Is It OK to Buy Used Kiteboarding Gear?
Buying used kiteboarding gear can be an excellent choice for beginners who want to get a feel for the sport. New kiteboarding equipment can be expensive. As a beginner, you might want to keep your expenses to a minimum until you're sure you'd like to pursue the sport more seriously. Just remember, there is often a good reason for the price tag attached to new kiteboarding gear.
Kiteboarding is a technical, high-performance sport, and your equipment must withstand the pressure of the natural elements. Most importantly, kiteboarders need safe and reliable equipment. While buying used gear is an option, it should be done with caution. Quality used gear could be a perfect option for your intention. Still, it's best to check with an expert before making a final decision.
What Are the Pros and Cons of Buying Used Kiteboarding Gear?
Taking the right approach to buying used kiteboarding gear could land you with excellent equipment. If you know where to look and have a trustworthy expert to help you, there are significant benefits to purchasing the used option. Making a hasty decision could land you with inappropriate or unsafe equipment, impacting your kiteboarding experience in all the wrong ways. Some considerations when choosing between new and used kiteboarding gear include the following:
- Choice: When you buy new, you can pick all the latest gear and find something suited to your experience level and riding style. If you're looking at used gear, you may have limited options. Still, you'll also have access to some fantastic equipment that may be discontinued in stores that only stock the latest equipment.
- Expense: There may be a significant price difference between new and used gear. New gear requires a substantial initial investment, which you may not be willing to make as a beginner.
- Condition: Of course, if you're buying new, you can expect immaculate condition. To ensure safety and functionality, you must carefully evaluate used gear.
- Replacement: If you're a beginner, you may want to buy new gear after you're more proficient on your board. Your needs change as you gain experience, so buying used gear could be an excellent decision to gain experience before you make a more substantial investment.
Buying Different Types of Used Kiteboarding Gear
Browse the different types of kiteboarding equipment to get a better feel of how to decide whether it's OK to buy used gear.
Your harness is one of the most essential pieces of kiteboarding equipment. Generally, used harnesses hold up exceptionally well and often only withstand cosmetic damage instead of actual wear and tear. Harness design hasn't changed much in recent years, but there are some things to look out for, including the following:
- Rust or signs of fatigue on the buckles, spreader bar and other metal components
- A working safety leash release system that is easy to reset
- A place at the front of the harness to attach your safety leash
Please double-check that the seller has inspected your harness and can assure you it's in excellent condition. Demo models and used harnesses can retail for between $35 and $350 from a reputable seller.
Used Kiteboards (Twin Tips)
Boards are robust equipment that can last several years and still be in good working condition, making a used or new kiteboard an excellent investment in your sport. Scratches far from the edges of the board are fairly common and should be OK.
Considerations when buying a used board include the following:
- UV damage: Excessive UV damage can make your board fragile and inflexible. Luckily, it's visible — deteriorated epoxy coatings lose color and transparency.
- Detached layers: If your potential board has taken enough hits, you can see the layers detaching, which is a clear sign that your used kiteboard will degrade faster.
- Board mounts: The straps on your used board should be in good condition, but so should the board mounts beneath. Look for rusty, oxidized board mounts and ensure they're not clogged with salt.
You can expect to spend between $299 and $499 on a good quality, used or demo model kiteboard.
When buying a used kite, the general rule is your kite should be less than five years old or used occasionally. Do your own research to establish whether the kite you're considering is suitable for your level and relatively easy to service. Again, your best choice is to speak to a trustworthy professional to find the best option for you and your budget.
When buying used kiteboarding kites, watch out for the following:
- Check that everything you need is included — bar, pump and leash.
- Check that the rubber seals, inflate valve and rubber tubes are in good condition.
- Ensure there are no holes or tears in the canvas.
- Watch for fraying or knots on the lines.
There is a broad difference in the price range you can expect for a used kite, but as a general rule, you could look at spending anywhere between $299 and $1499.
Checklist for Buying Used Kiteboarding Gear
If you're setting out to navigate the world of used kiteboarding gear, it's always worth having a checklist. This can serve as a reminder and double as questions to ask the seller before making your final decision. Depending on your needs and budget, you may want to add your own points, but a basic checklist could include the following:
- What condition is the item in?
- What other equipment is included with the item?
- Is there a warranty or return policy in place?
- Can you see the gear in person, or even better, take lessons with it?
- Do you know the seller? If not, what are their reviews like online?
- Has the item undergone repairs, and does it matter for that specific item?
- What is the brand?
- How old is the item, and is the technology outdated?
- Do the style and size suit your level and intended use?
Always Buy From a Reputable Seller
When buying used, you must know where your equipment came from. Some kitesurfers are meticulous and take excellent care of their gear. Other used gear on the market could have been in accidents or experienced significant wear and tear. A reputable seller will establish the equipment is safe and in good condition, which makes them a less risky option than a private online sale.
A general rule of thumb is that newer gear will have less use, but it's best to establish how much specific equipment has been used. Sometimes, a seller may have bought gear years ago but used it sparingly. Or, the equipment may be newer, but the original owner used it daily and crashed often.
Buy from a seller you can take lessons from. That way, you see the equipment in action before deciding and discussing your concerns with an expert.
Find the Perfect Gear for You With Elite Watersports
There's plenty to consider when you're purchasing used equipment. Your main goal should be to stay safe and comfortable on the water. If you're in the Tampa Bay area, trust Elite Watersports to help you get out on the water with all the necessary gear. Whether you're a beginner looking to try different equipment or would like to find head-to-toe equipment, we have a wide range of kiteboarding equipment to help you enjoy your sport. You can check out our available gear online or in-store.
If you prefer to book a lesson to test out some gear and get a feel for the sport, Elite Watersports can help you there, too. Our exceptional expertise in all things watersports will be invaluable in selecting the right gear for your level and style. Get in touch with us today if you have any questions, and let's get you out on the water.