Power Kite Forum

Tips for using a Dirtsurfer with a kite or sail?

Brant - 6-10-2017 at 05:44 PM

So I managed to find myself a dirtsurfer last fall, and after spending more money on padding then I did on the board I took it for a test drive behind the wife's quad. Learned the following very important things:

-padding is very important
-make sure that your brake lever is adjusted so that you can actually use it
-straps on new pads should be tightened during the first couple uses
-when you can't brake and your pads have come loose you will probably get road rash
-Dirtsurfers are Awesome!

So by the time my arm had the proper amount of skin again it was a little late in the year so the dirtsurfer was put away till the spring. I then rolled my ankle in the spring and have yet to get it back out. Everything seems to be healed up and ready to go so...

Does anybody have any advice or tips on using one with a kite? Or a windsurf sail? I have an older one of those and an extra base I could probably install fairly easily... or do things more complicated and mount it so I don't have to drill holes in the deck... probably the complicated way as it would be a shame to put holes in my deck. Any advice or random musings would be appreciated!

Thank you.

Bladerunner - 6-10-2017 at 10:14 PM

If you are talking about a dirt surfer like this https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dirtsurfing you want a kite wing.that is the best way I have seen to ride one. https://kitewing.com/about-kitewing/

You need a good wind and lots of space to ride a dirt surfer and kitewing.

Wind_dog - 6-11-2017 at 09:05 AM

IBX 2017 - Rider unknown.

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Brant - 6-11-2017 at 04:10 PM

I've found lots of videos of people using them with kites, and quite a few with windsurfer sails, so I know it's possible. I was just hoping someone has some experience that I could learn from. I know from looking through old posts that a guy on here called Nomadic had one he kited with, but he was last active like 4 years ago.

3shot - 6-11-2017 at 05:04 PM

I put holes in my deck for the mast base of a sail. But then again, it was a home brew project anyway. I see some guys making a bracket that utilizes existing bolt holes.

PistolPete - 6-12-2017 at 11:38 AM

A few years ago I picked up a Dirtsurfer GP with 20" wheels and have yet to ride it. I don't have a very large open space nearby to ride it. The guy in Vancouver BC I got it from had used it with a kite and disconnected the calf brake. I assume I would not need the calf brake with a kite?

On a strapless surfboard I can kite toe-side and jibe and so I was hoping to ride the dirtsurfer without straps. I understand DS have low resistance so they start quick and ride fast. Not sure if for learning and being less attached and powered during wipeouts a depower kite would work better or, fixed bridle kites that I use landboarding with a leash off of one handle brake, so when I let go I have no wrist strap pull or tangling?

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NeverBoard - 6-12-2017 at 03:08 PM

I have one of those! Happy to see this topic. Love the story about the atv and broken brake!

My goal for this summer is to be able to ride it with a kite. I managed some short rides last year. I also did some practice on a grassy hill at the park when there was no wind- I'm starting to feel way more under control. I really like how it carves. I think being able to push on flat (mongo, yuck) is a good indicator of board control and helps tonnes with starts (still working on my non-dominant stance). I had a big crash when the dead-man brake bent downwards, jabbed into the ground, and I went flying: I recommend removing it.

Anyway, my strategy is:
- no bindings
- pads
- practice runs on a mellow hill
- under-powered in steady wind
- mechanical check every session

Brant - 6-12-2017 at 09:25 PM

I did a few practice runs on hills, but the issue is I have very mellow hills or else fairly steep hills that end quickly in a creek... Hence the longer practice run on the quad. The brake wasn't broken per se, it just seems to be designed for downhill riding. Since you're already leaning backwards while riding downhill it doesn't take much extra lean to activate it. On the flat stuff behind a quad it takes a hell of a lot of lean and the damn thing is so fast is seems to want to shoot out from under you when you lean that far. Mine doesn't have the deadman brake (thankfully) so I'm good to go in that respect. In regards to kites, I'm thinking I'm going to try it out with the fixed bridle to start, just because the smaller kite makes me feel a little better. That and the fact I may have a blown cell in my 7m depower I still haven't gotten around to fixing yet...

NeverBoard - 6-16-2017 at 11:40 AM

I got some runs in the other day. So fun!! I can see why a kite wing would be amazing on those (learning to fly FB is a much sooner priority for me). I experienced the falling off the back/shooting out feeling that you described. At least with the kite you can pull yourself up a bit and get centred again. I'm hooked!!

Bladerunner - 6-16-2017 at 03:21 PM

Try flying you FB on very short lines or straight off the bridle.

PistolPete. If you bought yours off of dirtslide it is important to note he could ride anything with a kite before his accident. I know for sure he was really getting into the Dirtsurfer with the kite wing.

