The ultimate guide to choose the right kite size!
Is bigger always better?
We don’t think so when it comes to kites.
One of the most asked questions: “what size kite should I use?” So what is: “The right kite size?”
How do I choose the right size kite?
To answer this question we must check a few things:
- The riders weight
- The wind speed
- Board you using
- Style of riding
- Line length
- Kite size chart
- Kite size calculator
- Other Conditions
The Riders weight
The kite needs enough power to pull the rider forward out of and over the water. So the heavier the rider is the more power the kite needs. This power comes from the wind and the size of the kite. So in the same wind condition, a heavier person needs a bigger kite than a smaller person.
The difference in size is not that big. If you lose or gain a couple of pounds you do not need new kites. But it matters if you are 60 kg or 120 kg. In the Kite chart and kite calculator, you can see with kite size is the best fit for you.
The kite size and wind speed
Selecting the right size for a kite always comes hand in hand with the wind speed. With low wind, you need a big kite, with strong wind you need a smaller kite. Because the wind is never the same every day you want to kite. Most riders have more than one size kite. So you can pick your size depending on the wind conditions. The actual wind conditions can be found here
The size of the kite is almost always printed on the tip of the kite itself. So if you see kites in the air, you can see what sizes other people are riding. this is a good way to spot what size kite you must go with if you are on the beach.
There is no one-size that kite fits all
There are a lot of different kite brands. All brands produce a lot of different types of kites, and all those kites come in different sizes. So which one to pick?
First, you must pick your type of kite. If you got your brand/type of kite you can look up the wind ranges of that kite. Every kite has its own wind range, a chart that shows which size kite fits best in what wind speed.
This gives you an idea of what size(s) to pick. If you want to ride with a twin tip and jump high, you can have a bigger kite. if you ride a foil you can pick a smaller kite.
As mentions unfortunately there is no “one kite fits all”. The condition changes a lot so if you want to go out kiteboarding most of the time, you need more than one kite.
For example: if you are an 80kg rider who wants to ride twintip in almost every condition these are the tips:
1 Kite range
we recommend around an 10m to get the mid-range wind conditions.
2 Kites range:
- 7 m or 8m for the stormy days
- 10 or 11m for medium days.
3 kites range:
- 7 m for the stormy days
- 9 m For the medium days
- 12+ m for the low wind days.
This is a general example and based on medium conditions. If you live in a less windy climate, you can go for a bigger setup. If you want tailored advice for us, leave a comment or reach out to us. Your local shop could help you out as well.
Size kite and line length
The size of the kite and the length of the lines are important to match. Basically the smaller the kite, the shorter the lines, and the bigger the kite the longer the lines. For a more in-dept story is in the kite bar part.
Best kite size for beginners
For kite surfers who at the beginning of the kitesurf journey it is hard to choose the right kite size. For the safety and learning curve, we tell beginners to look closely at other kite surfers. And ask more experienced riders for the best size for that time. Below you find the kite surf kite chart and kite calculator. When using it and you are not sure if the size is the best fit or you have doubt, always go for the smaller size kite. A smaller size kite had less power and makes it therefore a bit safer to go out on the water.
Style of riding
Depending on your style of riding you can adjust the size of your kite. The size of kites has a direct impact on the power and pull you get from your kite. If you want a lot of pull and power you can go up a size. But what styles of riding are we talking about.
- Big air
If you are in for an easy ride on your board and make some turn. Maybe ride a wave or two and make some jumps you are a free-rider. This style of riding is all about comfort. Therefore, the right size kite. You do not want to get pulled over the board, therefor a medium size kite is recommended. Also, the beginners want to have a medium pull on the kite. Therefore, good to also start with a medium kite size. Where can you find a medium size kite? In the Kite charts below, you find the best size for your weight and wind conditions.
Want to freestyle?
Do you want to go for the flips, tricks, and loops? Then a bit of power won’t hurt you (much). You can add one size to the kite chart. Especially if you want some power in your tricks! Learning new tricks or want to get technical? Start with a smaller kite so you do not get punched a lot. Freestyle is the probable best to go out in around 20 knots or so.
On the other hand. If you are an aggressive rider who wants to go big, bigger, biggest, a bigger kite helps :). Therefore we recommend taking one or two kite sizes bigger than on the kite charts. But do not overdo it, keep it safe and only for those you know how to control the power. Big Air is getting a lot of fun in the stronger winds, 25+ knots.
