Kitesurfers School | Kiteboarding Lessons

Body Dragging Upwind | Bodydrag Exercise for Upwind Kiteboarding

If you are going to kite in over chest-deep water, then the upwind body-dragging downwind technique is a necessary maneuver every kiteboarding beginner should learn.

If you kite in shallow water, you will have less drag (back drag) than if you were in deep water. If you want to get back drag, all you have to do is pull your body towards the board. 

Once you get your body pulled in, let the kite fly forward and it will naturally start to drag you back.

Upwind Bodydragging To Retrieve Your Kiteboard

This is just one of the kiteboarding techniques that beginners should get used to quickly in order to improve their kite control. With some practice and patience, this will be a safe, fun, exhilarating and exciting sport for anyone who decides to take a chance and give it a try.
You can also retrieve your board by dragging upwind. This will allow you to return it to your original position. It also makes it easy to get out of the water when the wind is blowing in a different direction. This is the same ground you all covered when you took your beginner’s lessons.

How To Kite Pilot, Launch and Land

As it affects how fast you can drag upwind, the position of your kite in the windows will also have an impact on how much you can do with your body. These principles are almost identical to riding on the board.

Strive for the top

Your kite will lift you out of the water using the kite’s lift. This can be done by placing it high in the window between 11.30-12.30 depending on your direction. The kite will lift you up slightly, but it may push you in the opposite direction to your best intentions

Keep it Low

It would be a better idea to fly your kite closer to the water. However, this will depend on your skill level and the power of your kite. You can easily get your head down and plow through the water with plenty of power. 

This has the downside that the water will be very… wet. It is also easier to lose your orientation and, therefore, your board.

So, flying the kite between 10 and 11.30, 12.30 and 2 o’clock is your best option. This will allow you to control the kite’s power and allows you to position yourself in the water. It also gives you the opportunity to tank upwind, which gives you some room for error.

Fly The Kite With One Hand

It is important to be able to fly the kite using one hand. You only need to pull the bar until the back lines are tight. If you don’t feel the bar is giving you enough power, you can still control the kite by moving the handle up and down between these times.
Try pulling in power in light winds. Your kite will not fly forward to the side of the window but will instead stop and tumble.
You should not pull in too much power when your kite is flying. Your kite will fly downwind of you and will not fly to the side edges of the window. It will therefore fly more downwind than upwind.
If you allow the bar to go too high, you’ll lose power and the kite won’t be able steer. You’ll also be going nowhere fast.
The most difficult part of bringing the kite down is pulling it back up with your steering arm. You should be gentle when you first pull the kite down. If it goes too high, or behind you, it will move downwind and it will also become very difficult to guide it back up with one hand.
To lower the kite, you must lift your elbow. However, instead of pushing the bar, you should turn your wrist down as if you were opening bottles. 
Your body’s goal is to create as much resistance against the kite as possible and redirect the power into forward momentum. With practice and belief, you will be able to cut upwind at a greater angle.

Locate Your Board And Lift Your Kite

This is especially important if you are in a wavy sea. After a tumble, you must first check the location of your board. You can keep your head down and drag but there is no time pressure. Take a deep breath, stop and find your board. Once you have found it, you can begin dragging. You can drag if the sea is rough.
If you feel the kite flying from your harness, and you feel the kite pulling you upward, push the kite down. Once you feel the power pulling your body along the surface, it’s time to lift the kite up. You’ll be able save your eyes from any unwanted brine and protect your lung area.

Long or Short Turns – Slowly

Long runs are better if you have lost your board far upwind. If you find it difficult to see your kite, then short runs will be more beneficial as it is less likely that it will go missing again. 
It is important to do everything slowly when changing direction. Slowly lift the kite, then slowly move it back down. You will be unable to fly the kite in any sudden or violent movements.

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