Ready to blast off into the incredible sport of kiteboarding? Whether you want to fly to the moon or explore the beautiful coastlines of the world, first you’ll need a source of power. Enter…The Kite!
Kites have been around for almost 3000 years. Ben Franklin wrote about gliding over a pond using the power of a kite. Since then, kites have become a major source of power on land and water.
Kiteboarding Pioneers: Ben Franklin, Bruno & Dominique Legaignoux, and Cory Roeseler
Choosing the right kite is probably the hardest choice to make when buying kiteboarding equipment. There are so many kites out there, they can be expensive, and you want to make the right choice!
Today’s kites are highly controllable and continuously evolving into safer and more efficient wind tools. As the kite technologies have been developed over the years, kiteboarding has become more and more accessible to the masses because of ease of use and safety systems. All kiteboarding kites can be broken into 2 major categories: Foil kites, and Leading Edge inflatable kites.
Foil kites (also know as ram air kites) are designed like a parachute. Foils are made of lightweight material supported by a complex bridle system. Foil kites are extremely efficient for kiteboarding. They have excellent upwind and jumping capabilities.
Unfortunately, they don’t relaunch in the water as well as LEI (leading edge inflatable) kites. Luckily, many modern foil kites are equipped with one-way valves allowing air in but not water which helps with relaunch-ability.
If you’ve never flown a kite before, a great place to start is a trainer kite. These kites are small and take most of the power out of the equation. This allows you to focus on flying the kite in the wind window and getting to know how the kite reacts. (Trainer kites are typically foil kites.)
LEI kites were designed to be more reliable when relaunching after landing in the water. Constructed with an internal bladder system, they float (a huge advantage, trust me).
The first LEI kite was known as the C-kite. Named because of the C-shaped curve, the control lines were connected directly to the wingtips of the kites and had no bridle.
Around 2005, the introduction of the bridle came along and the modern bow kite was born. The bridle system (or supported leading edge, known as SLE) increased the range of the kite and made the sport safer and more approachable to the masses.
Since this invention, kites have continued to evolve, such as the Delta shapes (which are more rounded and easier to relaunch) and hybrid kites (which are a mix of styles that provide better “drifting” on the waves as well as better wakestyle jumping).
The majority of SLE kites these days are 4-line, however some kites have 5 lines for added performance and safety. (In my opinion, the 5th line is a design that can cause more trouble than it’s worth.)
You will need multiple kites to excel in various conditions. Luckily, kitesurfing kites has tremendous range, meaning even one will work in multiple wind speeds. This is due to the evolution SLE kites. The technology of the bridle attached to the canopy allows for the kite to depower. That way, the user can manage an increase of wind by shortening the front lines.
However, to be properly powered, you need multiple kites to kite in multiple wind ranges. It’s important to determine what categories of wind you wish to kiteboard in before selecting the kiting equipment you’ll need.
Fact: a kite’s size is based on the total canopy space and is measured in square meters.
If you wish to kite in as many wind conditions as possible, you’ll need 4 - 5 kites. Because of the kites effective range and depowering ability, you can stretch the use of your kites and kite 80 - 90% of kiteable wind with only 3 kites.
If you just wish to kiteboard in a particular wind range, you can select a size appropriate to your weight, skill level and board size. (The most common kite size is a 12m kite, so that’s a good place to start if you can only afford one kite.)
|WIND SPEED||WIND CATEGORY||KITE SIZE RANGE|
|8-11 mph (7- 10 knts)||Gentle breeze||17m-20m+|
|12-18 mph (11- 16 knts)||Moderate breeze||12m-17m|
|19-24 mph (17- 21 knts)||Fresh breeze||9m-12m|
|25-31 mph (22- 27 knts)||Gentle breeze||7m-9m|
|32-38 mph (28- 33 knts)||Strong breeze||5m- 7m|
The kite bar is what connects you to the kite. Get a good bar with a reliable safety system, preferably “front line flagging.” Kite bars come in different sizes and some are now expandable making them ideal for multiple kite sizes. Typically the bigger the kite the bigger the bar, to provide greater leverage when steering. Bar size however does become personal preference and can relate to your riding style.
It is generally recommended to use the same brand bar as kite, but many bars are interchangeable. There are 2 main categories of bars: 4 line and 5 line bars. The other difference between bar setups is high vs low “V”. This is in reference to where the front lines split, near the kite or near the bar. Any 4 line kite can be flown on any four line bar, however the position of the “V” will affect the flying performance.
