Hey guys! I am new in this forum and in the kitesurf world.
I just finished a kitesurf course and need to buy all gear. I need some recommendations and tips regarding gear.
As I said, really beginner. Can stand on the board, but still need to improve transitions and upwind riding.
So I want good and reliable equipment (kite, board, harness, bar). I don’t want to buy cheap gear and then in a couple of months have problems, but also I don’t need top-notch very-expensive best-of-the-best. Good and reliable!
- Based on my requirements, should I have preference in some brands? If yes, which ones? Should I avoid other brands?
- My weight is approx 77kg. I was thinking in a kite around 12m. Then later buy another around 7m. What do you think?
- What about board size?
- Also, I read there are several types of kites. But the “normal” one and more appropriate for beginners is the bow kite. Right?
- Maybe a difficult question: new or 2nd hand kite? As I said, I want something reliable. My doubt here is because I am very beginner sometimes I still crash the kite (on the water, of course). So should I go for a second hand because I will crash it more than usual, or should I be ok with a new one to last several years?
- Is now a good time to buy, or it doesn’t matter when (regarding prices)? Probably new equipment coming soon? Should I go for 2017 equipment?
Any other recommendations/tips are welcome. I am really newbie on this, so I am afraid that going to a store they will try to sell me not so good stuff that they need to get rid off.
Finally, I live in the Netherlands. Any recommendations on where to buy?
You'll get a lot of recommendations. Everything from a one word reply (?) to to just whatever.
I tend to say get a new kite because you cannot evaluate what is a good kite and what the condition of it is.
Size I can't help you with..but in principle get the kite that you will use most of the time. You'll pretty fast understand you need more than one kite. So maybe consider getting two kites immediately. It will significantly increase your water time.
For kites, think about what type of riding you want. I have kited for a long time and love the Naish Pivot as a do all great kite / can't go wrong kite...but it depends on how you want to ride.
In any case check with your local Naish dealer they will be able to help you a ton with this.
There is virtually no difference with cheap/expensive gear in kiteboarding currently, pretty much everything is manufactured to a similar quality with only minor differences in construction.
Something around 12-14m is the best size for a beginner, but the Netherlands can have quite good wind, so you might want to check with locals first, since you will only be able to hold onto a 12m in up to around 20 knots as a beginner. If you often have wind around 14-18 kts for learning, then yes this will be perfect as it is much safer conditions anyway.
I wouldn't worry about looking for something used, kites can be very fragile and a lot can go wrong with them if they are not looked after (left in hot cars, crashed repeatedly, etc) that you will not know what to look for. If you want to save some money, you can check consignment deals through a shop (rather than buying from someone individually), or even better just look for deals on last year's gear... I just picked up a brand new 2016 12m kite for $700 on clearance. There are also several brands that sell direct that are also good quality for half the price of others, because they do not have any physical stores: Switch, Zeeko, Takoon
For the shape of kite you can go for pretty much anything except C-kites or C-shaped kites oriented toward freestyle/wakestyle, or racing. All brands have an "allaround" or "freeride" shape that will work just fine for learning. You won't be able to tell much difference to begin with, so I'd just go with whatever you can find the best deal on and go from there.
You can go to a local shop for advice, they will be able to tell you about local conditions and give you an idea of what you need. It might be best to buy through a shop as well beacuse this is the first point of contact if you have any issues with the gear, you will have someone to bring it to for help.
If you are anywhere near the school/instructor you went with for lessons and you like/trust them, have a talk. They will know what size you need for the local conditions and it will be equipment you are familiar with. Safety first. And if you took lessons sometimes they can get you a deal on their less used stuff.
Jocol, I don't know where you live, but I have firsthand knowledge of these shops (all are online and have physical shops): kitemana.nl (Katwijk), Versusshop.nl (Den Haag), Gearfreak.nl (Katwijk) and vandenbergsurf.nl (Hoorn and Zandvoort). These shops have good selections, and know what they are talking about. If you want to buy new equipment, any of these are good. I'm sure there are more good shops in the Netherlands, but these are the only ones I deal regularly with.
P.S. Buying one of those deals is a good option, yes. But you'll end up buying a second kite, and a third, and....
Last edited by or6 on Tue Aug 08, 2017 6:09 pm, edited 1 time in total.
When I started I bought one of those options. A Best Kahoona 11,5m, bar and board. Later on I bought a second hand 7,5m. I used this gear for 2 years and then I switched to Ozone Catalyst since at this point I knew much better what I wanted and what my riding style was. Still enjoy them.
If you have the budget I can recommend you the same. Since you are a beginner you do not know but will also not notice the differences. The shops mentioned above are solid and will help you in the right direction.
Do take into account that you will at least end up with 2 kites. So if budget wise you need to go to the second hand market then google a bit what would fit you. There is lot's written on starter kites on this forum and the Dutch fora.
As a starter I would go for a 10, 11 or 12m kite and then expend your set with a kite 2 or 3m smaller.
If you found something maybe drop it here. I'm sure people will give helpful comments.
You don't know what you're doing yet so just get any kite or any board. Until you figure out the kind of riding you want to do.
Buy used equipment, so you can abuse it and not have to worry about it.
If you buy brand new equipment, you will just tear it up, and you will end up replacing it later when you figure out the kind of riding you want to do. You will also look very funny with a brand new kite and board and not know how to ride properly.
I would completely disagree with LFK on the used gear thing. You want to buy brand new for your first two kites. You can get them used, but make sure they have very few sessions on them (less than 10). New material is much better at withstanding tomahawk crashes which shred the older gear. Once you stop with the "no excuse" tomahawk crashes, you can save some money with used gear. As stated before, it is difficult to not get screwed on used gear at your stage. Just because someone says a kite has been only out 6 times, does not mean that it does not have 150 hours pumped up in the sun flapping in the wind. So again, new is the best way to go.
I am good enough now to almost never drop my kite. Yesterday, was day 2 of 30knots dropping to 3knots in current flowing in the same direction as wind. I was pretty desperate to keep my kite up as the surf would have shredded my old and beat up kite to an unrepairable condition. Lots of other kites were going down from beginners to advanced. LFK is right that you will scratch up, put pin holes in, and make your new kites into old ones, but the alternative can discourage you kiteboarding. Having an average tomahawk and shredding your old gear, having to pay more to fix that old gear than it is worth, and missing good days while it is in the shop costing you money, makes for bad experiences. New gear that holds up keeps you on the water more days, and will keep you out of the repair shops (shipping and waiting if you are not in a kiteboarding mecca), and make you a better kiter quicker.
Buy a used kite and board from a local who just got brand new stuff. It's the best way to make sure you get something that's relevant to the location (i.e. the right size for "most days" whatever that means where you are). It'll also make you a new friend (probably), and you'll announce yourself as the local newbie so if they're responsible kiters they should take you under their wing and ensure you know the locals rules of the road and best practices for the launch access.
If you don't trust a local enough to buy their used gear, you might contact a big shop that does lessons and buy their 1 season rental equipment when they close up for the winter; that's what I did and the kite was well worn but it was in reliable condition and came with a free lesson because I bought a whole "kit" from them as a beginner. I eventually sold the kite once I knew what I wanted out of the sport, but I probably would have sold any beginner kite I ended up with, so I'm glad I didn't have to eat the "brand new" cost and got the setup used.