Kiteboarding: the glossary of technical terms is knowledge

Kiteboarding is a relatively new sport with several wind terms and sailing concepts.

The kiteboarding glossary helps all levels of kitesurfer get a common language for the sport.

Discover the vocabulary of kiteboarding and learn new words:

Backing Wind - an anti-clockwise change in wind direction, i.e., North to West;

Balance Drag - a controlled downwind facing body drag, holding the kite at the 12 o'clock position;

Board Retrieval Body Drag - a controlled beam reach body drag, with the kite positioned between 10 and 12;

Board Start - the maneuver by which the pilot first rises out of the water on the board;

Body Dragging - generic term for using kite power to drag the body through the water without the board;

Boost - upward movement during a kiteboard jump;

Bow Kite - leading edge inflatable kite of shallow curvature flown with the aid of a bridle;

Bridle - lines used to support the leading edge of a kite;

C-Kite - leading edge inflatable kite with large curvature;

Carving Turn - turning within an arc performed at planning speed;

Chicken Loop - the connection point between the pilot's harness and the control bar;

Chop Hop - a small jump instigated by a wave rather than the power of the kite;

Control Bar - steering bar used to control the kite in flight;

Crosswind Body Dragging - powered body drag while flying the kite in a sine wave on one side of the wind window to produce power and direction from the kite;

Deep-Water Pack-Down - a method used to pack up the kiteboarding kit ready to be recovered from the water;

Directional Board - an asymmetric board with a nose and a tail ridden in one direction only and has to be kicked or gybed;

Diving - a term used to describe downward flight movement of the kite to generate power;

Downwind - traveling in the same direction as the wind;

Downwind Kite Down - action required by the downwind (give way) kiteboarder to avoid a collision with another kiteboarder approaching from the opposite direction;

Dump Valve - valve to release air from the kite;

Figure-of-Eight - flight pattern for the kite used to generate power in a downwind direction;

Goofy Direction - riding with your right foot forward;

Gust - momentary increase in wind speed;

Heelside Edge - edge of the board where your feet face inward;

Hybrid Lite - leading edge inflatable kite that combines the best attributes of the Bow and C-Kite designs;

Inflation - valve used to inflate the kite;

Intermediate Zone - the area of the wind window used to generate controlled power in a given direction;

Katabatic Wind - air stream that descends down a hill or mountain;

Kite Canopy - the material surface of the kite;

Landing Assistant - the person designated to help land a kite;

Larks Head Knot - attachment used to connect control lines to the kite bridle;

Launch Assistant - the person designated to help launch a kite;

Leading Edge - the front edge of the kite that meets the wind first;

Leash - bungee cord used to connect the pilot to the safety line of the kite;

Leeward - the term describing the downwind side of an object. Opposite to windward;

LEI - leading edge inflatable kite;

Lull - momentary drop in wind speed;

Neutral Zone - the area around the edge of the wind window;

Pilot - person flying a kite;

Pop - small jump created by increasing pressure on the surface of the board;

Port Tack - traveling to the left with the wind coming from behind;

Power Zone - the area within the wind window downwind of the pilot that generates the greatest force;

Pre-Flight Checks - final checks before putting the kite into the launch position;

Rail - leading and trailing longitudinal edges of the board;

Regular Direction - riding with your left foot forward;

Relaunch - a method of re-launching a LEI kite with a line attached to the center of its leading edge;

Rider - the person piloting the kiteboard;

Riding Upwind - traveling towards the wind source;

Rigging Up - assembling the equipment ready for a kiteboarding session;

Rocker - longitudinal curvature within the board;

Safety Pack Down - safe method to pack up the equipment while at sea;

Sitting Gybe - a basic turn using a twin tip board;

Starboard Tack - traveling to the right with the wind coming from behind;

Static Zone - the area within the wind window where the kite can remain still;

Toeside - edge of the board where your feet face outward. It also describes riding face-to to the wind;

Trailing Edge - back edge of the kite;

Training Gybe - basic standing turn using a twin tip board;

Training Kite - simple foil kite used to introduce basic flying skills;

Twin Tip Board - a common type of symmetrical kiteboard;

Upwind Kite Up - action required by the upwind (right of way) kiteboarder to avoid a collision;

V - a term used to describe the bottom contour shape of a board;

Veering Wind - wind changing direction in a clockwise direction, i.e., West to North;

Venturi Effect - increase in air speed caused when the wind funnels through a restricted space;

Wave Board - directional kiteboard used for riding waves;

Wind Compression - increase in air speed caused when the wind rises up over land or objects;

Wind Convergence - increase in air speed caused when the wind travels through a restricted space;

Wind Direction - the wind is described from its point of origin, i.e., a north wind comes from the North and heads South;

Wind Force - wind speed measured on the Beaufort scale;

Wind Window - the area in which a kite can fly in relation to the wind direction;

Windward - a term describing the upwind side of an object. Opposite to leeward;

The glossary of kiteboarding is available in the book "Beginners Guide to Kiteboarding," published by the International Sailing Federation Association (ISAF).

Have we missed a kiteboarding term? Send us a suggestion and exact description to editor [at]

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