The Kiteboarding Gear to Get You Going
Getting kiteboarding gear doesn’t have to be expensive. Most schools or kiteboarding gear shops will be able to put a package together that would get you riding on about 80-90% of the possible windy days in your area. Working with a local professional will give you the best advantages of knowing where to ride and what gear will be the best for you. Here’s a summary of some of the kitesurfing equipment you’ll need.
Kiteboarding Gear for Beginners
Learning how to kitesurf starts with a trainer kite. Owning your own trainer kite will allow you to take what you’ve learned in your lessons with a professional instructor and practice on your own. Trainer kites typically range from 2-3 square meters and have a 2-line setup. These can be a lot of fun even on their own with some friends or family at a park. Be cautious of very windy days however, as even these smaller kites can have a lot of pull.
Full Size Kite
Without a kite, there’s no kiteboarding! There are two main types of kites, inflatable kites and foil kites. The inflatable kites perform better than the foil kites on the water because they float and can be relaunched easily. There are multiple styles of kites, each have their own benefits and drawbacks. Get a recommendation from a local instructor who can explain the advantages of each. Foil kites are mostly used for land kiting and snow kiting.
There are a few different styles of boards as well. Most schools or instructors will teach using a twin-tip which means the board will go either direction without having to jibe or switch your board around at each turn. There are directional boards, wake-style boards, light wind boards, and surfboards or surf style boards.
Foot Straps / Bindings
Most boards in a package will come with the foot pads and straps. These secure the foot in place and make ejecting from the board very easy. This also means that getting the feet in the right place to begin with is less complicated. There are wakeboard-style bindings or foot straps. There are benefits to both, but just getting started, the foot-pads and foot straps are the easiest and many professionals ride with foot straps.
Harness / Spreader Bar
The harness is what connects the rider to the kite. Without a harness, even the strongest riders would only be out for 10-15 minutes at a time. The harness and spreader bar allows the kite to pull the rider without having the arms take all of the tension. There are seat harnesses, waist harnesses, and shorts with a built in harness. The most common are the waist harnesses.
Control Bar / Lines
The control bar is what is used to steer the kite. Varying the length of the lines with the control bar will turn the kite one direction or another. The lines are usually 20 to 25 meters and are very strong, usually many times the rider weight in their limit and there are 4 lines. Some setups may include a 5th line for relaunching.
The idea of the safety leash is to connect the harness to the control bar at one end so that in the event of an unhooked riding situation where the bar ends up out of reach, the harness is still connected to the control bar. It also allows for the rider to completely eject from the kite in a serious emergency.
Helmet / PFD
If you have your board connected to you with a leash, wearing a helmet is essential. The reason for this is if your board is connected to you, in a crash, it can hit your head because it is following you because it’s attached. The personal flotation device or PFD can be in the form of a life jacket, similar to the wakestyle PFDs. These are great for learning because they take the pressure of having to swim and will give you a chance to rest while in the water. Take safety seriously and you’ll have decades of riding enjoyment.
Kiteboarding Gear Packages
A good way to go save money on kiteboarding gear is to get a kitesurfing package. We have assembled some of the best for you here to check out.
There are several other components of kiteboarding gear or kitesurfing equipment you can invest in. Most of the gear can be purchased one time and used for a few seasons before requiring replacement or repair. If you take good care of your gear, it can last a long time which means your overall expense can be very low to get your kiteboarding gear.