How much does it cost to kitesurf? Our take on the best equipment

If you’ve ever watched a kitesurfer soaring over the waves and wondered, “How much does it cost to do that?” you’re in the right place. Kitesurfing, while undeniably thrilling, can seem financially daunting. But how expensive is kitesurfing, really? Let’s break down the costs to see what it takes to start riding the wind and waves.

How much are kitesurfing lessons?

Your adventure into kitesurfing begins with lessons. As a newcomer, investing in professional instruction is essential. Safety is paramount, and skills need to be built sequentially. Expect to pay around £50 to £75 per hour for lessons in the UK, depending on the location and the reputation of the school. Opting for group classes can bring the cost per hour down substantially.

Gearing Up

Once you’ve got some lessons under your belt, the next step is acquiring your own gear. A typical kitesurfing setup includes a kite, a board, a bar, a harness, a helmet, an impact vest, and a wetsuit.

Kites

A new kite can cost anywhere between £500 and £1500, depending on the brand and model. Different types of kites are suited for various conditions and skill levels. Beginners often start with ‘Bow’ or ‘Delta’ kites as they are stable, easy to relaunch, and offer good depower for safety. More advanced riders might opt for ‘C-kites’, which are great for unhooked tricks and offer a more aggressive ride.

Boards

Boards range in price from £200 to £600. For beginners, a larger ‘Twin Tip’ board is recommended for its stability and ease of use. As you progress, you might consider a smaller board for greater manoeuvrability or a ‘Directional’ board for wave riding.

Bars and Harnesses

The control bar and lines, which you use to steer the kite and manage power, typically cost between £200 and £400. Harnesses, which attach you to the kite via the control bar, can range from £100 to £200. The choice between waist harnesses (providing more mobility) and seat harnesses (offering more lower back support and stability) depends on personal preference.

Helmets and Impact Vests

Safety should never be compromised. Helmets and impact vests can cost between £50 and £150 each. They provide protection against impacts, an essential safety measure, particularly for beginners and those learning new tricks.

Wetsuits

Given the UK’s generally cool water temperatures, a good wetsuit is a necessity. Prices range from £100 to £400 depending on thickness, brand, and features.

In Conclusion

So, is kitesurfing expensive? It certainly can be, but remember, these costs are typically spread over many years of thrill-seeking on the water. With informed decisions and strategic investments, the cost of kitesurfing can become a manageable part of your pursuit of this exciting sport.

Let’s break down the best options for you:

Best Kites

Top manufacturers in the kite game are North, Cabrinha, Slingshot, and Duotone, each renowned for their quality, performance, and value for money.

North: Esteemed for their versatile and user-friendly designs, North kites are a go-to for both newbies and seasoned pros. Known for their durability and reliability, they can take a beating in even the roughest conditions. Priced at around £800 – £1,200, they may be a touch more expensive, but with North, you’re investing in lasting quality. The downside? That sterling reputation and advanced technology come with a premium price tag.

Cabrinha: Famed for their stellar performance and versatility, Cabrinha kites cater to a wide array of styles – freestyle, freeriding, and wave riding. Their ever-popular Switchblade model combines performance and safety, making it a favourite among kitesurfers. With a price range of £750 – £1,000, they’re a slightly more affordable choice. The trade-off might be their slightly lower durability when compared to high-end competitors like North.

Slingshot: Slingshot kites offer excellent performance at a moderate price (£700 – £950), making them a fantastic choice for those on a budget without wanting to compromise on quality. Their kites are known for great stability and power. However, their designs can be a bit less beginner-friendly than other brands, so keep that in mind if you’re just starting out.

Duotone: Duotone provides kites with top-notch build quality and innovative designs. Their kites (£800 – £1,200) are known for excellent depower abilities and precise control, making them a delight for experienced kitesurfers. They may not be the most budget-friendly option, and their advanced features might be overkill for beginners, but for seasoned kitesurfers looking to upgrade, Duotone is a worthy consideration.

best kites for kitesurfing

Kiteboards

Moving onto the boards, renowned brands in the field include Slingshot, Cabrinha, North, and F-One.

Slingshot: Offering a range of beginner-friendly to advanced boards, Slingshot focuses on stability and user-friendly designs. With prices around £400 – £600, they present a reasonable investment. The trade-off is that their beginner-friendly models may not offer as much speed or pop as more aggressive designs.

Cabrinha: Priced around £500 – £700, Cabrinha boards are known for their combination of comfort, performance, and durability. Their designs cater to various riding styles from freeriding to wakestyle. However, their advanced boards might prove challenging for new riders.

North: North’s boards (£550 – £800) are noted for their innovative construction and high performance. They excel in various conditions from flat water to choppy waves. The downside? Their high-performance designs often come with a steep learning curve for newbies.

F-One: F-One offers boards (£500 – £700) that shine in control and smooth riding. Their boards are ideal for riders looking for comfort on long sessions. But, they might not provide the high speed and aggressive pop that advanced freestylers seek.

best bar for kitesurfing

Bars

Key players in the bar arena include Duotone, Cabrinha, Slingshot, and North.

Duotone: Duotone bars are widely praised for their top-notch safety features and easy handling. Priced at £400 – £500, their bars offer excellent control and durability. However, they may be a pricier option compared to other brands.

Cabrinha: With a price tag of £300 – £400, Cabrinha offers bars that are both reliable and robust. Their bars are known for comfortable grip and intuitive safety systems. But, their control system can take a bit of getting used to, especially for beginners.

Slingshot: Slingshot bars (£300 – £400) score points for their comfortable grip and simple safety systems. They are an excellent choice for riders on a budget. However, they may lack some of the advanced features found in higher-end models.

North: North bars, priced between £350 and £450, are renowned for their safety features and the clean, clutter-free design. The downside is that their parts may not be as readily available as other brands.

best harnesses for kitesurfing

Harnesses

Major brands include Mystic, ION, Dakine, and Ride Engine.

Mystic: Mystic harnesses (£150 – £220) are a favourite for their comfortable fit and innovative features. However, their higher-end models might be a tad pricey for those on a budget.

ION: ION offers harnesses (£140 – £200) that are comfortable and durable. Their models fit a variety of body shapes well. However, some users have reported wear over time with intense use.

Dakine: Dakine harnesses (£100 – £180) are known for their comfort and durability. They’re a fantastic budget-friendly option. But they may lack some of the high-end features found in other brands.

Ride Engine: Ride Engine harnesses (£180 – £250) are celebrated for their hard-shell designs that offer incredible support. The downside? Their rigid structure might not suit everyone’s taste, and they are at the higher end of the price spectrum.

Remember, no matter the brand or cost, the best equipment for you is what fits you well and suits your style and needs. Test out different options, ask for advice, and make the choice that feels right for you.

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Images by Thomas G.; Freddy; PublicDomainPictures;

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Max
Co-founder and Chief Adventurer

I am Max, the co-founder and CEO of adventuro. We are on a mission to help you get into the sports you have always wanted to try, or develop in the sports you love, exploring new skills and locations. We do this by partnering with the best instructors, guides, and activity centres to get a great spread from beginner all the way to instructor training.

For too long, it has been way to confusing to find your next steps, or even to know where to start when getting into adventure sports. I am an experienced and/or qualified paraglider, skydiver, scuba diver, freediver, power boat driver, snowboarder, kitesurfer, kayaker, mountain biker, surfer, dirt biker, wakeboarder, and sailor.

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