Put simply: you get what you pay for. Kiteboarding requires some pretty technical gear. A ton of research and development goes into good equipment that’s designed to perform, last and keep you safe. And don’t forget the super-strong, lightweight materials used to make the stuff work well.
When shopping around, you can expect to pay $2,500 to $3,500 total for a new kite, board, harness and lessons. It’s quite a small investment compared to other sports (i.e., no extra fuel or fees)! To help guarantee you get quality gear, here are a few industry averages you should expect to pay (based on the average 175-pound rider):
KITES Range: $1,300 to $2,200 Average: $1,700 This is based on North America’s most common “first” kite size from top companies: 12 square meters, which includes kite, bag, pump and control system. (Sold separately, control systems average $400.)
BOARDS Range: $400 to $1,000 Average: $735 “True” twin-tip kiteboards are designed with specific flex points and are reinforced with strong, lightweight materials and include foot pads and foot straps.
HARNESSES Range: $75 to $250 Average: $150 There’s no secret to a harness. It either feels good or it doesn’t. Try several on for the best fit.
LESSONS Range: $50 to $900 Average: $400 While you can learn rudimentary basics in a short lesson, it takes much more to learn this sport. If you’re serious, expect to spend at least four to six hours and pay $75 to $100 per hour for quality lessons.
Look for: Intro package deals. Many schools and shops offer packages that will save you $200 to $500 if you purchase gear and lessons together.
Advice: Make sure your shop takes you through an in-depth interview. Your gearevaluation skills may have yet to evolve, and credible shops only demo gear with knowledgeable kiters. Let the experienced riders pair your athletic background with the proper equipment for you.
Be Careful: Considering new budget gear? You’ll ride cheaper, but your skills may very well plateau early, as lowend gear lacks performance design. Plus, you’ll likely get lower quality, as craftsmanship has a price. Instead of buying extra gear a few months later, spend a little more now, and you’ll have gear that’ll stay exciting.
Avoid: Used gear from unknown sources. You’ll be taking huge safety risks.
WHY YOUR FIRST KITE SHOULD BE NEW Just found that “insane deal?” As a new kiteboarder, your experience in spotting good performance along with wear has yet to mature. Many used kites are sold for a good reason: They’re not wanted. The gear either lacks performance or it might have problems such as worn out lines, leaky bladders, rips, etc. Riders typically don’t sell good kites for the heck of it. Gear priced below market value typically equals risk. Sure, you’ll save huge, but chances are you’re increasing safety hazards. We’ve seen many kiteboarders who’ve spent more money on repairing their gear (and themselves) after buying cheap gear. They could have avoided the risks and financial frustrations by just getting a new kite.