Have you just finished your kitesurfing course? Are you not sure how to choose your first kite? What size and type? New or used? We have some great tips exactly for you!
We all ask ourselves those questions, not only after just finishing the kitesurfing course. Inspired by the endless discussions on kitesurfing groups and forums, we decided to write this short and easily understandable article about how to choose the first kite.
Most people, when they finish their course, want to buy two kites. That’s why we based this article on this type of ex-student and chose 3-4m difference between the kites.
The first and most probably the most important question you need to ask yourself is where will be your “home spot”? It’s the place where you will be kitesurfing the most. Once you will have that sorted out, you have to check the wind statistics. They will be the major factor when deciding what will your quiver include.
Of course at every spot it is possible that the wind will become stronger or weaker on some days. So in order to void buying 5 kites, you should only take into account what is happening at your kitesurfing spot during a normal day.
In case your spot will be the place in which you take your kitesurfing lessons, you should start observing the wind strength and your kites size. Moreover, keep watching other riders on the water: their weight, kites size, how high is their bar, how much of a trim left they have and the board size.
The second very important factor is the weight of the rider. If the wind at your spot is 12-25 knots strong and your weight is 110 kg, you can easily think of buying a set of 10 m and 15 m kites. With winds 14-35 knots it would be 9 m and 13 m.
Let’s assume you have finished your kitesurfing course with success and you can now comfortably ride upwind left and right. If you don’t want to change your kites after just few weeks on the water, the third most important question you need to ask yourself is: what kitesurfing style interests you the most? Most probably it will be hard to answer due to the lack of experience.
A Twintip board (symmetrical, with cut tips) works mostly at the beginning of the journey with kitesurfing. However, very quickly many people change their style to Wave, Freestyle, Strapless Freestyle, Big Air, Hydrofoil.
So for example if you like surfing and playing with the waves, it’s worth thinking about buying kites made specifically for this style of riding. You can also choose hybrid kites. For example in Ozone Enduro you can change the style to Freeride, Freestyle or Wave thanks to the settings on the bridle lines.
It is true that it may take a little longer to get used to a kite dedicated to a certain style. However, most of the new generation kites these days are fairly easy to navigate for a person who can already ride. For sure it will allow you to save a bit of cash and it will push you to progress a bit faster. Afterwards you can just buy a Wave Board and you will have your dream set.
The last super important factor is the cost of the gear. One of the first questions that our students ask is: can I buy a used gear or does it have to be new?
For sure it’s not a bad idea to buy used gear. Especially at the beginning. However, you have to make sure that the material is in a good condition. Check for example if the canopy is not white from constant folding of the kite or the trailing edge doesn’t have tears or cracks and make sure it’s airtight.
The best option is to buy one year old kites. They are usually still in a good condition, they were made by using new technology and are much cheaper than the new ones. You can also buy 3-4 years old kites if they are in a good condition. However, you have to be careful with older kites – 5 years and more. Even if they are in a good condition, the valves can start losing air, etc. Of course, the newer, the better.
For sure we don’t advise buying used kites for people who choose ‘’Big Air’’ style, so basically jumping as high as possible. In this case you have to be sure that your gear is in the best condition possible. A broken kite or line during a high flight can end up very badly.
In any case, we have to remember that different brands and models of the kites will generate different power. For example a 12 m Airush Lithium will pull significantly less than 12 m Core XR. It is always good to contact your local dealers and try different kite brands. Have a chat with some specialists in these field.
We have to also remember that the size of the board is also important when choosing the kite. However, you shouldn’t buy a bigger board instead of a bigger kite.
In this article we took as an example a rider who weighs 80 kg and has a board around 136-137 cm long. However, the question how to choose the board, is a topic for another article. Follow us and find it out soon!
Windy regards from Tarifa! 🙂