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Ride the wild winds of kiteboarding with the raddest slang that’ll make you king of the beach!

Hooked on the thrill and stoked to shred the waves?

Master these 30 gnarly terms and you’ll go from kook to kiteboarder extraordinaire.

No posers here—catch the breeze, it’s time to fly into the lingo!

Must-Know Kiteboarding Terms, Phrases and Slang:

  1. Airtime
  2. Body drag
  3. Depower
  4. Downwind
  5. Edge
  6. Freestyle
  7. Goofy
  8. Handle pass
  9. Inflatable kite
  10. Jump
  11. Kite loop
  12. Launch
  13. Leash
  14. Overpowered
  15. Pop
  16. Power zone
  17. Quick release
  18. Re-launch
  19. Session
  20. Stance
  21. Toe side
  22. Upwind
  23. Wind window
  24. Wave riding
  25. Yank and crank
  26. Zenith
  27. Board-off
  28. Chicken loop
  29. Depower strap
  30. Kitemare

#1 Airtime

The duration a kiteboarder remains in the air during a jump, often used to measure the impressiveness of aerial maneuvers. The longer the airtime, the more spectacular the trick can be.

#2 Body Drag

A kiteboarding technique where the rider is pulled through the water by the kite without standing on the board. It’s a fundamental skill for water starts and retrieving a lost board.

#3 Depower

The ability to reduce the kite’s power by adjusting the angle of attack or using the control system. Depower is crucial for managing strong winds and avoiding overpower situations.

#4 Downwind

The direction in which the wind is blowing towards; moving with the wind at your back. Kiteboarders use downwind body dragging to return to their starting point or retrieve their board.

#5 Edge

The act of tilting the kiteboard on its edge to cut through the water, allowing for upwind travel and control of speed. Edging is essential for managing the kite’s power and changing direction.

#6 Freestyle

A style of kiteboarding characterized by performing tricks and jumps, often incorporating handle passes and board-offs. Freestyle is a popular discipline in kiteboarding competitions.

#7 Goofy

A stance where the rider’s right foot is positioned forward on the board, as opposed to the regular stance where the left foot is forward. Goofy stance is a personal preference and not indicative of skill level.

#8 Handle pass

A trick in kiteboarding where the rider passes the control bar behind their back while airborne. This advanced maneuver requires precise timing and control, often used in freestyle to add flair to jumps and tricks.

#9 Inflatable Kite

A type of kite that has separate air chambers which can be inflated to provide structure and buoyancy. Inflatable kites help with flotation and relaunching when falling into the water during kiteboarding.

#10 Jump

A maneuver where the kiteboarder propels off the water and into the air, often using the kite’s lift and the board’s pop. Jumps showcase a rider’s ability to harness wind power for aerial tricks.

#11 Kite Loop

An advanced trick where the rider makes the kite perform a full loop in the sky, generating a significant pull. This leads to a dynamic and high-energy maneuver that tests the kiteboarder’s control and skill.

#12 Launch

The process of getting the kite into the air, requiring proper technique to ensure it catches the wind correctly. Launching is a critical skill that can dictate the success of the kiteboarding session.

#13 Leash

A safety device that attaches the rider to the kite, ensuring the kite doesn’t get lost if the rider loses control. Leashes serve an important role in preventing accidents and injuries.

#14 Overpowered

A situation where the kite has more power than the rider can comfortably manage, often due to strong winds. It can make handling the kite challenging and may increase the risk of losing control.

#15 Pop

Refers to the action of using the board and the tension in the kite lines to launch off the water without the aid of a wave. Pop is a fundamental technique in kiteboarding that enables riders to perform various aerial tricks.

#16 Power zone

The area in the kite’s wind window where the kite generates the most pull and speed. This zone is directly downwind of the kiteboarder and is crucial for executing high-speed maneuvers and jumps.

#17 Quick Release

The mechanism on a kite’s control bar that allows riders to immediately detach themselves from the kite in case of emergency, ensuring safety. Essential in preventing accidents when overpowered or in trouble.

#18 Re-launch

The process of getting the kite back into the air after it has crashed into the water or ground. Skilled kiteboarders can perform a re-launch quickly to minimize downtime during a session.

#19 Session

Refers to the time spent kiteboarding from starting to pack up. A “good session” implies favorable wind conditions, impressive tricks, or simply having a great time on the water.

#20 Stance

The position in which a kiteboarder stands on the board; there are different stances like regular (left foot forward) or goofy (right foot forward). Stance affects balance and control on the water.

#21 Toe side

Riding with the toes of both feet facing towards the edge of the board that’s nearest to the kite, making it a more challenging but maneuverable position. Often used for sharper turns and tricks.

#22 Upwind

The direction from which the wind is blowing; sailing upwind means moving towards the wind. Kiteboarders must master riding upwind to return to their starting point and make efficient progress.

#23 Wind Window

The 180-degree arc in front of the kiteboarder where the kite can fly, relative to the wind direction. The wind window is essential for understanding and controlling the kite’s movement, power, and position during riding.

#24 Wave Riding

Wave riding is a kiteboarding style focusing on surfing waves with a kite, where the rider uses the kite to get into position and ride the wave like a surfer. It combines elements of kiteboarding and surfing for a unique experience on the water.

#25 Yank and Crank

A term used to describe an aggressive style of kiteboarding where the rider uses the kite’s power to yank themselves off the water and performs dynamic, powerful movements or tricks. This style is all about high energy and making bold moves.

#26 Zenith

The zenith is the position directly above the kiteboarder’s head where the kite can be flown. It’s considered a neutral position, offering stability and a point of rest before maneuvers, or as a starting point when launching the kite.

#27 Board-off

A trick in which the kiteboarder literally takes their feet out of the board’s foot straps and removes the board from their feet during a jump. This advanced maneuver adds flair and demonstrates the rider’s control and skill in the air.

#28 Chicken Loop

The chicken loop is part of the kite’s control bar, a loop attached to the harness’s hook, allowing the rider to connect to the bar and control the kite. It also often features a quick-release mechanism for safety.

#29 Depower Strap

A control mechanism on the kite’s bar that allows the rider to adjust the kite’s angle relative to the wind, effectively increasing or decreasing its power. Depowering the kite is crucial for managing control in varying wind conditions.

#30 Kitemare

Slang in kiteboarding for a dangerous or scary incident, such as tangled lines, crashes, or loss of control due to strong winds. Kitemares often highlight the importance of safety measures and proper training in the sport.


What are some Kiteboarding terms for beginners?

“Airtime,” “Body drag,” and “Upwind” are some Kiteboarding terms beginners should start with. Understanding these concepts is crucial for controlling the kite and maneuvering on the water.

What are some funny Kiteboarding terms?

“Chicken loop,” “Goofy,” and “Kitemare” are some funny Kiteboarding terms that add a light-hearted element to the sport, with comical names for gear parts, stance, and mishaps.

What is a famous Kiteboarding phrase?

“Yank and crank,” is a famous Kiteboarding phrase, often used to describe the aggressive yet dynamic action of pulling on the bar and carving through the water.

Meet Rev, one of our dedicated team members who embodies the essence of sports passion. When he’s not immersed in the world of sports content creation, Rev is busy honing his skills in esports and exploring the great outdoors through activities like hiking and basketball.

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