How to choose a kitesurf board?

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As in any sport, choosing the right equipment is essential for both your performance and your safety. That is why you should follow a series of guidelines when choosing a kitesurf board; let’s see what they are.

What should I look for when choosing a kitesurf board?

There are many types of kitesurfing boards to choose from, so having a guide can be useful. In general, these are the aspects to take into account.

Your weight

If you are just starting out, you should know that kitesurfing boards for beginners are adapted to your size, so they should be chosen by weight. These are the most recommended sizes according to your weight:

 

Kiter WeightBoard size
40 to 60 kg130 cm x 40 cm
60 to 80 kg133 cm x 41 cm
80 to 100 kg139 cm x 42.5 cm
Over 100 kg145 cm x 46 cm

Curvature or rocker level of the kiteboard

If you look at your kiteboard in profile, you will see a curvature known as rocker; a board with rocker has higher tips compared to a normal board. The rocker makes it easier to start and avoids splashing in the face when chopping or surfing, as well as making the ride more comfortable and fluid by improving freedom of movement.

However, a board with a very pronounced rocker is slower, so you should if you prefer speed over fluidity before choosing.

Board fretwork

The arc at the bottom of the board is known as the draft or concave, which influences the overall attitude of the board. It is responsible for channeling the water flow in a certain direction and serves to improve glide, upwind sailing or to increase speed.

Although you can choose a kitesurf board with a flat base, the concave offers more control and is ideal for beginners.

Contour type

Another of the characteristics by which kitesurfing boards are classified is the contact of the rails with the water, known as contour. You can choose between these two options:

Straight contour

The straight contour provides greater resistance in the water, in addition to improving the pop.

Round contour

The round contour allows a more professional navigation, being also of great help for jibing.

Length and width of the kitesurfing board

Although the weight can give you an idea of the recommended kitesurfing board size, professionals usually choose different sizes depending on the performance they want from the board. For example, a shorter board is more direct, providing better control in choppy water.

The width also influences the overall performance of the board, as it varies the surface area that comes into direct contact with the water. A wider kiteboard allows for quicker planing. You can choose different combinations of length and width if you are looking for other types of landing, higher speed, better flight, etc.

Board direction

Another aspect to consider when choosing a kiteboard is whether or not it allows you to go in both directions, thus dividing them into two groups.

Directional kitesurf board

Also known as a surfboard, the directional kitesurf board is asymmetrical and allows you to ride only in one direction, so you will have to change sides to change direction. As an advantage, this board allows you to ride in less wind, and it is specially designed for waves or races.

Twintip freeride kitesurfing board

The twintip kitesurf board or bi-directional kitesurf board is the most common, especially when you are starting out. It is a symmetrical board that allows you to navigate both left and right, so you do not have to turn if you want to change course. It offers more comfort and freedom, serving as a freeride kitesurf board.

Turning point rules

Of course, the ideal kitesurf board depends not only on the surfer, but also on the conditions in which he/she surfs. If the weather changes, it is possible to lose some of the advantages sought by choosing a wider or longer board.

For example, for inland waters it is recommended to choose a larger kitesurf board, but it can be counterproductive when the wind blows stronger because it will decrease the speed; it is then when you should opt for a smaller one. Many factors influence when choosing a board, it is even advisable to have several options, but this is something you will learn with experience.

Strap or grip of the kitesurfing board

Depending on the type of kitesurfing, kitesurfing boards may be fitted with straps to secure the feet. A bad fit can cause injuries, so it is important to look at this before choosing a kitesurf board; if your feet are small, for example, a less wide board would be convenient.

As for the ideal placement, you can find it by jumping forward and landing in a comfortable squatting position with your knees at an angle of about 90°; this is called the low squat position. However, you should also consider that separate straps give you more stability, but less flexibility; closer together, the board is more flexible, but less stable.

How much does a kitesurf board cost?

If you are looking for a kitesurf board price, you should know that it varies a lot. To begin with, the dimensions of the board, as well as other features such as the rocker or its direction, can make the price vary; you also have to consider the quality of the board.

If you are only looking for the board, its price can be around 300€. However, to practice kitesurfing you will need the complete equipment, which includes -at least- a board, a harness, a kite and its bar; all this can cost between 1.000€ and 3.000€.

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