In order to successfully kiteboard, one must have the proper equipment. Below, each piece of equipment is listed and briefly explained.
Kite – The kite is the most obvious (and probably exciting) part of the equation. A kite is what catches the wind and provides lift and forward movement. There are many different shapes, styles, and sized kites for different applications but they all have the same purpose: to turn wind into fun! Learn about all the different types of kites here.
Bar and Lines – The bar and lines are what connect the kiter to the kite and allow the rider to control the kite. Most of today’s kites have four lines going from the bar to the kite. The bar is used to steer the kite as well as power and depower the kite.
Harness – This piece of equipment either goes around the waist and will have a hook in the front that the kite connects to. It is very important that the harness fits correctly as this is where the energy of the kite is transferred to the rider’s body. Not only is it unsafe it the harness doesn’t fit properly, it can also be very uncomfortable. There 2 types of harness: waist and seat. Both harnesses go around the waist but a seat harness has straps that go through the rider’s legs.
Dakine Fusion Seat Harness
Board – In order to glide across the water, a board must be used. Most boards used, especially when beginning, are called twin-tip boards. This means that they are symmetrical and can be ridden in both directions. Most twin-tip boards have straps that hold the feet firm to the board when underway but are easily slipped in and out of to start or stop riding. Learn about all the different types of kiteboards here.
Pump – A pump is needed for pumping up the kite before the session begins. The most commonly used kite for this sport is one with an inflatable leading edge and struts. While there are electric pumps that can be purchased, most riders use a manual pump.
Of course, the more invested in kiteboarding you become, the more kites, bars, and boards you’ll have. However, when you’re just getting started and buying multiple sizes of kites just isn’t an option, start with products you’re going to succeed on. Make sure the kite you get is ideal for beginners but also a kite you will be able to progress with; basically, do your research or call the shop to speak to an expert before you buy something totally wrong for you and ultimately waste your money. The same thing goes for the kiteboard… not all board shapes and sizes are created equal.
Overall though, as long as you have one solid set up (kite, bar, board, harness, & pump), you’re ready to take on kiteboarding! Remember you will always have an ear to bend in the staff at Elite Watersports; stop by, call, or email us anytime!