Riding unhooked

Riding unhooked unleashes the full power of the kite and removes your ability to depower it with the bar, which can be scary. Level: advanced.

The technique is used for both wave riding and jumping tricks.


Caution: Riding unhooked is an advanced skill for experienced kiters.

Learning to handle the kite unhooked, on the beach

    • Ensure the donkey dick is not engaged

    • Tune the kite with the depower adjustment so it flys fully sheeted

    • Pull the bar down and lift the chicken loop off the hook - you are now unhooked.

    • Step downwind along the beach to reduce the power of the kite

    • Re-hook by grabbing the chicken loop, then dropping the bar, and pulling the chicken loop back down and onto the hook. This has the effect of depowering the kite, so be careful it doesn't stall and crash

    • Grab the bar again to regain full control of the kite.

This same technique applies for unhooking and re-hooking in surf and flat water.

Here is a fantastic video of how to learn to unhook. It comes at it from a surfing angle but the same technique applies.

Why unhook?

When surfing "down the line" on a wave, being unhooked with the kite "parked" means it is not generating much pull, and being unhooked frees your body up when surfing and turning the board. You can also fine tune the kite power by pushing your arms out or pulling them in.

When jumping, being unhooked allows your body to rotate and spin free from the kite lines, which facilitates a number of advanced aerial tricks.