Trainer Kite Buyer's Guide
How to select the Best Trainer Kite for
Kiteboarding, Snow-kiting, Kite-landboarding,
or just for fun! : ) It's All here!
Everything you need to know and more.
Updated: July 30, 2014
Our goal for this Buyers Guide is simply to help you select the best trainer kite for YOU and YOUR Needs.
We Only stock the Latest and Greatest Versions.
When ordering with us, you can be certain you'll receive the newest, latest
and greatest versions of the model.Rush IV (4) Pros, Scout III's (3) etc.
Do I really need a trainer kite? Why?
What is the Best trainer kite
What are the Top 3 Trainers?
How does a trainer compare to a Full size kite?
How do I learn how to fly it?
Once I learn fly, then buy a full size kite, will I ever use the trainer again?
Used / Pre-owned Trainers... Where can I buy one?
Where can I fly my Trainer?
Can I use a Trainer Kite in the Water?
How Much Wind do I need to fly?
How many people are needed to fly a trainer kite? Can I fly it by myself?
Control Bar or Handles, which should I use?
What Size trainer is best for me?
What is the True Size as compared to the name? 3m vs 300 vs 3.0,
What's the difference All the same size?
Size Categories: Small Trainer vs Traction-Trainer vs Traction Kite
How Many lines?
2-line Trainer Kites
3-line Trainer Kites
3-line Amphibious Trainers Kites
4-line Trainer Kites
Quick Pick Trainer Kite Comparison Guide
Where to Buy and how to get the lowest price?
We know many people like to skim, but, we promise that "this page"
IS worth reading completely to take advantage of this amazing resource.
"I REALLY appreciate your quick and informative response. I can't tell how
Do I really need a trainer kite? Why?
YES, Think about it...
Would you teach a kid to drive a car with a 5-speed on steep hills in heavy traffic?" We hope not.
Wouldn't it be safer and smarter to ...
"Learn how to drive a 5-speed in a parking lot, early on a Sunday morning "before" venturing out into more demanding conditions? Heck yeah.
Do you like to save money?
From a Financially prospective, a trainer is a smart investment.
They help you to learn and progress faster, safer, and yes. more economically!
If you only log 10 or 20 hours of practice with your trainer kite
and consider that the average instructor charges $80+ per hour.
That's 10 hours x $80 = $800.
Practicing with your own Trainer-Kite before, between, or after lessons
is the best way to learn faster, safer, and more economically!
No doubt that you'll be better prepared and learn far more during your lesson
having mastering kite flying basics beforehand.
For our website visitors, and for our close friends,
our recommendation is the same:
If you're planning it to learn Kite-Boarding, Land-Boarding,or Snow-kiting...
" You will FIRST want to master the basic kite-skills and gain the experience that comes from using a Trainer Kite"
What's the Best Trainer Kite, or which are the top 3?
There is kite "named" the "Best" 3m Trainer. In this case, "best" refers
to the name of the manufacturer. "Best kiteboarding".
As far as which trainer is the "Best of the Best", there is No Number best trainer kite for everyone.
A better question...
Which is the best trainer kite FOR ME?
Now that 's an excellent question!,
Continue reading this page and learning about various models and options. You will soon find it easy to select the best kite for YOUR needs.
Top 3 Trainer Kites?
The Current top selling trainer-kites are all of the 3-line models that fly like
4-line Standard-Foils: Scout III 3m, Rush IV Pro 300 / 350 Pro , and
Continue reading... There are some other important considerations.
How does a trainer kite compare to a full size kite?
This photo shows a 13m Inflatable Kite.
13m is 13 square meters!
You can see that Jeff at 5'5" (165cm) doesn't even reach to the kites center.
The most popular size trainer-kites are
much smaller at only 3m to 3.5m.
For kiteboarding on the water, popular sizes are 9m to 12m. The range is 7m to 17m.
3.5m Trainer vs 13 Inflatable.
That's a HUGE difference in power!
As you can imagine the consequences
of making common beginner errors on a small trainer is very different than making the same errors on a much larger / more powerful kite.
Will I still want to use my trainer after I progress to full size kites?
The short answer is Yes!!
If you're like most people, then you have responsibilities.. work, a family, school ,etc.
Due to time constraints
You'll be using the trainer kite more often than you may have imagined.On you're busy days, when you don't have the needed 2+ hours of free time to ride on the water, you will likely be able to find 30-45 minutes to fly your trainer.
2 Hours or more is the average time needed to enjoy 30 mins to 1 hour of kiting on the water.
Driving to the beach, changing clothes, rigging your kite, riding, then de-rigging, driving home, shower, etc.
If you can't get at least 1 hour in the water, most people don't bother.
30 Minutes: Average time needed to have fun with your trainer kite while logging in valuable practice time and sharpening your kite skills.
You can hit the local park on your lunch break or after work, and stay in your regular clothes.
As a beginner, It's important to practice your kite skills every chance you get! Its also really nice to have a small kite that you can share with friends.
