How To: Tack Jibe a Surfboard with Luke McGillewie

RRD Team rider Luke McGillewie shows us how to tack a surfboard or race board.

Luke McGillewie shows us how to tack a kiteboard/surfboard

For best results, you should already be able to perform the basic gybe transitions before learning this maneuver.

The Tack is a useful move for changing direction without losing downwind ground. This move can prove extremely handy when trying to get out past breaking waves or during course racing.

Luke McGillewie Tack Jibe from Luke McGillewie on Vimeo.

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Becoming A Kite Boarder


There are Many Idea’s and opinions on how to start kiting but if you seriously committed about becoming a kiteboarder, these steps will save you money, frustrations and get you on the water sooner than you imagine.

1. Get a Trainer Power Kite (unless you already know how to fly a power kite)

This step is the most crucial for learning quickly. It will also save you money (and frustration) by cutting down on extra kite lessons.Trainer kites are smaller and simpler than full-sized kites. They will teach you the basics on land before heading out to the water. You won’t have the distraction of the board so you will only be learning the basics of kite flying. Trainer kites are usually 2 line foil kites ranging in size from 1 to 3 meters. Go for a good size such as 3 meters. Trainer kites provide the basic knowledge of kite control and power zones of the wind window. You will need to to perfect this kite control before moving to a larger power kite.

It’s best to get a trainer kite instructional DVD to practice your skills along with your new Trainer kite.

2. Strengthen your Board Skills

Sports such as wakeboarding, skateboarding, a day at the cable park,  will all improve your kitesurfing board skills. Any experience you have with these sports will speed up your time learning to kiteboard. The benefit of having strong board skills is that now you can focus on flying the kite instead learning to ride the board at the same time. Ways to get good fast? Wakeboarding (either board or cable park). Hop on a long skateboard or mountain board and practice carving down hills. Snowboard any chance you get as this is great for improving your edge control and ability to ride switch (back foot forwards).

3. Take a Lesson – critical step!

Lessons will cut your learning curve down considerably. Find a qualified instructor and they will fast track your learning and make the experience fun. He or she will be able to give you hands-on instruction for the technique and gear you will need to progressYou can learn a lot from the tutorials we have here but they will not replace having an in-person lesson. Just to say it again, lessons are not just valuable – they are critical for avoiding kitesurfing accidents which result in injury to yourself, others and the reputation of our sport.

4. Use the Right Kite Surfing Equipment for your needs

Using the kite instructors gear before buying a full-size kite is a smart move. You will save wear-and-tear on your gear as the first few times you will most likely crash the kite a few times. This is not a big deal with the foil trainer kites, but the bigger kites need more care.

They will explain to you the differences between different kite shapes and sizes so you will know the right gear to buy. But make sure they understand the type of kitesurfing equipment that is right for you. This means getting the gear best suited for your skill level, size and kite conditions. Too many beginner kitesufers buy gear that isn’t right for them. Take some time to read through this site so you so you can get the right gear the first time.

In review:

1. Get a trainer kite package – and practice

2. Strengthen up your Board skills.

3. Take a Lesson

4. Buy the right gear for your needs


How to choose the right kite school

Here are some things to compare when selecting an instructor or school. Not all instruction is equal; it is in your interest to find the best training available. Bottom line, don’t take things for granted, do your homework, and get the most out of your training.

1. Is the instructor certified by a recognized training organization? (PASA , IKO , REAL, BKSA or similar)
2. How long has he/she been professionally teaching kiteboarding?
3. What is the instructor-to-student ratio?
4. What are his lesson plans, anticipated skill progression and time requirements for you, considering your related experience, physical condition and predicted wind/conditions?
5. Is training self-sufficient kiteboarders a primary goal?
6. Is the training area suffi ciently large, uncrowded and away from hard objects?
7. Does he have liability insurance? Is the business registered?
8. Does he use a chase watercraft (boat, jetski, kayak) and radio communications?
9. Try to schedule your lessons when conditions are appropriate for learning: 12 to 18 knots, side to side-onshore.
10. Do you communicate well and comfortably with the instructor?
11. Watch a class. What did they accomplish? Did it appear well organized and effective? What do the students think about the experience?
12. Has the instructor dealt with student injuries? If so, what are his emergency procedures?
13. Is new, well-maintained equipment used with current safety systems along with helmets and impact vests?
14. Can he offer any discounts on the purchase of kiteboarding gear?
15. Is he affiliated with the local kiteboarding association?
16. Cost is an important consideration but not the most important consideration. Effective instruction can save you a lot of time, frustration and possibly injury or damaged equipment.