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Ya, front foot pretty far up and just a heel a couple of inches in from the rail. Back foot maybe 16-20" from the tail, foot more or less centered on the deck. As counter intuitive as it may sound, don't overpower with the back leg. Shift body position slightly to the rear of board while turning hips forward, and front leg almost straight and back leg bent. If you are generating plenty of speed you will be able to upwind with the proper body/board position!
Unlike raceboards where you ride the fin cluster (racers, chime in on this if I'm full of $hit) you want to ride the rail of the board when powered up.
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Not to be too picky, but it sounds like some people are giving you advice as if you were riding with straps or even a twintip. Going up wind strapless on a surfboard is totally different, and like SC-Surfer says, it sounds like "you are doing it wrong".
Move your feet as far forward on the board as you are comfortable. You don't want your board flat, you want to be riding the rail. Look at a surfboard -- it is curved at both ends. If you are pushing the tail into the water, the board is pointing downwind. You want to have both your feet on the widest section of the board and keep the tip and tail out of the water as much as possible. Do this right and you will be able to edge upwind better than most strapped in riders, who don't have the option of moving their feet around.
Once you are dropping in to the wave, move your feet back to the optimal spots for surfing.
Also, being overpowered definitely makes it harder to go upwind than being properly powered, especially on a surfboard. The only way to dump excessive power, especially when you are riding out over waves, is to bear off which pulls your downwind.
Certain kites pull harder than others. These are not ideal for use with surfboards, which are floatier and have less edgeability than twintwips. I don't know anything about Switch kites, but if the Method is their "freestyle" kite, that might be the problem. You want a kite with lots of range and depower, which generally translates into less constant pull.
It says 10M, but it's really a 9.
My technique for tacking upwind to position for the next wave ride I think might actually be completely opposite to what Paul is describing. I ride the board relatively flat and use the fins like a raceboard pushing anterior with my rear foot and pulling posterior with my front foot allowing the board to continually to try and drive into the wind while maintaining speed. When the wind is light or holey (lightwind coast day or inside at places like Crissy or lower launch 3rd) I shift weight to center/forward of board to allow it to float more of my weight without as much drag even as the planing speed edges off (due to no/lack of wind)
I am 195 and have landed on a 6, 9, 11.5 quiver for this year. This is a shift from 6 / 8 / 10 / 12 last year. The wind at the coast seems to fall into 3 types for me: nuke, strongish but up/down, and light and the 3 kite quiver seems to fit those respectively for me so far for the year. 9m has also been a great bread and butter size for those unpredictable 15 up/down to 25 type days you run across. When I'm going down the line I like to be underpowered a little bit. Also remember that wind force is exponential, so a 3 knot gust in the 20's might it feel more like a 5+knot gusts in the teens. If I weighed 160-170 assuming I rode a surfboard with good float for my weight I would probably opt for 5 / 8 / 11 or something like that to handle nuke / up-down / light respectively
That's my $.02 but everyone is very individual when it comes to all this. Hope that helps some! :]
Follow your instincts, get a smaller kite. 5M is my favorite size kite in the surf. I haven't tried a Switch Method, but the rule of thumb seems to be when you want to pull in the trim strap, it is time for a smaller kite.
Yeah, I am thinking a smaller kite and a smaller board might help the most. I currently have 7, 9, 12 (haven't flown it in a year). And the Switch 7m seems to work well for me as soon as the avg wind speed goes over 21 mph or so. I don't mind if I have to fly the kite to go upwind, as I learned kiting in socal I suppose it is time to start shoping for a 5m. I don't suppose anybody has one for sale that is in good shape?
Try a real surfboard made by people who ride the waves - Amundson, Caution, etc....many custom shapers make a great board as well - Stretch, NOE, Screwball to name a few.....the LW is good for riding in flat water/river swell.
If you have to depower your 7m, get a 5.
Get sum, Z
I am 185 lbs, rides stripless and spent all day at waddell on a 7m switch element, half depowered. If you'd been there, you'd have been fine with a 5.... Go get a method 2 and share your feedback on this forum!
So I got a 5'5'' Caution tress pass and rode it yesterday at Waddell. What an incredible difference I still could have probably used a 5m or 6m at times, but even on a 7m I could just turn the board more upwind and reduce the kite thrust. I need to get used to making turns though as the back end doesn't want to slide like the quad. I also need to get more careful with jumps as landing the board sideways to the direction of travel can blow out the fin boxes. I already got a tiny crack behind the left fin
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