The thrill of the surf has been my siren song since my landlocked days in Salt Lake City, a call that only grew louder as I set my roots down by the breezy coasts of the Florida Gulf.
It was here that I first felt the irresistible pull of a kiteboarding kite in my hands, an experience that redefined my love for the ocean’s swell.
Kiteboarding is not just about riding the waves; it’s about dancing with the wind. The kite is your dance partner, a dynamic force that propels you to new heights and speeds, allowing you to carve the water’s surface in ways a surfboard alone could never allow.
For those ready to harness the power of the wind, the choice of kite is paramount. The perfect kiteboarding kite is a marvel of design, a tool that responds to your every command with precision and grace, transforming a stiff breeze into an artist’s brush that paints your path across the open water.
In my years of kiteboarding, I’ve ridden the winds on countless kites, each with its own personality and flair. I’ve come to know what makes a kite not just good, but great.
From nimble kites that dance in the lightest air to powerful beasts that charge through gusts, the right kite can make all the difference.
Join me as I dive into the world of kiteboarding kites that stand out from the rest. I’ll unveil the ones that have won my heart and trust on the water, and I promise to guide you to the kite that will be your faithful companion as you take to the skies and make the ocean your playground.
Table of Contents
The Best Kiteboarding Kites For The Money
#1 Ocean Rodeo Flite Kitesurfing Kite - EDITOR'S CHOICE
Last year, I was looking for a bigger kite to add to my quiver. As always, I sought advice from friends, and they were against me going for a kite bigger than 12m. They weren’t quick and fun to play with.
But due to the light wind conditions back home, I decided to bite the bullet and go for the 14.5M Ocean Rodeo Flite.
It’s a really huge kite, but it has turned out to be so much more. More importantly, it has changed my idea of what a big kite feels like.
I’m 140 pounds and have ridden it in 10-12 knots of wind on standard twin tips; I am pleased with the amount of power it offers to jump and ride upwind.
Overview of Features
Ocean Rodeo Flite might be big, but it’s indeed lightweight coming at a measly 10 pounds.
It’s not so much of it on paper, but once you’re in the air, you’ll realize how quick and responsive it feels.
The performance gains from the lightweight design are massive. It flies well, loops easily, and is definitely fun to play with.
The other desirable element with the Rodeo Flite is the great design and tough construction.
It’s an awesome kite, with a great bottom, top-end, and well-made with all the reinforcements at the right places.
The Polyant K-PE DACRON and Ripstop reinforcement stand up to the abrasions and slams on the ground.
Simply put, it’s built to last and will serve you for quite a long time.
Everything said, performance is what matters most on a kite.
The good news is Rodeo has cracked the code on light wind kiting with the Flite.
The Flite is a session saver and will turn much like a smaller kite does, even in the lightest of wind.
It has opened up days when everyone is standing on the shore. I effortlessly catch wave after wave, even when it’s eight to 10 mph.
Given the size, you would think this monster whips slowly on light winds.
But the truth is they’re quicker than most small kites I’ve tested and loop like crazy, too, with smooth power delivery.
At the same time, they’re quite stable to use and hardly drop.
Water relaunch is also incredible, and I can perform it even as low as 5 knots.
Ocean Flite has a pretty wind range.
It depowers effectively, and I’ve had the wind turn on me without feeling like I was going to get yanked out to sea.
Overall, Ocean Flite is a nice kite and will really open so many kiting days.
It stays up even when the wind is light and will generally make you a better kiter. I would recommend it.
#2 Prism Synapse Dual-line Parafoil Kite -- Best Trainer Kite
I’ve had a couple of dual-line kites, and most of them sucked. They were complex to set up and were generally frail. They often broke the spine once they crashed.
The Pris Synapse, however, has given me a new perspective on the dual-line foils.
I got it for my son, and even after taking it out many times, it hasn’t broken or anything. The kiting experience has been much more pleasant than I initially anticipated.
Overview of Features
Prism Synapse Dual-Line trainer kite is the perfect option for a complete beginner.
My son hasn’t had previous experience with multi-line kites and didn’t struggle with the kite as much.
On our first day, I was impressed at how fast he got the hang of kiting.
He’s by no means an expert flyer; but this kite has given him the confidence he needs to fly.
I would recommend it for anyone else getting into kiting. And if it’s your first time, try it on a light breeze when it’s not too windy.
Prism Synapse Dual-Line is the epitome of perfection.
The kite is definitely fun to play with because it doesn’t break as other dual-lines do.
Even after crashing severally, it bounces back, and since it doesn’t have any spines, it can’t break. You simply need to reset it and send it back.
The stitching is nice, while the ropes are of high quality. Overall, it’s nicely made and maintains good condition if properly cared for.
Lightweight and Compact
Another plus with the Prism Synapse Dual-Line is the compact design.
It packs up really small-smaller than our single-string parafoil, and I’ve no problem bringing it with me on my trips.
