Kitesurfing equipment description

Kitesurf material

The essential material for kitesurfing is made up of the kite; the lines, which are the ropes or ropes that are tied to the kite; the bar, which is the point of union of the lines with the athlete; the harness and the board. If sailing throughout the year or in not very warm waters, the wetsuit is also a basic equipment.
Let’s start with the kite. The kite is the differential part of kitesurfing, it is what gives this sport its name and it is the element that provides propulsion and direction to the athlete. The kite consists of an inflatable leading edge that gives it shape and rigidity, a series of inflatable ribs that help the leading edge to maintain its shape. The “canopy” or fabric that is the element that provides support and power. This fabric is bonded and sewn to both the leading edge and the ribs. The kitesurf kite can come in various shapes and sizes. Both are adapted to the physiognomy of the athlete, to the environmental conditions where it is practiced (both wind and waves) and to the style of kitesurfing that you want to practice, be it speed, jumping, wave surfing or hydofoil.




The basic shapes of the kite are the following :
5 “The most common types of kiteboarding kites”, accessed June 1, 2019, https://www.surfertoday.com/kiteboarding/the-most-common-types-of-kiteboarding-kites.
•• Type C: Type C kites are the first type of inflatable kite to be used and have been used ever since. These are very agile and provide a lot of power. Their biggest problem is that they cannot be de-powered, that is, they cannot be modified so that they give less power, which is key to increasing safety against rising winds, and they have little ability to navigate to windward. Another big problem is that they are more difficult to relaunch from the water. These are mainly used for the practice of freestyle, a style that consists of doing jumps and pirouettes in the air.
•• Bow type: This type of kite appeared in the mid-00s and aims to cover the defects of the type C by giving the kite a flatter shape and a system of flanges on the leading edge that give it the ability to be deformed by the athlete to further reduce power. In addition, it has a better attitude when sailing to windward. Its biggest problem is the loss of agility and mobility compared to the type C. This kite is ideal for beginners, sailors and lovers of speed.
•• Type D: Very similar to the Bow but ending in a point, it is a development of the Bow without bridles on the leading edge. Its characteristics are more similar to this than to the type C. The user profile of these kites is both beginners and lovers of speed.
•• Hybrid type: Look for the best of the C kites together with the best of the Bow and Delta kites, the result is a very versatile kite, with flanges on the leading edge, but more mobile than the Bow. As a multipurpose kite, they are the most used since it is suitable for all types of kitesurfing, but it does not have the specific characteristics to be optimal in jumps or speed.
•• Foil Type: These kites, as their name suggests, are designed to sail with hydrofoil and generally with weaker winds.


• That is why they have the shape and appearance of a paraglider and consist of two fabrics with cavities inside that take shape when receiving an incident wind current. In order to maintain shape only with the current itself, this kite is equipped with a network of ropes that limit the shape. Although these ends are prone to tangling, so it is necessary to maintain a very meticulous care.



The next essential material element is the lines and the bar together with the harness. These elements are less visual, but they are basic since without them the kite and the athlete are not united. The lines are generally made of a high-density polyethylene marketed under the name Dyneema. They are ropes or ropes with a thickness of between 1 and 2 mm and their characteristic is their little deformity and their great capacity to withstand traction. They generally join the kite at 4 points which are the back tips of the kite and at the leading edge slightly to each side. Only in type C there is a fifth line that goes to the center of the leading edge and allows you to completely “deactivate” the kite quickly. The lines go from the kite to the bar. This is considered the steering wheel of kitesurfing and is the tool used to control the kite. If the bar is tilted to one side the kite will go to that side and vice versa. To give power, you have to pull the bar towards the athlete’s body; and to lose power, the bar is released. Not only is it the control system, but it is also the element where the security systems are located, called “depower and the“ Chicken loop ”. The “depower”
It is a rope that allows to regulate the angle of attack with which the kite receives the wind flow, this allows us to increase the angle of attack and have the maximum power or reduce it to lose lift in the face of a substantial increase in wind. The “Chicken loop” is the connecting link between the bar and the harness. It receives this name because it was the first safety system implemented in kitesurfing, so that, for the pioneers, those who used it were branded as “chickens”. Its main functionality is to allow the crew member to release himself from the kite with a simple pull in a dangerous situation. The “Chiken loop” usually goes together with the “leash”, which is a redundant system that is tied to the back of the harness and allows you to release the “Chicken loop”, depower the kite, but keep it tied and thus not lose it and power use the kite to be seen in case of rescue. Likewise, in extreme situations the “leash” also allows you to completely detach yourself from the kite.
As for the harness, there are two types: waist and butt. Those with the ass are more uncomfortable, but they hold the athlete by the buttocks, which helps him when it comes to getting up with the force of the kite when the athlete is in the water. Instead, the waist harness is like a wide belt. It is usually more comfortable, but it does not help the athlete to get up from the water, so this type of harness is recommended for athletes with a higher technical level.
The last element, but no less important for that, is the table. The board is the element that is in contact between the athlete and the water and gives the user a certain degree of buoyancy. It is also necessary to offer a specific direction to the heading and allow the pilot to navigate where he wants and not be forced to drift, that is, to go only to leeward. The table consists of the table itself; the footsraps, which are the tapes where the feet are put and hold the board together with the athlete; the fins or fins, which are on the underside (submerged) of the board and prevent it from drifting. It should be noted that there are boards that instead of footstraps have integrated boots and thus there is no way for the board to come off the feet in a jump.
There are two basic types of tables: bidirectional and unidirectional. The bidirectional ones are the most widespread because they allow you to navigate indistinctly in both directions and make maneuvers such as tacking and jibe much easier. The unidirectional board is usually shaped like a surfboard and is used to catch waves or go at high speed. These boards tend to have greater buoyancy and sail better to windward, but require a higher technical level because the athlete has to move their feet on it to change sides.
The tables can be of different lengths and widths and each one is designed for an activity and a level. The longer and wider the board, the more buoyancy and, therefore, it is easier to use and more stable. On the other hand, the smaller they are, the more maneuverable they are and the more comfortable for jumps. Since the advent of hydrofoil, boards adapted to this type of fin have been created, they are unidirectional and have a more reinforced fin insertion zone due to the fact that the bending moment at this point is very high.

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