5 Best Kitesurfing Kites for Beginners

If you’ve read my article “A Guide to Best Kites for Beginners” you’ll have a good insight into the different types of kite design and how they might affect the choice of kitesurfing kites for beginners.

Firstly, kite design and manufacture has come a long way over the years, and there aren’t many “bad” kites out there in terms of quality if you buy fairly recent models (say, less than 3 years old).

Secondly, there really isn’t any such thing as an out and out beginner kite. Most hybrid kites will see you through your early learning stages and then remain suitable for a long time after that.

As you progress you’ll decide for yourself what style, or more likely styles, of kiting you prefer or simply are more likely to do because of your local conditions.

I’ve assumed you’ve had a few lessons already and are reasonably comfortable with controlling a kite.

So the kites I’ve chosen to feature here are ones that will see you through the next early days, of putting what you’ve learned into practice and then onwards for a good time, if not years afterwards.

I’ve pulled together my own experience of some of these kites along with the views of fellow experienced kiters, including qualified instructors.

There are other kites out there that are great quality and good for beginners. However, I’ve chosen to recommend only those kites I have direct knowledge of from using them myself and/or from my discussions with kiters I know and trust.

I’ve included links to great deals on the recommended kites, so feel free to check out the prices there.

If you’d like advice on any others you might be looking at feel free to post a question below.

All of these kites are user friendly and have all the attributes that you’ll want as a beginner/intermediate kiter:

Stability

Depower

Easy re-launch

Good safety system

Strong build quality (i.e. thrashability!)

You won’t be disappointed with any of these kites so the choice will come down to availability, budget, and possibly how ambitious you are in terms of progression as most will see you right through to advanced level kiting.

My Featured Kitesurfing Kites for Beginners – And on into Intermediate to Advanced Kiter:

Eleveight RS V5 ReviewEleveight RS

Eleveight is a fairly new brand to kitesurfing but was evolved out of the design team from Best Kiting, who brought great quality affordable kite gear to the market. Best went out of existence in 2017, mainly due to the accountants driving design, rather than kiters.

In the same year, Eleveight was founded by the main people in the design team.

And their brand has gone from strength to strength with proven build quality and constant innovation.

The RS is now in its fifth incarnation, the V5, and just keeps getting better.

I got the chance to try out the 8m recently in gusty, choppy conditions and I was extremely impressed!

The RS is positioned as Eleveight’s all round free-style kite, but is great for beginners right through to advanced kiters.

What really impressed me was that they have managed to create a fast turning kite that also delivers easy hang-time when you send it, either for your first tentative jumps or serious big airs. It also loops easily with plenty of pull throughout the loop so that you feel confident if you’re new to kiteloops.

At the same time it is very user-friendly with just enough bar-pressure so that you feel connected to the kite, without burning your forearms on a long session.

The RS is a  3-strut delta-hybrid, which gives it a great combination of turning power, easy re-launch and massive wind-range.

On the day I was using the 8m there was everything on the water from 12m (totally overpowered) to 6m, and the RS never felt as though it was about to drop out of the sky in the lulls or pull me off my feet in the gusts (unless I wanted it to).

The kite also has handy, easy to use, adjustments to make it faster turning for wave-riding or free-style. You simply remove and re-position the pig-tails for the steering lines.

Build quality is top-notch with quadruple rip-stop material throughout the main canopy so it should still look pretty crispy after some hard use.

The latest bar from Eleveight is the CS Vary, which comes in two adjustable lengths 42-50 cms and 47-55 cms. The smaller bar would suit all kite sizes up to 12m.Eleveight CS Vary Bar

The bar feels comfortable and high quality whilst remaining simple to use. It features single-click re-attachment of the quick-release to make it easy to get back on the water after firing it.

Pricewise, the RS is very competitive with the main competitors, so if you’re buying a couple of kites you should save a few hundred pounds compared with other kites with similar performance and build quality.

All in all I would thoroughly recommend the RS as a kite for beginners, but equally for anyone looking for a great all round free-style kite that won’t leave you wanting more of anything.

Check Out the RS Here


Core Nexus 2 Review

Core is a German brand and has been around since 2001, although it’s founder and CEO Bernie Hiss was playing around with kites on the water before the sport even took off properly.CORE Nexus 2

Their designers have always been focused on performance and build quality and that’s reflected in the line-up of their kite range now.

People really started to notice them around the world when their XR range started hitting the world records for Big Air  with the current record of over 34 metres (114 feet) being held by Maarten Haeger using a Core XR7.

Whilst the XR7 is a great boosting kite and great for intermediates looking to boost their Woo scores or nail freestyle tricks, it isn’t ideal for beginners as it feels pretty hard on the arms after a long session.

The Nexus on the other hand is right in the middle of their range and was designed specifically as a 3 in 1 kite suitable for all disciplines. It would also suit you as your first kite as it has all the attributes you need ; easy re-launch, great wind range and stability.

I’ve personally been using a quiver of Nexus 2’s for the past year and absolutely love them!

The beauty of the Nexus 2 is that it really is 3 kites in 1.

By simply switching the pig-tail knots for the front-line bridles between 3 settings – “Wave”, “All-round” and “Freestyle”, the handling characteristics change so that the kite can be used for any style of kiting.

And it just takes a few seconds to undo a larkshead and switch it’s position at both sides – job done!

And that’s the reason I went for the Nexus 2. I mainly like to ride hard, boost jumps and a few simple rotations and kite loops.

But I’ve just taken my first steps to strapless riding with a skim-board and love it so much that a directional surf-board is on my Christmas list. And after that I’ve no doubt I’ll bite the bullet and start foiling.

So the Nexus 2 will mean I can do everything I want with one set of kites.

The Nexus 2 is a 3-strut kite with a profile that is biased to the new trend to “Modified C” shape. This gives it the turning speed of a C kite but with the forgiving nature of a hybrid.

