The dictionary on kitesurfing gives the definition of all the technical terms related to kitesurfing. It is also a glossary that translates the English vocabulary in French kiteboard. Technical terms are explained in detail for a beginner to start kiteboarding in good conditions. It is a practical lexicon to watch again and again as soon as you lack a vocabulary word.
Air Style - Often referred to as "old school", Air Style is making a resurgence, focusing on hangtime, style, sliding, variation, flying, and most importantly, the show. Pioneers of the style include Toby Braeuer and Aaron Johnson
Air time - The amount of time spent in the air while jumping, air time also commonly referred to as "hang time". Air Time Kite is also the name of our go-to company for kite repair and bladder and valve replacement
Airfoil - This refers to a wing, kite, or sail used to generate lift or propulsion.
Angle Of Incidence (AOI) - This is the angle which the kite takes compared to the wind direction.
AOA, Angle of Attack - Also known as the angle of incidence (AOI) is the angle with which the kite flies in relation to the wind. Increasing AOA generally gives more lift.
Apparent wind - In plain speak, apparent wind is the kite's speed relative to the surrounding air. When kitesurfing in a straight line, the kite's apparent wind is a combination of not only the wind speed, but the speed of the kite and rider over the surface of the water. As the kite is highly steerable, apparent wind can vary widely depending on how the kite is being flown. Increasing power from the kite effectively involves generating increased apparent wind (e.g. diving the kite, riding the kiteboard faster, or riding at a greater angle into the wind).
AR5 - The legendary first 4 line inflatable kite manufactured by Naish.
ARC - A foil kite manufactured by Peter Lynn
Aspect Ratio, AR - The ratio of a kites width to height (span to chord). Kites can range between a high aspect ratio of about 5.0 or a low aspect ratio of about 3.0.
Back Loop - A kitesurfing trick where the kiter rotates backward (begins by turning their back toward the kite) while throwing his/her feet above the level of his/her head.
Back Roll - Same as a back loop but without getting their feet up high
Batten - A length of carbon or plastic which adds stiffness or shape to the kite or sail.
Bear Away/Bear Off - This means to change your direction of travel to a more downwind direction.
Beaufort - This refers to the scale of wind strengths from 0 to 12.
Bladder - This refers to an inflatable inner tube in a kite used to give the kite shape and floatation.
Blade - A model of foil kite made by Flexifoil.
Blindside - Is to ride backwards from normal orientation so you will be looking away from your direction of travel and riding on your toeside edge.
Board Leash - This is the leash or line connecting the kiter to the board and used to keep the board nearby when the kiter is in the water
Body dragging - Body dragging involves being pulled through the water without a kiteboard. This is an early step in the learning process, and is recommended before even trying to use a board. It later becomes an essential skill for recovering lost kiteboards while in the water.
Bone - A trick where you bone out your leg means you straighten it all the way out. A "boned out grab" is one where your leg or legs are straightened out while grabbing your board.
Boost - To send the kite, generally steering the kite overhead aggressively, causing the rider to become airborne.
Bow kite - Bow kites have a flat profile, supported through the use of a bridle system. The shape of the kite lends itself to near 100% depower and high efficiency, resulting in a huge wind range.
Brake Lines - These are flying lines attached to a foil kite to slow the kite or reduce its pull in strong winds.
Bridle - Lines that form the junction between a foil kite and the flying lines. A foil kite may have a complex bridle. An inflatable kite usually has no bridle and the flying lines are connected directly to the kite. Bridle lines are sometimes called shroud lines.
Buggying - Using a power kite to pull a small land-based 3 wheeled vehicle.
Bularoo - A SLE kite manufactured by Best
C-kite - The C- kite is the original kitesurfing kite shape, having square corners and pronounced wingtips that form a deep C-shaped arc when flying. It gets its characteristic shape from its lines, which are attached at the four corners of the kite. In more recent years, a fifth line has been added to many designs for better depower and relaunch.
Cable Park - A place to practice wakeboarding by being pulled with a cable instead of behind a boat. A cable park is a place where mechanical cables pull the rider around the water.
