09 Apr How to choose kitesurfing gear in 5 easy steps!
If you feel comfortable with your kitesurfing level and you like this sport for sure, it is time to choose your first kitesurfing equipment to gain more independence. Buying your own kitesurfing equipment can be a big step. Kitesurfing requires some investment (can be в‚¬500 or even more than в‚¬3000) so it is important to have some basic knowledge about equipment to ensure you are buying the right thing. In this article, we will take you through 5 steps that you should consider when buying kitesurfing equipment:
- Your level
1. YOUR LEVEL
- Beginner: If you are buying your first equipment then you need to choose a kite and a board that will take you comfortably from a beginner to an intermediate level.
- Intermediate/ Advanced: At this level, you should know where you need to progress. If you choose freestyle, meaning waves orВ free riding,В a specific choice of equipment is required. When choosing freestyle riding, you should look for C-kite and amfreestyle/wake-style board. For free-riding, either bow or hybrid kites will be good. And for wave riding, you probably should be looking for avwave kite and a directional board.
There are 3 types of kites: Bow, Hybrid and C kite.
- Bow kites: can be de-powered fully, making them safer and easier to use for beginners. They are suitable much larger wind ranges, can be easily and quickly re-launched from water.
- Hybrid kites: cover a very large variety of kites and can be referred to as Delta kites. They are easier to de-power and re-launch from water than C-kites.
- C kites: freestyle kites that are generally used by pro riders for unhooked tricks. They have very quick turning and loads of pop, but much smaller wind range and are harder to re-launch.
Many kite brands make kites ranging from 5m2 to 15m2. The kite size depends on the place where you will be kiting. If it is a place with light wind then you should choose bigger 9m2-13m2 kites. If it is a place where the wind is very strong, consider choosing a 5m2-8m2 kite. Usually we recommend you have 2 kites- one for light wind days and one for strong wind days. When buying a kite, it is important to remember that bars match/belong with/to kites. You should not mix & match kite & bar because every kite has a different safety system, bridle position and length.
- Twin-tip: are the most universal boards used for free-ride, free-style & wake-style kitesurfing. They are easy to manoeuvre, easy to ‘get up’, and you can ride both ways without turning the board around. They are great for jumping and have small fins suitable for shallow water.
- Wake style: is a twin-tip board with bindings (boots) to secure your feet. These boards are not optimal for beginners and are best suited for advanced wake-style riding.
- Wave board: is a directional board with our without straps, has a better wind range where you can kitesurf in lighter winds compared to a twin-tip. They are good for long downwinders and it is easier to go up wind.
- Foil / hydrofoil board: is a directional surfboard with a hydrofoil that extends below the board into the water. This design lets the board leave the surface of the water at various speeds.
- Race board: a directional board optimised for speed with longer fins. Specifically designed for racing, easier upwind riding and reaching higher speeds downwind. With good flotation, you can kitesurf in lighter winds and the board is excellent for down winders.
Board size is quite varied – there is no specific rule. В In general, smaller sizes are better for tricks, longer sizes better for freeriding and beginners.
Cardiovascular training can be a fun and exciting way to enjoy exercise while putting your body in motion. Sometimes, though, nothing quite tops the great indoors. An exercise bike can satisfy both, allowing for an effective workout from the comfort of your own home.
DICK’s Sporting Goods teammate Matthew Provenzano says training with an exercise bike can be an excellent way to train cardiovascular health with little physical risk.
“It’s not as much of a strain on the body as you would see with an elliptical or treadmill,” he says, “And you can work at your own pace.”
There are three different styles of exercise bikes: upright, recumbent and indoor cycling. Each offers multiple advantages and different training perks to suit your goals. Determining which style is right for you should be your first step to get the most out of your next workout.
UPRIGHT EXERCISE BIKE
This exercise bike style keeps you in a conventional riding position. Since they feature a standard bike seat, there is no back support. Designed for seated cycling only, upright exercise bikes offer handlebars and front displays. These bikes are well-suited for individuals who want a comfortable workout but don’t need a bike for high-intensity training.
If you believe an upright exercise bike fits your goals, look for models with clear and easy-to-use displays. Be sure that your bike can track resistance, speed, time, distance and calories burned. Additionally, some models may include built-in programs to keep your workouts fresh and ever-changing.
Another feature to look for in an upright exercise bike is some form of heart-rate monitoring.
“Cardiovascular training as a whole is set out to improve your heart health,” Provenzano says. “Your heart rate is going up considerably when you’re doing these workouts, so a lot of the models include this technology so you can track your heart rate and make sure it isn’t jumping to a degree that would be dangerous for you.”
