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 Post subject: New board for someone from wakeboarding background
PostPosted: Wed Mar 12, 2014 2:59 pm 
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Hi everyone - another 'what first board should i buy' thread...

I’ve just started kiting, coming from a background of wakeboarding, landkiting and windsurfing. I’m looking to get my first board (to go with my shiny new rpm slingshot 10m) but am struggling to get a consensus on board length. I think I’m happy going for an intermediate style board – something with moderate flex to soften the south west coast chop a bit (something like the North X-ride?). I want a board that isn’t going to hold me back too much when I start, but allows me to progress into some jumps and freestyle without having to buy a new board (doesn’t everyone...)

I’m 85kg and 6’3” – about half the people I speak to tell me to go for something around 136 that will last me until it breaks, but the other half are saying go for a 140 ish length that will give me a better learning experience and last me for a couple of years until I need to upgrade.

Did anyone with wakeboarding/boardsports experience here learn on a shorter board? Was it that much more difficult? And how long did it take to get over the initial bit and start using a shorter board more comfortably?

Alternatively I could go for a cheap 140 long beginner board that I can hopefully sell on soon with not too great a loss, and then upgrade to a 136 freestyle orientated board in 6 months or so...

Sorry for the essay! Any advice/recommendations?


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 Post subject: Re: New board for someone from wakeboarding background
PostPosted: Wed Mar 12, 2014 5:44 pm 
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Joined: Fri Sep 28, 2012 11:51 pm
Posts: 126
Location: Toronto, ON
Is there a reason you're looking for one board to do everything?

I still have my 'beginner' board (142x42cm 2011 Nobile NBL) which I use when there isn't quite enough power for my high-wind TT (135x37cm 2012 Ocean Rodeo Mako). Having the choice between the smaller board to hold down a slightly overpowered kite, and the ability to switch to the larger board if the wind gets light gives some extra range to my kites and can turn a mediocre day into a great one.

Were I in your position, I'd get a larger board for learning and lighter winds (at least 144 in length given your size). Then once you find it's holding you back, you can get a more aggressive board--not to replace it, but to complement it.

For reference, I'm 5'11" and 160lbs. You can check out Jim Douglas' kiteboarding calculator for guidance, there's a 'BoardSize' tab at the bottom. Boards are now wider for their length than when he wrote it, however. So, keep that in mind.


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 Post subject: Re: New board for someone from wakeboarding background
PostPosted: Wed Mar 12, 2014 6:19 pm 
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Joined: Sat May 11, 2013 8:11 pm
Posts: 139
For some reason I started when I was 14 on the original youri zoon pro 130x39. It was an insane board, no rocker, solid flex and a flat bottom led to a insanely fast board with huge pop and some very sketchy landings. But at the start i did struggle with it for a bit. It wasn't the easiest board to cope with chop and control speed. But after a while I dialled in to it and began to progress a lot more smoothly.

It's definitely worth spending money on a board that will help you progress. Spend money on a seriously hard board and it will really frustrate you and slow your progression to a stop as you spend more time fighting the board.

A board I can really suggest is the naish hero, really good value nice and easy to ride. And still has performance that will let you progress on to the more basic freestyle moves. Also get a board around 138. Some will disagree but you should try to get used to riding bigger boards as they offer more performance for freestyle/wake style and if you look at pro riders these days there all riding the bigger sizes.


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 Post subject: Re: New board for someone from wakeboarding background
PostPosted: Wed Mar 12, 2014 7:17 pm 
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Joined: Wed Sep 11, 2013 3:51 pm
Posts: 37
I'd also suggest getting a bigger board to start off with, and some big fins, until you are comfortable going upwind. It'll just save you so much time walking upwind when you could rather be working on your technique.

I still have the Xelerator 150x44 I learned on (TT with 5cm fins), and use it on light wind days.

I think in general kite boards are lighter than wakeboards, especially those with grind bases, so the bigger kiteboards probably won't feel that heavy to you.

Coming from a wakeboard background, probably the biggest adjustment might be to get used to foot straps instead of bindings. I switched back to bindings as soon as I could stay upwind and didn't need to take the board off to walk upwind again.


