Kite boards are currently classified into two large groups: the bidirectional boards, popularly known as twin tips, and the directional boards called surfboards. As we say, these are the two large sets in which kite boards can be grouped today, although there is a group that is growing enormously in recent years, which are foil boards.
The first thing to keep in mind to select the ideal board are the physical characteristics of the person, the place where you are going to navigate, the type of use you are going to give and finally the level of kitesurfing. Based on these parameters, we can establish the measurement and type of board in a general way, to which we will have to finally add personal preferences.
Types of board
Bidirectional or TwinTips: these boards are easily distinguished by being symmetrical, that is, you can navigate with them in both directions without changing the feet, the nose of the tail is not distinguished, in fact they put fins at both ends of the board. They are used both for freeride and freestyle, and usually add foot straps or boots type fixings to bring the foot fixed to the board more or less freely.
These types of boards come standard with various perforations at the top of the board to adjust the position of the fixings according to the rider's taste, so that both the angle of the position of the feet and the distance between them can be modified , something very convenient especially for those who are in the learning phase or evolution.
- Freeride: freeride boards are the ¨all terrain¨ of the twintip. Generally, they present a soft flex and a light rocker allowing to cross the sea from one side to another and perform some maneuvers and jumps. In the Duotone range we have the Select, the Gonzales and the Soleil specially designed for the female audience
- Freestyle: freestyle boards have greater jumping capacity and are ideal for more advanced riders as they offer better pop in jumps and provide a safe landing even in harsh conditions. The Jaime, Hadlow and Team Series models are the Duotone tables for FS.
- Wakestyle: the wakestyle boards are designed to navigate over obstacles such as sliders or kickers. These boards are slightly thicker and have a more robust construction to deal with more radical maneuvers and even collisions. They also have a base specially designed to face obstacles. The Gambler model is ideal for the WS although Duotone also recommends the Hadlow for a combined use between wake and freestyle.
These boards mount footstraps type fixings or come without fixings, which are replaced by a non-slip pad to offer the appropriate grip when catching waves, so they are very similar to surfboards.
As for the navigation style, for FR and FS boards with a flat nose are used, practically flat that improves navigation in these conditions, such as Duotone Whip or Nugget models, while for wave sessions, especially when there are big waves, are used the typical sharp nose surfboards that greatly improve the performance in waves, and for which Duotone has the Wam and the Pro Session as definitive boards to face the most extreme surf conditions.
In both TwinTip and Surfboard there are different board constructions on the same model, which we will see in detail in an upcoming post, since we will now review the main characteristics of the boards in a more generic way.
Main featureFlexibilidad: Todas las tablas son flexibles ante el esfuerzo, distinguiendo entre una flexión dura, media y blanda. Las de flex blando minimizan el impacto en el agua, las de nivel medio son unas grandes todo terreno, ofrecen un buen pop en los saltos, pero también una navegación cómoda, y las más duras dan el máximo pop posible y por tanto son usadas principalmente por pros o riders avanzados para realizar los trucos aunque la comodidad a la hora de navegar es menor. A modo de resumen general, podemos establecer que el flex blando se usa en FR, el medio en FS, y el duro en WS y pros del FS.
Flexibility: all boards are flexible to the effort, distinguishing between a hard, medium and soft flex. The soft flex ones minimize the impact on the water, the medium level ones are large all terrain, they offer a good pop in the jumps, but also a comfortable navigation, and the hardest ones give the maximum possible pop and therefore they are mainly used by pros or advanced riders to perform the tricks although the comfort when sailing is less. As a general summary, we can establish that soft flex is used in FR, medium in FS, and hard in WS and pros of FS.
Size: larger boards offer greater flotage and manage errors better than smaller boards, so large boards are more suitable for gentle winds and starting riders. A longer board shows greater stability in the water although less maneuverability in turns.
However, the main thing is the width of the board. A wide board begins to plan before, offers better performance in tight and better pop, however with much power they are more difficult to control than narrow boards.
Rocker: the rocker refers to the curvature of the board between both ends. The boards with a large, very curved rocker are ideal for turns, while the boars with a smaller rocker are faster and offer better performance in tight since they are flatter.
Channels: the bottom of the board greatly influences your navigation properties. Basically, the bottom of a board is distinguished by the arrangement of the channels. The existing variety is so wide that we will dedicate an upcoming exclusive post to the channels.
Fins: They contribute to the grip of the board in the water and ensure that it does not drift during navigation. Larger fins offer greater grip in the water. On the other hand, smaller fins make it easier to turn and maneuver with the board. In the case of the twintip, the fins are very small since the control and the change of direction are carried out with the edge of the table.
This is a general summary of the aspects that you should know if you plan to purchase your first kite board, change the current one or renew your material. We still have important characteristics to analyze, such as the construction of the board or the design of the bottom. Both themes are quite dense although for giving an advance in terms of construction, in the Duotone range we have the Textreme finished models as the highest in range for the use of carbon in its construction, which makes them lighter and stronger, and in Pro model surfboards use the most advanced technology construction due to their performance and lightness.
Stay tuned for the Wet-Store blog because we will continue publishing content related to kitesurfing. So far good waves and good wind, until next time