Cabrinha - A manufacturer of inflatable kites including the Black Tip and the CO2 models.
Camber - The curvature of an object such as a sail or kite usually used when referring its aerodynamic properties.
Cell - A parafoil is divided up into ribbed compartments called cells.
Chicken loop - A rubber loop attached to the middle line which has been fed through the control bar. The chicken loop is used to attach the control bar to the harness so the kitesurfer can produce tension in the lines, utilizing their entire body weight instead of purely arm strength.
Chikara - A kite material used on some foil kites. It is a nylon cloth.
Chord - This refers to the kite measurement between the leading and trailing edges
Closed cell foil - A closed cell foil has screens in the air cells that let air in, but does not let it escape. Because the one way valves trap the air in the kite, a closed cell foil will hold air when crashed in the water, allowing for it to be relaunched.
Coefficient of lift, CL - A measure of how hard a kite pulls relative to its projected size
Control Bar - It is a long bar used by the kitesurfer to control the kite.
Creep - The amount a line permanently lengthens when pulled. Loosely braided line has a lot of creep, tightly braided has less, linear core line has the least. If all the lines creep evenly, it's pretty much unnoticeable. On inflatable kites the front lines usually creep more than the backs.
Cross Venting - Holes cut into the individual cells of a foil kite or parafoil to allow air to pass through between the cells.
Dawn patrol - An early morning session. Strong coffee is almost always advised.
Deadman - A kitesurfing trick where the kiter hangs upside down during a jump, lets go of the control bar, and hangs their arms downward.
Depower - The ability to reduce the kite's power, or pull, generally done by adjusting the angle of attack of the kite. Most kites and control bars now allow a rider to rig a kite for a number of different power levels before launching, in addition to powering the kite up and down "on the fly" by moving the bar closer and further away. Depowerability makes a kitesurfing kite much more safe and easy to handle. Most new kites can be depowered to practically zero power, giving them a huge wind range.
Depowering This means letting the kite lines out to release pressure and reduce speed. - This means letting the kite lines out to release pressure and reduce speed.
Directional - A kite board that looks like a small windsurfer board or surfboard with footstraps. A directional usually has 3 footstraps. It rides best in one direction and has definite nose and tail ends. A directional board is typically 150 to 220 cm in length.
Donkey stick - The fabric or plastic strap attached to the chicken loop which the rider feeds through the spreader bar hook to prevent from becoming "unhooked".
Downloop - A kiteloop where the kite is first turned downward and then is continued in turning until it goes back against the original direction of travel. The kite direction of travel is rotated 180 degrees.
Downwind - The direction the wind is blowing towards, or to leeward. When an individual is facing downwind, the wind is at their back.
Downwinder - A great day out where a kitesurfer goes on a long journey downwind, with no concern for riding upwind. Coordination with a pick-up or drop-off vehicle is required to prevent getting stranded far downwind of one's starting point.
Drag - The resistance to movement.
Drift - The sideways movement due to the action of the wind on the kite
Dual Line, 2 Line - Kite which is flown using 2 lines of equal length which enables the rider to steer the kite right or left.
Dyneema - Also known as Spectra. It is the standard line for flying lines. It is slippery and will allow multiple line twists without loosing kite control.
Edge - Creating by tilting the kiteboard with its edge into the water. Used to control the direction of travel and regulating power in the kite. Learning to edge properly is critical for tacking upwind. Edging is one of the fundamental skills of kitesurfing, and is one of the major ways kiteboarding is different from windsurfing or wakeboarding. While windsurf boards have daggerboards and/or skegs to steer the board upwind, lift and planing is provided by the board itself. Kiteboards actually combine both functions, as the bottom of the kiteboard lifts the rider and steers simultaneously. Kiteboard fins are generally much smaller, and are used to create extra leverage as the board drives through the water, but are not essential. Because kite boards have a small rocker, a deep edge can allow the board to act as a large low drag fin. Edging in wakeboarding is used for steering the board; whereas in kiteboarding not only does edging steer the kiteboard, but it is essential for controlling the kite and board speed. Releasing an edge and riding downwind towards the kite subtracts massively from the kite's power and helps control board speed as well.
