What Equipment Do You Need to Kitesurf? Must-Read Answer to This FAQ

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Speaking of kitesurfing, you can notice even novices are thinking about investing in decent gear that is essential to learn and master this extreme water sport. Aside from being for kitesurfing itself, the gear is useful for increased safety and comfort while you are riding the waves.

Keep reading to discover the best answer to the question, “what equipment do you need to kitesurf?”

Buy or rent equipment?

Now that you have completed your kiteboarding course, are you wondering whether to purchase or rent the kitesurfing gear?

It sounds wise to rent the equipment, yet is it? With the rental option, you would hold full responsibility for no matter what is up with the gear and people around. Your kiteboarding day that is expectedly fantastic may end up being a bad one. 

Please bear in mind that, kites rented tend to be from top-of-the-line brands, implying their high price. Hence, we do not suggest it.

With that being said, since you have aced a specific level and are certain you are comfortable in the water, it does not hurt to rent gear. If you go on an excursion and have no desire to bring all the kitesurf essentials or simply wish to kite for one day or two, this renting option is great. Consider it as a vehicle rental; obviously, you will not choose to rent vehicles to learn!

You are better off purchasing your first kiteboarding gear and have the freedom to use it the way you want. Below is some valuable information that helps with your equipment discovery. 

What equipment do you need to kitesurf?

1. Kites

2 questions to ask yourself before you buy

Before purchasing your first gear, be sure you find the answers to these questions:

  • Where will be your regular kitesurfing spot?
  • What are the typical conditions in that spot?

You can answer the first question on your own. For the second one, either search the information on the Internet or ask other surfers. 

Wondering why figuring out the common wind condition in your surfing area is necessary? Doing so helps select your proper kite size. More often than not, you want two kites to handle the wind range on the kiteboarding location. One is smaller, intended when it is windier. And the more sizable one is for days with low wind.

What if you just plan to kick off the session with a kite? Then, choose the bigger-sized one. It is safer and simpler to learn. Also, it is worth noting that whether your kite is small or big has to do with your weight. A fifty-kilogram person is not like a ninety-kilogram one, isn’t he?

Once you have an idea of what size(s) are for your kite, move on to the next step. It is selecting between three ways to purchase it. Used, pre-owned, or new?

The 3 options

Option 1. New gear

On the one hand, you may need to invest pretty much in an entirely new kite. Still, on the other hand, it will be longer-lasting. 

You know everything about the item because you purchase it new. From the get-go, you can look after it and avoid having a hard time negotiating with a private seller possibly with questionable honesty. 

Better yet, because you are the purchaser and get the bill, you will have no trouble with the kite warranty (two years provided in any model). Further, you can always sell the gear again for the right price on a second-hand market and buy a more impressive one. 

When it comes to the drawback, when purchasing top-notch product units, the price tends to be high. Moreover, compared to when you break a model less expensive, you will mourne more over its damage. 

Pro tips: A super great time to purchase new gear less pricily is at the kite season’s end (i.e., in August and September). Brand-new product units are being released and you can find out a hot sale in new gear from the past season. For those who search well, the chance is you discover new models from the same season at a lower price. 

Option 2. Pre-owned kite

As you are in the know, a lot of people sell used kites in super-duper good conditions, perhaps as they renew for further upgraded equipment or are too busy to use it. 

Spend some time searching, and you can discover great offers from gear that stays impressive for the price of used ones. This way allows you to save plenty of money. Because these people wish to sell their kites, you can always reach a good negotiation. 

Talking about the drawback, we need to remind you that as you do not purchase the gear new, perhaps you have to handle dishonest people whose words about something are not reliable. With that being said, many kitesurfers are trusted, and experiencing unfair treatment is not common. Believe it or not, life is still that beautiful!

Pro tips: The season’s end (from July to September) is the most favorable time to purchase used kites in extra good conditions. This is when new product units are introduced out there and surfers renew their gear selling their kites. Best yet, you may manage to seek good deals for a whole set during the time. These are board, bar, and two kites.

Option 3. Used kite

Used gear is the most preferred choice for those who just have a couple of times in a year to kitesurf or have not completely certain about kiteboarding. 

The good news is, second-hand kiteboarding markets deliver a lot of kites whether they are used ones or super used ones with pinholes and reparations. That shows through the prices, undoubtedly. Do not stress over their conditions as they can be well patched or fixed. Consider them as your initial investment to learn.

As for the drawback, you may purchase a very used item, there will be certain sort of issues with it over time. 

Pro tips: See it yourself if you purchase the used kite. Later in the guide, we are specifying what to keep in mind when you purchase the kite to settle on the proper decision. 

What kite shape to purchase

More often than not, brands have various models which match various demands and preferences. It is not difficult to discover your best fit, from kites for newbies to race kites.

