Buying your First Kiteboard?
Lessons are complete and your itching to get on the water by yourself but you just hit google and typed in Kiteboard and all of a sudden you are hit with a massive selection of products you know nothing about! Let's face it you really would not have paid much attention to what the board was, how long it was or how much rocker, or shape it has on your lessons as it really didn’t matter.
Beginner boards? Is there really such a thing.. we don’t really think so, boards are made with cheaper materials but this don't really make them beginner orientated, it makes them well priced for the first time kiteboarder.
This type of board will tend to have a flatter rocker line (the Bend in the board from Tip to Tale) designed to get the board up and planning early. This is really important in the early stages as you need all the assistance you can get to give you time to signwave the kite to generate power.
Also with these well priced boards they tend to come made from A wood core, this offers a great flex and rebound pattern. This means the board will soak up the choppy conditions like suspension and give you a smooth ride. Upwind performance is also really important for your first runs. Soft flex, and a flatter rocker line will also help with this. The feedback we get on entry levels boards is that riders like to keep them and find it hard to move on to a stiffer board as they do not like the feel.
When choosing that First board it is really important to consider these factors:
1: What Level am I at!! – Do not try to buy for later on in your kiteboarding career because if you buy for where you think you will be you will suffer! Its vitally important to not go to small on your first board. Why? Because you will need more kite power to get you up and riding, you will nose dive and crash a lot more, your upwind ability will suffer? The list goes on! Seek advice and do not buy a board because of the deal!
2: Weight to board size – this is really important for a rider weight of around 70kgs we would suggest a 135 x 41 cm – 140 x 42 cm and for a rider over 70kgs – 138 x 42 cm to 144 x 44cm. There is always some confusion over the length and width, the With is really crucial to getting a board planning.
|Your Weight||Your Board Size||Your Board Width|
|125-150 lbs | 56-68 kg
150-180 lbs | 68-81 kg
180-210 lbs | 81-95 kg
+210 lbs | +95 kg
3: Don’t be scared to go larger on the board, all this will do is mean that you do not need as much power in the kite to start with. Its safer as the board will plane earlier, and secondly it will teach you good kite techniques. When you are ready to progress to the next level of board this one you can keep as a light wind board.
This is where kite boards get interesting and its 80% of the market place, all of the brands are now producing a wide range of boards with in this category. Mostly the same shape but with changes in the construction methods to increase stiffness or weight. Expect to pay anything from £500 – £1000 for a board in this category.
This Category of board is aimed at the kiteboarder who is now defining how they want to ride, and moving towards a certain style which will require a specific board. The categories that sit under Freeride / Freestyle are:
Freeride / Freestyle
This is basically riding all conditions from choppy, flat water to surf and some boosting. Boards in this range will have a medium rocker line (Bit more bend like a banana than the beginner flat rocker board) this improves speed, Ride, pop and handling. It’s like moving up to a Hot hatch from your first car. With all these added extra’s you can then start to work on jumping, tricks and so on. The boards that we carry at Kites and More that fit this category are the Cabrinha Ace Wood, Cabrinha Ace carbon, Cabrinha XO ladies board and the Eleveight Process.
Many of these kiteboards have also been upgraded in materials to offer a stiffer ride without moving from the Freeride, Freestyle category. This may sound confusing but this will not effect the shape of the board. As the outline and shape remains the same.. but by using carbon the Flex will have altered and made the board a stiffer ride. Stiffness in a board is a good thing as you progress, it will offer more control, more pop and the ability to ride the board at a greater speed.
This category is very specific and really designed for riders who are looking for a very individual feel. Wake style riding is all about holding more power and creating more pop from your board. This style of board / riding has come from riders who want to work on kite low tricks. With the kite sitting lower in the wind window the rider can edge harder against the wakestyle board and get an incredible amount of Pop to get slack line in the kite. (this is a term for that moment when you release your edge and the kite bar and lines go very slack, a feeling of no power) at this moment you pass the bar in a move. And upon landing the kite then powers up.
The board will have an excessive amount of Rocker (very banana like) this makes the board stiffer and ride slower, the extra rocker makes the board feel smooth, but also lacking in upwind performance. This style of board is absolutely useless for a beginner / intermediate rider.
Wakestyle boards also tend to feel heavy and also have a more durable snowboard style base so that when a rider hits an obstacle the impact will not damage the base.
Light wind boards have been around for quite some time and many different variations and styles have been made, ranging from Skim boards, to surfboards with small fins. The Light wind board will have pretty much zero rocker and be exceptionally wide. As we talked about in the beginner board section, width is really key to getting you up and riding. Light wind board will often have a Width of around 44cm and upwards.
The are a fantastic option if you are living / riding somewhere with exceptionally light sea breezes, or if you are a heavier rider who spends a lot of time on a 15 – 19m kite. We think that kites have now come on such a long way that the Light wind Twin tip will probably start to fizzle out. More experienced riders will be looking to the Hydrofoil in lighter winds, or using a Foil kite to generate better power, and continue to use their normal twin tip.