The 3-strut design makes it lighter for a bigger wind-range but also gives it a faster turning speed to make it easy to loop and move around to generate power through any lulls or simply to whip across the sky for fast transitions.

But this doesn’t mean it feels twitchy or unpredictable. In the middle CIT (Core Intelligent Trim) setting at the bridle, the kite feels responsive yet stable and simply goes and sits wherever you place it.

And the bar pressure is enough that you always know where the kite is, without giving you tennis elbow after a couple of long, hard sessions.

Re-launch is never a problem either as the squarish wing tips allow the kite to sit nicely on its side after a crash, ready to relaunch with a tug on the bar.

Boosting airs with the Nexus is easy and great fun. The responsive feel of the kite means you don’t have to think too hard about steering it through the jump – a useful feature once you move from your first stages to learning new tricks.

The Nexus might not give you the simple send and boost character of the XR7 – you do need to get the timing a bit right – but the bigger wind range compensates for this in my opinion, as you can get out in bigger winds without feeling as though you’re being ripped off the board.

And the Nexus is not shy when it comes to hang-time and initial lift. People are regularly jumping over 20 metres with the Nexus – that’s enough for me!

Build-quality is amongst the best on the market, with Core’s unique Coretex triple rip-stop material throughout the canopy and their own Exotex material on the struts. I’ve been riding hard since I got mine and they all still look and feel as good as new.

Core’s newest bar and lines offering is the Sensor 3 or Sensor 3 Pro. The original Sensor 2 S bars are still available at about £100 less, but these featured a slightly odd twist mechanism for the Quick Release. I have used the Sensor 2 and fired the QR without any problem – it’s a great bar. But for a beginner, the more standard push-away QR on the Sensor 3 is more intuitive.CORE Sensor 3 Bar

All the bars feature a click-in QR, which makes it simple to re-set the chicken loop after a release.

The Sensor 3 is made strong, with a titanium core, and feels light and comfortable. It’s packed with simple yet effective features such as auto-untwist to automatically untwist the front lines after a loop or rotation, pop out winding arms, and plastic coating on the center lines where they pass through the bar. This makes the movement friction free and comfortable when you’re holding the bar next to the lines.

The Sensor 3 Pro is about £100 more and features more carbon in the bar to make it lighter, stronger lines throughout (although there’s nothing wrong with the standard lines), and ceramic bearings in the auto-untwist.

Both bars are easily adjustable from 46.5cms to 50cms and will suit any kite in the range.

In summary, the Nexus 2 would see you easily through your learning stages and after that will allow you to progress to any discipline you choose. And if, like me, you want to do a bit of everything then this kite sets a new standard.

Core is at the higher range in terms of cost, but you really are getting what you pay for – the kites should last a long time, which will save you money in the long-run.

Check Out The Nexus 2 Here


Slingshot Rally GT V2 Review

Slingshot Rally GT

Slingshot has always been renowned for top quality construction and materials, so whilst they come at a higher price than some competitors, they will take pretty much any amount of thrashing you’re likely to throw at them. So re-sale value is always good.

The Rally has always been Slingshot’s all-round kite aimed at the beginner to intermediate rider looking to build their skills and progress to more advanced disciplines.

The V2 is the second version of the latest evolution of the Rally, the GT. And there have been some significant changes, all of which enhance the wind range, versatility and durability of the kite.

The changes to the kite will also mean that it will see you through to a much more advanced level than the previous versions, without holding you back.

The Rally GT V2 is a hybrid kite with a very slight bias towards C-shaped and swept-back wing tips which give the appearance of a delta kite. This helps vastly with re-launch from the water, which is super easy.

The canopy of the kite is made from quadruple rip-stop material which will make it massively durable and ensure it keeps its shape for years to come.

In fact everything about the kite oozes Slingshot’s legendary “bomb-proof” reputation, and you just know it will last years no matter what you throw at it. It also means it will hold its re-sale value.

The kite flies and turns fast to give you plenty of fun without any nasty surprises and jumping with the kite is easy and forgiving so ideal for nailing your first tricks.

The wind-range is amazing too. The low-end is good but the kite’s lack of fluster in winds at and above the top-end of its range mean it will inspire confidence to go out in changeable and gusty conditions.

Slingshot Sentry Bar

The bar offering from Slingshot has been simplified for 2021, and they now offer one bar, The Sentry.

The Sentry bar is beautifully simple and clean with comfortable and durable padding on the bar and Slingshot’s super strong lines.

The trim is above the bar and the quick release mechanism is a simple click-in system to make re-setting really easy after a release.

Check Out The Slingshot Rally Here


North Reach Review

North Reach Kite

North Kiting has been around since the dawn of time, with its origins in sailing, windsurfing and, later, kite design. 

In 2018 there was a big corporate shake-up in the parent company, who at the time owned North Kiting and Cabrinha. They re-branded the kiting division to Duotone and closed down a whole division. The result was that the main design and production team left Cabrinha and formed the new North Kiteboarding brand.

Why am I telling you this? Well, there’s a lot of confusion over where Duotone and North fit into the market and you’ll see a lot of older kites such as the Rebel, Evo and Neo with the North brand name. From 2018 onwards though the original North range was re-branded to Duotone.

After that time North Kiting became a completely separate entity. 

The DNA of the new North Kiteboarding range is based on the best of all the brands, and with a clean sheet, the design team were able to create a range based on the best modern technology and give the kitesurfing community a range that is designed to meet all their needs in the best way possible.

The Reach is North’s all-round kite. In fact they have called it the “desert island” kite. It’s the one you’d take if you were confined to a desert island for a year!

And what they’ve created in the Reach is a kite perfect for the beginner, but also suitable for the recreational free-rider who also wants to ride a surf board or foil.

