How to choose a kite for kiteboarding
How to choose a kite for kiteboarding.
Whether you're a beginner kitesurfer looking to make your first purchase or an experienced enthusiast aiming for an upgrade, the perfect kite for kiteboarding can be challenging. With seemingly endless options, choosing from among them might initially seem intimidating. Luckily, with the correct information and guidance, discovering which kite would best suit you should take little effort. In this blog post, we'll discuss some of the critical things to consider when searching for that ideal beginner kiteboarding kite and what makes one better suited than another, considering an average wind speed.
Understand the kite size – what size should your kite be based on your experience level and wind conditions?
When selecting the appropriate kite size for a safe kiteboarding adventure, it's crucial to consider your skill level and wind conditions. If you're a novice, you should begin with a smaller kite size to master the fundamentals safely. Veteran kiteboarders can manage larger kites that deliver greater power and velocity. Additionally, the wind conditions play a significant role - in lighter winds, larger kites are needed to generate enough power for seamless motion on the water.
To ensure safety and better control, opting for a smaller kite during strong winds is advisable. Choosing the appropriate kite size based on your expertise and wind condition can improve your overall kiteboarding experience, making it more enjoyable and safe.
For those new to kitesurfing, it is important to be familiar with the various types of kiteboarding kites currently available in the market. The inflatable kite, for example, is the most common kite among kitesurfers. It is highly versatile, easy to use, and can be relaunched quickly if it falls into the water. On the other hand, wind-filled foil high-aspect kites or freestyle kites have a slimmer profile, which makes them more efficient for fast riding. If you're looking for something that combines the best qualities of an inflatable kite ( LEI) and a high-aspect kite or freestyle kite, or hybrid kite, then the mid-aspect kite all-round freeride kite is the way to go. They offer close to the stability of low-aspect ( short and fat-in-shape beginner kites) inflatable kites and nearly the speed of high-aspect kites.
With this basic kite knowledge, you can make an informed choice when selecting your kite for your kitesurfing adventure. You will come across websites talking about hybrid kite, delta kites, C kites, bow kites, and foil kites, but to begin with, you need to look for an all-around kite like a Duotone Evo kitesurfing kite. The Evo kiteboarding kite has a large kite wind range. It is a powerful kite in light wind and a friendly throw-about kite in medium winds. All the names mentioned above are old terms for specialist kites, and to begin with, when looking for your first kite buying a modern design is advisable.
What size of kitesurfing kites should I buy if I am a 70 kg or a 100kg kitesurfer?
The difference between a 70kg rider's weight and a 100kg rider's weight will be a meter or two in kite size; as a 70 kg kitesurfer, you may be wondering what size of kitesurfing kite you should buy. Selecting the appropriate kite size that offers ample power for comfortable riding while being manageable and safe is essential.
Generally, the kite size will depend on a few factors, including wind speed, skill level, the type and size of board you'll use, and body weight. As a rule of thumb, most kite surfers recommend a kite size of around 9-12 square meters for someone your weight. As you can see from the kite size chart below, with an average wind range in UK conditions, a 10-12m kite is a reasonably sensible bet. The Uk has a moderately moist wind, which gives more power than the same wind in the Caribbean, where the wind is dryer.
The graph below works on the fact that you can ride upwind. Your board size is 136-142cm by 39-41cm wide, the average for most riders buying their first twin tip. I have not included winds much lighter than 11 knots as, for most, it will be a struggle to hold ground in winds as light as this. I also stopped at 25 knots, as most first-timers get slightly nervous in strong winds.
kite sizes and kiteboard size chart.
If I am buying a quiver of kites, what should I buy?
Riders weighing 60-75kg will look for a size range of freeride kite of 7m (a small kite )and 10m (a bigger kite), giving most riders a large wind range. Grab yourself a modern bigger board, and your away. The current kiteboard differs from the older twin tips, which were very stiff. A stiff board is fast but difficult to control at speed. You go faster and faster and then explode. Look for a board with a soft flex and some channels under it. This will give you plenty of control and help drive the board upwind.
If you are a rider, 80-100kg, you are probably looking at a 9m size kite for high winds and a 12m larger kite, grab a slightly larger board and give yourself a head start on most.
Of course, as your ability improves and you go out in higher winds, you will add smaller kites. You encounter lighter winds in certain parts of the world, so you need a big kite. Different wind speeds and a more aggressive riding style change your views of what is important to you.
It is always best to talk to the local shop to find out about local conditions and to get an idea of prevailing wind ranges and predicted wind strength.