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Foil kite waterstarting in low and marginal wind

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pikovsg
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Foil kite waterstarting in low and marginal wind

Postby pikovsg » Tue Aug 07, 2018 4:56 am

Have you found good vids on waterstarting foil kites in low or marginal wind?
Have a crispy new R1V2 15m but having a hard time with adjusting to timing to get on foil in lighter winds. Is looping a must in marginal conditions?

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Re: Foil kite waterstarting in low and marginal wind

Postby Regis-de-giens » Tue Aug 07, 2018 8:16 am

pikovsg wrote:
Tue Aug 07, 2018 4:56 am
Is looping a must in marginal conditions?
Generally yes but this depends a bit on kite model and line length.

Alternativelly with a race kite like yours, you can force the backstall of the kite (by pulling rear line floaters) to have the kite going backward up to 1 meter of the water level (in the middle of the window) , and then push the bar to fully depower and "free" the kite go straight to the zenith with max speed, you can then try to get on the board and send the kite downward again to generate your acceleration; this is easier, so less dependent on the timing and skills, but from my tests you loose a bit of efficiency for marginal winds (a bit for a high AR kite like R1V2 or a lot for a mid AR kite, and you take more risk of a lull at that moment taht will put the kite in the water) vs one or two "skilled timing loop". At the zenith and when up on the board, during your turn of the kite (i.e. non-power phase) you can pump on the board even if you have no speed, that can provide a bit of additional lift waiting for the pull of the kite downward.

R1V2 is one of the best light wind race kite, so you can reach very "demanding" winds . Putting some line extension would also allows you to avoid loops even if not very coherent with a race kite.

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Re: Foil kite waterstarting in low and marginal wind

Postby Peter_Frank » Tue Aug 07, 2018 10:23 am

Regis is right.

Also, if you are new to foil kites, you will experience the following in light/marginal winds the first many times:

You dive the kite like you are used to, it pulls a lot so you can waterstart, but once up on the board, kite down low, everything stops :o

No power no pull and you struggle just to stay on the board :wink:

With your normal LEI kite you are used to diving the kite, and then when you fly it upwards again it still has reasonably pull.

Not so with a foil kite when no speed.

This is the very strength of these, you can stand with a 15 m2 kite in a ridiculously amount of wind, overhead no pull.
When you ride, or fly the kite, it has insane power.

Giving these a huge windrange, a lot bigger than LEI's :thumb:

But there is a but, for freeride/carving fun they tend to pull too much in turns/carves and too slow, thus only a few use these for that.

Back to the point - you simply have to use more time with your foilkite to "learn" the different behaviour.

Looping forward and/or backwards is one, often the only, way that works in marginal winds indeed, especially with longer lines you get a huge long powerstroke so you can get up foiling in one stroke and get apparent wind thus ride on in one single move.

In light wind it can be scary to loop the kite, unless you got shorter lines, as it pulls extreme for a long time, till it stops.
Here simply diving the kite and learning how to sheet out and not in when you turn it slowly (not hard) up in the window again in order to keep power, is the key.

You will manage quite fast - my point is you should just know it is very normal that you get a power "lull" you are not used to, when you use high AR foil kites for the first times :wink:

Just carry on and you will learn yourself is my advice, no secrets to anything here.

8) PF

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Re: Foil kite waterstarting in low and marginal wind

Postby cwood » Tue Aug 07, 2018 11:31 am

my opinion...on the low end of the kite looping is a must. Also a must to keep the kite in the air if you experience a real lull while in the water. Resist a plain old sign of the kite to get going because if it doesn't work the kite will often stall due to gravity when you are on the up stroke and it will just fall back in the window and potentially into the water. Keep that sucker moving and looping.

Starts I find that a loop becomes second nature and gives you the best power spike. If you are going to the left, loop clockwise. Start high enough so you have lots of room and be ready to allow yourself to go with the kite...you can often just pop right to the wing.

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Re: Foil kite waterstarting in low and marginal wind

Postby Mossy 757 » Tue Aug 07, 2018 1:27 pm

Regis-de-giens wrote:
Tue Aug 07, 2018 8:16 am
backstall of the kite (by pulling rear line floaters) to have the kite going backward up to 1 meter of the water level (in the middle of the window) , and then push the bar to fully depower and "free" the kite go straight to the zenith with max speed, you can then try to get on the board and send the kite downward again
This is what I end up doing most times in really light stuff...the kite sort of sinks trailing edge downward towards the water, then sheet the bar out and it rips upwards towards noon while I pull myself up with my abs and try to pump up on the foil while pulling hard with my forward hand to steer the kite and dive it from noon downwards in the direction of my riding. When this starts, I usually feel like my kite is way overhead because I'm basically riding under it intentionally, this is the part where you'll either get a good power stroke as it comes rocketing downward in front of you and powers up OR sort of flops apart and stalls at the edge of the wind window.

The later really sucks to deal with.

Alternatively, once you stall it down and then let it shoot up, you can pull hard on your rear hand and loop it over the top so that it flies forward through the entire wind window as you're pumping up on the foil. I crash the kite a lot trying to do that for some reason :(

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Re: Foil kite waterstarting in low and marginal wind

Postby cwood » Tue Aug 07, 2018 2:17 pm

Mossy 757 wrote:
Tue Aug 07, 2018 1:27 pm
Regis-de-giens wrote:
Tue Aug 07, 2018 8:16 am
backstall of the kite (by pulling rear line floaters) to have the kite going backward up to 1 meter of the water level (in the middle of the window) , and then push the bar to fully depower and "free" the kite go straight to the zenith with max speed, you can then try to get on the board and send the kite downward again
This is what I end up doing most times in really light stuff...the kite sort of sinks trailing edge downward towards the water, then sheet the bar out and it rips upwards towards noon while I pull myself up with my abs and try to pump up on the foil while pulling hard with my forward hand to steer the kite and dive it from noon downwards in the direction of my riding. When this starts, I usually feel like my kite is way overhead because I'm basically riding under it intentionally, this is the part where you'll either get a good power stroke as it comes rocketing downward in front of you and powers up OR sort of flops apart and stalls at the edge of the wind window.

The later really sucks to deal with.

Alternatively, once you stall it down and then let it shoot up, you can pull hard on your rear hand and loop it over the top so that it flies forward through the entire wind window as you're pumping up on the foil. I crash the kite a lot trying to do that for some reason :(
Interesting....but this seems far more likely to create a stall and dropped kite vs a loop with continuous motion into the direction of travel and uninterrupted air flow. Also the potential that your stall to near the surface of the water results in not being able to get the kite past it's own weight and back up. Generally there is more wind aloft.

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Re: Foil kite waterstarting in low and marginal wind

Postby foilholio » Tue Aug 07, 2018 3:10 pm

Peter_Frank wrote: Giving these a huge windrange, a lot bigger than LEI's :thumb:
I have always second guessed this with my foil kites. But then with surfboard I am on a 6m in 15knots, then also 45knots. there must be something to it. :wink:


I have always found the upstroke better on foil kites, I put it down to lower weight.

Generally to get maximum power from a kite, particularly foil. You want to keep it sheeted lightly just right and at top speed for longest. This means long strokes with gentle turns. When you are going slow you do very up and down motions with the kite. As you build board speed you change the up and down into more diagonal motion. You are basically maximizing kites speed and matching it to your board speed by making the faster kite fly a further distance.

Loops are problematic as the opposite flight can tend to work against things. Though I do have luck using continuous loops riding downwind. They are best for power as big gentle ones vs small tight ones.

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Re: Foil kite waterstarting in low and marginal wind

Postby Mossy 757 » Tue Aug 07, 2018 4:58 pm

cwood wrote:
Tue Aug 07, 2018 2:17 pm
Mossy 757 wrote:
Tue Aug 07, 2018 1:27 pm
Regis-de-giens wrote:
Tue Aug 07, 2018 8:16 am
backstall of the kite (by pulling rear line floaters) to have the kite going backward up to 1 meter of the water level (in the middle of the window) , and then push the bar to fully depower and "free" the kite go straight to the zenith with max speed, you can then try to get on the board and send the kite downward again
This is what I end up doing most times in really light stuff...the kite sort of sinks trailing edge downward towards the water, then sheet the bar out and it rips upwards towards noon while I pull myself up with my abs and try to pump up on the foil while pulling hard with my forward hand to steer the kite and dive it from noon downwards in the direction of my riding. When this starts, I usually feel like my kite is way overhead because I'm basically riding under it intentionally, this is the part where you'll either get a good power stroke as it comes rocketing downward in front of you and powers up OR sort of flops apart and stalls at the edge of the wind window.

The later really sucks to deal with.

Alternatively, once you stall it down and then let it shoot up, you can pull hard on your rear hand and loop it over the top so that it flies forward through the entire wind window as you're pumping up on the foil. I crash the kite a lot trying to do that for some reason :(
Interesting....but this seems far more likely to create a stall and dropped kite vs a loop with continuous motion into the direction of travel and uninterrupted air flow. Also the potential that your stall to near the surface of the water results in not being able to get the kite past it's own weight and back up. Generally there is more wind aloft.
All true, and in the absolute margins of performance, I wouldn't risk it, but I never ride longer than 17m lines anymore, so with all my kites you basically need to bullseye the kite right through the center of the wind window to get moving. My other technique besides the backstall-pop is to dive the kite fully sheeted so it backstalls into the wind window, then release the bar and let it surge forward while I waterstart and get going. Or just loop it with your back hand and ride away as it surges through the wind window.

I guess I just find myself doing the first one more often than not, but I also have a kite built out of like friggin' blue jean denim (Elf Joker7), it's not in the modern ultra-light category like the R1V2 or the Sonic VMG.

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Re: Foil kite waterstarting in low and marginal wind

Postby TomW » Tue Aug 07, 2018 9:20 pm

I'm just learning to fly my Sonic 2 13m and understanding this behaviour now. At first it was frustrating, now I'm getting the hang of it and it's getting more fun.
I'm not confident looping it with 20 m lines on 50cm bar. So I'm rigging a 60cm bar with 15m lines.
What I do now is put kite at 10-11 on opposite side of start direction, sheet in and grab the leader above floater and give it a good tug to turn kite 90 degrees and get it going horizontal across wind window. Keeping bar sheeted out somewhat. That usually gets me right up.

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Re: Foil kite waterstarting in low and marginal wind

Postby Regis-de-giens » Tue Aug 07, 2018 10:34 pm

cwood wrote:
Tue Aug 07, 2018 2:17 pm
Interesting....but this seems far more likely to create a stall and dropped kite vs a loop with continuous motion into the direction of travel and uninterrupted air flow. Also the potential that your stall to near the surface of the water results in not being able to get the kite past it's own weight and back up. Generally there is more wind aloft.
True ... but in some cases only ; like long lines or "loop-efficient" kite (I.e low ratio) ; in that case a first uploop frontward gives more security and pull during the upper stroke vs backstall.

But with a high AR race kite and short lines, the loop has to be "overdriven" to force a small radius circle and avoid the water (due to its large span and small place to loop), and in that configuration (where one wing is actually kind of backstalling) , the loop will provide low tension in the lines. Not effective. In that case a full backstall up to see level can become competitive vs a loop which would not be perfect timed. One explanation is also that even if backstall has unfortunatelly no initial speed vs loop , it offers however a bit more stroke of the race kite up to zenith (half of the span of the kite which is significant in short lines).

But to me the optimum configuration to reach very low end is a small ratio (Pulsion, hyperlink, soul, ect...) and long thin lines to provide both powerfull loop and long stroke to foil-up before reaching the end of the wind window. And a very light kite to gain efficiency in the upper direction of the kite.

A lot of interesting posts here ...


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