Friday, May 17, 2024
InstructionalBeginnerKiteboarding Gear - The Essentials to getting started

Kiteboarding Gear – The Essentials to getting started

Kiteboarding Gear – The Essentials to Getting Started

There has never been a better time to get into kitesurfing. Kitesurfing, often referred to as kiteboarding, is an exhilarating water sport that combines elements of wakeboarding, surfing, and paragliding. At first glance, it might seem like a complex sport with numerous pieces of equipment. However, like any sport, understanding the essentials is key. Whether you’re a newbie eager to experience the thrill of the wind and water in your first lesson, or a recent kite school graduate, this guide will help you navigate the essential gear you’ll need for an optimal kiteboarding experience. At the end of this article we will provide some links to some fantastic kiteboarding package deals available local retailers.

Trainer Kite: Before diving straight into the deep waters of kiteboarding, a trainer kite is your best friend. These smaller, simpler versions of the full-sized kite offer beginners a chance to get a feel for kite handling and control without the added complications of the board. They’re a relatively low-cost investment that provides invaluable training for understanding wind dynamics and kite maneuvers. Not to mention, the time you spend learning to fly your trainer kite on land, supercharges your learning curve when you are on the water! Expect to pay between $200-350 for a new trainer kite. Don’t skip this step… it’s worth its weight in gold.

Kite: The heart of the sport, the kite captures the wind and propels you across the water. Kites come in different shapes and sizes, each offering specific advantages depending on wind conditions and the rider’s skill level. Modern leading edge inflatable (LEI) kites offer vastly improved wind ranges and safety systems compared to older kites. It’s vital to choose one that’s right for your level and the conditions in which you’ll be riding. Ask your local shop or school for kite size recommendations. Riders at locations with steady winds often use one main size 80% of the time. Most advanced riders have 2-3 kite sizes to cover their local conditions. Be sure to check out Kitesurfing Magazine’s in-depth Kitesurfing Reviews.

2023 Kite Reviews
2023 Kite Reviews

Board: Much like a snowboard or wakeboard, the kiteboard is what you stand on as you glide and jump over the water. Boards come in various styles, including twin-tip, directional, and foil boards. Your choice will depend on your riding style and the conditions. A twin-tip is ideal for learning.

General size recommendations. Riding a larger sizes can be ideal for lighter winds, and easier riding upwind. Many schools will actually teach on light wind twin-tips. If money is no object, a Light-wind twin-tip, and a properly sized Freeride twin-tip, would be ideal.

  • 136cm: Perfect for those weighing between 55-80 kg (121-176 lbs).
  • 138cm: Suited for riders between 65-90kg (143-198 lbs).
  • 141cm: Ideal for those tipping the scales between 75-100kg (165-220 lbs).
  • 144cm: Designed for the heavy hitters between 85-120kg (187-264 lbs).

Control Bar (Lines, kite leash, modern style easy reconnecting quick release): The control bar is your direct connection to the kite, allowing you to steer, control power, and execute tricks. The lines connect the bar to the kite, the leash ensures your kite doesn’t fly away during mishaps, and the modern style quick release systems add an essential safety feature, enabling you to detach from the kite swiftly in emergency situations. Kite lines in the 23-24 m range are a good starting point for most beginners. A bar in the 45-50 cm range is ideal for kites in the 9-12 meter size range.

For the maximum in simplicity, match the bar brand with your kite brand.

Kitesurfing Harness: A kitesurfing harness is a piece of equipment worn by the rider to evenly distribute the powerful pull of the kite across the body. Instead of holding the kite’s force in the arms, which would be exhausting over time, the harness allows the rider to use their body weight to control and maneuver the kite. This setup increases endurance and provides a more enjoyable kiteboarding experience. Check out our Kitesurfing Harness Guide and Kitesurfing Accessory Reviews.

Kitesurfing Harnesses

Helmet: Safety first! Kiteboarding can be a high-impact sport, especially for beginners. A helmet protects your head from potential collisions with the board, kite, or other objects.

Impact Vest/PFD (Personal Flotation Device): Another critical safety gear, an impact vest provides buoyancy and protects your torso from hard impacts. While it’s not a substitute for a life jacket, it offers additional flotation and is designed to cushion blows, especially during wipeouts.

Wetsuit: Depending on the water temperature where you’re kiteboarding, a wetsuit might be essential. It keeps you warm in colder conditions and provides a protective layer against potential scrapes or stings. A full length 4/3 and a Shorty 3/2 are the first suits most riders purchase, but be sure to make sure you purchase a suit suited to your local conditions. Suits designed specifically for windsports are different from traditional diving or even surfing suits. Kitesurfing suits often feature smooth skin, taped and blind sticked seams, and special water drainage from the ankles. Modern front zip suits are the most comfortable.

Ion and Mystic wetsuits

In conclusion, getting into kiteboarding requires a combination of the right gear and proper training. With these essentials in hand and a commitment to learning, you’ll be well on your way to experiencing the unparalleled thrill of harnessing the wind and waves. Happy riding!

Post your questions in the comments below.

Best Package deals:

Real Watersports: Package Deals
Forec Kite and Wake: Package Deals
Windance: Used Gear
Ocean Air: Used Gear or Custom Built Packages
JacknJills (Canada): Good Deals

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