Wavesurfing is my first love. So now I have mastered the art of kiteboarding I thought it is about time to buy myself a real kiteboard. I was lucky enough to be able to buy a Gaastra Surfkite. It is a relatively unknown board, although Gaastra has been making kites and boards since a long time. And after a few months of testing I am happy to say that it has opened my eyes for a whole new way of kiteboarding! I have had at least 4 days of massive downwinders with a great board beneath my feet! Thanks Gaastra!
It is very difficult to make a comparison to kiteboards of other brands because the Surfkite is the only one I have ever tried. I doubted between the Slingshot Celeritas and the North Kontact, but I am really happy with this one. The measures are (I weigh 86 kilos)
length - 5′10 (172 centimeter - there is a 5-6 also on the market)
width - 45 centimeter
thickness - 53 mm
I can only describe my latest session in which everything came together for me and the waves were juuust perfect for huge round the house cutbacks and nice top turns. Other ‘tricks’ or moves I have not mastered yet. I ride my board with South west winds toe side going out to sea and regular going back. Tacking is still a problem for me although I want to experiment with strapless riding. I think this will make the switching of the feet easier.
The bindings are good. The inserts are peculiar but they work fine. Do remember to screw the bindings down from time to time as they will come undone between 4 or 5 sessions!!! The pad under the back foot has a bump in the middle which I do not really like but am getting used to. The pads are in general ok but sometimes a bit slippery. This can result in the board flying past your face so beware (am talking to myself now
The volume of the Gaastra Surfkite is right on the money for my weight. It planes ok, not really early though, you need a bit of wind. But I bought the surfkite for stormy days so that is no problem for me. The speed is good! I have replaced the standard fins for carbon fins which are stiffer and more expensive than the ones that were originally on (I broke one allready…). These new fins are originally from a Naish Mutant! Thanks Robby. But they make the board faster and more steady. I can imagine that on really windy days the Surfkite can be a bit too chunky under your feet. But hey: you cant have everything and I am just a beginner.. (still)
The turnes of the Gaastra are really tight. It can go wherever you need it to go.The thruster set up makes it an agile board. The quality is overall above average. It dingz and scratches easily.
Overall; the Gaastra designer (I know the guy lives in Cape Town) has done a really good job! Buy this board and you will not have to spend a fortune but you will still have the best board on the beach. I hear a lot of people complaining about some features of their board, but the Gaastra Surfkite makes me smile every time!