Eye of the wind - This refers to the direction that the wind is blowing from.
Fifth Element - A 5 line kite control sustem used on North kites
Fifth Line - A 5th line on a kite can is used for relaunching, depowering and helping maintaining the shape of the kite.
Fin - It is a small piece of rigid material on the bottom of a kiteboard that tends to guide the board in a forward direction.
Flat LEI - A new type of inflatable kite that is flatter and does not have a pronounced C shape or U shape as the classic inflatables. Flat LEI is often confused as Bow Kite which has to have a concave trailing edge to make it shaped like a bow while some other Flat LEI kites may have straight or convex trailing edge and do not have a bow shape.
Flex - Is the degree of stiffness in a kiteboard.
Flexifoil - A manufacturer of foil kites including the Blade and Nexus models.
Flying lines - The main lines between the kite and the rider, usually made of Spectra. A kite usually has either 2 or 4 flying lines.
Foil kite - Foil kites have no inflatable bladders like the more standard LEI kites, instead being composed of square cells of fabric that trap air and inflate the kite. In addition, the bridles are complex and have many attachment points so as the kite pulls the lines the kite holds the correct shape. Because of their light wind design and pronounced bow, foil kites tend to be very efficient.
Footstraps - Straps used to keep your feet from bouncing off your kite board
Freeride - A style of kitesurfing that is devoid of jumping or tricks, but rather focuses on edge control and upwind riding.
Freestyle - A kiteboarding discipline that focuses on tricks that are further powered by use of kite to generate lift. This includes kite loops and big air.
Front Loop - A kitesurfing trick where the kiter rotates forward (begins by turning away from the direction of travel) while throwing their feet above the level of their head.
Front Roll - Same as a front loop but without getting their feet up high.
Grab - A trick: while in the air, the rider reaches down to the board and clasps their hand on it. There are many different types of grabs.
Grab Handle - On a kite board it is a handle between the footpads. On a kite bar, it is a handle usually connected to one rear kite line that can be used to hold and depower the kite after the bar is realeased
Guinea pig - An individual who rigs and goes out first to determine if the conditions are rideable. This person is also sometimes known as a wind dummy
Gybe (or jibe) - To change direction by turning down wind and then continuing to turn until you are going in the other direction.
Gybe (or jibe) - To change direction by turning down wind and then continuing to turn until you are going in the other direction.
Handlepass - While unhooked, passing the control bar behind a riders back while in the air.
Handles - This is used instead of a control bar to fly the kite
Hangtime, Airtime - The amount of time spent in the air while jumping.
Hard rails, soft rails - The rounder the edge of the board the softer the rails are said to be. Hard rails means a sharper edge.
Harness - This is worn by the kitesurfer around the waist.
Heel side - The side of a board on the edge where a riders heels are (opposite of toeside). "Riding heelside" is riding with heels down, and is the standard kiteboarding position.
Hindenburg - A reference to the Hindenburg Airship disaster of 1937. In kitesurfing terminology, a hindenburg refers to the kite stalling and falling out of the sky. Hindenburging can be caused either by lack of wind or by the kite advancing to a position upwind of the kitesurfer in the wind window, creating a loss of tension.
Hooked in - The rider's chicken loop or fixed loop is connected to the spreader bar hook on the harness
Hybrid kite - The hybrid kitesurfing kite was developed in order to merge the beneficial features of both C-kites and bow kites, generally coupling the depower and relaunch of the bow with the speed of the c-kite.
Indie - A kitesurfing trick where the kiter grabs the toeside edge of the board with his/her back hand near his/her back foot during a jump.
Inflatable - A kite with bladders that must be pumped up by hand prior to flying. Inflatable kites use bladders in the leading edge and in the ribs (struts). When the bladders are inflated by using a hand pump, then the kite forms the desired flying shape.
Kevlar - A very strong fiber sometimes used for kite lines. Has some characteristics (more stretch) which make it somewhat less desirable than Spectra.
Kite Leash - A leash or line connecting the kiter to the kite and used to keep the kite from flying away when the control bar is released. A kite leash must depower the kite when used.
