Whether you're a free rider, freestyler, slalom racer, big air, wave addict, or speed kiteboarder, you'll need them under your feet. Kiteboards allow you to plane across the surface of the water.
Kiteboards are not equal. When you're searching for the right board for your physical attributes (height and weight) and level of experience, you'll find planks of different sizes and shapes.
The world's best kiteboard manufacturers develop models that will improve and optimize the landings, the pop, and the carving in the water.
However, the best kiteboard is always the one you feel most comfortable with.
The most popular kiteboards are twin tips because they excel in a broad range of conditions and situations.
Nevertheless, the industry has been introducing new models for niche markets - strapless surfboards for wave riding, race boards for slalom, and hydrofoil kiteboards for foil boarding.
Ideally, if you own two kiteboards, you will cover the most common riding conditions - a smaller and narrower twin tip for high winds and tricks and a bigger kiteboard for the light breeze.
Remember that a kiteboard is not a wakeboard and vice versa.
Although technically, you can ride a wakeboard and a kite, it is not recommended because wake bindings and wind power don't combine.
Our favorite kiteboards for the 2018/2019 season are:
The "Ace Wood" by Cabrinha is the most versatile twin tip designed by the brand. It is sturdy, lightweight, responsive, and its double concave allows for early planing - a great kiteboard for all riders.
The "CBL" by Cabrinha is the ultimate kiteboard for wake style and cable park riding. The flat center allows you to hit any obstacle - ramps, rails, and kickers.
The "Spectrum" by Cabrinha is a kiteboard for multiple riding styles. It will perform well in choppy waters and has an excellent upwind performance.
The "Tronic" by Cabrinha is a fantastic kiteboard for wave kitesurfers. Its narrow and flexible tips allow for aggressive carves and powerful airs.
The "Stylus" by Cabrinha is the brand's answer to light winds. The kiteboard features a flat rocker line, an extra-wide outline, and smaller fins for minimum planing conditions.
The "Double Agent" by Cabrinha is a kiteboard with two faces - one for foil boarding and another one for surf skate and wake surfing.
The "Xcal" by Cabrinha is a kiteboard for freestyle kiteboarders who are willing to compete at the highest level. It features a stiff flex pattern and a rocker line built for speed.
The "Refraction" by Slingshot is a crossover kiteboard for cable park enthusiasts. Get ready for an aggressive rocker, stiff flex, and a thick and durable Dura-Glide base. With or without boots, you will always generate a lot of power.
The "Karolina" by Slingshot is a pro model by world kiteboarding champion Karolina Winkowska. It was designed for aggressive female riders and promises great load and pop, big airs, and soft landings.
The "Misfit" by Slingshot is a kiteboard for experienced riders with special needs in all types of conditions. It features a mild rocker and a relatively stiff flex pattern.
The "Crisis" by Slingshot is the perfect pick for the casual kiteboarder who seeks a light feel under his feet. The board performs very well upwind, but it also excels in freestyle mode.
Liquid Force Kiteboards
The "Carbon Drive" by Liquid Force offers the perfect balance between value and performance. Made for progression, staying upwind, jumping, and doing air transitions.
The "Carbon Element" by Liquid Force features a honeycomb top and bottom bi-axis carbon weave that will deliver everything a freestyler needs.
The "Legacy" by Liquid Force offers a thin and light design inspired by the brand's best-seller "Influence." It features a progressive rail concave, a full double concave, and a flex profile.
North Kiteboarding Kiteboards
The "Free Foil" by North Kiteboarding is a rubber-and-cork deck kiteboard for riders looking for an easy-to-ride board with a low risk of injuries during wipeouts.
The "Gambler" by North Kiteboarding is a board made for wake-style and cable park riders. It's tough, has a hard flex, and features a huge rocker for absolute landing control.
The "Jaime" by North Kiteboarding is an all-around kiteboard designed for unhooked and hooked riding. It features wide tips for great pop and carbon beam construction for additional response.
The "Gonzales" by North Kiteboarding is a free-riding kiteboard. Its round outline improves control, and the soft flex creates a smooth and forgiving ride.
The "Spike" by Kiteboarding is another free ride model, but because of its enormous surface area and weight, it is the best kiteboard for light winds.
Ocean Rodeo Kiteboards
The "Mako Duke" by Ocean Rodeo is a funboard that can be set up with three distinct fin combinations. With 25.3 liters, it features a deep concave and a rounded outline.
The "Mako Jester" by Ocean Rodeo is similar to "Mako Duke," but it was designed for lighter riders and kiteboarders who enjoy pulling tricks in the waves.
The "Origin" by Ocean Rodeo is a special model designed for riders who spend a lot of time in choppy waters. A forgiving kiteboard for real-world wind and wave conditions.
The "Mako" by Ocean Rodeo offers a refined ride with deliciously hard-biting rails and chop-taming concave. Revamped with a new pad and strap system. A kiteboard for free riders.
The "Monarch" by Naish is a kiteboard made for radical freestyle enthusiasts. It features a 3D bottom shape, deep channels in the tips and the rails, and a 10-degree angle fin platform for superior grip.
The "Motion" by Naish is an all-around kiteboard that will allow you to stomp a few tricks and ride waves. It features a full rocker and responsive flex for all types of riding.
The "Orbit" by Naish was designed for those who need to excel in light wind conditions. The refined outline will get you planing in marginal conditions.
The "Grom" by Naish is a kiteboard for kids wishing to get their riding from a beginner to an advanced level. It features a free ride rocker for early planing.
Need a kiteboard size chart?
The kiteboard review has been updated on May 22, 2018