For intermediate riders, New skills like down-loops, kite-loops, and handle passes are easier, and safer to learn with a 3m trainer kite before trying the same skill on a much larger 7-14m Kite!
Keep the Trainer Kite and keep it in your car. When you pass by a wide open area and it's windy. Go FOR IT! No need to change clothes, and only 5 minutes to set up the kite. Obviously.. the more you practice your kite skills the better you'll get.
Demo / Used / Pre-owned Trainers?
1,000's of trainer kites that are sold each year.
Ever wonder WHY its so difficult to find a used one for sale?
It's because people want to keep them!
It makes sense: Low Cost, High Value, Sharpens your Skills, Locking the skills into your muscle memory for instant response = higher safety, and Sharing the Sport with friends! Fun!!!
and ... Yes, on occasionally we'll have a demo kite for sale and list it on our Specials, deals, and discounts page.
What exercises should I be practicing with my Trainer Kite?
"What do I ____?" and "How do I ____?" are excellent questions!
So good actually, that we created a "How-To" page to answer them.
Free Gift: Instructional DVD or Wind-Meter
Most of our Trainer kites include a free gift.
An Instructional DVD or a Wind-meter ( Anemometer )
Although most Kite Manufacturer include a Users Manual...
If you're new to kiting, we feel that a good DVD is important. Our favorite windmeters are the mechanical type. They're very durable and
outlast the the overpriced digital models.
DVD or windmeter. Your choice! : )
** In recent years, we're seeing more and more excellent (and free) videos being posted on youtube. Yes.... we're happy to email you some links.
Simple reliable design Wind-Meter
Where can I fly my Trainer?
Any wide-open area that allows the wind to flow mostly unobstructed.
The less obstacles the wind needs the pass, the "cleaner" /smoother it will be. When wind is forced to go over or around tall buildings, other obstacles or land features that block the wind, the wind becomes Turbulent, shifty, gusty, and much more challenging for kite flying.
Neighborhood Parks, Football, baseball, and soccer fields "can" be good options.Be sure to stay far away from power lines or "Kite-eating-trees"
It's true, trees love to eat kites! For sure, the ideal spot would be a wide sandy beach, followed by a large grassy field. We have one customer that learned in a straw field with 2 foot high shrubs. Ideal? No. Do-able? Yes!
Can I use my Trainer Kite in the Water?
The fast, simple answer is NO.
Almost all trainer kites are designed for practicing your kite skills on land and
most trainer-kites have an "open-cell ram-air" design". Once they contact the water, they stay in the water.
The Other answer is YES... IF it's Amphibious Water Relaunchable Foil.
The HQ Hydra is exactly that. A Trainer that cn be used on land on the water. Thus the reason we call it a amphibious trainer. Specific details are on the Hydra Page.
Being Realistic. Although the Hydra "can" be used in the water, it's still only a trainer kite and not enough power for the Kiteboarding you see at the beach on on video. Kiteboarders typically use much larger 9m to 12m kites. The Hydra can easy pull someone on a kayak or on an SUP ( Stand-Up Paddle Board).
How Much Wind do I need to fly my trainer kite?
Short Answer: 7 mph or above.
As a beginner, the 7-14 wind range is a good place to start.
I would say 7 mph is a bare minimum if the wind is steady.
That number will vary depending on your local conditions.
If the wind is gusty, the wind may be 8 mph, will lulls down to 4 mph in which your kite will likely not want to fly. 10-15 is more fun than a marginal 7-8.
You "can" fly your kite is less wind, but lighter winds requires more skill since you'll need to "generate" the extra power by the way you move the kite across the sky.
Stronger winds of 15-20 mph are fun AFTER gaining experience and confidence flying your kite in lighter winds. IF that your kite has difficulty launching, or staying in the air, its most like due to Not having sufficient wind, or the wind being blocked by houses and trees.
Can I fly the trainer kite on my own or do I need an assistant?
Only 1 person needed. Just you! That said, having another person to assist is nice to have and makes learning more fun. The 3-line kites do allow you to easily "reverse re-launch" your kite by yourself using the "3rd-line"
Control Bar or Handles?
If your goal is simplicity, safety, functionality, and fun, and your intention is to progress to kite board sports: Kite-Boarding, Kite-landboarding, Snow-Kiting, Kite-Skimming, etc, We recommend using a "Control Bar".
The 3-line control bars standard on our Trainer kites, come pre-configured from the manufacturer (photo above) with an integrated 3rd line safety system.
Since we specialize in Kite Board sports, we mainly sell kites that are already set-up with control bars. If you're shopping here, we've got you covered.
3m: The "m" is used to denote Square meters. But most people just say "meter", when they are actually referring to square meters.
Trainer Kite: a kite used to help you to learn and master basic kite skills.
A category with Sizes ranging from 1.5m to 3.5m, ( Most are 2.5m to 3.5m
They can be a 2-line, 3-line, or 4-line and normally set-up with a "control Bar"
True Size or just a name?
