Contact   Imprint   Advertising   Guidelines

Kite size recommendations for first foil kite?

A forum dedicated to Hydrofoil riders


tkaraszewski
Rare Poster
Posts: 6
Joined: Tue Aug 07, 2018 7:03 pm
Kiting since: 2016
Local Beach: Hood River
Style: Hydrofoil
Gear: Moses 590/F-one Bandits
Brand Affiliation: None

Kite size recommendations for first foil kite?

Postby tkaraszewski » Tue Aug 07, 2018 9:49 pm

Hey everyone. I've been foiling on a Moses 590 wing and F-one Bandit inflatable kites. I live in the gorge and we've got pretty strong wind most of the time, and the foil scene is mostly about freeriding on small wave kites, so I ride a 5m Bandit if the wind's from about 15-25 knots, and a 7m Bandit if the wind's from about 12-13 knots to 20. I have bigger kites but almost never use them. These sizes are way smaller than what people are riding in different locations, especially on foil kites.

I was thinking of getting a Flysurfer Soul as a first foil kite, and I was wondering what size to get. A 6m would fit right between my two usual kite sizes. An 8m *seems* like it would work as a "light wind" kite for me. There are videos online of people using the 10m in ~10 knots of wind, which seems like it's plenty for a very light wind kite for my conditions, and I expect it would get overpowered easily.

BUT, racers are riding around on giant 12 and 15 and 18m foil kites in conditions where I'd be flying my 7m inflatable. Do foil kites really like to be ridden larger, or is this just racers trying to hold down as much power as possible? If I want a gentle introduction to foil kites should I stick with something in a size range I'm more comfortable with, like an 8m?

Any advice is welcome, thanks!

Regis-de-giens
Very Frequent Poster
Posts: 813
Joined: Thu Jul 31, 2014 2:58 pm
Kiting since: 2002
Local Beach: France: St Laurent du Var, Cannes, Almanarre
Style: 62 kg , light wind
Gear: Conceptair pulsion 15&12, Elf 11 &7, OR Flite 10m , Airush One 9&6, Rally 6&4.
foil Ketos, Zone, OR mako, snowskis, kite-boat
Brand Affiliation: None

Re: Kite size recommendations for first foil kite?

Postby Regis-de-giens » Tue Aug 07, 2018 10:14 pm

Interest of foilkite is mainly light wind so i would chose between 10 and 12.
Race kite (which Soul is not part of) require a bit more surface vs freeride foilkite to start planning. In addition racers main aim is to improve their vmg which requires higher sizes to allow sheeting-out while riding (that improves the L/D ratio of the kite hence the vmg) which is not useful for freeride sessions vs an easier kite like Soul or other mid ratio kites that will be easier usable in very light wind IMO.

User avatar
Peter_Frank
Very Frequent Poster
Posts: 8671
Joined: Wed Oct 16, 2002 1:00 am
Kiting since: 0
Brand Affiliation: None
Location: Denmark

Re: Kite size recommendations for first foil kite?

Postby Peter_Frank » Wed Aug 08, 2018 9:54 am

tkaraszewski wrote:
Tue Aug 07, 2018 9:49 pm
Snip...

BUT, racers are riding around on giant 12 and 15 and 18m foil kites in conditions where I'd be flying my 7m inflatable. Do foil kites really like to be ridden larger, or is this just racers trying to hold down as much power as possible? If I want a gentle introduction to foil kites should I stick with something in a size range I'm more comfortable with, like an 8m?

Any advice is welcome, thanks!

No, foil kites dont "like" to be ridden larger, quite opposite in fact, you can use smaller foil kites than LEI if you want...
They got a bigger windrange for racers, it is as simple as that.

It is just that racers ride about twice the size as LEI wave freeriders, and about 50% bigger than all other LEI riders, typically.
As you say, in order to hold down as much power as possible, because they "only" ride up and down with max VMG and never really halfwind or carving fun like many of us.

If I am out with an 8 m2 LEI in 12 knots, racers ride 15 m2 foil t.ex.
But I could easily ride with a 7 m2 foil kite in same 12 knots if I wanted to, eventhough would not make sense to use this end of its range.

So it all depends on WHY you want a foil kite, and what you want to do :D

Choosing a size you are used to will maybe not be that much easier, as in the small sizes they get extremely fast in terms of powerspikes and race to the window, especially on short lines, in a split second - unlike your LEI's.

If you want it for really light wind, my advice would be to go for a 10 m2 foil kite as it is easy to handle, and will make you able to ride in 7 knots with your weight.
And with shorter lines you can ride it in quite some wind too :thumb:

Another way could be to get a light LEI kite, strutless or 1 strut, 10-12 m2, and you can ride from 7-8 knots and keep almost the same feel you got from the smaller LEIs.

Two different paths - both interesting with huge differences in riding style as an outcome.

8) PF

Jzh_perth
Frequent Poster
Posts: 283
Joined: Wed Jun 25, 2014 12:51 pm
Kiting since: 2009
Local Beach: Scarborough, wa
Style: Hydrofoil, Sufboard and TT
Gear: Flysurfer
Brand Affiliation: Flysurfer dealer
Contact:

Re: Kite size recommendations for first foil kite?

