ZigZag wrote:Other kiters on this forum have also noticed the buckling of the leading edge. On my Method, it happens when the back lines are momentarily slack for any reason. I think the kite tips forward and loses its positive angle of attack. The wind now pushes the top of the canopy, causing the LE to distort.
At the top end of the windrange, I have to pull so much depower, that the angle of attack is very shallow. The kite is that much closer to where the air wants to push on the top of the canopy instead of the bottom. All that is required is a gust followed by a lull, the back lines go slack because you sheeted out during the gust, and the next gust causes the buckling. All of this means that the Method has a limited wind range in which it behaves properly. The Switch web site says "If you need to pull de-power you should be on a much smaller Method"
This is what I experienced on the Method 7M, but I did not have any depower rope pulled. It happened just from sheeting out to arms length in a gust. The kite backwinds and then LE crumples and then... POW it pops back to normal shape. First time it happened, I did a double take and thought maybe I didn't see it right. When it happened again and again, I got pissed off. I flew it back to back against some other three strut medium aspect kites, the Trigger, Rabbit and Renegade did not do that..at all. All kites inflated to 9PSI, which should be enough for a kite to fly well. As was stated in an earlier post by Tightlines, he had to come in, put his kite down and inflate it harder to get it to fly reasonably well. I want a more rigid stable kite. A Wainman behaves very normally at 5PSI !! The Rabbit is not my kite anymore, but it works without issue at pretty much any PSI. I believe the too small leading edge on the Switch kites is to blame for the crumpling. Maybe I need to learn to pump kites up to 12psi, but I sure don't want to be crashing them at that pressure.
I believe the Method bridle lines being tied front to back has a lot to do with the backwinding and the high bar pressure.
I guess the way to test the bridle theory is to fly their new Element kite which I think doesn't have the front and back lines tied together, even though it is still a bit unconventional.
Seven Meter weather is always going to be pretty gusty where I fly, as is the case for any non coastal rider, so if backwinding and the leading edge crumple dance is what the kite does, it doesn't work for me. I rarely pull depower straps, most bars have a sheeting range that ought to be enough. Was on flat water with a twintip and powered at easy 7M range (26-28ish mph) and the Method 7M bar pressure was comparatively high, higher than Trigger 9M and Rabbit 9M. Don't ride in surf often. Generally only fly the big kites at the bottom of their range, on medium and small kites, I fly powered up way more than a strapless surfer would, ..so maybe the Method is very, very design specific.
Some folks love 'em, which tells me if you keep riding something long enough, you adapt and get used to anything. I know my arms would be huge if I flew a Method 12M for a couple seasons.