Saturday, June 22, 2024
InstructionalHow to Ride Waves for the First Time Kitesurfing

How to Ride Waves for the First Time Kitesurfing

If you are a newbie to kitesurfing and intrigued by the exhilarating rush of riding waves, you’re in for a thrilling experience. Riding waves in kitesurfing feels like powered surfing and is replete with non-stop action. Before diving into the waves, it’s essential to understand the primary methods of wave riding: upwind and downwind. In this article, we’ll focus on riding waves upwind. So, strap on your kitesurfing gear and let’s ride those waves!

The Basics of Wave Riding

There are two primary ways to ride waves in kitesurfing:

  1. Upwind Wave Riding: This is when your kite is powered. As a general rule, when riding waves upwind, your kite maintains its power.
  2. Downwind Wave Riding: This involves your kite drifting. While it’s a different thrill, it’s more complex and better suited for those with a bit more experience.

For beginners, upwind wave riding is a fantastic place to start. It’s simpler and, when done right, offers a seamless transition into more advanced kitesurfing techniques.

Selecting the Perfect Setup

Finding the right location is crucial for a beginner. Ideally, you’ll want an open ocean beach with consistent wind directions. A great example is Coffs Harbour, where many, including myself, have learned the ropes of kitesurfing. Here’s what you need:

  • Cross Onshore Conditions: This means the wind is blowing onto the beach at an angle. It’s not purely from the side (cross shore) or directly from the ocean (onshore), but a combination of the two.
  • Consistent Waves: Look for beaches where waves roll in consistently, allowing you to practice your techniques repeatedly.
  • Straight Beach: Having a straight beach is ideal as it allows you to practice tacking out and coming back in without losing ground.

Riding The Wave

When starting, your main goal will be to tackle waves coming in perpendicular to the wind. This means you’ll be riding out on your heels and coming back in on your toes, much like traditional kitesurfing. However, as you ride back towards the shore, you’ll find that you can ride along with the waves, providing the exhilaration of wave riding without needing any major changes to your technique.

Tips for Beginners

  1. Maintain Your Tack: Ride out and in without losing ground. This keeps you in a consistent area, making it easier to practice.
  2. Start Simple: Focus on upwind wave riding before venturing into downwind wave riding. The latter is more complex, especially in managing the kite.
  3. Wave-Specific Kites: As you progress, consider getting a wave-specific kite like the Ocean Rodeo Rome. These kites are designed to drift with you, ensuring they don’t fall out of the sky during downwind wave riding.
  4. Stay Alert: Always be aware of your surroundings, including other surfers, swimmers, and potential hazards.

For those eager to plunge into the waves with their kitesurfing board, upwind wave riding offers a fantastic starting point. The combination of a straight beach, consistent waves, and cross onshore conditions makes for a delightful and relatively straightforward introduction to wave kitesurfing. So, find that perfect beach, catch those waves, and experience the unbridled joy of kitesurfing. And remember, the ocean awaits – ride on!

https://www.youtube.com/@FlukesKitesurfing

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