100kg rider, LF Kitefish quad finned, 23m lines across all tube kite sizes from 3.5m to 13.5m.
iriejohn wrote: ↑
Tue Oct 16, 2018 7:34 pm
81kg. 6m Ozone Enduro V2 with Ozone 23m lines on Lieuwe Shotgun 136 x 40.5
Above 35 knots I don't bother.
In 50 knots? Sorry, that's Storm 10, the OP is having a laugh!
Ya, you do not really want to go out in 40+ gusty or 50+ steady, but at some point with the right gear, you may find yourself doing it.
I used my 3.5m Best Kahoona in 35-40 knots a few times and was able to jibe and ride, but not make it upwind. I got a 45+knot wind day with sustained gusts much higher, and I was able to get about 2 hours of riding. This was on a lake in the Midwest US that happened to be perfectly oriented with the prevailing NW cold front winds. I was able to go up wind and back roll, but not jump high (obviously) as the lifts were just not enough to take my 100kg up more than 2meters.
The guy filming me was having a hard time standing on a concrete boat ramp and the vid is pretty shaky. One other windsurfer out with me, but no kiter would go out. I had a good time only in that it was an accomplishment after years of kite experience. I am not enthused about doing it again. Still I am keeping my 3.5m for that exact situation. If you ever kite in this wind speed, be prepared for your kite to pull like heck, then slack, then sound like a shotgun going off when it grabs the next piece of wind that hits it.
Personally, I do not like to change line length from 3.5m to 13.5m. It messes up my window timing. And if you think about it, shorter lines on a smaller kite decreases the time (almost like increasing the speed) the kite takes to cross the window. And shorter lines do this more than just what a smaller kite in high winds does alone. So you wind up compounding your timing issue on a kite size you are likely not used to anyway. I have had 40m lines down to 17m lines and used other kiters shorter lines (on unfamiliar kites). Through that experimentation, I have found that keeping line length consistent is a great way to "cheat" a bit and make things easier. Or at least keep one additional variable from getting out of control.
That said, I am a proponent of longer lines on your biggest light wind kite.