The big stepping stone you need to surpass in order to get to experience the real thrill of kiteboarding is the waterstart. This is the technique that will get you up on the board and start riding. Once you master this skill the fun begins!
We will go through the waterstart in greater detail below, but to get an idea of how it is performed, please have a look at the video below:
So the idea behind the waterstart is to get up on the board and start riding by generating enough power to lift you up on the board by performing a powerstroke with your kite. To do this we need to position ourself correctly, be prepared for what is going to happen and guide the kite through the power zone.
To make it clear and simple we have broken down the waterstart into a few simple steps:
- Have a look at your surroundings and make sure you have enough space around you to safely perform a waterstart.
- Bring your kite to twelve 0´clock, keep it there with one hand and grab your board with your other hand.
- Put your feet into the footpads, one by one, then bring your knees close to your chest.
- Start the powerstroke by guiding your kite to one o´clock if you are going left or 11 o´clock if you are going right.
- Complete the powerstroke by guiding your kite to the opposite side of the wind window. From one o´clock towards 10 o´clock going left, from 11 o´clock towards two o´clock going right.
- The kite will generate a pull when it travels through the power zone. Be ready to roll on top of the board by keeping the upper edge of your board above the surface and keep your upper torso close to your knees as if doing an ab crunch. When getting up, lean your upper torso against the pull so you dont get pulled over the board into a face plant.
- Straighten your front leg so that you point the board slightly down wind, this helps in getting and maintaining speed. Correct your body position by standing more upright, keep your front leg almost straight and your back leg a bit more bent and more flexible and start riding.
Repeat the process until you master it. It is a good idea to start with a small and smooth power stroke. You can start with the kite close to twelve o´clock and if you dont get enough power, slowly increase the range and agressiveness of your powerstroke until you have enough power to get up on the board and gain some speed.