How many boards does one need?

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How many boards does one need?

Need and want are different things.

I do not need a surf board, I want one, at least I think so as I really liked the Litewave DV8 when I tried it a few years ago, but I don't need it.

I think I might need a smaller twin tip board however.

Currently I have a Litewave Wing 161 as my light wind (awesome board). 

An Ocean Rodeo Mako King 165 which was my first light wind board and now like using it in waves.

A Liquid Force 140 x 45 which was my very first board, although 6 years old it is in like new condition and works ok, so-so in choppy water however, too stiff and does not channel the chop too well.

But I also find myself sometimes overpowered with that board and I don't like being overpowered. I said "sometimes" and because "sometimes" is not "often" and I am a cheap bastard, which is why my oldest kite is a 2009 and my oldest car is 16 years old, smelly but still running, I'm debating with myself if I should spend $600 on a smaller board, like a 135.

How y'all deal with that question?

You only "need" 1 board. Or,

You only "need" 1 board. Or, one per kiting discipline that you wish to persue:1 twin tip, 1 surfboard (Compact or standard, with or without straps), and 1 foil. Or one per kiting discipline per wind condition? but wait, we already have multiple kites for that? I'm newer to the sport, and I already have a twin tip and a surfboard.

It does seem like all recreation sports companies are pushing their customers to have multple boards/kites/skis/snowboard/suftboards/bikes/whatevers in their quivers to increase business. Manufacturing is relatively cheap now. Most boards behave similarly -- we are fretting over the details to "optimize" our experience. One way to avoid equipment overload is to be willing to trade and share with your friends, provided that they are of a simlar size/weight, or realize that often times one is all you really need to get out there.

I sort of agree but not

I sort of agree but not completely. There is a huge difference between my 140 and my 161, that actually allows to not have too many kites. For example I remember a session this summer I was on a 9m with my light wind board, my 13m would have been too much (it does not depower much) and I don't have anything in between. It might have been ok on the 13 and a smaller board.
Overall I think you are right tough, that's probably why I did not get one yet.



you can buy 2 nice used boards with straps for $600. 

Having more boards(large for

Having more boards(large for light wind and smaller for powered riding) and fewer kites is a pretty cost-effective way to roll. Much easier to trash a kite than a board.

I started with a flat light

I started with a flat light wind plywood board and a smaller twin tip. Never really tried much else for some time and thought a board is a board and they just vary in size. Now a few years into the sport and kiting a lot, I discover the wide range of nuances every twin tip has to offer. Actually I am blown away how different a twin tip can be at about the same size.

I currently own and ride:

  1.  2008 132x39 RRD 5X (high winds, waves, choppy water)
  2. 2010 133x40 North Jamie (great in flat, pops well, nice in small chop)
  3. 2010 133x41 RRD Poison (good allrounder, at 41 width gets me going pretty easy, like it in moderately powered sessions)
  4. 2015 135x40 Cabrinha ACE (currently my go to board, supper snappy turns, handles most conditions well but hate the H1 straps)

You see, at first look you might think they are all about the same as they are about the same size. Wrong.

As soon as you are out of the beginning stage, borrow boards from all your friends and find out what fits you. Light wind boards are another subject all together. Oh yes, I have a few plywood light wind boards too ;)

All pure opinion... 

All pure opinion... 

I think changing a board is easier than chainging a kite for wind ups and downs. I used to think big kites were session savers then I started realizing that I did not like flying big kites at all. In 5'10" 200 and I think 132 -135 is great. To me its one board with boots and one without. I also recently dont see the need for latest and greatest board as they all end up working the same. I then got rid of the light wind board. I own 8 kites and 10 board prob between my wife and I so whos talking. But 12m, 9m and 132(135 with boots) is all I need 95% of the time. The other times I might bring out a 7m for a storms thats it or I chill. At some point you realize for tricks you find what you like holding an edge with and are used to popping with. The rest is just a mess and awkward when you try to do your thing with any accuracy or control. But 2 kites and one board 95% of the time is good. Means I never needed all the other crap...

All of them


No I would not need all the

No I would not need all the twin tips for sure. Just pointing out that there are differences, more than I ever thought. I also agree that an older twin tip can do just fine. But I don't think they all ride the same. I used to think that.

