Choosing the right kite surfing board can prove a challenge, for both the experts and the beginners. Every surfer wants to choose a kiteboard which suits their riding style. The shape factor has to be factored along with other factors, including the length, width, thickness, rocker and flex. These factors determine the performance of a kiteboard. Below is the list of the different types of kite surfing boards, the description of each and examples of kiteboards fitting the description.
This is arguably the most popular kiteboard. It is a symmetrical board and also bidirectional. Beginners are advised to start with the twin-tip board. It is relatively easy to ride as you won’t have to change feet as you change directions and make turns.
Two types are defined; the standard twin-tip board which is around 130 to 140cm and other twin-tip boards measuring 160cm in length and also with extra width.
Standard length twin-tip boards also have varieties. They may be freeride, wakestyle or freestyle boards.
Twin-tip boards under this category have balanced length to width ratio, come with medium flex and rocker and much rounder tips. Boards here are easily maneuverable. Examples are the Naish Drive, North Atmos Carbon and Core Fusion 4.
Boards under this category of standard twin-tip boards have extra width, big rocker, small flex. These boards are built hard with channels and have loose landings. An example is the Choice 4.
Freestyle boards have wide tips and little rockers, making for performance inclined boards. These boards have good landing features. Examples are the North Focus, Slingshot Misfit and Liquid Force Radnium.
Lightwind boards are utilised to teach surfing. Boards are longer and wider and therefore, come with extra buoyancy and good upwind performance. An example is the Litewave Wing.
Wave Boards / Kite Surfboards
These are unidirectional since they come with fronts/noses. These boards have proven to be the best when it comes to wave riding. Rear side of the wave boards houses the fins. More length and width ratio of these kite surfing boards make them extra buoyant and easier turning. You however will have to switch feet when you make turns. Examples are the Slingshot Celero, North Charge and Slingshot Mixer.
Foil boards are unidirectional with rounded nose and tail. They are finless and lightweight. As the rider speeds up, the wings situated underneath dives through the water and lifts the rider. They come built with foot straps. These advantages make the boards extra suited for races. Examples are the Groove and Naish Hover.
There are also the race boards. Ultimately, choosing your kite surfing board is down to your riding style and preference.
Kitesurfing is a diverse sport with various styles and surfing techniques defined mainly by board types. Numerous kiteboards exist on the market that choosing one can prove difficult. It however won’t hurt to have some knowledge about the types of kiteboards before settling on one.