This issue I wanted to cover a few things about board design and types with so many different shapes materials and styles of boards available this information should help you find the perfect board.
Firstly there is really no such thing as the perfect board it all depends on any number of factors like your weight, skill level, kite size, wind conditions, the moves you want to do and the terrain you want to ride weather it be flat water waves swell, chop or kickers.
Having said this there are a number of all round boards that will do every thing you want, these offer the best of all worlds. All brands make an all rounder.
The first choice you will need to make is are you going to ride a Twin tip or Directional Board.
The Twin tip-is a board that can be ridden both ways without taking your feet out, these boards are great for beginners. Eg most kite boards and all wake boards.
The Directional-Has a nose and tail and the foot pads are not in the centre of the board but are positioned more to the back of the board, giving the board more drive and giving the rider a goofy or natural stance. eg Surfboard/Sailboard.
Here are some main styles of boards, these suit a particular discipline of riding.
Surf ? – You can ride your normal surf board however these are usually a little to floaty to ride when powered up so most surf kite boards have a little less volume and foot straps.
Freestyle are all round boards that excel in all conditions can do all styles of riding with out to much compromise.
Light wind – This board are usually wider or have a bit more volume they will have you out on the water at least 60% more and are excellent beginner or big bloke boards.
Mutant-across between a twin tip and a Directional these boards go unreal one way and even better they also offer more drive enable better turns as well as a more natural stance.
Skim-what grommet does not own one of these… excellent in shallow flat water with out a kite or in shore dumps and on a kite in super light winds?
Wake Skate-after a hard days riding jump on your wake skate and enjoy the sk8tie loose feel of the wake sk8, try kick flips ollies.
The difference between these boards is in the shapes that they come up with…….you will need to understand the following variables to find your perfect board.
Outline-is the general shape or template of the board, people can usually choose a board for them selves straight up just by looking the curves or outline.
A more rounded outline gives you a more manoeuvrable ride i.e. turns better
A straighter out line will give you more speed however will be less manoeuvrable.
Volume-is the amount of liquid a board can displace or the amount it floats
Choosing the right volume board for your weight and kite size is critical.
A beginner board needs a fair bit of volume to get you going and to keep you up once riding to make up for any errors while learning to fly the kite.
These boards also double as a great light wind board, meaning that you will be out on the water at least 60% more time during the lighter winds.
Too much volume and you wont be able to keep your edge in and you will end up with too much speed and end up overtaking your kite ending in disaster !
To little and you will be forced to move your kite too much and will end up down wind.
Flex– It all comes down to flex, generally more flex will give you a smoother ride in chop, softer landings, more POP and propel you out of turns. On the contrary too much flex will slow you down. Bigger riders will need a stiffer board.
Rocker-Is the curve along the length of the board it does all sorts of things like prevents nose diving, makes the board plan better and determines how the board handles. A board with heaps of rocker will have more curve on it when lying flat on its bottom.
There are to main choices here…
Continuos– is basically one continuous curve from nose to mid point to tail. It gives the board a more predictable feel when it leaves the water or will POPs when jumping every time.
Progressive-Is a stepped or 3 stage rocker usually making the mid section flatter (giving more speed) and the nose and tail more kick this is for riders that want a more advanced board for more tech moves….
Concave-There is no doubt that concave makes any board grip better and smooths the chop out.
Rails-Most kite boards have ABS rails, which are made of hard plastic giving you a grindable rail
There are two main designs to go for, Standard which is a square or hard edge giving you heaps of grip for the aggressive rider or shaped or rounded rails giving you a more carver or loose feel.
Materials-Kite boarding has pushed the performance level to another level with the materials used, borrowing technology from snow boarding and air planes its amazing how tech they have gone to offer the best flex durability and performance rolled into one.
Width– the wider the board the more stable it is and gives you better light wind performance.
Length– 135 is the universal size for the average kiter this size is perfect for all conditions and all riders
The best way to find the perfect board is to line up a DEMO Test Ride with us at cable or during our Lessons or Tours.
Remember, the good thing about a great board is …
They are always up for a ride.
They don’t get jealous when checking the lines of another board,
are cheap to purchase and run and can trade them in on a new one.
You can ride them all day long.
Enjoys hanging out with you and your mates…
Ride hard !