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new lightwind wave riding technique?

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suRff
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Postby suRff » Mon Dec 24, 2007 6:25 pm

i don't really have a technique,, but some of my purest downwinder kite wave riding days i had this summer were with really light wind, a small bow kite, and a strapless (beat-up) custom 6'9" glass thruster. i had just enough juice to keep the kite up and often had to loop it as i was dropping in down the line. so fun.

guess if i had to make a point here it would be that taking the need to go upwind out of the equation by doing long downwinders allows you to go out in the lightest of winds. these light wind sessions were more about going with flow than going nuts off/on the lip.

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Postby surfingwithkites » Mon Dec 24, 2007 7:44 pm

Lot of different responses here. I'm not opposed to any design that works. Double skin foils whatever. I'm totally open minded to the possibilites and would like to try one or better yet see someone show up and ride well with one. But I am only interested in going forward where kite performance is concerned and only interested in going smaller as far as kite sizes go. I do see three potential problems with them.
1.relaunching

2. performance. Unless you can get one to fly at least as well as a reactor or generator it's a dead end. This means that for light wind it needs to turn really fast, fly really fast, sit way forward, have instant response, no bridles, no, pulleys, no fifth lines.

3. size matters. right now in light wind the biggest possible kite needed is a 9m. I get almost the same from the 7.5m generator and never fly a 9 anymore.

What I see as the answer kitewise is small and fast. Don't care what it's called, or how it's made, or who makes it, or what it looks like as long as it works better than what I have now.

I see no point at all in having depower be a feature in lightwind kites. What point is it when the problem here is lack of power not too much power. Keep it simple, fly it fixed. I don't find depower to be a useful wave feature at all unless wind is gusty and over 30 mph at which point the waves are crap anyway.

Regarding drifting; I don't really believe in it. With generators you never really drift the kite. you keep flying it actively with tight lines but the turns are slight. It is not the same thing as guys parking a big kite and doing a few turns while the kite falls backwards in the window. If the kite is actively flown there is never a need to reset its position. Most of the "drifting" I see is just blimps falling out of position.

With alans idea I am thinking more of very fast active kites being flown through cutbacks with reverse tension.

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powerkiteaddict
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Re: new lightwind wave riding technique?

Postby powerkiteaddict » Tue Dec 25, 2007 9:19 pm

surfingwithkites wrote: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.
Isn't the solution to lose the kite totally-just go surf?

That's what I do.

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Re: new lightwind wave riding technique?

Postby Darktanyan » Thu Dec 27, 2007 12:08 am

powerkiteaddict wrote:
surfingwithkites wrote: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.
Have at it flamers and thinkers.
Isn't the solution to lose the kite totally-just go surf?

That's what I do.
Exactly what I was going to say! Get on your board and paddle.

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Peter_Frank
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Re: new lightwind wave riding technique?

Postby Peter_Frank » Thu Dec 27, 2007 12:12 am

Darktanyan wrote:
powerkiteaddict wrote:
surfingwithkites wrote: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.
Have at it flamers and thinkers.
Isn't the solution to lose the kite totally-just go surf?

That's what I do.
Exactly what I was going to say! Get on your board and paddle.
:thumb:

sarc
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Postby sarc » Thu Dec 27, 2007 1:14 am

You need depower on a low wind kite in case the wind frigging picks up suddenly! It happens. And it's not fun.

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Postby tautologies » Thu Dec 27, 2007 1:52 am

I think lightwind here means some place between perfect for surfing and perfect for kiting. The two does overlap some, but still lightwind wave kiting is technically very challenging.

I've been out on almost double overhead waves in winds that barely got me upwind, so far it wasn't a super pleasant experience simply because of how difficult it is to ride in those conditions. This was onshore, and closing out waves. I could easily ride the wave only, but meant the kite would almost cetainly fall in...I would have to be very active with bar input.

I would assume it would be easier to kitesurf waves in light wind when you have side off wind...

The onshore in light wind is close to impossible right now unless you have a perfect peeling wave..any sort of closing out would be very detrimental to having the kite in the air.

In anycase, I think a quality that would be beneficial is a more weight balanced kite. I do agree that a light kite would be good, but also a kite that doen't tip over..I think there are kites that qualify..maybe not all of the features. I guess an individual inflatable would be better at this (I don't know how much the single inflation systems add). The new sigma shapes have the weight a lot more in the center of the kite, leading to, IMO, a more balanced ride. I've messed up a couple of times on close out waves in light winds, and had all 4 lines go completely slack...and the kite seems to be handeling it very well and it to my surprise didn't turn upside like I would expect from experiences with other kites.

It would be interesting to see how the Code (no single inflatable system) handeled compared to the Cult (single inflatable system) in light wind.... Should be a very similar kite, only fewer bells and whistles (and cheaper).

Anyone knows?

I think for light winds going with:
1. bigger boards,
2. still relatively small kites (to keep turning speed),
3. that turns fast,
4. light weight
5. balanced weight (to keep the kite from tipping over when the lines should do go slack)

Any other features?

a.

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Postby Gato FMD » Thu Dec 27, 2007 2:31 am

Some stadistics,
At the PKRA Wave in Chile, October 2007, with fast and 3 m wave, 25 to 30 k, some of the best wave riders of the world show their style ..., all of them use to move the kite a lot !!! SUPER LOT !!! only the ones going backside-unhook dont move it, they cant...

of cause, if you want to catch only the perfect parts of the wave to play with them (for points in competition) you need extrapower, kiteloops, or be Vari.

... with less wind ... extra kiteloops !!!

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K3rM1t
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Postby K3rM1t » Thu Dec 27, 2007 2:40 am

swk- you've mentioned a lot that you don't need anything bigger than your generator 9 in light winds. I've tried taking out a 12 m C kite in light winds and had no luck at all. Can't imagine going even smaller. Some questions for you.

1) your weight?
2) what are you calling light wind? 10mph? 15mph?

A 9m C kite in light wind sounds amazing, but I'm a tad skeptical coming from the lightwind capital of stupid-kiteboarders-who-don't-move-somewhere-windier.

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Postby MonkeyAir » Thu Dec 27, 2007 4:23 am

Great thread.. Fast floaty board with relatively flat and fast rocker with light and powerfull kite that turns very fast. Generating tension in the lines by turning against the kite and adding to that with additonal kite movement as necessary. Super fast fish works well for my heavy butt. More power per size in kites with beter turning as mentioned by many others seems key. Spent time on the speed as well Gideon and it is NOT a wave kite. Collapses as your ride towards a very slow turning kite as you loose bridle tension. Phenominal upwind and lightwind apparent wind machine though. Tried Fred's pulse I .... might be a pulse two?.. It was not fast turning but had good power per size.. Once again not a good wave kite for our on shore stuff.. Darn....

Having a long depower to allow a kite to accelerate and develop apparent wind power spikes is critical for light wind riding in our experience. Fixed line does not allow spikes through kite speed and guarantees a specific stall point/ wind speed that would reduce the efficacy of the light wind equation. We are in the close to 200 pound range and out in 10 mph average winds with gusts to 15 and trying to ride waves on light days.. Sometimes the gusts are not to 15... Aaarrrggg... (lots of good days as well but allways heaps of marginal stuff with good surf.)


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