How to Select the Right Kite SizeSelecting the Right Kiteboarding Kite Size and Type
There are many factors to consider when selecting the proper kiteboarding gear. Each kiteboarding kite is designed to fly in a particular wind range. This range is affected by the pilots weight, the size and type of the board, and even the skill of the pilot. Other things to consider are how aggressive you want to kiteboard. Putting up a smaller kite in any given wind speed makes it more manageable and is great for "soul riding" or freestyle riding. Rigging a bigger kite for the wind speed makes it more extreme and physically demanding.
Freeride kiteboarders should choose a kite one to two sq. meters smaller and aggressive freestyle kiteboarders should choose a kite one to two sq. meters larger.
It is very helpful to first understand a few things about the sizing of kiteboarding kites. Kites are rated by their sail area, in square meters. This is the sail area, not the wingspan.
No one kite will cover the entire wind range, Ideally, you will have three kites to cover the different wind speeds. Newer kites will have more usable wind range than older kites.
Generally speaking, you may kiteboard in winds as light at 8mph and winds in excess of 25mph. In order to do this, you will ideally need three different sizes of kites.
Large kite for lighter winds - 8-15mph. 14.0 to 18 sq. meters
Medium kite for medium winds - 15-20mph 11.0 to 13.0 sq. meters
Small kite for higer winds - 20-25 mph 6.0 to 10.0 sq. meters
You should always start with a medium size kite and a very large kiteboard. This is the easiest and safest combination. Medium size kites are much easier to water re-launch than big kites. Medium kites combined with a large board works great in the widest possible wind range! This is the fastest way to advance your skills!
Try to get around 3.0 sq. meters between your kite sizes. For example: A quiver for a 180lbs person:
The best all around medium sized kite to start with is an 11.0 or 12.0 square meter kite if you are between 140-190 lbs in body weight. We have put together the best possible packages for you with 11.0 & 12.0 square meter kites and a board complete for the lowest possible price. Check out some of the complete kiteboarding packages!!
Types of Kites
Today, there are three types of kiteboarding kites available, the newest "hybrid" or "Super Leading Edge", then "Bow or Flat" Kiteboarding Kites.
Hybrid or SLE(Supported Leading Edge) Kiteboarding Kites
Bow or Flat Kiteboarding Kites
"C" Shaped Kites
The traditional super curved leading edge kite with no bridle, lines attach directly to the kite. Traditional C kites are dangerous and should be avoided! They have not been made in the past 4 years, but can still be found in used markets at very low prices.
Newer hybrid "C" kites mentioned above have replaced traditional C kites by offering more de-power and better water relaunch than the older kites. We do not suggest buying any kite older than 2010.