CRITERIAS TO CHOOSE YOUR KITEBOARD
A lot of kitesurfers have a hard time to choose: Which kiteboard is the best for me? We want to give you some tips how to choose the right one.
FIELD OF APPLICATION
First of all you can decide between a twintip (bidirectional) and a directional kiteboard. Twintips have symmetrical tips, allowing you to ride in both directions. Directional kiteboards are meant to be ridden in only one direction, usually strapless, without pads & straps. This allows you to keep your stance in the riding direction.
Within the twintip range you can choose between:
- Freestyle / Wakestyle
- Big Air
- Low End
KITEBOARDS FOR TEACHING
Kiteboards for teaching kiteboarding are usually a bit bigger than the average kiteboard. During their first times on a kiteboard, beginners like to step on it actively, therefore a bigger area offers more resistance and stability. But pretty fast they will learn to start dynamically and adapt to a smaller kiteboard. Boards bigger than 145 cm are usually meant for kiteschools only. Private riders can normally get a smaller board right away. Once you are able start and ride consistently, those large kiteboards bring some disadvantages, like the lack of mobility.
Good kiteboards for teaching are the Duotone Spike (ca. 700€) and the Woodboard Beam (ca. 400 €).
A kiteboard for an inexperienced user should not be flat at the bottom running base. It should have a single concave at least, which will significantly help to go upwind. With a flat running base a kiteboard gets stuck on the water easily. For the rider it feels like the board is turning really bad and slowing down constantly; therefore, it is quite exhausting to ride. A beginner usually does not profit from channels, a single concave is more than enough.
Proven kiteboards for beginner are the Duotone Gonzales (ca. 500€) and the Woodboard Beam (ca. 400€).
A freeride kiteboard should have channels on the running base. Those channels are profiles on the bottom of the board to direct the water. Companies in the industry are working on different concepts. Some channels are parallel to the axis of the kiteboard, this helps the rider to keep a straight direction, even at high speed. Others are working on constricting channels that speed up the water under the kiteboard, resulting in more uplift force. The kiteboard has a loose feeling and a good low end. This concept follows Bernoulli´s law, better known as the Venturi effect. Good examples for kiteboards using the Venturi Effect are the Woodboard Chame and the Woodboard CRBN.
Nice Freeride Boards on the market are the Duotone Select (ca. 680€), the Woodboard Chame (ca. 500€) and the Woodboard CRBN (ca. 550€). Both Woodboards are equipped with venturi channels.
FREESTYLE- UND WAKESTYLE KITEBOARDS
Feestyle and wakestyle boards need to have three main characteristics. The kite should stay deep in the wind window and the board should deliver a strong pop during the takeoff. Unhooked landings are generally quite fast; therefore, the board needs to keep direction and perform well at high speed.
More rocker generates resistance in the water, which prevents the kite from flying to the edge of the wind window. A strong pop is provided by the right construction and the chosen materials. Accurately placed channels help to keep resistance while taking off, even at high speed and with a lot of power. A double concave delivers smooth landings.
Good freestyle boards on the kitesurf market are the Duotone Team Series (ca. 800€) and the Woodboard Trash (ca. 550€).
BIG AIR KITEBOARDS
For real Big Air enthusiasts there are special Big Air boards. Once a rider reaches the 15-meter mark, it is useful to get a Big Air kiteboard. Woodboard offers a kiteboard strictly designed for Big Air. At first sight the big keel on the bottom is visible. This keel offers extremely soft and controlled landings, even at high speed. Deep channels in all areas of the board allow to hold the edge to a maximum. This results in a strong line tension and that’s exactly how you get all the energy to jump really high. Classic “Load & Pop” seems difficult with this kiteboard, as it is designed for massive winds and big kickers. An average rider might struggle, but Big Air riders are reporting up to 20% more height with the same technique.
Good Big Air Boards are the Carved Imperator (ca. 1250€) and the Woodboard Basalt BIG AIR (ca. 750€)
LIGHT WIND KITEBOARDS
There are two different concepts to enhance the low end ability of a kiteboard. We can increase the area to create more floatation. Or we try to speed up the water under the kiteboard to generate more uplift force.
Bigger Boards have a bigger area to create uplift force. Therefore the area enables the rider to start gliding faster. Like the “Doors” back in the days. But those big kiteboards have a significant disadvantage: The bigger the board gets, the flatter and higher it sits on the water surface. That small angle to the surface reduces the uplift force a bit. In the end the advantage of the bigger area gets evened out by the poor angle to the surface. Leaving a couple of disadvantages for the big kiteboards, like a lot of spray and a hard ride on the chop.
Woodboard concentrates a lot on the idea to create a high uplift force by speeding up the water under the kiteboard. This happens by constricting channels, which generate a faster water flow. This concept is based on Bernoulli’s Law and the Venturi Effect.
The german kite magazine made a light wind test with our first kiteboard with venturi channels. The Woodboard Beam in size 135 cm won the race against many way bigger kiteboards.
Good light wind board on the market are the Core Fusion LW (ca 950€) and the Woodboard Beam 143 (ca. 400€)
Board size to choose
The Board size you want to ride manly depends on the rider´s weight. Read more about this topic in our news blog: