The board is the element that challenges your abilities as a kite “pilot”.


For the simple reason that you are adding an extra factor that will lead you, whether you like it or not, to no longer put all your focus on the kite as you have done up to now.

It’s no surprise that when you try to get your board on, the kite starts to fall into the water more often than in the last part of the course.
Frustration builds, you’ll get tired of being shaken from side to side and you’ll wonder how it’s possible to control the two elements together.

Well, in this article, the goal is to provide you with the most important things to keep in mind to successfully put your board on your feet!

But before that, I want to underline that this exercise should not be taken lightly. It is necessary to know how to master it perfectly, and to know how to put on your board in any condition.

One of the most common mistakes made by beginners is loss of spatial awareness. Once they finally get their board on and hit the first tack, they ride as much as possible.
So imagine you’ve lost your board and you’re out to sea. If you can’t put it back, what do you do? The situation becomes more complicated. In this case, I hope for your sake that you have learned how to do the body drag to get back to the beach.

For this reason, I recommend practicing this exercise in shallow water. This way, you can practice and repeat the exercise over and over again. And if you lose your board, you can just walk to get it back.
Less energy wasted, no strain of body dragging every time you lose your board, no wrapping the leash of your board around you (if you use it), etc.
The advantages of starting this practice in shallow water are countless.

But be careful not to cheat.
What do I mean by this?
The goal is to acquire a synchronization of movements by placing the board in the right position. Therefore, any other way of proceeding, which can be done in shallow water, such as pushing the board down and then sitting with the kite at the zenith, will not allow you to reach the desired control accuracy you are looking for at this stage of your progression.

Think about autonomy, not just riding.

Now we come to the part that interests you the most.
Let’s take a look at the three variables you need to pay attention to in order to properly put on your board.

1. Kite position

I will never stop repeating it here and in my classes, that the first priority must always be the kite. If the kite is flown correctly, you have every chance of succeeding in any exercise, otherwise you are doomed to failure.

First of all, to set the board, you have to fly with one hand. You choose the hand you prefer, knowing that this choice will not affect the direction you want to take afterwards.

The kite should be stabilized, in the opposite window from the hand you are holding the bar with (right hand on the bar, kite in the left quadrant). Not at the zenith and not too low, around 11:30 or 12:30. The goal is to have a safety margin so that the kite does not go to the other side of the wind window (which would happen systematically if you started from the zenith) and not to have too much tension, make the task more difficult.

If the kite is too low, you may get to much pull and the board will be under water.
If the kite is too close to the zenith, every little mistake will bringit into the opposite quadrantof the wind window, causing a loss of balance. The result: you will spin like a turtle.

Stabilizing the kite is the key. In the beginning, check it out from time to time, even quickly, so that you don’t make any steering mistakes. You will see that the rest will follow.

Put on a kitesurf board - kite position

2. Body position

You must be toned and keep the posture I describe you below during the time it takes to put the board on, and until the moment of the waterstart:

  • Shoulders parallel to the lines, if you lose your axis, you will tend to turn on yourself.
  • Knees bent, strength in the abs.
  • Tiptoes up, otherwise you won’t be able to hold the pads.
  • Back slightly arched and shoulders inward (the bar should be close to your face). If you relax and throw yourself backwards, you will tend to stretch your legs and lose the board.

The better you get at steering, the less time and effort it takes.

3. Board position

I recommend that you take the board with the handle and place it between you and the kite, that is perpendicular to the pull. If the position of the kite is correct, you will feel a slight tension that will push the board towards your feet and make it easier for you.
If you don’t place the board between you and the kite, you will be unbalanced and you risk turning on yourself.

The board must be perpendicular to the surface of the water, which means that the top of the board (the deck) must be facing you, not the sky.

Do not let go of the board until you are sure you have properly put your feet on it, otherwise you may lose it.

To simplify the maneuver, I suggest you grab the handle of the board first and put the foot on the side you are holding the bar with as your first foot (if you are holding the bar with your right hand, put your right foot on first). Then, you can choose to keep the handle (if you are flexible enough) or to take the free foot straps with your other hand (the left one), which will facilitate the movement of the left foot.

Put on a kitesurf board - body and board position


As I wrote above, the kite is the most important factor. However, in order to put the board on, it is necessary that all three points are coordinated, otherwise it could be a fiasco.

Getting on the board is one of the most eagerly awaited moments. In your head, you are already planning the moment when you will stand on the board and get the first ride.
As a result, I often see a significant lack of attention.

My advice is simple and obvious: take time to think, focus on the points I’ve outlined and stay strong.
Put the board in, take the board out. Put the board in, take the board out. The movement should become natural, so repeat it as much as possible to make it automatic! Once you master it, you’re ready to get up on the board and ride for the first time.

Ready to ride?