The 7 Best Power Kites

Updated May 14, 2017 by Chase Brush

7 Best Power Kites
Best High-End
Best Mid-Range
Best Inexpensive
We spent 38 hours on research, videography, and editing, to review the top picks for this wiki. Few outdoor activities offer the kind of thrill that comes with being dragged along by sheer force of the wind, which is why power and traction kites have become so popular nowadays. Designed to provide significant pull, the models in this selection are great for stunts or even to act as the propulsion mechanism for sports like kitesurfing and landboarding. When users buy our independently chosen editorial picks, we may earn commissions to support our work. Skip to the best power kite on Amazon.

7. In the Breeze Rainbow

With its eye-catching color scheme and frameless design, the In the Breeze Rainbow is ideal for beginners or intermediate flyers still building their confidence and technique. It's very easy to keep aloft, but it doesn't provide quite as much pull as other models.
  • very affordably priced
  • operates in a 6 to 25 mph wind range
  • nylon material is thin and flimsy
Brand In the Breeze
Model 2973
Weight 10.4 ounces
Rating 4.0 / 5.0

6. Flexifoil Rage

With a few different size options, the Flexifoil Rage is suitable for a range of users and purposes. But it is specifically designed to produce more horizontal drive force than vertical lift, which makes it especially good for things like land- and snow-boarding.
  • good for beginners and experienced
  • a little expensive
  • does not come with bar or handles
Brand Flexifoil
Model pending
Weight 8.8 ounces
Rating 4.4 / 5.0

5. Slingshot B2/B3

If you're looking for a forgiving but sturdy option to train for wind or kite surfing, check out the Slingshot B2/B3. This 2-line foil model will drag even heavier adults along the ground under gusty winds, but it isn't so strong that you'll lose control.
  • lightweight aluminum control bar
  • easy to change flight direction
  • not safe for kids to use alone
Brand SlingShot
Model pending
Weight 13.6 ounces
Rating 4.2 / 5.0

4. Prism Tensor 5.0

The versatile Prism Tensor 5.0 can be controlled using a two-line bar or quad-line handles, allowing those new to the hobby to easily transition to more complex techniques once they've got the hang of the basics. It's great for traction sports like buggying and snowkiting.
  • comes in ergonomic carry case
  • low stretch dyneema flying lines
  • difficult to fly in very light winds
Brand Prism Kites
Model TEN5.0S
Weight 6.4 pounds
Rating 4.0 / 5.0

3. Flexifoil 1.45m Buzz

A personal choice of British entrepreneur and adventure sport enthusiast Sir Richard Branson, the Flexifoil 1.45m Buzz is a well-rated model that is suitable for use among all age groups. It's perfect for family beach trips, as its flashy colors look great in the sky.
  • backed by satisfaction guarantee
  • responsive even in light winds
  • durable stretch-resistant materials
Brand Flexifoil
Model pending
Weight 12.8 ounces
Rating 4.0 / 5.0

2. Ocean Rodeo Flite

When you're ready to take to the water for a full-on kitesurfing experience, don't do it without the Ocean Rodeo Flite. The lightest model the brand has ever made, it boasts progressive architecture that makes it capable of both fast, snappy turns and big, lofty jumps.
  • best option for advanced users
  • comes in several different sizes
  • built-in inflate and deflate valves
Brand Ocean Rodeo
Model OR2012-FLITE-15-B-Paren
Weight pending
Rating 4.7 / 5.0

1. Prism Snapshot Speed Foil

The Prism Snapshot Speed Foil is not for the faint of heart, and not for those who don't weigh much, either. It's extremely powerful, with air inlets that keep the wing from collapsing in strong winds and an elliptical planform that minimizes drag and increases speed.
  • packs down into small pouch
  • large and small wingspan options
  • preattached lines and tail
Brand Prism Designs
Model SS9R
Weight 1.3 pounds
Rating 4.0 / 5.0

History Of Kitesurfing

While the modern form of kitesurfing sprouted in 1995, it wouldn't have been possible without a few notable inventions from history. In the early 1800s, George Pocock demonstrated how kites could be used to propel water going ships and land-based carts. His goal wasn't to establish a new sport, but rather to find a method of transportation capable of traveling both up and downwind, which didn't rely on horses, allowing one to avoid the much despised horse tax.

