launch and kite starts moving downwind because I did not go far enough upwind - sheeting in slightly seems to move kite forward in the window?
Does this change when I am riding at decent speed?
I do realized kite pull increases considerably with speed and try to get to decent speed and kite pull before trying to go upwind, thanks.
2.Most people say (Progression kiteboarding videos etc) that too much speed moves/rotates the wind window backwards which makes it harder to go upwind and suggest killing speed - especially in less wind.
May be I am doing this speed control too much though once I try to go upwind... ☺
Confused..

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Re: Beginner going upwind question

Postby grigorib » Tue Oct 08, 2019 7:11 pm

I'd say - you need to sheet out first and then sheet in to the point of sufficient power to go at your max (pre-stalling) possible upwind angle - that's for max upwind.
Usually though upwind is easy (unless you have strong current present) so I pull on the bar to generate more power than I really need and create pretty and big spray. Also jumps from this are good too.

In few words - sheet out for upwind; sheet in for spray and line tension (for jumping)
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Re: Beginner going upwind question

Postby badgb21 » Tue Oct 08, 2019 7:36 pm

Hey Sergei
Good to hear you are still at it!

My 2 cents for novice good upwind:
1. You need plenty of wind. Measure it and be sure you have plenty.
2. Your kite and board must be able to to achieve this upwind desire (I've had both that don't!) if in doubt let an advanced kiter try yout set up.

I think Leeuwen is on the right track.

This vid for me sums it up well;


As always keep at it, don't over think it, go by feel, wxperiment a little and let us know how how it goes.

p.s make sure there's plenty of wind, you should struggle not to go upwind ;)
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