neilhapgood wrote: ↑
Tue Dec 26, 2017 12:59 pm
is it safe to say that you can be less fussy with a smaller kite in terms of design and condition? I am keen for a 5m but budget is tight so might just have to get whatever comes along
For hydrofoiling you are right, most 5s will work just great.
If it was for waveriding, I dont agree - it is REALLY difficult to find a good small kite that works (unless you just are a "park and ride")
Medium kitesizes (7-8 m2) are a no brainer to get "right", whereas the big ones are really difficult to design well, and often you have a much broader "type" of kite demands depending on who you are (jumping, surfing, racing etc), I think we all know that.
But for waveriding/waveboards good small kites (below 6 m2) are difficult to find, as very often they are scaled down medium kites, and this does IMO not work well
When riding DTL, a huge amount of depower is needed (compared to 7-8 m2 where it isnt an issue most often), because we ride in say 30 knots, so when flying across the window it will pull you off your board, or at least not give you a free path you can surf, but more locked.
Very very few small kites got this feature, have had a few and those of us riding waves mostly, have kept these and surfed them for years, repaired, and surfed till they eventually died...
So difficult to get this type nowadays unfortunately
Same brands are most likely offering small kites for TT riding (lighter riders) and lightweights or kids - where a scaled down kite in terms of power at least, works well because they are used in less wind, but not for waveriding, and not optimal for hydrofoiling either really.
The difficult part besides above which is very "style" specific, is to make a small kite that got a pleasant dynamic power/depower, instead of a supershort on/off on a very short distance.
Of course one gets used to the, no matter what, shorter sheeting distance, but if too short it is annoying in my experience, as they will race across the window less controllable - at least you gotta use time to get this dialed in and not always possible to get the same feel.
The issue with too much power is a lot worse on waveboards, as say we use a 5 in 20 knots on a hydrofoil, and on a waveboard a 5 maybe used in +30 knots, which is 250 % more power but at least a LOT more wind speed than you ride downwind DTL.
As very few brands today, if any, makes a "dog", you can use most of the small kites you can get your hands on, 4½ to 6 m2 (beware though, 4 m and smaller are tricky and NOT easy to find good ones..)
Relaunch is easy, they turn well, and years of design make them drift well too - only difficult parameters can be the amount of depower and to find one with a pleasant sheeting.
But they still works quite well for hydrofoiling though, even if missing some of this, is my experience.
So yes, I would say you can choose almost any small kite you can get your hands on Neil