Postby Jzh_perth » Wed Aug 08, 2018 12:03 pm

As we know foil kites offer a larger wind range for a given size compared to an LEI.

I’ve found a useful guide is plus/minus 2 square meters on either side of its stated size. So a 10m foil would cover a similar windrange to an 8m lei (high end) and 12m for low end. This might help you work out which size to buy.

I’m 90kg and my favourite size in the older Flysurfer models ( speed 4/5 and Sonic) was always the 15. Massive power and wind range but still fast enough to turn quickly for looping.

Mossy 757
Very Frequent Poster
Posts: 1494
Joined: Fri Sep 11, 2015 5:10 pm
Kiting since: 2013
Local Beach: First Landing State Park, Virginia Beach Oceanfront
Style: Kitefoil
Gear: Delta Hydrofoil and board. Cabrinha Velocity 9m, Flysurfer Sonic2 11m, Elf Joker-7 15m

Re: Kite size recommendations for first foil kite?

Postby Mossy 757 » Wed Aug 08, 2018 2:23 pm

I recently tried the Lecca-Lecca Minima in 11m and rode it back to back with my 15m Elf Joker 7 race kite. One of the most noticeable differences is that the race kite felt way less powerful during most riding conditions, except for fast upwind and fast downwind. The smaller, lower-aspect Minima even felt overpowered at times because it sat further back in the wind window and couldn't get sent to the edge by going hard upwind like you can with a larger, thinner, higher aspect race kite.

So race kites ride big because you can depower them both through their complex mixer systems, as well as by edging them to the edge of the window and going hard upwind or downwind. They're also designed to work on relatively short lines, the new Flysurfer Sonic VMG 15m is designed to be flown on 12m flying lines. That's nuts! This improves upwind angle and gust handling, you don't get pulled downwind on those runaway overpower situations on short lines when the breeze ramps up. Not all freeride kites will fly well on such short lines, and some require 20m+ lines based on bridle geometry to get the proper wing shape, so keep this in mind as well.

So if you're in the fully non-race-kite market, then ignore race kite sizing.

Also a consideration: foil kites are a handful to launch and land in very high winds. You also need a launch spot with a good amount of downwind runway because in the high wind you usually get dragged downwind until the kite is finished inflating during the launch sequence. Not saying to avoid small foil kites in high winds, but just keep in mind that you're signing up for a MUCH more challenging launch/landing scenario than you would be with a 5m or 6m LEI. Once you have it figured out, it'll be easier, but your first time might be rough.


My buddy Dave and I are both mostly in agreement that above 25 knots the juice isn't really worth the squeeze for freeriding. With consistent breeze north of 25, we both take our inflatables (Cabrinha Velocity 9m, 8m Ozone Edge). That works up to about 30 knots, from there I'd want to be on a 7m and then above that I probably wouldn't kite, or would want like a 4m Cloud or something miniature like it.

Not to say the 6m Soul isn't an amazing high-wind foil kite, but there's definitely more to think about than with LEI's.

User avatar
jakemoore
Very Frequent Poster
Posts: 1450
Joined: Tue Jan 20, 2004 3:59 am
Kiting since: 2004
Gear: Foil and 1strut kites.
Brand Affiliation: None
Location: Oleander
Contact:

Re: Kite size recommendations for first foil kite?

Postby jakemoore » Wed Aug 08, 2018 2:31 pm

My last Flysurfers were speed4 lotus in 6, 8 and 10. I mostly rode the 8 - even in very light winds.

Now I’m riding Hyperlinks 5, 7 and 9. I mostly ride the 7, even when other foilers ride the 12. I save my 9 for very light winds. Yesterday I launched my 9 in 8 knots. It picked up to 12 and I was not overpowered, I would have enjoyed a smaller more dynamic kite.

Disclaimer is that I like to ride underpowered. With the foil kite you can get a big power spike in a loop to get on foil then ride underpowered but fast. Famous Frank makes videos with the HL-7 in short lines and 25 knots. I pull out my 5 somewhere between 14 and 17 knots. Nothing I do on a board is worthy of video edit time.

I am finding that for practicing flying foot switches I like either a more powered kite on short lines where just pulling the bar in provides adequate lift. Or underpowered with long lines in my usual mode so there is less change in pull angle as the kite loops. At my clumsy level a middle amount of power is not enough lift by pulling the bar but too much to loop.

I am always very careful about the smallest and largest kite in a range as at that size the designer found the limit of the design. I have been burned with small foil kites in particular - on off power, dangerous spikes followed by gutless when it gets to the edge. Reports of broken spreader bars with Speed2 6 don’t surprise me. Small changes in bridle stretch make a big change in behavior. Speed 4 Lotus was rad in 6m. Very much a magic kite. I wish I could win her back. Hyperlink 5m is also great. It’s a teddy bear with just enough speed and power. I have only flown Soul in 12 and then for a moment. Very nice kite and I have high hopes for the smaller ones. I would only buy the 6 after flying the 8 for some time.

