Basic tricks every strapless kitesurfer should learn Update 07/2021

Kiteboarding tricks are a great way to improve your kiteboarders’ journey.  If you’re just starting out, it can be tricky to know where and how to start learning some of these essential moves.  

The good news is that there are tons of tutorials available on the Internet for those who want to learn! Whether it’s one trick or all of them, this blog post will give you an overview of what’s possible with a little bit of practice and perseverance.

What I really love about this sport is that there’s always something new to learn; no matter how experienced you are, there will always be more in store for you!

Kiteboarding Tricks For Beginners 

1.Air Swaps

The air swap is a great trick for the beginner kiteboarder, because it can quickly be learned and performed.

The wind window that you need to do this is pretty small which means in most cases you’re going to be able to perform it on a board within 30 minutes of learning how.

To perform an Air Swap, set up a kite loop with your board on the ground. Ideally you want to pull the slack out of the lines for this trick, however if it is too early in the learning process just leave some slack in them. You’re going to be swapping feet, so step completely across the board with one foot and push that foot through until it is on the other side. As you step on the edge of the board, pull in so that your kite loops over to its new position.

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The air swap can be used for an instant speed boost. It is commonly known as a speed launch due to ther ability to give you quite a sudden burst of speed. When doing this trick, stand facing downwind (or even slightly upwind) and hop on the edge of your board with one foot. As the kite loops over to its new position, seize the bar as you step back down onto your board.

The air swap is a good trick for warming up or cooling down after riding for some time as it gives you a nice gentle ride which is also good for your muscles!

2.Ride The Tip Of The Kiteboard

As it’s name suggests, this trick sees you riding up the edge of your kiteboard. It is a relatively easy trick to learn and can be used frequently as well as being performed on every board type.

To perform ride the tip, make sure that your bar has some slack in it so that you can pull down more easily. This trick is simular to the air swap, in terms of needing a small wind window. Ride forward (or backwards) for 15m/20ft until you have a kite loop and pull the bar toward you so that your kite loops over to its new position.

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To perform this trick attempt to get your board on an edge by leaning forward and pulling down on the back of your kiteboard. Keep moving slightly forward until you’re riding up the edge of the board.

This is a great trick for building confidence as it can easily be reversed if you come unstuck at any point.   If your kite starts to drift off from its loop, simply release tension on your bar and your kite will go back to its loop.

3.Burble Roll

The burble roll is a tough trick for the beginner kiteboarder to learn and it will take a long time to perfect, however if you like rolling this can be very useful to add into your tricks.

The wind window for this trick needs to be pretty big in order to practice the initial part of it, but once you have this part down, the bar can be pulled in to change its direction.

To get into this trick first of all you need to be riding up your kiteboard and then leaning backward while on an edge. You will always want to initiate the trick by leaning back as far as you can for maximum aerodynamic compression which is what causes the ‘burble’.

Once you have done this and your body is positioned in an almost vertical position, pivot forward on the edge of the board. You will need to lean further forward than normal, as well as pulling down on your kiteboard. As soon as you pull down on it, jump off by pushing against the top part of the board. You will then land back on the board as it rolls under you.

The burble roll is another trick which can be reversed by releasing tension in your bar. If you feel that the spin is getting to much for you, simply take a small amount of pressure off and ride out the rest of the rolling motion on your board.

4.Gazelle Roll

The gazelle roll is similar to the burble roll in terms of it being an important part of learning how to roll. It also requires a large wind window in order to get a full rotation.

Another reason that this trick is useful, is that when mastered, you are able to change rolls mid-air – thus increasing your repertoire of tricks.

8 basic tricks every strapless kitesurfer should learn

Getting into a gazelle roll is very similar to getting into the burble roll, however you do not lean back as far. The starting position sees you standing straight up with your arms down by your side and your kite looping over in front of you (obviously moving with the wind). Place both feet on either side of the kiteboard with one a little behind the other.

To perform this trick, lean forward to compress your body while simultaneously pulling down on your bar to loop the kite over and initiate the roll. Pivot backward (turning all three points of contact into heelside) as soon as you pull down, whilst leaning further back. Keep leaning back so that your body position is almost vertical and jump off the kiteboard as you lean.

