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C-Kite Unhooked LW Surfing Mania

Posted: Mon Apr 01, 2013 3:48 am
by trxdude
I’ve resurrected a 2004 11m Slingshot Fuel that has really grown on me, thinking at times the joy of flying this type of kite unhooked in the sand is almost better than riding with it (while my 14m 2013 Rally, 17m Turbine, 12m Trigger, 10m RPM, sit in the closet). In the soft sandy fields of San Diego, I’ve found this kite to be pretty efficient in 14-15 mph winds when flown unhooked (and tuned to do so), so much so that I’ve theorized, it could work with a Surfboard in the same type of winds on water. Am I on the right track, thinking I can generate more pull and have more precision in scooping enough low end power unhooked that I can get a session in with this setup. I don’t need jumping power, or anything special, I’d just like to get out of the water, plane, and catch a few short rail to rail downwinders, walk of shame or not. Looking for that feel of getting tugged by a jetski over some small ramps at or just below the wind speed (next day soreness in the biceps and lats : ). Recognizing this requires a little more brawn than brains, I still feel using my arms as my sheeting system, having a truly direct connection to the kite, and my core, no bridles, smaller canopy, short lines, bigger bar, can maximize the potential of light, shifty wind, with the right mindset, i.e. knowing that the physical demands might outweigh the enjoyment. Why, I don’t know; probably the same reason Jack Lalanne did some of the crazy shit he did: and for the same reason I’ve considered swimming the Catalina channel.
Thinking of adding an old school wrist cuff :nono: to attach my kite leash, and ditching my harness too, total freedom from harness and straps. Assuming you could catch a wave with this setup, you might also let the bar out, grab the chicken loop, and get a picture of you riding harnessless, strapless, and barless… lmao! Yup, sometimes my imagination gets ahead of my ability, always fun to dream though. :cool2:

Fyi: Jack Lalanne
1954 Age 40: Swam the length of the San Francisco Golden Gate Bridge underwater with 140 pounds of equipment, including two air tanks… an undisputed world record.
1955 Age 41: Swam, handcuffed, from Alcatraz to Fisherman’s Wharf in
San Francisco, CA.
1956 Age 42: Set a world record of 1,033 pushups in 23 minutes on “You Asked for It, a TV Show with Art Baker.
1957 Age 43: Swam the treacherous Golden Gate Channel, towing a 2,500-pound cabin cruiser. This involved fighting the cold, swift ocean currents that made the 1 mile swim a 6 ½ mile test of strength and endurance.
1958 Age 44: Maneuvered a paddleboard 30 miles, 9-½ hours non-stop from Farallon Islands to the San Francisco shore.
1959 Age 45: Completed 1,000 pushups and 1,000 chin-ups in 1 hours and 22
minutes. “Happy” is born and The Jack LaLanne Show goes nationwide
1974 Age 60: Swam from Alcatraz Island to Fisherman’s Wharf, for a second time handcuffed, shackled and towing a 1,000-pound boat.
1975 Age 61: Swam the length of the Golden Gate Bridge, underwater, for a second time handcuffed, shackled and towing a 1,000-pound boat.
1976 Age 62: Commemorating the “Spirit of ‘76”, swam 1 mile in Long Beach Harbor, handcuffed, shackled and towing 13 boats (representing the 13 original colonies) containing 76 people.
1979 Age 65: Towed 65 boats filled with 6,500-pounds of Lousiana Pacific wood pulp while handcuffed and shackled in Lake Ashinoko, near Tokyo, Japan.
1980 Age 66: Towed 10 boats in North Miami, Florida filled with 77 people for over a mile in less than 1 hour.
1984 Age 70: Handcuffed, shackled and fighting strong winds and currents, towed 70 boats with 70 people from the Queen’s Way Bridge in the Long Beach Harbor to the Queen Mary, 1 ½ miles.

Donavan ( a.k.a. trxdude ) :bye:

Re: C-Kite Unhooked LW Surfing Mania

Posted: Mon Apr 01, 2013 4:25 am
by windrupted
Sounds good, except for the date on your post being April 1st.

Every time i try the old unhooked, I get tired in about 2 minutes. What about rigging an extra long chicken rope, and pulling the trim way down so that when you pull the bar down to your normal level the loop goes slack: sort of effectively unhooked. I mean it's awsome to aspire to La-Lane like feats of teeth gritting masculinity and all, but some of us are, well; wimpy by comparism. But by all means, inspire us with some footage when you get this happening! I'm looking at my old C kites right now....

Re: C-Kite Unhooked LW Surfing Mania

Posted: Wed Apr 03, 2013 7:54 am
by trxdude
Yeah, all fluff, manic/entertaining analogies and bs aside, I still can't get any feedback on unhooked low end. Surely I'm not the first person to try and tune a smaller C kite i.e. faster/gruntier kite, such that I can honestly fly it unhooked without tearing a wrist flexor, in order to increase my low end. Would love to know if guys like Ben Wilson do unhooked water starts or if being unhooked offers no reasonable advantage in light winds or in general out of a start.
Seems if you could get out into the surf, obviously unwind, the combination of 1-3 foot beach break pushing you, and a decent loop to pop up, could get you moving downwind, clearing sections, to catch a few waves that would typically be unusable as a surfer. Kind of mini sized tow-in sessions, using a kite. Thinking I'd body drag out, since I've read some pretty convincing posts on this forum that suggest you can actually drag up wind faster than riding, in marginal conditions.
Kook, drags out, kite surfs in, walks back upwind, repeats. 25x... Walks away completely exhausted and stoked. Made a great surf spot, which was totally empty on a crappy day, perfect, for one surfer who was getting towed into wind crumble with his magic kite.

