As Plummet wrote, it's all about wind direction. You asked:
kitegirls wrote: ↑
Fri May 11, 2018 4:18 am
Is it hard to catch waves with dead offshore wind?
...and the answer is that yes, it's almost impossible to catch waves if the wind is dead
offshore (meaning straight offshore). You would have to edge like crazy to have any hope of staying on the face of the wave and you probably won't succeed. Basically, there is no kite in the world that "drifts" well straight upwind / into the wind, which is the direction where you would like to go to speed down the face of the wave to make a bottom turn. So, with dead offshore wind like that, what you will have to do is to dig in your edge and basically drag your kite upwind with you, so to speak. Forget about trying to make any turns on the wave in those conditions - the best you can hope for is to not get dragged over the shoulder of the wave by your kite. It's not what anyone would call fun waveriding.
Similarly, dead onshore
wind also makes for less-than-ideal waveriding conditions. With that wind direction, you will be riding towards your kite every time to catch a wave. Unless the wind is strong or you have a kite that drifts really well, your lines will tend to go slack and your kite will threaten to hindenburg. Sometimes your only hope of keeping the kite in the air will be to loop the kite in order to try to keep some tension in the lines.
Cross-offshore wind is a whole other ballgame! Slightly cross-off wind can make for awesome wave-riding where you can choose to basically park your kite in the air and more or less forget about it while you ride the wave. Under ideal conditions the kite will just hang there without pulling on you, and the slight cross-off direction of the wind is enough to ensure that the lines won't go completely slack - so no risk of the kite hindenburging. If you like the feel of prone surfing, meaning riding the wave as in regular surfing with no pull from the kite, this is often the best wind direction. If you do want power from the kite, it is available at a moment's notice so this wind direction basically allows whatever style of wave-riding that you prefer. Once you are done riding the wave, the cross-off wind means that it will be very easy to get back to your starting point and catch another wave - often one single straight tack is enough to get back. This means that less time is wasted tacking just to get back into position. Instead you can spend your time catching wave after wave after wave.
A good 7m kite in smooth cross-off wind and long, peeling, glassy-faced, high-period waves... The thought is enough to make me drool