You will then land on your feet in what feels like a regular aerial. From here you can either continue to spin by changing rolls with your bar, or you can do a tiptoe stance until the momentum from the spin runs out.

5.Flying Bowtie

The flying bow tie is an excellent trick to learn as it links together the roll with a 360 spin.

This makes for an interesting maneuver and when you’ve got the hang of these two tricks, you can even try to change from one into the other mid roll or mid air! To get your body into position for this trick, you can either ride up your kite so it’s looping over in a bow, or if there is enough wind you can simply stand and reach down to loop it over as far as you can.

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Once this upwards motion has been achieved, lean forward slightly with arms by your side (you will want to keep at least one arm on the bar for this trick) and pull down on your bar with at least one hand.

As you lean forward jump off the kiteboard as you take a step back. You will land on an edge and then pivot into the roll motion by leaning further back in a similar way to the gazelle roll. You will be able to change from rolling onto the heelside of the board, to rolling onto the toeside.

6.Shark Bite 360 Air Roll

This trick is a combination of two powerful moves rolled into one. The shark bite 360 air roll sees you starting off by standing tall (straight up) with both feet set shoulder width apart in front of you, arms by your side and kite looping around in a ‘bow’.

The first part of the trick involves leaning back slightly and pulling down on your bar as you jump off the board into a back loop. As soon as you land, you will want to continue leaning back whilst pivoting some weight onto the toeside of the kiteboard while facing forward.

Once this is done, simply roll from heel to toe and finish with a tiptoe stance. The shark bite 360 air roll can be performed either with the kite loop over in front of you, or behind your back. The only difference is that if you start off by doing it backwards, then when you are rolling from heel to toe and landing on an edge, you will need to turn around slightly so that it’s facing forward.

7.Camel Spin Twist

The camel spin twist is a great trick for doing mid-air tricks such as the half cab or back flip. Coming from a roll, you can set yourself up for this move by either leaning slightly forward and reaching down to loop your kite over behind your back, or standing tall with the kite looping over in front of you. Make sure that your arms are by your side as you jump off your kiteboard and lean forward just a little.

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When the kite is fully extended out from behind you, bring your legs up to meet it as you swing them over at the same time. Your torso should be parallel to the ground with one arm on the bar for support.

The turning motion should lead to a backwards summersault with your legs fully extended and the kite/shoulders of your back facing forward. After doing this you will land on an edge so you can perform another trick or simply take off again if there is enough wind, into another roll!

8.Surfer 360 Air Roll

This signature Kahuna move is one of the most well known tricks in kiteboarding. It is a combination of an arcing back roll with a 360 spin, and can be started off either by standing straight up or leaning slightly forwards with your arms by your side.

The first part of this trick involves jumping off the board to land on an edge as you lean back and pull down on your bar.

As soon as the board is in the air, jump off it so that your body lands facing forward whilst swinging your arms over to meet your kite. You will land with one arm extended out holding onto the bar for support once again. To complete this move you simply need to lean back onto your heelside and bring the board around towards you so that it’s facing forwards once again.

9.Tail Slide Backflip

This trick is a little more technical than most, however it’s one of the coolest looking ones you can do on your board!

The tail slide backflip starts off with a tailslide in to an air roll. Stand upright with both feet set wider apart than shoulder width and arms by your side as you jump off your kiteboard.

This technique is also commonly referred to as a ‘front roll with backflip’. To do so, you’ll need to reach your kite all the way around behind your back and hold onto the bar with one hand whilst letting go of the other side of the kite. As soon as you’re in this position, jump off the board and push yourself back into a tailslide, dropping the kite over the back of you as you do.

As soon as you land on an edge, grabbing your bar with both hands pull down so that it is fully extended out behind you. Now jump up and throw your legs forwards while flipping backwards to complete the move!

Conclusion:

All of these moves are great for kiteboarders looking to improve their aerial skills. I personally prefer the air roll as it’s a lot easier to do and is quick enough that if you don’t like what you’ve done, you can always pull back with an edge or push up on your bar.

Practice makes perfect!