It’s also lightweight, so it doesn’t add much weight to my baggage.
Prism Synapse Dual-Line’s performance is pure and simple.
It flies well, but it does need a good breeze and nice wind conditions.
We’ve used it on the shore, and my son and I had a nice time performing the spins, diving, figure 8s, and cutting horizontal lines.
It’s particularly a great option for kids as it launches them even in the slightest breeze.
The kite is generally easy to learn and will only crash when practicing big air tricks; Crashing does no harm.
My only complaint with the Prism Synapse Dual-Line is that one control line is six longer than the other. It sends the kite into an immediate turn during takeoff, so you need to keep your arms at different lengths to maintain a vertical flight.
The good news is instructions explain how to adjust the lines.
#3 Slingshot Sports Kiteboarding B3 Light Traction Kite -- Best Kitesurfing Kite for Adult Learners
I got the Slingshot Sports B3 as my first step to learning windsurfing.
It’s a nice option, especially for adults, since it’s bigger and comes as a full package. It has everything you need to become a kiteboarder or simply have fun at the beach or park.
Overview of Features
Best for Adults
Slingshot B3 is a popular kite with adults because of its immense power and drag. In my opinion, it has a similar performance to the larger inflatable options.
Yet, it’s small enough for daily practice but still big enough to provide the advancing users the drag they need to practice standing and to control a real surf kite.
It serves as a great kite for those wanting to learn the physics of sport-kite flying.
Using the Slingshot B3 is so much fun and quite a workout.
It’ll deliver a nice pull across the ground and drag you on the sand.
Overall, it’ll stoke you to step it up to a larger kiteboard while offering some great exercises.
Slingshot Sports B3 is durable as they come, and even after using ours for several seasons, nothing has broken or ripped.
It handles well to quite a bit of abuse, is really strong, and I feel comfortable using the kite.
On top of that, it packs into a nice, lightweight bag, which I keep in my car at all times, ready to fly.
Slingshot Sports B3 is a big kite, and the greatest benefit is you get to learn how to stand to properly resist the strong pull it generates when whipping it around in the power zone.
Understand the kite can generate an immense amount of power in a gust, so I wouldn’t recommend it for anyone weighing less than 140 pounds.
Although it’s only a 2-line kite, it’s super-easy to self-launch and supports different riding styles. You simply lay it down, face into the wind, and give the control bar a pull, and up it goes.
On days with higher wind, place a couple of water bottles on the trailing edge, then lift the bar and start pulling.
Overall, the Slingshot B3 is a nice purchase, but it would be cool if the bar were padded. I purchased a new pair of handles as the bars gave my hands painful blisters.
#4 Prism Kite Technology Tantrum – Best Value Kites
I would never have thought I would enjoy a kite as much as I’ve after getting the Tantrum 250.
It’s the perfect kite for those looking to improve their kite flying and control.
And the best part is the kite comes at really reasonable pricing and comes from the best kitesurfing brand.
Overview of Features
The Tantrum 250 is well-made and thoughtfully designed; you get value for your money. It’s a bonus, especially in such an expensive sport to get into.
Durability is also nice, and if you fly a kite correctly, it’ll last years.
While the kite will take pretty much any aerial abuse, I would recommend you avoid making it hit the ground, especially at full speed. Upon impact, the internal pressure increases exponentially, resulting in the kite tearing.
Most kite riders don’t need a full-fledged traction kite but would really enjoy the challenge of a kite with enough pull to take you for a ride.
That’s the Tantrum 250 for you.
The kite gives you some good pull-in gusts of 12-15 mph winds.
At higher wind speeds, the kite will drag you, and even after tipping the scales, it still pulls me forward occasionally.
Of course, this is part of the reason why kiteboarders love it; it feels like fighting a huge fish or tug of war. The thrill factor is immense and pleasant.
Meanwhile, the kite’s wind range is wide enough to allow flying at almost any time.
At 20-25mph, the kite drags me across the ground, and if I’m on my feet, I can effortlessly jump forward.
Flying this kite with lighter winds/low winds is probably the best for this kite. It won’t leave you hurting from your back and will leave a wide grin.
Ease of Use
The Tantrum 250 employs a control bar instead of two handles.
Personally, I prefer handles, but I found the bar to be good, especially if you need to go out in strong winds and get dragged around.
#5 HQ Kites Symphony Beach III – Best Stunt Kite
The HQ Kites Symphony III is the perfect model for learning aerial stunt kites.
It’s also more than the typical dual-line kites because it doesn’t suffer from broken parts, lost parts, or worn connectors that others do.
Even better, it folds up nicely into a small package that fits into the corner of my backpack or suitcase.
But more importantly, it soars well, has a nice turning speed, and flies like a bird! I’d recommend it.
Overview of Features
The material and construction for the HQ Kites Symphony III are nice. The polyester lines are sturdy and will stand up to the rough treatment.
