Choosing the perfect kite

Kite Types

Foils – or Ram Air Kites where the wind fills them up and bridles are used to hold there shape. Great for training on land or kite bugging, landboarding or snow kiting.

Inflatables or leading edge inflatables – use a bladder to hold air to make the shape of the kite and to aid in water relaunching and better flying characteristics.

Types of inflatable are as follows;

C Kites – Conventional C or U shape, they are more for the old school hardcore power hungry rider. They operate at
much less wind range (angle of attack) and offer no full de-power and require lots more skill to relaunch.

Usually you will need up to 3 C kite to cover one bow. However you can not beat the direct feel/feedback you get from a C kite.
Great unhooked and for advanced riders.

Bows Kites – have more flat area, raked back wing tips, wider arc, bridles and pulleys at the bar. They offer easy water relaunch, supreme wind range, low end hang time and full de-power. Not so good for unhooked riding.Intermediate/advanced

Hybrids Kites – are somewhere between bows and C kites, generally they have a simpler bar (no pulleys), they have fixed the
inversion problems but you get a hell of a c kite with all the benefits of the bows all rolled into one. Great unhooked. Beginners / Advanced riders.


Kite Components

Leading edge – the front of the kite when in the air or the bit you inflate.

Trailing edge – the back of the kite.

Struts – have bladders in them and support the kite perpendicular to the leading edge.

Bladder – thin plastic/latex material found in side stut or leading edge.

Canopy – the thin material that makes up most of the kite.

Wingtips – you should have two and this makes the kite steer via your bridles and kite lines.

Pigtails – knots that go through the larks heads.


Key Attributes

Understanding all these will help you understand how your kite flies and help you choose your next toy.

Stability – kite ability to handle wind gusts/lulls and riders input errors. A pro model kite does not offer much stability.

Turning Speed – refers to the speed at which the kite turns through the window.

Forward Speed – the speed at which it flies through the window and closely related to upwind ability.

Upwind ability / efficiency – not talked about as much these days as most models/brands since 2004 fly upwind great.

Jumping / Pull the trigger – the amount of boost your kite generates, be careful as some kites are jumping machines.

Hangtime – After pulling the trigger it is the amount of time you are suspended in the air while holding the kite around 12 o’clock.

Low-end Power – generally the amount of pull from the kite while parked, or at its lowest win range.

De-power – the ability to loose all or some of the power of the kite. Generally C kites will not depower fully until you release the bar.

Wind Range – the effective use of the kite in light to medium to strong winds

Re-launch – the ability to relaunch out of the water after a crash, hybrids or bows are the go!


Bar Components

Chicken loop – the loop where you hook into your harness spreader bar.

Safety release – found on the chicken loop and this should be tested to ensure it works when you really need it!

Leash – usually attached to wrist or harness with a method of totally releasing the kite if things get out of hand.

De-power strap or cleat – allows for fine tuning of angle attack or power of kite. It gives you better up wind range and can change the bar position or sweet spot on most kites.

Leader lines – usually thicker with more forgiving lines approx 2-3m found near the bar end.

Flying lines – super thin dyneema or spectra and they can cut you to the bone!

Larks heads – the loop when you push it through itself.


A bit too much ? No worries, just get in touch or come and see our store in Port Douglas. We can surely help you choose the perfect kite.

And don’t forget that you can DEMO test & hire the latest gear before you buy.

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