Types of Kitesurfing Kites
If you have ever wondered what people mean when they talk about types of kitesurfing kites, this aritcle explains the differences. Kite technology has evolved tremendously since first having come on scene. The kites have been engineered to be very safe while having increased their performance based on rider feedback. Each style of kite has advantages as well as drawbacks. Some of these are in the form of increased safety, depower ability, and skill level considerations.
This is the most traditional type of kite and what most people will think of when hearing about kiteboarding. The kite is in the shape of the letter C with its leading edge. This is an inflatable kite and will usually have multiple struts that are inflated separately although some do have a single bladder. These kites perform well in the freestyle category or wave-riding category where the rider is often unhooked from their harness.
Bow / SLE Kite:
This is a flatter version of a C-Kite that is managed by a bridle system. The bow kites have a great depower ability and have a relatively large wind range which make this kite the preference for many beginners or intermediate kiters.
This is a slightly modified version of both the bow and C kites. This kite has a more round C shape to the leading edge but still utilizes the five-line or four-line/five-line convertible setup. Most hybrids incorporate a bridle system which is what modifies the angle of attack allowing the kite to either capture more wind or let more wind through. This enables the rider to have a larger wind range as the kite can also be adjusted “on the fly”.
These style of kites have two versions that match either the C or the hybrid. In either case, the delta kites are known for their stability, depower capability, and easy automatic relaunch. This makes the delta kite an easy kite to manage for a beginner as the relaunch occurs frequently during the initial sessions in the water.
This type of kite is an open cell kite or ram-air kite. This means that instead of inflating with a pump, the leading edge is filled by the wind as the kite is under tension.
These kites are much less frequent on the water as the open cells can easily fill with water and prevent the wind from being able to inflate the cells. This type of kite boarding kite are used frequently for land-based riding including land kiteboarding or snowkiting. The most common types of trainer kites are also foil kites. Most foil kites do have full depower capabilities where the kite will collapse on itself when the safety is released which makes these kites especially safe for snowkiting and other land-based riding.
Which Types of Kitesurfing Kites Are Right for You?
These are the most common types of kites for the most common kiteboarding style riding. Your local school or instructor can introduce you to multiple styles and some vendors even have “demo” days where you can try each kite style to see what is the best types of kitesurfing kites for you.