When comparing Kites, use the "True Size" if you know it, rather than the Model "name". Many times the Name of the kite is Not the same as the kites actual size.
Examples: Rush IV 300-Pro, Hydra II 300.
At first glance you would think that all three of the above trainer kites would be the same size and have about the same amount of power, right?
With HQ, the number represents the wing-span. 300 cms from tip to tip.
Rush IV 300-Pro True Size is (2.8m)
Hydra II 300 True Size is (2.6m)
As you can see in this example, although both are named "300" ,
Their true sizes are different!
One of them is 2.8m, and the other is a smaller 2.6m
Which Size Trainer for me?
Before deciding on a size, consider these categories.
Trainer Kites: 1.5m to 3.5m Small enough to use for learning
Traction Kites 2.5m to larger Powerful enough to provide a strong pull.
Traction-Trainer 2.5m to 3.5m A size that Spans both Categories Trainer and Traction.
A 3.5m in 15 mph winds can give a 180 lb adult a workout!
The very same 3.5m can be flown by a kid under 100 lbs in light 7-10 mph.
Body weight, wind-speed and skill level are all factors.
Traction-Kites 4m-5m range "can" be a trainer kite for Big Guys.
How Many lines?
2-line Trainer kites
2-line Trainers like the "Rush-IV Standard Series" (200, 250, and 300) have the simplest design and are the lowest in price. If you're budget is tight and you just want a basic trainer, a 2-line will do the job.
(Pros) Lowest Price, intuitive ultra-simple, line set-up. 1 line on the Left,
and 1 line Right, perfect for kids!
(Cons) No "reverse relaunch"
4-line kites like the "Original Scout"
pictured here, have a fixed Bridal,
and thus a fixed angle-of-attack just like the 2-line, and 3-line kites.
All of these "standard foils" are easy to
fly. The 3-line, and 4-line models
fly mainly off the 2 front lines.
The additional 3rd-line, or 3rd and 4th
line, allow you to:
Reverse re-launch your kite,and also as a way to stall the kite (kill its power) by releasing your control bar.
Although these are Not "depower" kites, you "can" depower them by how you fly and position your kite in the sky. The newest version of the Scout is now a 3-line design. The Scouts main advantage over other trainer kites is that they're considerably more durable and designed for handling the heavier demands of snow-kiting and kite-landboarding. The smallest, 3m Scout, falls perfectly within both the "Traction kite" AND the "Trainer kite" categories.
.As far as trainer-kites go, the 3-line is currently the most popular design.
3-lines have an easy set-up close to a 2-line,
they have the reverse re-launch abilities
and also have the back line safety / power kill ability.
Bottom line... we think the 3-line trainers are the best option for
people shopping for their 1st kite.
Rush IV 300 Pro:
A 3-line Trainer kite.
The exact same 300-Pro as above with some lines drawn to point out the 3-line bridal set-up.
Lines "1" and "2" in black are your main flying lines. Notice how the lines fan-out to connect to multiple points on the kites bottom surface. The 3rd line
(shown here in red) only connects to the kites "Trailing-Edge". The 3rd line is mostly slack during normal flight, but engages when you release (let go of) your control bar to stall it ( kill its power via the 3rd line safety system).
The 3rd-line allows you to re-launch your kite in reverse in the event
it crashes nose-down. The Videos on our Rush and Hydra pages show the 3rd line in action.
Why not 4-line trainers?
To keep things simpler, safer, and less expensive. Safety is a biggie!
4-line "sheetable" kites, require you to be "Hooked-in" ( connected ) to
a "Harness" to access their instant depower. For beginners / 1st time kiters. it's safer to fly your kite "UN-hooked".
Back to the Driving analogy..
If you were teaching someone to drive a car, would you want them to
engage the cruise control on day one?
The 4-line configuration is different on different kites.
Standard 4-line Foil Kites: Fixed-Bridal System
Sheetable 4-line Foil Kites: Pulleys are designed into the Bridal
Inflatable 4-line Kites: The most simple 4-line Sheetable set-up.
4-line Sheetable kites ( foils and inflatable's )
are much more expensive,
require the use of a "harness",
and are Not "trainers"
Standard Foils ( fixed Bridal ) are the norm for 3-line trainers, 2-lines trainers, and most 4-line foils. The Standard foils are idea for beginners.
Land-Boarding and Snow-Kiting:
If you are planning to use your trainer to begin learning either of these sports, better to get a 3 or 4 line trainer, rather then a 2 line. Having the 3rd or 4th line will make it much easier to relaunch your kite while remaining with your board.
As a Kiter and Kite instructor for over 13 Years, you can be sure that our recommendations are all about YOU in an effort to help you Learn as quickly, safely, and as economically as possible.
Questions? Don't hesitate to ask. There are no dumb questions.
We're here to help in any way we can!
The Prices above for the Scout, are for the newest (current) model Scout III.
The Previous model, Scout II, are all gone.
Questions on selecting a kite for your specific needs?