What board do you use?
The type of board you use can influence what kite you should pick. Check out all info about the different boards.
There are three main board types: Twin tip, Directional, and hydrofoil. The first one is the Twin tip, this is the “normal” board type. Almost everybody starts ridding twintip. This is because it is easy to learn and easy to turn. With a Twintip board, you do not have a lot of buoyancy with the board itself. Therefore you need power from the kite to get and stay on your board.
The second board type we notice is the Directional board. This is like a surfboard and has more volume than the Twintip. This volume creates more buoyancy. Whit this type of board, you can have a smaller kite size. This is because you do not need as much power to get on your board.
The last board type is a Hydrofoil. This kiteboard has a wing under the surfboard and makes the board come out of the water. Riding a hydrofoil can be a bit more difficult at the start. But when you get a hang of it, it is like riding a bike. How come a hydrofoil comes out of the water? For picking the right kite while hydro-foiling you can get even a smaller kite.
Different kite boards asks for different kites
For each board type, a different size kite is recommended. Therefore we have made special kite charts for each board type. The kite charts you can find below. here you can check the best kite size for you.
Kite size chart
Getting the right size of kite for all the conditions is hard. A kite size chart like below can help you a lot to give a feeling of the range of the kite. This in combination with your own body weight and the wind speed gives the perfect kite size.
How does a kite size chart work?
The kitesurfing size chart shows on the left side the weight in KG of the rides. On the top the wind-speed in Knots. is displayed. This gives the number in the table which is the right size kite in square meters for the conditions. So, for example, you are a rider of 70 kg and you want to go kiting with 20 knots. The kiteboarding size chart lets you see that the 7m is the ideal size for kiting.
The kiteboarding kite size chart is based on normal conditions. This means no currents or big waves, riding a twintip and is for beginners to intermediate riders. The condition can vary a lot and so can the kite size vary to your choosing. The main factors that can influence the size of the kite are:
- Board, you are riding
- Experience of the rider
- Water conditions
- Style of riding
- Type of kite
Kite boarding size chart for Twin tip
Directional board Kite chart
With a directional board, you need a bit let power from the kite. This is because the board can stay afloat o lot more than a twin-tip. So, you can go out on the water with a bit less wind. So that an advantage. the downside is that with a direction board you can edge less so you can go out in to much wind. Below you find the Kite size chart for riding a direction board.
Hydrofoil board kite chart
With a foil or a hydrofoil board, you need even less power in the kite than a direction board. The hydrofoil can be very efficient but a little hard to master. Learn more about the hydrofoil boards. You can go surfing with very little wind, but make sure your kite does not back stall or drop down in lesser wind. With too much wind it is very difficult to keep the hydrofoil under control. The hydrofoil is hard to keep in the water.
Kitesurfing size calculator
Below is the kite size calculator, here you can determine your own rules. calculate the right size kite for you. Set your own body weight in Kilograms and the wind speed in Knots. The calculator will give you back the best kite size. The kite size is based on normal condition, twin-tip, and for beginners/intermediate riders.
This Kite size calculator is an indication of the right size kite you can get. Depending on all the variables you can interpreted the outcome of the calculator.
The perfect Kite size
For everyone who wants to know what is the best size kite for him/her, we gave a perfect kite size chart or cheat-sheet. This is for riding a twintip and ‘normal’ line length (22m) in normal weather conditions. On the horizontal axis, there is the wind speed in Knots. On the vertical axis, there is the weight of the rider in Kilogram. when combining those two elements you can find the perfect kite size.
What is the average kite size?
The average size is around 9 to 11 square meters. This is depending on the weight of the rider in a combination with the wind speed. So, an average size kite won’t say a lot.
What is the best kite size?
The best kite size differs from person to person but the best check is to view the kite size chart. Look at the average wind speed (20-22 knots) that would be the best average kite for you.
Can you calculate the right kite size?
Yes, you can. Kitestars developed a kite size calculator to do just that. This is what we need:
- The riders weight in KG
- The wind-conditions in Knots
We calculate the right kite size for you. Keep in mind the calculations can change depending on various factors.
What size kite do I need?
The size of kite you need depends on your weight, the wind speed, your board, and some other factors. With the size chart and Calculator, you can find the right kite size for you. Most kite surfers have more than 1 kite for different condition
Do you have another question about the kite sizes? Please let us know. Ask a question in the comments or on our social channels.