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There are many styles of Kitesurfing boards on the market: freestyle, freeride & wake style.  Here we will tell you about a few types of boards to help you choose the right board to suit you.

Kitesurfing boards

Twin-tip Board

The most universal of kiteboards, the twin-tip can be used for most all riding styles: free-ride, wake-style and surf. A Twintip board is a kiteboard that can move in both directions without changing your feet. They have a symmetrical structure, usually have straps that offer good grip on the board and fins on the bottom. Symmetrical at both ends, the twin-tip looks a lot like a wakeboard.

Pros:

  • Good for jumping – not too heavy
  • Easy to turn – thin edges carve well
  • No need to switch feet when changing directions
  • Small fins are good in shallower water

Cons:

  • Not enough flotation to ride a wave under its own power
  • Lesser wind range compared to a directional board

Light-wind Twin-tip Board

Light Wind boards have been designed especially for little wind and are larger than normal Twin tips. Because of the board’s unusual shape, they allow you to ride in very light winds, they have a flat rocker and are much wider, they also have a slightly harder flex than normal freeride boards.

Light Wind boards are often also referred to as “doors”.

Pros:

  • Fast, precise edge control for popping (especially in flat water).
  • Comfortable riding, board catches less during maneuvers, easier controllable in chop and strong winds.

Cons:

  • Not enough flotation to ride a wave under its own power
  • Lesser wind range compared to a directional board

Wake-style Board

Wake-style boards have been developed for riding over obstacles such as sliders and kickers. They are slightly thicker and have a more robust construction than normal Freestyle boards.

The wake-style board utilizes bindings, also known as “boots.” Offering enhanced support, security and cushion, bindings often restrict flexibility. These boards are best suited for advanced wake-style riding.

Pros:

  • Can be ridden with small fins or no fins at all which makes them very agile and “loose”
  • The inserts of wakestylers are stronger to fit boots on the board

Cons:

  • Not the best choice for light winds and/or riding upwind.

Race Boards

Although race courses usually come full circle, when it comes to racing, it’s all about how fast you can go upwind. These boards are specifically designed for kite course racing, and excel in upwind and downwind/reaching speeds. These directional boards are designed with special fins and an efficient shape that will have you pointing upwind. The rocker, board outline, volume displacement, foot strap and fin positions are all designed for one purpose – upwind/downwind speed. They also offer a scooped nose to prevent nose dives (pearling).

Pros:

  • Very easy to go up wind
  • Very fast
  • Good flotation is better for self-rescue – can be paddled in
  • Much better wind range – you can kitesurf in lighter winds

Cons:

  • Directional board so you must jibe or duck tack to turn
  • Larger size – there is a higher risk of serious impact with the board and/or fins in a big crash
  • Bulkier and more difficult to pack and travel with
  • Very long fins which are easy to damage

Wave Board

If you’re into wave riding or surfing, then a wave board is what you are looking for! A wave board is a surfboard optimized for kitesurfing with the basic shape and fin configurations, integrated traction pads and foot straps. Wave boards are also great in light winds.

Pros:

  • Better for self-rescue – can be paddled in
  • Additional flotation is better for surfing big waves
  • Better wind range – you can kitesurf in lighter winds compared to a twin-tip.
  • Easy to go up wind, particularly when you move your rear foot toward the center of the board.
  • Better for long downwinders

Cons:

  • Being directional, to turn the board onto an opposite tack you either need to jibe the board, change from heel-side to toe-side riding, or stop and switch your feet around
  • Bulkier and more difficult to pack and travel with
  • Easier to damage – particularly fiberglass Epoxy is stronger
  • The fins are much longer and are easier to damage

If you are a beginner, you should consult with a kitesurfing instructor before fully committing to any one board in particular since the board might just limit your perspectives when it comes to what you want out of kitesurfing. Progressively, you could acquire a nice collection of boards that can enhance your experience and performance. 

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