In this interview we build on the reference information about which size kite suitable for a certain weight and wind. This time not for kite surfers at the beginning of their kitesurf career or kite surfers who can already enjoy kiting. No, for the more advanced. That is precisely why we asked two professional kite surfers from the absolute top of the world about their choice for the right size kite. In this interview we discuss his choices with Stig Hoefnagel. As far as we're concerned, a great inspiration. Handle it wisely.
Interview Stig Hoefnagel about choice of materials
You probably already know him. Stig is one of the best kite surfers in the world and, like a number of other best kite surfers in the world, a Dutchman. Stig travels to the best and most beautiful destinations for kitesurfing and participates in the most extreme kitesurfing competitions. This is how Stig turned 2020 . in 3e during Cold Hawaii Big Air. Stig is also lined up for the upcoming famous Red Bull King Of The Air (KOTA) off the coast of Cape Town. Now you understand why we are honored to have asked Stig for his opinion and experience. Stig responds to this as sober as we know him with 'No worries, anytime!'
How do you determine which size kite to choose?
“To make the choice which size kite, I naturally start from the wind forecast. I then take the strongest predicted wind as a starting point and pull a few knots from that. So I base my choice partly on the strength of the predicted wind gusts. I prefer to do my tricks in strong winds. Storms rarely happen and those are the exceptions.”
How do you weigh wind gusts in the choice?
“When I practice new tricks on the water, I try to make use of the wind gusts. I jump when the gusts bring extra wind. This way I jump just a little higher than if I would have jumped, for example, 5 seconds earlier, outside the gust.”
Which size kite do you use in which wind?
“I actually only do kiteloops, megaloops and big air tricks with an 8 or 9 meter kite. I use the 9 meters at 25 to 35 knots. Sometimes even at 40 knots. The choice depends on what I feel like at that moment and how I feel. It is equally good to explain that with a 9 meters at 40 knots you will never see me do very technical kitesurfing tricks. I mainly focus on big air.”
In which wind do you use smaller kites?
“I usually use an 8 meter from 33 knots up to and including 40 to 45 knots. Above that it gets too crazy for me and I switch to a 7 meter. The 7 meters is my smallest size and I have to make do with that when it comes to storms. So even at 55 knots or more you can see me with my 7 meters.”
And what size kite do you use up to 25 knots?
“In winds up to 25 knots I use a 10 or 12 meter kite. Sometimes I choose to go freestyling or kite foiling.”
What size kiteboard do you use?
“I use the Naish Drive which is 138 centimeters long. Given my height of 1.79 meters and weight of 73 kilos, this is a nice intermediate size. With a smaller kiteboard I would be able to turn easier and longer in stronger winds and for the take-off of a jump. Conversely, landings with a shorter kiteboard are more difficult. The bigger the kiteboard, the easier and softer the landings. But edging can be a challenge with a larger kiteboard. For me, the Naish Drive 138 is the perfect middle ground.”
Which line length do you use with which size kite?
“When training and practicing new tricks, I always use 22 meters of lines. But if we go for the 'eggie', for example during competitions, photo and video shoots, I use 20 meters of lines.”
Do you still switch in terms of kite type under different circumstances for big air?
“For big air I always use the same type of kite with the same setup. This is the Naish Pivot. As I said, the only thing I change is the line length. This mainly depends on the purpose of the kitesurfing session and what I feel like at that moment.”
Stig, thank you so much for the interview and the inspiration. Cool to read how you deal with making these choices. Good luck in the coming period during the Red Bull King of the Air! We follow you closely.