Tag Archives: Kiteboarding Stuart

Choosing a Kiteboarding Wetsuit

This fall brought some great winds to our area and with it colder sea temperatures.

As the seas cool, I am often asked about choosing the proper wetsuit for our regions conditions. Although the winter water temperature averages around 70 deg and rarely drops below 65. Having the proper wetsuit will still make or break your day.

Kiteboarding, wetsuit
Choosing a kiteboarding wetsuit

One of the first things to account for when shopping for a kiteboaring wetsuit is the fact that you will have less time actually in the water when compared to diving or surfing. Although this would seem advantageous to staying warm, this actually causes some wetsuits to not function properly. As many of you may already know, wetsuits actually use the water around you to create a warm layer between the neoprene and your skin. While Kiteboarding, gravity will slowly drain the water from the suit and take a good amount of your body heat with it. To counter-act this, some wetsuits are lined with synthetic wool like fibers to help retain a very thin layer of water against your skin.

When choosing a wetsuit for Kiteboarding, there are a few other factors you will want to consider. High speed falls associated with Kiting can often “pack” the wetsuit with water and some wetsuits will retain this water almost like a water balloon. Wetsuits with strategically placed drain holes can help drain water quickly before absorbing your body heat. The second factor to consider is wind resistance. Although neoprene does not typically breath, some suits tend to let the wind in. I recommend looking for suits with “non porous” exteriors as well as glued and taped seams. This will greatly enhance the suits abilities to block the wind.

No matter how nice a wetsuit is, it will not work properly if it is not the correct thickness and fit. For our area, most Kiters and surfers can stay warm with a 3/2 full suit on the colder days and a 3/2 shorty on the slightly warmer ones. The term 3/2 means that the chest portion of the wetsuit is 3mm thick while the arms and legs are 2mm thick. As far as determining size, it is important to get the tightest fitting suit that you still feel comfortable in. Any baggy areas will fill with water and cost you valuable warmth. It is important that the wrist, ankle and neck cuffs are tight enough to block excess water from entering while still allowing you to move freely and comfortably.

I hope this guide helps give you a little extra knowledge when it comes to purchasing your next wetsuit.  As always stay safe, warm, and respect your fellow beach goers.

See you on the water!

Serving Stuart, West Palm Beach, Ft Pierce, Delray, Boynton Beach and Jupiter Florida

Here comes the wind!

November marks the beginning of so many different exciting things for so many Floridians. Most people find pleasure in the ability to simply sit outside without breaking a sweat and being eaten alive by bugs. Fisherman look forward to the return of larger pelagic fish and for others the season brings return of business to their family owned shop. However, I don’t think anyone is more excited for October in Florida than my fellow Kiteboarder’s. For Kiteboarder’s, October marks the beginning of the first wind bearing cold fronts. The wind generated by these fronts can create world class Kiting conditions. To get the most out of these approaching weather systems, Kiters will need to make some preparations.

 

During the summer months, light southerly sea breezes dominate. The equipment used for these conditions is usually quite large and bulky as it usually requires the kiter to use a larger kite and larger board in order to generate enough power to ride. During the fall and winter months, higher wind equipment will be needed. This usually consists of smaller kites and smaller boards. A smaller kite generates less lift and a smaller board does not plane as easily. This allows the rider to maintain lift and speed more effectively. A common misconception is that higher winds are more dangerous and more difficult. Actually, higher winds up to about 20 knots make kiting easier and in some cases even safer than lighter winds, given the kiter has the proper equipment and training for the conditions.

 

For kiters reading this article, I strongly recommend pumping up all of your smaller kites and letting them sit for a few hours. It is very common for the glue on the valves and seems to fail in the summer heat. it is a horrible feeling when those world class conditions make their appearance and you are stuck on the beach watching your kite deflate in front of you.

 

It is important to check that all of your emergency releases are functioning correctly. Even stainless steel and nylon release systems can become seized. I recommend going through the system and performing any recommended manufacture maintenance. This usually includes changing elastic parts and checking for build up of salt or corrosion.

 

Next, check all of the bolts on your board, especially the screws holding your bindings or straps. often, due to the summer heat and passage of time, the materials on the board will compress and this will cause the hardware on your foot straps and fins to become loose. I recommend removing any fasteners, adding some blue lock tight, and then tightening to proper torque.

 

If you find that any of your equipment is in disrepair our simply outdated, this is the best time of year to find deals on equipment. Manufactures are starting to release all of their 2018 equipment and 2017 equipment will be on closeout sales. As always, never kite outside of your abilities, and always be sure to give wide birth to other beach goers and water sports enthusiast. I hope you have a great start to the season!

– Jeremy Lund

Owner of NWK

Serving, Stuart, West Palm Beach, Jensen Beach