Posts Tagged ‘snowkiting’

If your first question to this title is “what are foil kites?” you have a few things to learn… here are the basics.

Two types of Kites used for Kiteboarding or Snowkiting

There are essentially 2 different types of kiteboarding/snowkiting kites; foils and inflatables.

Inflatable Kiteboarding Kites:

Kiteboarding kites on the beachInflatables are what most people have learned to kiteboard with in the water. They are easier to relaunch, and now-a-days have a ton of depower. You know you are looking at an inflatable kite if it has a rigid structure that is created from a leading edge and struts. This is often noticeable on the beach because the kiteboarding kite will actually hold its shape and the struts will point into the air while it is resting on the beach. Like I said, most kites sold in the industry that are used on the water are inflatable kites, with the exception of notable brands like Ozone Kites, HQ Power kites and Fly-Surfer Kites, who all produce the 2nd style kite, the power foil.

Foil Kiteboarding/Snow Kiting Kites:

HQ Apex foil power kiteA foil kite is most noticeably different from an inflatable kite with the lack of any actual hard structure that holds the shape of the kite. A foil kite keeps its shape with a series of cloth ribs that hold a top canopy to a lower canopy, along with a very complicated series of strings called a bridle (NOT “bridal”) that work together to hold the canopies flat when the kite is filled with air, just like a parachute. The foil kite has been around way longer than its counterpart the inflatable. Knowing this, you may say, “Heck, I am going to buy all new foils to kiteboard with since the technology has been developed over a longer period of time, so it has to be better.” Well, hold on and keep reading- there are pros and cons to why foil kites are not usually the best kite for use on the water. A lot of that has to do with the differences of a closed cell vs. an open cell design, a difference that can mean life or death. Foil kites also have a tendency to last 2-3 times as long as an inflatable if cared for correctly. This is mostly based on the fact that you are not pressurizing the kite to hold a structure every time you use it, like you do with an inflatable.