Kiteboarding is an amazingly free feeling. Think about it: flying on and above the water, powered only by the wind! But first, you’ll need a board to stand on. There are several kiteboard categories:

 Raceboards and hydrofoil boards are more specialized boards that provide a unique performance. Twin tips are the most common kiteboards and will provide a more accessible and wider range of use.

Example of Board Types


Twin tip kiteboards or bi-directional boards allow you to change directions easily, since both sides are identical. These boards are similar to wakeboards and typically made of a composite material sandwiched around a wood core. Twin tips are the most common and a good place to start for a beginner. There are a few key factors when choosing the right board:


Size Matters! The board size is probably the most important aspect of a board. The larger the board, the more surface area. That means more water to push and greater resistance. Larger boards will help you plane easier in lighter winds and keep you up above the water when the wind lulls. 

A larger board will be easier to stay upwind when winds are light. As the wind speed increases, a large board will become difficult to hold an edge. A smaller “high wind” board will allow you to hold an edge and maintain power but will be more difficult to stay upwind when the wind is lighter. 

Length and width both play a roll in the boards performance: 
An average kiteboard size is 135cm - 145cm x 38 - 41cm. 
Light wind kiteboards are typically wider 145 - 165 x 45 - 48cm. 

For beginners, a larger board is helpful to smooth over mistakes that drive you downwind. Eventually, you will develop a personal preference and feel out the board that is right for you.


The profile (or outline) of the kiteboard will affect upwind ability, and performance in chop. 

A square profile will provide more effective edge, making it easier to go upwind and provide better pop when jumping. 

A tapered profile toward the tip of the board will give a more forgiving ride in choppy water and make it easier to carve. A tapered or rounded board means less board pounding and slapping on the water, giving an easier ride and less impact on the knees and body.


The rocker is the curvature of the bottom of the board from tip to tip (think a rocking chair or banana). A board with increased rocker will provide better pop and landings. A board with a flat rocker will be easier to hold an edge and go upwind. The more rocker a board has, the smaller the board will feel.


Concave is the curvature of the bottom of the board from heal to toe. This aspect contributes to a smoother ride. Some boards now have more complex concave patterns which provides tracking and a generally all around smoother ride. (Higher end boards tend to me be more complex when it comes to design.)


Twin tip boards are made similarly to wakeboards and are typically wood core pressed between different composite materials. Most are made using Paulownia wood, known for its lightweight and springy properties.

Some kite boards are made of materials like carbon fiber and other light space-age material, but wood core has been the most common. Carbon fiber boards are typically the lightest, stiffest and most expensive.


Large fins make it easier to hold an edge. Small fins allow you to slide the board out easier. Some riders will even go finless, especially when hitting features like rails and kickers.

Fins provide grip in the water and allow you to edge harder without the board slipping out. Larger fins provide better load and pop and also help with landings as well.

Larger fins will also give you better control and improve upwind ability. In flat water conditions, you can typically get away with using a smaller fin. You may want to increase your fin size in chop to get more bite.

As a beginner, a larger fin set will give you best overall performance. As you progress as a kiteboarder, you’ll develop your own personal preference. Try different fin sizes to see how it suits your particular riding style.


Here are some of the top boards on the market today:

Cabrinha Ace - a great all-around kiteboard though a bit more on the advanced side. The quad concave bottom of the Ace makes for a smooth ride and gives a bit of a gripping feeling. This is my personal go to board in size 139.
North X-Ride - across the spectrum, all-around solid board.
Nobile Split - the ultimate travel board. Pack into a tiny case and no questions at
Cabrinha Spectrum - light wind machine with great performance.

My Board Story

I’m 6’3 and weigh around 200lbs. When I first started researching kite boards I figured I should get the biggest twin tip available. I wanted a board with lots of float, and the ability to go easily in both directions without jibing. This search led me to the Bic Airflow 215cm. It turns out that it’s extremely large for a kite board…but hey, it worked!

Over time I went onto smaller and smaller boards until I was riding a 133. Now I ride a mix of boards from 135 – 145 cm. If the wind is light, I grab the Cabrinha Stylus or North Spike . If you’re not sure what board is right for you, either stop into our store or ask me! We’ll get you flying on the water in no time.