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Gear suggestions

 
Post new topic   Reply to topic    Northwest Kiteboarding -> Gorge / Portland / Oregon Coast
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inferno493

Since 16 Apr 2015
19 Posts

 



PostTue Apr 06, 21 8:40 am    Gear suggestions Reply with quote

I've taken some lessons and am looking for gear to get me started. I'm 5'6 and 180 lbs. It was pretty windy (20+ kts) during my lessons and I was riding a 10m kite most of the time which seemed to work fine. Looking for suggestions on the range of kite sizes I might want. Also any other suggestions for a newb just getting into the sport. I have a budget of around $2500 for gear this season.

Thanks in advance.

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bigjohn

Since 13 Mar 2012
587 Posts

Addicted



PostTue Apr 06, 21 1:19 pm     Reply with quote

Find a friend you trust to help you purchase used equipment. Brand doesn't really matter as long as it was manufactured in the last decade.

Anything you buy you will destroy. Doesn't matter if it is new or old.

$2500 is a good budget to start out with.

One board, 3 - 4 kites.

The more kites you have, the quicker you will progress. Nothing worse than sitting on the beach because you dont have the right gear for the conditions.

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knotwindy

Since 25 Sep 2011
535 Posts

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PostTue Apr 06, 21 1:59 pm     Reply with quote

Anyone know if there will be swaps this season?
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inferno493

Since 16 Apr 2015
19 Posts

 



PostTue Apr 06, 21 7:54 pm     Reply with quote

Thanks, Unfortunately I don't have any friends that kiteboard. I need a summer sport and chose this because it looks like it has a lot of the fun of snowboarding, which is what I do in the winter.

Regarding size, do you think an 8-10-12 would be useable in most conditions? I will probably end up in the gorge and around Astoria for most of my outings so I figure average winds will be around 20kts.

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bigjohn

Since 13 Mar 2012
587 Posts

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PostTue Apr 06, 21 8:36 pm     Reply with quote

inferno493 wrote:
Thanks, Unfortunately I don't have any friends that kiteboard. I need a summer sport and chose this because it looks like it has a lot of the fun of snowboarding, which is what I do in the winter.

Regarding size, do you think an 8-10-12 would be useable in most conditions? I will probably end up in the gorge and around Astoria for most of my outings so I figure average winds will be around 20kts.


At 180 I think you are probably dead on. If you can figure it out, 6-8-10-12 might be better.

As you don't have a sponsor I will throw out some opinions...

When purchasing used kites I would suggest the following approach:

1) Look for a background of the seller. If purchasing off NWKite look at the seller's past posts. Do they have a good reputation? Do you trust them?
2) Confirm it holds air. Pump it up and let it set for a while.
3) Look for pin holes. They are okay, but try to keep them to a minimum if you can. You can always put tape on them.
4) If the kite has been repaired, look at the quality of the repair. If the repair was sewn it was probably a professional repair. If it is just tape, it was probably a DIY job. Do you trust the repairs? For perspective, you are purchasing a used kite. Expect to be placing tape on your kite...
5) Ask about the story? Why are they selling? Always good to get background.
6) How worn is the kite. Key components to look at are how "crispy" the shell looks. New kites will have a crispy look to them while worn out kites will be flat. Look at the trailing edge, this is a wear point for kites that have sat on the beach a lot. Go over the kite inch by inch. Pay attention to the stitching.

You are buying a used kite. It will not be perfect. If you want perfect you need to pay $1500 per kite for your new kites.

But, get a second opinion. Find someone on the beach who will look at the kite with you, a third party without interest. Lot's of people willing to help out if you just ask.

Good Luck

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McLovin

Since 11 Sep 2017
193 Posts
Corbett
Stoked



PostTue Apr 06, 21 9:22 pm    Starting out RIGHT ABC's Reply with quote

Welcome inferno493,

Lots of generally solid advice from Big John he is one of the many solid citizens of the KITEmunity here in the PNW. They only possible bias that MAY slip into Mr. Big's advice would be his habit of riding a SS Surfboard most of the time and also blasting those groovy Boston tunes while boosting at Rufus (another thread I digress) but the hardest part for many veteran kiters is just to remember what the learning process feels like or can be like now verses 20+ years ago when they learned on much different gear.

