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Barb, founder of Big Blue Boards — the world’s only female kite brand — shares her top tips on how to choose the right kiteboard for you.
Picking the right board seems like a big mission. I’ve shopped for a kiteboard only to find chaos in the kite market. Kitesurfers shopping for a board are completely overwhelmed by all the choices and don’t know where to start. There are between five to ten boards from each brand and each of them has special features and abilities.
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So, how to choose the right kiteboard?
It’s a common misconception to think that you need a board for freestyle and another board for freeriding. Really, the magic is having the right board that suits your ability level and the conditions you’ll be riding in most.
What to look for in a beginner kiteboard
Lightweight: As a beginner, you’ll walk around with the board more than an advanced rider would. You’ll want a board that’s lightweight and easy to carry.
Curved bottom: Your board should support your upwind ride. Beginners boards are slightly more square-shaped than the rounded advanced board. On the other hand, the bottom of the board tends to be very flat. Together with a square-shape outline can be the beginner’s board quite clumsy and limit your progress later. Therefore, you’ll want a 3D-shaped board with channels carved along the bottom combined with the outline which supports upwind ride yet still allow you to turn easily and doesn´t limit your progress.
Medium stiffness and suitable rocker: As a beginner kitesurfer, it’s challenging to kite through choppy water. You’ll want a board with a lower stiffness that cuts through the chop with ease.
The right length: The length of the board depends on your weight and level. You can find size charts with recommendation online. As a gauge, if you are a newcomer who is 55 kg (121 lbs) who has just completed a kite course and are looking for a board, choose one that is around 135 cm in length. You will progress with the board and stick with it for the next 2 years.
Twin tip vs. split board: Twin tip boards are one solid board. Split boards are kiteboard that can be split into two. Split boards are easy to travel with and can save you money at the airport. However, split boards tend to be heavier and they rarely provide as much technical support as a normal kiteboard.
Wave riding: If you plan on wave riding, choose a surfboard rather than a twin tip or split board. These tend to have more volume and the shape caters to carving the face of a wave.
If you are advanced or pro rider, you know what feels right for you:
You want the lightest and most responsive board on the market to make take off and tricks super easy.
You want carbon core — this provides excellent durability and optimum stiffness. The right stiffness of the board gives you a great pop and provides smooth landing. Be careful in buying a unisex board as the stiffness of the board is designed for male riders with an average weight of 70-95 kg. This board will be way too stiff for women who weigh less. It could slow down your progress, limit your jumping abilities and can also cause knee injuries.
Shaped bottom with the 2-4 channels and keel-shaped sides. This will increases control over your board and provides a very smooth and comfortable ride with no splash.
You want a stunning design that helps express your personality and looks great.
Why have a kiteboard developed specifically for women?
Women are lighter and shorter than guys in general. To have a board developed specially for women means to have a different outline, suitable stiffness and lower weight of the board. On top of it, the women’s kiteboards have smaller bindings which fit smaller feet. This is a real game-changer in all aspects- riding, jumping, landing.
About Big Blue Boards
BigBlue boards bringing equality to kiteboarding by offering first-class quality equipment specially designed for women. It’s not only a pink or stamping a flower on the men’s equipment.
In general, we are lighter and shorter than guys. By adjusting some features of kite equipment we help women to perform better, progress faster, and enjoy life to the fullest. It’s about right length, stiffness, lower weight, women sized bindings, reachable kite bars and much more.
At Big Blue Boards, we simplify our portfolio into two main categories. The first board is for beginners to advanced riders and the second for advanced to pro-riders.
We don’t differentiate our boards from a low price point to a high one. Instead, we offer boards with the best quality and features so that kitesurfers never have to compromise. Choosing the right kiteboard for women is no longer a mission.
Thanks, Barb! This post is not sponsored. At The Salt Sirens, we love hearing from the experts themselves and supporting businesses that are making waves in women’s ocean sports.