The technology that has gone into this 3-strut kite is all about light weight, strength and stability. They have used double rip-stop material in the canopy to optimise strength to weight ratio. This gives the kite a fantastic low wind capability and also helps with its responsive turning speed.

And it feels amazing on the water, with the same light yet connected feel at the bar regardless of whether it is right at the low end of its wind range or right at the top.

Re-launch is effortless due to its larger volume at the centre which helps it roll onto a tip ready to steer back up.

North Navigator Bar

North has kept their bar choice simple – they only have one – the Navigator, which has just been tweaked for 2021. It comes in 3 sizes, all adjustable but the 50-55cm bar will suit most kite sizes in a normal quiver.

It’s simple, robust and comfortable to use, with great EVA grip on the bar, easy to use trim and click in quick release to make re-loading simple.

All in all it does everything it should in a no-fuss, confidence building way, so that you can concentrate on the important stuff – getting out there and shredding!

Check Out The North Reach Here


Cabrinha Switchblade Review

Cabrinha has been around since the very first pioneering stages of kitesurfing and the switchblade is in its 13th year of production.

However, in 2018 there was a big corporate shake-up within the top 3 kite brands and, without boring you with the detail, a large part of the Cabrinha design and development team went to North Kiteboarding.

The upshot of this is that Cabrinha’s former cutting edge innovation has come to a bit of a halt.

So why am I recommending the Switchblade?

Well, to be honest, this kite still has a loyal following, and you will find it recommended frequently. So I feel you should know whether it still fits the bill as a kite for beginners. 

If you’re looking to buy a new kite then, in all honesty I would steer you way from this kite as you can get much more modern innovation for the same money from other brands. 

The kind of innovation I’m talking about here is to do with durability of materials, weight and versatility.

However, if you’re looking at kites up to about 3 years old, rather than new, then the Switchblade is not a bad option. 

The Switchblade is a hybrid bow (although getting close to a hybrid C) in terms of its profile. Although not a delta kite it has very narrow wing tips  that give it many of the advantages of a delta, particularly ease of water relaunch.

There’s plenty of de-power and when the QR (Quick Release) is fired, it’ll drop gently to the edge of the window, completely de-powered.

Extremely stable in the air, this kite won’t give you any nasty surprises in lulls and gusts.

That said, by more modern standards the Switchblade is a bit slow turning due to it’s heavy 5-strut design.

There is a range of control bar options from Cabrinha but, if you have the option, I would keep it simple (and less expensive) and go for either the fixed length 1X Trimlite with Quickloop option or the slightly pricier Overdrive 1X with Trimlite and Quickloop which is adjustable in length so will suit all kite sizes.

Trimlite With Quickloop

The fixed length bar comes in 3 sizes, 44cm, 52cm and 60cm. the 52cm would be suitable for all the above kite sizes although the adjustable bar or additional 44cm bar would be more suited if you’re going for the smaller 7m kite.

Both bars have “above the bar” trim systems which means the trim strap is out of the way of the chicken loop and quick release, my preferred option.

In summary, the Switchblade is not a bad buy if you’re paying up to about £600 for a second-hand one, but I wouldn’t recommend buying a new one. 

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My Personal Favourite:

As I said, all 5 of these kites are suited to a beginner with aspirations to move quickly on to intermediate and beyond.

If I had to pin my hat to which is best for a beginner I would probably go with the Eleveight RS V5, mainly because of its all round ability and fantastic wind range.

And, compared to the other kites featured the RS is amazing value for money, without compromising on build quality.

If cost isn’t a big problem for you, then I’d definitely take a look at the Core Nexus 2, simply because of the build quality and all round flexibility to use them for anything you want to ride on.

All  are proven kites for beginners though and used widely by kite schools.

Ask for Advice

If you’re looking at second-hand kit on-line feel free to ask my opinion  via the comments box below and I will get back to you asap.

Let me know what stage you’re at, what kind of budget you have and a bit about your size and weight and I’ll be happy to suggest some kites currently available on the second-hand market and pick some out that I believe would suit you.

Always happy to help!

Other articles you might find helpful:

Boards

Harnesses

Wetsuits

Affiliate disclosure:   As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases, and, as the owner of this website I may also receive a small commission for any purchase you make as the result of clicking a link

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54 thoughts on “5 Best Kitesurfing Kites for Beginners”

  1. I dont think it’ll be very advisable for me at my stage right now to go for second-hand kites because i am a beginner and just got myself a trainer. I think you have put together a good list and your criteria for judging that is totally awesome. I wouldn’t mind at all since these kites are of good quality. I’d go for the F1 bandit. Sounds like something from a movie. Thanks for the help.

    Reply
    • Hi Henderson, thanks for visiting Kite Mad World. If you’ve got a trainer kite and used it you’re well on your way.

      The Bandit is a great kite and will give you years of fun. Kitesurfing brand names are always cool! If you need any more advice please feel free to contact me. I’m always happy to help.

      Cheers

      Adrian

      Reply
        • Hi James,
          Thanks for checking out my site!
          What can I say??!! It’s a bit more complicated than just re-branding. It’s all to do with parent companies with different divisions.
          As I’ve said in other articles, the kiteboarding community isn’t always completely sane so who knows where they got the name from.
          Fortunately their kit is better than the name though and has a fantastic pedigree in the original North Kiteboarding team, which is continuing under the new brand.

          Reply
  2. Well for a start, this is more than enough info for my son who wouldn’t let me rest until I decided to finally buy a kite for him. To me, this is more than enough and the list you have put together up here is really great. Thank you so much for helping me to limit my search in getting the best kite for him. I like the Cabrina one since it comes first and actually I love the little summary done on it. It should be easy to handle for him. Thanks

    Reply
    • Hi Rodarrick, thanks for visiting Kite Mad World. If you need any more advice on which kite(s) would be suitable for your son, feel free to ask me. Always happy to help.