Here are some of the top kite bars on the market:
I started flying 2-line stunt kites around 1999. (I enjoyed connecting with nature and ripping those little kites around!) In San Francisco, I went to a kite shop where I saw a video of someone being pulled on the water by a kite…I was instantly enamored with the idea that a kite could actually lift a man off the ground!
I started buying power kites like the NASA Para wing and the Flexifoil Blade 4.9. Soon I was jumping on the beach as well as using a mountain board.
For my first experiences on the water, I used the Peter Lynn Arc and Fone Shadow. Then I met Enzo Merluzzi, my friend who introduced me to my first Wipika inflatable kites. There was no turning back after that.
Throughout the years, I have flown hundreds of kites and lived through the exciting evolution of the sport. I understand kites. One of the best parts of being a kiteboard shop owner is testing as many kites as possible. This gives me a unique advantage; I can share firsthand, detailed information about kites with my kite friends and customers.
Today some of my favorite kites are:North Evo, Cabrinha Switchblade, Slingshot RPM and the North Rebel, Cabrinha Contra, and North Juice for light winds
The North Evo is an excellent all-around kite. It’s a hybrid SLE kite based on a Delta shape with C-kite characteristics. This kite features light bar pressure with an overall smooth feel.
The Cabrinha switchblade has been one of our top selling kites for years so that’s always a solid go-to kite. Personally, I wasn’t a big fan of the Switchblade until 2016. The 2016 model has lighter bar pressure and now provides smooth powerful turns without backstalling.
The Slingshot RPM is amazing for kite loops so I have to say, what a fun kite!
The North Rebel is at a high performance pinnacle. It has a sharp, direct feel that slices through the sky. Huge boosts and quick maneuverability make it shine brightly if you can get past the 5th line! For Lightwind, I love the Cabrinha Contra and the North Juice, amazing light wind machines!
I could go on…I’ve got a ton more information to share. Just reach out to me and ask away!.
Welcome to the NY Kite Center’s website. The NY Kite Center and its associates are dedicated to provide the best service subject to the following terms and conditions. Please read and agree to the following to continue using our site.
All products on our website are subject to availability, if the product is out of stock or on back order we will do our best to offer you appropriate alternative products to substitute.
All lessons and gear purchase are subject to agreement of our Waiver . Agreeing to our terms and conditions you also agree to all conditions on the waiver.
Services: The NY Kite Center’s lessons, services, clinics and trips are scheduled on a “first come, first serve” basis. To be placed on our schedule or wait list for any lesson, session, service, clinic or trip, we must receive full advance payment, subject to our refund policy – see below.
**NYKC Conducts Kiteboarding Lessons Rain or Shine! All Pre-Flight, Take Off, Power Up, Next Level, Wave Guru, and Go Pro lessons are a maximum of two students, one instructor, and one kite, bar, board set-up**
Cancellation Policy: Please call by 10am the day before your scheduled time to cancel a lesson or session. Failure to do so will result in a $75 cancellation fee. In the event that you cancel your session on the day of with less then 6 hours notice, you will be charge the entire cost of your scheduled lesson. **NYKC Conducts Kiteboarding Lessons Rain or Shine**
Lesson Refund Policy:If your session must be rescheduled due to weather conditions, your credit will be applied to your next scheduled session. Your lesson credit expires one year from the purchase date. (note: as you use your session hours, your remaining credit gets reduced according to the full retail value of the used session hours.) Any un-used, unexpired credit may be used toward the purchase of gear. If you are unable to use your session you can apply the credit toward merchandise purchases in our retail store. If you do not use the credit toward a merchandise purchase a refund of your remaining credit can be issued MINUS a 50% refund fee. Credit from unused lessons are redeemable for up to one year from date of purchase.
Student Lesson Conduct Policy: NY Kite Center reserves the right cancel/void any student lesson if it is determined that the student is under the influence of alcohol or drugs or if they are unable to perform the physical requirements for that specific lesson.
