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Re: Predictions for Ram Airs in 2020

Posted: Thu Jan 09, 2020 1:26 am
by foilholio
Yes but people surf, without kites. It is a huge huge industry and millions of people are doing it. It has an image that has driven culture and made big $$. Why is that? Because it is fun. So if a person who likes surfing, also likes something else? What then? Is that something else good or bad? Is it the future or the past? Is what Kai Lenny doing now the future? or the Past? Is what Laird Hamilton was doing 20-30 years ago the future or the past? because it seems the present. I know what I do with kites from so long ago is mostly still not done, but a few have slowly started and gear has gradually gotten better at it.

Some of us may be niche, but are we the future? You will just have to wait and see.

Re: Predictions for Ram Airs in 2020

Posted: Thu Jan 09, 2020 1:19 pm
by kitexpert
Yes, surfing has a cool image and for sure it is fun (at least if you know how to surf). It's simplicity is also a big plus: just grab a board and go there and voilá, you are almost a surfer. I know some guys who do it even though there is not many times a year waves around and when there is it is usually cold and wind is nuking. It looks bad, because they don't have anywhere near practice and conditions are horrible but they still want to try and be surfers.

With kites and hf's you have to learn it for years and to carry and maintain quite a lot equipment. You have to invest a lot before you can realistically even think to start kite surfing waves with hf.

What some pro's do is not very relevant to what masses do. Great majority of kiters use LEI's and TT boards and are quite happy with that. I don't see this changing significantly.

Foil kites have been quite finished product for a long time. I don't know how significant improvements could be made, but I've thought for some time to design and make a kite which has all small improvements included in it. This would be a small/mid size mid AR kite for practical reasons and to make success of it more probably. However it is quite challenging project because everything should be so well thought. I've also thought making a small kite from dyneema, then some 2-3m kite could weight perhaps 300g and fit in a pocket. Bar could be a simple carbon tube (ca. 100g) and line set perhaps 12-15m. A thing which worries me with that kind of kite is it would destroy itself if crashed.

Re: Predictions for Ram Airs in 2020

Posted: Thu Jan 09, 2020 2:39 pm
by foilholio
Yes surfing is simple. But do not go past the guys with 20 boards... Kitesurfing is such an easy addition to surfing. You just need a kite, a harness and learn to fly a kite. I think to me there is a simplicity to foil kites not having to pump them that is great. I can see that is even better with single skins. The compactness of the gear is great too.

A big thing LEIs have going against them in the surf is how fragile they can be and especially have been. It is one reason that put me onto foil kites, seeing just how much damage so little waves could do to LEIs, then also see shredded kites in bigger waves. Foils have been almost invincible to me, though you can still damage them.
kitexpert wrote: You have to invest a lot before you can realistically even think to start kite surfing waves with hf.
I am not sure on this comment? There is affordable options for both kites and hydrofoils, new and second hand. I think most surfers would have the skill to hydrofoil waves in a short time. I know some who have been riding the hydrofoil first time paddling onto waves. Surfers tend to have quite high skill, well the good ones at least.
kitexpert wrote: What some pro's do is not very relevant to what masses do.
And some of what they do is relevant.
kitexpert wrote: Foil kites have been quite finished product for a long time.
Really? I think hardly.
kitexpert wrote:I don't know how significant improvements could be made
Psycho 6, hybrids, minimalist doubleskin. So many options to improve. Don't be stuck in one box.
kitexpert wrote: A thing which worries me with that kind of kite is it would destroy itself if crashed.
Well that is not practical is it? Saying you have thought things out well and ending with that idea?

Single skins have already been made in 10g/m2 dyneema fabric, and they would still be indestructible. The results of being 1/3 to 1/4 the weight is they fly in almost nothing. It may or may not be the ultimate for slack lines, but it would certainly improve flying opposite to the wind.

Re: Predictions for Ram Airs in 2020

Posted: Thu Jan 09, 2020 7:32 pm
by kitexpert
I don't disagree most of the above. However "Psycho6, hybrids, minimalistic doubleskin" are not anywhere near as concrete or within almost anyone's resources. Starting to develop new "Psycho6" could be hundreds or even thousands of hours work, I don't even know what it should be. Of course to copy Psycho4 and to try to tweak and improve concept could be a start but I'm not even sure if that is a good start. If even FS thought that road is dead end it is not very promising starting point.

I've designed several hybrid kites, they might be good or they can be a mix of bad properties of single skin kites and usual foil kites. Again, to start that kind of project is risky and for sure laboros, but I must say it is interesting one.

