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Noob question: Does board length matter if width is similar?

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pcrsq
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Noob question: Does board length matter if width is similar?

Postby pcrsq » Thu Jan 18, 2024 12:37 am

When it comes to kiteboards for a beginner, does board length matter?

For example: Is a 135x44 freeride board much more challenging for an average-weight beginner than a 152x45 freeride board?

If it depends on conditions let's assume flat to slightly choppy water, winds between 15 to 20 knots, not very gusty.

Apologies if this is a stupid question.

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Re: Noob question: Does board length matter if width is similar?

Postby Vivo3d » Thu Jan 18, 2024 12:47 am

I progressed more on a smaller board because it wasn't so massive and it was way more agile than the door they had at the school. The difference in width is only 1cm, but that length is a whole different story. 152x45 is clearly a LW board. You are not going to enjoy it when you are really overpowered and it will limit your high end.

And with 70kg you are not an "average weight" kiter.
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Re: Noob question: Does board length matter if width is similar?

Postby Javig84 » Thu Jan 18, 2024 1:00 am

135x34 is super wide. As @vivo3d says it sounds like a light wind shape. Most common twin tips are 40/43 cm wide. But it's also important to look at the shape of the board and it's width at tail and nose ( does it have curves vs door shaped) (free ride vs light wind)
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Re: Noob question: Does board length matter if width is similar?

Postby FLandOBX » Thu Jan 18, 2024 3:09 am

pcrsq wrote:
Thu Jan 18, 2024 12:37 am
When it comes to kiteboards for a beginner, does board length matter?

For example: Is a 135x44 freeride board much more challenging for an average-weight beginner than a 152x45 freeride board?

If it depends on conditions let's assume flat to slightly choppy water, winds between 15 to 20 knots, not very gusty.

Apologies if this is a stupid question.
With that wind speed and your weight (70 kg), you'd be much more comfortable with the 135x44 (or wider). The extra width will give you the planing surface you need without the clumsy bulk of the longer board. If you were 90+ kg, the longer board might be preferable. But shorter with extra width will be much better for you. (I taught a lot of beginners on a 135 x 47 : https://www.epickiteskiteboarding.com/g ... -v3-board/ )

PS - There are no "stupid questions", good friend.
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Re: Noob question: Does board length matter if width is similar?

Postby rynhardt » Thu Jan 18, 2024 9:26 am

Does length really matter? Short answer, no, not as much as size does.

Most production kiteboards (twintips) come in a range of aspect ratios (length vs width ratio) that will give acceptable performance.
Overall size (area) of the board is probably more important for a beginner than aspect ratio.

I think the reason beginners tend to use bigger boards is because they are generally more careful with utilising the kite's full power.
As you become more comfortable with using more power from the kite (i.e. keeping up the kite speed, staying in the power zone), you need less board area to stay on plane.
Smaller boards also make it easier to hold down more power from the kite, which is something you grow into.

So even thought the board length, width, rocker and shape all matter to some extent, overall size is probably going to mean more to a beginner.
It's difficult to find one board that does well all conditions, for all styles, which is why you may end up with a quiver of different boards.

Some general guidelines:
* Wide boards (higher aspect) are more efficient to plane but more difficult to edge, depending on how far your heels are from the edge of the board.
* Long boards can get away with less rocker, at the expense of more swing weight, but unless you're doing wakestyle moves I think that's a moot point.
* Square tip boards are more lively, round tip boards are more forgiving (the trailing edge is released at a slower rate).
* Flatter rockers are more efficient, deeper rockers give better control (more lift but also more drag).

And then there's fin placement and size that can also play a big role.
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Re: Noob question: Does board length matter if width is similar?

Postby Herman » Thu Jan 18, 2024 11:08 am

You are light and only need a door if you want to make the very most of light wind. With the door you will have much more board behind the backfoot which will make edging harder and more tiring leading to earlier loss of control as the wind strength increases. The shorter wide board will have almost as good a low end but will be easier to handle and better top end. May make toeside a bit harder but that is not relevant to a beginner and also applies to the door.

Personally I think of doors as light wind boards and wide boards as low power boards. A low power board could still be useful in variable conditions even in 30+ knots. Just IMHO and lots of unstated caveats!
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Re: Noob question: Does board length matter if width is similar?

Postby pcrsq » Thu Jan 18, 2024 10:16 pm

Thanks everyone for your input. It's really appreciated.

I'm slightly more confident now that I will do ok on the 135x44 board that I just came into possession of for cheap. Probably won't need to buy a longer board for my next kite vacation.

When I'm progressing further, I may buy a second board that is not quite as wide.

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Re: Noob question: Does board length matter if width is similar?

Postby Sarda » Sat Jan 20, 2024 2:21 pm

How tall are you?

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Re: Noob question: Does board length matter if width is similar?

Postby Blackened » Sat Jan 20, 2024 7:26 pm

Board size is very personal. My general rule of thumb has been width for weight (or learning) and length for height.

At 190cm riding big air, I struggle with 136 or below on fast landings or in chop as I have tendency to bury the tip. If I'm doing airstyle, I use a 132 as my landings aren't normally quick or way off balance that a larger board would help me save.
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pcrsq
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Re: Noob question: Does board length matter if width is similar?

Postby pcrsq » Fri Jan 26, 2024 12:07 am

Sarda wrote:How tall are you?
I'm roughly 180cm.
Blackened wrote: Board size is very personal. My general rule of thumb has been width for weight (or learning) and length for height.

At 190cm riding big air, I struggle with 136 or below on fast landings or in chop as I have tendency to bury the tip. If I'm doing airstyle, I use a 132 as my landings aren't normally quick or way off balance that a larger board would help me save.
Curiously, I've once read the opposite view, when it comes to beginners at least - which is of course in a different universe compared to big air and airstyle. If I remember correctly, the argument went somewhat like this: A taller peson tends to have longer feet which helps with edging a very wide board. A shorter person might find it harder to press the edge of a wider board into the water since their heels are further away from the edge of the board. Not sure if that really makes much of a difference in reality.


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