Choosing your first twintip board-Tips and Tricks
Posted by JEFF NEWELL
Hey! Are you new to kitesurfing? And are you also ready to take the plunge of investing in some of your very own equipment? It’s always exciting to purchase new gear for the first time, however, with so many makes, models and design specifications on the market it can also be a difficult choice to make.
In this article, we will provide you with some useful tips and advice on how to make that right decision and the points below outline some key factors in helping you make the right selection for your needs and requirements by answering the following questions:
- Which size for my twintips?
- Rocker, Outline & Flex, 3d Shape, what it is? what to choose?
- What's the difference between a 500€ board and a 1000€ (is it worth to invest more?)
1. What size for my first Kitesurf TwintipAs with choosing a kite, which is all dependent on your weight, height and location, the same rules apply for your kiteboard. Some boards are aimed to be more user friendly for the beginner rider but that is not to say they are solely designed for beginners. Quite simply these type of boards have a more favourable shape and design that enables easier planning has more grip for upwind technique and softer flex to absorb the chop. The table below is a guide on what size would be suitable for your very first Twintip Board length. All boards shown are available from our store.
TWINTIP BOARD RECOMMENDATIONS: (Beginner)
- You are a slow learner or you want to make things easier? ==> Choose the size above your body weight
- Your local spot is often light wind? ==> Choose the size above your bodyweight
- Look also at the width of your board !! 141x41 and 141x44 is a world of difference in term of surface!
TWINTIP BOARD RECOMMENDATIONS:(Advanced)
- Riders that use boots will always go for a bigger board because they can pop massively.
- Indeed if you choose a board that's too big it's harder to pop and ensure you of a big jump.
2. Rocker, Outline & Flex, 3D Shape what it is? what to choose?
There are 4 main things to look for in a board shape and overall design
2.1. RockerThis is simply the amount of curvature a board has on its side profile from tip to tip.
The flatter the board the easier it is to go upwind as there is more surface area on the water. A board that has a more intense type of rocker is designed to give more pop and softer landings so not so suitable for beginners.
- IMAGE A: A suitable board shape would be one that is wide at its center and hold this shape to the tips, almost like a rounded rectangular shape. This squared outline will place more edge length in the water and allow the board to ride upwind easily.
- IMAGE B: A more tapered profile toward the tip of the board will be a forgiving ride in choppy water and make it easier to carve but more skill is required to tack upwind.
2.3 Flex:Describes how stiff the board is along its length. A soft flexing board will be smooth in most conditions as the board flexes through the water, absorbing any chop. The stiffer flexing board (wake style) are more common for freestyle riding using those load and pop tricks. More flexible is your board for comfortable for your knees will be your riding in choppy water condition. Be aware, if you are more than 80-85kg, don't take too much flex neither if you want to jump. Too much flex will absorb your pop in the board in place of loading all the energy directly in your kite lines.
2.4 Bottom shape:
Many boards now offer channels along the rails or tips to enhance the edge grip of the board. Deep concaves are used to allow the rail to sit deeper in the water and cut through - rather than over the chop - this rides incredibly smooth in powered up conditions. A board having no channels at all, is often flat with a simple concave. The two advantage of no channels boards are :
- Easier to repair!
- You can engage yourself in more slide way when jibing.
This technology has a price but is it a must-have?. this will give you way more control to your riding by having tips of your board completely flexible to have 100% in your jibe and in the meantime, the center of your board is stiff in order to provide you with great pop.
3. €500 board or €1000
Like most things in life, there are brands and models that are more expensive than others. There are very well known brands in the industry such as Shinn, F-One & Ozone, that have a much larger network of technicians and designers behind them as well as the most sophisticated and hi-tech equipment used in production. As with kites, all the major players offer various models of boards to cater for both budget and riding style. A major factor in the cost of a board are the materials used. Most are made using Paulownia wood, known for its lightweight and flex properties. Whilst other kiteboards are made of materials like carbon fibre and are typically the lightest, stiffest and most expensive on the market. But this does not mean that the most expensive board is the best, some riders just have to have a niche board with a heavy price tag for show. A twin-tip board is very durable and will last you some time, more so than a kite which you are likely to change every few years. So whichever board you choose it will certainly be a good investment go with whatever your wallet allows, but ensure that you know how to body drag before taking it out on the water for the first time in the open ocean.
So in general as a beginner go for a larger board to help your progression in upwind techniques but no so big that it feels like riding a door. A mid rocker and mild concave are good features to have and this type of board will be perfect for your first few years in kitesurfing. Even as you progress to an advanced rider it's always good to have a large twin-tip in your collection for those light wind days. Below you will find some useful links to our webshop to find the perfect kitesurf board for you: