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Kite 2012

Kitesurfing News Year 2012-2016!

Looking to buy a new kite? Which to choose?

Posted by kite2012 On December - 19 - 2011

Looking for a new kite but do not know which brand to choose? Then you should read this guide.

But, after reading this, you might feel a little scammed, for in this article, you are in fact not recommended to buy a single kite, the article is purged from brand names. However, it will give you some good tips on how you should proceed to determine the kite for you to choose. And is that not really what you need? =)

“Can I not just ask the forum?”

Yes, of course, that’s what forums are for =) and there are many out there who are holding on to lots of useful knowledge. But the question has been asked many times by other riders in your situation, and the questioner is often left with more questions/options afterwards, than he had to begin with.

Here are some of the reasons to why it’s less useful to ask for recommendations of what kite to buy on a forum:

1) Most riders are happy with their equipment! This is a fact that is reassuring to take into account when buying a kite, because it means that you probably will be there happy with your kite no matter what you choose! The main reason I would say is that the vast majority of kites on the market are of high quality. Another reason is that many who have spent $1500+ on a kite need to justify their purchase (which you can learn more about if you read some basic psychology). A third reason is that you adapt and learn to use the equipment you have. And a fourth reason is that the vast majority of riders do not have any good basis for comparison (which leads us on to point 2).

2) Very few kiters have used more than one kite long enough to provide a reflective (see also point 3 and 4) and the relevant comparison. Most active riders replace their kitene with 1-2 year intervals. But given the developments that have been on the equipment in recent years, most people that change kites probably have experienced that they have gotten a much better, no matter which brand you have chosen.

Some would argue (often loudly) that they have tried a whole host of kites, and can see that their own kite is the best (usually followed by !!!). Read point 1 again. There is a big difference in trying a kite for 30 min (or a day for that matter) and to spend time to learn the equipment to know over time, which most people do with their own equipment.

3) Some riders choose kite out of personal relationships. Let’s face it, the local kite community where you live is probably not huge? and most of the people in your area began with kiting because they know someone else who was doing it already. Because the amount of people that have a kite to sell, it is not unlikely that you within a short time will be friend with someone who sells kites or someone who knows someone who sells kites, someone who offers courses for someone who sells kites, etc. Many think it’s fine to recommend that others buy a kite from his friend (this is also something one can learn about in the basic psychology).

4) A surprisingly large proportion of kiters around the world have some financial interest in that you ride the brand they recommend. The percentage of team riders, promo riders, instructor and part-time employees must be very much higher in the kite community than in any other comparable activity. =) Not everyone is quick to speak out about what interests they have, before they give you recommendations to buy “their” product.

“Damn it. How should I choose which kite I want to buy?”

As stated under point 1 there is an imminent probability that you will be satisfied no matter what kite you choose. That said, it’s obviously some differences between the various kite properties. A very good source to get an overview of these is the SBC’s annual kite boards kite review, link: kite reviews 2011. They describe the properties of many of this year’s kites, in an objective and neutral manner. You will not find any obvious recommendations, but it’s not the point. You have to find a kite that suits you, and here are some points that may help you to choose:

1) The first thing to determine is what type of kiter you are or will be. Let’s be a little black and white and divide riders into those who are engaged in “Free Riding” and those who are engaged in “Freestyle”. As a new kiter, what did you see? Well, probably you have experience with any other type of activity that requires almost the same characteristics of you as a person, as kiting do. If you go skiing or snowboarding, do you just pretty much cruise down the mountain sides (freeride), or do you spend the day on rails and doing big jumps in the park (freestyle)? Unfortunately it is unlikely that you will start to rip hard just because you get a kite in your hands. :-)

Most kite-producers/-suppliers have kites that have characteristics such that they tend to fit either Freeriding or Free-/Wakestyle. The differences are not very big, and due to that, no one is 100% free rider or 100% freestyler, nor is the kite itself. But it may be advantageous to at least choose a kite that basically is in your cubicle.

2) No matter how much you read about a kite on the net, or what someone tells you about it, nothing comes up to actually try it yourself. Fortunately, most vendors are super-interested in allowing you to test their equipment if you request it. Because the amount of teams and promo-riders (see point 4 in the previous question), it is possible to test the kites where you live, even if the supplier is located elsewhere in the country. Show up on demos that are advertised in your local forum, or contact your provider and ask for the demo!

3) As a new kiter is almost mandatory to take a course. If you can not use the equipment, you may as well save money (and health). On the course, you hopefully also get the chance to try a kite or two, and it can actually be a small point to buy the same equipment that you have used on the course. The reason is that the course has received expert guidance in the rigging and safe use of this kite, making you safer and minimizes the chance that you make a mistake when you stand alone on the beach. And it does not hurt either that many instructors gives you a discount on the purchase of a kite after the course.

4) Price is important for most people, not much more to say about it. A good deal means money left in the bank, such as might be used for other necessary equipment. For example, a helmet, which is actually required, but as many drops.

5) Service can make all the difference in how satisfied you are with your kite purchase. Do you know a local supplier with knowledge of the kite, the you might want to consider this. It is invaluable to be able to pop in on monday to buy new lines because the old snapped the this weekend. Or to get them to show you hands-on how quick-release actually works. Or simply just to chat. =)

“Okay, I see … By the way, what size should I choose? What is the difference between a foil and a tube kite? What is a C-/BOW-/SLE-kite?”

See, this is a question that you can get reasonable answers to by asking in a forum! And there are actually many people that have asked about these things before, so by searching, you’ll probably get answers to them pretty quickly.

Good luck with the purchase of your first kite, we are sure you will have fun no matter what logo it is marked with! =)

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