What Are the Types of Kites for Kitesurfing?
Kitesurfing kites, also known as parafoil kites, vary in shape, size and construction. There are two main kite categories: Leading Edge Inflatable (LEI) and Foil.
A LEI kite is a single skin parafoil kite with inflatable bladders providing structural support. This kind of kite is the most common for kitesurfing. It can float on the water surface and can be re-launched with ease, making LEI kites perfect for beginners.
Even though foil kites are the most efficient for this sport, they have no inflatable bladders. Foil kites work with either closed or open air cells that take shape with the air entering the kite. If it drops into the water, it can potentially fill up with water and sink.
How to Choose a Kitesurfing Kite?
Your skill level and riding style determine the kind of kiteboarding kite that is perfect for you. Riding styles can be divided into freeride and freestyle.
All beginners start with a freeride kite. Freeride kites catch less wind power and are easier to control. These kites are perfect to start your learning journey and cruise on flat water with moderate speed. Intermediate to advanced kitesurfers will prefer larger, freestyle kites. Even when the wind is light, freestyle kites will help you get the most power. This way, the kiteboarder can cruise over large waves or gain high speed on flat waters.
If you want to know more about kites, check our detailed Buying Kitesurfing Gear guide.
You can always find all the gear you need on our Kitesurfing category page.