Re: C-Kite Unhooked LW Surfing Mania

Posted: Wed Apr 03, 2013 8:55 am
by DirkGently
You sound like you're having fun. I also enjoy flying well trimmed c kites unhooked on beaches. Perhaps you will join me and my friends sometime in a game of pass with a 13m Fuel ?

Re: C-Kite Unhooked LW Surfing Mania

Posted: Wed Apr 03, 2013 11:52 am
by Starsky
Almost impossible to make upwind ground unhooked on water. Especially in onshore conditions.

Its easy enough and a total blast in light air on hard pack snow, and you can literally spend 90% of your session unhooked, even one handed, but the power level involved on water makes it much much harder unless you have enough flotation to stand stationary on your board. I often unhook in light winds on my surfboard to have more fun cranking through carving transitions, little airs or in wee waves, but I always have to hook back in to get back upwind. Unhooked the kite sits too deep. If you trim it to fly at the edge, you don't get the power.

Try it you'll learn the limitations quick enough

I run a 10m as my big kite and start around 12 knots on a surfboard.

Check out the videos F-one put out for their kite called the source. Its a two line light air kite for unhooked sup kiting.

Re: C-Kite Unhooked LW Surfing Mania

Posted: Thu Apr 04, 2013 7:23 am
by trxdude
Thanks Starsky, after all my blabbering I had to give it a run, and, you're absolutely 100% correct on all accounts. Wasn't even a fun wresting match, it just doesn't work. The idea was actually planted after seeing the Source vids a few months back, and witnessing our local SUKer carve his light wind machine around with a Slingshot 2 line. An old rider said it well to me today, he said, there are no magic kites, but there are magic boards. I think it's gonna come down to 3 things, a. get a race board, higher volume board with giant fins b. lose about 75 lb. (which would make me about 10 years old) or c. move to the southern most tip of Texas. Assuming I want to keep playing with kites that need 20 mph to start working.

What's a guy got to do to get a decent pull, the boat was an expensive mess, nobody wants to spot off the back seat of the Seadoo, the Banshee Bungee is downright lethal, no cable parks in SoCal, a Grinch looks tempting, but could still be a mess, and most of my friends are too old to be playing these crazy white boy shenanigans. I needed this rant, to make me appreciate my Slingshot 17m Turbine, which, at about 210 lb. had me carving around our lake with a DV8 and wakeskate in 10 kt.

Starsky, you may have guided me toward Nirvana though, being a native Rockies guy, kite lover, and snowboarder, the thought of snow kiting never really appealed to me until now. Can't say I hadn't considered dragging an old snowboard out after the beach combers pureed 16 inches of fresh sand in search of lower friction.

Still gonna get a 9m and 13m Fuel, maybe play some toss, or add a Sector/Raceboard to my quiver and keep playing little jackie paper. Perhaps make that trek and find a ski to drop me off, miles upwind of my destination in 20+ kt. The Ben Wilson kite camp is sounding pretty tempting right now too.

keep searching.....

Re: C-Kite Unhooked LW Surfing Mania

Posted: Thu Apr 04, 2013 8:24 pm
by DirkGently
oh wait, you want a raceboard? we cant be friends anymore, sorry man.

best of luck.

Re: C-Kite Unhooked LW Surfing Mania

Posted: Thu Apr 04, 2013 10:30 pm
by tswierkocki
I think this is what you are searching for. I had some fun sessions on the 7.5M and 5.5M.



Re: C-Kite Unhooked LW Surfing Mania

Posted: Fri Apr 05, 2013 6:03 am
by trxdude
Nice feed back with that Generator post, and I think this Source video is absolutely lovely. Good old fun in the sun. (Mitu has got to be one of the handiest guys to ever hold a kite, I've watched him in the Stance Strapless tutorial from several years ago about 3 dozen times, and it never really gets old. Not quite as gnarly as the first few scenes of Ben from the Unknown Road, but Mitu has wacky style and creative genius that is unparalleled)
Wondering if tuning the Fuel, as I had read in the Generator post, or as I do when using it as an unhooked four line trainer kite, would make it a good SUK kite (The F-One Source isn't cheap). I've been known to drag my SUP to the beach for the very likely chance I'll get skunked. I tried playing around with SUKing one day, but was using a giant Delta and sent my board downwind a couple hundred hards before ditching the idea and grabbing a paddle.
Funny though, I was already planning my South Padre downwinder with a 2013 9m Fuel, preferably on a wakeskate or surfboard, or the DV8 (which without straps is kinda both). I'm going to sift through that Generator post and try to decipher all the nomenclature, lot of technical shit going on there. Some guy doing unhooked downwinders with a 5m Fuel on a wakeskate? Guessing you'd have to dig pretty deep to even find a used one. "Fixed Bars" I can kind of comprehend the idea, but actually running one, would be very entertaining.