What kite should I buy?

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What kite should I buy?

Postby Paul » Fri Aug 17, 2007 9:54 am

Last Updated: July 2015

As I club we're often asked, by people who want to get into power kiting, what kite to buy as their first kite. Here are my recommendations:

An average adult should start with a 3.5m to 4m four-line kite which will get you going in most wind conditions but with much less chance of injury compared to the bigger kites. That size will also allow you to progress to buggying or boarding without having to buy another kite.

If you want to buy new:
Flexifoil 'Rage' or 'Blade V' or 'Blurr' - http://www.flexifoil.com
Ozone 'Octane' or 'Access 2015' (see note below) - http://www.flyozone.com/landkites/en/
HQ 'Beamer 6' or 'Alpha' or 'Apex 4' (see note below) - http://www.powerkites.de/?newLanguage=en#
Peter Lynn 'Hornet 3' or 'Twister 3' - http://www.peterlynn.com/

Where to buy from:
ATBShop (Swindon, Wiltshire) - http://www.atbshop.co.uk/

If you want to buy second hand (ensure the kite is in mint condition with no repairs):
Flexifoil 'Bullet' or 'Bullet 05' or 'Blade III / IV'
Ozone 'Method' or 'Flow' or 'Cult' or 'Haka' or 'Access II / XC / XT / XT 2011 / 2012 / 2013 / 2014' (see note below)
HQ 'Beamer 2 / 3 / 4 / 5 or 'Apex 2 / 3' (see note below)
Peter Lynn 'Hornet I / II / 2013/14' or 'Reactor' or 'Rebble'

If you are buying for a child or you are an adult who wants the fun of power kiting but without serious power or lift then buy a kite between 1.5m and 2.5m and I recommend the HQ Alpha (http://www.powerkites.de/?newLanguage=en#). Their bomb proof build quality means that they survive being hammered into the ground over and over again.

Cheap kites:
I should mention at this point that there are many cheaper kites available than the ones I have recommended. Some of these work just fine and would suffice while you learn but others fly terribly and have poor build quality. This makes it harder to learn to fly and they don't last as long when, as a beginner, you spend plenty of time smacking them into the ground! If you are looking into buying a cheap kite check it out in the 'kite review' section of http://www.racekites.com

Ozone Access / HQ Apex:
These and other depowerable kites give the pilot the ability to change how much power the kite generates while flying it. This means that when other kiters get a smaller or larger kite out as the wind changes you can adjust yours (unless your are at the edge of the kites wind range) and keep on flying. The downsides are that they cost more, you get less power per square meter, and they must be used with a harness so the kite is attached to you at all times. Due to their reduced power an average adult should start with a 6m to 8m kite (4m for a child).

I have recommended Flexifoil Blades above. From a safety point of view you need to know that they generate a lot more lift than the other kites I have mentioned which some people say is not ideal for learning. I learnt to fly and kite buggy with Blades and have used them in many taster sessions and lessons so maybe I'm biased but my opinion is that as long as you learn to fly them in low winds and know that they can easily take you off you feet in strong winds you should be ok.

Insurance & Joining the SKF:
As a club we insist that anyone taking part in power kiting takes out insurance, which is less than £50 a year, from the British Kitesports Association (please choose Sheffield Kite Fliers as the club when you join) - http://www.britishkitesports.org. This is all you need to do to join the Sheffield Kite Fliers.

Setting up your new kite:
If you buy a new kite (or a badly set up second hand one) the most common mistake I see is with the colours of the lines, handles, bars, kite killers, etc. If they are colour coded red and blue/green, like most are these days, then RED IS LEFT and BLUE/GREEN IS RIGHT.
Paul 8)
Kite Instructor, Kiteboarding, Buggying
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