Your kiteboarding lessons are over and you're excited to start gearing up! Now comes choosing your first kiteboard, and while it might seem simple, here's a few important considerations to keep in mind to help you progress your skills on the board.
Size: When starting out, pay less attention to the length and focus more on width ( and other factors we mention below). Most new riders will struggle the most with waterstarts, balance, and keeping the board on plane through the lulls. Its simple math...adding a few cm in length doesn't affect the planing area of the board nearly as much as adding a few extra cm of width. Most boards are around 40-42cm wide, we suggest a 45-47cm width for new riders 150 - 200lbs. The added width will dramatically increase the surface of the board on the water - making water starts, and balance easier and you'll be able to ride through lulls and keep going in lighter winds.
Flex, Outline, Rocker and Fins: A softer flex and more rounded outline will give you a smooth ride in the choppy conditions you'll no doubt find at your local spot. A smooth riding board will help you maintain your balance and keep you edging upwind easier. A medium to flatter rockerline will have less drag, so it helps your board plane up faster and keep you riding at the proper speed. Larger than average fins will give your board a more controlled feel and allow you to more easily point it and go up wind.
Boots or straps: Straps allow you to more easily body drag with the board, enter and exit the water, and relaunch after a fall. Boot riding is a lot of fun, just master the basics first and remember you can always add a set of boots to your board at a later time.
Just like kites, board designs have evolved to better match the rider's skill level and desired performance. So when starting out, choose a board that's suited for your skills now, not where you think you'll be in 3 years from now. Kiteboarding is about progression, so follow the steps and with the right set up now, you will progress your skills far faster and have more fun while you're at it.
Read our previous post for more detailed information on kiteboard designs.
For our best selling board for new riders - check out the Ocean Rodeo Origin.