Big airs in kiteboarding: speed means more hang time | Photo: Red Bull King of the Air

Kiteboarding jumps require a lot of training, knowledge of the wind, timing and control. Know when it's time to pull the bar to fly high, and max out your hang time.

Remember that speed is critical if you're aiming at the biggest kiteboarding air of all time. The faster you ride, the higher you'll fly. So find a nice flat water spot, free of obstacles, with steady winds.

Details matter. For example, getting your shoulders even or behind your hips will give you edge control and higher jumps. Shoulders must also move in the direction you're flying.

1. Get fast: keep the kite fully powered between 10 and 11 o'clock (more or less 45 degrees), and reach medium-to-high speed.
2. Prepare to jump: carve upwind, leave the kite at a 45-degree angle, pull the bar, and get the kite smoothly at 12 o'clock.
3. Hang time: hold the bar at full power, and let the kite navigate between 12 and 1 o'clock, above your head; you'll swing like a pendulum.
4. Descent: spot your landing, and steer the kite forward, letting the bar out slowly; prepare to bend your knees for impact.
5. Landing: get the board downwind, touch down and re-set your upwind edge.

Large kites don't necessarily mean big airs. If you build up speed nicely and move your body away from the downwind line while pulling the bar, you'll jump up to 40 feet.

Finally, ride with seat harnesses, in 15-knot plus winds, and find small water ramps that will help boost air time. Remember to ride with friends around. Don't jump over piers or any other coastal barrier.

Whether you think of a kite as a wing or a sail, you want it to be lightweight, resistant, waterproof, but also stiff and flexible at the same time, so that they could respond to all flight requests.

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