PistolPete - 6-16-2017 at 10:48 PM

Thanks, sound like when I first tried the mountain board, I took it to a grassy hill with a lot of run-out for coasting to a stop. Think I'll spend some time first doing the same with the dirtsurfer. Also was thinking that short line FB with clean winds would be best to learn on. That new Born-Kite StreetStar with single handle control and leash setup would be great to have for the dirtsurfer...a good excuse for more kites? Sounds like getting towed around could help but give you the wrong muscle memory and stance expectations for kiting. I don't think it was dirtslide who sold me this one, the guy wasn't into kiting too much and it probably had a few previous owners from the condition it was in.

bob3 - 6-18-2017 at 08:21 PM

Hi all

I have a little experience with dirt surfers and kites.

My two cents worth would be get a relatively big depower. That way you can lean back (balance not so much of an issue) and you can deal with gusts better.

Dirt surfers are awesome so get out there and bust it up.

I've also a kitewing. I have yet to have success with combining the wing with the dirt surfer. Probably my local spot isn't that good for this combination.

My other tip, use your back foot for the turning.

I've attached a link to an old video of me learning how to use a dirt surfer. This was after a few sessions with the beast so nothing super special.

good luck



NeverBoard - 6-22-2017 at 12:53 PM

Hey that's good stuff bob. Thanks! By the way, I saw that video before and it's what convinced me to get the dirtsurfer in the first place.

NeverBoard - 6-28-2017 at 01:25 PM

Having lots of fun with the dirtsurfer!

Working on jibes/carving - I keep slacking the lines and collapsing the kite. Does that mean turn the board sharper? send the kite harder (or earlier?)?

NeverBoard - 9-7-2017 at 04:32 PM

So, I broke my hand - I crashed in some long grass and my finger got tangled up. There's one patch of really snakey tangly grass that stopped the board and claimed my 4th metacarpal. Before that, I was getting some consistency at gybeing and staying up wind on the short run of the park. Pics from july.

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PistolPete - 9-8-2017 at 12:48 PM

Sorry to hear about your injury, thanks for sharing. I've still not been up to the challenge on mine, keep thinking about the face stiches I have from learning to dirtslide the landboard. Interested to hear more end results from others who have dirtsurfered with a kite. YouTube dirtsurfer crashes look fast/bad enough, add to that managing an attached kite... Hope you heal up fully & quickly.

ssayre - 9-8-2017 at 01:30 PM

Quote: Originally posted by NeverBoard  
Having lots of fun with the dirtsurfer!

Working on jibes/carving - I keep slacking the lines and collapsing the kite. Does that mean turn the board sharper? send the kite harder (or earlier?)?

I haven't used a dirt surfer but you could carve slightly upwind and put the kite high and if you have enough rolling momentum, initiate the turn and dive the kite the other direction while pointed down wind and complete the turn under power. Sorry to hear about the injury and great pictures

Windstruck - 9-9-2017 at 08:02 AM

Quote: Originally posted by NeverBoard  
So, I broke my hand - I crashed in some long grass and my finger got tangled up. There's one patch of really snakey tangly grass that stopped the board and claimed my 4th metacarpal. Before that, I was getting some consistency at gybeing and staying up wind on the short run of the park. Pics from july.

Always saddened to read about injuries. Seems with power kiting it's a "not a matter of if, but a matter of when" sort of contract we all hold. I too hope you heal up quickly and agree with Sean about the fineness of the pics.

smiler8401 - 9-10-2017 at 07:43 AM

Neverboard .. sorry to hear about the injury . I hope you heal fast .

Being standing , falling down on your ass or face plant is unavoidable .
In case you not yet see this video , there is someone posting how to safest way to fall . yeah ...how to fall !!! .


it were for kite landboarding , i guess it could apply .
that been said i try make a habit to always keep my hand on the bar when falling so it either my knee or elbow hit the ground first .

yeah there are great picture .

NeverBoard - 9-14-2017 at 01:50 PM

Thanks for the encouragement!!

Tomorrow marks 6 weeks. My physio is happy with progress and gave me the OK to slowly return to normal activities. Lots of progress on my latest tricks - tendon glides and squashing therapy putty. Gonna take it slow and make sure everything is strong before getting back on a landboard.

I have been thinking about safety. Even though my injury was relatively minor and manageable, it's not good getting injured. It's scary how easily that happened.

Like PistolPete mentioned, it's informative to watch the crash reels. Dirtsurfers are fast, and they can really send you flying and slam you when you crash. Like Smiler said, keeping hands on the bar and rolling is a good idea, if possible (that video is great). The disclaimer on the bottom of a dirtsurfer advises: 1) check the terrain 2) don't ride in traffic, and 3) wear pads. #1 applies to my crash, and I will be avoiding long grass, even though it is tempting since it opens up a lot more terrain. Also, thanks ssayre for the kite control advice!

This is informative (and encouraging!): http://www.powerkiteforum.com/viewthread.php?tid=4097
Lots of crashes in here (and some nice riding): https://vimeo.com/1608479
Lastly, on the positive side, this guy is probably a good role model: http://www.abc.net.au/local/photos/2014/12/19/4151888.htm

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