Kiteloop - One of the most powered-up moves in kiteboarding, where the rider loops the kite through the wind window. The power surge is intense and is akin to being yanked by a truck. Requires serious cajones.
Kitemare - A kiteboarding accident or mishap. Kitemares can also refer to severely tangled lines. Waking up in a cold sweat having not scored a session for some time does not constitute a kitemare.
Kitesurfing, Kiteboarding - Also called kite sailing or flysurfing. Using a kite to pull you across the water with a board under your feet.
Knot - This is the speed of one nautical mile per hour.
Kook - Someone who approaches kiteboarding with too much earnest and overconfidence, often jeopardizing the safety of everyone around them through poor kite control and erratic jumps
Larks head - Knot used for attaching flying lines.
Lay line - An imaginary course on which you can sail directly to your target without tacking.
Leader Lines - Short thicker lines from the control bar to the flying lines. Used to keep the kiters fingers away from the flying lines.
Leading edge, LE - The windward side of the kite, (the forward edge that the wind hits first).
Leech Line - This is a line that runs inside the trailing edge of the kite to prevent vibrations and noise
Leeward - The direction away from the wind. Opposite of windward.
LEI - Abbreviated for leading edge inflatable. These kiteboarding kites have a hollow tube framing containing a bladder that is pumped full of air to give the kite its shape.
Lift - When flying, a kite generates lift or upward force like an airplane wing. Lift is proportional to the square of the apparent wind velocity.
Lift-to-drag ratio, L/D, LDR - A measure of the efficiency of a kite. High L/D means the kite has a high top speed and flies at a greater angle to the wind, which results most noticeably in sailing more upwind (to windward) and faster possible board speeds. Kites are not as efficient as sails, their L/D rarely exceeds 4.0 while a good yacht sail manages 10 and sailplanes (gliders) get over 50.
Line Set (LINES) - This refers to the flying lines or strings which are used to control the kite.
Locked in - Sailing along with the kite is remaining stationary in the sky relative to the rider - not moving the kite around but just letting it fly steadily.
Lofted - To get lifted vertically into the air by the kite by a strong gust of wind. A very dangerous occurrence that has resulted in several fatalities when kiters on or near land have been dragged into obstacles. Modern depower technology has greatly helped reduced these occurrences, however special heed should always be paid to variable wind conditions.
Luff - When the air flow stalls around the kite. It may then stall and fall out of the sky. Like sails, a luffing kite has rippling and flapping panels. When launching the kite, if the kite is luffing, the rider should move farther upwind, or the person holding the kite should move downwind.
Mega loop - A kiteloop in which the kite is at the same height or below the rider, requiring a extraordinary amount of height, power, and courage.
Mowing the lawn - A riding style that results from conservatism or low wind, mowing the lawn refers to uninspired kitesurfing, generally involving little to no variation.
Naish - A manufacturer of inflatable kites, based in Hawaii. Robby Naish is a legendary windsurfer and an early kite surfer.
Nautical Mile - Distance at sea is measured in nautical miles, which is 1852 meters, 6067 feet or 1.15 miles
North - A manufacturer of inflatable kites including the Rhino and Toro.
Nose line - A short line from the nose of the kite (usually the pump leash attachment point) to the 5th line in 5 line kite control systems.
Nosebone - A trick in which the rider, while in flight, tucks one knee to the chest and extends the other leg straight out in front.
Offshore - This is the wind blowing at the water from the shore.
Ollie - A trick where the rider pops the board into the air by pushing down on their back foot and jumping up with their front foot forward.
Onshore - This refers to winds coming from the sea toward the land
Open cell foil - An open cell foil has openings along the top of the kite to allow the air to flow through and fill the kite. These designs tend to be less expensive than their closed-cell counterparts. Open cell foils are not designed for water use, as when crashed they fill with water and are not able to be relaunched.
Overhead waves - Waves two or more meters (6 ft) from trough to crest.
Overpowered - The condition of having too much power from the kite. Is likely the result of an increase in wind, incorrect kite choice (too large for the conditions), or incorrect adjustment.
