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Gusty, what's the limit?

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Gusty, what's the limit?

Postby Onthewater860 » Thu Sep 29, 2016 5:24 pm

I'm fairly new to kiting and wonder what kind of gusty conditions people fly in.
Example, right now I've got 15 as low and 30 as the high avg 18. I feel that a gust more than 10 over avg is too much. Am I wrong to think that?

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Re: Gusty, what's the limit?

Postby edt » Thu Sep 29, 2016 5:38 pm

all personal preference how much you are willing to tolerate. Depends a lot on what the local conditions are like, some launches you have no choice it's gonna be gusty. The most dangerous time when it's gusty is launching and landing so don't dick around, get out there immediately ride as long as you like and when you land do it as quickly as possible even if it means pulling the QR.

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Re: Gusty, what's the limit?

Postby mbevo » Thu Sep 29, 2016 5:39 pm

Depends on how desperate you are

I don't mind the gusts as much as the lulls. 15-30 is pretty good here. But 5-35 is too much...although will still do it if i haven't kited for a while and just try to ride it out

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Re: Gusty, what's the limit?

Postby plummet » Thu Sep 29, 2016 7:20 pm

With experience comes greater ability to manage gusts.
The trick is to chose a kite that can handle the max gust but still go upwind in the lull.
So the higher the wind the larger the wind range you can fly in. Eg a 20 knot swing from 25-45 knots is intense but possible on a 5 or 6m. But 5-25 is a freaken nightmare because the low end is well bellow the kites wind range.

In reality 5 knot swing is easy. 10 knot getting interesting, 15 knot possible but pain in the arse, 20 knot only for super desperate super experienced dudes, 20+ knot..... go home.

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Re: Gusty, what's the limit?

Postby dracop » Thu Sep 29, 2016 8:09 pm

I agree with plummet's scale
+/- 5 kts no problem
+/- 10 kts its work
+ /- 15 kts a PITA
+/- 20 kts super desperate
more than a 20 kt swing, go home

One catch: if the lulls are consistently belo 14 kts, forget about it, especially if its swining 15 kts either way. It is easier to to handle 40 avg lulling to 25 and gusting to 55 than it is 20 avg lulling to 5 and gusting to 35. Because the kite will fall out of the sky at low speeds then suddenly power up on the gust when in a bad position. In contrast, at higher wind speeds, you may have to ride downwind or do kiteloops to keep riding, but the kite stays in the air and its merely a matter of managing the pwoer.

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Re: Gusty, what's the limit?

Postby jeromeL » Thu Sep 29, 2016 8:27 pm

Sometimes it's worth driving a bit further to get cleaner wind. But cleaner wind can mean choppier often so you need to find a good compromise.
I agree with plummet, lull is an issue. If lull is more than 15 18, it should be fine since on 9m you can manage.
I have had a session recently with lull of 12 and gusts 40 on 9m. At some point kite almost fell out of the sky. Those session are not really enjoyable, on gusts you are nicely powered and ready to send kite for jump and line tension disappear and fall back in water or you jump and lull hits which makes kite fall deep in window and shoot back up on gusts sending you far downwind...
10 knots wind range is pretty common and fine here.
15 knots is fine if it's like 18-33 on 9m
20 knots wind range, I don't enjoy and usually pack and go home after a few scare when kite drops you out of the sky and gust catch you late...

After a trip in OBX with wind range less than 5 knots I learned that non gusty wind is a lot more fun and easier to boost in... You progress so much faster in consistent condition.

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Re: Gusty, what's the limit?

Postby matth » Thu Sep 29, 2016 9:08 pm

By far the most dangerous time to fly is when its gusty. I would stick with days with less than a 10knt spikes until you have solid kite control. Kites are amazing and can be ridden in very gusty conditions but it does require a lot of skill to manage the lulls and gust with out getting lofted or doing long swims and walks..

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Re: Gusty, what's the limit?

Postby alexeyga » Thu Sep 29, 2016 9:25 pm

5knts range - something you have wet nights about
10knts range - just another decent day
15knts range - you'll start questioning the fun factor fairly fast along your progress
20knts range - do something else more important/interesting regardless of when you rode last

It is probably worth noting that "15knts range" along any given coast isn't quite the same as "15knts range" deep inland.

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Re: Gusty, what's the limit?

Postby BOEMIX » Fri Sep 30, 2016 12:23 am

Oh interesting topic.

Kite choice is the key to handle that conditions.

By far the best gust muncher kite I have is ozone acces 6m, used it in snowkiting supergusty conditions (10-40 knots).

So an inflatable closer to Ozone acces performance will be the best choice.

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Re: Gusty, what's the limit?

Postby FLandOBX » Fri Sep 30, 2016 1:03 am

For me, what wind range can be kited isn't as important as what wind range can be enjoyed. If the difference between min lull and max gust is more than 10-12 knots, it stops being fun. I'll usually drive an hour to cleaner coastal wind instead of kite behind my house on a gusty inland lake.

Most newer kites have lots of range, but with gusty wind, it first stops being fun and then, later, stops being safe. In response to your original question, Onthewater860, I think your judgment is rock solid. For a newer kiter, 10 (kts or mph) over average wind speed is too gusty for either fun or safety. Trust your good instincts, my friend. :thumb:

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