      Many thanks

      Adrian

      Reply
  3. Kites are always beautiful to behold when I see them in the sky, and it gives me much delight. It has been on my bucket list to have a go myself, but it has been a dream that I have never fulfilled. This is really great for me to see the details here on picking the best ones for beginners. Thanks for the information you have provided here.

    Reply
    • Hi Bella, thanks for visiting Kite Mad World. 

      If you’ve dreamed about kiting I’d recommend getting some “taster” lessons from an approved kite school. It’s a great way to find out if it’s for you before you spend money on your own equipment.

      But I warn you….it’s very addictive!

      A great way to start is with a dedicated kitesurfing vacation. I’ve written an article on Kitesurfing destinations, which you might want to check out.

      Reply
  4. I have looked at kites but these seem to be the best kites for me. But i have a question for you – at what price can I get one if I want to? At least the price should be reasonable. For how long do you think I can use a kite before it wear out? anyway thank you for sharing these sites

    Reply
    • Hi Fatumah,

      Thanks for visiting Kite Mad World! Price depends on whether you are looking at new or used and a number of other factors. You should be looking at about $500 for a good used kite and about $700 to $1500 for new. Have a look at my listing for the Slingshot RPM though, there are some great deals for last year’s model, which is a great kite. A kite will last you years if you look after it by washing the salt water off regularly and storing it dry rather than damp. Let me know if you need any more advice on size etc.

      Many thanks

      Adrian

      Reply
  5. my grandson got a jet ski for Christmas, says he wants to tow a kite from it and get his brother to fly over our waterfront property here in Virginia.
    I told him that’s crazy, but, just asking, is he “all wet”?

    Reply
    • Hi Philip,
      Thanks for checking out Kitemadworld.
      I’ve actually seen this done. A kitesurfing kite being used as a parascend! But I certainly wouldn’t recommend it, especially for a beginner. There’s a whole load of things that can go horribly wrong, and your grandson would be potentially crashing down from 60 or 70 feet high at high speed! If he wants to get a real kick, buy him some kitesurfing lessons, and then check out my other articles on equipment for beginners.
      I hope this helps.
      Cheers, Adrian

      Reply
  6. Hi Andrian,
    thanks for the advice. I would like to ask though.. are these beginner kites good for any spot ? For example my local spot, is some days flat, other days choppy or with waves.
    I had my lessons at another spot, flatwater one, with a Switchblade, I loved it . But now the spots that are around me , are rather more with waves..

    Thank you!

    Reply
    • Hi there AK!
      Thanks for looking in.
      All these kites, including the switch blade, work well in any conditions, flat or waves.
      You only really need to worry about having a specialist wave kite if you start riding big waves regularly on a surf board. A lot of my buddies use the switch blade in biggish waves and I love my RPM in any conditions.
      You need to think more about which board you choose, but if you have a look at my article on board choice https://kitemadworld.com/kiteboards-for-beginners/ all of those boards are suitable for flat water, chop or waves.
      I hope this helps, but feel free to ask again if you need any more help.
      Enjoy!??

      Reply
  7. Hi Adrian,

    I know your article recommended. Buying 3 years or newer but I’m not sure I my budget allows for that at this point. I’m willing to learn how to do repairs for fixing problems.

    I am trying to decide between a 2009 Cabrinha Switchblade 10 m or a 2014 Best Waroo 13 m. Both have been lightly used and appear to have “crisp” kites.

    I am in South Florida and the wind ranges from 8-20 mph on good calmer days. I weigh 155 lbs.

    Thanks for your help!

    Reply
    • Hi Craig,
      Thanks for checking out my site!
      It’s a difficult one and will come down mainly to the size and actual condition of the kites. First off, I’m pretty sure Best weren’t making the Waroo in 2014 – it got replaced by the Kahuna some years before that. I might be wrong on that but double-check the age of the Waroo.

      In those winds you’ll need a bigger kite than 10m so that would point at the Best kite. But as I said, check the age and what kind of bar and line set-up it has, if any. And definitely consider getting a newer bar and lines regardless.

      If you have the chance I would definitely see the kite before you buy, and check it holds air and that the bridles are in good condition as getting spares for older kites can be problematic and you can get to the point where it’s not worth replacing bladders etc.

      If you want to let me know what kind of budget you have I’d be happy to see what I can find out there.

      Reply
    • Hi Mohab,
      Thanks for checking out my article, and your kind comment. I personally haven’t had the chance to try out the 2020 version of the Rally, although all the reviews say it’s a good all round kite for progression. I’ve tried out previous versions and would agree with them on those ones.
      I’ve no doubt from what I’ve read that it would be a great kite for you.

      I don’t know what size you’re looking at but theres a 12m on eBay Here’s a link

      Let me know how you get on and I’ll share it on the site. And feel free to come back to me if you have any other questions.

      Many thanks

      Adrian

      Reply
  8. Hi Adrian,

    I am new to kiteboarding, a beginner,
    and I know someone that has a Cabrinha Element 17m. He sells it really cheap, like 150euro, including the bar and it is slitly used, just a few sessions. I weight 210lbs and the wind in my spot is 12-15 knots and sometime roughly 20 knots. I searched the web for this kite and it seems to be from 2005. What do you think, is this too old and hard to learn the sport, or you think i should give it a try. Thank you.