I do like to have a light wind board in my car to get me out on the dire light wind breezes of the summer. Beats standing hungry at the beach for me. 12m is also my biggest kite.

Three! I'm a big fan of the

Three! I'm a big fan of the hydrofoil. You can have a stoked session in 13-15 mph. For me it's been the best kite investment in years. With a foil, I find no reason to keep a big flat TT. As for the TT, I've been really happy with my 2011 North Jaime. And I love my north entity straps/pads. It's a great do-everything setup. My final board is a strapless surfboard...Firewire Vader. It's a sportscar for waves. And it loves to be jumped...super light, bomber construction. Those 3 keep me stoked and let me concentrate on other equally important perfecting the kite quiver.

Optimal board count is N+1, where N is the current count

I have 4 boards, a conventions twin-tip (135 cm Best), light wind twin tip (146 cm Underground), surf board ( 5' 10" Caution Trespass) and an Ocean Rodeo 150 cm Mako.  I often bring all 4 to the beach. 

I am not sure about the merrits of a kite specific surf board but have found the Trespass to be a lot of fun no harder to use than the DV8 I used to own. It does feel significantly more responsive, lighter and more bouyant.  I am still a beginner with about a 1 in 4 chance of succeeding on any transition that involves switching feet.  I ride it strapless only.

At some point I will probably add a foil board to my quiver but I am waiting for two things (1) the secondary market to become even more well developed for these and (2) my transition skills on the surf board to improve.  I expect both will coincide.

In terms of the optimal number of boards, I believe it is N+1, Subject to N+1<= S, where N is the current number you own and S is the number your spouce will tollerate. Same basic formula holds for bikes, cars and probably any other moderately expensive toy if you can affort them. 

Back to the initial question.

Back to the initial question. Should you buy a smaller twin tip? YES. Do you need to spend $600? You can but NO you don't have to. There are great boards on sale right now. Just look around. Does not matter if 1 or 2 years old. A good board remains a good board.

Truth: It took me buying and

Truth: It took me buying and selling 15 boards to develop a plan... :-) I loved everyone when I bought it and hated it when I sold it (though I said great things). As Daspi said Yes to small board. IMO you really cant get a good relationship with popping, jumping, and having good feel for edge release unless you get a 132-135 IMO (im 200lb 5'10"). So its good to have a goto performance board for all decent powered condtions.

136cm Jaime Pro, 138 X

136cm Jaime Pro, 138 X-Caliber 5'4 North WHIP, Pretty much does it for what I need.......

What I also bring..105 Finless Custom rogue Wave, Crazy FLy 145x48 All round for light wind twintipping, Cabrinha Tronic for Choppy chop and wave twin tipping, North X-Ride 135 for blasting turns and waves, Etc etc etc/


Love the 105, and is about to

Love the 105, and is about to be the season for it!

- K T H X B Y E P Z -

the hard part is to make the

the hard part is to make the right choice, too much of it.

I'm not ready for a surf board or a hyrdofoil but I need a smaller board at some point and don't really want to spend $600 on it either probably $400 with pads and fins max. I need an "all arounder" board that's not excellent in one type of condition but good in all conditions and works well in choppy water and small waves. When it's windy on the Cape, Chapin or WD get pretty choppy and that's where I usually go. The Cabrinha Tronic or Ace seem like they might fit that description.



take a look at the Northx-ride for an all rounder (2015 models have good deals as I got mine under $400) . I was really surprised at how much smoother of a ride it had compared to my x caliber in chop. I knew there would be a difference but I had no idea it would be that large. I feel every bump, wave, cat paw, with my x caliber but the north x ride felt like I was snowboarding.  

Now I have two boards

138 x Caliber for the pop and lighter wind                          

132 north x ride for free ride and higher winds


Yeah the X-ride seems like a

Yeah the X-ride seems like a very popular all around board, definitivly on top of my watch list.

Below $400 with or without footpads? That would be my max with footpads. 2015-2016 models are $700 to $800 currently with footpads. Seen a 2014 used for $300 but 138, I hesitate on the length leaning towards 135.

132 is really small though, recommended for riders below 165Lbs. I'm in between a 135 and 138.


X-Ride is a fantastic board!

