Kite Theory and Wind: Upwind and Downwind, Wind Directions, Port and Starboard

When kiteboarding, we shall work with the wind and not against it. To do it, it is important to understand and follow the basic principles of nature and make good use of them.

Let us see now some Nautical and Kite Terms that we should know when doing kitesurf.

Wind Terms

Windward (upwind) and Ieeward (downwind)

Windward is the direction upwind from a point of reference, while Ieeward is the direction downwind from a point of reference.

Gaining ground/losing ground

Gaining ground means to move upwind from a _point of reference,
losing ground is to move downwindfrom a point of reference.


The wind blows from the shore to the water


The wind blows straight onto the shore line.


The wind blows parallel to the shore line.

Side onshore, Side offshore

Wind directions in between the main directions.

Other Terms: Port (Left), Starboard (right), Port Tack, Starboard Tack

Are n utical terms and refer to the left and right sides of a ship, as perceived by a person facing the front.

Port (left)

It is the left side of a vessel (seen by a person facing the front) and is indicated by the colour red (at night with navigation lights).

Starboard (right)

It is the right side of a vessel (seen by a person facing the front) and is indicated with thecolor green (at night with navigation lights).

Port tack

Describes the alignment of a vessel with the wind. lf the wind is from port (left), the vessel is on port tack.

In kiteboarding: left hand in the front = port tack).

Staboard Tack

If the wind is from starboard (right), the vessel is on starboard tack. In kiteboarding: right hand in the front = starboard tack).

Required space when kiting

The possible radius a kite can move, is in direct relation to the length of the  ines. The distance towards another kitesurfer, or any other object can easily be misinterpreted.

TIP: Train starting and landing and try to steer the kite perfectly in the hands of a helper.