A kite trainer is a small traction kite often also used by kitesurfing schools as a first approach to kite and is an exceptional method to approach kitesurfing and experience the sensation of maneuvering a kite, as well as having fun on the beach, in the snow or anywhere there is a beautiful open space.
I've always said it and I won't deny it for sure now: a good kitesurfing course is the fastest, safest and most effective way to start kitesurfing, but if you practice with a small kite before or during the course, the course may still be faster and more effective. For example you could halve the hours of practice with the sail and go first to body drag and to start with the board. But not only.
From my point of view a kite trainer is a small toy even for kiters who are already surfing but who would like to pass on their passion to friends, companions and children. Not to mention the many ways to have fun with a kite trainer even out of the water, with a mountain board for example, or on the snow, or with a stand up paddle.
But back to how a kite trainer can help those approaching kitesurfing . For me these little kites are a perfect toy for all the children of kiters parents (mine obviously has since he was born ... even if obviously only now begins to show real interest in this toy), or for girlfriends . Instead of putting a large kite in their hands, with all the dangers involved, try having them play a bit with a kite trainer. They will not be frightened by the traction and for sure you will enjoy a lot without danger, or almost .
Of course the kite trainer must be chosen with care so as to have characteristics appropriate to the use you will have to make of them. A kite trainer is a boxed kite (foil kite), which means that its cells swell due to the air that passes through them and therefore should not be inflated. Foil kites are not just kites for beginners, but rather ... they are mostly used on land or in snow and not in water.
There are also pump kitesurf sails for beginners of really small sizes, but in my opinion a kite foil trainer is the best choice both because it is much cheaper and because it is easier to manage.
Choose a kite trainer
When choosing a kite trainer, you must pay attention to 3 things: measurement, joystick and cable length.
The kite trainer should have a size between 2 and 3 square meters . Smaller can be indicated if we buy it for use by a child, while if we go to bigger sizes we start talking about power kites, or kites that are beginning to have a certain bearing capacity and are no longer simple "toys". It is necessary to pay close attention to how the measure is expressed because in the kite trainers it is not always expressed in square meters, as in the kites we normally use, but often it is expressed in linear meters. This means that if the measurement is 2 in linear meters, it will certainly be much less in square meters.
The kite trainers can be guided by handles or with a bar similar to the one normally used for kitesurfing (but generally without a depower system for power management). If your goal is to get close, or bring someone else to kitesurf, I suggest you choose a kite trainer with a joystick and not handles. Possibly many models have the possibility to buy it as an extra. This is essential to have a kite more similar to the one used in kitesurfing and controlled with the same movements.
The kite trainers with joystick normally have 2 cables plus one or 2 cables that join at the level of the bridle or closer to the bar for the safety. I do not recommend kites with only 2 cables, without the safety catch, especially if the kite is for a child, because otherwise every time it leaves the bar it flies away! The cable length is variable and can often be chosen. Keep in mind that a kite with shorter cables is less powerful and faster, a kite with long cables is slower but more powerful. Kites so small, like power kites, they hardly have the problem of being slow, if anything the problem is to slow them down a bit to make them more manageable. On the other hand, short cables bring the sail closer to the subject and this generally helps visually in kite handling.
The 3 best kite trainers to learn kitesurfing
Now we come to those that we believe are the 3 best models now in circulation to train for kitesurfing. In this ranking I have deliberately left aside the most powerful and expensive kites, more suited to the real power kiting than to the use that interests us in this case, namely: bringing ourselves or our children, girlfriends and boyfriends to kitesurf, having fun and without spending a fortune or more than for a complete kitesurf course!
On the lowest step of the podium we put the HQ Fluxx is a 220 cm wide kite trainer (so about 1.7 square meters) designed for a very easy and inexpensive approach to kitesurfing, but not for children. Simplicity is its strong point. The bar is essential: only a 48cm bar to hold and two 25m cables that connect to the sail. No safety cable: let go of the bar and the kite flies away ... Don't think of tying a rope to the bar because the kite doesn't foil if you keep the bar!
Here is the link to buy the Fluxx HQ on amazon for € 82.94
No. 2 Skymonkey Windtrainer 4 cables
In second place is the skymonkey windtrainer, an easy-to-use kite trainer with a safety bar, so let go of the bar and the kite loses power! This model is designed to be stable and easy to control and to introduce all the features of real kitesurfing. Available in two sizes: 1.7sqm and 3.3sqm. The largest size is already a good power kite, also ideal for mountain boards and buggies, but if you're going to use it to keep your kids entertained, it's better to stay on the smaller size.
Here is the link to buy the Skymonkey Windtrainer on amazon for about € 109 for the 1.7sqm (which we recommend) and € 139 for the 3.3sqm
N.1 Flexifoil Control 1.7mq
On the top step of the podium our favorite trainer: the Flexifoil Control, a kite foil designed by Flexifoil, a leading company in the design of kitesurf sails, both foil and pump type. The Control is a model designed to be easy, stable, responsive and predictable. A kite trainer born with the aim of getting closer to kitesurfing in the best possible way, ie offering fun and safety. This kite trainer comes standard with a third line control bar with wrist leash to drop everything instantly in case of danger.
Despite the size, just below 2 square meters, the kite already has a fair amount of traction and already flies well with 8-10 knots.
The package includes a set of 3 18m lines and a control bar.
Here is the link to buy theFlexifoil Control on amazon at € 109 with raw shipping. In our opinion, a really good quality / price ratio, even considering the brand of this kite.
A small note of safety: a kite trainer, however small, is capable of exercising a fair amount of traction and making you take a few leaps forward. Especially if the wind is strong, care must be taken. It seems superfluous to say, but I repeat it anyway: a child cannot be left alone with these toys, because they can be dangerous. However small they are, they have the strength to move a child, make them take bad shots and fright ...
Now have fun!
Pubblicato il 18 giugno 2018 | Blog > Technique: KITESURF