The style of board you want is going to be determined by the style of riding you do. There are many differences in boards based on how you plan to ride, so be sure to research your location and consider your desired riding style before purchasing a board. Match what you want with what you’re looking for to ensure you get the best board for your kiting experience.
Freeride – This is the most popular style of kiteboarding. Riders are more concerned with having fun and learning techniques to improve the status of their skill. Freeride is all about cruising the coast and carving through the waves.
Freestyle – Freestyle riding is all about big air and awesome tricks. The “go anywhere” format calls for format free riding with riders hitting every wave, big or small and pulling only the coolest tricks.
Surf – Surf style kiteboarding requires surf style waves. This hybrid kite/surf sport involves riding the board like a surfboard with highly dynamic footwork and constant board manipulation. Sometimes this requires riding without foot straps, allowing the riders to maneuver their feet to improve balance and propulsion from the wave. Strapped riders use the power of the wind (a.k.a. the kite) to position themselves on top of the wave.
Race – Either course based or free-for-all, race style kiting is all about achieving the maximum speed over a set distance. Major differences involve more powerful kites to draw more wind power and special boards with specific fin design for optimal control and speed.
Wake/Cable – Wake or cable riding is the up and coming style of kiteboarding. It requires boards that are built and shaped more like a wakeboard with full boots and a stronger flex.
Light Wind - Lightwind boards are used when there isn't enough wind to effectively plane due to weak conditions. They are larger in size to create more surface area allowing the rider more control. Riders can either purchase a board designed for light wind, or, they can purchase a larger size of their standard board to achieve the basic increase in surface area without changing the performance in other areas.