And since there’re no rods in it, a rider can crash the kite without having to worry about breaking anything.
Most beginners will also find the kits quite forgiving to fly. It’s a ready-to-fly kite, durable, and includes everything you need to get on the air.
The HQ Kites Symphony is a nice beginner kite.
It’s very responsive and easy to fly.
Beginners will find it easy to learn the basics of using a power kite and haven, even on windy days.
Even better, it’s a great option for performing stunts such as jumps, even on the stronger winds, thanks to the nice turning speed.
However, it’s smaller, giving it a narrower wind speed range. It doesn’t like the slow wind.
Ease of Use
HQ Kites Symphony is pure fun. Fast and fun.
It’s also easy to use, easy to control, and so much fun to fly.
Zipping over wave tops, sand, and chasing the occasional sea bird just gets a whole lot better. What else could you ask for?
But as we mentioned earlier, you need some consistency with the wind and a bit of it. Not a storm surge wind, but something better than the average wind speed.
Best Kiteboarding Kites Buying Guide
Everyone has a different answer to the question, “what is the best kiteboarding kites?”
But our guide below will make the sailing selection a lot easier.
Here, we list everything you need to know about selecting the best kites for your needs.
Factors to Consider when Selecting the Best Kitesurfing Kites
Before we look at the factors determining the suitability of a kiteboarding kite, let’s first look at the different types of kiteboarding kites.
Five Types Kiteboarding Kites
The C-Kite is a traditional kite but phased out by the modern option.
It’s rarely used, and only by experienced riders.
The kite is challenging to use and not quite supportive.
2) C-Kite hybrid
The C-hybrid is an improvement of the original version.
It has better support and is ideal for freestyle riding.
3) Bow Kites
The bow kite is popular and ideal for various foiling styles and levels.
It has excellent support and wind range but is a bit slow.
4) Foil Kite/ Ram Air Kite
The foil kite lacks struts, and instead, it has cells pumped with air.
It’s a popular kite for foil racing.
However, it has several downsides, such as a challenge in landing.
5) Delta kites/ Trainer kites
The delta kite, also known as trainer kites, is a cross between the bow kite and C-kite. It’s easy to identify the kite because of its distinct D shape.
These kites support any type of riding style.
Your foiling style will largely determine the type of kiteboarding kite you choose.
Therefore, before pulling the trigger, take time to identify and define your style.
For example, consider whether you’re a beginner, casual rider, performance-oriented rider, or aggressive rider.
A right kite matching your skill is pleasant to use and will let you push yourself to the limits.
The other element to consider is where you want to practice kitesurfing.
Rather than buying a kite for every condition, consider the wind conditions or where you’ll be kitesurfing often, which is mostly related to the geographical location.
To determine the right size of your kitesurfing kite, you need to know the wind speed.
Generally, the larger kitesurfing kites are suitable for the days when there’s little wind, while the smaller kits are ideal for days with strong winds.
Your body also determines the right kite size.
The heavier you’re, the bigger the kite you need and vice-versa.
Also, understand you can’t get an exact kite size (universal size) for your weight and wind because every kite is different, and the conditions are different.
When purchasing a kite, consider the bar.
Pick a bar that suits the kit, and ideally, both the kite and the bar should be from the same brand.
The price will help you make an informed decision, especially if you’re struggling to choose between several brands.
Understand the best kites aren’t exactly cheap, but the right pick should be within your budget.
If you can’t afford the price of a new kite, consider renting one or picking a used one.
Best Kiteboarding Kites Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Q: Is kitesurfing gear expensive?
A: Cost will depend on purchasing new or used gear. The prices of the best kites also vary from brand to brand.
But understand kitesurfing gear is a bit on the higher side than most sports. It’s especially expensive if you factor in the expenses of lessons.
Trainer kites are generally more inexpensive than pro kites.
Q: Are kitesurfing bars interchangeable?
A: Yes, most of the kite bars can support any kite.
But be sure to check that the line attachments match the bar.
Q: Can you kiteboard in the rain?
A: It all depends on the location.
In some kitesurfing destinations, riding in the rain is a pleasant experience, while in others, it’s a fuss and may feel like someone is throwing little stones at you.
Whatever location you choose, ensure you’ve proper control of the kite.
Q: Can you kiteboard alone?
A: Yes, but I wouldn’t recommend it.
It’s nice to have another set of eyes help with the launch and watch over you.
While accidents are rare, understand kitesurfing is an extreme sport, and freak accidents can happen.
Wrap Up: Our Choice
Our winner for the best kiteboarding kites is the Ocean Flite brand.
It’s an incredible performer that goes to lengths to keep you in the air, even on the lightest winds.
The kite is also well-designed and sturdy enough to support the heavy users and take a beating, too.
Overall, I don’t think you can go wrong with the Flite.