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Kiteboarding 101: Everything You Need to Know

A step-by-step guide to Silicon Valley's most popular extreme sport.

The Kite

The rules for picking your first kite should be much like the ones you use to pick your board. You're going to want to start with a kite that is simple and easy  to control but advanced enough to take you over the next plateau of expertise. Most kites are designed for a particular style of riding, "but as a beginner, you want to looking to buy an all-around kite that typically falls in the 'Freeride category,' says Meyers. "Freeride kites are easily re-launched from the water, have stable and even power, and can handle a wide range of wind conditions."

Brown recommends starting with the Cabrinha Switchblade. It's top ranked as one of the highest-performance and easy-handling kites around, "with excellent relaunch to get you back on your board after you take a spill and easy handling once you are up and riding," says Brown. 

The kiteboarding pros recommend these kites:

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