Kitesurf or Kiteboard from A to Z

International Kiteboarding Signs &

Kiteboarding Dictionary from A to Z



( recommended by the IKO )


Learning these signs and applying them on your kite spot with the riders will allow you to have a common language and avoid a misinterpretation.
place the kite at the top
 go to the left
     go to the right
I need help (with the bar in the hand: technical problem)
     make a
let go off
the bar
one hand patting head:
I want to land
    one hand still:
     are you OK?
or Yes


Active securityAction, safety system or analysis that can avoid an accident
Angle of attackAngle between the wind and the cord of the kite
Apparent windVector sum of the real wind and the motion wind generated by the speed of the kiteboarder
Aspect ratioProportion between the wingspan and the width of the wing (cord)
Back loopBackward rotation
Bear awayChanging direction with a bigger angle according to the wind
BindingsWakeboard boots that attach the feets to the board
BlindRiding backwards
Body dragBeing pulled by the kite in the water without the board
Bottom turnChanging direction at the bottom of the wave
BridalsLines attached to the spi (the kite skin) that maintain theprofile of the kite
Broad reachRiding between 110° and 140° from the wind direction
Close hauledSailing direction to the wind (generaly 70° to 45° to the wind)
CordImaginary line connecting the front part of the kites’profile to the back
CourseA direction
Cross windAlso called reaching= rinding at an angle of 90° to the wind
Dead manAerial trick, head upside down, feets in the air, hands free
DeckThe top of the board
Delta kiteKite in the shape of a triange
DirectionnalAsymetric shaped board with 2 or 3 footstraps and ins at the back
DownwindWhat is in front of you when you feel the wind in your back / also riding into following the direction of the wind
DragForce created by the friction of the wind on the skin of the kite
EdgingPush on the board with the toes or the heels to change direction or manage the power
FlappingWhen the kite waves like a flag
FloodWhen the tide ascends
FootstrapStrap that allows the kiteboarders’s feet to stay on the board
GoofyPerson who uses preferently his right foot as front foot
GrabTrick where the rider catch the board during a jump
Handle passPassing the bar from on hand to the other behind one’s back
HarnessGear that you were as a short or around your waist (seat harness or waist harness), with a hook connecting the rider to the harness line
Heel stancePosition wehre the rider edges on his heels
HullPart of the board that is in the water
Intrados =lower skinInternal surface of the kite
InsertPlastic or metal part in which the footstrap fastening nails are Introduced
JibeChange of direction on a dirctional board while changing the feet Positioning
Leader linesThicker lines that connect the bar to the flying lines (being thicket prevent them to e as “sharp” as the flying lines)
Leading edgeFront of the kite where the air flows through first, it is larger than the trailing edge (end of the kite)
LeashStrap that connects the rider to the board or to the depowered kite after actionning the safety system
LiftPower of the kite that pulls towards the tp during jumps
Lower skin=intrados Internal surface of the kite
Luff upGoing from one direction to the next closer to the wind
MutantSmall asymetric board that is a mix between twintip and directional board
Off the lipMaking a turn at the crest of a wave
Passive securityAutomatic safety, protection or disposition that self reduce the occurence or consequence of an accident
Quick releasesafety system that release quickly the most power of the kite
RailSide of a board
RegularPerson who uses preferently his left foot as front foot
RiggingSetting up the equipment
RockerCurve of the board when you look at the profile from the nose to the tail
Sailing pointsSailing directions according to the wind : upwind, beam-reach,broad- reach, downwind
ScoopCurve of the board when you look at the profile from thenose to the tail
ShapeDesign of a board
ShaperPerson who designs and builds boards
SpotPlace for kiteboarding
StrutPart that keeps the profile of the kite, inflatable or in fibre
Top = zenithPosition of the kite right above the head, at tewelwe o’clock, it’s a neutral position
TipTip of the kite
Toe stancePosition where the rider edge on his toes
Top skin=extradosExternal surface of a kite
Trailing edgeOpposite to the leading edge, back of the kite
TransitionAerial move resulting in a change of dirction
Twin tipSymetric bard that has fins at the front and at the back
UpwindWhat is in front of you when you face the wind
Upwind ridingGoing upwind
VortexWhirlwind at the tip of the kite, created when the wind under and over the kite meet
Zenith = TopPosition of the kite right above the head, at twelwe o’clock, it’s a neutral position