Who knows how a kite performs better than the one flying it? WindedRatings compiles all available information on a kite, and presents it as a simple set of standard ratings to give you the confidence you need when buying a new kite.
WindedRatings takes feedback from experienced kite owners and combines it with data from manufacturers and third-party reviews to give you a rating you can bet on. The standard rating system applies to all kites listed in our inventory, so you can directly compare kites and find one that fits your style. The ratings are shown on our chart, which is included as a part of each product description.
We start by reaching out to the manufacturer to get a sense what they had in mind when they designed the kite. Then we search far and wide for any online review, forum post, or even mention of the kite to see what the online community has to say about it. Lastly, we search our own internal database of user feedback and personal accounts from our pros. Take all of that information, add in some statistics, and you’ve got yourself a WindedRating!
The color coding highlights which criteria are important to which riding styles. The blue criteria (relaunch and stability) are favorable for a freeriding style. The red criteria (power and responsiveness) are good to have if you’re throwing tricks like freestyle/wakestyle, or if you plan on racing. The green criteria (drift and upwind) are make for strong waveriding kites. Durability is on it’s own as yellow, since it is something important to have in a kite regardless of your style!
Here’s a little more in-depth look at the criteria we use to compare kites:
Relaunch describes the kite's ability to easily be put back into the air after landing in the water. A kite with good relaunch ability will help you get back up on your board in no time. This is a very important criteria for those who are just starting out, since dunking a kite in the water is an important part of the learning process.
A kite's stability describes how well it wants to stay put in the air when the wind starts gusting or dying. Stability also gives you some slack in your control bar, where it will keep flying before it responds to your turn. This is a good thing to have in a kite if you're starting up, or if you plan on using it to take long rips down the beach.
A powerful kite will be able to get you some huge air. More power will rip you up from the water and let you soar down the beach. More power in a kite will also be able to find more wind on a calm day. Power is something you want if you’re somewhat experienced and interested in flying.
Responsiveness is how quickly a kite responds to your direction as the operator. A very responsive kite will shoot through the sky as soon as you dip your control bar. This criteria is important when getting into racing, and can help out your freeride and wave riding sessions.
Upwind ability describes how well a kite can fly upwind. A kite with good upwind ability will be able to make power when pointed farther into the wind, compared to a kite lacking upwind ability. Upwind ability is good to have when you're looking to race or freeride.
A kite with good drift will remain stable in the air when your lines slack up. Rather than nosedive, a kite with good drift will stay put in the sky and help tighten up your lines. You want a kite with good drift if you plan on freeriding somewhere with inconsistent or turbulent winds.
Durability describes a kite’s resistance to tearing, ripping, popping, sun damage, etc. This is always an important factor to consider when buying a kite!
The Skill Level Recommendation
In addition to the performance criteria, we also provide a skill level recommendation for each of our listed kites. Some combination of “beginner”, “intermediate”, and “advanced” will be included for each kite.
Just like any credible source, we include any available online sources used to generate the ratings and recommendations. This quick and condensed set of references lets you see the reviews for yourself!