    Reply
    • Hi Eno,
      Thanks for visiting my article.
      I have to admit that I have no experience of that particular kite. I would be very careful with such an old kite though. And it’s BIG.
      First thing – Have some lessons, if you haven’t already, with a qualified instructor, so that you know about safety systems and kite control, self rescue etc.
      All I would be able to advise is to try it first in very light wind, say 10-12kts and with someone experienced with you to help out.
      Don’t be tempted to go out with it in winds stronger than that until you really feel comfortable that you know it’s wind range and how much de-power there is.
      Be very careful! But do let me know how you go.
      Cheers
      Adrian

      Reply
  9. Hi Adrian,
    This is really helpfull information – thanks for that.
    I’m a beginner-intermediary kiter (no jumps yet) and look for 2 stable, forgiving kites, 8 and 11(or12), to ride winds between 15-25 knots.
    Here in Belgium & The Netherlands you find regularly 2nd hand North Orbit (2018 up to 2020).
    Any experience with this type? Comparable to any of the 4 kites you referred in your article?
    Best,
    Philippe

    Reply
    • Hi Philippe,
      Thanks for looking at my site, and I’m really pleased you found it helpful.
      The Orbit is a great kite and similar in a lot of ways to the F-One Bandit. I’ve personally never flown one but have friends who use them, and are really happy.
      You won’t have any issues with it apart from when you do start jumping you might need oxygen and a passport!!
      They’re renowned as a “big air” kite, but forgiving enough for the stage you are at now.
      One comment I have heard a few times is that it flies better with a bit of tension in the steering lines. This means just keeping a bit of power on the bar when you go upwind and turn. But each kite is slightly different and you’ll soon get the feel of it.
      So yeah, I would say go for it!
      And let me know how you get on.
      If you press the follow button on my page you’ll get updates when I publish new articles…NO SPAM.
      Have fun!
      Adrian

      Reply
      • Thanks man, just bought a 2nd hand 10m Cabrinha Switchblade 2018.
        In other words, I followed your advise. And that of the buyer (of course) 🙂
        Now, in search of an 8m and 12m. And then I can travel around the world; yeah

        Reply
        • Hi Philippe,
          That’s great! And those sizes are the perfect quiver of kites for anything up to about 35-40kts. I’ll have a look around to see what’s available in 8 and 12 if you like.
          Have you got a budget in mind?

          Reply
        • Hi again Philippe,
          I’ve just had a look around ebay at what’s available. If you’re looking at new Cabrinha Switchblades, this ebay shop has 2020 versions (the new 2021 version is the latest) at 25% discount. That’s a great deal if you can stretch to new. Here’s a link: Cabrinha Switchblade

          Reply
  10. Hi Adrian,

    I have found the information on your website super useful! Thanks! 🙂
    I am a beginner (I still struggle to sail upwind); however I am planning to spend more time in the water this year! 🙂
    I am looking for one of the kites you have proposed above; so far I have found a second hand 2020 EVO Duotone with bar for slightly more than 1,500 EUR; However at the same shop they sell a new Cabrinha Switchblade 2020 with bar for 100 EUR more than the 2nd hand EVO (the same new kit with the EVO is more than 1,800 EUR…). Does it make sense to you that the EVO is much more expensive than the Switchblade?

    I would tend to go for the Switchblade as it is just 100 EUR more and it is a new product; however I am not sure about the size: according to the Duotone’s website for my weight (72-74 km) and the wind speed I usually find (12-16 Ktn) 12 m is the best fit. Do you think I should go for the same measure with the Switchblade?

    Reply
    • Hi Marco,
      Thanks for your kind praise! I’m really pleased you find the information helpful.

      It’s no surprise the Duotone is more expensive. It’s quite an expensive brand.

      I would go for the Cabrinha, and the 12m would be the right size for you in that kite.

      If it helps you here’s a link to a shop I’ve found on ebay Surfer World

      Let me know how you get on, and if you have any other questions, don’t hesitate to contact me.

      I’m writing some articles on technique that you might find helpful and if you hit the “follow” button you’ll get updates when I publish new articles.

      Have fun my friend!

      Reply
  11. Hi Adrian,
    First of all thank you for this great article.
    I am new to kiteboarding and searching for my first set up.
    I did consider the switchblade very high in my list but now there are two more in that list.
    I don’t know if to pick the Cabrinha Moto, Switchblade or the North Reach with the navigator bar (all equipment 2020).
    The Moto suppose to have its advantages but the switchblade is better in water relaunch and in upwind performances.
    Maybe i should take the reach… (the Moto will be a bit cheaper then the other two so budget is not an issue here…).

    My local beach has two wind seasons with 13-22 knots wind. I am 85 kg, so i also d’ont know if to take 12m kite and to add another 9 meter next year when i will be better or to get one in 11 meter (i am afraid it wont be good enough in the low end wind 13-14 knots and i may be lose some low wind kite days).

    What do you think on the Crazyfly raptor as TT board for me?
    should i take 137*43 or 140*42?

    Thank you very much!
    Lior

    Reply
    • Hi Lior, thanks for checking out my site, and I’m pleased you found it helpful.

      First thing to say is that all 3 kites you mention are great quality and will suit a beginner looking to progress quickly. The choice really comes down to how they perform in different situations.

      As you say, the Moto is a little less friendly for water relaunch and, as with most 3 strut kites (as opposed to 5 strut) will be a little less stable at the extremes of its wind-range, particularly at the top end. The same goes for the North Reach. Both of those kites will perform a little better at the lowest end of the wind range because they are lighter, but you will compromise a bit on top end. This means that you would probably best with an 11m for the higher end of the range. That would mean less power in lighter winds than say the 12m Switchblade.

      As you get more experienced you learn to compensate for lack of power by working the kite to generate more. Both the Reach and Moto are fast-turning kites so it makes that easy.

      And if you get into foiling then the 3 strut kites tend to be better as they drift better as you go downwind.

      However, for a beginner looking to progress then I still prefer the Switchblade because it’s all-round easier to fly, very predictable but definitely not boring! And if you get into jumping (which I’m sure you will) the Switchblade is excellent and will definitely be more fun than the other 2. It really boosts high and gives you loads of easy hang-time to try out your first back and front rolls.

      12m in a Switchblade will get you going at the lighter end of the range and still be manageable at 22kts, although much more than that and you’ll need a smaller kite – 9m would be ideal up to about 30kts.