Parafoil - Invented by parachute designer Domina Jalbert in 1963, this is a kite which is based on the aerofoil wing shape and does not require any rigid frame for flight. Can also be called ram-air, wing, ram-jet, and paraglide.
Peter Lynn - A New Zealand manufacturer of kites including the ARC, Waterfoil and C-Quad models.
Pig Tails - The 4 short lengths of line attached to the kite where the 4 flying lines are tied.
Planing - Is when the board is going fast enough to skim across the surface of the water, as compared to pushing its way through the water.
Point Of Sail - This refers to the direction of a kiteboard or sailboat relative to the wind
Pointing - Going in a direction as upwind as possible. A kite that points well is one that goes upwind at a better angle than others (more directly into the wind).
Polyester - Is the material used for the canopy of most inflatable kites ..ripstop polyester of about 50 gram weight.
Pop - Extra jump gained through strategic use of just the kiteboard and line tension, pop is a essential building block for later tricks. Sometimes referred to as soda in the south.
Port - The left side of a boat, from the perspective of a person looking forward. The opposite of starboard.
Port tack - Sailing on a tack with the wind coming from the port side (left side). You are normally kiting on port tack if your left hand is forward.
Power zone - The area in the sky where the kite generates the most pull, this is generally between 0 to 60 degrees arc from the center of the downwind direction.
Powered-up - When the kite's power increases because of wind gusts or the kite passing through the "power zone".
Profile - In an airfoil, the side view of the foil.
Projected Area - This refers to the apparent area of a kite while it is being flown, as opposed to when it is lying flat on the ground
Pump Leash - This is a short line used to hook the air pump onto the nose of the kite during pumping so the kite does not blow away.
Quad line, 4 line - Kite flown on four lines. Having 4 lines has the advantage of not only being able to steer left and right like a dual line, but you can also adjust the AOA
Quick Release (QR) - This refers to a mechanism that will allow a kiter to disconnect something when needed
RAIL - This is the edge of the board.
Railey - A trick where a kiteboarder jumps in the air and extends their body and swings the board behind them up over the level of their head.
Ram Air Kite - Ram air foil kites have no rigid structure. The shape of the kite is formed while flying. These kites have shapes that are very close to airplane wings and therefore are the most aerodynamic kites. These kites normally have a limited number of air intakes and a one-way valve system to prevent the air from escaping, and are also called closed cell foil kites.
Re-launch - A general term for getting the kitesurfing kite back into the air after crashing it (on land or water). A relaunch is generally unassisted and requires the rider to follow a kite-specific procedure , typically pulling on one of the steering lines to bring the kite to the edge of the wind window and up on its wingtip. As years of development have gone by, the more recent kites are much easier to relaunch.
Reaching - Sailing with the wind coming from the side (sailing across the wind). If the wind is coming from directly from the side, it is a beam reach. If the board is pointed more into the wind it is a close reach. If the wind is coming more from behind, it is called a broad reach
Rebel - An SLE kite manufactured by North.
Recon - A kite control system used by Cabrinha that allows easier water relaunching
Reel Bar - This is a combination winding reel and control bar used to wind up the kite flying lines
Rhino, R2, R4 - Rhino2 and Rhino4 are models of inflatable kite manufactured by North.
Right-of-Way - A right-of-way boat has precedence over others on conflicting courses and has the right to maintain its course. Usually a boat on starboard tack has right of way over a boat on port tack.
Rigid kite - A kite such as a speedwing or delta whose shape is mostly held by means of a rigid frame, eliminating the need for a complex bridle. Most rigid kites are not water relaunchable.
Ripstop - Ripstop refers to the squares of reinforcing fibers in the fabric which make it resistant to tearing. A rip in this fabric will stop at one of the reinforcing fibers. Many kites use ripstop polyester fabric in their canopy.
Roast beef - A trick where a kiteboarder jumps and grabs the heelside (back) of the board between his/her legs.
Rocker - This refers to the curve along the bottom of the board.
