tkaraszewski wrote: ↑
Thu Aug 09, 2018 7:59 pm
I wonder if a Soul or Hyperlink would just end up being more fun at a relatively small performance penalty.
Here's the thing though...that performance penalty is meaningless compared to the performance penalty you incur when you can't ride around the course without falling. So having an easier to fly, less-performative kite to start out is a good idea because you can master the "dry race." Once you're firmly in the "dry fleet" at regattas, then you can start obsessing over more kite performance. What you'll likely end up discovering is that there's going to be a "75% of the time" kite, a "15% of the time" kite, and then everything else.
On the east coast of the US we have foil regattas in places like Buzzard's Bay, MA; Charleston, SC; Sandy Hook, NJ; St. Pete/Tampa, FL.
My 75% race kite is a 15m foil kite, my 15% is an 11m, and then I have an inflatable 9m Velocity that covers the really crazy stuff (have ridden up to and slightly above 30 knots, surprisingly manageable if you're going hard upwind/down without any reaching).
In San Fran, their 75% kite is their 9m because the wind is usually stronger most days.
The guys who live in Tampa/St. Pete spend more time on 18's than I do, so on and so forth.
So if you get your first foil and it's a "Freeride most days" kite in the 11-13m range, then when you're ready to go faster in the "dry fleet" you can add whatever kite is more appropriate for that goal, whatever everyone's 75% kite is.
So for Virginia Beach conditions, I might recommend an 12m Soul, then when you're ready to go super fast, get a Sonic VMG 15m, then when you realize you're overpowered at a high-wind regatta, start looking at a 9m Sonic2.
Again, this will likely be different slightly for your goals, ability, strength, weight, local conditions, etc. But that's my logic.