How To Ride Toeside Kiteboarding

How To Ride Toeside Kiteboarding

April 18, 2019


Prerequisite Beginner Moves

After learning and getting the hand of basic techniques and really dialing in your upwind riding, a great way to take your riding to the next level is to learn to ride toeside. Mastering this will open a world of doors in progressing your kiteboarding.

Who is this for?

Riding toeside is great for everyone! Whether you are interested in riding a surfboard or twin tip, riding toeside will allow you to adapt to different or new conditions and you can use this as a stepping stone to progress. You will be able to ride waves when the wind is a different direction.

Advantages of learning toeside riding

Learning to ride toeside will open up so many opportunities for riding spots and conditions. For riding a directional surfboard, toeside riding will be essential to expanding your stoke! Learning to ride toeside will enable you to land toeside after tricks as well. For example, you land toeside on a back roll for a back roll to toeside. Even beyond this, you will eventually be able to do tricks starting toeside and popping from there.This opens up way more opportunities for learning to ride toeside on the foil as well.

toeside kitesurfing

Length & difficulty of learning

Depending on your skill level and experience, the process of learning this move is not as taxing as a more complex trick, but can still take a bit of time. The key is to keep at it. Once you can get yourself into the toeside position, spend as much time there as you can, this will help you in the long run. Riding toeside on other boards such as the hydrofoil will be much easier after first learning on a twintip.

Conditions to Learn In


For the first time trying to pop or slide to toeside, it is best to go out in moderate to strong winds. Since we will be adjusting our weight distribution, there will be more power needed in the kite. Bring your bigger kites!


The best way to learn to ride toeside is in the flattest possible water. Try to find some rocks or a sand bank upwind that will block some of that chop off the water. If you can’t find any water sheltered from the chop, no need to worry, this is perfectly doable in any conditions. With chop, there is a good opportunity to pop and almost hover into the toeside position.


Kite size

For the size of the kite that you choose, it depends on the wind, but ideally you are looking to be powered on a larger kite. Since one hand off is beneficial, having a larger kite will help keep your kite lower in the window and continue your momentum.

Board Size

This definitely depends on your size and weight, but we recommend whatever size you are most comfortable riding. A bigger board will enable to keep your speed after switching to toeside.

toeside riding


Fins will play a significant role in the switching of stance. Being more locked in with larger fins may be great for holding your edge normally, but when it comes to entering the toeside position, this is not ideal. These big daggers will only get in your way if trying to slide to toeside. If you have fins, we recommend trying to pop into toeside rather than slide.

Surfboard/Twin Tip

We recommend that you start with a twin tip to learn this move, but if you are in a pinch, either a directional board or a twintip will work for learning.

As you first switch over, you will lose some of your power so you want to have enough behind you to keep you going. Another aspect that helps a lot with this is speed, the faster you are going, the less likely you are to sink.

The Move

Which direction?

When deciding which foot to put forward when you first attempt the toeside switch, figure out which way you feel most comfortable. It will most likely the same stance direction as if you were riding a skateboard or a snowboard.

Leading Up

Leading up to the pop or shift to toeside, you should approach the trick with medium speed and your kite at either 10/11 or 1 o’clock.


To help keep your balance during the switch and afterwards, make sure you shift your weight to your toes to keep tension in the kite for leverage.

Weight Distribution

As you approach the toeside move, keep your weight on your back foot to keep your nose from catching. As you’re lifting up, shift your weight from your heels and your back foot to your toes and front foot. When first getting the hang of things, you might be hesitant to shift your weight onto your front foot significantly, but doing so will actually help keep your momentum forward and prevent you from sinking.


Focus on keeping your kite at 45-60 degrees as you do the move to keep tension and your speed. We recommend that you have plenty of power when first attempting this, so bring your bigger kites! As you first switch over, you will lose some of your power so you want to have enough behind you to keep you going. Another aspect that helps a lot with this is speed, the faster you are going, the less likely you are to sink.

toeside spray

Summary of steps in bullet points

  • Approach with kite at slightly higher than 45deg
  • Medium speed on the approach
  • Let the bar out to middle/a little further of the throw
  • Turn the nose of the board into the wind
  • Drive through your back foot, twisting upwind
  • Bend your front leg into your back leg as you bring you bring your former back leg forward
  • Shift weight over to new front foot (which was the back foot)
  • Redirect kite to continue with speed and prevent sinking
  • Lean over upwind to tension lines and create more power
  • Drop front hand to open shoulders up
  • Ride away toeside!

The Wakeboard Crossover

Wakeboarding is a great crossover sport that can help significantly. Especially for learning to ride toeside, wakeboarding will allow you to get the feeling of edging on your toes and distributing your weight properly without having to worry about your speed or kite control. Any other board sport will help with these moves, particularly if they involve significant board control or skill. The more time you spend on a board the better!

Tips for the beach

  • One hand on the bar makes it easier
  • Leaning back after the switch will kill your power, keep your weight further on front foot

We want to hear how your progression is going! Find us on social media and tag us, use #nextlevelwatersports to be featured!

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