Schlogging - Refers to riding extremely underpowered, where a kitesurfer has just barely enough power to plane. Remedies include switching to a larger kitesurfing kite or using a larger, more efficient kiteboard.
Security pin - The fabric or plastic strap attached to the chicken loop which the rider feeds through the spreader bar hook to prevent from becoming "unhooked".
Send it - To move the kite aggressively up through the power zone, generating lift.
Shackle - A metal clip mechanism than can be used to connect something and also to release it when activated. Some kiters use a schackle on their spreader bar to connect their chicken loop.
Shaper - Is a board maker, who makes boards by hand or in small production runs.
Sheeting - Changing the angle of the kiteboarding kite relative to the wind.
Sheeting out/in - Sheeting out decreases the tension on the lines that lead to the edge of the kite to decrease the angle of attack (AOA) and lower the kite's power. Sheeting in has the opposite effect. Sheeting is not possible on a 2 line kite.
Shift System - A 5 line kite control system used on some Naish kites.
Shroud Lines - Bridle lines are sometimes called shroud lines.
Side onshore - Wind blowing between sideshore and at a 45 degree angle towards the shore, also quite desirable for kiteboarding.
Sideshore - Winds blowing parallel to the shore. Usually the most desirable direction for kitesurfing.
Sine wave - Flying the kite up and down at the edge of the wind window (which creates a sine wave pattern) to generate more power with apparent wind.
Sining - Sining the kite means moving it in a sine wave pattern (up and down) to generate apparent wind and increase it's power.
SLE - Short for supported leading edge, an SLE kite has bridles attached to the leading edge.
Sleeving - Short protective sleeve which covers the ends of a line and helps to prevent wear
Slick - Flat smooth water
Slingshot - A manufacturer of inflatable kites including the Fuel model
Slogging - Moving along slowly with the board not fully planing
Snap shackle - A metal shackle that can be opened by pulling on a release mechanism
Span - The kite width, the size of the kite measured at right angles to the wind. Usually the longest dimension of a kite.
Spar - The sticks used as the frame of a kite. A batten is a spar.
Spectra - Also known as Dyneema in Europe. It is the standard for flying lines. It is slippery and will allow multiple line wraps without loosing kite control
Spin - This is a kitesurfing trick where the kiter rotates one or more times during a jump
Spinout - When a board's fins lose "grip" on the water or stalls, causing the tail to slide sideways
Splice - The place where two lines are joined together. A splice usually refers to a smooth join of two lines without using a knot. The end of one line is interlaced or runs through the core of another.
Spreader bar - A stainless steel bar that attaches to the rider's harness. It has a hook that holds the "chicken loop" when riding hooked in
Stall - A kite stalls when the air flow past it becomes detached from the kite surface and becomes turbulent. A stalled kite loses lift and falls.
Starboard - The right side of a boat, from the perspective of a person looking forward. The opposite of port
Starboard tack - Sailing on a tack with the wind coming from the starboard side (right side). You are normally kiting on starboard tack if your right hand is forward.
Stomp - To successfully land a trick
Stretch - The amount a line momentarily lengthens when pulled. Spectra has very low stretch, kevlar has slightly more, nylon has a lot. Stretch affects responsiveness and size of control movements.
Struts - This is the term used to refer to the inflatable battens in an inflatable kite.
Surf - A kite surfing riding style that employs the use of a surfboard to ride waves. Done either with straps or strapless, the goal is to allow the kite to drift to create an authentic surf experience
Table top - A flashy move that can be done while jumping. Hanging more or less upside down with your board out flat above you like a table top.
Tack - The direction which is being sailed, normally either starboard tack or port tack. In a starboard tack, the wind is coming in from the rider's starboard (right-hand) side, similar to sailing a boat. In normal riding, the kitesurfer takes a heading which is as close to into the wind as possible, and in any event leads at some angle slightly upwind, sometimes as much as 45 degrees. Jumping, wave riding, and throwing tricks usually results in traveling downwind, so the net result is to maintain a constant position. Alternately, see "downwinder".
Tea-bagging - Popping out of and falling back into the water intermittently due to light or gusty wind or poor flying skills.
