Types of Kiteboards
Whether you’re just getting into kiteboarding or you’re a seasoned vet sometimes deciding on the right kiteboard for yourself can be a challenge. What shape should you get? What style is best for your riding preferences? Sometimes the number of boards to choose from is overwhelming. The associates at your local kiteboarding shop can assist you with this process, however, it is safe to say that having a little bit of background knowledge about all the types of kiteboards can be a huge help.
When purchasing a new kiteboard there are a few main features to consider: rocker, flex, width, thickness, and length. These characteristics of the board help determine its performance. So, before you shell out those Benjamins, consider what it is exactly that you need from your kiteboard; the local conditions and your style of riding are the main factors to consider. Below, thanks to Kiteboarding Tricktionary, we have a list of board characteristics and examples of boards on the market that meet those features.
A twin-tip is a symmetrical board that can be ridden in both directions.
Freeride / All-Round
Balanced Length/Width Ratio
Medium Flex and Rocker
Slightly Round Tips (to reduce splash)
Easily Turns and Good for Cruising
North Atmos Carbon
Core Fusion 4
Good Landing Features
Liquid Force Radnium
Long and Wide
Very Buoyant and Forgiving
Great Upwind Performance
Wide, Hard, and Little Flex
Strongly Built with Channels
Long boards are good for beginners and for light wind days. Longer kiteboards are able to be controlled in high riding speeds. Long boards are also forgiving and offer early planing.
Short boards are great for strong winds. They are more agile and loose which offers the rider a greater ability to manipulate the board.
Wide boards are able to go on plane earlier than narrow boards. Having a wider board during light wind days is ideal.
Narrow boards are controllable in chop and high wind speeds.
Thin boards have direct, light weight, specific flex zones.
Thick boards are more stable and buoyant.
Big rocker in a kiteboard offers a more comfortable ride. When a board has a big rocker its edges catch less during maneuvers and is easily controllable during choppy water sessions and/or in strong winds. The board is slower at planing capabilities.
Little rocker in a kiteboard makes the board faster and able to hold a precise edge for controlled popping. The rails of boards with little rocker catch more easily and can be more challenging to ride.
The more flex a kiteboard has the more comfort riders will experience. More flex also offers softer riding and landings by absorbing the chop of the water.
A board with too much flex, however, is not direct and too soft to pop efficiently.
Stiff boards are ideal for heavier riders. They offer more power and are best for freestyle riders.
Soft boards are great for light weight riders or in light winds.
Shape of the Kiteboard:
Round – easier to turn but less edge control for take off
Straight – good edge control for take off but harder to turn
Concave – great upwind potential but bad turning performance
KITE SURFBOARDS & FOILBOARDS (Directionals)
Surfboards are shaped with a tail and a front/nose making them ridable only in one direction.
Foilboards are shaped with a rounded tail and nose making them ridable in one direction but also able to easily cut through chop when attached to a hydrofoil.
Pointy nose with a lot of scoop
Round edges that sharpen toward the tail
Higher volume for easy turning and early planing
Footpads or surf wax ideal
Large directional fins
A parallel rail outline helps with edging and load/pop off the water, while relative high rocker helps soften landings, helps prevent nose diving and gives the board a looser, skate-like feel.
Typically rounded edges
Extremely fast evolution so currently an ever-changing shape
No fins, attached to a hydrofoil
Ideal for racing
Naish Hover SUP
Slingshot Dwarf Craft Micro
Whichever route you decide on for purchasing your kiteboards, remember to do your research first. Having the correct kiteboard under you can make all the difference and even help take your riding skills to the next level.
Elite Watersports proudly offers a great number of demo kiteboards and rentals. If you’re not sure which board will fit your style best, take a few for a ride! Call the shop and make a rental appointment today. We are also standing by to answer any questions you may have and will happily walk you through any and all kiteboards you’re considering purchasing.