Kiteboarding is an extreme sport that can take place in a variety of places. Most people enjoy the sport either in the water, land, or snow. It is also known as kitesurfing and consists of a kite using the wind to carry you across a surface while on a specially made board.
There is a good amount of specific equipment that you will need to purchase before you head out to kiteboard. Most of your gear will be safety forward, like the helmet, harness, and safety release system.
In addition to being safe, you are required to have a sufficient kite and board. You will not be able to participate without these two. Other accessories like sunscreen and a wetsuit are optional.
Anemometers act as guides to the weather when kiteboarding. They will help you determine the perfect time to suit up and begin your journey. They track wind speed and weather conditions, as well as having compass, air pressure, and humidity tools. Different brands of anemometers do different things, and can cost from $15, all the way up to $400.
Boots are important to have when kiteboarding outside of the water. When boarding on either land or snow, having a good grip on your board can be difficult at times. Wearing padded boots will provide this grip, along with padded protection in case there is an accident and you fall off the board. They are usually tightened by velcro and can be purchased for $300-$400.
Ear plugs will mostly be used while kiteboarding in the water. The purpose of wearing ear plugs is to prevent your ears from getting clogged if you were to fall into the ocean at a high speed. They hook on the inside and outside of your ear so that they are easy to remove when you are done boarding, but stay firmly within your ear white kiteboarding. They come in different sizes and colors, and a pair costs about $20.
Gloves are essential for kiteboarding, especially if you're doing it in the winter months. It can be very cold out on the water and in the snow, making it hard to latch onto your kite control bar. The warmth and grip provided by gloves will keep you safe and on track to reach your destination while boarding. A pair of waterproof gloves will cost about $50.
Either a waist or seat harness is recommended for kiteboarding. Seat harnesses should be used by new kiteboarders, as the waist harness tends to move around and throw off the balance of inexperienced pilots. The harness typically attaches to the kite soaring above you, allowing you to travel where the kite goes. A secure harness for kiteboarding can cost between $100-$400.
A helmet is important to wear on all terrains during kiteboarding. Falling on water, land, or snow at high speeds can bring the threat of major head injuries. You should wear a helmet at all times while kiteboarding, as it will only help protect you. Hardshell helmets are the way to go when choosing one for your kiteboarding adventure, and make sure it has a strap to buckle yourself in and fit your head effectively. A satisfactory helmet will cost about $50-$100.
Inflatable kites are the most common type used by kiteboarders. They produce a crescent moon shape and have sharp edges for good aerodynamics. They are inflated with a pump and attach to the harness and control bar. They are usually made of nylon, which can tear easily. Make sure to check for holes or leaks before setting up the rest of your equipment. An inflatable kite will cost around $400-$1000.
A good board is essential to your success while kiteboarding. Bigger boards are recommended to beginners, as they provide more buoyancy and balance. Surfboards are commonly used in the water, while kiteboards are used on land and snow. These different variations of boards will range in price greatly, from $200-$1500.
The kite control bar is the means of directing your kite while on your board. It attaches to the kite via threaded lines and meets at the bottom to create a handle. It is advised you hold onto the bar with two hands at all times, in order to keep your balance and direction on point. A kite control bar costs about $400-$500.
Kite lines are a handy piece of equipment to have nearby. They will mainly act as replacements for your already-installed kite control bar. They are the lines that attach the kite to the bar, allowing you to control and follow the direction of the kite. Having some of these on a nearby boat or in your pocket can really help in a time of need. A replacement set of kite lines costs about $200.
A kite pump will be used to provide air to your inflatable kite, allowing you to start boarding as soon as possible. They are very similar to regular ball pumps, as they connect by a tube to the kite and then can be provided air by pumping the handle attached to the base. A kite pump will cost you about $50 and is essential if you are using an inflatable kite.
Also known as a rashguard, a rashie is a thick t-shirt used by kiteboarders to prevent any burns or rashes on their body. Usually made of stretchy nylon and polyester, they stick to your body and provide a protective layer in case you were to bail from your board. They also provide some warmth as the wind gusts can be cold and shocking at times. A rashie costs about $50.
The safety release system is one of the most important pieces of equipment a kiteboarder can have. It provides a quick escape for the boarder if any emergency were to happen. It connects on two sides to the kite control bar and the harness spreader bar. The red leash portion is the part you would activate if you were in danger, releasing you from the kite and allowing you to exit the board. A safety release system will cost about $40-$80.
The spreader bar is a separate portion of the harness that attaches the safety release system to the harness. They also wrap around the regular harness and stop the harness from riding up towards your chest while boarding. They are normally located in the front so that you have easy access to the safety release system and can activate it quickly if necessary. A spreader bar for your harness will cost about $50-$100.
Kiteboarding straps will keep you locked into your board at all times, providing your grip and balance while out on the water, land, or snow. They easily attach to your board and then can be velcroed onto your feet or boots, depending on what you are wearing. Straps are important for beginners so that they can get a feel for the board without worrying about falling off. A pair of straps will cost about $200.
Sunscreen is vital to any kiteboarding trip. The sun will always affect your skin while you are outdoors, no matter the weather. Having a bottle of sunscreen handy will keep you safe and protected. If you are planning on staying out all day, a higher SPF will benefit you, as you will not need to reapply as often. A bottle of sunscreen costs about $15.
Wetsuits are typically used in the water while kiteboarding. They are full rubber suits that stick to your body and keep you warm while out boarding. They usually zip up from the front or the back, and can also act as a rashguard. Their slim fit allows you to avoid getting caught on anything while riding, as well as providing a good amount of protection. A wetsuit will cost you about $200-$400.