Different Types of Kites

At first glance, one might think that all kite models are the same. The actual fact is... all kite models have different flying characteristics. It is important to choose the right kite for the conditions you are about to session in or style you want to ride.

There are 5 types of kites nowadays.

Foil Kites, C Kites, Bow Kites, Delta Kites, and Hybrid Kites.

 Slingshot Phantom Wing

Slingshot Phantom Wing

Foil Kites are very similar to parachutes. These kites consist of a number of air chambers giving the kite a pillow-like feel when it fills up with air.

Characteristics - Due to its special construction foils are the most efficient of the power kites. Many racers and hydro-foilers prefer these kites because they efficiently go upwind.

Pros - Lofty jumps, efficient upwind ability, usually no plastic bladders

Cons - Special handling when launching kite, can have difficultly water relaunching, high price, not beginner-friendly

Target Group - Snowkiting, landboarding, racers, hydro-foilers, freeriders

Example of Kites - Slingshot Phantom Wing or Ozone Chrono V3

Slingshot Fuel

Slingshot Fuel

Cabrinha Chaos

Cabrinha Chaos

C Kites are recognizable by their square wind tips and lack of a bridle. If you laid a C Kite down un-inflated and looked at it from above it would look like a rectangle.

Characteristics - The wide square wing-tips gives these kites "grippy" feel in the air and a good sense of power in the air. The lines are directly connected to the kite.

Pros - Direct feel of power, usually a simple setup, kites can take hits, kites move quickly in the air

Cons - Difficult to relaunch, little de-power, limited safety function

Target Group - Advanced, Competition, Freestylers

Examples of kites - Slingshot Fuel and Cabrinha Chaos

Cabrinha AV8

Cabrinha AV8

Starkite Taina

StarKite Taina

Bow Kites are the most common kitesurfing kites on the market. Almost every brand develops a bow kite. These kites have a bridle and swept-back wingtips. Using the bridles and pulleys, these kites have extended an depower range.

Characteristics - The swept-back wingtips and bridles help these kites relaunch out of the water. Plus an impressive ability to depower itself. Making them choose kites for beginners and intermediate riders.

Pros - Easy Water relaunch, great wind range, quick depower

Cons - Kite might invert and limit the safety function if the kite is left too long on the water.

Target Group - Freerider, Airstyler, Beginner, Foiler

Example of kites - Cabrinha AV8 or StarKite Taina

Slingshot Rally

Slingshot Rally

Delta Kites are bow kites with more swept-back wings. Think of a jet airplane's wings. These kites tend to be short and fat in shape.

Characteristics - With the short wingtips and bridle this gives the kite its direct feel. Delta kites have the best of both characteristics between C Kites and Bow Kites. Making them relaunch easily, and have a similar depower range as a bow.

Pros - Easy Relaunch, quick depower, Direct power feel

Cons - Kite might invert and limit the safety function if the kite is left too long on the water.

Targe Group - Freestylers, Competitions, airstyler, freeriders, beginners

Examples of kites - Slingshot Rally

Slingshot RPM

Slingshot RPM

Cabrinha Moto

Cabrinha Moto

Hybrid Kites are special kites that manufacturers create. By combining basic shapes and new innovative designs kite companies have started to develop different shapes.

Pros - It depends on the manufacture's intentions.

Cons - It depends on the manufacture's intentions.

Target Group - Competitions, Freeriders, Freestylers

Examples of kites - Slingshot RPM and Cabrinha Moto

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