Teabagger - Used by jealous participants of alternative sports in reference to kiteboarders, comparing a kitesurfer to a tea bag dipped and steeped in a teapot. Refer to "tea-bagging" above.
Thermal wind - Cold air over the ocean and warm air over the land result in a pressure differential that causes wind. Thermal wind is often quite steady.
Toe side - The side of a board on the edge where a riders toes are (opposite of heel side). Riding toe side is riding with your toes facing the water
Traction kite - Any kite big enough to pull a vehicle on land, snow, ice or water. This type of kite is called traction kite
Trailing edge, TE - The back edge of the kite running between the wing tips. Can also be called a leech. The trailing edge may have a leech line sewn in
Trim line - In a 4 line inflatable kite is a the line that goes from the loop at the center of the control bar (chicken loop) to the two flying lines connected to the front of the kite. Adjusting its length adjusts the "trim" or angle of attack (AoA) of the kite. Changing this adjustment can increase the AoA for more lift or decreasing the AoA for less lift.
Trim loop - A loop used in most 4 line kites located at the centre of the control bar and used to adjust the kites AoA, thereby depowering the kite. Also called 'chicken loop'.
True Wind - This refers to the wind as felt by something that is not moving.
Twin tip, TT - A board that rides equally well in either direction, like a wakeboard. A TT is usually smaller than a directional board in size. A twin tip is typically 110 to 160 cm in length and is symetrical (has no front and back end).
Underpowered - The condition of having insufficient power from the kite. This can be a result of insufficient wind, choosing a kite that is too small for the current wind, rigging incorrectly, having a kiteboard that is too small, the presence water current in the same direction as the wind, not riding fast enough, etc. A kitesurfer who is continuously diving the kite and sending it back up in a sine-wave pattern is usually underpowered.
Unhooked - When a kitesurfer is riding with the chicken loop not attached to the rider's harness, fully powering the kite. Unhooking is typically employed when throwing tricks or riding in the surf.
Upwind - The direction from which the wind is blowing; windward; into the wind.
Wakeboard - A wakeboard can be used as a kite board. It usually has 2 boots fixed on it like a snowboard. A wakeboard is typically 140 to 150 cm in length. Most production wakeboards do not have the ideal rocker (shape) for kitesurfing.
Wakestyle - A kiteboarding style that uses seeks to emulate wakeboarding through unhooked, powered tricks with the kitesurfing kite kept low.
Walk of shame - The morose walk back upwind along the beach to where you originally started from, caused by either low wind or an inability to successfully drive upwind
Wave Ride - Term which means to surf a wave like a surfer while kiting
Wind range - Used to describe the range of wind speed that a kite will fly well in. Usually given in knots.
Wind window - The 120-180 degree arc of the sky downwind of the rider in which the kite can be flown. If the rider is facing downwind on a flat surface, like the ocean, the wind window consists of roughly all the area the rider can see, from the rider's peripheral vision on one side, along the horizon to the other side, and then directly overhead back to the first side. If the rider somehow puts the kite out of the window , for example, by riding downwind very quickly and sending the kite directly overhead and behind , the kite will stall and frequently fall out of the sky.
Windward - In the direction toward the wind. Opposite of leeward.
Wing - A term used sometimes for a kite or any other foil.
Wing Span - This is the widest measurement of a kite often taken from wingtip to wingtip
Wipika - A French manufacturer of the original inflatable (bladder) kite developed by the legendary kite boarding pioneers, Dominique and Bruno Legaignoux. Theirs was the first practical water relaunchable kite
Working the kite - Making figure eights or sine patterns with the kite to generate more power by increasing apparent wind on the kite. In light winds it helps to really work the kite.
Wrist Leash - This refers to a safety leash attached to your wrist to allow you to depower the kite when you let go of the control bar.
X2, X3, X4 - Are models of inflatable kites manufactured by Naish
Yard sale - A botched trick attempt that generally involves an explosive crash, scattering your equipment all about.
Zenith - The location in the wind window directly over the kiter's head. This is the neutral position where kitesurfers can place the kite to stop moving or prior to movement.