Ive got to say LEI have a clear advantage for safe launch when lit up. Both tethered self launch and assisted launch.
Assisted launch yes, but self launch no way. Interestingly assisted land for foil could be argued as better.
not trying to persuade you. Don't try to persuade me, no chance
You ask for a kite that does something, and it exists but won't use it. Whatever.
If this new generation of inflatable kites do weigh the same as equivalent size foil kites, will foil kites have any advantages over inflatable kites and if so, what are they?
There already exists tube kites lighter than some foils, but those tubes as strutless have their own disadvantages. Yes making a tube kite lighter will close the gap to a foil kite but you forget that the same materials that make a tube lighter are also available to foil kites and will infact be more effective on them because of their flexible nature which stresses fabric less. Infact people have already used such materials in one offs. But in spite of that what will remain for foils after tube kites are lighter? Efficiency so they will still go upwind better, jump higher and longer and win all the races. Durability, you won't make a tube kite more durable by making it lighter and it's the flexible nature of a foil that makes it more durable, those will stay the same. In fact tubes are looking to become more rigid and use higher pressure which will bring more of these issues. Leaks, not anywhere the issue they are on tubes. Self inflation, ain't it great. Fast setup, with lines attached and self inflation, setup can be incredibly quick. Much more self landing and launching possibilities through more capabilities, can you swim out with an underinflated tube and launch it from the water? land it where you stand? Drift may still be better or not I am not sure, making a tube lighter will certainly improve that for them. That's all that comes to mind. When foils use the same materials they will just be a little better at the price of more cost and less durability. For certain making tubes lighter will lessen some differences for light wind. Although it will be possible to make a foil that static flys in 1-3knots I think kiting that low is not something many people will have an interest in. The main disadvantage I think with tubes as they can fly in less wind as they become lighter will be the inefficiency of their shape, that could possibly improve though.
What makes you think that Ralf's designs are inferior to other brands?
Nothing really they are all much equally bad. As I commented in another thread because of the surprisingly low volume of gear there is not much hope in kiteboarding for the gear to improve much. Using new materials is not any sort of effort on a designers part. Smart people working hard will make better gear. It is not surprising that a brand like Flysurfer ,which cut it's own path with Foils quite successfully, that when they came out with tube kites they where the best on the market and probably still are. What is surprising is how gear is received and perceived in the market. This is a very image driven sport and those that can have the best image, so have what is perceived the best riders, videos, and gear win the sales. For certain there has to be an acceptable level of capability in the products, but it has surprised me over the years just what shit some of these companies can sell and it was shit.
As to Ralf, it is probably mostly his english but from one of many things I heard from him like paragliders and tubes work on different physics, then when you hold incorrect ideas like that then from those principles you work up from and make all sorts of wrong decisions. It is super important you have at your basis the correct principles for anything if you want to do the best. Aerodynamics is well known to have some really incorrect theory taught for a long time and even still and those ideas still are in peoples heads as the basis for their choices, particularly the heads of older people likely in design positions. I still hear them regularly on this forum, the people and their wrong ideas.
Exactly....no more Need of foil kite now ...exept for pro race rider and some groupies foil lovers (every year less luckily)...
We will see. I don't think by making tubes lighter it will offer enough for me to want to own them but it will certainly make them more enjoyable to fly. Foils will still offer the best value for money and I think user experience. You ain't going to improve that with tubes by making them more expensive and I think more likely to get leaks and break. If a brand like Pansh can just improve a little bit more it will be interesting to see what they do to kiteboarding. It is hard even with slick marketing to stand against a competitor with 1/2 the price let alone 1/10 in some cases from Pansh. They eviscerated the land kiting market.
It has always interested me the foil vs tube mindset. I think the image driven choices that land people in camp tube has them behaving childishly with insults and like for fear that if their gear is perceive in someway inferior it will ruin their chances at reproduction. Interesting. Also tubes are in fact easier for many things so too tricks become easier. It is also easier for some to ride bikes with training wheels. Those type of people are quick to insults too. Is the mental age of a proportion of the kiting community struggling past that of a toddler? Does new graphics on kites marketed as coming from the year in the future cause them to empty their wallets ever year?