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Kite Surfboard size recommendation

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Kitemanmuc
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Kite Surfboard size recommendation

Postby Kitemanmuc » Thu Jul 30, 2020 3:50 am

Looking for the right size surfboard and a little confused by the sizing. I’m 5’10 190 and most board size guides say 5’10 for a board for medium to big waves. Having said that I have recently been on a DHD BWSurf 5’7 with 21.5l volume and the thing shreds!! I love how snappy and fast it is. On the website they recommend the board for people up to 200lbs which is a lot smaller and less volume than many other manufacturers recommend. I seem to prefer the smaller less volume board. Is there a drawback to this in medium to large waves? Winds are usually 18-25 knots

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Re: Kite Surfboard size recommendation

Postby purdyd » Thu Jul 30, 2020 4:42 am

If you like to ride more powered you can go smaller.

Longer can help on steep waves.

Shorter is snappier.

The break you are surfing and the water conditions. Have a big influence on board selection

The DHD BWSurf 5’7 sounds like a great board
Last edited by purdyd on Thu Jul 30, 2020 2:50 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Kitemanmuc
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Re: Kite Surfboard size recommendation

Postby Kitemanmuc » Thu Jul 30, 2020 1:45 pm

purdyd wrote:
Thu Jul 30, 2020 4:42 am
If you like to ride more powered you can go smaller.

Longer can help on steep waves.

Shorter is snappier.

The break you are surfing and the water conditions.

The DHD BWSurf 5’7 sounds like a great board
Thanks!!

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Re: Kite Surfboard size recommendation

Postby longwhitecloud » Thu Jul 30, 2020 2:41 pm

if you like wave riding, you need to be able to sink the tail when riding powered up in good waves. that means less volume.

In marginal to medium wind conditions a wider surface area help heaps (just like a twintip)

Unfortunately boards that are teh very best at wave riding good waves (pointy nose and tail) are not so good at going back upwind quickly

Try / borrow everything is my advice, most people on earth dont have access to quality waves for kiting, so best to test for yourself.

I loooove really small boards when powered up in sick waves - i have a 4'11 (pointly nose and tail), basically a grom board

For moderate wind and waves the wide tailed stump nosed boards with standard/lower rockers (tomo kind of things) work well because they rock upwind with parallel rails and great surface area.

just quoting board length doesnt cut it these days - outline shape rocker and volume are where it is at.


so only drawback for your 21l board - getting back upwind as fast as you could maybe and if you ride waves with flatter sections that you want to get through easier.

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Re: Kite Surfboard size recommendation

Postby Matteo V » Thu Jul 30, 2020 4:19 pm

longwhitecloud wrote:
Thu Jul 30, 2020 2:41 pm
if you like wave riding, you need to be able to sink the tail when riding powered up in good waves. that means less volume.
At displacement speeds (1 to 3 knots), volume produces a lifting force. At planing speeds above 3 knots, volume no longer produces any lifting force. I'm sure some here will still argue the physics of it, but if there is not water on top of the board, then there is no displacement force acting on the board via the displaced volume of the board. As soon as the water slides off of the back of the board and is no longer on top of the board, planing forces are producing 100% of the lift with no additional lift from volume. The problem with having volume in a tail is that it puts your foot further away from the planing surface. This creates a longer lever arm and gives the rider less control over the planing surface beneath them. Getting your feet closer to the planing surface under the board is what gives you more control. Being able to "sink the tail" has nothing to do with how much volume is there if you're moving at planing speeds.

In kite surfing, volume has absolutely zero use, unless you actually intend to be at speeds lower than three knots. There's a lot of ex-surfer mentality in kitesurfing. Don't listen to it and get stuck within those limitations.

One of the things that I learned very quickly when moving from surfing to kitesurfing, is that in surfing it would be cool if you could be moving around constantly anyway. But in surfing you can't really do this because paddling will tire you out, as well as the fact that you're waiting in the lineup with lots of other surfers. On top of that, moving at displacement speed is not really advantageous anyway, because the waves are moving much faster than you already. To use movement to an advantage while on a surfboard in a break, you need to be moving at the set/wave speed or faster. Fortunately, with a kite you can do this and you actually never have to, or want to, be anywhere near a displacement speed. But somehow, the surfing mentality bleeds over into kitesurfing and you will get kiters to argue that "yes you need to be able to go as slow as a prone surfer". This is absolutely wrong.



longwhitecloud wrote:
Thu Jul 30, 2020 2:41 pm
Unfortunately boards that are teh very best at wave riding good waves (pointy nose and tail) are not so good at going back upwind quickly
This is correct when considering your average board design, but the nose and the tail are not the real reason why these boards are tough to get up wind with. Rocker and rails together can do more than nose or tail shape. Flatter rocker, and harder sharper rails, on a pointy nose to pointy tail board will make it better at getting up wind more so than not having a pointy tail or pointy nose. Large fin set is also tremendously helpful.