This MAY (no promises) be where you can benefit from my more recent entry to the BEST SPORT in the UNIVERSE... I did windsurf for a looooong time like 20 years but only got KITE religion in the last 4+ years which is only to say I remember what it's like to be where you are now. I will send you a PM so we can continue this offline, but for brevity I'll list a few key points for the KITE community to consider:

1. You can probably spend less than your budget to get started well IMHO

2. What Big John said about quality 100%

3. At 180lbs in the gorge in summer - I think you can/should go down a size most people your (normal) size will run a 7 - 9 - 11/12 quiver. For comparison I am 275lbs in season 288 now ugh! but my quiver at my BIGGER SIZE is 8-10-12-14.5 and I ride my 8/10 like 70% of the time...you should be on a 7 - 9.

4. Lessons are AWESOME and CRITICAL - A discussion/review of your safety & self rescue knowledge is mandatory. That said there is a lot to learn - the 1st sessions post lessons are some of THE MOST STRESSFUL - I remember, your best bet is to find a buddy or group (even better) with a mix of learning peers and more experienced riders to shepherd you along.

5. There is NO RULE you have to smash up your kites / gear...I learned and kept my kite in great shape, the better you learn to FLY THE KITE, the better a KITER you will be.

6. You will need a bunch of other non-kite gear - it's important to have a plan and understand what brands / systems work and keep with the majors, this is no time to BUY some fringe stuff. KEEP IT SIMPLE. There are harnesses and boards and bars that will make your life easier and will allow you to grow at your own pace, meaning NOT limit your progression.

7. DO NOT BUY OLD GEAR - general rule is like 3-4 years max there is plenty around.

8. HAVE FUN - Kiting is the BOMB, be aware, make good decisions, when in Doubt trust your gut and live to kite another day...

Mc


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Ho-Toe

Since 30 Apr 2014
213 Posts
pissed-off science guy like Bill Nye
CO2 quantifier & upwelling specialist



PostTue Apr 06, 21 10:02 pm    Another option Reply with quote

Take one more lesson from a well-known instructor who will sell you your brand new lesson kites (plus a few more to fill out a quiver) at pro-deal prices. Think: south coast...

Re: sizes, it depends where you’ll be kiting. I usually do well at the coast on a surfboard with a 7/9/12 combo (except for those rare 5m days, or the less rare 17m days). Other locations are different though. Talk to your peers onsite to get the lowdown.

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inferno493

Since 16 Apr 2015
19 Posts

 



PostWed Apr 07, 21 8:06 am     Reply with quote

Thanks everyone for all of the info, I really appreciate it!

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Sasquatch

Since 09 Mar 2005
1890 Posts
P-town
STACKED



PostWed Apr 07, 21 9:07 am     Reply with quote

Here is a post that might help you out some, granted this guy was already a proficient waterman.

http://nwkite.com/forums/t-48662.html&highlight=

With your budget I think that your most important purchase right now is a nice warm wetsuit. Hooded 5/4.

I'm assuming you're wanting to start kiting this spring in the Columbia with the snow melt river water. This shit is cold and if you're learning you're going to be in the water a lot.

Warmer body = more time on the board and kite/water time. Plus it is safer. Dress for the swim, not the air temps.

As far as kites go, I'd get a 3 kite quiver. 6-9-12 or 7-9-12.

With you mentioning kiting in the gorge and Astoria this definitely will stretch the capability of your quiver. Astoria area is typically big kite zone (12-14meter).

I think you should focus on the small and mid sized kites the most. Focus on areas where the wind blows best for those kites. I'm thinking Jones and HR sandbar right now as those areas have more beach/shallow water and the winds tend to work with kites 6-9/7-9 meter. Also realize that you might need to go earlier in the day for the kites sizes you buy and your weight. A 6-9/7-9 meter kite can and should work with 1 bar. 17.5'' bar. 23.5'' bar for the 12m. Too big of bar for smaller kite or too small of bar for a bigger kite CAN work, but it isn't optimal. Small bar with big kite makes it really unresponsive and too big of bar for a small kite makes the kite too responsive and too fast to fly--crashes really hurt one with this arrangement. Like I said it can be done, but can cause problems and tendinitis/tennis elbow (which hurts like hell, doesn't take very long to incur, and takes much longer to cure; which will take you off the water).

