The Ultimate Guide to Buying a Kitesurfing Kite
It’s no surprise so many people are taking up kitesurfing in the UK. The thrill of surfing over the waves, the pull of the wind, awesome tricks and high speeds make this one of the fastest-growing watersports in the country! Here at F-One, we’ve been at the front of the UK kitesurfing scene since its early years and have helped many new surfers experience it for themselves! Here, we’ve put together a guide to help you choose the perfect kitesurfing kite for you and your ambitions.
What is a Kitesurfing Kite?
First thing’s first, it helps to understand what exactly it is you’re buying! Kitesurfing kites, sometimes referred to as power or foil kites depending on their use, are unique. They usually have an inflatable leading edge and struts while flying lines at each corner of the kite attach it to the rider via a kitesurfing bar and harness. When deflated, kitesurfing kites can be folded and easily stored.
Things to Consider Before Buying a Kitesurfing Kite
Nowadays, there are a vast number of kites available for kitesurfers. When starting, it can be tempting to go for the cheapest option available. However, there are many things to consider that are unique to you before taking into account how much a kite may cost.
By far the most useful thing is having lessons from a professional to kick start your kiting journey. Your instructor is a great first point of contact to ask about which type of kite to buy.
The conditions in which you expect to be using your kite, specifically the wind, will have a factor. As you would expect, kitesurfing relies heavily on wind conditions and choosing the right kite can make kitesurfing in certain winds considerably easier.
Most individual kites are designed with a specific ideal wind speed range in mind. In most cases, smaller kites are designed to work at high winds, and larger ones are built to surf in lighter winds. Understand the average wind speeds in your area and choose your kite appropriately.
Speed Versus Tricks
While many riders look to combine the two, there’s a huge difference in equipment used by racers and freeriders. For beginners, a high-quality kite will provide adequate performance for a range of disciplines. However, depending on what you’re looking to achieve, you may choose a kite appropriately.
Generally, freeride kites are designed to be versatile, working in a broad range of wind speeds and allowing the surfer more control. These all-rounders are often the best for those starting out or looking a fast learning curve. Meanwhile, kites designed for speed are often harder to launch and control but will be able to go notably faster than their rivals.
What to Look for in a Kitesurfing Kite
Now you hopefully have more of an idea of what you want from your kitesurfing kite. At this point, you should be able to look at what is on offer with greater clarity.
Similar to our blog on wetsuit FAQs, the materials used in kitesurfing kites often have complex names related to each brand. However, in most cases, it will be a thin, durable fabric that is tear-resistant. As far as materials go, you needn’t worry too much so long as you’re buying a new kite from a reputable brand.
As mentioned before, kitesurfing kites come in an arched shape. However, the degree of this, from a wide bow design to a perfect C, can change how it performs in the air. As a general rule, bow-shaped kites tend to be best for beginners as they are easier to depower and often have a larger wind range. C-shaped kites are more traditional, responsive to the rider and tend to have better high-speed performance, which means experienced freestylers often favour them. The delta (D) shape is the one most accepted for perfect performance.
Besides the basic specifications, many kitesurfing kites will come with a range of brand-specific additions that help to improve the performance of the equipment. An example is F-One’s Force Frame technology, which ensures that any potentially vulnerable spots on the kite are protected during depowering. Understand what additional features are available to ensure you get the perfect kite for your skill and needs.
What Other Kitesurfing Equipment Will I Need?
Of course, a good kite needs the support of other equipment to ensure you have the best time on the waves! You will need twin tip boards designed specifically for kitesurfing for the best performance on the water. As mentioned before, the kite connects to you via a kitesurfing bar. In most cases, the kite will have a recommended bar created by the manufacturer. It is always best to choose this bar, as it is designed to work specifically with your new kite and will lead to better performance and durability.
You will also need a harness so the kitesurfing bar and kite can attach to you. As far as kitesurfing equipment goes, this is probably the most standard piece, so choosing something you are most comfortable with is the only major consideration.
We hope that this guide has not only helped you to understand kitesurfing kites but also inspired you to find the perfect one! If you would like answers to any more questions, feel free to get in contact with the experienced team here at F-One – we would be happy to help you!