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Kite Surfboards vs "normal" Surfboards

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daspi
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Re: Kite Surfboards vs "normal" Surfboards

Postby daspi » Sat Feb 06, 2021 11:08 pm

Was reading through all the posts. Discussion went off topic a bit by thruster vs quad. I totally get the construction part. Yes, kite specific boards are built stronger. But has anyone found at regular surfboard that ended up an absolutely great shape for kitesurf? Are shapers using the same but smaller board shapes for kitesurf industry? Or are there different rocker lines and outlines that turned out to be more kitesurf specific? I ask as I wonder if I can work with a local shaper that had not yet worked with kitesufers. Will his surf shapes for local conditions match the needs for kitesurf IF we simply make the whole thing smaller and stronger? I'd love to work with a local shaper on some custom designs, but we don't have anyone local with kitesurf experience.

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Re: Kite Surfboards vs "normal" Surfboards

Postby Matteo V » Sat Feb 06, 2021 11:35 pm

daspi wrote:
Sat Feb 06, 2021 11:08 pm
Was reading through all the posts. Discussion went off But has anyone found at regular surfboard that ended up an absolutely great shape for kitesurf?
Yes and no.

No - because prone surf shapes have lots of extra baggage in volume/thickness that you absolutely need for prone surfing. But that baggage hinders performance in kitesurfing. Thus you can use a much higher performance board kitesurfing, that you could never use while prone surfing.


Yes - because some kiters like the feeling that a board gives when it is handicapped by the elements built into it to make it prone surfable.

Nobody can tell you with utter surety what you will wind up liking.

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Re: Kite Surfboards vs "normal" Surfboards

Postby longwhitecloud » Sun Feb 07, 2021 2:51 am

to a regular shaper built stronger means more layers of 4oz unfortunatey.

there are a few epoxy shaper around these days that know about sandwich construction.

\many dont wnat tobe involved though becuae of teh extra process of egg shelling the blank with venir or pvc foam before glassing.

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Re: Kite Surfboards vs "normal" Surfboards

Postby alfredo68 » Sun Feb 07, 2021 11:43 am

Some one knows the rocker differences in numbers between a kite surfboard and a high performance surfboard??
(If there is any difference)

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Re: Kite Surfboards vs "normal" Surfboards

Postby HALF » Sun Feb 07, 2021 12:32 pm

Kite surfboards are also not made the same - some are good for going upwind and lightwind(flat rocker, straight outline), some are shaped like a twintip for strapless freestyle(more of a symmetrical shape, cut nose), some are designed like a standard surfboard and are meant for riding the waves.
Rocker would be almost flat for the lightwind boards, while for the wave boards it will have a nose pointing upwards to not 'bite' the wave.

I think that a high performance surfboard can be a good replacement if you want to 'surf' the waves, use the kite just to replace the paddling. For the other categories a surf board can still work, but it will most probably be too big, and not as efficient going upwind, while also being easier to break or delaminate.

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Re: Kite Surfboards vs "normal" Surfboards

Postby jumptheshark » Sun Feb 07, 2021 2:47 pm

Remember that your local surfboard shaper is making shapes designed for the waves alone, not the loads of time you spend between them or getting back out under power. If you ask a local shaper for a board, it may well be just about perfect for your local waves but shit for going upwind or riding around powered by a kite in the flats or chop.

Be clear in what you ask for. A board for the waves, a board for kiting, or a compromise in between.

I have a shortboard thrusted that is a frickin scalpel on any decent wave. Pretty lack lustre up wind and bouncy in chop, but thats just like saying "these skis are so killer in the pow, but their not that good when your on the Lift"

I gladly ride that board standing way forward and mitigating the bounce on the way out because that's not where it shines. On the rare occasions I get to ride that board on a decent wave...... its the right tool for the job.

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Re: Kite Surfboards vs "normal" Surfboards

Postby Matteo V » Sun Feb 07, 2021 7:54 pm

alfredo68 wrote:
Sun Feb 07, 2021 11:43 am
Some one knows the rocker differences in numbers between a kite surfboard and a high performance surfboard??
(If there is any difference)
Again, yes and no.