Samuel Cody developed a man-lifting kite in 1903, which he then used to power a collapsible canvas boat and cross the English Channel in 1903. Then, in the late 70s, Kevlar flying lines were created along with more controllable kites, making them efficient enough that Ian Day was able to propel a kite-powered Tornado catamaran at over 40 km/h.

The first patent for kitesurfing was issued to Gijsbertus Adrianus Panhuise in 1977. In his patent application he described "a water sport using a floating board of a surf board type where a pilot standing up on it is pulled by a wind catching device of a parachute type tied to his harness on a trapeze type belt." Unfortunately for him, his patent didn't generate any commercial interest at the time.

Also in the late 70s, the Legaignoux brothers developed kites designed specifically for kitesurfing and patented an inflatable kite in 1984. Around the same time, Bill and Cory Roeseler, a father and son team, were developing the KiteSki system, which they patented in 1994. It was powered by a two-line delta style kite giving it basic water launching capabilities. In the late 90s, Cory evolved the SkiKite into a single board system and he is considered the founder of modern day kitesurfing.

What To Consider When Buying A Power Kite

The most important factors that go into picking a the right power kite are wind condition, your skill level, your physical size, and what you hope to accomplish with your kite. It may sound strange to factor wind condition into your decision making process as it changes on a daily basis, but with the exception of the odd day here and there, particular regions are known for consistently having either strong or light winds. If you live in one of the best kite surfing locations with consistently heavy winds, you would be better off purchasing a smaller kite. If you live in an area with low winds a larger kite will be needed.

Your personal fitness level comes into play as well. A larger kite will take more upper body strength to control. For those with less upper body strength or stamina, a smaller kite will be easier to control. Along with your current fitness level, your size makes a difference as well. If you are large, say over 200lbs, a small kite will have difficulty pulling you, making it difficult to get up to a nice planing speed. It will also be nearly impossible to launch yourself out of the water. A kite that is too small won't be challenging enough. On the flip side, a kite that is to big might be impossible for you to control becoming a danger to yourself and others.

Those that are looking to perform aerial stunts will need a bigger and more powerful kite than a beginner who just wants to get comfortable cruising along the waves. There is no kite that will be perfect for every need. One that can launch you ten feet into the air, will be too difficult for a beginner to control. Instead of trying to get a multi-purpose kite that is a jack of all trades, but a master of none, consider buying two kites. This way you'll have a larger one that you can use on low wind days, and for aerial stunts, and a small one suitable for heavy wind days, improving your technical skills, and loaning to friends are just trying out the sport.

Getting Started Kiteboarding

The first step in kiteboarding is learning how to fly a kite. No matter how good your board skills are, if you can't fly a kite properly kitesurfing is not going to go well. The best way to do this is to rent a training kite and practice flying it for 5 to 10 hours. Once you are comfortable flying a kite, it is time to take a lesson or two from a reputable kite surfing company in your area. Just like scuba diving, kiteboarding isn't something you should jump right into with no training.

Reputable companies will teach you how to launch your kite and land it safely. They will also teach you how to relaunch your kite if it is downed in the water, self rescue, and perform a body drag. These techniques are vital if you find yourself in situation where flying your kite becomes too dangerous or it is downed in the water far from shore.

Next you will need to learn to water start, transition, and ride a board. After that it is just practice, practice, practice.

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Last updated on May 14, 2017 by Chase Brush

Chase is a freelance journalist with experience working in the areas of politics and public policy. Currently based in Brooklyn, NY, he is also a hopeless itinerant continually awaiting his next Great Escape.

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