Riding direction kitesurfing
The sailing directions kite surfing that we describe here are always relative to the wind. Before you continue reading the text, first take a look at the picture below.
Riding direction kitesurfing:
1. Against the wind (into the wind)
Kite surfing against the wind is impossible. To sail against the wind, a kite surfer must zigzag and tack several times. This is possible with a so-called “up-and-down course”.
2. On the wind (upwind)
Wind is the most difficult course for kite surfers. After all, you are automatically pulled with the wind. How can a kite surfer then sail into the wind? Amazingly, this is due to the suction of the wind. On the windward side of the sail the wind is pressed against each other and as a result gets more speed. On the convex side of the kite, the lee side, the wind must blow around the kite. This creates a suction process that attracts the kite. The board resists this force. You cut away from the kite and the power of the kite is converted into a forward movement. On the website Zeiltheorie.nl you will find more information about the forces of sailing.
Crosses or zigzags
To hit the wind, a kite surfer must zigzag against the wind. At the end of a run, the kiter “tacks” to go the other way.
3. Half wind (across the wind)
The half-wind course is the most dangerous course for kite surfers. You sail at an angle of 90 degrees on the wind. With the perfect half-wind course, after you have tacked, you will end up at the same point that you left.
4. Large wind (downwind)
The generous wind course is the opposite of the up-and-down course. You go diagonally with the wind. If you start with a water start you always start with a downwind course. You do this to make speed.
Crosses or zigzags
You must also zigzag with the wind when you are kitesurfing. If you turn around, you don’t tack, but then you slip. A pipe is therefore turning with the wind. Tacking is turning against the wind.
5. Prior to the wind (with the wind)
Kitesurfing exactly in the same direction as where the wind comes from. That is sailing for the wind. It is impossible to park your kite when you are sailing in the wind. You then sink into the water because your kite is flying towards “the edge of the window” and no longer delivers any power. To prevent this, you can continue to run your kite to continue generating power.
Sailing at the wind is not efficient and certainly not comfortable. This is the least risky course in kite surfing.
Sailing directions kite surfing: Speed and courses
If you do not point the board downhill with snowboarding, you will never get speed. With kite surfing this is nothing else. Point the point of the board “downwind” – with the wind – and you get speed. If you keep going down hill for too long or downwind, you will get too much speed. If you steer your board too hard against the wind at a headwind course, you will lose your speed and sink back into the water.