      If you were going for a 3 strut option I feel the Reach is the better kite, mainly because it is a bit more stable than the Moto, but at 22 kts it may feel a bit twitchy because it will be less rigid than the Switchblade.

      So really I think the Switchblade wins overall, just because it covers everything (apart from foiling, when the Reach would be better) and will give you more confidence.

      As far as the board goes, I haven’t actually ridden a Raptor. But I’ve checked it out and I would say you’d have no problem with it as a beginner board and then on to advanced riding and tricks.

      In terms of size, there’s always a bit of compromise. The bigger board will be easier to learn with as it will get you up and planing quicker. The compromise will be at the top end of the wind range which is when a smaller board will be easier to control.

      If you’ve had lessons and been able to get your waterstarts nailed and get upwind, then you could get away with the 137. It’ll be a bit more difficult than the 140, but once you have your board skills will be your go to board in any conditions and will see you right through to advanced riding.

      If you haven’t had lessons yet I’ll say the same as I do to every beginner – have lessons before you buy kit. What you invest in using a kite school’s kit to get you up and running will mean that when you buy your first kite and board you’ll know what stage you’re at – so for example, will know whether you can get away with the smaller board or not.

      Let me know what you think. And if you’d like me to find you some kit on-line just let me know where you’re based and I’ll see what’s available. I always try to find kit that’s not too far away, to reduce shipping costs.

      I hope this helps, but do come back to me with your thoughts.

      Cheers

      Adrian

      Reply
      • Hi Adrian,

        Thank you for your very fast reply and for the very detailed answer!
        After I got your answer, I was so enthusiastic, so I went to read your “about” at “kitemadworld” and learned a bit on your history at this great sport. also understood it is really a mission for you to help us, all the new fellows, at kitesurf, so thank you!

        you really focused me on the Switchblade.

        I will be happy to get two more answers:
        1. If I have a good deal for the Moto, will it be wise enough to go on it? I understood all you wrote (about the reach is better as a 3 struts and switchblade better overall…). Can I still get enough benefits from it and learn on it?
        2. If I will go on 5 struts kite, how you compare the North orbit vs the switchblade?

        Thank you!
        Lior

        Reply
        • Hi Lior,

          Thanks for looking around the rest of my site.

          Any of the kites you mention will work. It’s just about small differences really. So yeah, if you get a really good deal then you won’t have a problem with the Moto.

          I haven’t had a chance to try an Orbit yet, but a friend of mine flies them and loves them. He’s an advanced kiter though.

          I’ve checked out some reviews I trust and it looks like the Orbit would suit a beginner without any problem. I wouldn’t like to compare it with a Switchblade until I’ve tried it, but it’s definitely suitable.

          I hope that helps.

          Reply
      • Hi Adrian,

        Thanks for the good article and replies. I cannot decide if I should choose Cabrinha Switchblade or North Reach. After reading your article, I decided Reach would be better as it is a modern kite compared to SB. But after reading your reply above, I’m more into SB:) So I’m totally confused:)
        I’m a beginner and learned water-start end of last summer. I’ve decided to start this season with my own kite as I liked this sports.

        I’ve found same price offer for a 9-12m set of SB and Reach. Which one would you prefer? I want to stick to my choice and don’t want to buy another kite for a couple of years as I progress. So my choice would make me happy as a beginner today and also as an intermediate kitesurfer in next session (hopefully). It looks like SB will make me happy now but not the following years. Am I right?

        You are doing a great job. Keep up the good work.

        Reply
        • Hi Tod,

          Thanks for your very kind comments, and apologies for the delay replying – I’ve had a couple of days of full on kiting!

          I’d definitely go with the Reach rather than the Switchblade. My previous replies relating to Switchblade were based on earlier models, and before the new North range became available. The SB has been a great kite, but they’ve been overtaken (in my opinion), in terms of build quality and usability, by more modern kites such as the Reach.

          You’ll get better wind range from the Reach and the build quality is better so the kite will last longer.

          I hope this helps.

          Reply
  12. Hi Adrian,

    Great article you have written and I agree with you on the switchblade. This is the kite I have my eye on and was wondering if you could help me on the condition of the 2nd hand kite I am looking at and wether or not it is a good deal. Please drop me an email if you can help and I will respond with the attached pictures. Thanks!

    Rafi

    Reply
  13. Hi Adrian,
    I am looking to buy a beginner’s kite however right now I have been looking at the north pivot, duotone rebel and the slingshot rpm since I found them as second hands what do you think of those kites?

    Django

    Reply
    • Hi Django,

      Thanks for visiting the site, and I hope you found it helpful. I can’t comment on the Naish Pivot as I’ve never used one. However, I’d thoroughly recommend the Slingshot RPM.

      If you’re buying secondhand just make sure there isn’t any excess wear anywhere.

      Also, check how old the bar is if it’s included. As with any bar, the common wear-point is the depower line where it runs through the trim cleat. It’s easy to replace and worth doing.

      If you’d like to send me a link I’ll have a look for you.

      Cheeers

      Adrian

      Reply
  14. Hi Adrian,

    I am a beginner and I weight 200lbs. I have two options to choose from.

    1) F-one bandit V8 brand new no repairs used only few times
    2) Ozone enduro 2018 Also in a good condition no repairs.

    Both 14 m

    What do you think, which one should I get as a beginner?

    I’d really appreciate your feedback

    Reply
    • Hi Mohamed,

      Thanks for visiting Kite Mad world.

      I have to admit I’ve never used an Enduro so can’t speak from any experience on that. I do know that the Bandit is a great kite for beginners and will definitely see you through to advanced levels of kiting. And as it is the newer kite I think that should sway your decision.

      A 14m is pretty big (I appreciate that you’re a big fella) and will limit you in strong winds (over about 18 kts) so just be sure that the size is appropriate for your location.

      I hope this helps.