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 Post subject: Re: New board for someone from wakeboarding background
PostPosted: Wed Mar 12, 2014 7:57 pm 
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if u plan to keep the board for a couple of years and w/ your back-ground i would focus in getting something that can latter be used w/ bindings, but still comfortable learn with

the thing is that you are looking for a flex board for confort that latter will suck with boots… if chop is the issue then i would suggest something on the rigid side but then with a bit of rocker

once w/ bindings a ´big board turns small´, so guess something ~140 is not too much


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 Post subject: Re: New board for someone from wakeboarding background
PostPosted: Thu Mar 13, 2014 2:29 am 
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Joined: Fri Oct 30, 2009 9:13 pm
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Go for the 140 range with a wakestyle board like the Tona Pop, SS Asylum, Cab Custom ect. ect.
Thank me in a year. Straps suck, flat boards sucks, small boards suck. Stick to what you know with the wake-boarding and you won't go wrong.


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 Post subject: Re: New board for someone from wakeboarding background
PostPosted: Thu Mar 13, 2014 3:04 am 
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Joined: Fri Aug 03, 2012 2:52 am
Posts: 419
Location: Tennessee
I am surprised no one has mention a Shinn yet. If you want a board you will be happy with all the way through your progression, look at a Dundee or a Monk. Most people on the forum who ride them have nothing but good things to say.

As for size, that is all about wind range. For me (180 lbs), if the kite is on the high end of its wind range, I ride my Luigi 130 x 39. On the low end still trying to boost, I go up to an Airush switch 142 x 42. The small board helps me hold down a lot of power, and the bigger board gets me going with less power.

I came from a wakeboard background too, so when you get comfortable with the kite, throw on your favorite wakeboard and go for it. You will have a blast. Just make sure you don't have to get back upwind because the rocker of your wakeboard probably won't get you there. I do love a good downwinder on my Hyperlite Drive 139 though.


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 Post subject: Re: New board for someone from wakeboarding background
PostPosted: Thu Mar 13, 2014 3:31 am 
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Joined: Sun Jan 02, 2011 11:45 pm
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Location: The Gorge
beware the responses from old dudes who ride back and forth all day if you have a wakeboarding background

you dont need a big board unless you have no coordination, seriously a big board helps you out for about 20 minutes then you've progressed beyond it

85kg you probably are looking at something like a 140-144 x 41+, bigger for bindings or smaller if you just want to cruise with straps

whatever board you get won't hold you back unless you get a hardcore wakestyle board that has a lot of rocker, or if you get something way too small. anything in between will be about the same. dont get a giant board, they are boring and you will end up selling it once you can get up and ride


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 Post subject: Re: New board for someone from wakeboarding background
PostPosted: Thu Mar 13, 2014 5:36 am 
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Joined: Thu Aug 18, 2005 1:17 am
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Location: Save a life...adopt a Pitbull
The Wainman Joke is a great board in this category, I like the 138X41.5
Rockered for smoothness in chop but not crazy rocker that won't go upwind.
Has that convex bubble in the middle to make landings as soft as can be.
Works with straps or boots.
Works well with or without fins.
Built to hold up to beatings on sliders, kickers and rails.
Built in Austria, not China.


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 Post subject: Re: New board for someone from wakeboarding background
PostPosted: Thu Mar 13, 2014 7:41 am 
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Joined: Sun Jun 11, 2006 4:01 am
Posts: 728
What he said

KYLakeKiter wrote:
I am surprised no one has mention a Shinn yet. If you want a board you will be happy with all the way through your progression, look at a Dundee or a Monk. Most people on the forum who ride them have nothing but good things to say.

As for size, that is all about wind range. For me (180 lbs), if the kite is on the high end of its wind range, I ride my Luigi 130 x 39. On the low end still trying to boost, I go up to an Airush switch 142 x 42. The small board helps me hold down a lot of power, and the bigger board gets me going with less power.

I came from a wakeboard background too, so when you get comfortable with the kite, throw on your favorite wakeboard and go for it. You will have a blast. Just make sure you don't have to get back upwind because the rocker of your wakeboard probably won't get you there. I do love a good downwinder on my Hyperlite Drive 139 though.


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