Typical design of pointy-nosed pointy-taillled boards has rounder rails relatively far back on the board. And rocker, is typically fairly high for larger waves. But this is for prone surfboard design. Most of the design factors in prone surfboards have to deal with having enough volume, without an excess, and blending that volume out where it can still be used for prone paddling, but not be detrimental to actually riding the wave. A kitesurf design does not need to deal with these limitations.
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Re: Kite Surfboard size recommendation

Postby longwhitecloud » Fri Jul 31, 2020 1:36 am

Fundamental surfing moves may involve almost stopping eg, a top turn hack , into a tail slide, a bottom turn, stalls to get back to top of wave to set up for next move.

Also higher volume boards involve more draggy rails slower.

Boards should be totally focused on the conditions of the day. No point riding a board for 4-5 ft perfection if you dont get those conditions.

Dont get hung up on board length, it means next to nothing.

Like I said, plan shape, rocker and volume ( which can equate to rail thickness)

Finally 99% of kite waves are far from perfect and involve sections you coulnt even make regular surfing because they are so weak. Thanks to the kite though.. onto the next section.

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Re: Kite Surfboard size recommendation

Postby Kitemanmuc » Fri Jul 31, 2020 4:43 am

Thanks all! This is fantastic

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Re: Kite Surfboard size recommendation

Postby Matteo V » Sat Aug 01, 2020 7:17 pm

longwhitecloud wrote:
Fri Jul 31, 2020 1:36 am
Fundamental surfing moves may involve almost stopping eg, a top turn hack , into a tail slide, a bottom turn, stalls to get back to top of wave to set up for next move.
These moves still do not involve buoyant force from volume. In order to shift from planning forces to buoyant force, water needs to be on top of the board, or at least up the sides as far as the equivalent displaced amount of water to produce that buoyant force. The second you actually sink the board, you are now in a position where you have too much drag to get going anyway. Wave power alone will not get a submerged board moving without an extreme cost in time and control of that start. Reducing your ability to get going is not a trick in surfing, any more than coming to a stop is a trick in walking.

And that's even before you get to the fact that stability of a submerged object is increased by its reduced volume / buoyant force. The lower the volume of a submerged object, the more control a rider can have over it when it is submerged.

But the key takeaway here is that all of these moves can be done on a no volume board also, even without kite power.



Volume in prone surfboard design is a detriment in prone surfboard design where actually riding the board is concerned. Volume only exists to assist in getting up on the board when first going from a prone paddling position to a standing position.

Carrying this handicap over to kitesurfing is 100% fashion, and has nothing to do with performance.

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Re: Kite Surfboard size recommendation

Postby bjw » Sun Aug 02, 2020 1:16 am

In a standard shortboard stay around 5 7 to 5 9 x 18.5. Too far off that and you'll struggle.

The DHD partnership was a really smart move and I've only heard amazing things about this board, as between Ben Wilson and DHD, you would be hard pressed to find anyone more experienced around boards than these two.

I do think a lot of big brands sell a lot of horrible boards though, so keep your focus of a board on the tail, and the tail should resemble something you'd be able to surf on.

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Re: Kite Surfboard size recommendation

Postby Daversj » Sun Aug 02, 2020 2:09 am

I weigh about 185 and ride east coast mixed surf with an occasion trip to better waves. Mostly side on wind and waist to head high surf and use wave kites. I think width and rocker are the big factors for kite surf boards. Length maybe less important. A starting point would be shortboard pure surfing 2” more than your height, for kiting probably 2” less than height.
For high wind, a board as narrow as 18” is good but 18.5 will have more range. For normal to light wind 18.5 to 19.5 inches wide is best. Wider than that and it gets out of control over chop. For bigger fast waves a slightly narrower tail lets you set the edge better. But if you want to do strapless air and tricks a wider tail gives you pop you wont get from a narrow tail.
Most kite surf boards have little rocker from the middle back except for the tail. This helps early planing. Boards with more rocker throughout might work better on perfect waves but require pumping or being more powered up from the kite. DependIng on your style....when you get on perfect waves you don't want to be overpowered.
Fins also will dramatically change any board. Large ones will lock it in and smaller ones will make it super loose and slide out when slashing turns.
Like others have stated i dont think volume is as critical for kiteboards. Unless you are a learning or in super light wind you dont need it. Very low volume boards will have thinner rails however and that will make carving and edge to edge feel different. Not a fan of the super thin style boards. They dont feel like surfboards to me.
Really there are so many factors involved with surfboards it’s ridiculous. You should just ride everything you can till you figure out what suits you style and needs. I love to try others boards and always offer mine up.
My favorite board is a CoreVac 5’10 Conduit made in Florida. Everything else feels stiff and heavy. I want to have a 5’9”x 18.5 made for higher winds.


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