Single skin kites solve crashing issue quite perfectly. Unfortunately my own projects have not been so successful, they do fly but for my expectations performance is too low. I'm still developing them. I've also used Peak4's to find out their limitations, so I am not as excited of ss kites as I used to be.

Extremely light weight of course makes kite to fly in almost no wind. However this does not mean it would produce enough pull for usable traction. On hard surface I can fly and get going with almost any kite, problem isn't it is not possible but it is meaningless. Only huge foil kites can make you move easier and to get some speed, but it is still mowing the lawn type of riding. Sometimes it can be nice and fun but if and when you just struggle to get back or have to be constantly worried if wind dies completely it is not that great. I''ve done that a lot, because I kited so much and with big kites and light wind skills almost every day is a kite day.

That dyneema kite idea is a kind of curiosity. To have smalllest packing lightest weight traction foil kite in the world could be worth trying. That kind of kite can never be produced commercially because it is so fragile. I have had 11g dyneema fiber cloth in my hands, it didn't feel so weak you could think. It is expensive stuff however and I don't have experience of sewing it. It is possible it is even easier than normal kite fabrics because it doesn't stretch almost at all, this also can lead to more precise kite shape.

Re: Predictions for Ram Airs in 2020

Posted: Fri Jan 10, 2020 3:54 am
by foilholio
For certain applying the obvious design improvements to the Psycho 4 is an easy path. I have already done many of these and gained a good amount of performance. The Pyscho4 carries over 200grams of unnecessary parts which is a bit. The Psycho5/Speed4's attempt at 3 bridle rows is I think difficult enough without the Psycho4 technology. Each would be a long design process to arrive at. It is not surprising that in this world of New colors=New model we do not see kites of this design difficulty done at all. This is where I do not mind the copying in the industry. It is too fragmented and small to progress with lots of originality. What is good is if better understandings of the principals at work are more wide spread, so originality has more chance to be successful. The internet is the best tool for any spread of information.

I think performance, good L/D is particularly difficult for single skins. In some regards it is against the concept as used now to reduce drag too much.

Well in light wind, waves are still fun. You can always ride upwind on them. Downwind is interesting and for that a lighter kite is always better. The new trick to fly the kite opposite to the wind is interesting and if a kite can fly static in 0.5knots, then I only have 1 knot of dead speed where it won't fly. Large hydrofoils make light winds and low amounts of traction easy. The water is clear and relaxing and the sealife is quite visible.

Dyneema is a great material, already well proven in lines and better than polyester. Technology improves the economics and it will undoubtedly make it's way into more and more things.

Re: Predictions for Ram Airs in 2020

Posted: Fri Jan 10, 2020 9:36 am
by jatem
There's a reason why inflatable kite users always ask about relaunch. People expect LEIs to front stall in strong gusty wind, front stall in shore dump with the LEI ripped in half, back stall when you're traveling fast downwind on hf, and stall from the side of the wind window. And then there's light wind. So many ways for a LEI to fall in the water, compared to a peak.

Maybe inflatables will get some serious development in 2020 and fly as effortlessly as single skins? That would be magical. Or maybe hybrid single skins will be the bee's knees for hf in 2020. At the moment, there's a lot to like about the peak4 on hf in all wind strengths. Not to mention how much faster and safer it is to launch and land a peak.

The blowup kite manufacturers have a couple of things they could definitely improve.

Re: Predictions for Ram Airs in 2020

Posted: Fri Jan 10, 2020 12:33 pm
by Jzh_perth
I think 2020 will see a growing appreciation of how good single skins can be with hydrofoiling. I’m a new Peak 4 owner and the thought of having to pump a kite up now is horrifying. I love the ease at which the Peak gets me onto the water. We have 3 regular Peak riders at my spot now. I’ve also used it on my surfboard and it works as good as my Leis.

Re: Predictions for Ram Airs in 2020

Posted: Fri Jan 10, 2020 4:28 pm
by drsurf
downunder wrote:
Wed Jan 08, 2020 3:19 pm
cwood wrote:
Wed Jan 08, 2020 2:55 pm
drsurf wrote:
Wed Jan 08, 2020 2:50 pm
Once you've tried a Peak4 with a surf foil everything else seems so ordinary. Sure you can drop them and they might not relaunch, but they are easy to wind up and swim in with. Easier than a self rescue with a deflated LEI kite.

However I've only ever had the 3m Peak4 in the water. It's only happened a couple of times because it's so fast coming from other kites or larger Peak4's that you need to adjust to the speed and turning but then it's bliss. Oh and once another kite took it down because the kiter said the kite was so small he didn't see it!

