You want to make your first purchase of kitesurf gear, discover our complete guide
You’ve finally become an independent rider, congrats! 👏🏻 Next step, getting your own stuff! You’re lost with this technical language, among all these kites, boards and you don’t know which way to turn? 🤔 This guide was made for you!
👉🏻 In this guide, you will find some advice to choose and buy your kitesurf equipment. As well as the important things to know to buy second-hand gear, tips to maintain it and increase its lifespan.
🪁 OPTION 1, RENTING
Renting is a good compromise! If you choose schools that work with brand new equipment it will allow you to try several kinds of kites or boards, several brands and always ride with the last novelties.
Renting will allow you to evolve and to get an idea of your preferences, in order to buy the equipment that will suit you.
If you don’t often go kitesurfing within a year, you can also opt for this option. It will prevent your equipment from dying out and losing its value. Each time you will be able to ride with quality and brand new gear (pay attention to the kind of equipment that is suggested by the school before renting). However, by renting you can be limited to some hours and spots.
🪁 OPTION 2, BUYING YOUR FIRST KITESURF GEAR
👉🏻 New or second-hand equipment?
Second-hand can be a good option for limited budgets and those who don’t really know their preferences yet.
Why choosing second-hand equipment? You’re a beginner kitesurfer, you will then keep progressing. In the course of your evolution, your tastes and skills will become clearer. If you prefer flat, waves, jumps, etc, the needed gear won’t be the same.
If you opt for second-hand stuff, we advise you to take something that is less than 2 years old, kitesurf gear evolves each year. Be careful with obsolete equipment.
• You can find stuff directly on shopping sites or on kitesurfing Facebook pages and Facebook market place.
• You can also buy some gear with a professional who sells equipment on. This option is the best if you feel lost and need personal advice.
You’ll find, at the end of the article, the relevant questions to ask before buying your second-hand gear. 😌
You’ve got a higher budget, you’re a bit more experienced and you already know about your desires? You can opt for new equipment.
👉🏻 Which brand do I choose?
👉🏻 Which kite and size do I choose?
Each brand proposes a range of multipurpose kites that are compatible with all the conditions and allow you to evolve quickly. That’s perfect to begin!
Concerning the size, it will depend on your build and on the conditions of the spot where you practice. To begin, we advise you to evolve in wind ranges between 12 et 20 knots. A 10m2 / 12 m2 kite can be a good compromise to start safely.
Once you’re confident enough, you can ride in larger wind ranges. You’ll then have to buy one or some smaller kites. Take kites from the same brand your first choice in order to avoid compatibility problems.
👉🏻 Does the bar have to be the same brand as the kite?
You have to know that kitesurf gear is not always compatible depending on the brands. To avoid any unpleasant surprise, we advise you to choose the same brand for the bar as for the kite. If you still want to have a different brand for your bar than your kite, make sure they are compatible. Pay attention to the year as well, it’s preferable to have a kite and a bar from about the same year.
Tip: using pigtails can be the solution to tie a bar to a kite from another brand.
👉🏻 The board
To begin you can opt for a twintip (TT). The strapless boards (that look like surfboards) are made for waves and it’s more difficult to use them than Twintips, but they offer great sliding feelings!
To choose the size of your board, it will mainly depend on your build, but the size can also vary according to the wind speed, during over-powered or underpowered conditions, etc. To begin we advise you to opt for a board that corresponds to your build. You’ll then be able to say if you prefer choosing a smaller or a bigger twintip.
When talking about the size of the board, you have to take the width of the board into account, the length doesn’t have a considerable impact. We advise you to choose a size between 138 cm and 142 cm.
When it comes to the board, the year isn’t really a problem.
Concerning the outline (the shape of the board) you can see curved boards and some with straighter lines. A board with a curved outline is easier to handle and a board with straight lines allows a better grip.
👉🏻 Seat harness or waist one, hard-shell or soft-shell?
You’ve probably learnt kitesurf with a seat harness. This harness is designed for people who don’t have the right posture yet. That’s why you should no longer need that kind of harness and you should be able to wear a waist one.
There is an important difference among harnesses: it’s the rigidity level.
The more your harness is hard-shell, the more it will hold your back but the less you’ll have this feeling of moving freely.
Please note you can’t fold a hard-shell harness (so you won’t be able to carry it as you wish). It must be perfectly adapted to your morphology or it can annoy you, it’s also more expensive. The soft-shell harness is more comfortable, and adapts more easily to your morphology, but it holds your back up less.
So if you need an important support of your lumbar vertebra and your back, you should opt for a hard-shell harness. Otherwise the medium harness (half-hard, half-soft) is a good compromise and suits most people. If you don’t need any back support and you look for comfort, the soft-shell one will be perfect.
GOOD QUESTIONS TO ASK BEFORE BUYING KITESURF SECOND-HAND GEAR:
👉🏻 Concerning the kite:
• The SPi: in other words the material of the kite. You have to know the more the kite is new, the crisper the spi is. To make sure about the quality of the kite, you have to check the state of the SPi and see if it’s still crisp.
• Ask if there were some repairs. If there were, make sure it’s micro-cracks and the repairs were made by a professional. Also pay attention to the seams; they all have to be good and still strong.
• The leading edge and the valves: valves tend to age badly and peel off. Make sure the valves don’t move.
👉🏻 Concerning the bar:
You can ask if it was checked and if the lines don’t have any length problem. The bar is the most important element in terms of safety. It is necessary to check the quality of the bar in order to ride serenely.
👉🏻 Concerning the board:
To begin the boards don’t require as much attention. You can ask the year of the board, check the state of the pads & fins to guarantee the coherence between the board and the posted price.
TIPS TO MAINTAIN YOUR KITESURF GEAR:
1. Avoid leaving your kite under the blazing sun, in your car or on the beach. The heat will damage the glue joints.
2. Put your kite away as soon as your session is finished. With the wind, the sand will have the effect of a sandpaper and will damage your kite.
3. Once at home, dry your kite if it’s still wet or damp and remove the remaining sand.
If you have other unanswered questions, don’t hesitate to send us a message. If not, see you on water! 😎
Léa & Marco ✌🏻