Progress faster with the most appropiate equipment!
Kitesurfing for Beginners - CHOOSING A KITE
The good news is that there are now many genuine all-round kites that are appropriate for beginners right up to advanced level riding. This means you can have confidence in what you are buying, that you won’t outgrow your kit!
The kitesurfing industry as evolved rapidly over the past 5 or 6 years, and now the mass market are looking for ‘delta’ shaped kites. We can in general describe these delta kites as user friendly, good amount of de-power, re-launch easily and have consistent control characteristics. The great thing is that they can easily be flown by anyone from a total beginner, right up to pro level riding.
KITE SHAPES / STYLES
C-Shape – Aggressive & powerful – Intermediate to advanced only.
Open-C – Performance orientated – Ambitious beginner to advanced.
Delta – All-round performance – All abilities / styles.
4 OR 5 LINE?
There is a lot written, discussed and debated over the merits of 4 line versus 5 line. The inception of the 5 line system was initially a step up in safety, but these days, the vast majority of 4 line systems are just a good in terms of safety performance. All of the brands we sell at Wave and Wake are industry leading in terms of safety set-up and systems.
Basically, the 5th line is generally a dedicated safety line (often called a ‘lazy 5th’) however on kites such as the North Rebel and Vegas, the 5th line is a flying line which also acts as the safety flag out line – So you’ve no choice on these models.
When it comes to deciding on 4 v 5 line, it’s pretty much down to personal preference. We however like the simplicity of setting up with only 4 lines – one line less to rig up ;)
Most kiters will build a quiver of sizes to cover a wide range of wind strengths. – A popular configuration would be 7, 9 and 12m.
Your selection of kite size depends on your body weight, ability and the desired wind range.
However, as a beginner you won’t need to be riding in the upper wind ranges as it would not be safe, so there is no rush to add a storm kite to the shopping cart just yet ;)
Most beginners will start out with maybe a 10/11/12m kite, which will allow them to learn and progress in the lighter to medium wind ranges. Once they are getting to grips with this wind range, there’s then the opportunity to add an 8 or 9m kite. Be careful not to buy sizes too close, spacing kite sizes out so there is an overlap in terms in wind range is good advice, but space them out far enough that you cover the maximum range.
Common 2 kite quivers would be: 9 / 12m or 8 / 11m.
Common 3 kite quiver would be: 7 / 9 / 12m.
Again, there are many variables in selecting kite sizes, so good advice is essential to get the best value for money.
CHOOSING A BOARD
We’ll assume as a beginner, you’ve taken a few lessons, are probably just about getting up and taking your first short rides.
Most of the brands product a board size versus body weight guide, so this is a good place to start. Generally, to learn, progress and get riding upwind, you will be looking for a board in the region of 136cm – 144cm for your average 75 – 85 kg person. As a very rough rule of thumb, lighter riders would go down a few sizes, heavier will go up.
BIG BOARDS v SMALL BOARDS
A bigger board will make your very early rides a little more stable, but this stage of progression is quickly passed, so it’s sensible not to go too big as you’ll outgrow a big board quickly.
That’s not to say a bigger board is redundant to anyone passed the beginner stage, far from it. A bigger board will allow you to ride in lighter winds, as the more surface area requires less power to get up and going. Many kite surfers have a dedicated light wind board as part of the equipment quiver.
Smaller boards will allow a more aggressive riding style, meaning it takes less effort to edge hard against the kite. But for beginners, you may not have the full control at this stage to achieve this. You can hold down more power with a slightly smaller board, so this is a popular choice for many kite surfers. However, the industry has moved on in terms of board / flex technology, there isn’t the need to go as small in order to achieve this style nowadays.
We recommend starting out for your first year or so on a board that is perhaps in the upper range of size guides – maybe 138 - 144cm for 75-85 kg person. Once your riding has progressed, you can then after a year or two move onto a board around 132 – 138cm. Again, this is all weight dependent, but a good base guide to work from.
Choosing your equipment as a beginner is about selecting the most appropriate equipment that will allow you to safely progress in a wide range of conditions – Our recommendations are based around this, meaning the best value for your first equipment purchases.