I think the 7 HL or 8 Soul would compliment your current kites well at the lower end of the wind range. If you want to send big jumps, ride more powered, or access a lower wind range then go bigger.

tkaraszewski
Rare Poster
Posts: 6
Joined: Tue Aug 07, 2018 7:03 pm
Kiting since: 2016
Local Beach: Hood River
Style: Hydrofoil
Gear: Moses 590/F-one Bandits
Brand Affiliation: None

Re: Kite size recommendations for first foil kite?

Postby tkaraszewski » Wed Aug 08, 2018 6:55 pm

So it all depends on WHY you want a foil kite, and what you want to do :D
Well, I would eventually like to get, if not into racing, at least competent to try racing. I came to kiting from a sailboat racing background and so this is interesting to me. This would be one step on a journey in that direction. In the meantime I'd like to be able to ride in a "freerace" style, going fast and covering long distances with good upwind/downwind angles. Foil kites in general, even freeride foil kites, seem to sail better angles than LEI kites.

Also, it seems like these kites are better at staying in the air in really light wind, which makes them good for light wind days, which is when I'd mostly use a kite like this - on 10-15 knot days. Also, they seem easy to travel with, and I'm going to be doing a lot of traveling this year.

Also, does anyone know if I can run the Soul on an F-One Linx bar? Partly I'm interested in saving money on not buying another bar that's pretty much just the same as as the bars I already have, and also interested in saving weight traveling - it'd be nice not to carry two bars around with me. But I also might fly a Soul on shorter lines than my Bandits, though Flysurfer doesn't seem to advertise recommended line lengths for different size Souls.

At this point, 8 or 10m kites seem like the best options.

cnski
Medium Poster
Posts: 162
Joined: Wed Jun 28, 2006 10:34 pm

Re: Kite size recommendations for first foil kite?

Postby cnski » Wed Aug 08, 2018 7:45 pm

tkarazewski- is there anyone riding race gear in the gorge this summer? Just wondering. Thinking about coming up and trying to decide which gear to bring.

tkaraszewski
Rare Poster
Posts: 6
Joined: Tue Aug 07, 2018 7:03 pm
Kiting since: 2016
Local Beach: Hood River
Style: Hydrofoil
Gear: Moses 590/F-one Bandits
Brand Affiliation: None

Re: Kite size recommendations for first foil kite?

Postby tkaraszewski » Wed Aug 08, 2018 7:52 pm

is there anyone riding race gear in the gorge this summer?
Not really, a couple guys visiting with them, Yesterday (light wind day) there were two F-one Diablo's out at once, but only a few race kites around. I know that Felix from SF will be here all August, and he's looking for guys to practice racing against.

Mossy 757
Very Frequent Poster
Posts: 1494
Joined: Fri Sep 11, 2015 5:10 pm
Kiting since: 2013
Local Beach: First Landing State Park, Virginia Beach Oceanfront
Style: Kitefoil
Gear: Delta Hydrofoil and board. Cabrinha Velocity 9m, Flysurfer Sonic2 11m, Elf Joker-7 15m

Re: Kite size recommendations for first foil kite?

Postby Mossy 757 » Wed Aug 08, 2018 8:00 pm

tkaraszewski wrote:
Wed Aug 08, 2018 6:55 pm
So it all depends on WHY you want a foil kite, and what you want to do :D
Well, I would eventually like to get, if not into racing, at least competent to try racing. I came to kiting from a sailboat racing background and so this is interesting to me. This would be one step on a journey in that direction. In the meantime I'd like to be able to ride in a "freerace" style, going fast and covering long distances with good upwind/downwind angles. Foil kites in general, even freeride foil kites, seem to sail better angles than LEI kites.

Also, it seems like these kites are better at staying in the air in really light wind, which makes them good for light wind days, which is when I'd mostly use a kite like this - on 10-15 knot days. Also, they seem easy to travel with, and I'm going to be doing a lot of traveling this year.

Also, does anyone know if I can run the Soul on an F-One Linx bar? Partly I'm interested in saving money on not buying another bar that's pretty much just the same as as the bars I already have, and also interested in saving weight traveling - it'd be nice not to carry two bars around with me. But I also might fly a Soul on shorter lines than my Bandits, though Flysurfer doesn't seem to advertise recommended line lengths for different size Souls.

At this point, 8 or 10m kites seem like the best options.
Speaking solely from my own experience, you'll place much better in races with gear you can comfortably control than with the highest end race gear. Until you're foiling through most of your tacks and gybes, or at least not falling when you transition, the advantage of race gear isn't really obvious in results. Once you can ride around the course without falling, then the gear really starts to matter.

There are guys on freeride gear that never fall and foil dry from start to finish. They do much better than the guys on the R1V2's who seem to explode on 1/2 their tacks and gybes. I knew a guy who could only gybe and not tack, but never fell, he did AWESOME at the Vineyard Cup 2 years ago.

slow and shaky >> slow and steady >> fast and steady, in that order.


Return to “Hydrofoil”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: gl and 4 guests

cron