Kiteboardering athletes are not identical, hence kiteboarding boards are available in differing sizes and proportions. The differences in boards are not only related to the size of the boarder, but some also relate to differences in weather and water conditions. There are several factors to take into consideration when shopping for a board.
The weight of the kiteboarder relates directly to the recommended length of the board. For heavier riders, boards should be longer than 150 centimeters. This size of board also readily suites conditions with light wind. Additionally, beginners tend to do better with a board of this size.
An average kiteboarding board measures between 140 centimeters and 150 centimeters. Over time, board design has evolved to a shortened length and an increased width. Trends affect the overall design of the board. When you watch advanced kitesurfers, you will likely notice what boards they are using. Boards in the same style are often used among other less-experienced boarders. The gear watching often turns into gear marketing, official or otherwise.
There are many other physical features of a kiteboarding board to consider. Kitesurfers refer to the curve of the board as the rocker. This is the overall curve of the board. Boards with more of a curve tend to be looser. Less of a curve indicates a more stable board. Both types of board have a place within the different variations. Different boarders prefer vastly different feels of boards. Their preferences can also change with different weather and water conditions.
Kiteboards call the sides of the board its rails. Sharper rails mean that the board accelerates faster on the water. Many boarders find sharp rails to be a show-off feature.
There are variations on kiteboarding boards that are specifically there for performing tricks and stunts. For example, a squared off tail allows for a bigger jump off of water for tricks and jumps. A rounded tail echoes a surfboard and do not aid in that “big air” moment. Fins are also elements on boards that can help the surfer to perform tricks. Often, kiteboarders will add additional fins to their board in order to personalize it according to their preferences.
As you shop for a kiteboarding board, you will notice that there are many variations in board design. There are simple, long and relative flat boards for beginners and those that prefer a more stable ride. Boarders that enjoy stunts will often choose a shorter, wider board with squared tails and added fins.
To determine which board is right for you, you will need to consider your size and skill level. Beginners should always have instruction before setting out to learn kiteboarding. Your instructor is a good resource for helping determine the size and type of board you will need. It’s also a good idea to try out a board before you purchase a similar one. You can do this by surfing with friends and also by renting kiteboarding boards.