Posts Tagged ‘How To’

How to Butter Slide/Nose Slide

Posted: November 22, 2013 by in How To, Jake Mitchell
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by Jake Mitchell

One of my favorite kiteboarding tricks is the butter slide, sometimes called a nose slide. It is quite easy to execute, given you have the right equipment, conditions, and a good sense of balance. Even more importantly, it looks really flashy, especially if you hold it for a long slide!

Progression Kiteboarding has a great video to get things started:

For another perspective, or if you’d prefer the butter slide dissected in Spanish:

The nose slide is executed most easily in flat water conditions, and will also look most the most pronounced. You will want to remove the fins from your kiteboard, and make sure your kite is moderately to highly powered. You can butter slide just fine in footstraps, although boots will provide better leverage. The trick is most easily done in the direction your feel more comfortable riding toeside.

Keep reading for step-by-step directions:

Our own world traveler, Nathan explains how to pack your kiteboard gear for your next vacation.  Protect your gear, Save Money, and Maximize your riding time!

Check it out here at

While kiteboarding already has a huge lightwind advantage over sports like windsurfing, everyone always wants to get the most riding time possible.  For most kiteboarders on a standard setup (12m Kite &140cm board for 175lb rider) rideable wind begins at about 15 mph.  This amount of wind is apparent because whitecaps become easily seen and prevalent on the water around 15 mph.  With this same setup jumping and powered riding will begin at around 17 mph.

2013 Cabrinha Crossbow LW Kiteboard Kite and Cabrinha Stylus kiteboard

2013 Cabrinha Crossbow LW Kiteboard Kite and Cabrinha Stylus kiteboard

One of the best things you can do to improve your lightwind riding is to become a better kite flyer.  Accomplished kite flyers can lose as much as 3 mph of wind and still be riding because they keep the kite moving in the power zone.  A good way to become a better kite flyer is simply flying in light-winds.  You can learn more in an hour of flying your kite in sub 12 winds than all your previous experience combined.  It is much more difficult to fly the kite in these winds and it is necessary to keep the kite moving.
Remember to pull in for more power when turning, then let the bar out to allow the kite to become more aerodynamic and rise in the sky.


Kiteboarding kite safety system practiceOne of the reasons I have become so enamoured with the sport of kiteboarding is the ability to constantly progress, and, relatively speaking, the ease of doing so. Take wakeboarding for example. Sure, the board skills element is very much similar. However, throwing that front-roll comes at a much higher cost behind a boat than underneath a kite – due largely to the increased speed, you can really manage to hurt yourself. With kiteboarding, you can throw some pretty flashy tricks without the risk of serious injury. Therecovery time also tends to be far less – a usual botched attempt requires only a quick kite relaunch. Even with this accessibility, adding tricks to your kiteboarding repertoire can seem like a daunting task – and in reality, some are certainly going to be. But fortunately, a lot of your beginner and intermediate tricks are not that way, and this article is designed to help identify and remove those barriers that are holding you back from progressing while on the water.

1. Being comfortable with your kite

One of the most common problems people encounter when trying new things in kitesurfing is not being completely comfortable with their gear. With a few notable exceptions, kiteboarding kites have become very safe, possessing huge depower ranges and safety features to further eliminate power. But in order to benefit from these modern features, you have to know how to use and deploy them, and how to re-engage them as well. This means pull that QuickLink system, push the CPR system, identify the flagging line and engage it. Try it in low and high winds. Now safely reset it. Practice self-rescuing. Try to reverse launch your kite. Unhook your kite and let the bar go. Now get hooked back in and relaunch. Practice self-landing using the safety systems. Of course, do all this on a day when you have the beach largely to yourself, and ideally have someone there who can help coach you through it. Once you’ve gotten really comfortable with your kite, you’ll find yourself attempting tricks with a whole new level of confidence.


Waiting for wind for kiteboardingSo, you’ve decided to get into kiteboarding or kitesurfing. You’ve signed up for your kiteboard lessons. You’ve contacted to get help with selecting the right gear. You’ve already made friends down at your local, kiteboarding or kitesurfing beach. You’re pretty well on your way, right? Almost… Do you happen to have a girlfriend, wife or significant other? If so, you need to sit them down right away and “have the talk”.


Here at MACkite boardsports center we are often asked this time of year, “What size snowkite do I need?” On most occasions my reply is, “What kind of snowkiting?” While I usually try not to answer a question with another, the terrain and style of riding will dictate the type and best kite size.

With kitesurfing, the kiteboard kite size is mostly dependent on wind Snowkiting with a Cabrinha kiteboarding kitespeed and rider weight. The more wind, the smaller the kite; larger the rider, larger the kite. For kiteboarding on water you must reach a planing speed in order to stay atop the water; this is not the case for snowkiting as you will remain on top of the snow regardless of the speed. For this reason, we often argue that snowkiting is easier to learn than kiteboarding on water. It allows the rider to focus on kite skill and riding position rather than just the logistics of boardstarts and relaunch. Snowkiting also allows the rider to practice with less power making it safer and less intimidating. Learning on water in 18mph wind requires a 12m kite such as a Cabrinha Switchblade for a normal rider. With the same rider and wind speed on snow, it is fully possible to ride with a 5m kite such as the Cabrinha Vector.


When getting into kiteboarding, there are a lot of different things to consider. These range from choosing an appropriately sized kite, selecting the right board, deciding between a seat or waist harness, oh — and putting it all together. As kitesurfing does require a sizable initial investment, it will occur to people to try to reduce the cost by skipping lessons or forgoing a trainer kite. However, kiteboarding not only has a steep learning curve, but can quickly become very dangerous to not only you, but an entire beach, if you aren’t properly trained. Furthermore, you can easily ruin your gear, and investment, by skimping on the learning process. I ruefully admit that I self-taught myself, and in the process managed to shred a kite bladder, get uncontrollably dragged down the beach by a looping kite, and struggle much longer than I would have if I had just taken a darn kite surfing lesson!

The HQ Beamer kiteboarding trainer kiteOne of the first things I recommend for people considering trying the sport of kite surfing is to invest in a trainer kite. They range in price from $80 for a basic model like the HQ Symphony TR II 1.7m Trainer to $300+ for more specialized kites including the Prism Tensor 4.2 Kiteboarding Trainer / Power Kite, and in turn end up saving you time, money, and from damaged equipment.