Kitesurfing Equipment Guide
Kitesurfing is one of the most refreshing and exciting watersports you can try. You use a kite and board to harness the power of the wind and ride the water's surface. With practice, you can look forward to high speeds and an exhilarating wind as you enjoy the benefits of being out on the water.
To make the most of your experience, you'll want to have the best kitesurfing gear and invest in some lessons. With the right kitesurfing equipment and know-how, you can look forward to some of the best times of your life out on the water. This article will take you through some basic gear you'll need to get started, including kiteboards, control bars, harnesses and more.
Control bars are vital when you kitesurf. They provide the complete control system for your kite and allow you to accelerate, turn, slow down and jump. The safety release system is also located on the control bar.
Your control bar is attached to the kite with the kite lines, which come in different configurations. The most common is a four-line configuration, but you'll often see two-line configurations on beginner kites.
Control bars come in various configurations to accommodate adults and children and different levels of experience. As a general rule, children use smaller kites, so they have smaller bars, which slow the kite down and give an added level of control.
The best example is the North Navigator Control system, the perfect choice for beginners who want to start with extra control.
The harness is the point at which the kite attaches to your body, so it must be safe, comfortable and a good fit. When you have the wind behind you and the kite pulls, carrying all the power and weight in your hands will be challenging. This is where the harness comes in, distributing some of that pull throughout your body. Your harness also gives you a zone of balance, so you can control your kite with one hand if needed.
There are two types of harnesses in kite surfing, each with its advantages:
- Waist harnesses: As it sounds, waist harnesses attach around your midsection. They allow you to take power from the kite into your body, giving you increased dexterity and enabling you to move and adjust your position more freely.
- Seat harnesses: In this case, you'll wear your harness like a pair of underwear. Instead of distributing pressure to your back and torso, this harness style transfers that power to your hips. This can provide a better sense of stability but also limit freedom of movement.
As a new kiteboarder, you'll look for comfort and lightweight options like the 2022 Ride Engine Lyte Harness, which helps prevent your control bar from slipping and twisting in your hands. With this harness, you'll get a solid, stable fit and maximum lumbar support while you build those kitesurfing muscles. It's easy to put on and adjust for the perfect, comfortable fit.
Choosing the right kite for you can make or break your kiteboarding experience. Your perfect kite will depend on your weight, size and experience level. Don't feel overwhelmed. Rather, stick to the basics and understand the different options.
When you take lessons, your instructor will guide you through the numerous sizes, colors and shapes and help you find the perfect fit.
Foil kites are often the best option for beginner kiteboarders. They are more lightweight in design, which is perfect for lighter winds. They have larger air chambers and are easy to inflate, making it easier for you to learn while riding. Stick to inflatable tubes in the beginning, as they give your kite an excellent, rigid shape that offers a nice pull as you ride. Think of it as a guide, helping you find your feet and get the most out of your experience.
In the learning stage, you're looking for something as lightweight and easy to maneuver as possible, such as the Core XLITE Foil kite. This kite ticks all the boxes for your first kite with its durable, easy-to-inflate and UV-protected design.
Foot Straps and Bindings
You have some choices regarding how you attach your feet to your board. Foot straps work alongside a pad underneath your foot, and good bindings ensure you stay solid and secure on your board. For beginners, foot straps are the best option, as they help you position your feet correctly until you're confident to carry on without the extra support.
When you take lessons or consider purchasing your equipment for the first time, foot straps offer these benefits:
- Adjustability: You can play around with your stance and find the most comfortable way to learn the basics.
- Comfort: You can find extra heel and arch support options depending on your needs. The molded foam pad in the secure binding gives you additional support on the water and is helpful if you aren't used to the kitesurfing stance.
- Sizing: One size fits all, and you can adjust them for a snug fit.
For excellent grip, enhanced comfort and a solid connection to your board, consider lightweight options like the 2022 Slingshot Fly Strap V1. You'll be able to enjoy a light, user-friendly foot strap setup, perfect for getting your first taste of kitesurfing in comfort and style.
Also known as a kite surfboard, this equipment is integral to a pleasant kiteboarding experience. Although a larger board will make learning easier, you want to avoid getting overwhelmed and ending up with a board that's too big and bulky for you.
The first and most important consideration is the correct sizing of your board. Your height and weight are essential factors in choosing the ideal board. You'll need a more extensive area if you're taller and heavier, but you can get away with a smaller option if you're small and light in build. You have a variety of boards to choose from, including:
- Twin tips: These are arguably the most common kiteboards around. They resemble wakeboards in appearance and provide a relatively easy option for beginners.
- Light wind kiteboards: This could be the perfect board if you're looking for extra surface area and a rectangular shape. They are easier to use in the water, creating less drag and allowing riders to plane across the water.
Quality and durability are essential when you're buying a board. For this and more, consider the 2022 Litewave Wing. You'll enjoy a smooth ride on this easy-to-use kiteboard.
While they may not be necessary for all conditions, wetsuits make your kitesurfing experience extra comfortable, especially in cold weather. The colder weather suit allows a thin layer of water between your body and the neoprene, which heats up according to your body temperature. With a wetsuit, you can take advantage of kiteboarding opportunities in the fall and winter months. You can also wear a wetsuit in warmer weather to protect yourself from the elements and stay comfortable out on the water.
Let Elite Watersports Help You With All the Right Gear
Kiteboarding is much more fun with the right equipment, but it can be daunting to know where to start. Elite Watersports can help you get out on the water hassle-free. If you're new to kitesurfing and want to book a lesson with us, we happily provide all the necessary equipment to kiteboard.
If you're looking for kiteboarding equipment, Elite Watersports can help you there, too. We're passionate about all things watersports and have a wide range of kitesurfing equipment to help you up your game. Feel free to contact us today if you have any questions about how Elite Watersports can make your kitesurfing dreams come true.