Kitesurfing is a wonderful water sport, it offers that incomparable surf feeling, usually within the first basic course. To ensure that the fun doesn’t result in “expensive fun” when getting your first kiteboard, it makes sense to know about a few tips. As long as the kitesurf beginner is in the responsibility of a kite school, the material is provided by the school in almost all cases. The kite instructor selects the suitable kite size for the student and chooses a suitable board for the respective lesson based on skill level and weight . When the kite course is over, the following questions usually arise:
Which kiteboard should I buy?
Which kiteboard after the kite course?
Which is the best kiteboard for the beginner?
There are tons of kiteboards on the market, from very cheap ones that can be bought around € 300 to kiteboards that cost around € 2,000. Here is a little help for the selection:
The size of the kiteboard
In the kite school, the kite instructors often give the students very large boards. That makes a lot of sense the first time you try to kite. The beginner usually steps onto the board with all his weight. The bigger the board, the slower it is pushed under water and the first attempts for the water start work much better.
If the student does the so called “dynamic starting”, where the kite control gradually puts the rider’s weight on the board in relation to the speed, then there is no need for such a large board. From this point onwards, such a large training board has more disadvantages than advantages. So when the kite course is over and you only rode with boards 150 cm or larger in the course, you shouldn’t make the mistake to buy such a large board for yourself and for your own use.
If the kitesurf beginner has a solid level to ride in both directions, then the kiteboard size depends a lot on the riders weight. For light riders around 50 to 65 kilos, a length around 133 cm has proven itself. Between 65 and 80 kilos you should choose a kiteboard around 135 cm and over 80 kilos a board with approx. 138 to 143 cm. Boards smaller than 133 cm don’t work very well, and boards larger than 143 cm have more disadvantages than advantages. We explained this in another blog about the right kiteboard size!
If we already know the kiteboard size, it is still difficult to find the right board of the right brand for you.
How much do we want to spend on our first kiteboard?
First you should define a budget, you want to spend on a kiteboard. If this value is over € 1,000 then you will get a board from one of the big brands that is suitable for beginners. You will get it in a good kite shop with good advice, including the necessary pads and straps. That’s around € 1,000. But that is not always necessary.
There is a handful of small brands that produce high quality boards at far lower prices and enjoy cult status. The boards made by the Dutch brand Lieuwe or the Austrian brand Woodboard, for example, can easily keep up with the big brands in terms of technology and quality and they also emit a lot of innovative impulses.
The price level varies between the different brands but actually depends a lot on how elaborately the underwater ship is shaped. The beginner can confidently get a board that is very good for his skill level with less budget. For example, channels on the tips are used to build up more pressure when jumping. Other channels hold the kite in the middle of the wind window to place the kite in an ideal position for a wakestyle trick. A beginner may not immediately be able to feel the advantages of this type of underwater ship. But with the first successes coming, an advanced underwater shape will have many advantages.
So what should be considered?
You need to like the optic
Boards printed in 4 colours are usually not as UV-resistant as kiteboards with screen printing due to the printing technology used in four-color printing. Less color is more in this case. If you don’t leave the board in the sun for hours, it shouldn’t make a big difference.
The board should have a wooden core
Boards with a foam core do not have as good resilience as kiteboards with a wood core. It feels a bit boring on the legs, like walking in mud with moon boots. The only exception are the directional kiteboards or foil boards, because they shouldn’t have flex. Therefore a foam core can be used here.
The underwater ship
The first kiteboard for your own should definitely have at least a single concave. This means that the underwater ship is shaped a bit hollow. As a result, the board does not stick to the water. It feels light-footed on the sole of the foot. We call it “loose”. Simple channels can reinforce this feeling, or enable a better low end. In any case, a kiteboard should not be flat on the bottom. Flat means without a concave or without channels in the longitudinal direction. These types of boards, without a defined underwater ship, can often be found at the lower price limit. Beginners often fall for these “cheap” offers. You can’t gloss over a board without channels or without a concave. It just doesn’t work well.
Good and proven entry-level boards
The following boards are good and proven entry-level boards with a strong brand behind them:
DUOTONE Gonzales, approx. 500 €
FLYSURFER Flow, approx. 500 €
WOODBOARD Beam approx. 420 €
DUOTONE is the undisputed global market leader, FLYSURFER is a very likeable brand from southern Germany that is famous for its highly developed foil kites and WOODBOARD.KITESURFING is known for its extraordinary kiteboards, designed and developed at Lake Neusiedl. A high resale value is guaranteed for all three brands.