Kiteboarding is considered an extreme sport, one that relies on not only balancing on a kiteboard but utilizing a kiteboarding kite to catch the wind and propel you forward. To make kiteboarding easier, allowing you to get the most out of the sport, you need to have the proper equipment, including both a board and a kite.
Top 5 kitesurfing equipment brands are:
- Cabrinha: known for durability
- F-One: wide range of products
- Slingshot: specialized products
- Ozone: for water, snow and land
- Duotone: the pro’s choice
However, finding the right equipment is not always easy, especially with the numerous brands out there. Today, the goal is to introduce you to, what we think are, the best kiteboarding brands, to find what you need to get started with the sport or simply find your next kite and board.
What to Look for in a Kiteboarding Brand
Most of the major kiteboarding brands are going to have something that suits your needs. Many cater from beginners to professionals, having all the gear any level kiteboarder will need. Still, what is most important when looking into a brand is making sure they have kites and boards that suit you.
Know what you need before going into things. Although you should be able to find something suitable regardless of the brand, do not assume you will be able to. Keep the conditions of where you plan on using your gear in mind. From there, decide what sizes you need and what types of kite and board you need.
For a beginner, you probably want a bow kite, while professionals use c-shape kites. In between that is a hybrid kite. With boards, while a twin-tip is the most common board type, there are others suited for certain needs, so make sure the brands you look at have what you need.
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Cabrinha – Durability
When looking at kiteboarding brands, one of the top names is Cabrinha. Whether you are looking for something easy to use as a beginner or something perfect for a professional, Cabrinha has a reputation for delivering. One of the big names in kites, especially for beginners, is the Switchblade (from WND&WVS.)
Cabrinha kites are known for two things, which are quality and safety. However, that is not all. The kiteboarding community as a whole has a steller impression of them as having products that are:
- Durable Construction
- Depower Ability
- A User-Friendly Interface
Durability is always a plus, and as of 2020, Cabrinha has introduced a new Nano Ripstop canopy, meaning a longer lifespan for their kites. Additionally, their user-friendly interface and the ability to easily depower makes them great for beginners. Their entire line can be viewed at WND&WVS.
F-One – Branching Out from Perfection
F-One has a long history, but its namesake is a single type of kite model, the award-winning Bandit. However, as of the last few years, F-One has started branching out, and it has proven itself to be a serious competitor when it comes to quality products.
First, take a look at the Bandit, which is a perfect example of what their products are capable of. The Bandit features:
- Targeted at all levels of rider, including beginners
- High power, power delivery, and control
- Superb hangtime
- Incredible turning capabilities
- A high degree of feedback
F-One is no longer known for a single type of kite. They have various kites and boards, with every one of them being well-worth the purchase if you are looking for a reliable product. More importantly, it is one of the most recognized brands in the kiteboarding world, from casual kitesurfers to professionals.
If you are looking for a high-end board, F-One might be the best choice you can make. It comes at a premium, and some of their products are more specialized, but they have been in the game for a long time and will always deliver.
Slingshot – Innovation and Specialization
Few brands can compare with Slingshot when it comes to kites. One of the best kites for a beginner is the Slingshot B2 or B3, two different sized kites meant as trainer kites. Not only are they decently priced at between $130 and $250, but they are meant for a wide variety of activities, meaning they are perfect for a newbie.
It is not just Slingshots beginner kites that stand apart from the rest, either. Their high-end kites are not only reliable, but they have a variety of specialized kites meant for anything you want to take on. That was a choice they made actively, abandoning their most popular kite a few years back to make more specialized gear.
However, it is not only their kites that boast power and specialization. Their selection of boards is equally impressive, with one of their boards, the Asylum V5 twin tip, being one of the most popular on the market. It even has the reputation of being the go-to board for Carlos Mario, a world champion kiteboarder. The board includes many features like:
- Being one of the most durable boards due to its unique material makeup
- Being created to be used with or without fins
- Having incredible pop and rebound compared to other boards
It is an aggressive board from a very innovative brand, one willing to toss away the safety of the past and move forward with new designs and the goal to provide kites and boards for every type of kiteboarding possible. If you want innovation and performance, Slingshot will give you just that.
Ozone – Minimalism and Passion
Another huge name in kiteboarding is Ozone. But, unlike some of the other brands, they do not only focus on the water aspect of the sport. Their main website has a passion tab at the top, separating the three sections into kiteboarding on land, water, and snow.
While they are still mainly focused on boards and kites for the water, they have a wide range of products for all kiteboarding needs. They are even set up to make custom kites, prepared to make something that not only suits your needs and delivers performance but looks any way you want it to.
Ozone’s brand of products are known for:
- Wide-variety of products
- Niche kites with impressive performance
Ozone makes kites for exactly what they are meant for, with no frills or additional parts. What this does is makes them easy to understand and learn about the kites. While you may not get as much versatility, Ozone can provide for any of your needs with a good product.
Duotone – The Professionals’ Choice
Few brands are as prominent in the kiteboarding scene as Duotone. Many professionals use Duotone products, with their quality and innovation making them a popular choice, if not the most popular choice, amongst those looking for the best boards and kites out there.
They are big believers of both boards and kites being important, even though many brands and people focus on kites. As such, they offer a great variety of both products, having many kites and boards of all styles. Moreover, their website offers far more information than most, helping point you towards the right style and gear.
Therefore, if you want a quality brand trusted by professionals, Duotone is the way to go. Better yet, few other brands deliver the same level of clarity about their products as Duotone does on their site.
Some Last Words
While a lot of people probably share our views on the above brands and models, please remember that equipment can be very individual. What works great for one person, might not be the best for another.
Make sure you also do your own research. If you are looking at a special brand and model, but are not 100% sure, go to a kite center and rent the equipment for a day. Test it out before you invest.