One popular option for heart-rate monitoring is contact monitors. Often found in the handlebars, this tech activates via touch. Some upright exercise bikes even offer chest strap heart monitors, which can give a more accurate reading.
Instead of the conventional pedaling style, recumbent bikes seat you in a reclined position in a wider, more comfortable seat. The pedals are out in front, which can help even out your bodyweight distribution. This makes recumbent bikes an optimal choice for people with back problems, joint issues or pre-existing injuries.
Recumbent bikes offer handlebars at both the front display, as well as along the sides of the seat. When choosing a recumbent bike, look for the same features as an upright: a clear display with the desired measurements, built-in workout programs, adjustable seating and some form of heart-rate monitoring. Recumbent bike shoppers should also take the machine’s dimensions into consideration. Because of their reclined position and widened stance, recumbents can take up more floor space than other bike options.
INDOOR CYCLING BIKE
Indoor cycling bikes have less features but offer a closer experience to actual outdoor cycling.
“If you think about the outdoor cycling experience, you’re not going to have all of these added features, which is why it’s mimicked with indoor cycling bikes,” Provenzano says.
Designed for riders to sit and stand, these machines can mimic vertical climbing and other cycling maneuvers. Indoor cycling bikes are good for high-intensity interval training and difficult fat-burning workouts. This bike option is also often found in exercise groups or spinning classes.
Consider indoor cycling models with adjustable seating and handlebars to maximize comfort. Some styles do offer displays that track RPM, Kcal, time, distance and speed, but without built-in workout programs.
Above all, resistance is the most crucial feature to be aware of in an indoor cycle. Make sure the resistance offered is easily adjustable and includes a wide range of levels. Magnetic resistance systems can be highly durable and very quiet. Indoor cycling bikes can also use belt- and chain-drive mechanisms for resistance.
Some luxury features exist to make your training as comfortable as possible. Water bottle holders, smartphone docks and tablet holders can keep your belongings close and within reach. Tablet holders can help you to visually follow certain workout programs while you pedal. Some models can also include fan systems to keep you cool during those intense exercises.
Built-in speakers can also provide audio enhancement for a better music listening experience. Lastly, some bikes can track your training via Bluetooth and sync the data to your smartphone.
Whether you’re looking for a simple cardio activity or an intense workout, exercise bikes can make a great addition to your routine. Use these Pro Tips and you can begin enjoying your newfound training regimen in no time.
Ready to get in shape with a full-body workout? Jump ropes can be a great addition to your cardio routine. They’re small enough to fit into your gym bag but pack a big punch. Jump ropes can help tone your arms, legs and shoulders.
There are various types of jump ropes to choose from, each with specific benefits. Buying a jump rope can seem intimidating with the differences between styles. When choosing a jump rope, think about your experience level or the workout you plan on doing. Are you looking for the best jump rope for beginners? Want to know the difference between a speed rope and a weighted rope?
This Pro Tips guide has the essential information to know before making the leap and buying a jump rope.
TYPES OF JUMP ROPES
Basic jump ropes are geared toward those learning the fundamentals of jumping rope. They’re cost effective but can still provide an efficient workout. Basic jump ropes are thicker than speed ropes but lighter than weighted jump ropes. Most of these jump ropes are made with PVC plastic, and the handles are usually made of rubber or foam to help jumpers with grip.
The purpose of a speed jump rope is right in the name. Speed jump ropes are lightweight and made to be fast. They’re made of a thin vinyl cord and are best used indoors to prevent wear and tear on rough surfaces, like pavement. These workouts can be intense due to the fast-paced speed. Because of that, they’re great for those looking to improve their footwork and build conditioning skills.
Weighted jump ropes give your arms a workout but can help strengthen your shoulders, too. The extra weight requires more exertion and energy. Also, the added resistance generates more force for your shoulders to control while rotating the rope. Typically, weights can range from one to six pounds. Weighted jump ropes are normally preferred by experienced jumpers, but beginners can use them, too. These ropes are a bit slower than speed ropes, so new jumpers can focus on timing and learning proper form.
Beaded ropes, also known as segmented jump ropes, can be used by beginners. However, they’re highly associated with rhythmic jumping competition because of the noise the beads make when they hit the ground. These have a nylon inner cord that is hidden by heads, hence the name. While the rope is not heavy, the beads do add some weight to the workout and help prevent tangling. This is a jump rope that you can use both indoors and outdoors.
