Michaelr123 wrote: ↑
Sun Jun 30, 2019 5:08 pm
I will say each time I'm having more luck relaunching my kite, but I've spent a few sessions in spotty ~10-12mph wind watching my kite slowly get eaten alive by weeds over an hour or so of trying to get it launched. I am fully aware that I'm a beginner, and jumping into the sport with warm, light summer winds in Madison Wisconsin where we have to drift launch most beaches.
So now that you know my background, my real question is this, would I find more success with something like a 17m turbine or contra? Though the wind range on my NV is technically 9-22kts, I've had a lot more luck in more like a min of 12kts. I've been reading up on the two light wind kites I mentioned and the turbine states a wind range of 9-15kt, which technically is the same starting point. From what I can gather, in reality, a turbine will perform better throughout it's smaller wind range, and more standard all around kites really perform better towards the middle of their much larger stated wind range.
The contra is listed at 6-15kts, which is a significantly lower ended. If my goal is to get out and cruise around when it's nice out in the summer to develop my skills and eventually get into foiling, is this a better option? That being said, there are some sweet deals on turbines right now.
You don't mention your weight, but quite honestly, unless you are a super light weight, it's unrealistic to get going with a 12m in spotty 10-12 mph wind. I would expect 12mph to be the minimum
wind you will get going in ... & for that you would need to be on a surfboard, or a large, light wind twin tip. I wouldn't pay too much attention to the claimed low end wind for any kite.
A bigger kite, like a 17m Turbine or a 15m Contra might add about 2-3 mph to your low end, which means - with a good light wind board - you might get planning in 9 or 10 mph. However ... big kites will not make up for lulls in the wind. If the wind drops below 9 mph for any length of time, there's a possibility that you may drop the kite & be unable to relaunch it. If you kite on the ocean, you may be able to take advantage of light, but consistent ocean breezes ... on the lakes around Madison it's unlikely the light winds will be consistent.
So ... a big kite offers a diminishing return - a relatively small additional low end & a lot of extra bulk & weight. Also, if the wind picks up significantly, you may find yourself uncomfortably over-powered quite quickly on a large kite.
You should talk to the local kiters & see what kite sizes they use in their quivers.