Wave Riding Tips by Ben Wilson - Part 2

Wave Tips # 2

Thanks to all those who sent questions after the last article.

This is part 2 of the Ben Wilson instructional series which provide simple lessons and how-to's on kitesurfing in the waves.

In this episode we will deal with how to get out in the surf, catching waves, and basic turns
Getting off the beach
Make sure you are in at least knee deep water so you don't rip your fins out when you get up on the board.

Head slightly downwind initially to generate speed.

Keep up a moderate amount of speed but control it so you don't get launched when you hit the first wave or whitewater.

To get over  whitewater bend your knees and suck up the wave and let your board ride up over the foam. Kite position is really important. Keep your kite at 45% or better still have your kite pulling down as you hit the foam. This will pull you down and help you stick to your board. A combination of these 2 skills will ensure you stay on the kiteboard with or without straps.

If the wind is light you will need to move your kite to generate enough speed to penetrate the waves.

Catching Waves
From out the back
This technique is used when there is a decent swell and the wind is cross on or side shore.

Turn in front of a swell and get enough speed to stay on the moving wave.

As the waves steepens you will feel the power of the wave replacing the power of the kite.

Turn your kite down low in front of the wave and unhook as you begin to take the drop. Keep the kit low and make small adjustments as you ride along the face.

Initailly start out on the shoulder of the wave but as your confidence increases you will be able to take off closer to the pocket of the wave.

Whip at technique
This is great fun and basically involves doing a turn on the face of the wave to catch it.

It works in most wind directions.
1, Ride out with moderate speed

2 As you see a wave you want to ride bear away slightly downwind to get more speed.

3 Initiate the kite turn as the wave passes under the kite and spot you turn on the wave

4 Turn on the face off the wave maintaining speed and ensure your kite finishes low and in the direction that you are heading.

5 Unhooking is best done just after the turn when you start kitesurfing the wave.

Hot tip - If it is light wind unhook before the turn to generate more power and speed to catch the wave.

Bottom Turns

 1 Head down the wave with feet in the sweet spot of your board. You will have unhooked just before this.  2 Keep your weight down over your heels and push hard on you back foot. The body position is like sitting back on a chair. Begin to look over your shoulder (leading) and this will create a nice smooth arcing turn.
 3 As you come up off the turn get your weight forward to carry on forward speed. If you don't you will stall and fall out the back of the wave.  4 Look at the spot where you want go next .
hot tip - the amount of back foot pressure is directly related to how tight the turn is. A good bottom turn sets you up for the whole wave.
Top Turns
 1 Look at the spot on the face where you want to turn  2 Plant your back foot and get your weight over your toes and initiate the turn. Looking back down the wave will help you complete the turn
 Keep your weight forward to maintain speed, you can use your back hand for balance and support if you have let go of the bar.  4 As you head back down the wave flatten out the board to get ready for the next turn and keep your knees bent to absorb the drop.
Hot tip Keep your kite down low and forward to help so you don'ride underneath it

In the next article I will focus on advanced kitesurfing turns and survival tips

All this info and and more can be found on our new instructional dvd SMACK
Now available on line at

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