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Kiteboarding: "Unhooked and Over 40"

Posted by Aaron Johnson on

If the calendar says you're past your "expiration date", but you're still feeling a bit spry, maybe you should try some basic unhooked tricks!

What is riding unhooked? 

This means that you disconnect (or unhook) your control bar from your harness. Don't freak out—it's all about technique. Yes, you will be getting out of your comfort zone. Yes, you will be crashing more. Yes, it is totally worth it!

If you're a wakeboarder or a snowboarder, then riding unhooked is an obvious choice for you. 

If not—no worries, there's plenty of time to pick up a new skill-set and enhance your bag of tricks. I think of it like this: some days I'm stoked to ride my surfboard, some days I go foiling and some days I grab the wakestyle board. It's all about what you feel like doing that day.

Riding with boots has some great advantages. 

You can hold down more kite because you have so much more leverage. If you like riding powered up, then you'll appreciate this for sure. Another benefit is that you rarely find yourself body-dragging for your board. Sometimes you slam hard enough to eject out of both boots, but it all depends on how hard you're charging it.

Of course, you may still ride unhooked while using regular footstraps. But you will find yourself doing a lot more body-dragging when you crash.

We do recommend grabbing an impact vest when learning to ride with boots, as your board is always attached to you and you can't just swim as with a standard twin-tip board with footstraps. And, when your kite is down, it’s nice not to have to worry about floating.

Step 1: Unhook and Load Up

Step 2: Release Your Edge

Step 3: Pop

Step 4: Kick Your Legs Back

Resources: has been providing quality video tutorials for a long time now. They’re a trusted source that you should become familiar with. North Kiteboarding has recently dedicated a lot of time and energy into creating great video content. And make sure you check out Jake Kelsick’s Vlog series.

North Kiteboarding Academy

Jake Kelsick's Vlog

Alright, ya old dawg—get out there and get after it! Good winds to your new adventure.