10 December 2015
Choosing you Kite Quiver
How to simplify your kite selection
As usual I like to keep this as simple as possible. The temptation is to aquire as many kites in various sizes and shapes as possible but this can often end up in confusion and leave you overanalysing your choices.
I believe the perfect number of kites to have in your quiver is two. One for for light wind and one for stronger wind. The sizes you pick are going to depend on wind strength, direction, your weight, level of ability and what board you're riding.
Wind strength at your local break is the obvious factor. I weigh 82kg & typically kite in 10-25 knots so my light wind kite is a 13m & my strong wind kite is a 9m. Generally I use my 13m kite from around 10 knots until around 18 knots, and then I jump on my 9m and can hold this to well over 25knots. Now of course this is where skill becomes involved; if you’re an efficient, experienced rider you'll be able to maximise your kite's range more than a beginner. I’ll add a 3rd kite to my quiver for those super windy (25knts+) days I get when travelling.
It's also important to note that your board choice influences your kite size. If you're riding a twin tip you'll need a slightly larger kite than if you were to head out on a surfboard. This is due to the extra bouyancy a surfboard provides.
Wind direction also plays a big part in picking the right sized kites. I usually opt for one size larger when it's side-on than side to side-off. When the wind is onshore the wind and waves are all going in the same direction so you need more power.
The bottom line is you don't need to have ten kites to cover your bases. A smart selection that takes into account your weight, location, ability and board will help keep your kiting simple and and cost effective.