      Reply
  15. Hi Adrian,
    I’m looking to buy my first kite as I just finished my first lessons and I’d love to get into the sport. Budgets a bit tight since I’m still in school and I’m only relying on my part time job, so I’d probably want to get a good second hand. What do you think would be some good options between 500-700€? And should I buy a brand new bar or also a used one? For some context I weigh 70kg and I’m 192cm tall (probably gonna gain some more weight in the next few months since I’ve started working out again) and I will be surfing almost exclusively in Borkum (German island in the north Sea). If possible I’d like to keep the overall budget for my complete kit at around 1200-1300€.
    Thanks in advance!

    Reply
    • Hi Markus,
      Thanks for visiting my website, and I hope you’ve found it helpful.
      With that amount to spend you will only get one kite so I would advise you to get a size suitable for the most frequent wind conditions at your location.
      A quick check leads me to understand you get pretty good winds between 15-20 kts most of the year. For that you’d be okay with an 11 or 12 m kite.
      I’ve found this Slingshot Rally on Ebay which might be suitable , but looks like kite only. The seller doesn’t give much info on the age of the kite, so worth asking.

      A new bar would be better, but you’d be looking at around €500 for new, so you’ll probably need secondhand.

      It’s worth spending as much as you can on the kite and bar/lines, so if you can stretch your budget you’ll get kit that will last you longer – boards can be bought pretty cheap without any problems.

      It would be worth asking at your local kite school, if you have one, as they often sell off kit they’ve used for training at reasonable prices.

      You should be able to get a decent kite and bar within €900-1000, which would leave enough to get a decent secondhand board.

      Have a look around Ebay, but I would aim for a kite and bar less than 5 years old.

      I’m happy to advise on any you find.

      Reply
      • Hi, thanks for the useful advice, I still have until around august to find all my gear so I haven’t been looking at gear online too intensely, but I’ll make sure to contact you if I find something interesting :D. Since I have to buy everything from 0, I’ve been looking at harnesses online and found this (link at the bottom). Do you think it’s a decent deal? I couldn’t really find the harness online so I’m not so sure or should I hit up my local sport shops and look there first? Thanks in advance.

        https://www.ebay.de/itm/294219956882?hash=item4480e04292:g:p0cAAOSwytZgR8fC

        Reply
        • Hi Markus, apologies for the delay getting back to you – I had a couple of days of full on kiting!

          I’ve never used an Ion harness so can’t offer any first-hand knowledge. The harness looks like good value for a new one. One thing to bear in mind is that Ion have a had a few issues recently with harness hooks snapping, which is quite worrying. That may be why it is so cheap. I’d maybe hang on and keep looking. The Dakine Pyros often come up with good prices for last year’s model and I’ve been very happy with the two I’ve had.

          Reply
  16. Hello,

    I am just starting out in kite surfing and looking to buy kite and board. I have been taking lessons with a local experienced kite surfer and trust his opinion and would like a second on buying equipment for the sport. I live in South Florida, the wind conditions change depending on the month/time of year with fast to slow wind ranges. My stature, I am close to 5 feet 5 inches (female) and weighing at 113 pounds (110-117 fluctuating). Any recommendations with safety first in mind would be appreciated.

    Reply
    • Hi Tracey,

      Thanks for checking out Kite Mad World and I hope you find my articles helpful.

      In terms of kites, there are loads of great kites that will work for you. My recommendations are based on personal knowledge and experience and I really like the Slingshot Rally and North Reach. Both are really well constructed and have great safety systems. The Rally will take a bit more thrashing but the Reach has a bit more range at the lower wind speeds.

      Both will last for years and will allow you to progress.

      In terms of size, at your weight I’d suggest a 9 or 10m as your main kite, but be guided by what you’ve learned on and the advice of your instructor. A lot depends on your ability and strength rather than just weight, and local conditions are important. The above sizes should be okay for you up to about 20kts of wind. Above that you’d need a 7 or 8m.

      Don’t get too hung up on which brand to choose, especially if you have a local dealer – it’s always good to have a local source of advice and spares, and there aren’t really any bad brands out there these days.

      When it comes to boards, again be guided by what size you learned on,then go a little bit smaller. Check out my article https://kitemadworld.com/kiteboards-for-beginners/ for my personal recommendations. But board choice isn’t as crucial as kite choice. Look for a free ride style board with a good amount of flex. At your size you should probably be looking at something between 134-138cms long.

      Bear in mind that if you buy new kit and then find you’ve progressed faster than you expected, you’ll be able to get a decent price trading up or selling it. So get the best you can afford and get out and enjoy it!

      Do trust your instructor though, he knows your ability and local conditions.

      I hope this helps, but feel free to get back to me with your thoughts.

      Reply
  17. Hi Adrian,

    Thank you so much for taking the time to summarize all the basics – all your articles have been a great source of information and a huge help with searching for the right gear.
    What I am still struggling with though are the right sizes, especially for my bf who is 194cm/6ft4in and 99kg/220lbs. All the online calculators just give out weird inexistent board and kite sizes when I put in his weight. I have some experience kiteboarding, so I can make a fairly good guess for myself, but it’s been very hard trying to figure out the right size gear for him (water start level).
    We’re planning a trip to Maui in August, so pretty much consistent wind 15-20kn and small waves. For him I was thinking a North Prime or Cabrinha Spectrum 152cm board, but I am still very much confused about what would be a good kite size for him for these conditions. 12m is what I was recommended by a friend, but not sure he can learn to water start easily with that size and his weight…
    I used to own a 138cm CrazyFly Allaround and a 9m RRD Religion, and I loooved them. I moved to the States in the meantime and unfortunately these brands are not distributed here. I am considering slightly increasing the board size to 140cm as it might help me practicing riding upwind, but not sure if I should maybe downsize on the kite for the Maui conditions.
    Your advice greatly appreciated, and if I may suggest – maybe a sizing article is due 😉

    Thank you!!!!!!
    Jasmina

    Reply
    • Hi Jasmina!

