Recently there has been a large increase of kitesurfing boards on the market, but with so much choice, are you sure you will pick the right board before you buy one?
Big and small kitesurf boards
In kitesurfing, it is usual for beginners to use bigger twin tipped boards, and when I say bigger I mean long and wide as this helps the board stay afloat by itself without the need of much wind or good kite control to keep it above the water.
Bigger boards are more buoyant and plane more easily from the start and for longer before they begin to sink.
The surfboard will float with less power from the kite or wind meaning that you will be able to take a smaller kite than you would with a less buoyant board. If you buy a good one then you will not need to sell it but keep it as a light wind board for
the times when everyone is struggling to stay on their boards
due to low wind conditions.
How many boards do I need to kitesurf?
There is an argument to say that you could have two boards and only two kites to cover the required wind ranges as the boards give you a lower wind range. I personally prefer to have three kites and one kitesurfing board at the right size for
most conditions as part of my kitesurfing equipment.
When we say big board we mean anything from 140 to 160 cm long but the exact size will depend on your body size and weight. A huge guy will need the 160 as a big board whereas a slim short chap will be fine on a 140 as his big board.
Board fin size
Another factor which will affect your boards feel and handling is the fin size- a deeper fin will give you a much steadier run and grip the water much more firmly making it more stable and allowing you to go upwind easier. Try to get fins that are 5 cm at first and then change to smaller more slippery ones later for little financial outlay.
The disadvantage is that you will have paid for two boards and all this largeness and buoyancy needs to be tempered with the fact that a larger board will be much harder to manage and put on your feet in rough water or when you are still unsure of your water-starts. Larger boards will also feel less responsive and as you become better you will want something which is lighter and easier to manage through jumps and tricks.
Board straps and comfort
Go for foot straps that feel comfortable and adjust your foot straps before you touch your kite or get into the water and make sure they are comfortable. It will save you a lot of trouble and allow the board to both remain comfortably on your feet and you will be able to kick it off should you need to. Aside from that you should choose a board with a handle as working without one is difficult as a beginner.
So you can buy a big board and then change up when you have advanced your skill level or if you are a little short of cash then just go for something more moderately sized and stick with it. Whatever you decide you will need to start on a big board from the very beginning during your IKO kitesurfing lessons to give yourself the best start on the Sussex coast.
So when it comes to the different types of kitesurfing boards you may come accross, if you can afford two boards then great go for a larger one and then change it later and if not then just get something mid sized a stick huge fins on it – my personal preference is to buy one board and then alter the fin size.
Read more kitesurfing tips and advice from Brighton based kitesurf instructor Chris Mile’s Kitesurfing blog and feel free to leave a comment or find out more about kitesurfing lessons.