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How to Choose the Proper Size Kite

Tips and considerations when selecting the size of a first kite

Choosing Proper Size Kite

What size kite should I choose when beginning to kiteboard? Is yet another important question to ask; invariably setting you up either for success or potential hardships throughout the early stages of learning to kiteboard. Too large of kite will render situations dangerous, and too small of a kite will lead to unnecessary frustration. In this news item we will outline several helpful tips that will aid you when selecting the proper size kitesurfing kite.

Major Considerations when Choosing a First Kite:

  1. Rider's Weight
  2. Average Wind Speeds at Local Spot
  3. Intended Seasons of Kiteboarding
  4. Board Sizes
  5. Future Quiver Building Intentions

First of all, let us begin by stating that before you begin your kiteboarding adventure, you should first take a proper kiteboarding lesson. This will teach you vital information about kite safety and equipment. Beyond that, the purchase of a small trainer kite is always a good idea, both for fun and its ability to create better kite control for the user. Okay, now that spiel is over, let’s examine kite size considerations.

1. Rider Weight

Rider weight plays a major part of the decision process. Essentially, the more you weigh, the more kite power you need to get you on the board and planing. Kites range in size from about 5 - 17 meters (number relates to squared meters of fabric area). A small rider's first kite will be in the single digits, and that of a larger rider will be in the double digit range. Reference the list below of the rider weight to best first kite size (approximately).

2. Average Wind Speeds at Local Spot

The average wind speeds at the local kite boarding area plays a definite role. The kite size list above holds true for locations with average wind speeds for kiteboarding (around 15-25mph). For geographic areas with predominantly light winds (10-15mph), one should consider purchasing a kite 1-3 meters larger than the size chart suggests. And places with high average winds (25+ mph), would cause one to reduce the kite size by 1-3 meters.

3. Intended Riding Season

Different seasons have differing wind patterns and strengths. Complimentary to average wind speeds at a location is the intended season of use at that kite beach. Certain places have mostly light wind in the summer and strong winds in the winter. While others are switched around, with high winds in summer and the inverse in winter. If you only have time to learn in the 'light' months, then selecting a kite slightly larger is recommended. If you plan on beginning to kite during the 'windy season', possibly consider reducing the kite size slightly. More information can be acquired about your intended riding location from TV weather forecasts, internet historical data, and seasonal records. Check - www.wunderground.com, www.weather.com, www.ikitesurf.com, and www.windguru.com

4. Board Size

Kiteboard sizes is another contributing factor. If you don't yet have a kiteboard, then this does not necessarily pertain to you. In which case, read more information about that topic in the how to choose the right size kiteboard article. However, if you already have a kiteboard, we need to examine its size and make adjustments accordingly. Small boards (125-135cm), or wake boards, which have substantial rocker (board curvature from tip to tip), will create more drag and reduce power in your kite. If this is your case, then you may consider bumping up your kite size a few meters. Those who already have large boards (160cm +) should consider a slightly smaller kite size because it will take less power to get them moving on the water.

5. Future Quiver Intentions

Future kite purchasing plans is the last variable. If you only intend to have one kite for a while, then stick with the recommended sizing. Although, consider the fact that most people who kiteboard own several kites of differing size, allowing them to ride in a wide range of wind speeds. Most have a two (2) or three (3) kite quivers. Those with two kites, generally space them out at least 3-4 meters apart. Such as a 12m kite for regular wind speeds, and a 8m kite for stronger conditions. Three kite quiver owners will space them roughly 2-3 meters apart. Say a 7m, 10m, and 13m. You will want to take into account your intended purchase pattern, and choose the first kite allowing for appropriate spacing across your potential quiver.



Future Articles Regarding Kite Size to Come:

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