For your weight you don't need anything bigger than 5-7 to 5-11 for kiting (anywhere). Too big and too much volume is unnecssary and will not be fun.
As mentioned before it is not only length that matters but also volume/rocker/outline, bottom shape, tail shape.
Other subtle factors would be fin configuration (quad or thruster) but either one works fine, and the quality of fins, board weight, flex.
My current boards are all thrusters, but my next board will probably be a quad or 5-box board that I can alternate 4 or 3 fins - just for something new and different.
Volume: For your weight I would not get anything more than 29 or 30 liters MAX.
I am 160# and ride a few different boards depending on conditions -
- 5/8 Lost round nose fish, approx 29 liters, thruster - a classic surfboard shape that has fair amount of nose volume and works great on slower mushy waves, which we get a lot of around here. But this board is not ideal in chopy conditions. This is an Aviso board so it wil take the beating from kiting with it. This board is very stable and easy to do footwork, but still very snappy. This board is virtually dingprooof
- 5/11 Firewire Taj, approx 24 liter volume, thruster, a kite specific board based on a tried/true surfboard shape, beefed up for durability, not nearly as ding-proof as the Aviso but it's holding together great after 3 hard years. This shape is more "gunny" and works great in big fast waves, choppy conditions, but needs a bit more power to ride upwind, and because of narrow width and lower volume requires more skill and precision for your footwork. (I have the KTS which is now the KP1)
- 5/3 Spleene Zone, which is not really a surfboard but rather a kiteboard that looks like a surfboard. This is a great board in the waves and even in light wind. I ride this board w/straps and it's great when the waves aren't really good but conditions are still big because it absorbs anything and is virtually indestructible. Although it gives a great "surfy" ride it is NOT quite the same as a proper surfboard - but still super fun.
The reason I mention these boards is to illustrate the subtleties of length-shape-volume. As a beginner some might say none of that matters but I beg to differ. I think you should at least have a good idea of what might be the correct shape for you and try shoot for it. You may never get a perfect bullseye but you will be closer to knowing what you like once you get better...and you might just say your first board is your favorite. Sometimes it's not the tool, but rather how well you use the tool.
I think having the options of straps/strapless is good for kiting around here. But I would recommend learning to ride it strapless FIRST, so that you really learn an optimized stance. I think straps hold people back a little when learning in terms of "surf"style riding. But try it either way, whatever works best for you. Start off in calm water and dial in your stance and riding toeside and some switching stance. Don't be concerned about falling off and re-starting at first...it comes with the territory.
The Firewire boards are really awesome. If you look at the way they are built you might see why I like them. http://www.firewiresurfboards.com/kites ... itesurfing
I would defo buy another one - probably a KHF . This board is fairly tough but it will ding.
I would also defo buy another Aviso, but they are more price if you buy new. I would probably go for something like the a Doc 5/5 or Cole 5/11http://avisosurf.com/Boards.html
I have never had a ding in my Aviso board in 4+ years of hard use and travel.
I prefer lightweight boards - some people claim to like heavier boards for some reason (?). But I've ridden my 5/11 in super rough conditions in 35+ kts and never wished it was heavier. But if you get a light board it needs to be built right. I suppose the same comment goes for a heavy board, and simply laying on more material does not always mean the board is built "better" or stronger. As you may have already been told, a standard surfboard is not really designed for kiting. If you are light and don't ride it super hard it might be fine, so caveat emptor about that.
OK, I am not trying to confuse matters for you, and I know it might be challenging to pick a board as a beginner, but at least you can try to understand some of this before you decide. However, know that it might take time for you to "feel" what works for you best.
Get a surfboard and have a Happy New Year!
That being said
I have FOR SALE a practically new 7/0x HDX Funboard that is in excellent condition, only surfed a few times, I am original owner, with fins, tailpad, and bag - if anyone is interested.
I also have a FOR SALE a 9/0 HDX longboard in excelllent condition, with fin and bag
PM if interested