Latest Kiteboarding Review
by Steve Negen
Last year I raved about the Spark Plug being the best value in a kiteboarding for a kiteboard. This year I am inclined to repeat my assessment with the new Best Spark Plug Prime. Best Kiteboarding upgraded the fins and straps and still kept the board at less than $500 retail.
The board rides very similar to last year. The Spark Plug Prime is easy to get up on a plane, great through the chop and fairly flexible so that it is easy on the knees. Nice jumps and relatively soft landings (the board is flat, so not a ton of water displacement) make this a great free ride fun board. This is a board that is perfect for new riders and cruisers. I won’t recommend this board for those who want to ride super aggressively or work on wake style riding.
The Spark Plug is made with a wood core and runs G50 fins so the construction is very comparable to boards pushing the $650 price point while the Spark Plug is coming in at $499 complete with some super great straps.
Speaking of straps, the new Best Kiteboarding Prime pads and straps are the bomb. There is a lot of adjustment with the top strap that allow you to get it correctly on your foot. The bottom pad is comfy and nice and sticky to your feet. I was super impressed at how well I could get the strap to fit my foot while riding boots. This is always a problem for me and Best has a solid setup for getting them to fit well.
If you are looking for a great board for jumping, cruising and ease of use the Spark Plug Prime fits the bill perfectly. For most riders, this will be your go-to board for years to come.
Ridden – way over powered on a 9 meter 2014 Switchblade in 29-33 knot winds. Still it locked down nice and felt comfortable to ride.
Steve Negen 200lbs - Age 51
Check out the 2014 Best Spark Plug Prime here
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Highlighted Knowledge Center Article
by Steve Negen
Welcome to November. Up here in Michigan that means November gales, some 10'-12' wave days, cold water (50 degrees) and even colder air. Riding in cold weather takes a special mindset, but even more importantly, it demands the right gear. At MACkite we ride until Lake Michigan freezes over, with some days pushing a total temperature (water plus air) of only 75 degrees.
Modern wetsuits with extra layers and a floatation vest will keep your core warm in just about any weather. Your head, feet and hands are a totally different story and are almost always the weak link in the chain. Today we will talk about the basic 3 types of hand protection that work best for kiteboarding in cold weather. Gloves, mittens and claws (three-finger gloves.)
Gloves - everyone seems to like gloves because of the complete range of motion gloves offer you. Excellent for setting up your gear and allowing complete use of your bar. The 2 major drawbacks to gloves are warmth and forearm pump. Warmth - kiteboarding with gloves cuts off the circulation in your fingertips after a time. Between the pinch between your finger and your bar and the material of the glove pushing your fingers apart, your circulation will be decreased. This is one cause of cold hands while kiteboarding. The second drawback to kiteboarding with gloves is forearm pump. Although there are some gloves with pre-bent fingers that really help this fatigue, they can't reduce it completely. Thinner gloves help, but at the expense of warmth. We find that gloves work best in total temperatures of over 100-110 degrees.
Keep reading to see how mittens and claws compare...
Well, if you are here then you have done some research on what it takes to start kiteboarding. At MACkite, our Kiteboarding Lessons Program has a kiteboarding lesson that will suit your needs- from the basic to the advanced, our kiteboarding instructors can get you where you need to be.
If you are at the first stage of learning the ropes of kiteboarding and you need some help learning to steer the kite, MACkite Kiteboarding Ground School will get you started off on the right foot, and for only $100, it is an inexpensive way to get introduced to the sport of kiteboarding. After your Ground School Kiteboarding Lesson, we urge you to continue to hone your flying skills with at least 8-10 more hours on your power trainer kite. Students who have taken the time to do their trainer kite homework progress much faster in the second stage of our kiteboarding lessons.
The next step in the MACkite Kiteboarding Lesson Program would be a one-day kiteboarding lessson for $249 or a two-day kiteboarding camp. In both the one day lesson and two day camp, you will be taught the safety aspects of kiteboarding, body dragging, and self-rescue so you will feel confident in your own abilities to take yourself to the next level after only one session with our trained kiteboarding instructors. If you would like more than 4 hours of instruction and supervision, be sure to schedule yourself for a two-day camp and receive 8 hours of instruction from our trained kiteboarding instructors for only $549. During the two-day kiteboarding camp you will have more time learning the basics, as well as an introduction to board starts and possibly getting your first real ride on a kiteboard.
From there, if you need a refresher or would like some one-on-one personal coaching time with a Kiteboarding Coach, we do offer Private Kiteboarding Lessons for $100 per hour. These lessons are tailored to help you meet your exact goals. Need some coaching on how to stay upwind, master jumping, or do basic tricks? Our Kiteboarding Coaches can take you to the next level of kitesufing.
So what are you waiting for? Call us at 800.622.4655 and schedule your MACkite kiteboarding lesson today!