Last updated 2-26-2024

The best kitesurfing kite for beginners

What kite should I buy as my first kite? 

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How to choose your first kiteboarding kite.

There are many styles of kitesurfing kites available. Each aimed at a different aspect of kiteboarding. With such abundance, it can be confusing to choose the right kite for you. To make matters more confusing, search for the best kitesurfing kite or ask online and you will get a hundred different answers from people who likely have a brand affiliation.

How to choose your first kitesurfing kite? The answer is simpler than you might think. It should always be an all-around kite. Every brand offers an all-around freeride kite. Usually these are 3-struts, sometimes 5-strut. They all have a few things in common.

They are easy to use and don’t ask much from the rider. They ride upwind easily. They have an easy relaunch. They have a large wing range. They are designed to do a little of everything.

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Table Of Content

  • Why Freeride kites are best for new kitesurfers.
  • Benefits of buying a freeride kite.
  • Will an all-around kite hold me back?
  • Help buying your first kiteboarding kite.

Why all-around freeride kites are best for new kitesurfers

A common misnomer is that an all-around kite is a jack of all trades and a master of none. Or that they are beginner kites. This couldn’t be further from the truth. As of 2024 most all-around kiteboarding kites perform at a level you will likely never outgrow. In truth, you will get better much faster and with less frustration.

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Another mistake is thinking an all-around kite will hold you back in the pursuit of certain kite disciplines like big air, freestyle kiteboarding, or kitesurfing.

Aspiring new big air riders often choose a big air kite when they would be better served on an all-around kite. Confusing right? Let me explain!

Kiteboarding should be fun; you don't want to lock yourself into a kitesurfing kite made for a specific style of kiteboarding right away. For example, you might want to be a big air rider at first yet, later you could fall in love with kite foiling, or kitesurfing in the waves. If your first kite is too specific it could slow down progress towards other aspects of the sport.

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Benefits of buying an all-around kite as your first kitesurfing kite.

An all around freeride kite is the most efficiant kite. Kites like the Airush Lithium, North Reach and Naish Pivot make progression easier and faster. Read that again and let it sink in. An all-round kite makes progression faster and easier.

Advanced kites require skills you might not have, they also can make compromises on other attributes such as wind range, relaunch, upwind ability, loft, or ease of use.

Elite Watersports has a kitesurfing school based in Tampa Bay. They choose to teach on freeride kites. Its good for their students and fun for the instuctors to use after a lesson. The school is usualy equipt with the Airush Lithium and the North Reach. 

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Let’s look at the example of an aspiring big air rider. You want to learn all the basic tricks first. Kiteloops, board offs, back rolls, front rolls, heli loops, and down loops. An all-around kite is going to help you learn these things faster. I like the analogy of a stick shift vs automatic.

Advanced kites are stick and all-around kites are automatic. Elite Watersports Also has a retail shp based in St Petersburg Florida. If you live in Tampa Bay stop by the shop and speak with the team. They can help you decided the best first kite for you.  

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It takes a lot to outgrow an all-around kite. Some riders competed in the Red Bull King of the Air event with all-around kites up until recently. It’s important to note that riders who have 10 years of professional experience were choosing freeride kites. This should bring home the point about how unlikely it is to outgrow a freeride kite.

Will an all-around freeride kite hold me back?

It’s easier to jump. You can focus on learning new kiteboarding tricks. You get more loft and hangtime. You’ll have more airtime to practice board-offs and rotations. These kites won’t front stall or back stall easily. This means less time crashing and more time progressing and having fun. After a trick you’ll be able to get upwind faster.

If you fall, you will be confident you can relaunch the kite fast. Kiteloops won’t be as intimidating. Big air kites have powerful loops. You can use the same size in different wind conditions. Most all-around kites have a huge wind range. That means the same 12m kite will work in less wind than a big air kite designed to be lit.

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I’ve been running demos for a couple of years, and I find most riders consider themselves big air riders. 80% of big air riders prefer an all-around kite. 20% prefer a true big air kite. The riders who need the big air kite are doing powered kite loops in strong wind with exceptional height regularly.

If you fall into this category, your mind is going to be blown with a kite like the Airush Lift V3, The North Orbit, or the Core XR PRO. If you’re learning fundamental tricks like how to kiteloop, board-offs, grabs, or front rolls, an all-around kite is going to make the journey fast and fun.

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AIRUSH Lithium V13



Version 13

All-around Freeride performance.

Precise steering, balanced & stable.

Powerful delta hybrid with a huge wind range.



Lighter bar pressure.

New construction.

Available sizes: 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 12, 14, 17m 


The new Lithium is for the rider looking for a kite that provides an endless amount of fun on the water, the Lithium is the ultimate in all-around hooked-in freeride performance kite.

Versatile in the surf, easy to ride, and light at the bar, the Lithium is predictable and stable in the air, and has incredible park ability.

The powerful three strut delta hybrid design enjoys a huge wind range and, combined with the wingtip shape and strut layout, ensures the quickest response through the window as well as instant relaunch.

The Lithium is equipped with the V3 Bridle System. The key benefit of the V3 bridle system is that the kite maintains steering even when completely de-powered, increasing the usable wind range and overall performance significantly while adding immense safety benefits. The positioning of the bridle attachment points on the LE of the kite, combined with the V pulleys result in lighter steering, but direct enough to feel where your kite is while riding.

Year after year, the Lithium has been refined to meet the needs of riders who simply just love to kite.
We wanted to stay true to its roots by keeping the Lithium in the delta-hybrid, 3 strut space that proves to be the benchmark in all-around freeriding.
The changes are significant yet still hold true to those who have been following the Lithium range through its progression. You will find that the Lithium has improved jumping and hangtime, lighter, more balanced bar feeling, and overall faster steering due to the change in planform and leading edge design.

The Lithium features Techno Force D2 canopy material. This premium fabric is designed with a high-density structure using high tenacity double-coated polyester yarn in a double ripstop configuration. The double coating protects the yarn as much as possible from UV and abrasion damage. This ensures that the canopy remains as crisp and responsive for as long as possible.

With the easy-to-use design of the Lithium, it is clear why it’s the World’s favorite freeride kite!

More InformationBuy 

Need help buying your first kiteboarding kite? 

We live in a golden era of kiteboarding. The gear is incredibly refined. I've been kitesurfing for a long time and I do love to use special equipment when the occasion calls for it. When you're ready and committed to one discipline, it’s an amazing feeling to use a tool catered to that style. That said, I never feel like my Airush Lithium is holding me back on a day-to-day basis.

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



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