How to choose proper kite equipment for the first time.
If you have already passed first trainings of kitesurfing in one of the kite schools and now you’ve decided to buy your first kite equipment, then you are in the right place.
In this kite buying guide you will learn how to choose your first kite, kiteboard, wetsuit (if applicable) and kite harness.
But first, we will make one clarification, if you have not yet been trained in a kite school, then you do not need to buy equipment.
Kitesurfing is a very dangerous sport and you can get very seriously injured from learning on your own. Highly recommended to read Kiteboarding Safety Rules.
Self-study can even be fatal.
We highly recommend that you contact certified professionals or kite schools.
So let’s move on to choosing a kite.
First, you need to know how often you will ride throughout the year. If it will be 2-3 times a year and in total your riding is a couple of weeks, then you do not need to buy equipment for this,
and the best option in this case to rent it. Even if it seems to you that for the rental price you can buy equipment and save money, we will disappoint you. It is best to renew your equipment every three years. During this period the kite equipment
manufacturers are improving more and more. Market for used kite gear is not large and it might prove very difficult to sell your gear even if you have ridden a couple of times and it is almost new.
If you still need kite equipment and are thinking about buying used or new.
It all depends on your financial capabilities in the first place. Of course, it is better to buy a new one and not think about what used gear may disappoint you. But you can find used kite equipment in very good condition. It all depends on how much honest the seller turns out to be, or so that a knowledgeable person whom you trust helps you with the choice.
Now there are many special tools that can restore used kite such as strength, hydrophobicity and color saturation.
Which kite to choose?
We are sure that your instructor has already told you about the types of kite, but if not, then we can briefly tell you.
There used to be three types of kites: C-kite, Bow kite and Hybrid. Now basically there are two main types left in the market: C-kite and Hybrid.
C-kites, if you are a beginner, will not suit you. They are mainly used by professionals who perform at the level of competition.
C-kites have a small wind range, difficulty in restarting from the water and lack of traction at the start.
You should choose Hybrids. Hybrids have everything you need: good wind range, easy water restart and
will give good traction at the start. Hybrids have varieties of kites that are suitable for beginners or professionals. There are also
versatile kites that will help you progress from beginner to intermediate. They have stable cravings and you will just
cut into the wind and take the first jumps. Examples of such kites are Cabrinha, Swichblade, North Evo, Slingshot Rally.
When you get out of the intermediate level, your choice will be between performing difficult tricks on flat water or going out on sea or ocean waves and riding surf with a kite. Then you may want to consider buying a C-kite or a special Wave kite.
Then the question of choosing the size and number of kites will arise. If someone told you that one size of kite can cover the entire wind range, do not believe it.
To cover most of the wind range, you need at least 2 kites or possibly 3 kites. Good combinations would be 8, 12 or 10, 14 kites sizes.
It depends on where you will ride and your weight.
Choosing a kiteboard.
For beginners, you should choose for a twin-tip board (symmetrical bi-directional). After passing the path from beginner to advanced, you can look for a surfboard.
When choosing a board, you need to look at the size, and the size depends on your weight. On average, if you take a person’s weight 75-85 kg, then the best choice would be a board length of 137-138 cm and a width of 41-43 cm. Plus or minus 10 kg to this weight add or subtract 2-3 cm for each of the sizes, respectively.
At the expense of board models, there is a very large selection: the longitudinal bending of the board, the presence of concave, the shape of the board edges, all this plays a big role in how the kiteboard will behave on the water. Boards like kite can be versatile, which are suitable for beginners. You can choose for such examples: Nobile T5, Nobile NHP, Duotone Jamie.
Choosing a harness.
The choice of a harness should also be approached with great responsibility. The harness is the link between you and the kite and a lot depends on how it sits on you. There are a very large number of harnesses, made of different materials and different rigidity. There are two types of harness: the seat harness and the waist harness.
The seat harnesses are used for training or for those with back problems. The seat harness have the disadvantages that they restrict movement. Before choosing a harness, it is better to try on several options in order for you to find the one that is more comfortable for you. But also it should be checked all the following options:
Comfort: all harnesses should fit snugly without being too loose or too tight. Excessive pressure on the lower ribs will cause discomfort and may force you to interrupt your session earlier;
Safety Functions: a good harness features several straps that allow you to tighten it around your waist and prevent it from riding up – a well-hidden knife is always a mandatory tool;
Quality of Materials: a model with soft cushioned neoprene, good stitches, a high-end stainless steel hook will never cause breathing problems;
The Right Size for Your Body: correct fitting correct fitting one can provide support and reduce muscle fatigue, allowing for a longer and safer kiting session;
When choosing a kite harness, make a rigorous inspection to see if all components were correctly assembled. Analyze the quality of the hard and soft shell and composite materials.
A wetsuit is your second skin, which protects you from hypothermia, ultraviolet radiation or mechanical damage. The choice of a wetsuit depends on the temperature in which you will ride most often. Wetsuits come in a variety of weights and designs.
WETSUIT TEMPERATURE GUIDE
|Water Temperature Range (°F)||Wetsuit Thickness||Wetsuit Type||Seal Type|
|65°- 75°||0.5 mm – 2/1 mm||Top / Shorty||N/A|
|62°- 68°||2 mm – 3/2 mm||Springsuit / Full Suit||Flatlock|
|58°- 63°||3/2 mm – 4/3 mm||Full Suit + Boots||Sealed|
|52°- 58°||4/3 mm – 5/4/3 mm||Full Suit + Boots + Gloves + Hood||Sealed and Taped|
|43°- 52°||5/4 mm – 5/4/3 mm||Full Suit + Boots + Gloves + Hood||Sealed and Taped|
|42° and below||6/5 mm – 6/5/4 mm||Full Suit / Drysuit + Boots + Gloves + Hood||Sealed and Taped|
We hope this article helped you. For more detailed reviews of the choice of kiteboarding equipment, read the following articles.