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How to stay upwind? - Tips by Kiteboarding Bonaire

Updated: Feb 22, 2023

Staying upwind is a crucial skill in kitesurfing, as it allows you to cover more distance and explore new areas. However, many kitesurfers struggle with staying upwind and often find themselves drifting downwind. In this blog, we will discuss some tips and techniques for staying upwind during kitesurfing.



1. Maintain Good Board Speed

One of the key factors in staying upwind is maintaining good board speed. If you’re riding too slowly, the wind will push you downwind. On the other hand, if you’re riding too fast, you may lose control and fall. To maintain good board speed, you should practice riding the board on flat water and work on your posture and balance. You should also focus on building upper body strength, as this will help you generate more speed and control.

2. Control the Kite


The kite is your primary source of propulsion, and you need to be able to control it effectively in order to stay upwind. You should practice flying the kite in different wind conditions and work on your hand-eye coordination.


Additionally, you should understand the basics of kite aerodynamics, as this will help you generate lift and maintain stability in the air.


To stay upwind, you should position the kite in the right place and adjust its speed and angle to generate maximum lift. Atlantis Beach is one of the best kitesurfing spots in the world. And it is an offshore-wind condition spot. Therefore, upwind riding is imperative. During all of our lessons, upwind riding is one of the main focus. 3. Navigate Around Obstacles


Staying upwind often requires navigating around obstacles such as waves, other kitesurfers, or boats. To do this, you need to be able to control your board and kite and make quick, effective decisions.




You should practice riding in different wind and wave conditions, and work on your board control and kite control skills. Additionally, you should always be aware of your surroundings and be prepared to adjust your riding style based on the conditions.

4. Use the Power of the Kite


The power of the kite can help you stay upwind, but it can also cause you to drift downwind if not used properly. To use the power of the kite effectively, you should understand how to generate lift and maintain stability in the air. You should also practice riding in different wind conditions and work on your kite control skills. Additionally, you should always be aware of the wind speed and direction and adjust your riding style accordingly.

5. Body Position and Posture


Your body position and posture play a crucial role in staying upwind. If you’re leaning too far forward or backward, you’ll lose balance and control, and if you’re not in the right position, you won’t be able to generate enough speed and lift. To develop good body position and posture, you should practice riding on flat water and work on your balance. Additionally, you should focus on maintaining good posture while riding, even when the wind and waves are unpredictable.


6. Edge Control


Edge control is another important factor in staying upwind. You need to be able to control the board’s edge and maintain good speed, even when riding in choppy water. To develop good edge control skills, you should practice riding in different wind and wave conditions, and focus on maintaining good posture and balance. Additionally, you should work on your board control skills and understand the basics of wave dynamics.



7. Timing and Rhythm




Timing and rhythm are critical in kitesurfing, as they help you maintain good board speed and control. To develop good timing and rhythm, you should focus on maintaining a consistent pace while riding and work on your board control skills. Additionally, you should practice riding in different wind and wave conditions, and be aware of the rhythm of the wind and water.

8. Practice, Practice, Practice




The most effective way to stay upwind is to practice regularly. You should try to kitesurf in a variety of conditions, as this will help you develop a well-rounded set of skills. You should also seek feedback from more experienced kitesurfers and work on your weak areas. Additionally, you should invest in good quality gear and make sure that it is properly set up and maintained.

9. Know Your Limits


(Each rescue costs $30.-)


It’s important to know your limits and be honest with yourself about your abilities. If you’re just starting out, it may be best to stick to lighter wind conditions, as these will be easier to control. You should also avoid riding in areas with strong currents or waves, as these can be dangerous and difficult to navigate.

10. Take a Lesson


Finally, consider taking a kitesurfing lesson from a qualified instructor. A good instructor can help you develop good technique, give you feedback on your riding, and help you stay safe on the water. Additionally, a lesson can help you get started with the sport and provide you with a solid foundation for future development.

In conclusion, staying upwind is a crucial skill in kitesurfing, and requires a combination of good technique, practice, and knowledge. By following the tips and techniques outlined in this blog, you can improve your upwind riding and take your kitesurfing to the next level. Remember to always respect the wind and water, stay aware of your surroundings, and have fun!

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