Kitesurfing Equipment – Your Complete Guide

Chris Lagao
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When I first started kiteboarding in 2012. I was hooked right from the start. I loved being able to be out on the water, exploring, and just having fun. It's a great way to get away from all the responsibilities of everyday life and just enjoy some time on your own.
Kitesurfing Equipment
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Are you ready to learn everything there is to know about kitesurfing equipment? If so, you’ve come to the right place!

In this ultimate guide, we’ll discuss all of the essential gear and equipment that a kitesurfer needs in order to enjoy their time on the waves.

We’ll cover topics such as board types, harnesses, safety systems, and more.

After reading through our guide, you’ll have a better understanding of what kind of equipment is most suitable for your individual goals and preferences.

So let’s get started!

How to choose kitesurfing equipment?

Choosing new kitesurf equipment can be a hard decision because there is a wide array of brands for each gear.

Some kitesurfing gear brands need to know:

  • Duotone Sports
  • Ozone Kites
  • F-One
  • Slingshot
  • Core Kiteboarding
  • Airush
  • North Kiteboarding
  • Eleveight Kites
  • Naish Kiteboarding
  • Cabrinha

When it comes to kitesurfing, there are a variety of brands that offer different products and gear specifically catered to various riding styles. The different brand has their own strengths when it comes to specific items like kiteboards, kites, harnesses, kite bars, or wetsuits.

When looking for the best equipment for your style of riding is important.

Some brands stand out more than others when it comes to certain types of riding; however, ultimately finding the right equipment depends on individual preferences, budget, and needs as every rider has their own unique set-up.

If you’re just getting into kitesurfing, you might be wondering what kind of gear you need.

So keep continuing and let me explain:

Kitesurfing Equipments: What You Need to Get Started?


A kite is the key piece of equipment for kitesurfing. It’s the part that actually pulls you through the air and makes it possible for you to ride the waves. Without a kite, you can’t kitesurf.

There are several different types of kites used for kitesurfing, but the most popular ones are foil kites and inflatable/hybrid/arc-shaped LEI (Leading Edge Inflatable) kites.

Which kite types and where to use them?

Foil Kites

Foil kites come in a range of sizes and shapes, making them great for all skill levels. They offer excellent turning performance, allowing you to stay on the same wave longer while keeping it interesting with sharp turns.

Features of Foil kites:

  • Multi-celled, air inflated
  • Light and efficient
  • Powerful kites
  • More technical
  • Popular amongst avid racers and light wind riders
  • Can be flown in winds with 3-10 knots
  • Not offer the wide crossover possibilities that inflatable kites offer.
  • Poor lift, slow turning, and difficulty kitelooping.
  • Require tedious maintenance
  • Difficult to relaunch when you stopped

LEI (Leading Edge Inflatable)

Inflatable kites provide a perfect balance between power and control when riding waves, allowing advanced riders to progress quickly while being accessible enough for beginners. These kite types come in various sizes so that you can choose one that’s right for you depending on your weight and wind conditions.

Features of LEI Kites:

  • Comes with a one-pump inflation system
  • Easy to relaunch when you stopped
  • Offers wide crossover possibilities which makes it popular amongst all riders, from beginners to professionals.
  • A wide range of sizes and shapes are available depending on your weight and wind conditions
  • Offers great lift, smooth turning, and good kitelooping.
  • Requires less maintenance than its LEI counterparts.
  • Good lift and fast turning capabilities even in light winds.
  • Can be flown in winds ranging between 5-30 knots.

Types of Leading Edge Inflatable Kites


C-kites are the most common type of kite used for power kiting and stunts. They have a bridled leading edge, with lines connected from the bar to each corner of the kite. This gives them more direct control than SLE kites and makes them ideal for experienced riders who want to do tricks and perform stunts. C-kites can be difficult to learn since they require more precise flying techniques.

Hybrid Kites

Hybrid kites are a combination of bow and c-kite designs, offering the best of both worlds. They provide excellent power delivery for aggressive riding in higher winds and have good turning capabilities at lower wind speeds. They also offer great stability in gusty conditions, making them ideal for all levels of riders.

