7 kitesurfing beginner tricks you can learn quickly

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A kitesurfer performing a carving turn

As an aspiring kitesurfer, I have been wondering what kitesurf beginner tricks I can learn as soon as I can kitesurf independently. Let's be honest, as beginners we want to be able to perform at least a few cool tricks that are easy to learn so we can show them to our friends. I searched online and spoke to Tobias Mårtensson, who is an approved kitesurf instructor at Frozen Palm Tree, a kitesurf school in Denmark, to hear which tricks we beginners can learn easily and quickly. Let's look at it, shall we?

Could sail upwind

Before we even think about tricks or freestyle, we need to be able to sail upwind without problems, this means you kitesurf upwind instead of with the wind. Of course, you are not literally sailing against the wind, as that would be impossible, but you are going upwind at an angle of 10 – 15 degrees in a zigzag pattern.

When you can sail upwind (which in Danish is called holding height), you don't have to go back to where you started surfing from. Some call this the "walk of shame" (but it's not a shame at all, we all have to start somewhere) when you can surf upwind, you can sail the same line on the water without having to go back each time, which saves you a lot of time, and gives you more time to try more (beginner) tricks – cool!

If you still have trouble sailing upwind. In the video below, can you get some tips from Blake on how to sail upwind:

Upwind turns

Now that you can sail confidently upwind, upwind turns are a must. This allows you to turn around quickly without making large turns, which can take a long time.

This video teaches you how to do upwind turns:

Change from heelside to toeside sailing

Being able to switch quickly from heelside to toeside is another trick you should learn and it's not hard to learn. In fact, you need to learn how to switch from heelside to toeside because you will need to switch positions in many situations. Once you learn this shift, you'll be ready to perform more difficult tricks!

But what does it mean to sail heelside and toeside? You sail heelside when your heels point upwind and you sail toeside when your toes point upwind. In short, you turn your lower body 180 degrees without moving your upper body.

Here you see Jeff and The Hulk (not a joke) showing how to sail toeside.

Butter wear

Some say butter slide is the easiest trick in kiteboarding. I can't tell if it is, but it looks good in pictures. The key to this trick is to come in with a lot of speed and do the rest just like yourself.

Blake gives you a guide on how to learn the trick in this video:

Learn to make grabs

Holding onto the kiteboard (grabs) while jumping looks impressive, especially for those who don't know how to kitesurf. Fortunately, it is not difficult to learn. (you can probably learn one already today). There are different "grab" variations, someone has made a list of the most common ones. You might invent your own grab in the future, if you do, be sure to drop me a line.

Instead of giving you instructions on how to do the different grabs, I suggest you watch this video with Jake Kelsick showing you how to do some of them:

Carving swing

Learning how to carve turns gives you more options when turning. Not only are they easy to learn, they look good too. With a little balance, good timing and the necessary knowledge of how to use your kite, you can learn carving turns the next time you are out on a session.

This video goes in depth with the previously mentioned factors and shows you how to develop your carving swing.

Small and medium jumps and transitions (turns in the air)

Do you want to be able to jump 20 meters into the air, so do I, but we should start smaller and learn the basics behind the different tricks. Fortunately, there are many beginner jumps and transitions. Although jumping is fun, being able to do flips in the air is even cooler.

Let's start with small and medium jumps first. This video goes over how to jump and the most common mistakes:

When you have control of your jumps, you are ready to make turns in the air, also called transitions. Jake Kelsick shows you how in this video:


As we can see, there are many tricks that are easy for us beginners to learn as soon as we can sail independently. Many of the tricks are not only easy to learn, such as sailing upwind, sailing heelside and toeside, they also look good. Especially carving turns, small jumps, between jumps and grabs.

Which of the mentioned tricks do you want to learn? Or do you have other tricks that should be listed? Write it in the comment field below.

See ya!


Reviews (1 comment)

  • Freddy On

    Fed blogpost! Jeg vil tilføje Backroll.

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