How to choose your first kitesurf equipment
Practical guide to help in the purchase of your first kitesurf equipment
Your kitesurf course is done and you ask yourself, now what? Rent or buy equipment, there is the question!
A rental sounds as a good idea, but is it? When you rent kitesurf equipment you are fully responsible from whatever happens to the kite or people around. What started as a great kitesurf day could finish not as good as planned... remember, kites for rental are usually top brand kites and that means expensive kites. So, we don't recommend it.
When you have reached a certain level and are sure you like the sport, don't bother yourself renting equipment with all the commitments it has. Rentals are good when you travel and don't want to carry all the equipment, or just want to kite 1 or 2 days. Think about it as a car rental..you don't rent cars to learn !
Better buy yourself your first kitesurf equipment and be independent with it. We propose you some helpful information to make easier to find your first kitesurf equipment according to your needs and bugged and also we will answer the most asked question: How much kitesurf equipment cost?
Previous steps before buy your first kitesurf equipment:
Before you buy your first kitesurf equipment you have to ask yourself a couple of questions:
•Where is gonna be your usual kite spot?
•What are the usual wind conditions there?
First question you can answer yourself, second one you can ask other kiters or you can just search in internet.
You need to know the usual wind conditions on the spot you want to be kiting to choose the correct kite size. Usually you need two kites to cover the wind range on a spot, one big size for low winds and one small size for the strong wind days.
If you just want to start with one kite, go for the bigger one. It is easier and safer to learn. Big and small kite size is relative to your weight. Is not the same a 50kg person than a 90kg person.
If you know already which kite size/s you need, now is time to choose between 3 different ways to buy it: New, pre-owned, used equipment.
1. Brand new equipment
Buy equipment completely new is always a big investment but afterwards you have a kite with a very long life in front. You know the whole history about the Kite, due you bought it brand new. You can take care about it from the very beginning and save negotiations or surprises with a private seller (not always fully honest). You also won’t have any problems with the warranty (you have 2 years in any product), due you are the buyer and have the bill. Also, you always have the option to sell the equipment again for a fair price on the second hand marked and invest the money to renew it.
Downside is.. Prices are high or very high when you buy top brands. Also, if you break something it will hurt you much more than if you break something cheaper.
Recommendation: A very good time to buy new equipment cheaper is at the end of the kite season in August / September. New models are coming out to the market and there is always a big sale in new equipment from the previous season. If you search well you can find new kites from same season o previous one from 25% to 50% off.
Price: For a new kite and bar from a top brand you can expect to pay between 1000 - 1900€.
2. Pre-owned equipment.
We understand for "preowned equipment" to kites from the current year or just one season with few use. Kitesurf second hand marked is very big for these kites. There are many people who sell used equipment in very good conditions, maybe because they had no time to use it or they renewed for new kites. If you search well, you can find brilliant offers from kites that are as good as new for the price of used kites, so you can save a lot of money. These people want to sell their equipment so there is always some space for negotiation.
Downside is.. that you don't buy the equipment new, maybe you have to deal with untrusted people and there is always the possibility that something is not as the seller tells you. Later we will explain you what to look when you buy equipment to make the right choice. Anyway most kitesurfers are honest and it’s rare to find unfair treatment.
Recommendation: Best time to buy used equipment in very good conditions is also at the end of the season between july and September, when new models comes out to the marked and people renew their equipment selling their kites. Even in this time you can find great deals for a whole set, which means 2 kites, bar, board.
Price: In top brands, you can find used kitesurf equipment with prices between 600 and 1000€.
3. Used Equipment.
Used equipment is the best option for people who are still not 100% sure about kitesurf or only has few times during the year.. The secondhand kitesurf marked offers many kites from used till very used condition. This reflects of course in the prices. You can find cheap kites but also can be very used, with reparations and pinholes. Don't worry about it when they are good repaired or patched. Think about it as your first investment to learn.
Downside is.. you buy probably a very used stuff, so on the mid-long term it will give you some kind of problems.
Recommendation: When you buy this equipment is important to see it yourself. Down in this article you have a check-list to look in used equipment.