Buy a cheap Twin tip, 144 to 148 cm.

And when you get your stuff, first thing you should do is get a Sharpie pen and write your contact info on everything.

Stick with it and know when to stand down if the winds are too strong and your kite is too big. Same applies to if the wind is too light and your gear won't work.

Welcome to the addiction.

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Singlemalt

Since 21 Jun 2015
345 Posts
White Salmon
Obsessed



PostWed Apr 07, 21 9:51 am     Reply with quote

I’m going to suggest you put a Go Joe on that cheap twin tip. Never, ever, put a leash on a twin tip, it’s not worth it and it could kill you.

When you are learning, you’ll make lots of uncontrolled kite movements, and that’s going to yank you downwind, leaving the board behind. Now you need to get back to the board, quick, quick. But if you crashed the kite and relaunch takes a minute or two, you are even further downwind of the board. A twin tip, straps up, or especially straps down, will take off with the current.

River current is low to moderate now, but the spring water will increase the Columbia’s flow by three maybe even four times. It will still be very cold. The current will be fast. Body dragging in cold water ears up your time and energy.

The Go Joe flips the board upright, and acts as a sail to get the board moving downwind. It is bright and easy to see. Most days, your board will be close or even down wind, easy to reach. No stress.

Write your name, number, email and “return for rewards” in sharpie all over your board. On all your gear for that matter. I’ve gotten every board I’ve ever given up on catching back because I made it easy for someone to get in touch. People are great if you make it easy.

Pick your days, and don’t go riding way out on your strong tack only to struggle getting back. Keep it short until you are sliding around, riding both ways, and staying upwind.
Have fun!

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A.K.

Since 01 Jul 2006
179 Posts

Stoked



PostWed Apr 07, 21 11:28 am     Reply with quote

At 275lbs I run 7,9, 12,14. So at 180lbs I would consider a 6, 8or9,11.

I think you can run with only 3 kites vs 4 if you are focused on summers in the Gorge.

As a beginner you will lose your board to the river. So this is a purchase you must definitely make used and spend in my opinion no more that $300. Immediately mark the board with your contact info. And be prepared budget wise to have to purchase a second board when you lose the first.

A.K.

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bigjohn

Since 13 Mar 2012
587 Posts

Addicted



PostWed Apr 07, 21 12:05 pm     Reply with quote

A lotta good input on this thread.


I see that most are suggesting a 3 kite quiver is adequate.

I don't believe anyone believes that a 3 kite quiver is better than 4, rather that with a $2500 budget you may be challenged to get 4 kites. If you are looking for places to save, cut the 4th kite.

In hindsight, if you are thinking a 3 kite only quiver I would recommend your smallest kite to be lower than an 8. Either 6 or 7 makes more sense. In a 3 kite quiver you want to take into consideration where you will be kiting the most. The Gorge has on average stronger winds than Jones beach or Astoria. So, Gorge might be 6-9-12 while Jones might be 7-9-12

Also are extras and contingency in your budget?

Extras:
Wetsuit, harness, helmet, kite pump, impact vest, kite bars (at least 2), kite knife. Also, you will be driving all over the place chasing wind so expect your travel costs to multiply extensively.

Contingency:
kite repair fees, beer fees (lost board return)

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inferno493

Since 16 Apr 2015
19 Posts

 



PostWed Apr 07, 21 1:43 pm     Reply with quote

Thanks everyone, lots of great information! Travel and incidental costs shouldn't be an issue. If it's like snowboarding I'll be banking a decent chunk of change for annual equipment purchases and I won't have to worry about season passes.

Thanks again for all of your help!

