I'm 100kg, and I kite around NYC, which is a relatively light wind spot.
Here's what I did, and I'll follow that with what I wish I would have done
Quiver 1 (2016):
- Slingshot Rally 12m
- Slingshot Rally 17m
- Slingshot Misfit board
- These were all new, but previous years models so a good discount.
- 4 months later I bought a 9m Rally used.
Quiver 1 Learnings:
- Those slingshot kites didn't have a great wind range. I felt really over powered quickly on the 17m, and honestly think it delayed my ability to stay upwind in trickier conditions.
- A friend of mine handed me a Core XR4 one day, and it literally felt like a different sport. The bar pressure alone made it so that my arms and fingers weren't exhausted after 10 min in high wind conditions.
- I also learned that the slingshot straps didn't really fit my feet well, so I was always in pain. The board was good for riding upwind in lighter wind conditions, but not great when it picked up, which was a bad combination with the grunty kites.
Quiver 2 ( 2018)
- Bought the XRs used from a local reputable shop (got good trade in from my Slingshot kites).
- Core XR4 12m
- Core XR4 19m
- Core XR4 9m
- Nobile NHP twin tip split board and Click and go straps.
- North Nugget 5'2 surf board
- About 12 months later I traded in the 19m for a 15m.
Quiver 2 Learnings:
- I LOVE the XRs, and think this is a great type of kite for beginners (I'm sure other brands have a kite like this too). The huge depower, the handling in gusts, the stability (they don't turn super fast), they just made me feel really confident in all kinda of conditions, especially the higher winds and gusty winds. The power and the boosting and the float are also really fun and accessible.
- The 19m was night and day compared to the Slingshot Turbine 17m. The 19m turned faster, and had better de-power, I would raise that thing from 15-22mph and it was super fun to get out in light winds.
- The Nobile NHP board was a big step up from the misfit. The click and go straps in particular were WAY more comfortable, and I loved being able to adjust them on the fly in the water.
- The North nugget made a huge difference in light winds. I didn't really want a big barn door twin tip, so I got a surfboard. I realize I could switch from my twin tip to the surfboard when the wind dropped, and often I wouldn't have to pump up a bigger kite.
- I've been riding the XRs for 3 years now, and I've started to realize that I want a faster turning kite, and a better drifting kite for foiling and for waves.
Quiver 3 ( 2021)
- Xlite 12m
- Nexus 2 9m
- Core XR 7m
- Slingshot Celero 5'8 surffboard
- Slingshot Hover Glide Foil with Infinity 76 and Apollo 60 wings
Quiver 3 Learnings:
- When you start foiling and surfing, you start to realize how much difference there is in kite shapes and types. The xlite and Nexus 2 are just much better at drifting, and they turn a lot faster. These are much more fun when your kite flying skills are more advanced. I now finally understand how some people think the Core XR's are boring because they don't turn as fast. Yes you can jump higher with less effort in the XR, but the Nexus can do the same if you have good technique.
- I'm now slowly trading in my XRs and moving to Nexus 2
Summary and overall learnings:
- Try before you buy. I had not idea what I was doing when I got the slingshots, and I mostly bought new because I didn't know anything about kites and din't want problems with a used one that I didn't understand. I wish someone had shown me the types and had me demo different ones to feel the difference.
- Buying used is a great option. I have a few kite shops that I trust that rate their used gear, and I've gotten 3-4 years out of some of that gear no problem.