The board start, also known as water start, is one of the most important moments in kiteboarding. Learn how to master the art of getting up on the kite board. The kiteboarding water start requires time and training, but you’ll rapidly learn how to angle your feet before being pulled by a kite in the wind.
Exercises To Improve Your Board Starts
Can’t put the board on your feet? Frustrated? This now thing of the past. Here’s a few things you can try at home, such as squatting and board assisted leg raises, in order to improve your board starts at the beach!
Lifting & Squatting
Gluteus maximus (your bum!) keeps your trunk upright, takes us upstairs, and lifts us in and out of chairs, but it is with the help of the hamstrings and spinal erectors that our bodies are able to perform functional movements like lifting, jumping, squatting, etc. It’s one of the main muscles you use when kitesurfing.
Lifting & squatting are the movements we need to put the board on.
Exercise Tip 1: Squats
Start squats now! When squats are performed properly, this will not only help you to put the board on your feet but also engage the ankle, knee and hip joints all at the same time and make them stronger and will perform better during your shredding sessions. Squats can help with strengthening the core too!
How to do a squat:
Stand with feet just wider than hip-width apart (use your kiteboard, if you do not have carpet down, use a sheet or cloth, so it does not scratch it), toes pointed slightly out, clasp hands at chest for balance. Send hips back and bend at knees to lower down as far as possible with chest lifted. You can swing your arms back for momentum. Press through heels back up to explode up, jumping vertically in the air.
Exercise Tip 2: Leg Raises
Stable core. Exercise using leg raises to gain a stronger core to easily keep the weight of the board on your feet, when the waves crashing on your head near the shore.
What they’re good for:
Leg raises are fantastic for working your lower abs, which is one of the harder areas to target. They also work your hip flexors.
How to do them:
With your back firmly pressed into your exercise mat, lift both legs up until they are at a 90-degree angle to your body (try using your kite board on your feet!). Lower them back down until they are just about to touch the floor and then take them back up again. You might want to place your hands under your lower back to help stop you from over-arching your back.
Exercise Tip 3: Stretching
One of the most super important tasks is stretching! Because we use the posterior chain for so many functional movements, it is an area of the body that can tighten up quickly. When tightness becomes an issue in one area, it can affect your ability to reach out for the board handle and place your feet in the straps. The gains we see in flexibility can often take months to see, work on it now! If you can’t reach your toes you are less likely to put the board on. Be clever about it and follow the exercises. If you don’t have a board yet, tie a scarf or resistance band around your ankles. Keep feet wide apart, hold the resistance and work.
Improve Your Board Starts
Follow these exercises regularly to enjoy kitesurfing even more. Do not worry, the results will come!