It's fine, unless you have a specific shape like something very high performance (will drag ass in the water with a kite) or very low performance like a fish shape (will be going mach 10 if you have good kite power). If you have something in between it'll work fine, especially epoxy you wont have to worry about putting your foot through it.
Kite surfboards are definitely a little tuned up, so there's a chance they will work better than what you have, but a regular surfboard is totally fine to learn on.
The Surftechs(similar to tuflites) hold up really well for kiting. I have a 5'11" Hynson twinzer that's almost bullet proof. Ex. My spreader bar couldn't even puncture it, and I fell pretty hard. Not sure if Surftechs make different construction. Mine is a pop-out and has similar construction to the tuflites. I also had a 6'3" Rusty in the tuflite construction and that was also almost bullet proof.
I use surfboards and stay away from the directionals kite companies sell.
The kite company boards that are touted as bullet proof is a pile of marketing bull shit IMO and the same goes for performance.
Another important point is that if you need a really heavily built board you are most likely trashing your body. I favour learning how to be nimble footed and also use boards that will give in before your knees do. I've seen people trash their knees with the way to tough kitesurfing company gear.
I also think it's a responsability to others in the water. A kiteboard that is built like a tank is a higher risk to others if you lose it in the surf... and yes a leash is a higher risk too.
+1 for regular surfboards. I've been riding standard Firewire FST construction for 4 years. It surfs like a poly board, but is 50% more durable. Be gentle, go strapless, and you will be ok.
Many surfboards have too much tail rocker to plane up well. This means they require big waves big wind to make them move. In the Firewire lineup, the Flex Fire and the Taj are over rockered for kiting. I like the flatter rocker line in the Quad5, Dominator, Sweet Potato, Hellfire, Alternator.
The natural flex of a real surfboard gives a soft feeling, so you feel the wave. The poly decks are thin and would benefit from an extra layer of glass, and a deck pad for your front foot. After sometime, your front heels will delam and crush the deck, but a repair is less than $100 at your local shaper.
The epoxy surfboards and epoxy kiteboards get stiff and loose that magic. But they are tough enough for foot straps. My favorite all around epoxy kiteboard is the Slingshot Celeritas.
So don't hesitate to grab a surfboard and go kiting. WW
Firewire Quadflex1.jpg (75.68 KiB) Viewed 891 times