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new lightwind wave riding technique?

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surfingwithkites
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new lightwind wave riding technique?

Postby surfingwithkites » Fri Dec 21, 2007 7:56 pm

In the last surf related thread alan posted this response at the end of it and I think it deserves a fresh look by itself. Why? Because it touches on three topics that are the key to the future.

1. light winds are the future of wave kiting.

2. kite design/board design for light wind wave riding is just barely being thought about.

3. light wind technique is a wide open field

Here's alans post: "How to advance the sport in waves? Expand the definition of epic conditions.

The most difficult conditions are light wind and waves. How many people have had the apparent wind change 180 degrees due to so much wave speed and still not drop their kite? Its actually not that hard once you get your brain wrapped around the how. Windsurfing had a similar problem when gear finally got fast enough to greatly exceed the wind speed. You turn down wind to jybe and get blown off the back of the board. Good reason to learn a lay down jybe. Slice the sail through the apparent wind until you are going across the wind in the new direction.

The most fun, epic conditions, are also the easiest to make work: Enough wind so that you have complete mobility on the wave without worrying about your kite falling, something like 25 mph side shore wind with clean, peeling medium sized surf. That’s what people reading this thread live for. But what if light wind could also be epic? The truly epic spots would all be less crowded because there would be less need to travel.

Expanding the definition of epic happened in freestyle. 15 mph and flat water can be a lot of fun compared to windsurfing freestyle in those conditions, or kiting in the early days. Sure you can go back and forth in 12 mph in the waves and have fun. But those days when the waves are good and the wind is light, that is where we need improvement, to actually go down the line and surf.

The most difficult skill to learn in wave kiting is wave knowledge. The easiest skill is board handling. When it comes to kite handling, it depends on how far you want to take it. Learning how to whip the kite left to right and do a vertical snap is easy. Learning how to milk the wave for everything its got and have the kite give no power at any time is hard to learn. I am by no means there yet, but for this old guy, that’s the most fun thing to work on. Moments of pure bliss.

Alan"

Have at it flamers and thinkers.

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Postby PeterP » Fri Dec 21, 2007 8:14 pm

Some of my most memorable sessions were in 13-15knots of wind on a 9m C-kite and 6ft board. I'm not sure how much lower windspeed you will be able to do down the line kiting in, but the windsurfers can ride the waves very impressively in barely any wind - if they have enough to catch the wave the rest is done with apparent wind.

Speed kiters travel at 2x the windspeed when its blowing around 20knots, so kites can make apparent wind - the problem is getting the kites to go downwind as opposed to perpendicular to the wind.

I've seen Felix catch waves on a longboard in next to no wind and do little turns, maybe size of board is key here.

I ride my 5.5m Generator more than anything else, and my best sessions are when it can just get me upwind - in 16-20knots, then you truly feel like you can put the kite where you want it and you can choose any line on the wave.

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Postby surfingwithkites » Fri Dec 21, 2007 8:28 pm

I have to agree about what makes the best sessions. Just enough for the 5.5 genterator on a 6'0" is the ultimate. 15 to 25 mph, side off, glassy, two feet overhead. Had a bit of that lately.

Do you think alans "backwind" idea is possible?

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Re: new lightwind wave riding technique?

Postby DrLightWind » Sat Dec 22, 2007 12:56 am

surfingwithkites wrote:
1. light winds are the future of wave kiting.

2. kite design/board design for light wind wave riding is just barely being thought about.

3. light wind technique is a wide open field
:thumb: :thumb: :thumb: :thumb: :thumb: :thumb:

There is so much to discover about light wind riding
and there is so much to learn from it!
But we need faster and 40% lighter kites from 12m sizes up,
to boost light wind ridings further.

DrLW

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Postby Optimus_Angles » Sat Dec 22, 2007 1:48 am

I think light wind can be the way too, also kitelooping the kite (away from the wave) as u drop in then keeping it in the blockhole (stall area)can give u big rides and lots of turns without moving it

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Postby K3rM1t » Sat Dec 22, 2007 3:23 am

Whether or not it's the future for pushing the sport, some of us, due to our location, only really have light wind in waves. We'd love the gear, or our skills, to get good enough to really rip in these conditions! In the light stuff it feels like every mistake is felt much harsher especially if it results in a kite stalling or worse, a kite in the water. Kites don't like to relaunch in the uber-light stuff.

I know, we should move, but it's just so darn nice here for everything else! If the gear and/or skills come, you all won't have to deal with us vacationing in your back yards so often!

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Postby surfingwithkites » Sat Dec 22, 2007 7:44 am

it's true once you make a mistake in really light wind, that's it. wave over pretty much. I wonder if alans idea could be made to work with a fast light kite where the rider does a roundhouse figure eight cutback to keep tension with apparent wind as he passes the kite. Timing would have to be perfect. Seems impossible but everything does until someone does it. Unhooked so lines stay tight.

Some days we kite here are light enough that if you drop even a small kite like a 7.5 generator there is no way to relaunch it. Once it gets wet, its over. This kind of day you can barely stay upwind and can't really ride the waves at all due to just passing the kite. But there has to be a way. Practice has made everyone here a lot better at light wind flying and wave riding than a year or three ago.

I think lighter, better, faster small kites in the 7-9 m range with really light lines would help but I don't know if they would help enough. I do know that I do better when it is really light with a fixed bar. No loss of energy.

We have to expand into lighter winds since it is the only way to open up new spots and ride more.

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Postby ronnie » Sat Dec 22, 2007 9:56 am

It sounds a bit like going back to 2 lines on a fixed bar. If the wind is so light you have to figure8 or loop the kite for power, maybe you do not need depower. Is that the lightest weight kite?
Has my 4m Wipika classic got a future?

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Postby Wawando » Sat Dec 22, 2007 11:45 am

Hi,

I think that the key that is missing is kite drift ability in low winds and low wind power. In fact we are going away from it.

In low wind windsurf riding, windsurfers ride on the board and have grunty sails (cam-less profiles evolved imenselly in the last few years).

Park and ride is impossible with the gear we have now. No matter how big the kite is. In fact big kites will inclease drag and specially inertia.

From what i have seen the best lowwind drifters are Cs on small sizes in the hands of kiters used to riding in low winds. Kite always in the powerzone and in constant movement/loops. Power in the loops is a must.

I would bet in super fast, light, very powerfull 7m and 9m with biggy fast boards for the low wind riding. Really high performance wings to the point that if you drop it, game over.

I find very few (none) of these around...

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Postby galsurf » Sat Dec 22, 2007 1:32 pm

great topic
i think the main improvemnts wil come with a speccial gear for that:
1. packing a lot of power in a smalleer size kite with super fast turnning.
de power ability is not important here.
in light wind the kite can't travel as fast as the rider down the line. you
need to loop it a lot.

2.the kite must be extremely light with super ability to flot without tension
on the lines. you need for a small part of time,a kite that can recover quickly due to lack of wind .

3.a floaty fast board. i have tried some boards and i found that many guys
are confusing between wideness and speed. i rode wide boards with great
flotation but hardly any speed. the kite passes u to quickly and u need to
work a lot with the kite. not good.
u need a wide board, fast rocker and not too soft rails. this will get u
a good speed which is more crucial than turnning ability.
you can't go hard anyway on waves with light winds.

4. volume disribution: longer doesn't mean better. the tail and back foot
area is the most important area in this conditions.
this boards will have great effects on the kite size and it's performance.

of course we will still hope for 20 k+ with waves but still ,does days with 10-12 k and clean swell are killing me.

cheers

galsurf


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