Price: Will depend of year, use, conditions... Prices for kite + bar vary from 200€ to 600€.
What kite shape should you buy?
Most brands has different models that suits different needs. You can find from beginner kites to race kites! Depending for what kites are designed it will have some characteristics that works better or not with beginners or other users. Aspects that matters to you at the moment are a big wind range, upwind capability and easy water relaunch.
Shape you are searching is a Delta-shape kite. All brands has a kite with this shape and this is what you should look for as your first kite as they are powerful, have a huge wind range, easy relaunch and are easy to fly.
Run away from "C shape" kites as they are technical, have a poor upwind capability and water relaunch is complicated sometimes. They are designed for freestyle/wakestyle and will slow-down your progression.
What to look when we buy a used kite?
Is a must to look the trailing edge (back side of the kite), paying attention to the central part as it is there where the kite suffers most with the time. Also check that all seams are in good conditions.
Very important is also to check all the bridle system and where the pulleys works (if kite has), as with the time the area can get damaged and break.
If kite is fixed is good to check that everything is good seamed and has no weird marks.
Is also a must to check if kite is leaking. For this, you just need to pump it hard and wait. If leaks, it could be a valve a bit unglued (easy to find it in old kites) or a little pinhole. Change a valve or repair a pinhole is quite easy and cheap (a professional can make it for around 20e). But if a valve is the problem, think about it, as for sure the other valves in that kite will give you problems soon!
Other parts of your first kitesurf equipment:
Now that you know how to buy a kite, you need a bar that suits it, harness, board and wetsuit!
Try to buy always the bar at the same time you buy the kite and try to get it from the same brand to avoid incompatibility problems. (Almost all bars works with all kites from the same brand and also between if you adjust them, but you will probably not have the knowledge yet.)
Recommendation: If you buy used equipment, always check the safety release works and make a deep check to the lines searching marks or little cuts. Lines in perfect conditions reduced probabilities of problems on the water!
Price: You can easily find used kitesurf bars from 80€. If you choose brand new ones, prices start around 300€.
In Harnesses you can choose between sit harness and waist harness.
Probably during your kitesurf course you used a sit harness as it moves less, due it is connected to your hips and around your legs. Like this you avoid that it moves to your chest and you put the gravity center down, that helps at the beginning.
The waist harness is more comfy for your crotch =). Go upwind is a bit easier but also moves more and could become painful in your chest. Try to find the correct size and try before to buy!
Recommendation:This is one of the parts you can find easy in second hand and also new fairly priced.. This part of your equipment can least for years, so take your time and choose the harness you feel comfortable with, don’t choose by colors!
Price: You can find used kitesurf harness from 30€ and new from 80€ till 200€.
There are many board brands, models and sizes. The most important thing when you buy a board is to find the correct size for you, the rest is secondary. We understand as small boards sizes from 129x39 to 134x40, midsize from 133x40 to 142x42 and big-size something bigger than that.
Depending on your size and weigh you should choose one of this. Remember that a bigger board will help you on the beginnings as you will be able to stand up and ride easier. If your spot is a light-wind spot, choose always big sizes as it will help on your riding.
Recommendation: Find a board with the right aspects for you, that is, beginner or freeride boards.. run away from freestyle/wakestyle boards!
Why? because beginner and freeride boards are designed to help you on your first steps, go upwind and be confortable. A freestyle/wakestyle board is oriented to other rider that has other needs.
Price: You can find used kitesurf boards from 150€ and a new one, from a top brand can cost over 1000€!
Try to buy a kitesurf or surf wetsuit as they are more elastic and will be more comfy. Depending on where you kite you will need more or less millimeters.
Recommendation: Don’t go for the cheapest one. This product will make the difference between a short session or a long, comfy and warm one!
Price: You can find used wetsuits from 40€ and new from 100€ to over 400€!
Find and buy your first kitesurf equipment is not easy, but as soon as you have it, you will enjoy this sport as much as you want (and can).
We hope we helped you with this tricks but remember, always try to find professional advice or an experienced friend. And also remember, what works for some people may not work for others!