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A Beginner’s Guide to Kitesurfing Terminology – Part Two

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A Beginner’s Guide to Kitesurfing Terminology – Part Two

Here at F-One, we know just how difficult it can be to learn to kitesurf, particularly when alien words are thrown into the mix. We started our ultimate A-Z guide with part one, a recently uploaded blog that can be found here (link to part one). Make that first lesson a little less daunting with the definition behind each term or let us provide a point of reference the next time your browsing an online kitesurfing forum and need a little guidance. Below you’ll find the meanings behind terms beginning with M-Z – feel free to share this blog with a friend that needs to brush up on their lingo!

Kitesurfer using F-One equipment

Mobe: a mobe is a sort of blanket term for a variety of wake-style tricks. The name comes after the specific trick of a mobe was the first of its kind to have ever been landed. Other types have now extended to include mobe 720, crow mobe and moby dick. 

Nuking: this refers to the conditions on the water. Specifically, winds of 30 – 40 knots, which are extreme and dangerous for most riders.

Offshore: a versatile term that can be used across all types of water sports, it means the wind is blowing at the water from the direction of the shore. This can be dangerous for kite surfers but is less of an issue in smaller bodies of water. 

Onshore: as you might expect, the opposite of off shore and refers to the wind blowing perpendicular to the shore from the water. It can be challenging in the presence of waves, particularly for beginners. 

Overhead waves: a term surfers will be all too familiar with, this is in reference to the size of the waves, which must be two or more metres from the water surface to the peak of the wave break.

Overpowered: this occurs when a rider gets too much power from a kite, perhaps as a result of a change in conditions or using a kite that is not suitable for the conditions.

Pop: a pop usually occurs when the kite is at 45 degrees and height is gained using only the board and tension from the lines. This is considered as an essential skill for progression and is used as a starting point for various tricks.

Port: as sailors can attest, this refers to the left side of the board when a rider is facing the front.

Power up: a sudden or unexpected increase in power as a result of higher winds or the movement of the kite.

Re-Launch: a literal term for “getting back on the horse”, this refers to getting the kite back in the air unassisted following a crash on land or water. Modern kites will usually have features to help riders to do so.

Schlogging: much like to slog means working hard over a long period of time, schlogging means the rider has virtually no power and they are bouncing from skimming the surface to being dragged through the water.

SLE: the supported leading edge is specifically for a C-shaped kite with an inflated leading edge which allows for massive de-power.

Side Shore: when the winds blow parallel to the shore. Usually the best kind of direction for kite surfers.

Spreader bar: a piece of kit that attaches to a kitesurfing harness.

Starboard: another nautical term, but this time referring to the right side of the board when the rider is facing forward.

Stomp: the act of successfully performing and landing a trick. For example, spectators might watch a particularly impressive manoeuvre and say, “they absolutely stomped it”. 

Tack: this refers to the direction in which a rider is sailing in. With normal riding, this is as close to head on to the wind as possible.

Tea-Bagging: lack of wind, unskilled flying or twisted lines lead to popping in and out of the water.

Toe Side: a side of the board where the rider’s toes are located. 

Twin Tips: a type of board that comes in a range of shapes and sizes to suit all abilities. Browse our collection of Twin Tip boards, here.

Underpowered: as the term might suggest, this is when a rider gets insufficient power from the kite. This is usually a result of a lack of wind, equipment that is too small, incorrect rigging or not riding fast enough. If you see a rider continuously diving the kite and attempting to re-launch, he or she is likely to be underpowered because of one of the factors mentioned above. 

Upwind: this is the direction from which the wind blows from. This is also sometimes referred to as windward or into the wind.

Walk of Shame: the act of walking back upwind to where you originally launched the kite, usually following a spectacular bail or unfortunate collision. 

Wind-Dummy: also known as a Guinea pig, someone “takes one for the team”, gets kitted up and hits the open water to see if it is worth the others following suit.

Wind Window: this is a common term that is likely to be used from the first lesson and refers to the 120-180-degree arc of the sky downwind of the rider where the flight can be flown most effectively. If a rider is facing downwind on a flat surface, such as a lake, the wind window will refer to nearly everything the rider can see from their peripheral vision, along the horizon to one side and directly overhead back to the other. If the rider manages to place the kite out of the window, the kite will stall and frequently fall until it finds itself back in the window.

Zenith: this is a specific location within the wind window that is directly above the head of the rider. The zenith provides a neutral position where kitesurfers can place the kite to stop moving or before movement. This means the kite is at the most risk of a Hindenburg – see part one – more than any other position.

That concludes the second and final part of our guide to kitesurfing terminology. We hope this has provided some insight into the world of kitesurfing ahead of your first lesson or reminded you of some key terms that may help you better understand the jargon spoken by other riders when out on the water. If you’d like any help in buying the latest equipment with modern safety features that enhance the kitesurfing experience, don’t hesitate to contact the passionate and experienced team here at F-One, who would be more than happy to help.