Sometimes we like to make things harder then they have to be. And selecting your “perfect” kite size shouldn’t be one of them. Things to remember: you will need different kites to fly in different winds. The size of your kite depends on how much you weight. Lastly, what type of rider are you?
So unfortunately if you didn’t know already you will need to have different kite sizes for different wind speed. In the great world we live in we have not found a “one size fits all” kite. With that all being send most average size riders (140-190lbs) would be best to start with a 12m kite. This is the standard for most riders. This kite will get you out on the most windy days just depending on where you live. So that all depends on wind speeds. Most people will need two kites. One for lower winds and one for higher winds.
To not confuse you too much here is a simple chart to explain wind speed for you
Large kite for lighter winds (14-18m) - 8-15mph.
Medium kite for medium winds (11-13m) - 15-20mph
Small kite for higher winds (5-9m) - 20-25 mph
It would be 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. Also, the different types of kites there are.
Today, there are three types of kiteboarding kites available each fly a little different. They are a “C” Kite made to be flown by freestyle and wake style riders. The Bow kite is designed for speed and fast turning because of its open center. And lastly the most popular type of kite is a hybrid kite that does a little bit of both.
To be honest, a lot of the kites that are out there today are hybrid kites. This because it combines the power of a “C” kite and the turning speed of a Bow kite in one. Creating a kite that can do a little bit of everything. This what makes this such a great kite for everyone. From hardcore riders to complete beginners.
If your NEW to the sport
You should always start with a kite that might not pull you to hard and a very large board. This is the easiest and safest combination to start riding.This is because being underpowered* is far better then being ripped and overpowered the first time you put a kite up! For more board sizes check out Selecting the right Board Size (hyperlink). The type of kite you want to focus on are hybrids. Like stated above these are the best all around kites for newbies. They are easy to relaunch and will sit in the wind window longer so you have less chance for error while learning. Like we said before kites vary in size based on your wind range. So make sure you know what are the consistent winds for your riding area before you jump for a kite that might not work in your wind range.
Judge your kite sized based on the rider you are now and not the rider you want to be in the future. We see to many times people just want to skip the basics and jump right into Freestyle riding before they are at all ready to fly a ‘C” Kite. So, know where you are at in the progression and buy according to your skill level, weight, and the winds you typically fly in.