Different styles of riding require different shapes of kite. All brands offer an all use kite, however, they also offer kites used for specific styles of kiting. Consider the type of kiting you’ll be doing and select your appropriate kite.
Freeride – This is the most popular style of kiteboarding. Riders are more concerned with having fun and learning techniques to improve the status of their skill. Freeride is all about cruising the coast and carving through the waves.
Freestyle – Freestyle riding is all about big air and awesome tricks. The “go anywhere” format calls for format free riding with riders hitting every wave, big or small and pulling only the coolest tricks.
Surf – Surf style kiteboarding requires surf style waves. This hybrid kite/surf sport involves riding the board like a surfboard with highly dynamic footwork and constant board manipulation. Sometimes this requires riding without foot straps, allowing the riders to maneuver their feet to improve balance and propulsion from the wave. Strapped riders use the power of the wind (a.k.a. the kite) to position themselves on top of the wave.
Race – Either course based or free-for-all, race style kiting is all about achieving the maximum speed over a set distance. Major differences involve more powerful kites to draw more wind power and special boards with specific fin design for optimal control and speed.
Light Wind – Light wind kites are specifically designed to perform under weak wind conditions. They will usually have more surface area and a slightly different design to ensure that the rider gets maximum performance during light wind conditions.
Trainer – Trainer kites are specific to learning to use and maneuver kites. They are smaller in size, do not require a harness and are used explicitly on land.
Snow/Land – If you are looking to ride on land, and only on land, you can use ANY kite made by anyone as long as it has enough power to pull you.