Time for Gear

This forum is for new kiters/beginners to share info and experiences and to get answers to kiting questions. All questions are valid.

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This forum is for new kiters/beginners to share info and experiences and to get answers to kiting questions. All questions are valid. Please provide proper answers (no sarcasm/joke replies, etc.) as we'd like to avoid any confusion or misinformation.

Time for Gear

Postby g00mbs » Mon Jun 03, 2013 8:55 am

Hey Everyone,

My wife and I have taken some lessons and now we are looking to get some suggestions on gear.

I'm 6'1" / 220 lbs
My wife is 5'4" / 110 lbs

Initially the goal is to get a 2 kite quiver of the exact same kite. We are thinking North Evo's or Naish Rides. One of our friends who has kited a number of years suggested looking at AirRush, but I haven't just yet.

I was thinking a 12M for me and a 9M for her. We plan on starting at Alameda and once we are decent enough to consistently go upwind, transition to 3rd Ave.

It would be great to get a gently used or demo of the above kites or a model year or two older. That would help save some $$$.

I have had a suggestion to go with a 14M evo, would that be too large?

Does anyone have any other Kite suggestions for both make/model and size?

On to Boards:
For me it was suggested to get on a 145/146 cm with the following types of boards:
Nobile NBL (142 cm) - was suggested
Nobile T5
Best Breeze
Airrush Switch (156 cm) - was suggested

For my wife:
There might be a used Nobile NHP but it is still fairly expensive.

Any other suggestions on boards.

As for Harnesses:
I will most likely get a waist harness, but to be honest I haven't looked into this too much yet.

For my wife she really liked the Ion Sol that she had her lesson with. So I think she wanted to stick to that as it was mentioned that fitting for women is difficult sometimes.

For wet suits:
I was going to get a 4/3 but have to look and brands and pricing.

My wife was looking at a 5/4/3 as she gets chilly easily.

If I have forgotten anything please bring it up and feel free to shoot out suggestions. Thanks!
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Postby jwest21 » Mon Jun 03, 2013 10:50 am

Kites: those choices in kites seem fine and airush is making some great kites, but 12m might be a little small for you. I almost exclusively ride a 12m with surfboard at Alameda at 150lbs so a 14m may be better suited for you but it'll be useless at 3rd. Buying something a little older or used is a great way to save money. There are some used gear guides here and elsewhere that you should definitely review first, or just check out the different shops for demo gear so you know you're not getting a lemon.

Boards: larger width has a big play into how stable a learner board will be, not just length. Less rocker = getting upwind easier and more float and size means getting up in lighter winds. I'm not super knowledgable about boards and specific brands, although I've been seeing riders really flocking to nobile lately.

Harness is all about how it fits and you both should try a bunch on. I still wish I had a seat harness quite often but feel close to that threshold point where I would be wanting to switch over to a waist harness.

I also think your wife will be quite fine with a 4/3 unless she plans to hit the coast. The bay is really not that cold and I never have wished I had more warmth in my 4/3. Xcel makes solid reasonable suits and you can usually find women's for clearance prices. Hyperflex is also solid but tends to see a shorter lifespan. You may want to grab some booties too, lots of crap out there in the bay to step.
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Re: Time for Gear

Postby NCKite_Ryder » Mon Jun 03, 2013 11:46 am

North makes pretty good gear, you should be happy with their kites. I'd buy local gear off local reps, or used gear off local kiters. This forum and the NWkite forum are good sources for used gear. Talk to the person that gave you lessons as they can usually give you a discount because you paid them for lessons, and you will probably be back for more.

12/9 is probably the right call for Alameda. Add a 6/7 to the quiver when you transition to third for your wife and you can ride the 9. 6/9/12 is the perfect quiver for the bay. You may want something bigger for yourself at Alameda. Sometimes beginners wreck their first set of kites, nothing like putting a brand new $1500 kite into the rocks at Third, or the tree at Alameda. If you go used do your homework and try to buy kites that are crispy.
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Re: Time for Gear

Postby g00mbs » Mon Jun 03, 2013 4:45 pm

Thank you for the info.

I have heard that a 14M kite is just much slower than the 12M, which obviously makes sense. Just pointing out the obvious. =-

I guess I'm just worried that a 14M kite maybe too slow to maneuver. With that said, I may just have to go to that size of kite, due to my size.

My buddy rides an 11M out here and said he would love to have a 12M. He is about the same height but probably 20-40 lbs lighter. I would put him at 180ish. So I guess that would make sense. I may just need to learn how to deal with bigger kites.

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Re: Time for Gear

Postby ddubwinokur » Mon Jun 03, 2013 6:48 pm

It's smart to notice that a 14M kite will be slower than a 12M kite, but it still might be a better option for you now. Here's why.

Alameda is both a blessing and a curse. It is a really nice, comfortable, safe (mostly) place to learn. BUT, it does NOT get great wind. And the wind that it does get comes early in the season, primarily in April and May. After that, it's a rare day when it's reliably windy at Alameda, whereas all the other locations in the bay area are going off like clockwork. And the trouble is, you need adequate power (a combo of wind speed and kite size) to actually learn.

So - if you are going to learn to kite this summer, you either need a big enough kite to get more days at Alameda during the summer, or you should just pay for instructor support at a place like Sherman Island.

A 14 might be the only thing to get you on the water in Alameda from here on out. And the days when it blows higher, and everyone goes there, will be TOO windy for you as a beginner.

A few caveats:
- a 14M maay serve you well at Alameda, but after that, you won't have much use for it. All the other sites in this area, where you will go as soon as you can, blow much harder than alameda. You'll need a 12 tops for those spots, and may be happy with just a 10.5. So you'll have to get rid of that 14M soon.
- 14M DO turn slower than smaller kites. But again, as a beginner, kite turning speed should not be the most important thing on your mind. As you learn you will likely spend your time trying to get the kite to stay in one spot rather than move it quickly. Also, even experts use big, slow kites, if they want to go out when there's little wind. You can still have fun with them.

Hope that helps - DW
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Re: Time for Gear

Postby AirSports99 » Wed Jun 26, 2013 5:43 pm

Have you water skied, wake board...any other sports? If you have been on those before, you may want to get a good board first. As some mentioned, a larger board is easier to get up on, but if you have any experience, you will pick it up VERY fast.

I personally like a gull wind or dual concave as it really holds an edge. Some like a totally flat bottom, but those are slick. The dual concave bottoms hold an edge really strong, so if you are sliding on the water as I have seen some do, the dual concave just grabs.

As you progress, these also give you a lot of pop off the water if you are wanting to do tricks.

Initially learning, a bigger kite will provide a "little" more power, but you will want to go smaller as you will realize you can generate a ton of power out of a smaller kite. Larger kites do turn slower.

An Airush Lithium in a 12m will generate more power than an Ozone Catalyst 12m, a little faster turning also. Always a pro/con. The Airush has a very small window it likes, so it is very "unstable" when the wind is out of that set range. Learning, this could make the experience not as enjoyable, vs the Ozone Catalyst will manage a larger window. You can still jump huge on the Ozone, but the Airush does pull more.
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