Differences between a C-kite and a hybrid kite

We will now explain the main differences between a C-kite and a Hybrid SLE (Supported Leading Edge)

The first difference between these two models is the shape, which is a little more curved in the C models and flatter on the hybrids. The other difference is the connection of the lines to the kite, being direct in the C-kites and supported by bridles in the hybrid kites; hence the name SLE (Supported Leading Edge). These two differences also pose some pretty different characteristics between the two models: a more curved shape in the C-kites generates less projected surface to the wind; therefore, less power compared to a hybrid kite of the same size.

C-kite-Hybrid

A direct connection between the lines in the C-kites generates a faster, more direct response and a different filling. An optimization for a better fly occurs when the four lines get into a similar tension (effect produced when you get unhooked), and this is why most riders would use a C-kite when doing freestyle.

In the hybrids, the bridles allow for a better support of the leading egde so that the structure can fly with a higher angle respect to the wind thus making it possible to reduce more power in the kite and consequently, have a wider wind window.

The difference of shapes in the leading edge of both kites makes that they also have a different relaunch to water. Hybrids have an easier relaunch due to their half-moon shape; by pulling only a backline the kite turns quickly moving to the window border, ready to go up and fly again. The C-kite tends to stay in the center of the window requiring to pull the fifth line first and the backline in order to make it move to the window border and being able to fly again.

In the last few years, thanks to the evolution of the gears, hybrids are also used in freestyle. Actually, in international competitions, several competitors have used them and won without any troubles.

A GUIDE ON HOW TO PURCHASE A FULL SECOND-HAND KITEBOARD GEAR

Right after a kiteboarding course, most beginners start off purchasing a second-hand gear. Here, we would like to give you some recommendations to buy a second-hand kiteboard gear that can get you started and going on this sport the best possible way.

We do not recommend you to start kiteboarding without having taken a course with a specialized school.

Having little knowledge of this sport can pose a risk for both you and other bathers at the beach. It is important to buy a gear that allows you to evolve quickly, without wasting too much time on this initial stage.

The Kite

kite Nv 2017

Let’s start with the kite: in the last few years, all brands have achieved a good level of quality and safety. Choose a kite size that is proportional to your weight as well as the place where you would generally go kiteboarding. To make the most profit out of the gear you purchase, it is important to know the most used measurements in your usual spot. Ask usual beachgoers or school in the area what the usual wind intensity is. Later on, you could buy a smaller kite in order to increase wind window which will allow you to go with stronger winds and thus, increase the useful days for kiteboarding.

For a beginner, the most suitable kite is a 4-line hybrid. It is best not to purchase a 5-line kite like the C-kite type since these are harder to relaunch to water and they also have a lower wind window compared to a 4-line kite (hybrid) of the same size. Likewise, it is not recommended to buy a kite older than 4-5 years, although it also depends on how they were used.

Some 4-year old kites have been well taken care of and had little use, so they are still good. On the other hand, there are newer ones that have been really worn-out or left too long on the beach, thus accelerating fabric wearout in a short time. My advice for you is to control the kite’s trailing edge and the bridles, where the pulleys move along.

These are the points where a kite starts wearing out and also the first tearing and breaking points. Here is an example of a kite with a very worn-out trailing edge, so you can have an idea of what starts happening with the kite’s fabric.

A very worn-out kite
This wearout makes the kite weaker and easier to break and tear at these points. If the kite’s fabric has already been repaired, it would have to be assessed to check how well-repaired it is and how it flies. Sometimes, after some badly done repairs, the kite can fly the wrong way, even causing it to pull to a side.

The valves are another point where the kite can start presenting trouble. Generally, they can be stuck but it is best to test first: inflate the kite until it is real hard, close all the connections (if it is a one-pump kite) and wait 30 min to check if some parts lose pressure in order to assess which valve needs to be stuck and the repair costs. The bladders are pretty easy to remove if what you want to do is stick the valves or patch a hole. If it is a valve of the one-pump system or one of the leading edge, or even a hole in it, it could result more expensive or difficult to fix.

The bar

barra kite

The bar’s safety system needs to be controlled and tested to check it works, as well as the lines and the power trim. Some models that do not have the plastic protections in the power trim can wear out heavily, and even be cut in half. Provided that the bar is not too old, all spare parts can be found.

The board

tabla kite bidirecional

The best way to learn is with a bidirectional board. The measures have to be proportional to your weight and it is better if it is a little bigger rather than small (a beginner still does not have a good grab technique, so a bigger surface means great help). The board can last several years, as this is generally the part of the kiteboard gear that lasts longer. The straps can also wear out easily. Check their conditions and change them if they look too worn-out. This is the connection between you and the board, so they have to feel comfortable. Check the table for scratches underneath. If there were some cuts leading to the interior of the wood’s table, it could fill with water and break.

Here is a little chart of the most recommended measurements based on weight. A beginner could use a little larger measure.

• 55kg / 65kg = 39/41 x 132/136 cm
• 65kg / 75kg = 40/43 x 136/142 cm
• 75kg / 85kg = 41/44 x 138/145 cm
• 85kg / 100kg= 43/45 x 140/148 cm

Harness

kite arnes

A classic harness without seat is a good start in this sport. It has to be tested, since every model varies in shape and rigidity. This is also the most economic part of the gear. Make a good assessment before buying a second-hand model, because for a little difference you could buy a new model that suits you better. It is best not to buy a harness with a seat (unless you have problems with your lower back). Some schools use them for beginners, but they are pretty uncomfortable and within a short time, they wouldn’t need it.

I hope this information was helpful on your first steps in this fascinating sport…

If you are in Mexico and wish to repair your kite, here is our contact to our trusted person/ provider