Kiteboarding Gear to Buy, Not Rent
Three Kiteboarding Gear Pieces That Shouldn’t Be Rented
As a beginner in any water sport, you are not usually well equipped to hit the water with anything but your bathing suit. And if you’re starting an expensive, front-end investment sport like kiteboarding, you don’t want to spend money on a lot of equipment until you figure out if you like the sport. This is completely understandable. Kites and boards are expensive, and when coupled with the cost of kiteboarding lessons, it can put quite a dent in your wallet.
My recommendation would be to start slow. Try as many different brands of kites and boards as you can before you buy anything. Kites and boards vary a lot, but there are definitely kites that are better for beginners. By “try,” I mean, “rent”. If your friends let you try out their kites, definitely take advantage of that. Even as a beginner, you want a kite that relaunches easy and does not make everything harder. You might not feel the subtle nuances, but you will know if it works for you.
A board is a little different. You can buy a big board that is good for learning and keep it as a light wind board for future use. It’s never bad to have a light wind board, unless you live in a spot like Tarifa (lucky you). But you should preferably rent a couple different boards before you buy and figure out what you like.
Never Rent These Three Things!
With that being said, below are three things that I would definitely advise against renting. It doesn’t matter if you’re a beginner (who has already made the decision to buy equipment) or a more advanced kiter, these three kiteboarding gear pieces should not be rented:
- If you’re going to wear a wetsuit, you should have your own. I mean, you wouldn’t rent underwear, right? And most people don’t pee in their underwear — on purpose at least… But wetsuits are meant to go #1 in. There’s a saying among kiters: “There are those who pee in their wetsuit, and there are those who lie about it!” Enough said. Get your own wetsuit for kiteboarding.
- Buy a harness that fits well. You wear it all day, and whether you’re wave kiting or jumping, your harness can be the reason you can (or can’t) kite longer. Don’t rent a harness that doesn’t fit your body. And don’t go cheap and try to save money on something that you’re going to be wearing every single second that you’re on the water. You don’t need to go nuts and buy the most expensive, but when I hear people say “I’ll just pick up a cheap harness” I think to myself “Would you pick up a cheap seat belt for your car?” Moral of the story, don’t skimp on the harness!
- This is the thing that connects you to your kite. You don’t want to rent a bar because you don’t know how old the lines are. You don’t know who has used it before, and you don’t know if it has been adjusted and how that’s going to affect its performance. This is the most important piece of equipment you use, so make sure that you buy a good bar. Bar and kite compatibility is sometimes an issue, mostly with regards to the line connections on the bar and kite. But in general, you can use any kite with any bar. If you’re still renting kites to see what kind you like or to put off spending $1200, get a bar. And don’t go cheap.
I think that kiteboarding is the best sport around. What other sport combines wakeboarding, snowboarding, paragliding, and acrobatics into one? Whether you want to get big air or play around in the waves, kiteboarding gives water sports lovers more options, flexibility and range than any other sport.
But with great pleasure comes great responsibility. The sport can be dangerous if you’re not safe and smart. So take my advice – buy good kiteboarding gear, take care of it and yourself, and you’re bound to have a great time on the water!