My 5m Peak4 has never been in the water and it's my most used kite. Not only have I not got it wet but nor has anyone else who has flown it. The other 5m Peak4 kiter at my beach hasn't got his wet either. They are just so easy to keep in the air compared to LEI kites that they inspire confidence and in really light gusty wind they are the only kite that will stay airborne. The ability to fly in 3-4 knots as claimed by Flysurfer is true. With a LEI kite you'll end up swimming at that wind speed.
yes, the LEI swimming we see are "fall out of the sky" situations. Even the small Souls are staying in the air and if you can work em and loop em then the fun continues.

And that situation is just like Ive described before.

Light wind is the only option for some, I understand that. Personally, so many other things to do when is light.

Used to enjoy light wind tho.

Using a Peak, first, one needs a surf conditions. Second, one should be a skilled surfer. Which 99% of Euro kiters are just not.
I recon 90% of Australian kiters are not that good kite surfers on a SB, not to mention surf HF.

Of that 10% that kite surf with a SB, only a "hand full" can do a strapless trick. Any trick.

So, what are we actually talking about?

0.9% of foil surfers overtaking the World )when LEIs cant fly)?

Nor seeing that happening, sorry.
What absolute crap downwinder. You obviously have no clue what people are doing on Peak4's.

Peak4's are great light wind kites on surf foils and make light wind really enjoyable. They are also great strong wind kites on surf foils, you just use a smaller kite in strong winds! Either way you can have more time and fun on the water :D

You don't need surf conditions at all. That's why so many Euro's will/do like the kite. The reason why I first tried a Peak4 was after reading Horst Sergio's review of a 3m Peak4 and his subsequent follow up reports using the Peak4 foiling on various lakes in Europe. No surf there at all, just wind swell. But you can surf wind swell/chop on a surf foil and Peak4 better than any other combination. You read about skilled SUP riders doing downwinders. Paddling onto a wind swell and then paddling/pumping hard for the next one. With a Peak4 and surf foil on a tiny board you can do this so easily it feels like you're cheating, and then you can kite back upwind. Heading downwind with a Peak4 is unlike any other kite due to it's incredible drift and ability to stay under control in the air.
Mind you when you do get some decent surf a Peak4 is fun on a foil, surfboard or even a TT.

You don't need to be a skilled surfer at all. In fact the opposite is true. I have given demos of Peak4 kites to beginner foilers and been rewarded immediately with a sale as they just found the Peak4 kite easier to use and foil with than an LEI kite. Comments like, "now I can go toeside easily" and "the power is so easy to switch off I just feel more confident" are common. Even a local kiter who sells a competing brand bought a Peak4 after demoing it and loving it.

So what are we talking about? For a start Flysurfer is struggling to keep up with the demand for Peak4's. They were designed as a snow kite and they're very good at that, but I think the popularity of Peak4's on the water has been a surprise. You are going to see a lot more Peak4 kites, (when they are in stock), as they are as good if not better than my posts indicate. Check the comments of Peak4 users and you'll see a virtually unanimous positive comments. You'll also be hard pressed to find a used one.

If you haven't tried a Peak4 in the conditions it excels in then you really can't comment on how good or bad it is. (ie. don't try a Peak4 with a Mikes Lab race foil and say the kite is too slow.) As I keep saying, try a Peak4 and you'll know why people are talking about them.

Re: Predictions for Ram Airs in 2020

Posted: Fri Jan 10, 2020 11:35 pm
by foilholio
Excellent post Drsurf. It gives me little surprise when the industry completely misses things, but when flysurfer does it is a little mystifying. For example the Psycho4 was their best kite before for surf but never marketed that way. And you would think flysurfer would be one to release a chickenloopless solution, but...nope. The Peak 4 has reinforced my opinion that relaunch is overrated. I still remember when in the beginning Ozone changed designer and kite design because of relaunch criticism. They went from quite good or amazing designs to something much worse. Later though they eventually backtracked someway.

On the subject of Horst Sergios influence have you tried Monofoiling?

Re: Predictions for Ram Airs in 2020

Posted: Sat Jan 11, 2020 1:13 am
by Trent hink
" Surf conditions" are not normal on a hydrofoil. Anyone who has blasted off downwind on a 1-3' piece of chop or swell that never actually breaks might back me up.

Peak4 is a unique kite. Upwind and speed is sub-par, even by wave kite standards. Jumping; when powered up, it is usable, but not good at all. However, it is so easy to fly and it flies in just about anything that is a bit more than nothing... It's just plain beautiful for riding underpowered with a hydrofoil and really amazing how far you can ride off the wind before it "flips out"

For sure the kite has some limitations, but most of its limitations are negated with a hydrofoil.... It's just so easy and so much fun.