Kite Loops

simplify kiteboarding kiteloops Not just for experts, kiteloops are a relatively simple maneuver that, when mastered, can add freedom and versatility to your riding.

Understanding types of kiteloops:  Kiters commonly recognize 2 different types of kiteloops, upward loops (commonly just called kite-loops) and loops initiated by turning the kite down first, known as down-loops.  Although a true kiteloop involves turning the kite in a complete circle, downward kiteloops are commonly used during direction changing and are actually only half of a loop, as the kite is left flying toward the opposite side of the wind and not brought all the way around and back to the original direction (although that is possible).

So. why kiteloops?  Many reasons… They are a powerful and smooth way to pull you through direction changes. They generate a good shot of power in light wind water starts or to get you through that big lull without stopping. They are a way to reposition the kite away from the edge of the wind while maintaining the same riding direction which is especially useful in wave riding situations. They also serve as the basis for a whole family of cool freestyle tricks including but certainly not limited to board slides, hand-drags, back and front-roll direction changes, and on the extreme end of things, getting massive and scary big air.

How do you learn how to do kite loops?

In PROKITE lessons we often learn this maneuver while bodydragging, which is a great way to figure out the kite control and know what to expect before using the loops while riding.

A good loop to start with is a downward loop. They have plenty of forward pull, but little to no lift, and will not pick you up off the water. Suppose you are heading right. Beginning with the kite about 3/4 of the way up the side of the wind window (on the right), you would steer the kite hard and steadily with the right hand, turning the kite straight down towards the water.  Continue to hold the steering steady and forcing the kite continue to rotate though the turn until it is pointed straight back up to 12 oclock, or even all the way around until it is pointed back to the right.  This is a full downward kite loop, or “downloop.”

Simple, right?

Here are some tips and what to expect:

1. Tighter radius turns will generate less power and over a shorter duration than long wide radius loops.  so believe it or not, bringing the bar all the way in, and tuning it all way and holding it tight will generally result in a less powerful pull from the kite. Also a tight turn will keep the kite higher in the sky, and closer to its original location, for a more predictable and easy to control loop.

2.  In a downloop move, the kites power will be strongest in the middle and end of the loop, and not much at all at the beginning.  Start downloops with hard tight turns, then you can ease the bar out and lose some of the power if you need as the kite comes past the midway point and though the end of the loop.  When using a downloop to change riding direction, definitely initiate with a tight turn and hold it until the kite is pointed at an angle a little higher than straight across the wind window in the opposite direction, then use a large, even full, depower to allow the kite to pass throught the center of the wind window (the powerzone) without too much pull, then sheet back in as it reaches the edge of the wind on the new direction.

3,  Be prepared for the kite to pull straight downwind during kite loops, “bear off” or point the board at least a few degrees downwind as the loop pulls to allow yourself to go with the pull of the kite.

Upward loops are similar, but the timing of the pull is generally the opposite of the downloop.  The loop is most powerful during the beginning and first half, and less in the end.  If using an upwarnd loop, start them slowly, finish them tight and fast.  If initiated quickly and with the bar in, an upwards loop will try (and usually succeed), at lifting you off the water as the kite passes through 12 oclock.   Controlling the initial power and lift of the upward loop is the key to many freestyle moves.

Kite loops are great manuevers to learn in light winds, and once mastered can be used in all conditions and for all kinds of useful reasons even in just everyday out and back cruising.  As with any new technique we can master these safely and quickly in a Lesson Session, give a call when your ready to expand your kiting potential the fast and easy way with a PROKITE LESSON SESSION.

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