How To Improve Your Upwind Riding Skills In Kitesurfing

Table of Contents

Kitesurfing, an exhilarating water sport that combines elements of surfing, windsurfing, and paragliding, has captivated adventure seekers and water sports enthusiasts around the world. The feeling of harnessing the power of the wind, gliding across the water’s surface, and performing breathtaking tricks is an experience like no other. However, one skill that separates the novices from the experts in kitesurfing is the ability to ride upwind effectively.

Upwind riding in kitesurfing refers to the technique of sailing against the wind’s direction, allowing riders to navigate their desired path and explore different spots without being at the mercy of the wind’s whims. It’s a fundamental skill that not only increases your mobility on the water but also ensures a safer and more enjoyable kitesurfing experience.

In this article, we will delve into the art of improving your upwind riding skills in kitesurfing. Whether you’re a beginner looking to unlock the secrets of upwind riding or an intermediate rider aiming to fine-tune your technique, we’ve got you covered. We’ll explore essential tips, techniques, and strategies that will enable you to confidently master the wind, conquer upwind riding, and take your kitesurfing prowess to new heights.


Perfect your body positioning

The key to riding upwind is having the right body positioning. You need to lean back, keep your heels down, bend your knees, and keep your shoulders pointed in the direction you want to go. When you lean back, your board’s edge will dig into the water, which will give you resistance and allow you to ride upwind. Keep your weight evenly distributed on both your feet, and ensure that your kite is positioned at 11 or 1 o’clock to generate the necessary power.


Practice your board control

Another factor to consider when learning to ride upwind is your board control. Take your time to understand how your board reacts to the water, and learn how to control it. During your upwind riding attempts, ensure that you keep your board flat on the water’s surface and avoid tilting it on its edge as this can affect your speed and direction. Also, make sure that you keep your board pointed in the direction you want to go.


Master the power and speed of your kite

Your kite’s power and speed play a vital role in upwind riding. Take your time to understand how to control your kite’s power and speed, and learn how to use it to propel yourself upwind. When the wind is blowing strong, use the kite’s power to help you go upwind. On the other hand, when the wind is light, maintain the kite’s speed to keep yourself moving forward.


Make use of kiteboard fins

Kiteboard fins are an essential component when it comes to riding upwind. They provide you with more grip and control, allowing you to ride upwind more easily. Ensure that your kiteboard’s fins are the right size for your weight and the type of conditions you’ll be riding in. If your fins are too small, you won’t get enough hold, and you’ll struggle to point your board in the right direction.


Choose the right board

Choosing the right board is as important as any other factor when it comes to upwind riding. Your board should be comfortable, have good grip, and be easy to maneuver. If you’re a beginner, you may want to consider a bigger and wider board, which will give you more stability and make it easier to ride upwind.


Get a lesson from a professional(kitesurfing expert)

Finally, to truly improve your upwind-riding skills, consider getting a lesson from a kitesurfing instructor. A professional will be able to give you valuable feedback and coach you on the finer points of upwind riding. A coach will also help you identify any bad habits that you may have developed and provide you with tips on how to overcome them.



In conclusion, improving your upwind riding skills in kitesurfing is a journey that requires mastering key techniques, understanding kite control, using suitable equipment, and committing to consistent practice. By focusing on proper body positioning, weight distribution, and utilizing the power of the kite effectively, riders can enhance their ability to ride upwind and maintain control over their course. Additionally, investing in appropriate gear and seeking guidance from experienced instructors can significantly accelerate progress. With dedication and perseverance, riders can unlock the exhilarating experience of gliding effortlessly upwind, expanding their horizons and enjoying the full potential of kitesurfing.

Josh Mitchell

Josh Mitchell

"I live and breath boardriding"

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