This page describes some tips for equipment and techniques that you may find useful for kitesurfing (if you have any other tips to add, please feel welcome to leave a comment)
Some Kitesurfing Tidbits
Volume versus planning surface
Contrary to windsurfing, the volume of a board has little role in kitesurfing. This mean that as long as you have enough power from the kite, you can be on a board as thin as possible. It’s the planning surface of the board that is important in such case. In light wind, all kites are very sluggish and not likely to behave properly when you turn it around to jibe. Depending on how fast and powerful your kite is in light wind, you will need a larger board with a larger planning surface to retain the planning.
Rider weight and height versus board size
Contrary to windsurfing, rider weight has some role but not as dominant in determining the board size (especially in powered up situations). Similar to snowboarding, the height of the rider is more important in selecting the proper board size. A good directional board is around the rider height and a good bidirectional board is 1′ to 2′ shorter.
Rider weight versus kite size
Given same level of experience and capability, rider weight is approximately proportional to kite size. A rider twice as heavy as another should use a kite twice as big. A beginner should use a kite smaller than an experienced kitesurfer.
How to retrieve your board
If you are separated from your board, you normally end up more down wind of your board. To be able to retrieve your board, you have to drift down wind slower than your board (or go slightly upwind). The best way to do that is to control the kite with only upper hand to move it to one of the wind window edge and use your lower hand and your body as the keel (lower hand in the water and legs straight in a “super man” position side way in the water) – in other words, your body becomes the board to resist down wind drift. In that position, your body will drift down wind slower than the board and you just wait until the board drift by you to retrieve it. Furthermore, many kiters can body-drag upwind using this method.
Modern kitesurfers normally don’t use board leash and normally body-drag upwind to retrieve the board.