There are kites built for different activities. Specifically, leading edge inflatable kites (L.E.I. kites) and Foil kites. L.E.I. Kites are designed to be used anywhere, be it on land, in the snow, or on the water. They have an inflatable leading edge (front tube section) keeping them afloat when the land in the water. Foil kites do not have any inflation to them, thus, when the crash in the water they often fill with water and turn into a handy anchor. Those looking for a kite ONLY to be used on land or snow should be fine with a foil kite; however, those looking to play in the water will appreciate the safety and convenience of a L.E.I. kite.
Kite Style: Different kites are built for different styles of kiting. There are many different ways to use a kite, be if for skiing, surfing, or racing. When purchasing a kite, you’ll have access to descriptions and charts that designate what that specific kite is best used for. Ensure that you take some time to do some research and learn about how you’d like to ride, and how your kite is going to perform. For more information you can check out our Kite Buying Guide.
The Quiver: When purchasing a kite, be sure to take careful consideration of your quiver. A kiter’s quiver is the collection of kites he or she has to best handle the changing wind patterns and weather conditions based on where and when you’re kiting. When building a quiver, you’re going to want kites of varying sizes. Generally speaking, riders own three kites; small, medium, and large. The variety offered by a three kite setup encompasses the full range of safe wind conditions without creating redundancy.
Size: Narrowing down from the quiver to individual kites, the size of your kite is going to be directly correlated to your personal size, the wind conditions, and your level of experience. The faster the wind, the smaller the kite you’re going to want. This is why it’s so important to have a quiver of kites. It is unsafe to go out into fast winds with a kite that is too large. Check out the sizing charts for the kites that you’re interested in to best determine the safe wind speeds.
Other Items: Kites come in two ways, complete or not complete. When a kite is labeled at “complete” it means it comes with the kite, the bar and the lines. Most kites are sold incomplete so you’re going to need to acquire a bar and lines as well. When purchasing a kite, be sure to look into the compatible bars and lines so you can best enhance your kiting experience. For other questions you can check out all of our kiting boarding buying guides or call our friendly Customer Service Staff.