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Buying Guide for Kiteboards

 

By Steve Kopitz

 

It’s gaining popularity but kiteboards and Kiteboarding is still a very new sport. A surf-style ride powered by wind and a kite, this guide will tell you the differences between kites on the market and how to choose the best one.

 

Boards:

 

First off, you’ll need a board to stand on so here are the different types available.

 

• Twin Tips – symmetrical on both ends

 

• Directional – Has a similar style to a surfboard

 

• Mutant – A hybrid between a twin tip and directional

 

If you’re looking for a good beginner board, it’s recommended to try the Twin Tip due to their ease of transition. Changes in your footing or posture isn’t a necessity as much on a Twin Tip Board so you’ll have more stability.

 

Board Lengths:

 

How big should the board you’re about to hop on be? It’s all dependent on your weight and body size. Here’s a quick chart to see which length to consider:

 

Kiteboard Sizing Chart

 

If you are a newer rider, you’ll want to get a board on the higher end of the spectrum. A bigger board will provide more volume and allow you to stay afloat longer without the board sinking under your weight.

 

For example: A small body sized person new to kiteboarding would want to consider a board length above 142cm.

 

Kites:

 

You can’t kiteboard without kite. Here are a few different options that you may come across:

 

• C-Shape – Convex Trailing Edge, No Swept Back Wingtips. They are also known as inflatables because they will float in the water when dropped.

 

o This is a very basic shape

 

o Less wind range

 

• Bow Kite – Concave Trailing Edge, Swept Back Wingtips

 

o It looks much flatter when flying. Near 100% De-power with a large wind range. De-Powering means that you can essentially remove the power from the kite which is a great safety feature to have.

 

o High wind range – you’ll be able to kite in more conditions

 

• Hybrid Kite – Convex Trailing Edge, Swept Back Wingtip

 

o A leading edge bridle takes some of the tension and load out of the kite. The convex trailing edge allows for more wind to be in contact with the kite.

 

o High wind range – you’ll be able to kite in more conditions

 

One aspect of purchasing a kite is to find one that is re-launchable. This means that you can get going while in the water. If you’re a beginner, look for novice kites that will fly in low winds. This ensures that you aren’t stuck in the water with a kite you aren’t familiar with.

 

I hope this information was helpful in finding you the right kiteboard and kite for your next adventure. If you are new to the sport, it’s advisable to take a lesson so that you can learn the basics which will ease any frustration when starting out. The benefits of learning from an instructor will far exceed the hassle of figuring it out on your own.

 

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