Starting to Buggy

POSTED : May 18, 2010    2 Comments    Posted under: How To Guide

So you’ve got a kite, a buggy, a helmet and insurance, its time to have fun.

Buggying is one of those mysterious things that it is initially really hard until it suddenly all falls into place. Patience at this point will be rewarded.

Firstly figure out which way the wind is blowing then arrange your buggy so it is pointing towards a broad reach.

Launch your kite and position it directly over you head at the top of the wind window. The kite should feel very stable and should not be pulling you around. If you are being pulled around, it is likely that the wind is turbulent, so it may be more difficult to control the kite. You need to be aware of this.

With the kite above your head, sit in the buggy and put your feet on the foot pegs, you will still need to pay attention to what the kite is doing while you do this, make sure it stays directly above you head.

Once you are comfortably in the buggy, you are ready to go. Steer and gently lower the kite in the direction you want the buggy to travel. Don’t drop the kite immediately into the power zone as you will be dragged sideways out of the buggy, all kite movements need to be slow and fluid. The kite should always be down wind from you.

As you lower the kite and steer it slightly forwards, you will feel the power gradually come in. As it does, both you and the buggy will start to move forwards. You will need to counter the pull of the kite otherwise you will encounter your first OBE very quickly. From above, here’s how it will look if you take the left hand broad reach.

If you are heading in the right hand board reach direction, it will look like:

Slowing Down and Stopping

Once you start to move it is very important that you learn how to stop. Stopping is very easy; gently steer the buggy away from the kite while moving the kite directly above your head. In other words steer the buggy into the wind. This will have the effect of slowing you down. Moving the kite above your head will remove the traction, so there will be no pull from the kite in the direction you are traveling. Don’t steer the kite to the overhead position too quickly or the kite will begin to generate lots of lift and an OBE will quickly follow.

It is a little difficult to explain this easily, so don’t worry if you are confused, however once you have done it a few times it will all become clear. This is how it looks if you are on the left hand broad reach.

And again, if you are heading on the right hand broad reach :

Power slides are a very good way to stop quickly, however we’ll cover those later. For now, learning to stop quickly and safely is more important than learning how to go fast.

Downwind Turning

As you’ve probably figured out, the buggy is steered by the feet on the front pegs. It very easy and comes quite naturally.

You do need to be aware however of your kite and how it will react when you want to go in a different direction. Remember that you can’t buggy into the wind and at this stage, although it’s easy to do so, don’t buggy directly down wind.

If you buggy directly down wind you and the buggy will catch up with the kite, the kite will then luff and typically fall out of the sky. At this point the lines get tangled around the buggy wheels and the kite suddenly powers up when you are least expecting it. Try and avoid it. It is important to keep the lines under tension all the time.

Turning the buggy around and going in the opposite direction initially requires lots of concentration. There are several things which you need to control all at the same time.

If you have mastered stopping as described previously, then you are half way to turning, however this time you are turning away from the wind rather than towards it. You will be traveling on a beam reach and will generally need a little more speed in order to allow the buggy to do the turn and still have momentum to continue moving.

While you make this turn towards the direction you have already come from, as before when stopping, you also need to raise the kite to the over head position or zenith and once you have completed the turn, steer the kite so it beings to provide traction again and it will being to pull you along. If you get this right, you’ll have completed your first turn.

Down wind Turning Steps

1. Heading down wind on a beam reach run. Kite proving traction to pull you at a reasonable speed.
2. Half way through the turn the kite should be above your head in at the zenith.
3. On completing the turn, the kite is maneuvered into a position where it is generating enough power to pull you along again. You can now buggy on a beam reach in the opposition direction from where you came from.

Well, that’s pretty much the basics, you should now be able to buggy, stop when required and do down wind turns. Easy !!

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2 Comments + Add Comment

  • […] Also see Starting to Buggy | Kites Buggies and Boards another very good source of information Flexifoil Orbit 160 (fun kite) 6 x Flexifoil STACKER […]

  • I worked this out for myself. Glad I was doing it right – wish I’d have seen this well written description before going on the sands though. Many thanks to the author.


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