No (difference), when you are strapless. This is because you are riding the wave the same as when you are prone surfing. And you need the rocker to make up for only being able to apply downward forces to the board.


Yes there is the option for less rocker (and length), when you are strapped. This is because you can apply upward force via the foot straps. By doing this, you can pressure the board in ways that you cant strapless. And you can do it instantly without moving your feet first.


On a strapless board with not enough rocker, you will "pearl" the nose underwater at the bottom of a steep face. That same board strapped will allow you to put much more weight toward the rear of the board by pulling up on the front foot strap. And again, you can do this instantly, without having to move your feet.

This instantaneous application of greater forces is how straps allow a wider performance envelope.
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Re: Kite Surfboards vs "normal" Surfboards

Postby longwhitecloud » Mon Feb 08, 2021 3:20 am

Start trying/ borrowing everything you can, and learn yourself.

It is the best way.

I have owned so many boards for surfing and kiting it is embarrasing but am still learning new things.

"Half" summed it up well for such a complex subject i reckon.

Buy all the cheap boards you can.. polyurathane grom ( kids) surfboards ( 18 - sub 26L roughly) might well fall apart but they are super cheap if you live in a place with good surf.

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Re: Kite Surfboards vs "normal" Surfboards

Postby Trent hink » Mon Feb 08, 2021 4:11 am

alfredo68 wrote:
Sun Feb 07, 2021 11:43 am
Some one knows the rocker differences in numbers between a kite surfboard and a high performance surfboard??
(If there is any difference)
There is no difference.

There is a very wide range of variables which determines what will work and what will not.

It is all entirely based on local conditions and your own personal preferences.

When it really comes down to it, the difference between what works for a surfboard and what works for a kiteboard is only a matter of skill and preference, and the indisputable evidence is the very wide range of rockers you can find among surfboards.

Super wide range there. Sure, they all work, somewhere.

The only question is, does the board I fell in love with, and the one I really have my heart set on, actually fit my skill level and the conditions I expect to be riding in?

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Re: Kite Surfboards vs "normal" Surfboards

Postby Trent hink » Mon Feb 08, 2021 4:57 am

Matteo V wrote:
Sat Jun 03, 2017 3:33 pm
alamos_kiter wrote:
Fri Jun 02, 2017 11:42 pm

I'm listening. Define thrusters if you please.
Yup, I did leave that out. Thanks for the catch.

In my testing, I found that thrusters (3 fin) had almost exactly the same control input/feedback as 5 fin configurations. Or rather, any multiple fin configuration with a significant center fin would feel like the traditional 3 fin setup commonly referred to as a thruster. And in my experimentation, I kept going down in center fin size to loose the thruster feel. It was only successful on my main testing platform when I got down to a fin less than 1.5" of a wake board TT style as no surf fins are available in that size.

I do remember a prone surfer experimenting with a 5 fin setup where a tiny fin, refereed to as a "guitar pick" was used for the center fin. I did not believe that one would need that small of a fin to balance out the feel between a quad and a thruster. After testing, I began to understand why so small a fin was needed in the center.

So to put it simply, a center fin of 1.5" or more would dominate the feel of a 3 or 5 fin system. Thus a "significant center fin" turned out to be any fin over 1.5" on my main testing platform. Prior to testing, I was most excited about a 5 fin configuration. After testing, I had abandoned the idea of any usefullness of a 5 fin system all together. And now I see why there is almost zero popular use of a 5 fin (all in at the same time) system in surfing or kitesurfing. It seems that the 5 fin configuration brings the worst of both worlds to the table, not the best, as I had hoped.

So you have certainly caught me being unclear. And I should have known better. This "5 fin is the same as a 3" is something I never conceived of before the testing, but now I just accept it and fail to explain that which would not be obvious to someone without this experience.


The simple definition of a thruster as referred to by prone surfers is a 3 fin configuration with a larger double foiled center fin and smaller toed in side fins with flat to 60/40 foiled side fins. Many other variations exist, but the larger center denotes the standard design.
Five fins is silly. Use four for a locked in feeling, or three to generate lift and power through the turns,


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