How To Choose The Right Kitesurfing Kite Size

How To Choose The Right Kitesurfing Kite Size

A Complete Guide On How To Choose The Best Kitesurfing Kite

For those who are new to kitesurfing or taking kitesurfing lessons, they will inevitably be asking the question… Which sized kite is going to be best for me?

As questions go, this is one of the most important for novice kitesurfers to be asking their instructors and/or their local kitesurfing centre. It is perhaps one of the most important things to get right from the outset. If a new kitesurfer doesn’t get their first kite size right then the risk that can be put on themselves and other kitesurfers when out on the water will most certainly be increased.

To ensure that you are choosing the right size and type of kite for kitesurfing, there are many factors which you should first consider. In this article, we’re going to examine each of these in some detail, and by the end of it, have equipped you with all of the knowledge needed to select the right kitesurfing kite.

Calculating Size Against Wind Speed

brand new kitesurfing kites in use

Naturally, the physics of kitesurfing rely on (and can vary depending on) wind speeds. In turn this means that the correct size of kitesurfing kites will also vary depending on this key condition.

Many kitesurfing instructors will have had to make these calculations on multiple occasions before giving lessons, so we would certainly advise on consulting with your local instructor on how to best to work out which kite size is going to fit the average wind speeds in your local area.

Alternatively, if you’re an avid physics enthusiast alongside being an aspiring kitesurfer. You can take a look at this article which breaks down the physics of kitesurfing!

Once you have wrapped your head around calculating the size of your ideal kitesurfing kite against different wind speeds, you then need to apply the knowledge in real-time. Making use of apps like Windy will give you the accurate wind speeds and directions before you set off to the beach and you can then use that information to know which size kite is going to be best on that day.

Checking The Different Wind Ranges Of Kitesurfing Kites

upclose image of a type of kitesuring kite

If you’ve already taken a look at the physics of how wind speed effects kitesurfing in the article which we referenced above. Then you will have noticed that as wind speed increases, the right sized kite becomes smaller. This is simply the effect of a larger surface area meaning you will have a larger wind resistance - something which is certainly not advised in strong winds!

What you may not be aware of however, is that different sized kites could be used even in the same wind speeds. This is due to the fact that each kitesurfing kite will have its own wind range. A wind range works in a somewhat similar way to the ‘breaking strain’ of fishing line and effectively dictates the range of wind speed in which that specific type of kite can be flown safely.

Different types of kites, for example Bow Kites or C Kites, will have varied wind ranges depending on the structure of certain elements of their design. Two such elements which greatly impact a kite’s wind speed range are the canopy profile and the bridle system of the kite.

Again, we would recommend speaking with your local kitesurfing instructors or kitesurfing centre about how to know which type of kite is going to provide the best matched kite for your style and wind speed range for average wind speeds in the area.

Match The Kitesurfing Kite To The Weight Of The Rider

image of a kitesurfing riding a foil kitesurfing kite

Though in regard to the physics of kitesurfing, weight is not as important as wind speed. This is still a key factor which should be considered when determining the size of a kite to use on the water.

A kitesurfing kite with a larger surface area will typically be able to lift more weight and will have a greater wind resistance. This means that larger kites can be incredibly well suited to helping thrill seekers elevate themselves even higher in the air above the water than normal.

Of course, you need to consider safety here, but if it is a case that you are looking to really get some height in your jumps then using a kite size that is larger than needed for your weight in strong wind conditions will most definitely do the trick.

How Many Kitesurfing Kites Does A Kitesurfer Need To Have?

image of a kitesurfing kite in use

Everything which we have discussed in the above article leads to the question which will most probably now be on most readers' minds. If so many factors affect which kite is right then how many different ones will I need?

Well, as a beginner to kitesurfing it is probably best that you start with one kite, usually something like a 10m or 12m for lighter winds. Select a kite which fits your weight and will be best suited to the average weather patterns and wind speeds you expect to be practising the sport in. You may think that you should go all in from the outset, but if it's the case that you soon find kitesurfing isn’t for you, then having spent a large amount of money on different kite types and sizes is going to be something which you regret, not to mention as your skills improve you may choose to try out more powerful options.

However, as you begin to progress as a kitesurfer, you’re most likely going to want to get experimental with riding styles and jumps. Some riders will always take the casual cruising style to simply enjoy the serenity of open water - though others will certainly seek some thrills in trying to jump as high as they possibly can!

In general, most kitesurfers will own between 2-4 different kites, all with different sizes, wind ranges and designs. Allowing them to switch up their styles and be able to kitesurf in different locations at different times of the year with ease!