Leather ropes are not as common as speed, weighted or beaded. However, leather jump ropes are popular for their wooden handles and quietness. This jump rope doesn’t make as much noise as a beaded jump rope or have the heaviness of a weighted rope. The cord is also thicker, which results in little tangling. Leather can be more costly than other options because of its durability. You can use leather ropes indoors, outdoors and on any type of surface. These jump ropes can be a good choice for beginners, but jumpers of any skill level can use them.
If a simple workout is what you want, but you also want to save a few bucks, cloth jump ropes are a good option. They’re lightweight, so they don’t add too much pressure on the shoulders or arms. Cloth jump ropes are mainly used indoors, as they don’t fare well on rough surfaces.
JUMP ROPE LENGTH
Now that you’ve chosen a jump rope, you need to make sure it’s the right length.
To check if your jump rope is the correct length, step on the middle of the rope. Then, pull the rope up toward your shoulders. The cables, not the handles, should hit right around your armpits.
If you happen to buy a rope that’s too long, don’t fret. Most jump ropes have adjustable handles to shorten or increase the length.
With a new jump rope in hand, you’re ready to jump-start your cardio routine. Discover our favorite jump rope exercises with this cardio workout.
Both tools are great for indoor training, but choosing the right one for you depends on a few key factors.
Amid winter days and cold weather, we often feel forced to ride inside to preserve our fitness and our sanity.
But choosing between bike rollers and an indoor bike trainer can be tricky because each has unique strengths and weaknesses. Choosing the right one will depend on several factors, and this guide will help you make the right decision to meet your needs. Below, we outline six key factors you should consider before making your choice.
With its broad footprint and fixed attachment to your bike frame, riding a stationary trainer is easier than actually riding a bike outside. The hardest thing about a trainer is installing your bike on it. Plus, bikes today have evolved to include a number of rear axle widths and attachment styles, which means not all bikes will fit every trainer.
Rollers are more simple to set up, though the spacing of the roller drums has to be set initially for your bike’s wheelbase (and possibly changed if you use more than one bike). That said, they require more skill to ride. At first, you’ll have to concentrate on keeping the front wheel straight. Set them up in a doorway so you can use it for balance as you get the hang of the rollers and, if you’re riding on carpet, lay down an old blanket or towel to prevent tires from damaging your floors if you should happen to slip off one side (yes, cycling rug burn is a thing).
These Four Trainers Are Currently Available—But Hurry!
On average, rollers are more affordable than indoor trainers. Generally, they’re about the price of a good, but pretty bare-bones trainer. That’s partly because basic technology of rollers hasn’t changed much in decades.
However, that also means there are fewer options. Resistance is supplied by the size of the drums themselves (larger drums=less resistance); some rollers have added, adjustable, magnetic- or fan-based resistance that can increase the cost. One of the pricier rollers we know of are Inside Ride’s E-Motion Rollers: With the optional ANT+/Bluetooth resistance controller, they’re close to the same price as many high-end trainers. But those are certainly one of the most expensive models; most rollers come in the $300 to $500 range.
Trainers used to be cheaper, and there are still affordable basic models, like the Kinetic Road Machine Smart 2. But the advent of online-based training and social platforms like Zwift has led to a new class of trainers with a much larger feature set that start at the price of a good set of rollers and go up from there. That said, you get more than just connectivity when you spend more; you also benefit from advances in resistance technology that helps create a better ride experience. Overall, the trainer universe is far broader than rollers; there’s a trainer for every conceivable budget, and a vast array of options and features.
3. Ride Feel
Winner: Rollers—For Now
To use a trainer, you have to secure your bike to it, which means your bike doesn’t move underneath you like it would outside. That’s an unnatural feeling that takes time to get used to. Plus, the resistance itself feels subtly different than the way wind resistance works against us on the road. Advanced trainers are continuously getting closer to a better road feel, and some trainers like the Kinetic Rock and Roll Smart Trainer can also pivot side-to-side for a more natural sensation in out-of-the-saddle efforts. Add in the distractions of virtual training apps like Zwift and, well, trainers are getting pretty close now to a realistic ride feel.
With rollers, on the other hand, the bike can move underneath you more naturally because it’s not fixed to anything. The downside is that it’s the rare talent who can stand up on conventional rollers without losing control—that’s right: conventional. On the E-Motion rollers, by contrast, the entire roller apparatus is set on a gliding frame that can move fore and aft. So you can stand up and even sprint and the bike will move underneath you naturally.