Power Kite Forum

Gear Purchasing Advice

pablotkite - 6-27-2017 at 09:24 AM


Before I ask my questions, I will tell you my story so it is easier to understand my concerns. I just got into kiteboarding a few weeks ago, and last week I took around four 2-hour lessons at a local school of mine. I live in Miami, so the wind is nice but not extremely strong:


So I finished my last lessons, still struggling with the water start but nothing practice can't solve. My instructor told me I could purchase my gear now and come anytime I want and just pay for a supervised session, which is where I get to practice on my own but pay a small fee to have an instructor look after me in case anything goes wrong. I thought it was perfect because I need to get a lot of hours of practice to get my water start perfected without having to pay more lesson rates, which is around $100 per hour. My instructor advised me to go to the company's (the same company that provides the lessons/classes) local store. He advised me to get an 11m kite as well, due to my size, weight, and the local wind pattern, which is 120lb (55kg) and a height of 5'11'' (1.78m). Therefore, yesterday, I visited my local store and got a quote on the price of a complete gear set:

- 2017 Cabrinha switchblade 11m ($1739)
- Cabrinha bar ($579)
- NPSurf waist harness ($120)
- Leash and spreader bar ($160)
- Used board with straps ($200) I forget the measurements of this one, but the person at the store told me it was my size
Total (with tax): ($2785)

I really like the switchblade because that is what I have been practicing on during my lessons. However, I can't afford a set of $2785. I am trying to stay under $2000, since I have already spent $1000 on lessons. Now, I came out of the store a bit disillusioned that I couldn't get a deal I wanted, but continued researching throughout the day. I will list the other deals I came across, which I would greatly appreciate if I could get some feedback on whether they are a good path for a beginner to take.

Through Craiglist, I ran into a guy that lives a two-hour drive away from me, but has a 2017 Cabrinha switchblade 11m demo kite, which he says only has 10 hours of use and will sell it for $1000. This seems to me like a promising deal, but as a beginner I am a bit skeptical of used kites because I am not sure if I could inspect them properly to determine if I am actually getting a decent kite. Is it worth it to drive there to buy this kite in your opinion?

2) I found this deal on eBay:


Same kite but with the bar, both new, at a price of $1500. I contacted the seller and he responded he can't guarantee a warranty. I was advised to buy only new from the internet, but is this a deal worth it? If I'd gone with deal #1, I would have bought that demo kite for $1000 and a new bar for $500, so it'd be relatively the same. However, it is a little bit scary to spend so much money on an online item. What do you recommend?

3) I found another person within a two-hour drive that will sell me a $1100 Cabrinha 2017 12m used kite, used like 4 times due to being a demo kite, but he will be willing to meet me halfway, so around a one-hour drive. Nevertheless, I am not sure if a 12m kite will be too overpowered for a slim guy like myself.

4) There is another deal on eBay:


Selling a Cabrinha 2017 10m kite for $1000. This is very similar to the deal #2, but this one is a 10m. I am not sure if I want to go a meter below what I was recommended, besides that it looks like a good deal. I contacted the guy and he never used it and is selling it because he lost interest.

5) I saw another post of Craiglist of a person that lives within my local area and is selling a "brand new 2017 SLINGSHOT Z-KITE 11M with bar -$600.00." This deal seems way to cheap to be true for me. I could always ask him to inflate it up and show it to me in a nearby beach, but I am concerned I won't be able to tell if it is a good kite. Do you guys think this is too cheap to be that good?

Those are the options I have considered so far. I think the kite is my greatest concern, because I plan on getting the bar, harness, and leash brand new. The kite and board I am open to get used, but I want to make sure I don't waste my money on something that will end up breaking. I am seeking your advice because I feel I don't know anyone else who can give me an unbiased opinion. I have contacted several local schools and local shops, but of course they will recommend me their brand new products, which seem amazing but not affordable for me.

Thank you so much for your feedback,

abkayak - 6-27-2017 at 10:27 AM

i won't tell you what to do...but i lived down there and will remind you your windy season is in front of you
fall/winter/spring will all have more power then what your showing now...jusayin

Blitzhound - 6-27-2017 at 12:26 PM

I would suggest possibly buying used gear from a local shop. I know most of the kiteboarding shops around here offer used gear. This also helps support your local shop. Or from some of the more reputable online kiteboarding shops. There are several that sell used gear online. I personally would be leery of EBay and Craigslist. Especially if you don't know what you're looking for. Just my 2 cents. Feel free to give change back.

pablotkite - 6-27-2017 at 04:28 PM

@abkayak I understand, which is why I am seeking a 11m kite. @Blitzhound I was trying to stay off eBay, but I can't find any other Switchblades at an affordable price. The prices on eBay seem really good, which makes me concerned. A 2017 Switchblade with bar for $1500 is well below my budget.

Bladerunner - 6-27-2017 at 05:25 PM

No single kite will serve you in all winds.
If I was playing with your money I would be looking for a 2 kite quiver or at least planning for one. It is all good that you can fly your average winds but average changes seasonally. I would far prefer to be out there riding properly powered on a slightly older model kite than struggling with too little power or worse. Sitting it out because the wind is too good.

Kites are a lot like used cars. They drop in resale value as soon as they leave the shop and never stop. Switchblade have been an exellent design for years. Don't be so stuck on 2017 and you will get a LOT more ripstop for your buck. Look at reputable forums near you for used gear before Ebay.

Generally inflatable kites don't come with defects in flight. With minimal bridle and such they stay that way. If the kite holds air overnight and has no damage to the canopy odds are it's OK. So if it's crispy and holds air it should fly fine. If you can't view it ask those questions and ask for pictures. Ask if the seller will assure the kite is as described or you can return it. If he won't, don't buy.

IndestructibleYoungMan - 6-28-2017 at 07:48 PM

Welcome Pablo! :thumbup: From one newbie to another my advice is to slow down a bit.

I am a newbie as well, and when I was asking for advice just a few months ago someone told me to "enjoy the process." Kiting is a very complex sport and has many different aspects to it... probably more than can be learned after four two-hour sessions. I have done my best to ease myself into this sport despite wanting to dive in head-first... I am really grateful I did! (for example, did you know you could have a decent water kite for only $280? Look up PL Venom) Also some of the things I learned while researching have kept me from seriously injuring myself and others while flying. :o

The water will still be there in a month or two. I would use this time to purchase a 3.1 m kite and practice flying. Talk to every kite-boarder you can. Search this forum and learn all about the different gear and setups available for kite-surfers. Become familiar with all the weird terms like FB, LEIs, zenith, self-rescue, aspect-ratio, open vs. closed cell ect. Here is an excellent place to start! (Here also)

Some of this you will already know, and I'm sure others will have more detailed advice, but that's my two cents! :) Maybe I'll see you on the water one of these days!