The right kiteboard for the right conditions

What is the difference between a carbon kite surfboard and a fiber glass kite surfboard?


When to choose carbon and when to choose glass?

Written by Roderick Pijls

Often I get the question: ‘Should I go for a Carbon or a Glass kite surfboard?’ Well, it’s a difficult question to answer. In my opinion it depends on what you are looking for. And what spots you usually ride at. Personally, I always look at what spots I will be traveling to. Based on the conditions, I choose whether I bring a glass or carbon kite surfboard with me. Or even both. I do have the luxury to make that decision. But I will try to explain on what grounds I make my decisions. It will help you to make the right decision that matches your local spot.


Carbon kite surfboard. Rider Roderick Pijls


Bring your kitesurfing skills to the next level

A carbon board is in my opinion a Formule 1 car. It is made to perform and to get the best out of the rider and conditions. Every little movement is translated directly into the board. Every little bump in the wave is noticeable. This makes it very attractive. It can bring your kitesurfing skills to the next level. As you are in direct contact with the elements you are playing with. If the conditions are good, it feels like you are Louis Hamilton in a brand new Mercedes Formula 1 car and you are on Pole position :-). Hitting the lip with the right timing, gives you the feeling of Kelly Slater during his top times. The board reacts directly to my movements and I am able to make much stronger, powerful and more explosive top- and bottom turns. 


Impact on your joints

Often people tell me: ‘it hurts on my knees or ankles’. When I get a good look at their boards, they have a really thin frontpad on the board. Or they only use wax. I suggest them to use a thicker frontpad on a carbon board. This mutes the impact on your joints, knees and ankles. 


Carbon vs. Glass kite surfboard


The ideal board for choppy conditions

If the conditions are a bit choppier and less ideal to ride the Mercedes Formula 1 car from Louis Hamilton, I take my glass board out for a spin. Glass is less stiff and has more flex. This creates a softer feeling of the board. It is a little softer on the knees, because the flex of the board absorbs the chop a little. Left or right, a glass board is still amazingly good. Often I only use 70 percent of the capacity of a glass board, because the conditions do not allow 100 percent of the capacity to be used. Nevertheless, I am not driving my Formula 1 car hahaha…

Save some extra money

My advice would be: save some extra money for both boards. And based on the conditions of that particular moment, choose whether you go for a carbon or a glass kite surfboard. Don’t you have the luxury of choosing between two boards? Then evaluate in which conditions you mainly kitesurf. Is it often glassy? Then choose carbon. Is it often onshore and choppy? Then choose glass. Good luck!


Need more information on the ultimate strapless kite surfboard? Check how to choose a kite surfboard.