Last updated 4-22-2024

What size Kiteboarding Kite?

How to choose the right kite size.

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How do I choose the right size kitesurfing kite?

One of the most asked questions in kiteboarding is, "How do I choose the right size kite?" We hear it at the shop and from kiteboarding students on the beach. Choosing your first kiteboarding kite comes down to your weight and the kind of wind your location has. 

Most kiteboarders have a quiver of at least three kitesurfing kites, sometimes more: one for the average wind at your local beach, one for strong wind days, and one for light wind days. Your first kite usually should be the mid-range kite, but depending on the time of year, it can be a light-wind kite or a high-wind kite.

  • Light-wind kites 17m, 16m, 15m, 14m, and 13m.
  • Mid-range kites 12m, 11m,10m, 9m.
  • Strong-wind kites 8m, 7m, 6m, 5m, 4m

The typical kite quiver ranges from 9m, 12m, 14m. However, for heavier riders, it might extend to 10m, 14, 17m, while for lighter individuals, it could be 6m, 8m, or 11m. In some cases, couples or families might share a quiver of kites, ensuring each person has the most suitable kite for their weight and the prevailing wind conditions.The size of the kite quiver is primarily determined by the rider's weight, riding style, and the location they will be kiteboarding. 

What is the best size kite for kiteboarding? 

This guide will give you an idea of the average kite sizes used by rider weight.It's crucial to remember that each brand and model has a specific wind range. We strongly advise consulting with a professional to obtain a personalized recommendation. Feel free to call or email us; we are here to assist you in selecting the most suitable kite size for your weight, location, and skill level. 

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Table Of Content

  • What is the best size kite for kiteboarding? 
  • Kiiteboarding Kite Size Chart.
  • What is the best size kite for light wind? 
  • What is the best size kite for strong wind? 
  • What's the easiest size kite to learn kitesurfing?

What size should I buy for my first kiteboarding kite? .

Kiteboarding Size Chart

If your location averages winds at 15 -21 miles per hour use this size chart to get an idea what size kitesurfing kite would be a good fit for you.  Call us for an exact recomendation. 

  • 120 - 130 lbs:  6m, 7m, 8m.
  • 130 -140 lbs:  8m, 9m, 10m.
  • 140 - 150 lbs:  9m, 10m, 11m. 
  • 160 -170 lbs:  10m,11m, 12m
  • 170 - 180 lbs: 11m, 12m, 13m.
  • 180 - 200 lbs: 12m, 13m, 14m.
  • 200 - 230 lbs: 14m, 15m.
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This guide provides a general overview, but it's important to note that kite sizes and wind range differ from each brand and model. If the wind is on the strong end of the spectrum, consider a smaller kite. Conversely, if the wind is light, opt for a slightly larger one. We recommend contacting the shop for a custom recommendation. Usualy we recommend a mid range kite first.

Starting with a medium-sized kite in moderate winds is the most forgiving and easiest way to learn. For example, learning on a small kite for powered conditions means going out in gusty wind with a small reactive kite. If you live somewhere very windy, this is the best choice.

Learning on a large kite has some benefits, but light wind requires more skill. Large kites are slow compared to small kites, and light wind generally has low consequences. If you live somewhere with consistently light winds, this would be a better choice.

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What is the best size kiteboarding kite for light wind? 

If the wind is light, you will want to go for a larger kite. The lighter the wind, the bigger the kite. There is a point of diminishing returns, however. 17m kites are amazing in light winds for riders 150 lbs to 240 something lbs. A lighter rider can scrape the bottom of the wind range, while a heavier rider might need the extra canopy to ride in general.

A small rider will not need a massive kite. A 15m kite is likely the largest you will need. Sometimes, tiny riders who weigh 110 pounds will use a 12m kite as their light wind kite. There is a trend in kiteboarding for riders to only want to use 12m and under, but light-wind kites have come a long way in the last five years. Modern light wind kites are fast, fun, and effective. We can't imagine kiteboarding without them. 

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Some kiteboarding locations only get light winds, so it might be best to start with a larger kite to learn with. There are some advantages to this. Light wind is forgiving and easy on the body.

Big kites are naturally slower than small kites, so you will have time to correct any mistakes when flying if you are using any kite in the appropriate wind range. 

Lightwind is forgiving but there are some special techniqes needed. Check out this video from Aaron on light wind launch techniques. 

What is the best size kitesurfing kite for strong wind?

Anything above 25 miles per hour is considered strong wind. Strong winds call for small kites. The stronger the wind, the more critical it is to choose the correct size kite. You are way overpowered if you are flying a kite, and keeping your feet on the ground is hard. You can pull the bar in to test if you stand on the beach with the kite at noon. You should pick a smaller kite if you get pulled off your toes.

Strong winds can have exponentially stronger gusts as well. Check the average wind speed and choose a kite somewhere in the middle. You don't want to be too overpowered in the gusts, and you don't want to be underpowered in the lulls. It's always best to be on the safe side.

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Small kites are the most exciting to fly! People often say their 10m or 8m is their favorite kite. These kites are the most responsive and best for kite loops. A skilled rider can also use a smaller kite in less wind than an average kiteboarder. There is something called apparent wind. A good rider can use the kite to create more board speed to ride a smaller kite. 

If you live somewhere like Hood River, Oregon, where the wind is consistently gusty and strong, you will need to start with a smaller kite. We recommend speaking with a professional to choose your small kite. There are a lot of variables, and it's best to get a custom recommendation so you can learn safely.

What's the easiest size kite to learn kitesurfing?

The kite you will be using in moderate winds will be the easiest. The easiest winds to learn are 15 to 21 miles per hour, so whatever kite you would be using in this wind range will be the easiest. 

Kites 9 m and smaller can be fast but are still forgiving enough at the right wind speeds. Sometimes, schools will use small kites in light winds to teach kiteboarding students the fundamentals of kite control without power. 

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The most popular first kite size is 12m. These kites are usually used for average-weight riders in the most manageable wind. They aren't too fast or too slow, so most people enjoy learning from them.

This is a good quiver kite as it sits right in the middle. A small rider could use it as their light wind kite, and a heavy rider would use it in slightly stronger winds. 

 Why learn kiteboarding in Tampa Bay.

We have one of the best beginner kiteboarding locations in the United States for learning to kiteboard. We have shallow flat waters that allow kiteboarding students to stand up when they fall. There is no shore break or deep waters to hinder progress.

We get consistent smooth wind that works in every direction. Our St Petersburg-based kitesurfing school offers jet ski support and custom kiteboarding lesson packages. Come join us and see what the fun is all about.

Need help buying your first kiteboarding kite? 

The expert team at Elite Watersports is here to serve. If you have any kiteboarding related questions call us. We can build custom kiteboarding packages, book kiteboarding lessons or simply offer helpful advice. We're your one stop shop for kiteboarding knowledge.

If you need help deciding on your first kiteboarding kite give Elite Watersports a call. We're happy to set you up with your first kiteboarding kite.



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Ryan "Rygo" Goloversic



Kiteboarding kite size chart

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