Every kiteboarder has the same basic equipment: a power kite, flying lines, control bar, kite harness, kiteboard, wetsuit, safety hook knife, helmet, board leash, and usually some kind of personal floatation device for safety. Although not all of this equipment is necessary to successfully kiteboard, many of these items are considered to be required in order to ensure the safety of the kiteboarder and help prevent any injury to the kiteboarder or the people in the water around him.
Power kites basically come in two major forms, leading edge inflatable kites, or foil kites. Leading edge inflatable kites, also knows as inflatables, are usually made with ripstop nylon and uses inflatable plastic bladders that give the kite its shape and allow it to float in he water. These kites are usually more popular because they are more responsiveness to the rider’s inputs and are easier to relaunch if they crash into the water. Foil kites are mostly fabric with air pockets that provide lift and allow the kite to maintain its arc-shape. The flying lines are the strong cords that attach the kite to the rider’s control bar, which is a solid metal bar which the rider can pull on in order to control the kite and its direction. A kite harness is usually a harness that attaches the flying lines to the rider in order to take most of the strain off the rider’s arms and prevents the kite from being lost if the rider lets go of the control bar. Kiteboards are often made of small composite, wood, or foam, and the boards come in various designs that offer different experiences, based on the rider’s skill, the water condition, or the types of tricks the rider wishes to perform.