Safe Kiteboarding: Tips for Slowing Down and Stopping

Chris Lagao
Author Image
When I first started kiteboarding in 2012. I was hooked right from the start. I loved being able to be out on the water, exploring, and just having fun. It's a great way to get away from all the responsibilities of everyday life and just enjoy some time on your own.
How To Slow Down or Stop Kiteboard
BackingWind is supported by our readers. When you purchase through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission.

Are you having a hard time figuring out how to slow down or come to a complete stop while kiteboarding?

It can be an intimidating task, and it certainly takes some practice before mastering the maneuver.

But don’t worry – we have crafted this ultimate guide just for you! Here, we will provide detailed instructions on all of the different methods of slowing down and stopping when kiteboarding.

We’ll explain each step in detail so that anyone can become an expert in no time. With this knowledge, not only will you stay safe out on the water but also maximize your enjoyment from kiteboarding!

So what are you waiting for?

Let’s dive right into our comprehensive guide on learning how to effectively slow down or stop when riding your kiteboard!

Basic Techniques to Slow Down or Stop Kiteboard

The following basic techniques can help beginner kitesurfers slow down or stop their kiteboard quickly and safely.

Understand How to Edging the kite

Edging your kite is one of the most important skills to master when learning how to slow down or stop your kiteboard.

To edge, you’ll need to bring the bar in towards you while keeping it at a 45-degree angle and pull on it until the wings of your kite are pointing up into the air.

This will cause the power from your kite to be cut off and will help reduce speed due to less lift being created by the wind passing through your kite.

Additionally, this technique can also help turn corners more easily as edging shifts weight onto either side of your board, allowing for greater control over direction changes. When cornering with an edged kite, make sure not to let go of either side of the bar – instead, use a smooth motion that allows for gradual turns rather than sudden jerks or shocks which could disrupt balance and potentially cause falls.

With practice, controlling speed and direction with edging will become second nature!

Using the brakes or backlines

The back lines are the two outermost lines that come out of your kite and attach to either side of your bar. By pulling on these, you can reduce the power created by your kite and slow down or stop it entirely.

This technique works best when used in combination with edging as it allows for more gradual speed changes rather than sudden jerks or shocks which could disrupt balance and potentially cause falls.

To slow down using the brakes, pull gently on one or both of the back lines while edging. This will reduce the power created by your kite, allowing you to slow down gradually and maintain control over your speed.

To stop completely, pull harder on one or both of the back lines while edging until the kite is no longer creating lift. At this point, it should be safe to let go of the bar and walk off with your board or simply drop into a comfortable position in order to rest if needed.

With time and effort, you will soon be able to instinctively control your speed and direction by edging! Before long, you’ll have the capability to navigate the water with ease at a speed that is comfortable for you, as well as quickly make sudden stops or turns if necessary. Taking the time to practice this technique will give you more confidence on the board and make it easier for you to progress in kiteboarding.

Riding downwind or across the wind

Riding downwind or across the wind takes a slightly different approach than when riding upwind.

When going with the wind, it is important to keep your kite low and use edging as a way to maintain speed control. By lightly pressing on one edge of the board while making small adjustments on the bar, you can ride comfortably at higher speeds without worrying about sudden gusts of wind that could throw you off balance.

If needed, you can also slow down or stop by flying your kite back while still continuing to ride with the wind; this will create a drag force that reduces your speed until eventually bringing you to a complete halt.

However, be sure to adjust your body position accordingly when doing this since an unexpected pull from the kite could cause an unintentional wipeout!

Furthermore, always remember to stay aware of what’s happening around you and remain alert in order to avoid any potential hazards. With enough practice and dedication, mastering how to ride downwind or across the wind will become second nature – an essential skill for progressing in kiteboarding!

Letting go of the bar

When you feel confident and comfortable enough to let go of the kiteboarding bar, make sure that you do so slowly and steadily. This will prevent any sudden jerks from occurring which could result in an unintentional wipeout!

It is also important to adjust your body position accordingly when releasing the bar since it can lead to unexpected pulls from the kite. To practice this maneuver safely, try doing it over shallow water or sand where you can quickly recover if necessary.

After letting go of the bar, use your legs and arms for controlling yourself until you reach your desired spot. Make sure that you look around and pick a safe landing area prior to releasing the bar as well.

Lastly, if at any point during this process you start feeling overwhelmed or uneasy with what’s happening, aborting the maneuver is always best, and return back to your original position immediately.

By taking all these safety precautions into consideration when learning how to slow down or stop while kiteboarding, each session can be enjoyable without having too much stress involved!

Stopping Techniques

Performing a self-landing or self-rescue

Learning how to perform a self-landing or self-rescue can help you become more confident in controlling your board and kite. In order for this maneuver to work successfully, make sure that you are comfortable with the direction of the wind, and that you have enough room to maneuver.

When performing a self-landing or self-rescue, start by turning your board downwind. Keep your arms up and out in order to maintain control over the kite as you turn towards shore or shallower waters. When you are close enough to land, begin steering your kite back up into the air so that it can take off again with minimal effort when ready. You may also want to release the safety leash so that you can turn your board in any direction needed. Once you are close enough to shore, release your grip on the bar and let yourself drift onto the beach or into shallow water.

Learning how to perform a self-landing or self-rescue is important for kiteboarders of all skill levels, as it will help you stay safe and in control out on the water. While this maneuver may seem intimidating at first, practicing it regularly will make it easier and more comfortable each time, so you’ll be prepared if ever the need arises. Once you have mastered this technique, you can use it to slow down or stop whenever necessary while kiteboarding!

Using the emergency quick-release system

In the event of an emergency, you may need to quickly and safely disengage from your kite. To do this, use the safety system known as the “emergency quick-release”. This is a cord that runs from the bar to a hook on your harness, allowing you to instantly release yourself from your kite in an emergency situation. Simply pull down on the handle located near where the lines attach to your control bar and it will trigger a mechanism that releases you.

Once you’ve released yourself from the kite, it will continue to drift away from you and eventually drop onto the beach or into shallow water. Using this system is a great way to slow down and stop if ever needed, as well as provide an easy way out of any dangerous situation. Be sure to practice using your emergency quick-release system regularly so that it becomes second nature in case of an emergency.

Tips for Success

Once you feel confident in your abilities, it is important to practice stopping and slowing down techniques in a safe environment. Make sure that you understand how your equipment works and have memorized the steps for doing so correctly.

It is also important to take note of the wind and water conditions before heading out on the water as they will dictate which technique should be used. However, if those conditions change while kiteboarding, you must be prepared to make changes accordingly.

Consider taking lessons with an experienced instructor who can guide you through proper techniques and provide valuable tips for dealing with changing weather or water conditions.


Safety should always come first when kiteboarding, and it is essential to seek out professional instruction before attempting any tricks or maneuvers. Doing so will ensure you are prepared for a safe and enjoyable experience.

By learning the techniques discussed in this guide, such as proper body positioning, reading wind conditions, and understanding wind window theory, you can vastly improve your overall safety and enjoyment of kiteboarding.

Additionally, having an appropriate amount of gear specific to your skill level is also important for both comfort and safety. With these tips in mind, you will be well on your way to becoming a skilled and confident kiteboarder!

Similar Posts