I am looking for advice on putting together a “Swiss Army Knife” combo. I an airline pilot and travel mostly in the US and Mexico. I would like to put together something I can take with me and be able to get out under a very wide range of conditions. I am a Newb, weigh 160lbs., Once I have my skill set A LOT sharper I would like to TRY some small wave riding. Based on my reading I have come up with a 12m and a Mako 140 or 150. Could more knowledgeable readers offer up some advice. I live in Phoenix so I don’t have a home riding area. Thanks
Dear New Best Friend (aka airline pilot),
I have to admit that after reading the first line or two of your post I thought that our forum had been spammed again
For your current level and where you think your kiting style will flow towards, I would recommend a Prodigy kite along with a Mako 140 or 150.
Depending on your normal route(s) for work, you may want to tailor your quiver based on that. For instance, if you’re flying into PDX on a regular basis and will be able to pop down to Hood River, OR, you will want a Mako 140 along with a Prodigy 7 & 9.5. If you are flying into Miami (or Florida in general), then you would want the Prodigy 12 and Maybe either a Flite 14.5m or a 17m.
For your weight I would tend to think that the Mako 140 would be the way to go. With time, if you are going to start taking advantage of doing some really fun down winders, and want to try the Mako 150 as it rides as a mutant (directional) better than the 140 does.
For areas of the Mexico on the Mayan Riviera, you will want to look for bigger gear like the Prodigy 12m, 14.5, and 17m, and maybe even a Mako King or Origin. For the areas over in the Baja (La Ventana & and Los Barilles) you will want a 9.5m as your money size.
With time, like most kiters, you will find yourself on the beach not able to kite because you did not bring the right kite. We all end up with a quiver of 2-5 kites as a result of this.
I hope that this has helped, feel free to throw some more questions out there.
For your 160 lb. weight you could aspire to get on the small MAKO (130 or 135) when your in steady moderate winds. Then you could switch boards as the wind strength changed. It’s a lot easier than landing / pumping / relaunching & the smaller boards are WAY more fun. If you hold out for 15+ knots the 9.5M will be enough kite. For a zippy kite the 8 RAZOR will not require much more wind for you BUT can be a little startling. (fast & powerfull) . If you kite higher wind sites (gorge etc.) the 5M STORM kite will become your best friend. 3 different model kites but suitable for the different conditions you will encounter. Start with the 9.5 or 8 RAZOR if your ready for it & try to test fly before buying.
Big Wave Dave your one stop weather site for S. Van. Island…
Thanks for both of your answers. If I look at both it sounds like a 14.5 Flite for the lighter stuff and maybe a Prodigy 9.5, then a 5 for big big wind. I assume a Mako 150 would be able to help bridge the “bigger than ideal” gap? Underscoring all this with the idea that I am trying to put something together that will seldom be perfect for the conditions but a package that will at least get me riding under a wide variety of conditions. Thanks again for your input.