X-Ride is a fantastic board! Really good for an advancing kiter, makes carving turns really easy, very good in chop and a good jumper/

2016s on sale 135 avail



The Ace will be the better

The Ace will be the better allrounder IMHO. Nice board. Prices are good at the moment. Call Phil and see what he can do for you.

Rocker (landing) vs Upwind

Rocker (landing) vs Upwind (efficient): Some wakestyle boards are great for wakestyle but I never went upwind well and like to jump allot so I need a board that can land well but still drive upwind especially when the wind drops. So an all arounder performance work well 

I find that what ever 132-135 size board I use when I try a new board I loose the relationship with the water and pop will make it hard to determine. As you buy and sell boards each board will play off the last meaing it felt better to you. But honestly what ever you are getting used to may not be better just more inline with your riding stye you picked up. So I think in some cases a board that does not feel right may not be all wrong its just different and in a week you may feel it made an impact on your riding becuase it was different. When you go back you your old board it will now be wrong and what ever board you thought was an improvemnet at the time eqully aweful. All boards are pretty good today. Avoid one that likes to spray you in the face and really I support that any board in that last few years that people review well will be good. My is get a good 132-135 and it will improve your riding, get one and be ready to try, buy, and trade more over time. So new is generally for once you feel you know specicfically what you like.

I should try more twin tips,

I should try more twin tips, only ridden the mako for ten years since learning on a door, mostly surfboards these days but always gotta have a twinnie in the quiver

Mako King or a smaller Mako?

Mako King or a smaller Mako? I like the Mako King overall but since it's a large board sometimes I feel overpowered on it. I'll be installing pads on it soon to try how that feels, sometimes landings feel very hard without pads.


My Mako is 150, my buddy has

My Mako is 150, my buddy has the King and loves it, he's a big dude. They aren't lite air machines but in the slop chop on shore flow crap waves they are tough to beat. They carve hard and easy on the knees.


150 Mako

I have a 150 cm Mako and like it for over powered conditions. If anything, it rides smaller than its quoted size.  If conditions are light I feel like I can actually feel more comfortable on a 135 cm conventional twin tip. Its is a very comfortable board to ride in chop, and has a bit of a loose feel relative a conventional twin tip.  You are welcome to try mine for a bit if you would like.


Naish motion look like a

Naish motion look like a board that would fit me well, seeing some around $300. On the other hand Shinn boards like the Monk or Pinbot look really sweet but would blow budget out of the water. Anyone riding a 2015/2016 Kick-S? 



I found a used 2013 Shinn

I found a used 2013 Shinn Monk 135 in my budget, stocked.

These boards are extremely popular in Europe, they are starting to push for wider distriibution in the US, I think they just started US distribution in 2013.


The Shinn guys stayed with us

The Shinn guys stayed with us one year in OBX.  I liked all their boards, I think I tried like 7.  Def like their simple graphics too, sex appeal.

- K T H X B Y E P Z -

I had a Shinn board, not the

I had a Shinn board, not the Monk but similar as an all around.  I liked it.  I would have kept it but I bought a size too big for all around use.  

While I seldom ride twins anymore, surfboards mostly, so I'm less than an authority, I have a 2009 North X-Ride that I enjoy.  It's really a great all around ride.  Every time I demo a new board or try someone's twin, I come back home the X-Ride.  Nothing flashy, but seems to do everything well. 

My Dad who builds cedar strip kayaks built a Mako 140 copy for me a few years back.  It's reasonably close in spec. and compares closely to the genuine Mako I tried.  It's a smooth ride, fun to carve.  Still for all around use, I prefer the X-Ride.  

x-ride seems to be a great

x-ride seems to be a great board. I found a used 138 for $300 but that's too big. Even with the Monk I would have preferred a 133 vs a 135 but when buying used you can't be too picky, I did not want to put $600 + in a new one. Now I'm looking at kites, eventually I'll replace my 2010 13m Crossbow by a 12 m newer kite. Most kites with bar in that size now cost around 2 grands +/-10%, that's insane, except Switch kites which cost half, I might go used also.



Switch Kites

It would awesome if you write up a review on Switch kites if you purchase one.


There's at least a couple

There's at least a 2 or 3 guys in the area that have or had one that I know of.