Choosing the kiteboarding gear
When it comes to kiteboard gear, there are a plethora of different brands, models and sizes. We try to sort it out and give some general advice in selecting the kite.
How many kites do you need?
A kite is a good start, but once you’ve got into the sport, and you might want a new that is more suitable to your size and skills. When you get tired of standing on the beach where the wind is too much or too little for your size, the right size of kite can do so much difference especially then. There are many who have three or four kites, kites, but two is enough to you to seize on the windiest days.
Choosing the Kite Size?
In Sweden there is often light wind, especially in summer. Start by obtaining your “big” kite. If you are a beginner, it is also appropriate because it is safer to go out with a big kite in low wind than vice versa. Your weight is very important when selecting the kite size. 12m ² is a good maximum size for a rider around 70-80 kgs (divide your weight in pounds by 2.5 to get your weight in kilograms). If you are heavyweights (+90kgs), invest in a 13-14m ². If you are a lightweight (around 55-60kg), you will need a 10-11 square meters as the largest kite.
If you are to opt for the size of the smaller kite, the question is how large it should be between 13 square meters and 9 sq.m. Many people find these smaller sizes to be the most fun to drive as it is faster and easier to move around with. You will need to be an advanced player to choose the smaller kite of course.
Type of kites
There is talk of bow-kites, SLE kites, LEI-kites, foil kites, C kites, hybrid kites and others. All terms relating to a pretty pass. We start with a simple advice.
If you are a beginner, a C-kite is not recommended, choose instead any of the other types; SLE kite, bow-kite, delta kite or hybrid kite. Many different concepts, but they all have one thing in common; they have much less power making it easier and safer for a beginner to get started.
Kite’s properties and suitability for beginners will then more than the model than on the type of kite. Most kite manufacturers have a kite model that is primarily intended for beginners.
If you want to do a deep dive you will find short statement at the end of the article.
Things to consider as a beginner
Kites are much more fun in the air than in water. As a first kite, it is good to choose a model that is easy to water start. The water start a big kite in light winds requires the right technology, which takes a while to learn.
No kite is good at everything, even if kite’s product info often claim the opposite. Think about the type of riding you will devote yourself to the upcoming season and then select the kite. Just because a kite is beginner-friendly it doesn’t need to be boring. “High Performance” kites are less suitable for beginners because they are uneasy in the air, has explosive force and more difficult to water start. However, it is perfectly fine to run advanced skiing on a beginner-friendly kite.
Used kiteboarding gear
It may be affordable to buy used when kites have relatively poor resale value. Just be aware that the development of kites has gone very fast even if it has close off slightly in recent years. If you buy a kite from 2009 or newer of the more common brands, you can be sure that you get a good kite with a good security system. Look out for damage and weariness caused by sand and sun. Test and see if it wears well on fabric and seams.
- LEI (Leading Edge inflatable) or tube-kite: Kites is pumped up and that is by far the most common type of kite.
- Foil Kite: These kites do not need to be pumped up but keeps its profile by the wind fills kite’s cells with air. Main use is on snow and land, but there are varieties that also work well on the water.
- Delta Kite: Kites with very rounded tip. Flat Laid-Open these kites are almost triangular in shape.
- SLE kite (Supported Leading Edge): Leading Edgen supported by so-called bridle-lines. All kites on the market, except for C-kites fall into this category.
- Bow kite: Bow kite is a type of SLE kite having a convex edge, and based on Legainouxs Bruno patent.
- Hybrid kite: Could actually be a little bit about anything because as the name suggests is a mixture of different kite types. A common definition is that it is a C kite with bridle cords (SLE a kite) and “trailing edge ‘is convex in contrast to a” bow-kite “. Attempts of this type of kite to reach C-kite’s performance while maintaining SLE kite’s depower.
- C kite C-kit, the first tube-kit. It is reminiscent of a C in shape and running at four or five lines and no bridle-lines on leading edge. C-kites today forms a small part of the kite market. They have especially less powered than SLE kites and therefore requires more of the rider. C-kite has a performance that is well suited to advanced freestyle and is the choice for many professional skaters.