Kiteboarding: Water Start Basics

The basics of the kiteboarding water start


I remember when I was just learning how to kite surf. I remember the hardest part was really getting the feel for the water start.  Maybe you are like me and into extreme sports.

The problem was that as soon as I did the downward stroke or “power stroke,” it would pull me onto plane but then I would lose momentum and sink back down into the water.

The problem with this is that as you are struggling with it you’re also losing ground and being pushed down wind.

You can lose so much ground just learning how to get up onto the board that it often makes it almost impossible to learn. This is because you have to get out of the water and walk back up wins in order to start the process over.  This also known as the “walk of shame.”

One guy told me that he really learned the most when he participated in a downwind a race.

At the beginning of the race, he struggle just to get up on his board. He actually learned how to do it during the race and ended up winning the race because he learned how to go straight down wind while everyone was tacking.

And usually the problem occurs because you’re board isn’t wide enough to enable you to plane for long enough to get the upward stroke for the kite completed and ready for the next power stroke.

So, I found it helps a whole lot if you have a pretty wide board when you’re first starting out.

That is of course if you don’t have a ton of wind. If you’ve got a ton o’ wind then the size of the board will matter less.

The other thing that I found absolutely helpful is that you need to lead with your head. The Water start should always have your head and shoulders come out of the water first and allow your body to follow.

A lot of people do the power stroke and allow the pull to happen but fail to push their head forward and so it causes them to skip out on their butt.

So the order out of the water should be power stroke, then head and shoulders, then legs, then waist and butt. This doesn’t mean that you leave the board behind you incidentally.

It might take some time to learn exactly how much of a power stroke to poll in the first moments of trying to water start. If you have a lot of wind and a lot of power, then you’ll need less of a stroke.


A lot of times I will simply do a very light downward stroke to get a feel for how much wind I’m dealing with then bring it back up to 11 o’clock or 1 o’clock depending on which direction I’m going in and then dive it 50% harder.

I have actually seen some guys come up out of the water using the upstroke. This is relatively easy to pull off once you’ve done a downward stroke through the power zone and failed to get out of the water.
You simply bring the kite back up to the start position a little more aggressively than you normally would and you’ll find that it will pull you up slightly and then you follow it with an immediate and intentional power stroke to create momentum.

I admit that most of this is a very feel oriented process. But, maybe a couple of these tips will help you.
Thanks for reading!

Can you say Zaashila


I know that I usually talk about winter sports and winter activities as well as hiking and all kinds of outdoor experiences. But this post I thought I would use to let you in on a little secret that most people are not aware of.

If you have ever thought about vacationing to Mexico there are a couple of places that I would highly recommend.

The primary and for most of these recommendations would have to be a Oaxaca  is a region in Mexico that is actually the poorest region that they have. My favorite resort in that region is a hotel called Camino Real Zaashila.

It is absolutely fascinating and amazing. With huge Mediterranean architecture most rooms actually boast their own private pool.

If you’ve ever thought about a pool vacation, then I would have to say this is it. The main pools offer beach entries and bar service throughout.

When you get tired of being around other people and want to retire to your room, I have great news. Many of the rooms have their own private pools too.

Now, the pools are huge. There may be 16 ft.². But, it’s a great place to chill.

Many of the hedges offer a bit of privacy as well.

I usually recommend going through Expedia to see if there’s any package deals for that particular hotel. Check on your flights in transportation and you can save even more.

I would dare to say that this particular hotel is probably as close as you can get to going to Bora-Bora without ever leaving the Western Hemisphere.

I believe that JetBlue has a flight directly into Mexico City and from there you can get a connecting flight to Hawaii. The airport is an much to look at, but being that it’s such a small secluded region it won’t matter.


Snowboarding in Winter Park, Colorado


If you love snowboarding, and you might want to take a look at Winter Park, Colorado. A few years back a Group of friends and I decided to go out to Winter Park Colorado. We had a pretty cool time. We were part of a men’s retreat, and then we decided to have some adventures afterwards.

Some of the highlights were stopping in Hot Springs to enjoy the cold and hot temperatures. One of the things that I learned however was that you shouldn’t spend too much time in the cold water. A buddy and I had a polar bear contest. I want, but I paid for it later. So here’s the deal. We decided that we would have a contest to see who could stay in the cold, icy water the longest.

What I realized pretty quickly was that after 30 seconds or so, your body pretty much goes numb. If you can make it past the tingling and needles, you could pretty much staying there forever.

Indeed I one in my friend got out before I did. About five minutes after our contest, I began to shake profusely.

Yep, you guessed it hypothermia. I ended up putting on every bit of clothing that I had in my luggage. Nothing seemed to warm me up fast enough.

It was horrible. Fast forward to running some snowmobiles and charging through the forest to 60 mph. That was definitely a highlight. We rounded out the trip with some snowboarding, but I learned the hard way that you need to take lessons first. My buddies encourage me since I had a background in water sports to go ahead and try to ride the greens and blues with them.

Without taking a single lesson, I charged the mountains in Winter Park Colorado. This led to a subacromial separation. And me laying face down while a 10-year-old asked me if I needed help.  I will never forget the sound of his snowboard coming to a stop behind my head. The swish/scrape of the ice was fully intact when he stopped close to my head, which was laying face down in the snow.

It was humiliating and painful. But, I have a story to tell my kids. Outdoor sports and snow is a great way to have fun. You just got to know what you’re doing. Take it from me learn what you don’t know before you go.  Man, I should have taken a lesson. Can’t believe I didn’t and I want to kick myself now for not having the wisdom to be clear on what I could do and what I couldn’t.

Chilli and Ice

Hey Chilli and Ice Fans… check back soon as we are preparing a pretty cool adventure blog for you.

We are headed up to the Smokies for a little back country hiking. We will let you know how it goes. Check back soon!