      Thanks for your really positive and helpful comments, I’m really pleased you find my articles helpful.

      And this is a question I get a lot, especially from larger people. Apparently kitesurfers are all supposed to be 75Kgs! So I’ll definitely do a sizing article as you suggest…watch this space!

      In terms of your bf, If you’re expecting winds of 15-20kts then that would be considered light to moderate wind conditions and would be where most twin tip kiters would be using their largest kite. I personally would be using a 12m in those conditions, but I weigh about 180lbs (so slightly heavier than the “average” kitesurfer). I would suggest a 14m is going to give your bf much more chance of getting up and running. And generally I would add 1 or 2 metres onto the recommended kite sizes for someone who is that much heavier than the “average”.

      Some of it will come down to how much “grunt” the kite has, but for a typical beginner to intermediate kite this will be a good starting point.

      In terms of board size for your bf, a 152cm in either of those boards will certainly make it really easy to nail his first waterstarts. The only downsides of a board that big will be at the higher end of the wind range it may be difficult to control and turn. And also, a bigger twin tip will be less comfortable to use in chop and waves, especially heading into waves, such as you’d be doing heading out from the beach.

      I would maybe go a little bit smaller to 148cm. It may make the waterstart a little bit less easy at first, but once he’s got it the board will be far more controllable. It doesn’t sound a lot of difference but each of those boards is also 2cm narrower in the 148 size and this equates to quite a difference in surface area.

      Also, combining the bigger kite size will compensate for the smaller board to enable him to get planing and edging.

      In terms of yourself, you haven’t mentioned your own height and weight, but if you were comfortably water starting and riding a 138, then I wouldn’t suggest going bigger. A bigger board isn’t going to help much with upwind riding, especially in waves. It’s probably down to a few tweaks in technique (check out my article on riding upwind, if you haven’t already).

      As far as kite size goes, that will depend a lot on your weight and the type of kite, but unless you’re considerably less than the “average” then I would certainly not be going less than 9m for up to 20 kts. But if you let me know your weight I can advise better.

      Both of the boards you mention are great for beginner and progression, but if you need any advice on which kites to buy, let me know.

      Although I’ve focused on only 4 kites, there are lots of great brands out there and I’m planning reviews of a number of others including Eleveight (the RS), and Core(the XR7 and Nexus 2).

      Just be careful if you’re buying new kites at the moment as delivery times are significantly longer than normal from a lot of brands, partly due to Covid and the fact that most manufacturing takes place in the Far East. You don’t want to be panicking that they won’t arrive before your trip. So check availability before you hit the “pay” button.

      Thanks again for checking in and feel free to ask if you need any more help with choosing the right kit.

      If I don’t hear back from you, have a great trip!

      Adrian 😎

      Reply
      • Thank you, Adrian!

        I am 6ft tall, 65kg.
        I’m looking at used gear if possible, but haven’t been blown away with the selection on US ebay… If you have any resources in US or know of good deals from Europe that can be shipped quickly and cheaply, I would greatly appreciate the recommendations.
        I’m also not very comfortable buying stuff older than 5 years, especially when it comes to the kite – is this good thinking, or am I being too precautious?

        Reply
        • Hi Jasmina,

          I’ll have a look at what’s available and get back to you asap.

          I certainly wouldn’t recommend buying kites or bars older than 5 years, in fact I would look at up to 3 years if possible. It doesn’t matter so much with boards, as long as the straps are in good condition, or you’re willing to replace them.

          As far as your own kite goes, a 9m should be good for winds up to 20 kts, although an 8m would also be okay, especially at the higher end of the wind range or in gusty conditions. I’ll look at what’s available in both sizes.

          Reply
        • Hi again Jasmina.

          I’ve had a trawl through eBay, both locally and worldwide, and there’s not a lot out there that’s worth buying in the used kite sales.

          I have found some good deals on new Slingshot Rally GT V1’s though. These are the previous model, but still a great kite. They’d be ideal for you and your bf and you get the benefit of new gear with guarantees and peace of mind. Have a look at these guys in the US Mackite.

          There’s a good deal on a new Cabrinha Spectrum 148 on eBay USA here too Cabrinha Spectrum and a Crazyfly Allround 138 . The Crazyfly is shipping from the UK so you’ll have to check post cost and time of course.

          It’s also worth joining some kitesurfing groups that specialise in used kite gear. It’s a bit hit and miss but always worth a look.

          I hope this helps a bit, but let me know what you think.

          Reply
          • Hi, Adrian.

            Mackite is a good find, they also offer packages with an unbeatable price! I’ll probably go for that.
            Alternatively, you-love-it.eu has great deals on older makes of RRD, which I learned on, and am familiar with.
            As for the bf, I found several good rental deals in Maui, and he will spend the majority of his days in school anyway. He is more comfortable renting to feel out different sizes and see what works for him.

            Thank you again for your time and advice!

          • Hi Jasmina,
            I’m really pleased you found Mackite useful, and it will be easier and cheaper for you to get kit from a US based business as things are at the moment.

            I hadn’t come across you-love-it.eu before but their selection of kit is pretty good so I’ve been in touch with them to find out more. Thanks for that info, it’s always great to find new sources of good value kite gear.

            If your bf is having lessons, rental is always the best idea to start with as he’ll get a good idea what works best for him, so that’s good news.

            Thanks again for your great feedback and it’s a pleasure to help you! If you hit the “follow” button you’ll get updates when I publish new articles…there’ll be a few more soon as there’s no wind here in the UK at the moment😒.

            And have a great trip to Maui, I’ve never been but have heard great things. I started a few articles on locations but put them on hold with all the restrictions, but check those out for your next trip…Cabarete and Barbados are pretty accessible to you and both have great kiting conditions.

            Have fun!

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