Based on the construction of the gear, it will come with attributes that suit better or not with novices and other surfers. Simple water relaunch, upwind functionality, and a large wind range are what you should account for now.

The shape you had better lay trust in is the Delta one. Kites with this shape are potent, a breeze to fly and relaunch, and boast a considerable wind range.

Avoid C-shaped ones. They are technical. Their water relaunch is tricky now and then and the upwind functionality is not that excellent. They are intended for freestyle and whatnot and may retard your progression.

What to consider when getting a used kite

Never forget to account for the kite’s backside (aka trailing edge). Also, consider the central part because it is where kitesurfers tend to suffer. 

What is more? See whether seams are all in acceptable conditions. Equally significantly, look into where the pulleys function (in case kite has) as well as the whole bridle system. That is because these might experience damage and break over time.

What if the kite is the fixed one? See whether everything is well seamed without peculiar marks.

Furthermore, check if the gear is leaking. A pro tip is pumping it hard and let’s see. In case there are leakages, maybe the cause lies in the pinhole or a valve is quite unglued, which is not difficult to find in old gear. 

The good news is, it is rather simple and inexpensive to fix the pinhole or replace the valve. But on the other hand, if the issue is the valve, consider another kite. Undeniably, any other valve in that gear will become problematic in a little while!

See our list of top kites, top kites for kids and top kites for beginners.

2. Bars

Think about purchasing the bar as well when you purchase the kite. It is advisable to get the bar made by the same company to prevent incompatibility concerns. For your information, just about any of this equipment work with any kite from the same firm.

Pro tips: In case you purchased used gear, see whether the safety release functions well and look into the lines to find out any little cuts or marks. There will be a lower likelihood of problems occurring on the water given that lines are in good condition.

3. Harnesses

When it comes to this gear, you can select between a waist harness and sit one.

Often, during your kiteboarding course, you leverage a sit harness. That is because its connection around your legs and with the hips makes it move less. This way, you can keep it away from moving to your chest and put down the gravity center, being useful in the early going.

How about the waist harness? The equipment is more comfortable for the crotch. It is relatively simpler to go upwind. Yet, it moves more and you might feel unpleasant in your chest  Seek the appropriate size and try it before you purchase!

Pro tips: The harness is among the parts you will find effortlessly in the second-hand choices at a reasonable price. Since you will use it for a long time, take your time and opt for the one you feel most comfy with. Avoid selecting by colors!

See more: Best harness for kitesurfing.

4. Boards

As for boards, there are a lot of choices in different sizes and from various brands. The most significant thing to think about when you purchase them is discovering the proper size for you. Typically, smaller sizes are 129 to 134 x 39 to 40. The midsized ones are 133 to 142 x 40 to 42. And the big sizes are more sizable than those. 

Based on your weight and size, you are better off going for one of the above options. Keep in mind that a more sizable board will be useful at the outset. It allows you to stand up and ride the waves with more ease. 

Select big sizes in case your kitesurfing location is a light-wind one. Because it should assist in your riding.

Pro tips: Look for a kitesurf board with the proper aspects for you (i.e., freeride or newbie boards). Think twice before you get wakestyle/ freestyle ones. Wonder why? Freeride boards and the ones for novices are built to lend you a hand on your initial steps and when you go upwind. With them, you will feel comfy. Meanwhile, wakestyle/ freestyle ones are intended for other riders with other demands.

5. Wet suits

Consider purchasing them because of their better elasticity and comfort. You will want to give or take millimeters based on where you kitesurf. Check here for our list.

Pro tips: You had better not choose the cheapest wet suit. A decent one will make a world of difference in the duration of the session, warmth, and comfort.

6. Watersports air pumps

This thing is significant for kitesurfing because a lot of kitesurf boards need inflating at particular points to keep up with their aerodynamics. The kitesurfing pumps are indeed similar to what is leveraged to inflate inner tubes and other towable watercraft. 

Pro tips: Manual air pumps’ price is not high, generally at no more than forty dollars. You can get them at a favorable price on Amazon. If you want a recommendation, we would suggest using 12V or battery-powered rechargeable pumps when you can. For example, the quality of the SereneLife Digital Electric Air Pump Compressor and the OutdoorMaster 20PSI High-Pressure SUP Air Pump is hardly doubtful.

In a nutshell

What equipment do you need to kitesurf? These include kites, bars, harnesses, boards, and wet suits.

It is not a walk in the park when you are looking for your first kiteboarding gear. Yet, once you have them, you will have as much fun with this activity as you wish (and can).

It is always advisable to ask for a veteran friend or professional advice. Plus, bear in mind that what works for some surfers might not be the best for others. 

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