Just thought I’d write a line on picking the right kite to get you going when you are first starting out. You’ve probably already had a scan over the internet and as you have seen, there are oodles of kites to choose from. The purpose of this article is to outline a few things you should look for in a kite to get you up and running easily and confidently.
How Many Kites Do I want
Most people start off buying one kite. After all, buying a kite is an investment. Furthermore you probably want to try kiteboarding out first to see where you are heading. With that been said, if you are going for one kite, you need to pick a kite size and style that will get you out riding in most conditions. Chat with the local riders and make yourself known. Make sure you chat with someone who actually kiteboards – not just a salesman who spends all day in the shop. Ask the other kiteboarders what kite they use the most, and also talk to someone around the same size as yourself. The general rule is, the heavier you are – the bigger the kite you need. Makes sense really.
Where will you be Kiteboarding
One of the first things you need to ask yourself is where will you be doing most of your riding. Locations can be divided into the following:
Light wind locations 10 – 15 knots - big kites (12- 19 square metres)
Medium wind Locations 15- 20 knots - medium kites (9 – 12 squares metres) – Kitesurfing Cairns
Strong Wind Location over 20 knots – small kites (6 – 10 square metres)
Lets Look at Cairns . In the windy season (May to October) Cairns is mostly a medium wind destination, where as if you travel 3 hours up the road to Cooktown, bang you’ve just hit the windiest place in Australia with strong trade winds that blow day and night for 6 months of the year.
Check out Ant at Australian Kite Surfaris for more info if you are keen to check out Cooktown.
Now that you have a kite size in mind, lets take a look at your kite types. First of all you need something with loads of grunt to get you out of the water. and good bar pressure.
Don’t go for a kite with light bar pressure or one with high bar pressure. Go for one with medium bar pressure. Recently I’ve alot of new kiters out on the water that have been sold kites with light bar pressure, and they are really struggling to get going. The bottom line is that when you first begin, you need to feel the pressure of the kite to get riding, and a light bar pressure kite will not do the job.
Now the other end of the scale is a kite with heavy bar pressure. These kites feel like you are being pulled by a truck and you will have a tendancy to constantly feel like you are getting pulled off your feet. The result is the dreaded Poo- stance.
The answer is to pick a kite that has medium bar pressure. You’ll really feel the bar and at the same time be able to ride with the bar in leaning back and cutting a nice edge on you board – just like the pro’s!
The type of kite you purchase is important. There are three main kite shapes out there.
- C- Shape
- Supported Leading Edge (SLE)
I dont want to go into too much detail here, but stick with something user friendly that will see you through as you advance with your kiting. Avoid 5 line kites as they are a little trickier to relaunch and if you invert one you are at risk of the 5th line ripping the kites canopy in half. I know this from experience I did it twice with one of my old 5 line C-kites.
If you decide to go for a C-kite, pick a 4 line kite with easy relaunch. I love the Ozone C-4. It will take you right through from beginner level to advanced freestyle and wakestyle riding. Quite a few of our students have chosen to go for the Ozone C4, and they are ripping!
Consider these things when choosing your first kite:
Bar Pressure, durability, stability, easy relaunch, something not prone to back stalling, and a large wind range.
So, theres are brief summary on what to look for with you first kite. There is a lot to consider and getting it right could mean the difference between riding in a matter of days, or floundering arounnd all season then giving up because the kite just won’t do as its told.
If you need any advise or have any questions what so ever, please contact us. We will be more than happy to give you the advise you need, so you get a kite that lasts and fits your riding style as you improve. Also, If you are keen to get riding, come and do a course with one of our professional and qualified instructors. We’ll take you through everything you need to know to become an independent kiteboarder – and you will receive an international certification. For learning Kitesurfing Cairns is the perfect location! Flat waist deep water and steady trade winds.
See you out there! Andy