Tech Talk: kiteboard ranges
In these Tech-Talk videos we will answer all your board related questions. From outline to different kiteboard ranges. Ask your questions via social media or send us an email. We will answer them in our next videos!
What kiteboard ranges are there?
There’s a new Tech-Talk video out! Many of the questions we’ve received from you have to do with how to choose the right kite surfboard. That’s why we’ve made a video series about kiteboard designs. Understanding board design can help a lot when trying to find your next board. We kick off with different kiteboard ranges. So you’ll be able to see straight away what a board is made for.
Which kiteboard is right for me?
Today we’re gonna discuss a topic that we get a lot of questions about and it’s actually one of the first things that you should consider when buying a kiteboard. And that is: which kiteboard is right for me? Or in a different question: what kind of kiteboards are there available? So, in this video I am going to explain kiteboard ranges and then in future videos I’m going to talk a little bit deeper into the different aspects that make a kite board behave a certain way.
At Appletree Surfboards we have a kiteboard finder on our website that’s just out, where you can find the basic model that would be right for you. You fill in your weight, your ability, the kind of waves you ride, the kind of wind speeds you generally tend to have at your spot and then it gives you a ranking of different boards that would suit you.
Three kiteboard ranges
I think that we can roughly divide the boards into three categories:
1. Wave kiteboard
Number one is the pure wave shapes. I’ve got one here, this is a Klokhouse surfboard. What makes it a pure wave shape? Well you can usually kind of tell by how the board looks. It’s a bit of a normal surfing surfboard design, so it has got a more rounded outline.
The outline is really one of the most important parts that make a kiteboard. A rounded outline usually makes the board more maneuverable and a little bit curvier, while you lose a little bit of upwind ability. However, it makes the board behave like a normal surfboard.
In this case we’ve got a squash tail, which is very reactive and it’s good for medium-sized to bigger surf with a kite. If you want to go bigger, I usually advise to go to more of a pintail shape with a thinner profile. It will give you a bit more grip when riding upwind.
Usually the boards are full length like this one is a 5’8”, which would be very small for me for normal surfing, but it’s actually quite good for kite surfing because you don’t need the length and the volume because you don’t have to padel with a kiteboard. Its full length gives you a nice rounded feel on the waves, the nose prevents the board from nose diving on steeper surf and it’s a really nice balanced all-round feel. This board has a simple single concave which looks like a basic surfboard design that is really nice and balanced.
2. Freestyle kiteboard
A pure freestyle shape is usually much shorter. Like this Luke’s Leaf is a 4’11”. Why is it short? Well, because if you want to do rotations in the air you need a shorter board because it spins easier. A longer board will have a lot of swing, which make’s it very hard for freestyle.
This Luke’s Leaf might look like the perfect beginner board because it looks very much like your twin tip, but actually it’s not. Since this board has got quite a lot of rocker. Rocker is the curve of a surfboard. I’m will go deeper into rocker in kiteboards in another video, but a board with a lot of rocker will become really twitchy and sort of nervous. That’s what the good freestyle guys like because they can pop off the wave or of the surface of the water really easy and get into those spinning maneuvers.
A pure freestyle kiteboard has a stable platform to land on. And then construction wise usually constructed a little bit stronger, so you can have those heavy landings without worrying about the board breaking. On the pure wave boards, we usually go for a little lighter construction to give the board a little bit more flex to be a bit more liveliness, which is not so necessary in a freestyle board. Also, we produce a lot of our freestyle boards in full carbon, this makes them ultralight and really easy to jump with.
3. Hybrid kiteboard
And then we come to the final category which is by far the biggest category in the boards that we make. And we just call those boards hybrid shapes. Now hybrid shapes are anything in between the pure freestyle and the pure wave model. So, you can imagine that most people tend to lean towards a hybrid shape, because it’s just a nice all-around board.
There’s not a lot of people that want to do pure freestyle, because we all want to have little waves to play with. And there’s also not a whole lot of people that want to do pure wave, because jumping is fun and it’s good if you see a little ramp you have a board you know you can jump with.
Hybrid board characteristics are really in between. So usually the rocker is a bit flatter, they are semi compact like this Malus Domestica, which got the nose sort of chopped off, so it has a rounder nose. The rounded nose allows the rider to ride smaller waves compared to the pure wave board. It’s a wider profile which makes it easier for landing jumps, but it also helps with speed generation. That’s why it’s a really fast board.
Usually hybrid boards have flatter rocker, especially this Malus Domestica with the crazy concave. This board is really good for riding upwind. It has a really nice track upwind. It comes with a flatter rocker in the tail so it’s a looser feel, it’s more all-round it has got the 5 fin configurations, so you can either mount four or three fins. We also have a video on what to use fin wise and when.
So, a hybrid shape is much more an all-round kind of shape, like the Malus Domestica. But also the Applino is considered as a sort of a hybrid in-between shape. They all have their own little category within the hybrid shapes. We will go into more detail in other videos.
What kiteboard to look for in a shop?
So, I hope this video has been informative for you to have sort of an idea on what kind of boards you’re looking for. Not only in our range, but also of kiteboards in general. Most brands will have different sorts of categories in their range and now you know sort of what to look for also when you’re in a shop.
Make sure to check our kiteboard finder. It’s a really good starting point to just fill in your details, fill in what you want to ride, and it will give you some options and it gives you a broad idea of what to look for in your next board. After that you can go into more detail check the board videos of our separate models and decide what’s really best for you.
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