I'm new to the kitesurf scene and looking for some decent advice. Recently I decided to take on the sport and wow, I love it with a passion after my first lesson.
But now I am ready to buy my own equipment. Seeing as there is so much out there today I find it really hard to make a decision. Maybe some of you can share your experience and help me a little here.
My background: I have never kite-surfed before my first lesson, neither have I wake-boarded, or windsurfed. I do however have some sailing experience.
My first kite lesson went great, my instructor told me he would teach me at my own pace (after half an hour of kiting I was getting on the board).
In terms of a specific style, it may be too soon for me to say, but right now my long term goal is to perform crazy jumps, going for distance and height rather than tricks and wakestyle kiting. I live in South Florida where the windy season will come to an end in 3-4 months so my instructor advised me to go with a summer/lightwind board for now. Also because it will help me pick it up much faster in the beginning. Windspeeds in summer typically top out at 15 kts (so I'm told).
Some personal detail; I weigh approx 180lbs or 82 kgs.
I would like to buy my equipment through my instructor's shop, seeing as he has been a great help. He carries the following brands;
- Cabrhina - Best - F One - Crazyfly
These are the kites I am currently looking at: - 2013 Cabrinha Switchblade IDS 12.0m - 2013 F-One Bandit 6 12m - Slingshot Fuel 11m
In terms of a board I am looking at something around 145cm. - 2013 Crazy Fly Allround Kiteboard 145x48
Would this be more of an "in between board?"
Now, in terms of pricing, as you can tell i am looking at 2013 kites, budget wise I'm around 2000 USD for the kite/bar/board.
I know its quite some info, but if you guys can help me open up my eyes a little,
I'm a dealer also and glad to hear you are supporting your local dealer. They/we appreciate it.
I would not worry too much about riding styles yet. You want a kite that is easy handling and good for beginners. That being said, many kites are also good for advanced riders. If your dealer has a 12m 2013 Switchblade, it's an awesome kite. Easy relaunch makes it great for beginners and as your progress, it's a great jumping kite, goes upwind really well and is quick turning. Not fast, but quick. You won't have to sell it due to ability level. That's one of the great things about this sport. Beginners and experts can often use the same gear.
The board looks like a good board, but be careful on the width. If you have good knees, no worries. If you have bad knees, having a wide board will stress them more than something around a 46 wide. See if they have a 148x46 or similar.
... and the Switchblade won the "hangtime award" in the German KiteMag where they used those GPS boxes to measure the jumps...
I taught my girlfriend on a Switchblade and it is currently my favorite kite in my quiver for boosting and freeriding, having fun, etc.
It is a great and very popular all-round kite... of course, there might be better kites for a specific style once you progress, but you certainly do not make a wrong decision here. You wont be able to outprogress this kite and if you want to get rid of it, it will have good resale value...
...that being said: I'm sure your shop will let you test them, and even as a beginner you will feel differences (bar pressure, turning speed, feel of the bar, different depower mechanisms, etc.)... If I were you I would pick two or three (e.g. Best TS, Bandit and Switchblade) and just try them before you open the wallet...
I own the 2011 version of that crazyfly board. It's not the absolute best for light wind (in terms of getting you going at 7-8 knots) but the size will get you going in 10 knots and because it has a normal (not super flat) rockerline you can keep riding it when the wind picks up and it jumps great for a big board. I'm about the same weight as you. good board for your location
Thats a great board to start with and then keep as your light wind board. After a few months riding you will want to pick up a smaller board to have for higher wind and choppy conditions. I weigh the same as you and have a CF cruiser pro 145x48 and CF shox 133x43. There are lots of kites that would be good to start with and have room to grow into like others have said. Switchblades, Vectors, lithiums, Rebels, Evos, Rallys, Rpms, Prodigys, Nrgs, Envys and several others are all great kites that you will not out grow any time soon. Just stay away from C kites, wave kites , and race kites for now. And make sure you like the bar. To me its almost as important as the kite.
Switchblades are great kites especially for learning as they are very stable. I weigh about the same and find the 12m is ideal for 17+ mph You may need a 14m for winds under 15mph . Especially as a beginner until you learn how to use the kite efficiently. You may be able to find a used 14m and get a new 12m.
M-AX-X wrote:Now, in terms of pricing, as you can tell i am looking at 2013 kites, budget wise I'm around 2000 USD for the kite/bar/board.
Why not go second hand? With that budget you could get a full set of kites/bar and board. Not much has changed with kites in the last few years anyway. That's your best option for maximising your water time.