The wind window in kitesurfing can be divided into two quadrants, the left one between 9 am and 12 pm, and the right one between 12 pm and 3 am.
Flying in “one quadrant” is the next step, as soon as you master the traction of the kite and manage the tension of the lines and you have acquired the reflex to release the bar in case of a problem.
Learning to fly in one quadrant, left and right, is essential to progress.
There are many exercises you can practice, each with a different purpose.
First of all, once you are able to manage your safety, you need to start understanding how to move around the spot with the traction of the kite, which also simulates navigation.
This is one of the trickiest moments and should take several hours and days of practice.
When you start tacking (gliding on the water), you only use one window and almost never both (except for advanced piloting, see loops), so it is necessary to concentrate and improve this type of piloting.
When you leave the zenith to fly on one quadrant you will experience major difficulties if the timing of your movements is not correct (you will often be late).
Here are 3 steps to follow:
1. Move the kite softly
The first step is to move the kite slowly (between noon and 1am or 11am) to learn the consistency of the movements and to understand that the reaction time is a determining element.
2 are the most important mistakes not to make:
- Do not let the kite go in the other quadrant.This is the most important point. The consequence is a loss of balance and often a strong and involuntary acceleration of the kite which will generate a violent pull. The possibility of sudden and uncontrolled movements of the bar will be almost inevitable.
Therefore, it is important to concentrate on anticipation and, in case of error, to bring the sail back to noon.
- Avoid that the kite goes down too low.Indeed, the lower the sail is, the more delicate the control is and the more precise it must be. The consequence is often a loss of reference with obvious piloting errors (pulling on the bar instead of applying pressure on the line which should make the sail go up, or walking backwards moving in the wrong direction, which contributes to make the sail fall more).
Therefore, it is essential to show the necessary sensitivity by controlling the kite in a quadrant with smooth and linear movements.
This exercise will allow you to move left or right thanks to the traction of the sail, which is all you will need to navigate.
Dad Goes Kitesurfiing
2. Kite stabilization
Next, you will learn how to stabilize the kite, either with one or two hands. The benefits of this exercise are countless:
- walk quietly in one direction with a slight pull from the kite;
- free one hand to pick up and carry the board;
- put the board at your feet;
- improving the take-off and landing.
In order to successfully stabilize the kite, it is imperative to achieve the right line tension (finding the “sweet spot”) to get an immediate and correct response.
Too much tension, the kite turns too fast and risks a bad movement, too little tension, the kite does not respond and continues to fall.
TIP: Breathe, try to relax and listen to your kite. This may sound strange, but you should be able to feel the tension. The more you stiffen up and distract yourself, the less you will feel it and the harder it will be.
3. Manage the kite’s power
Finally, after the first movements and stabilization (one or two hands), you should start to taste and manage the power of the kite.
This exercise should be done, in my opinion, in a single window, as that is where we will be flying the kite most of the time, unless the wind is very light or we are doing loops.
Most of the exercise is done in body drag to eliminate the risk of accidents and lower limb injuries. However, some complementary exercises are possible.
This stage is the one that will start to give you the first real sensations, but you have to stay alert in order to avoid the biggest traps.
The goal is to control the kite when it generates power.
The more you assimilate the movement, the more you will be able to automate it without getting distracted by the board and risking big mistakes later on. If, on the other hand, the movement is not yet sufficiently automated, the mistakes will be huge, the board will become an anguish, the falls more violent, and the frustrations will increase exponentially.
TIP: To perform this exercise, you need to remember to make significant movements but not too wide. The more range you give, the more power you generate.
So start gradually. Keep the kite reactive with small movements, but linear and constant. This will give you more confidence and you can gradually increase the distance the kite travels, generating more traction.
If you want to know more about body drag, I advise you to read this article.
It is essential to know how to do these exercises correctly in order to move on to the board. Indeed, it is thanks to a mix of these techniques that you will be able to create the necessary traction and control the kite during your ride.
Don’t skimp on the time spent on this step and try to understand its importance. Kitesurfing is based on the understanding of kite control, the board is a secondary accessory.
Being able to fly your own kite will help you to be more confident, and to accelerate your future progress!
If you have any doubts or feedback about your progress, the comments section is waiting for you. Every experience is useful to make the community grow and to have a maximum of information.
Now it’s your turn to play.
THANKS FOR READING