Having a good equipment is essential to practice any sport, as is the case of kitesurfing; if you are just starting, it is likely that you are approached with many doubts. But don’t worry, today you will learn how to choose a kitesurfing kite that suits you and the conditions under which you want to ride.
Main characteristics of a kitesurfing kite
In order to choose a kitesurfing kite you need to know which are the features you can find and which are the most convenient.
This is one of the most important safety features of a kitesurfing kite; its function is to adjust the angle of attack to reduce the pulling force. Having a lot of depower will give you a greater margin of error, good stability and control of the kite.
Number of kite lines
The line system of the kite contributes indirectly to the control of the kite and can be 4 or 5 lines. Generally a 4 line system is chosen as it makes it easier to set up the material, but kites like the C type will need 5 lines to lift.
If you want to perform the ultimate maneuvers and your riding style to be that of a pro, then it is in your best interest to choose kitesurfing kites that are for freestyle.
Freeride kites will allow you to ride in all conditions, be it flat water or waves, chopy, etc. They are not designed for maneuvering, but can also be used for maneuvering.
As its name suggests, this kite kite is designed for wave riding, 100% compatible with kitesurf boards. Its wind range is greater than that of a freeride kite, and it also has a higher depower capacity.
Types of kitesurfing kites
When you go to choose kitesurfing kite, you will find many options. This is because there are many types of kites, with different advantages and disadvantages.
These are the most common kitesurfing kites, with an inflatable structure that gives them consistency and allows them to float when falling on the water. There are several types.
Kitesurf kite type C
This type of kite owes its name to its semicircular shape, which results in a small surface that traps less air. They are recommended for professionals, with radical riding style and for wave riding.
Their main advantage is that they have good upwind ability, besides having a lot of power to jump and stay in the air for a long time; however, they have the disadvantage of being difficult to relaunch on the water, since they have a low depower.
100% depower kite
If you are a beginner, you should buy a kite with a higher depower for safety reasons. These kites have a maximum penetration capacity, increasing the projected surface area for a wider wind range. Their disadvantage is that they are not as powerful, with less jumping ability.
There are two types of kites:
Bow or Flat kites.
They are more accessible and comfortable than the C type, with a total power reduction capacity that makes them more versatile. Bow kites can be used in a wide range of winds and have a good level of safety, being ideal for beginners, although they are a little more complicated to set up.
This kite seeks to combine the power and speed of the C-type kite with the versatility and control of the flat kites. In addition, it is easy to set up.
Foil type kites
The foil kite is composed of several cells that inflate with the wind that enters through the front valves, forming its profile. They are similar to paragliders, with a complex system of lines to control them and a low buoyancy, which makes them ideal for use on land.
You can choose a foil kite if you are looking for an impact resistant model with good traction and easy relaunch. However, you should take into account that they can fill with water if they float for a few minutes, and the control lines can get tangled if you are inexperienced.
Bow type kites
This type of kite has a lot of depower, which makes it perfect for beginners. Although they are not very powerful, they do not accumulate a lot of air and this will give you more margin for error. However, the brands stopped manufacturing them and you will probably have to opt for second hand kitesurf kites.
Hybrid type kites
Hybrid kites combine characteristics of both flat kites and C-type kites. They have a good unhooked performance (typical of the C type), but also in easy relaunch from the water (characteristic of the bow type).
Delta type kites
They are similar to bow kites, but with a much more backward profile; it is the newest in kitesurfing kites. Delta kites are ideal for beginners, as they are easy to use, easy to relaunch on the water and have a large wind range.
What to consider before buying a kite kite
When choosing a kite kite, here are the factors that will help you determine the ideal size:
As mentioned in the previous section, the weather conditions greatly influence the size of the kite kite. This is because the strength of the wind will do much of the work. In general, the greater the wind strength, the smaller the kite size should be.
On the other hand, the weight of the kiter will also define how much power is needed for the kite to carry it through the water. The heavier the kiter, the smaller the size of the kite. This does not take into account the wind strength, so the size of the kite will be determined by the combination of weight and wind.
In winds of 13 to 17 knots, the following table will serve as a guide:
Kiter’s weight Kite kite size
|Kiter’s weight||Kite size|
|50 – 60 kg||9 – 10 m|
|60 – 70 kg||11 – 12 m|
|70 – 80 kg||12 – 14 m|
|80 – 90 kg||14 – 16 m|
For higher winds, you should go down one level on the scale every 5 knots (one level after 17 knots, two levels after 22 knots, etc.).
Know your level and the wind you can cope with
However, knowing your level is very important to determine what conditions you can start with. If you are a beginner, and you are hesitating between two sizes of kitesurfing kite, it is best to opt for the smaller one; the worst that can happen is that you do not start, while doing so with a kite larger than recommended could be dangerous.
Recommended kite for beginners
If you are just starting out in this sport, it is best to choose a bow or hybrid kite, as they have a good depower and are safer. Also, it is preferable to start with a smaller kite than the recommended kite rather than a bigger one, as you could lose control.
Knowing what type of riding you are looking for
On the other hand, there are as many kite styles as there are disciplines. In addition to choosing a good size kite, you should also look for a kite that suits the type of riding you are going to practice.
If you want to do a lot of maneuvers while riding, this type of kite is the best kite for you. However, it is an option that we prefer to reserve for more experienced kiters.
Also known as “all terrain”, this kite will serve you to ride and jump in all conditions. You can use it to ride on flat water, chopy, in the waves and even for some maneuvering.
Since it is made for wave riding, this is the type of kite with the most reinforcements. It is an excellent choice for both experts and beginners, as it will withstand all adversities.
Recommended kite for beginners
If you are just starting out in this sport, it is best to choose a bow or hybrid kite, as they have a good depower and are safer. Also, it is preferable to start with a smaller kite than the recommended kite rather than riding a bigger one, as you could lose control.
How much does a kite cost?
The price can vary when choosing a kite kite with different characteristics, as well as the year of manufacture and condition. A new kite kite with bar costs between 1.000€ and 3.000€, but you can find used kites around 700€.
If you opt for a second hand kite, it is important that it is inflated while you check it to see if it loses pressure. Also find out about the safety system and check that the lines do not have any knots or chafing.
I’m Sergio Turégano and I’ve been practicing kite for 10 years. Since I was little I was passionate about the sea and I started to jump into the water with boards since I can remember, I’ve tried body, surf and windsurf but kitesurfing is my passion. I was champion of the Kitesurf TT:R Open World Championship in 2017 and I have been runner-up of Spain in the Junior category. Now I dedicate my life to enjoy kitesurfing as much as I can and teach others how to practice this amazing sport in Tarifa. I love to write about it and share all my tricks, tips and secrets about the kite world.