Post general kiteboarding discussion topics here!
After several years and many crashes, my 10M Slingshot Key frankenkite (my first kite) has finally kicked the bucket. Repairs are no longer worth it. So I'm looking around for a replacement. Ideally a new one, because used ones would be too fragile to learn new tricks on. My 12M is an Airush, but I'm not necessarily looking to stay with the same brand. So I'm wondering about what are the characteristics of the different brands? I'm looking for advantages/disadvantages of each.
The available brands is pretty overwhelming, and I don't know where to start. Anecdotally I have heard (or learned):
- The Naishes with the jagged leading edges seem to be hard to relaunch, so I'll probably avoid them.
- I was told Norths are good, but overpriced for non-professionals like me.
- Everyone seems to sell Cabrinhas, is this a good all-around brand?
- Looking for four line kites, odd number of struts (I like to mount a GoPro on the center strut)
A little Googling found some web sites that do comparisons:
but I wonder if there's a more concise summary anywhere of the strengths and weaknesses of each brand. I imagine it depends on the style of kite, too.
All kites are pretty awesome these days. Try what your friends have and buy the same - that makes swapping & travel easier. If you into freestyle/tricks, focus on kite models designed for that, or freeride/all-around kites. Or try something different. Hard to go really wrong. You can try to demo a bunch of kites before buying, but that can take ages unless you are really dilligent about finding ways to demo. You can demo almost all the brands here in the Bay Area by finding the distributors and chasing them down. On the other hand, I bought my last quiver without demoing first and have been stoked. Just put the kite pics up on a dartboard, blindfold and throw!
-- Lose the Handles
Kite reviews will give you more information than your brain can process.....before peeps chime in, and many will, with their recommendation, to really guide you, you need to share:
Experience level,years kiting
What kind of riding you do/want to do
Where you ride/how often
What you think cool is
What kind of beer you drink
Blondes or brunettes or redheads
What kind of car you drive
Do you prefer real of fake, ahem....
Once we have the key data points, we can actually be helpful.
(PS - last 3-are not required,but very helpful)
Get sum, Z
BTW - most kites these days are good enough for the average rider. Some have performance characteristics that stand out - speed of turning, low end, durability, etc. - but they are all pretty solid. Most important is to form a relationship with a shop/retailer and nurture it.....good service is a wonderful thing....Evan @ Live2kite has taken really good care of me and I can't recommend him strong enough!!!
its all about what you want out of the kite... some are more surf style others are more wakestyle and some are a combo... =The general rule of thumb is for people not to promote brands on these forums. Most kiters are brand loyal, and we are also like lemmings... we ride what are friends are riding. Gerrit at live to kite has some gear for sale I think, he usually has a good idea of wassup.
2010 UG FLX
2012 Firewire Flexfire Strapless
I'm a big advocate of the "Fly before you buy" policy. Demo kites, borrow kites, fly everything you can.
Same for boards. Everything can look sexy on the showroom floor, but they all feel different.
Try stuff until something sings for ya...
It's really hard to compare kite brands since most brands have multiple kite models and they all fly differently. What Naish kites have a "jagged leading edge"? Do you mean the sigma shape? If so, they don't make sigma kites like the Cult or the Bolt anymore. Weird that you think North is too expensive - they cost about the same as all the other top brands as far as I can tell.
One more thing to think about though - the bar. I like having kites that are happy on the same bar. That way if something is wrong with one of the kite's control system then I can switch out bars. Also, you might like the kite and hate the bar... Which is kind of how I feel about the below bar de-power system on Naish kites.
1. buy from a local shop
2. buy a brand that is well represented on the water.
3. buy the same kite as several other people
4. focus on style of kite
What's most important to you?
1. big air?
2. beginner unhooked?
3. advanced unhooked?
5. all around user friendly?
each brand probably has a kite that satisfies one of those buckets. but i can guarantee that the best kite for #1 is going to be terrible for #3.
Liquid Force Kites/Boards
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