Choosing the right Kitesurf board depends on so many different factors personal preference.
Here are some questions and pointers to help you choose the right kitesurf board.
-1 What size surfboard?
A good rule of thumb for an average sized person is to get a board 2” longer than yourself. If you are above average weight you might want to get a board with a bit more volume or a touch longer. Modern surfboards differ greatly from older surfboards. Modern boards are much shorter and fatter than the old school boards but this will change from manufacturer to manufacturer, so it is always worth checking to see if the board you are getting is right for you.
The size and shape of the board will however change depending on…
-2 Riding style?
This is one of most important factors in determining what kitesurf board you need.
If you ride fully powered up with a lot of speed you will need a board that is maybe a bit longer and thinner with sharper rails. If you ride unhooked/strapless you will use a board that is not as fast and will generate its own speed and drive on the wave and will not require to be fully powered to float you.
-3 Riding conditions?
Riding in onshore conditions or cross/cross offshore conditions will make a difference in board choice. In onshore conditions you like a faster board and that goes upwind well. In side shore you don’t have to worry that much about going upwind and it is a lot easier to pick up speed therefore you want a board that goes easily from rail to rail and allows you to demoilsh the lip easily.
The amount of rocker will have a large impact on the planning, speed, and turning of the board, where a lot of tail rocker will allow the board will allow tigher turns. Less rocker will improve the planning speed and the ability for the board to carry speed through a turn and improved upwind ability.
The bottom shape is also important and a V allows the board to roll consistently from rail to rail and soak up chop, while a single concave will keep the board loose and contributes to the snappy feel.
If you ride fully powered at high speed, a double concave into V will help to soak up the chop and gives a more precise transition from the heel-side to toe-side rail in high speed bottom turns.
For the more surfstyle way of riding whether it is unhooked or hooked in a deep single concave will give the board a loose and snappy feeling.
The rail shape also affects performance and surfstyle oriented boards have a slightly thicker rail to compensate for the lack of speed and provied by the kite and as mentioned earlier, higher speed boards have thinner sharper rails.
If a kite surfboard has the ability to flex it will absorb the chop and will improve control. Boards with either a wood/bamboo or a pvc foam sandwich look good but will have very little flex due to this stiff sandwich construction. The board however doesnt want to be too flexible!