Bow Kites

Bow kites are characterized by their distinctive curved shape and bridle that connect the leading edge to a bar. They are often equipped with depower systems, allowing riders to reduce the amount of power coming from their kites when needed. This makes them ideal for riders looking for a more efficient and controllable ride in high winds or choppy conditions. Depending on the model, they can be used in winds starting at 12 knots all the way up to 25-plus knots. Bow kites typically turn faster than other styles, making them well-suited for aggressive riding styles where quick response is necessary.

Bow kites are available in a wide range of sizes and designs to suit different types of riders. The larger the kite, the more power it will generate and the easier it will be to use in strong winds. Smaller bow kites tend to turn faster than their larger counterparts, making them great for technical tricks or fast freestyle riding. When choosing a bow kite, consider your abilities as well as the wind conditions you typically ride in when selecting the size that’s right for you. Additionally, look for a kite with efficient bridles and a reliable depower system if you plan to ride in strong winds or choppy conditions.

SLE Kites (Supported Leading Edge)

SLE kites, also known as hybrid or delta-style kites, use a combination of curved and straight leading edges to provide improved stability. These designs are fairly easy to fly and offer good performance in both light winds and strong conditions. Their wide range of power makes them well suited for beginners who are just learning the basics as well as more experienced riders who want to do aggressive riding styles.

SLE kites usually have a wider wind range than bow-style kites, which means that you’ll be able to use them in a variety of conditions. Additionally, they tend to have good upwind performance and offer smooth power delivery for unhooked tricks or jumps.

Delta Kites

Delta kites are a popular type of power kite due to their unique triangular shape, which gives them great lift and allows for smooth turning and good kite loops. Additionally, they are incredibly easy to relaunch after you have stopped flying them – the Delta Kite’s shape makes it very simple to pull back into the air. This is particularly beneficial when learning how to kitesurf as you can spend more time flying rather than struggling with launching your kite!

When buying a new kite, it is important to consider your skill level. If you are just beginning, C-type and Bow-type kites are the most common types of kitesurfing kites that you should look into.

We have written a blog post specifically for beginners so make sure to check out for best kitesurfing kites for beginner posts.

After completing the learning process, you can start exploring different styles of riding like freestyle, freeride, wave riding, big air, and foiling. Each style has its own set of challenges so be sure to challenge yourself as much as possible!

You make your choice for riding style and type of kite but is it finished?

There is another thing you need to consider: Kite size.

Kite size important thing when you choose your new kite.

Maybe you are a beginner looking for a kite to start kitesurf or an experienced rider looking for a new kite for a different riding style. Whatever, you need to think about your kite size.

But, How are you choosing your kite size?

There is no standard kite size but when choosing your kite you need to think about two things:

  1. Wind conditions
  2. Riding Style

Firstly, the wind conditions. If you are in a location that has very strong winds, then you need to look for a kite with a smaller size and if you have lighter winds then a larger wing span is better for you.

Secondly, your riding style will also affect the size of your kite. If you plan on doing some freestyle tricks and jumps, then bigger kites are usually better as they generate more power which gives more lift when jumping or performing tricks.

In general,

What kite size do you need for kitesurfing?

You can find out with the kite size calculator below.


Kitesurfing boards on beach

Kiteboards are typically made from wood or composite materials such as carbon fiber and foam core, designed to be lightweight but very durable. The board is also equipped with foot straps to keep the rider’s feet firmly in place while they ride.

Different sizes and styles of boards can be used depending on the type of riding style desired; freestyle (for tricks) or wave (for waves).

And there are four types of boards: Twin-Tip Kiteboards, Light Wind Kiteboards, Wave Kiteboards, and Foil Boards.

Foil boards are designed for freeriding, racing, and light wind riding as they use less power to generate speed and lift compared to a twin-tip board. They have more surface area which helps with getting upwind quickly in lighter winds.

Twin-tip boards on the other hand are great for jumping, tricks, and more aggressive riding. They are shorter in length and have a symmetrical design that allows for easy maneuverability when flipping the board or landing tricks.

Wave kiteboards are designed for riders who are looking to ride in the surf. They have a wider surface area with stiffer flex that allows them to cut through chop and breakers better than other boards.

Light wind kiteboards are typically larger and heavier compared to their twin-tip counterparts as they need more power from the wind in order to get upwind quickly. This type of board is also great for beginners as they offer stability while learning how to control the kiteboard.

The size of your kiteboard will also depend on your body weight, riding style, and wind conditions. A heavier rider will need a bigger board to carry their weight while a lighter rider can get away with a smaller board.

