Just as in the rest of the world, kitesurfing in Fiji is a hugely popular watersport. That popularity has led to an explosion of kitesurfing products and kite designs. Each design has special performance characteristics so it's helpful to understand what those unique features are before you head out to buy or rent a kite.
4 Popular Kite Designs For Kitesurfing In Fiji
There are four main kite designs used for kitesurfing in Fiji: C-Shape, Bow, Hybrid, and Delta.
- C-Shape kites are rectangular when laid flat, but have a definite "C" shape to them when in the air and viewed from the front. They have square wing tips and lack a bridle with lines attaching at the four corners. C-kites have very little de-power and can be difficult for beginners to control as they turn in huge arcs with strong pull.
- Bow kites have a concave edge and swept back wingtips. They all have bridles running along the leading edge and look almost triangular in shape because of those swept back wingtips. Lines attach to the bridle, rather than the leading edge itself. Bow kites are generally considered safer than C-kites because they lose power so quickly once the bar is dropped. They are often used in beginner classes because of this.
- Hybrid kites have characteristics of both bow kites and C-kites, delivering the safety and de-power of a bow and the turning power of a C-kite. There are many different types of hybrids, with some leaning more towards C-kites and other toward bows. To determine which way the hybrid leans, look at the shape. A rectangular shape is close to a C-kite, while a slightly triangular shape is more like a bow kite.
- Delta kites are bow kites with extremely swept-back wings. These short, fat kites are perfect for beginners but provide riders of all levels a fun time. The design allows for easy launching and piloting and they tend to pick up speed slowly, giving you time to get your bearings before being lifted off.
Finding The Right Kite
The best way to find the right kite for kitesurfing in Fiji is to test out different styles. Just like surfers have different styles of surfing and prefer certain boards over others, kitesurfers have their own goals, capabilities, and preferences for kites and boards. You will probably find that your preferences will change as your skills develop, but the nice thing about kites is that you can use them interchangeably depending on the conditions and what you want to accomplish on any given day. A bow or delta may be just right for learning a new skill, while a C-shape or hybrid will be a better choice for complex manoeuvres. You can try out different kites through kite surfing lessons or by renting different styles until you find the right fit. Once you do, you'll be kitesurfing on the breeze with ease!