Novice kiteboarders should familiarize themselves with kiteboarding gear. The equipment for this exciting sport is comprised of a few main subgroups. Consider the different types before you make a decision.
Kites are essential; they catch the wind to propel you forward. Kites are available in many shapes, designs and colors. They are specifically designed for kiteboarding. You will likely find many kites that will serve you well, it’s a good idea to look for the shape that you prefer and then determine the colors you like once you find the style or shape that will work best for you.
Kiteboards are somewhat like a surfboard--it is the apparatus that the boarder sits or stands on while kiteboarding. For kiteboarders, a board needs to have places to which harnesses and lines from the kite attach. There are also places to secure your feet, not unlike a snowboard.
There are various categories of boards. Weather conditions may dictate which board is preferred because there are boards designed for big waves and others designed for light wind conditions. Some boards are pointed at the ends, while others have a flat edge at the ends of the board. Serious kiteboarders often have more than one board stashed among their kiteboarding gear so that they are prepared for changing conditions.
In kiteboarding, a kite is attached to a kiteboard. Because of this set-up, harnesses and other fastening gear are required. Seat harnesses are often the best choice for beginners – they tend to support the athlete better and eliminate back pain that can come from other harness options. Experienced kiteboarders often want more flexibility and choose a waist harness that will enable them to do stunts, such as flips.
An impact vest is another important part of kiteboarding gear. This vest will have points on which a harness can attach. It also offers support. Kiteboarding can be a very strenuous sport and the athlete is often more comfortable with a good quality, supportive impact vest. These types of vests are for safety in more than one way. They provide support, attachments for harnesses and they also floatation.
Sizing is an important consideration when shopping for impact vests. Consulting the manufacturer’s sizing charts is a good idea. These vital devices come in youth and adult sizes that are usually determined by body weight. If you’re in the market for one of these vests, look for strong zippers, generous armhole size, water repellency and a vest that is light in weight.
There are several accessories that are important parts of kiteboarding gear. Be sure to carefully consider your harnessing equipment. Spreader bars and safety knives are very important aspects to the equipment for this sport. Tie down straps and helmets are important items to add to your shopping list. In addition to the essentials, many kiteboarders like to add some convenient items to their kiteboarding gear, such as a strong zinc oxide sunblock, GluFix for bonding repairs to your equipment and a waterproof housing for an iPod.