In general, it’s recommended to get at least two boards in different sizes so that you’re prepared for different wind conditions.

Types of boards (twin tip, directional, foil), materials used in board construction, and factors to consider when choosing a board (riding style, skill level, wave or flat water riding).

How to choose the right size for your kiteboard?

Kitesurfer WeightKiteboard LengthKiteboard Width
55 – 70 kg134 – 148 cm39 – 41 cm
70 – 80 kg140 – 160 cm40 – 43 cm
80 – 95 kg142 – 165 cm41 – 45 cm
> 95 kg146 – 166 cm46 – 50 cm
Kitesurfing Board Size Guide

Kitesurfing Safety equipment

Control bar

Kitesurf control bar

Control bars are an essential part of kitesurfing and come in a variety of shapes, sizes, and styles. Fixed-length control bars have the same length when fully extended while adjustable-length control bars can be adjusted to fit your needs.

4-line vs 5-line refers to the number of lines used; 4-lines use one line for each side with two more lines in the center while 5-line sets to provide additional stability by adding a fifth line.

Safety features on control bars include quick-release systems which allow you to quickly disconnect from your kite if needed as well as depowering trim cleats that let you adjust the power output without having to land your kite and rerig it.

Properly setting up and adjusting your control bar is important for safety reasons and should always be done according to the manufacturer’s guidelines.


When it comes to kitesurfing, choosing the right harness is essential. There are a few different types of harnesses available, including seat or waist harnesses and handle pass systems.

Seat and waist harness both offer good support for your lower back while riding, but they differ in how they fit on your body – seat harnesses will have more support around the hips while waist harnesses provide better flexibility so you can move freely when kitesurfing.

Handle pass systems are often used with twin-tip boards as they give you extra stability when maneuvering through waves. When selecting a kiteboarding harness, there are several factors that should be taken into consideration such as comfort, safety, and riding style.

Comfort is key; if a harness doesn’t fit correctly it can cause discomfort which could lead to injury if not addressed properly. The material used in the production of the product is also important as certain materials may react differently when exposed to water over time or even under extreme conditions like windy days at sea!

Lastly, depending on your preferred style of riding (freestyle vs wave/surf) make sure to get a suitable model specifically designed for that type of activity – this way you’ll maximize performance out on the water!

Impact Wests

Types of impact vests: There are two main types of impact vests available for kitesurfing, foam, and airbag. Foam impact vests are generally more affordable but provide less protection than their airbag counterparts. Airbag impact vests provide superior protection, but they can be quite expensive. Each type has its own pros and cons that should be taken into consideration when making a purchase decision.

Materials: Impact vest construction is usually done with neoprene or nylon materials due to their durability, flexibility, and buoyancy characteristics. Neoprene is the most common choice as it provides excellent insulation from cold water temperatures while still allowing for maximum mobility during kitesurfing sessions. Nylon fabric provides a lighter weight option with good stretch capabilities which makes them ideal for windsurfers who want improved performance in choppy water conditions.

Fit and sizing: It’s important to get the proper fit when purchasing an impact vest as poorly fitted ones will not offer sufficient protection or comfort on the water. To do this properly you must measure your chest circumference around the widest part (usually just under your armpits). Once you have obtained this measurement you can use size charts provided by manufacturers to determine what size vest would best suit your needs.

Additionally, adjustable straps may need to be adjusted depending on how snugly you would like them to fit around your body while out surfing/kitesurfing.

Safety features: Impact vests come with a variety of safety features. Many are equipped with multiple layers of foam padding to absorb the shock when you hit the water or an object during your session, while others may come with flotation devices built into them in order to help keep you afloat if necessary.

Some vests even feature special pockets for carrying items such as a waterproof phone case or other small personal items. Additionally, reflective detailing is often included on impact vests which can be helpful in low-light conditions or at night time.


Kitesurfing Girl with WetSuit

Types of Wetsuits: When choosing a wetsuit for kitesurfing, you have three main options—shorty, spring, and full suits.

Shorty suits are ideal for warm weather conditions or when you want to feel cooler while still being protected from the elements. They offer less insulation than full-length suits but provide more flexibility and range of motion.

Spring suits are a great option in cooler temperatures as they cover your body up to your thighs and arms up to your elbows.

Full wetsuits provide the most protection by covering your entire body including legs and arms; they are typically used in cold water or windy conditions. Each type has its own pros and cons depending on what environment you’ll be kiting in, so it is important to do some research before purchasing one!

Materials: The materials used for making wetsuits vary between brands; however neoprene is the most popular choice due to its durability, flexibility, and insulation capabilities. Neoprene also provides extra buoyancy which can help with floatation if needed during a session.

Other materials such as nylon/lycra blends may also be found in certain types of wetsuits since these fabrics tend to be lightweight yet durable with good stretchability. Some high-end models may even incorporate titanium fibers into their construction for added warmth retention without compromising flexibility or breathability!

Fit & Sizing: Once you’ve decided on the right type of suit based on where you’ll be kiting and the water temperature, it is important to make sure you get a wetsuit that fits properly. The fit should be snug but not too tight; otherwise, it will restrict movement and become uncomfortable after some time in the water. You can find sizing charts online from most brands or consult with an expert at your local kite store for help finding the right size for you.

Features: The features of a wetsuit can vary between models; some may have a full zipper closure while others are pull-on and feature adjustable cuffs. Other features to look out for include drain holes, reinforced knee pads, and a hood option that can provide extra warmth when needed. Additionally, some wetsuits come with pockets or even built-in compartments so you can keep important items such as your cell phone or keys safe during your session.

Beginner Kitesurf Packages

As we discussed all the necessary kitesurfing equipment and provided some insight into each one, selecting the right gear that fits your style is paramount.

If you’re just starting out, there are many great kiteboarding packages available that offer excellent value for money. These bundles often contain everything a beginner needs such as a wetsuit, harness, board, and kite so you can get off to an amazing start with minimal effort.

How much does kiteboarding equipment cost?

Kitesurfing can be an expensive sport to get into, depending on the quality of equipment you purchase. Generally speaking, when first starting out in kitesurfing, it is best to invest in a complete set of gear which includes: a kite, kiteboard, control bar/harness system, wetsuit, and impact west.

The cost for this entire setup will range from $1,000 – $3,000 USD depending on your skill level and brand preferences. Additionally, there are other pieces of equipment that may need to be purchased such as travel bags and protective covers for the kite itself; these items will add anywhere between $50-$200 to the total cost.

Kitesurfing Safety Systems

Safety systems are essential components of kitesurfing equipment and can make the difference between an enjoyable ride and a dangerous situation. In this section, we will provide an overview of three important safety systems: quick release, chicken loop, and kite leash.

We’ll explain how to use them correctly, as well as when they should be used during a kitesurfing session.

Quick releases enable you to instantly disconnect yourself from the power source in case of emergency or when you need to take a break from riding your board; chicken loops ensure that the power source is always connected securely to the rider; finally, kite leashes keep your board attached to you so it won’t get lost in strong winds or choppy waters.

Knowing how these safety systems work and when they should be utilized can help improve your overall experience while out on the water!


It is important to properly care for and maintain your kitesurfing equipment in order to ensure safe usage, as well as prolong its lifespan. This maintenance can include cleaning the gear after each session, checking all lines and straps for signs of wear or damage, lubricating moving parts, and regularly inspecting the canopy material.

It may also be necessary to replace some of the components over time such as lines, bladders, or even an entire kite depending on how much you use it.

Additionally, it is very important that you stay up-to-date with safety recalls issued by manufacturers; this includes any new information about changes in materials or design that could potentially affect your performance or safety while riding.

Setting up and rigging your equipment

Before you hit the water, it is important to make sure that your kite, board, and control bar are all properly rigged. This guide will step-by-step explain how to do this safely and efficiently.

First, lay out all of your equipment on a flat surface like a beach or lawn so you can work with ease. Start by attaching the leader lines of the kite’s bridle onto the chicken loop of your control bar. Take care when connecting it in order for everything to be secure and safe during use.

Then, attach one end of the safety line from your kitesurfing harness to the power clip located on your control bar and then connect it securely to either side of the depower strap at its center point which runs across both sides of the bar itself.

Next, thread each end through their respective pulleys located at either side before attaching them back into themselves using an overhand knot – making sure they have been connected tightly with no slack whatsoever!

Finally, set up your board by inserting foot straps into their designated slots as well as any fins if necessary (depending on the type). And there you have it – you now know how to rig up all essential pieces of kit correctly prior to hitting those waves!

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