What are the main kite shapes in kiteboarding?
- Details: No bridle, classic C shape, wide squared-off wingtips, the most influential kite shape from which all modern shapes evolved.
- Benefits: Unrivaled unhooked performance, aggressive pop and power delivery, insane yank-your-shorts-off looping and boosting, direct feel and instant feedback
- Drawbacks: Not as user-friendly or versatile as other shapes, smaller wind range, harder to relaunch, not a good beginner kite, less upwind drive
- Details: A sport-changing shape that made kiteboarding approachable to the masses; a medium to high aspect ratio, tapered wingtips and a fully-supported leading edge bridle.
- Benefits: User-friendly, great wind range, depower and upwind ability, easy relaunch, lofty airs
- Drawbacks: Wingtips can get tangled in bridles if the kite gets tumbled, slower steering then other shapes, not as good unhooked or for looping, less direct feel and reaction due to bridle and pulleys
- Details: A modified C-kite shape with a more open canopy, slightly swept wingtips and a leading edge bridle.
- Benefits: The best of both worlds- combines the unhooked performance, power, pop, looping abilities of a C-kite with the range, depower, upwind drive, downwind drift and versatility of a bow kite.
- Drawbacks: Airs aren’t as floaty as bow kite, less direct feel than C-kite
- Details: The evolution of a traditional bow kite, less narrow wingtips and aspect ratio, simplified bridle, designed for more versatile, all-around performance
- Benefits: Difficult to go wrong with this shape, versatile, friendly for beginners, plenty of boost and drive, easy relaunch, great depower and wind range
- Drawbacks: Not a specialized kite for a specific style or condition
- Details: Stubby, low aspect shape with fat, rounded over wingtips and a small bridle supporting the leading edge
- Benefits: User friendly, safe, well behaved and extremely easy to relaunch, fast turning and looping, very playful
- Drawbacks: Not as aggressive in performance, less upwind drive than higher-aspect shapes
For more information on picking the right kites for your quiver read these blogs: