Retrieving a board

Sometimes kitesurfers lose their boards after a crash and get dragged downwind of it by the kite. If they are close to the board they should be able to body drag upwind to retrieve. However, sometimes they end up a long way downwind of their board, or they may not be able to body drag upwind to get it.

Here are five methods for retrieving board for another kiter.

Method 1: Grab the board while moving (difficult)

  • Head towards the board, slowing down as you approach it.

  • If the board is floating foot straps up, reach down with one hand and grab it by a foot strap or the handle.


Caution: be careful you don't snag and injure a finger on the foot strap, board edge or handle

Method 2: Do water start with their board across your knees (difficult)

  • Stop as you reach their board, bend your knees, manoeuvre the board across both your knees, then do a water start keeping your knees bent.

  • As you get out of the water and going, you can reach down with one hand and grab the board, then straighten your legs

  • You can then take the board to the kiter and leave it with them. Keep clear of any kite lines in the water.

Method 3: Use your thumbs to hold the board handle (easier, only works with boards with a handle)

  • Position their board in the water in front of you with the handle up

  • Hook your thumbs in the handle then reach up and grab the bar with your hands and dive the kite to get going.

  • Once up and going you can hold the board with one hand, but two hands on the bar is best for maintaining control of your kite

Method 4: Body drag downwind with their board in your lap

  • Position the board in your lap then use the kite to pull you downwind towards the kiter (easiest).

  • This is easier and probably faster than floundering around trying to hold a board and fly a kite and also removes the risk of dropping the board onto your own and damaging one or both.

Method 5: Use a leash or cord to tow their board

  • Disconnect your leash from your bar and attach it to their board handle or footstrap.

  • Alternatively, you can carry or a spare leash or cord attached to your harness for this.

  • Once attached, body drag or kitesurf very slowly to the kiter in the water.


Caution: Your kite is no longer secured by your safety leash if you disconnect it


Caution: It is dangerous to attach any board to you with a leash. You should be wearing a helmet to do this.