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Kitefoil waterstart technique?

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Since 20 May 2011
144 Posts
Portland, OR

PostMon Oct 17, 22 5:50 am    Kitefoil waterstart technique? Reply with quote

I am curious which techniques most folks use to waterstart for kite foiling. I have a floaty Alien Air kitefoil board and usually grab the half hook with one hand, kite in other hand. Then I step on the foil wing to get the board towards me, put my front foot in the hook and rear foot on the board and dive the kite.

This worked well with a shorter mast, but is much harder with a longer mast since my foot barely reaches the foil wing.

How do folks waterstart without straps or hooks? Do you just hold the board with your free hand until your feet are in position and quickly dive the kite before the board ‘goes flat?’ This seems difficult with my high volume boar, but maybe I need to learn this for the eventual switch to a lower volume board?

Any good tips? TIA

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Since 13 Jan 2006
1760 Posts

XTreme Poster

PostMon Oct 17, 22 6:59 am     Reply with quote

A floaty board is actually much more difficult to water start without straps than a thin sinker that is mostly sunk on its side lower in the water. Lots of methods to do this though.

Being tall, what worked best for me was to put my front foot on the deck--board perpendicular to surface--and my rear knee in roughly the centerline of the rear of the board. This prevents the board from rolling back to flat. Dive kite and switch rear from knee to foot. Being tall, holding the board on its side with one hand was pretty uncomfortable for me.


BUT, and take this in stride with wherever you are in your progression, a low volume kitefoil board is an order of magnitude EASIER to start than a big floater.

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Since 21 Jun 2015
436 Posts
White Salmon

PostMon Oct 17, 22 7:28 pm    Less volume seems to be key Reply with quote

I agree with the less volume theory.

Last year I rode a janky repurposed twin tip with a Cloud 9 foil bolted on. One front strap. 33” mast. It was easy to waterstart. The rat board rocked.

This year, I switched to a Dwarfcraft with a ghost whisper 105 mast and the 679. And it has given me fits waterstarting on my weak side. The extra buoyancy makes it hard to pull the tail under, point downwind, and roll up onto the centerline.

I figured having some volume would help me while I work on my foot switches, and while I’m digging the performance upgrade on the foil, (upwind, speed, glide) I feel like I was riding better at the end of last year on the old setup.

Granted, I got many more hours in last summer, and Covid this summer. The easterlies these past few weeks have paid dividends on the new set up.

I see a smaller, low volume board in the near future.

Pull the cork.

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