Types of Kiteboarding Kites
Kiteboarding Kite Styles
Bow Kite- Great for beginners with additional safety and depower compared to other kite styles. The most popular kites for a wide variety of kiteboarding and kitesurfing styles. Has an inflatable leading edge and a flat, swept back profile. Bow kites include a bridle system attaching the front flying lines to the leading edge. The trailing edge has a concave shape allowing these kites nearly 100% depower. They allow for a wider wind range than earlier kite styles.
C-Kite- The oldest style of inflatable kites. These have either 4 or sometimes 5-lines for added relaunch capabilities. These do not have bridles like other kites. The lines attach directly to the corners of the kite. C-kites are preferred by wake-style kiteboarders and riders looking for aggressive high performance flying characteristics. These kites should only used by experienced riders.
Hybrid Kite- These have bridles similar to bow kites but can have shapes like a bow kite or C-kite. The major differences are hybrids having convex trailing edges, and bow kites with a concave trailing edge.
SLE Kite (Delta)- These have a more triangular shape when flattened out putting more canopy in the middle of the kite. The result is more power with more projected area in the wind. Typically these kites have simplified bridles. Traditionally fast and responsive producing high performance flying characteristics.
Foil Kite- Foil Kites are different majorly in the sense they do not need to be inflated like other kiteboarding kites. These have several cells which fill up with air from the wind which holds its shape. Foil kites typically generate more power than other styles for comparable sizes. Many snowkiters find these more appropriate due to their lightweight and simple setup and takedown. Most trainer kites use foil technology. They can be 2-line, 3-line, 4-line, or 5-line depending on the individual kite. Foil kites other than "trainers" are recommended to only be used by experienced riders as they can be more difficult to fly and control.