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jasonq

Since 12 Jan 2009
198 Posts
vancouver
Stoked



PostSun Apr 11, 21 12:48 pm     Reply with quote

i'll toss out a little redunant advice.

board, get a bigger twin tip board than you will need in the long run, someone mentions 144-148, yeah, that size range, 150 would be great too. And get a cheap used board, don't spend more than you need to. beginners usually benefit from a larger board since they are inefficient at first. So get the cheapest big board you can find. you will either out grow it and want a new one anyway or loose it to the river, so go cheap.

again, as a beginner, you will be less efficient. think about whether you want a 3 or 4 kite quiver in a few years. if 3 forever, 7-9-12 is a great quiver. if 4, in a few years, maybe think 8-10-12, and add a 6 later. 8-10-12 is a great beginning quiver too.

also think about whether you see yourself riding a twin tip or a surf board, riding swell, doing airs, etc. if you see yourself riding a surf board then you kites will likely be a little smaller, so that 7-9-12 quiver looks really good at your weight. you get the idea.

kites, really any used kite in good condition that is in the 3-4 year old range is going to be a good kite, but look for all around kites, even surf kites, but maybe stay away from freestyle style big air kites, unless you see yourself as doing that style of kiting later.

lastly, lessons, lessons, lessons. can't stress that enough. it is simply not safe to teach yourself to kite. and it takes a critical mass of time to get over the hump, so try to do lessons with few or no days inbetween. then when you are ready to go solo, find kite buddies, etc, and go as much as you can.

you will bleed money at first with lessons. And you might find you have less money for gear than you thought. So wait to buy anything until you have a few lessons under your belt, know you like it, and you have some knowledge under your belt so you won't do something stupid with your new gear.

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shred_da_gorge

Since 12 Nov 2008
991 Posts
USA
Opinionated



PostSun Apr 11, 21 6:20 pm     Reply with quote

I don't agree with the 'stay away from old kites' advice, except someone said to pump them up solid to make sure they don't leak - all kites break down after a while around the valves and seals. I have a few 2012 kites that I still use.

Used, large twin tip like folks said. A $4 wheelbarrow tire from Harbor Freight makes a fine GoJoe.

Lessons will be invaluable, but practice kite flying beforehand and study beginner videos.

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inferno493

Since 16 Apr 2015
19 Posts

 



PostMon Apr 12, 21 7:55 am     Reply with quote

Thanks, I have taken some lessons and been flying a practice kite for years but will look into some more lessons to start the season, certainly can't hurt.

Definitely going cheap on the first board since I have no idea what I will end up focusing on after I have figured out the basics. Kite-wise I am looking at starting with a nine and probably a 7 and going from there.

Really great info in this thread, thanks again everyone!

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shred_da_gorge

Since 12 Nov 2008
991 Posts
USA
Opinionated



PostMon Apr 12, 21 9:38 am     Reply with quote

Where are you based? I should get to Hood River for the season starting on Memorial Day weekend and have older 9m and 12m North Fuse kites (4- or 5-line compatible) you can have - as long as they stay pumped up (i.e. safe). I also have 6m and 8m Rebels I keep as spare, but could part with those (and possibly my 5-line bar) uber-cheap. (Am selling a newer 11m Neo that flies on 4- or 5-line bars but it's not the best starting point for you).

Also you could try my XL DaKine Renegade harness if you need a starting point:
(http://nwkite.com/forums/t-49528.html).

Not trying to sell you my used crap but give you options, as I'm moving into foiling from surfboarding and have the resources (and connections) to update gear as I continue to progress. You will beat these kites into their graves, like we all did in our early daze, and you will find time flies when you buy new gear and shortly realize better stuff is out there (by industry design ;).

Also keep in mind early Gorge season can be (extra) gusty and have challenging currents, so consult locals to gauge your comfort level. Lessons are only good to a point, so if you feel like you are past them, practice self-rescue. Not panicking is critical, and developing patience and intuition helps prevent that - lessons can't teach experience.

Where I think you should prioritize your spending:
1. wetsuit (dress for the swim)
2. bar and lines
3. used twin tip (136-140 is my guess for your size)
4. kites - "freeride" or "freeride/wave", not "freestyle"

Minor pointers:
- I recommend that your board has a loop to connect a leash (I may have a spare around)
- Board leash can be dangerous (I don't recommend), but wear a second (long) kite leash, which you can use to secure your board (temporarily) in case you have trouble relaunching or need to clear an inverted wingtip
- Search this forum for recommendations on a kite knife
- If your kite starts to loop ("death spiral"), best to flag it in first two or three spins max, otherwise lines get taught and flagging it doesn't help

All I can think of right now...

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