Buy a kite – which one to choose?

Which kite should I choose?


You have taken a kitesurfing course and are about to buy your own very first kite, but you have no clue which kite to choose. Read this little guide and it will hopefully become easier for you to choose a good kite.
You might feel a bit surprised after reading this guide since you’ll not be recommened to buy any particularly kite. This guide is completely free from different kite brands. Nevertheless, this guide will give you some useful tips to keep in mind for your forthcoming decision in which kite to buy. Basically, I guess that this is exactly what you need? 🙂


Why not just ask in a forum?


Of course, this is what forums are for! 🙂 There are many people out there with valuable knowledge! The question has however already been asked by many in your situation and the questioners have been left with even more questions than they had in the first place.
Some reasons to why it’s less good to ask about recommendations in a forum:

1. Most kitesurfers are satified with their equipment. Fact that is reassuring to keep in mind as you buy a kite since it means that you most likely will be happy with your kite no matter which one you choose! The main reason to why I say this is because most of the kites on the market today are of high quality. Another reason is that many that have spent $1000 on a kite more or less feel that they must be satisfied with their kite to justify their buy (something you can learn more about if you read some basic psychology). A third reason is that you adapt and learn to handle the equipment you have. A forth reason is that the majority of all kitersurfers don’t have enough experience from different kites in order to be able to compare them, which leads us to point 2.

2. Very few kitesurfers have used several kites long enough to be able to give reflective and relevant comparisons between their kites (see point 3 and 4). Most active kitesurfers switch their kites every two years or so. De flesta aktiva kitesurfarna byter sina kitar med ett eller två års mellanrum. Most people have probably, considering the development we’ve seen on the kite market over the past decade, eperienced that their newest kites have been better than their old kites, no matter which brand they have choosen.

Some claim (often loud) that they have tested a whole range of kites and that their own kite for sure is the best kite (often followed by a bunch of exclamation marks!!!). Read point 1 again. The difference is huge between testing a kite for half an hour (or a full day for that matter) comparing to spending a long time getting to know your equipment over time, which most people do with their equipment.

3. Some kitesurfers probably choose to buy a kite due to personal relations. The local kite community where you live might not be big? It’s possible that people in your area started kitesurf since they knew someone else that already were doing it. . You will most likely, considering all the people that are selling kites through webshops or stores, before long meet a reseller, someone that knows someone who is selling kites, someone who teach classes for someone selling kites, etc. Many think that it’s nice to recommend others to buy a kite from a friend (also something you can learn more about from basic psychology.

4. A suprisingly great number of all kitesurfers around the globe have some kind of financial interest in you buying a kite that they recommend. The percentage of all kiters that are team-riders, instructors, part time employed must be crazy high in the kite community compared to any other similar sport. Everyone is not open with their interests in you buying a certain kite brfore they recommend you to buy “their” product.


So how on Earth should I know which kite to buy?


There is, as already pointed out under point 1, an imminent possibility that you will happy with your kite no matter which one you choose. But there are apparently some differences when it comes to characteristics among different kites. There is no sortage of kite reviews and you’ll find them everywhere in different kite forums and kite magazines, such as: You’ll not find any specific recommendations, but that’s not the point. You must find a kite that suits you. Here are some points that will help you find a kite that is perfect for you:

1. First you must decide which type of kitesurfer you are or want to become. One can separate kiters into two different groups. Those dedicated to “Free Riding” or those dedicated to “Freestyle”. As a complete rookie in the field, what do you see? Most likely you do have experience from some other activity where you express your personal feelings in about the same way as when you’re kitesurfing, for example snowboarding, skateboarding, skiing, cycling, horseback riding, etc. When you were skiing or snowboarding did you find most joy in slowly cruising down the hills (freeride), or did you spend the days riding off-pist, jumping, railing and performing tricks in the half-pipe (freestyle)? It’s quite unlikely that you will change your personal style just because you get a kite in your hands 🙂

Most kite manufacturers and kite distributors have kites with charecteristics aiming towards either freeriding or free-/wakestyle. The differences in style among kiters are not that significant why you cannot say that someone is 100% freerider or 100% freestyler, neither when it comes to the kite. However, it can be beneficial to choose a kite that at least suits your riding style.
2. No matter how much you read about kites on the internet, or how much someone praise a kite for you, nothing beats testing yourself. Luckily there are many sellers that are keen on letting you testing their equipment if you ask for it. It is, thanks to all team-riders and promo-riders (check point 4 in the above question), fully possible to test different kites where you live even though the supplier is seated in another city. Demo days are often announced on Facebook and other forums. Show up on these or ask your local supplier if you can their kites 🙂
3. A kitesurfing course is, for the one that never before have held a kite in his/her hands, more or less mandatory. If you can’t handle the equipment then you might as well save your money (and health). You’ll probably get the chance to try a kite or two during a kitesurfing course and there can be a point to buy the same equipment that you used during the course. The reason for this is that you have been instructed by experts in how to rig this particular kite and how to use it in a safe way, a fact that minimize the risk for you screwing up as you’re about to have your first independent kite session. Besides many instructors will give you a discount if you buy a kite from them after the course.
4. The price is important to many. A good deal means more money left on your bank account that can be used for other necessary equipment, such as a helmet, a very important part of your equipment that most people still don’t give a fuck about.

5. Service can make a big difference in how satisfied you as a kite buyer will be. In case there is a local dealer of a certain kite brand then keep this in mind. it is gold to be able to drop in to a store on a monday since you snapped an old line during the weekend. Or perhaps only to get a hands on demonstrationib how that quick release actually works. Or simply just to have a chat 🙂


Okey, I get it… ut which size should I choose? And what is the difference between a foil kite and a tube kite? What isa C-/BOW-/SLE-kite?


Here we have questions that you’ll get good answers for in a forum. Besides many have asked this same questions before so use the search functions and you’ll hopefully find answer within shortly.

Good luck with buying your very first kite! Perhaps did you read this page in hope of getting clear in which kite to buy, but as you see it is hard to identify a kite that is better than all others and that is perfect just for you. Still I can guarantee that no matter the brand of your you will have great fun with it!

/Gustav – IKO Instructor

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