Product Return Policy: Any unused New Gear (non-service item) may be returned within 21 days from date of purchase for a full refund minus any applicable shipping fees. All Used/Demo gear is sold as-is and cannot be returned, only a store credit will be issued if returned within 14 days from the date of purchase. There is a 25% restocking fee on all returns. After 21 days any unused product (non-service item) may only be returned for store credit. This credit amount is valid for up to 12 months from the original purchase date. Deposits on gear purchases are not valid or refundable after 120 days from the date of original deposit. All labels, tags, and original packaging must be return with the specific item. All refunds will be paid less the applicable shipping and restocking fees. Customer is responsible for all shipping cost & drop ship fees associated with the return
Custom Order Purchase/Return Policy: In the event you need to have a custom order placed for an item that you are requesting, we must receive full payment on the specific item and all shipping cost affiliated with that ordered prior to processing your request. If you decide to return your custom order, the return policy is as follows: If the item is returned within 30 days of the delivery date, a refund or store credit can be issued MINUS a 50% restocking fee. If the item is returned after 30 days of the delivery date, a store credit can only be issued MINUS the 50% restocking fee and this credit will be valid for up to 6 months from the return date.
Fraud Protection Policy: If an order does not have a matching shipping & billing address or is flagged through our ecommerce system for a fraud alert, NYKC reserves the right to require additional information to verify the purchase. This can include, but is not limited to, asking the customer to complete a form supplied by NYKC that verifies specific information. Special information could be, but not limited to, the billing & shipping address, the complete credit card number, expiration date, 3-digit code, and name as it appears on the card. NYKC also reserves the right to ask for a government issued ID to be used to verify the purchase. In addition to this, NYKC may require to run a test charge that must be verified by the customer to confirm the purchase.
Domestic (Continental US, excluding Alaska, Hawaii)
Free domestic shipping via UPS Ground, Fed-Ex Ground, 7-Day Express Ground, or US Postal Service Standard shipping is available on all in-stock, non-discounted items.
Expedited Shipping: UPS, Fed-Ex, 7-Day Express, & USPS Overnight and 2-Day services are available at an extra cost. A contact number must be provided to set-up expedited shipping request.
Shipping to PO Boxes can only be done via US Postal Service and therefore is not eligible for free shipping. We can waive this rule for larger orders on a case by case basis.
All orders with non-matching billing and shipping addresses will require a valid phone number for voice verification. For security reasons, in some cases (especially for larger orders), we may require scanned copies of documents to validate buyer’s identity as well as additional verifications through your credit card company.
Custom/Special Orders: All shipping cost must be paid for by the customer. There is no free shipping offer for these types of orders. You will be notified if your request needs to special ordered. In these cases we will contact you to discuss the shipping cost prior to processing your order and payment.
International (and non-Continental US)
All international orders will require a valid telephone number for voice confirmation. For security reasons, in some cases (especially for larger orders), we may require scanned copies of documents to validate buyer’s identity as well as additional verifications through your credit card company.
International orders do not qualify for free shipping. We will utilize USPS, UPS, or Fed-Ex for all international shipments.
Due to shipper limitations on size and weight of packages**, we will be unable to ship certain larger items (most kiteboards) to certain destinations. This will be handled on a case by case basis
Buyer is responsible for all foreign taxes and customs duties. NY Kite Center assumes no responsibility for any extra charges that may occur due to foreign taxes or customs duties.
In cases where a customer is needing to use a freight forwarding company the following rules will apply. The customer must set-up and pay all cost for their shipment. Purchases will only be accepted via cash, bank check, or money transfer. The items will not be released to the freight forwarder until all funds have be cleared for payment
NY Kite Center will not ship directly to other countries (excluding Canada & Puerto Rico). If you choose to use a freight forwarding company, we require that they have a location within the United States.
Gift Cards: All Gift Cards purchased can be applied to lesson or products purchases for up to 12 months from the date of purchase. Any unused funds from a purchased gift card will be credited to your account and will remain eligible with us for up to 12 months from the original date of purchase. If your gift card balance doesn’t cover the total cost of your order, we will charge you the remaining amount to your credit or debit card. If the total cost of the order is less than the balance on your gift card(s), any unused balance will remain on your account for up to 12 months from the original purchase date of the gift card.
Lost or Stolen Gift Cards: We can replace the remaining balance on a lost, stolen or damaged gift card, as long as you have the original purchase receipt. Please call 631-691-0793.
Returning Items Paid By Gift Card: You can return items purchased with gift cards in accordance with our Return & Exchange Policy The return amount will be credited to your account
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