All the latest kitesurfing gear
We’ve all seen the amazing kiteboarding photography that’s in every magazine, on every web page and all over social media. It’s all so ‘pro’ that it’s hard to replicate.
Using the now standard GoPro set up is great, but there’s only so many angles/ places you can tie one, and if you are solo and want to pull together a movie, at some point you’ll need a second hand.
That is unless you’ve a Soloshot…
When I first started to kiteboard, the different types of kites on the market horribly confused me. Reading reviews and looking at pictures of different kite shapes was like a foreign language.
C kite? Bow kite? LEI? High aspect ratio? One pump inflation? Bridles?
All of the technical terms were overwhelming. I just wanted someone to break down the basics so that I could make an informed decision on what type of kite to buy. Now years later, I could write a short book about kites. The boss restricted the length of this article to 750 words so I’ll do my best to shed some light on this confusing topic.
Back in the day, like prior to 2007, C-kites (C-shaped kites) were the norm. However, C-kites were responsible for many nasty accidents. As research and design improved, the shape was mostly phased out and replaced by safer and more modern SLE (supported leading edge) bow-style kites.
Newer bow-style kites have made the learning process much easier and safer than ever before. I learned on a c-kite and was lucky enough to avoid any nasty kitemares.
These days, I teach a lot of lessons and I shudder when a thrifty student insists on buying the cheapest kite that he/she can find online. They’re usually proud to show off their gear that only cost $200, everything included. Most times, you’ll only get what you pay for
All this considered, why then do professionals still like c-kites? What makes them dangerous one minute and awesome the next? And which models should you look out for?
Over the past few years, the biggest evolution of kiteboarding equipment has been in the light wind discipline. Significant effort has been made to push the boundaries of light wind kiteboarding and riding in increasingly lighter breeze.
In the past, kiteboarding was not much fun in less than 15 knots (or so). With advances in current technology, riders are having great sessions in as little as 6-11 knots.
Light wind kiteboarding offers a promising future to the sport, as it serves to make kiting more accessible.
Board selection is an equally important feature that allows for light wind kiteboarding. For example, a twin tip board will never have the low wind threshold that a proper course racer offers.
Dig back into my archive of articles and check out the piece entitled, “Kiteboarding Tips: How to stay stoked through the years.” This touches on different types of boards. For now, we’ve going to focus on finding the best light wind kite.
You must be stoked on this sport if you’re reading an article about wake style and choosing kiteboarding bindings – you’re onto something though, as it’s a great way to go.
The pads/straps are the only thing connecting yourself to the board so it stands to reason that they’re of critical importance.
Are you into the boot binding rage, or are you looking for a traditional deck pad/ strap setup? Whichever your pleasure, let me break it down for you, explaining a little more about what to look out for.
In my previous post I went through buying HD cameras for kitesurfing and what you should be looking for in terms of functions and reliability, but without featuring the models that are out there.
So, to cover all bases, I’ve picked a variety of HD cameras at different prices and specs. Of the four I’ve reviewed here, you’ll be sure to find one that fits your needs.
There’s ones that fits onto hemets and boards, one that’s more of a happy snapper – but still a solid choice – and a top end model favoured by some of the semi-pros who make kitesurfing vids.
My friends and I always make grand plans to shoot hours of footage, but as soon as the wind gets up we swap using our HD cameras for kitesurfing and leave the cameras sitting on the sand – unmanned.
These days YouTube and Vimeo are the the perfect places to check out top quality footage. And now with a new generation of awesome camera equipment coming through, the photo/video world of kitesurfing has blown up!
There is a plethora of photo/video equipment available out there to suit all budgets. But before making a purchase be very clear what you need: cameras designed for kitesurfing need to be tough!
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