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Advice for a beginner

Posted: Sat Apr 21, 2018 4:47 pm
by ChadAP
So a quick question (and proof of my inexperience):

The company that offers lessons in Daytona Beach has some package deals on their website. The boards are house brand, the kites are Takoon Furia, and the harness is an Epic convertible style (can be used as waist or seat). The control bar is also Takoon. Using my weight and typical wind conditions for the area, most online calculators suggest I use a 12-13m kite and board fairly close to 140cm. The price is pretty good.

I have been looking around, reading magazines, checking YouTube and this forum, and have been intrigued by Airush because they seem to be built to last a long time. The Lithium seems like a good all around that people don't seem to outgrow. It cost almost as much as the full package deal by itself, but if it's built to last a long time it could be a better value in the long run.

Have any kiters here used one or both of these and have any perspective on which might be better?

Re: Advice for a beginner

Posted: Sat Apr 21, 2018 6:03 pm
by Mike101
Haven't used either but the local schools have been using lithiums for the past 3 or 4 years. So I'd say this is the best beginner kite you are likely to get. School kite = super predictable (as much as you're gonna get) and top build quality to survive constant tomahawks in the learning phase. I've seen these bomb hundreds of times without popping or ripping.

What is your weight? Ideally you want to be going out in 15 to 20knots. What is your average win speed?

40in boardwidth is probably about right if you are pushing 90kg for a freeride board.

A light wind board is usually the best place to start. This way you can drop a couple of sizes on the kite. I have the Epic light wind board and it does get a lot of use. You will likely end up with 2 boards and 2 kites- this gives you a huge wind range.

Re: Advice for a beginner

Posted: Sat Apr 21, 2018 6:43 pm
by ChadAP
My weight fluctuates quite a bit, from 175 tob190. Summer winds average 7-15 knots, a bit stronger spring and fall. Windy days aren't too rare.

The Liquid Force Envy also looks like it may be a good option for easy re-launch and durability.

Re: Advice for a beginner

Posted: Sat Apr 21, 2018 7:41 pm
by edt
10 years ago I would have a list of kites to stay away from, terrible kites, couldn't go upwind relaunch, all kinds of problems. Today? They are all good. Don't worry too much about which kite you buy. 1 or 2 years from now when you are good enough to have some sort of feeling for what you like you will understand the differences in the kites but for now, any modern kite will get you going. If you are looking at videos and reviews about kites, don't look at old reviews. Second, kites are like blue jeans. I don't care which blue jeans you buy they are going to get holes in the knees after you wear them every day for a year or two. Same with kites. They wear out so don't think about it as a permanent purchase. It's not a kayak. You buy kites to go kiteboarding. Kites I have used over the past 10 years include manufacturers Ozone, Best, North, Liquid Force, Wainman, Naish, Slingshot, Cabrinha . . . I'm sure there are more but I can't think of them. If you ask me about some 2005-2010 kites I have some terrible things to say about all kinds of different kites from all the manufacturers. Anything from 2015 to 2018, I just have nice things to say.

Get out there and start kiting! Quit wasting time on the forums :-) See you on the water.

Oh and about the harness. It's all about how it fits your body. Put it on in the showroom, walk around put some pressure on it, see if it feels like it pinches anywhere. You want to make sure you feel comfortable in your harness and every body has a different fit for a different harness. Again with a blue jeans comparison. Every manufacturer has a different fit for the body so you want to find something that fits you, not something that fits someone else.

Re: Advice for a beginner

Posted: Sat Apr 21, 2018 10:39 pm
by FLandOBX
Hey, Chad AP. Here's a caveat to what edt said. I agree with edt that every major kite manufacturer has a good basic beginner-to-intermediate level kite, and it doesn't matter too much which manufacturer's product you buy. (I think this is what edt means.) But it DOES matter which kite model/design you (as a beginner) buy. As a beginner, you'll want a medium aspect bow shaped kite. As an example, the Slingshot Rally would be a fine choice, but the Slingshot RPM or Fuel (hybrid-c and c-style kites) would not be good for you. So any major manufacturer will do, but make sure you focus on the correct model within each particular brand. As for the LF Envy, it would be a fine choice for you. :thumb:

Re: Advice for a beginner

Posted: Sun Apr 22, 2018 12:32 am
by edt
Good advice Flandobx.

Re: Advice for a beginner

Posted: Sun Apr 22, 2018 4:59 am
by Flyboy
Also... "last a long time" doesn't necessarily mean anything. If you're at the learning stage now, what kind of kite you start out on may be different from what you will choose in a couple of years. Additionally, strongly built kites are heavier & there's no guarantee they will outlast a less bomber kite. Weird & unpredictable things may fail on a kite. I would say if you have access to a well-priced, good quality kite of the right general type for your purposes, I would get it.

Re: Advice for a beginner

Posted: Sun Apr 22, 2018 4:08 pm
by Matteo V
FLandOBX wrote:
Sat Apr 21, 2018 10:39 pm
......As an example, the Slingshot Rally would be a fine choice, but the Slingshot RPM or Fuel (hybrid-c and c-style kites) would not be good for you......
I have recommended the RPM to a few beginner kiters. One, who did struggle with it for a while, is happy now and a Rally would be holding him back. RPM's and Switch "Nitros" have pretty good relaunch if you learn the outside line/opposite inside line light wind relaunch. RPM's and the Nitro's both relaunch sooner with this method than my Best "Kahoona's" will on a high "Y" bar without access to a single front line.

As in another current thread, if you go with an advanced kite at the beginning, make sure your primary and secondary kitboarding locations have CLEAN wind. If your local spot is dirty wind because the lake is small, or side off winds, you NEED a more stable beginner/freeride oriented kite. And honestly, from my experience then RPM/Nitro is very much freeride capable in moderately dirty winds.

As to other requirements for me to go against the consensus of beginner kites for beginners, they are age, attitude, and aspirations. The kid mentioned above was going to have slightly more clean winds than at my local and destination lakes. But he was also only 21 years old, was a motor head jetskier and wake boarder, and liked the idea of wakestyle. Given all of these factors, the RPM was a good choice for him.