Here at S2AS, we’re all about getting you out on the water and enjoying the beautiful sport that is Kitesurfing. We’ve put together this Buyers Guide from our 15+ years of knowledge, to help make that decision of what kite to buy a lot easier!
WHAT SHAPE? FULL C, HYBRID, OR DELTA?Choosing to go for a Full C or a Hybrid kite is pretty simple.
For boosting, C kites are also brilliant. What we’ve found is that when you sheet out in the middle of a boost on a C kite, you don’t fall out of the sky. This happens because the depower range of the C kite is only around 30%, so you’ve actually still got around 70% power to keep you afloat in the air. These kites offer the best in class for performance and turning speed, advanced riders only.
EXAMPLES OF C-KITES:2017 Cabrinha Chaos
2017 Liquid Force Hifi X2
2017 Airush Razor
BENEFITS OF A C KITE:Very good High-Performance Kite.
Good Slack Line; great for handle passes.
Faster turning speed,
DRAWBACKS OF A C KITE:Less Wind Range than any of the other 2 types of kite.
Less Depower than a Hybrid, more aggressive.
Harder to relaunch due to the shape.
One of the best advantages of a Hybrid Kite is that the relaunch is a lot easier than on a C Kite.
Another of the benefits is that the wind range is a lot bigger than most other types of kite. Normally, you can expect at least 40% more wind range out of a Hybrid Kite, and that’s due to the kite having a bridle and releasing more wind when depowered than a C Kite. This in turn makes again for a friendlier and more stable kite, and also one that you can hold down in stronger winds and progress with a lot faster.
EXAMPLES OF A HYBRID KITE2016 Cabrinha FX
2017 Liquid Force Envy
2017 Core GTS4
BENEFITS OF A HYBRID KITE:More Wind Range.
Better and more efficient relaunch.
DRAWBACKS OF A HYBRID:Not as much Performance as a C Kite
Less slack line than the C Kite, but still very easy to pass the bar.
This kite has the best wind range out of all the types we’ve covered, but here’s where it becomes interesting. When you fully sheet out on a Delta kite, it sheets out so much that it becomes difficult to actually turn the kite, but it does mean that it lets all of the effective wind out of the kite. The way we explain the power delivery is like a light switch. When fully sheeting out, the power goes from 50% to 0% really quickly. But when you start to pull the bar in, you get a faster gradual pull than a Hybrid.
These kites are renowned for turning around the wingtip of the kite, as opposed to actually turning in a loop and generating power. This again is great for beginners because if you make a mistake, you don’t get body-dragged halfway down the beach.
Two other things to mention with these kites, is 1; that there isn’t a set ‘Sweet Spot’ that you can find and park the bar in. With a Delta Kite, the power is on or off, there’s no in between. 2; The relaunch is the best you’ll ever find on any type of kitesurf kite, and that’s due to the shape of the wingtips making it super simple to roll the kite on to a wingtip and get back in the air.
EXAMPLES OF A DELTA KITE2017 Core Free LW
2017 Airush DNA
2017 Liquid Force Solo V3
BENEFITS OF A HYBRID KITE:Best Wind Range.
Best De-Power Range.
DRAWBACKS OF A HYBRID:Very Little Performance.
Slower Turning Speed.
Little Power in the turns.
With all the types of Kitesurf kites on the market, us here at S2AS believe its better to buy a kite that you will grow in to and not out of.
This rule will go out the window if you’re 16 stone plus, as you do not want such a large first kite. This also does have a little leeway at 12 stone, as you could go for an 11m or 13m.
4 LINE VS 5 LINE KITESFor us here at S2AS this is a very simple question. We believe 4 line kites are way ahead of the 5 line kites on sale, and you’ll see us all flying 4 Liners down the beach. The reasons are simple really, see below:
4 LINE KITES+ Only 4 lines to set up on the beach.
+ Can never invert and tear the canopy.
5 LINE KITES+ Dedicated Safety Line
+ Risk of the 5th line wrapping around the canopy and tearing your kite.
+ Setting up an extra line on the beach
So for us, get a 4 line kite and you’ll be out on the water faster for longer, and have so much more fun!