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Light wind kite advice

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Onda
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Re: Light wind kite advice

Postby Onda » Mon Jul 01, 2019 1:18 pm

I´ve avoided larger than 10 m kites for exactly the mentioned reasons (little gain in low-end, many problems due to heavy kite weight, brutal pull, small wind range...).
Now I have the 2019 Naish Boxer in 10 m². It is a real step change!
I can ride with my waveboard from 13 kts, this kite stays in the air even during the lightest winds, amazing! Particulary helpful for beginners who don´t know how to keep a kite moving in the air at low wind to avoid dropping it out of the sky. Simply not needed with the Boxer!
Also perfect for foiling as it stays so stable in the air and drifts so well downwind without having to worry about it. You can fully focus on your ride and almost forget about the kite.
Additionally, the Boxer has a very effective depower (which I was very sceptical about first, having made bad experience with other / earlier 1-strut kites). Even better depower than many 3-strut wave kites. And this means something!

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Re: Light wind kite advice

Postby Windigo1 » Mon Jul 01, 2019 1:42 pm

Liquid force kites are very heavy heavier than most brands that will impact your ability in light wind. I had a 12M Solo and despite the fact that it was a single strut kite it was heavier than my 12M Roca with 3 struts and much heavier than my 12M Airush Ultra. You don't mention your weight but assuming you are over 180 then a 17m would make sense get one that is lighter 3 struts maximum. The Contra is a good kite. I have a 15M Airush Ultra it's great for traveling it packs as small as a 7M and is almost the same weight it will relaunch in about 6 or 7 knots.

Michaelr123
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Re: Light wind kite advice

Postby Michaelr123 » Mon Jul 01, 2019 4:09 pm

I don't mind throwing my weight out there, i'm at about 175lbs right now, lol.

Sounds like I need to practice getting in the air with less wind even with my 12m, and then if I'm struggling to maintain power I should look at a bigger kite.

as for the lulls, sounds like the Contra is designed to handle that situation where you've got really spotty wind, does anyone have experience with that one?

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Re: Light wind kite advice

Postby grigorib » Mon Jul 01, 2019 4:22 pm

Michaelr123 wrote:
Mon Jul 01, 2019 4:09 pm
I don't mind throwing my weight out there, i'm at about 175lbs right now, lol.

Sounds like I need to practice getting in the air with less wind even with my 12m, and then if I'm struggling to maintain power I should look at a bigger kite.

as for the lulls, sounds like the Contra is designed to handle that situation where you've got really spotty wind, does anyone have experience with that one?
For 175lbs I'd say 15m is the right LW wing size. Both Turbine and Contra will deliver you same lightwind riding. Turbine has more of good grunt and Contra is a tad lighter wing so it might fly in less wind. My pick was the Turbine and I loved that kite.

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cglazier
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Re: Light wind kite advice

Postby cglazier » Mon Jul 01, 2019 5:04 pm

Here is what I have been preaching for several years now..

Don't waste your money on big kites, until get a better light wind board!

The ultimate light wind board is a hydrofoil board of course. We hydrofoilers are having fun with our 12m kites in winds down to maybe 8 knots. (And 12m kites are much more fun to fly than bigger ones.)

Another option is a big stiff door type twin tip board with very flat rocker like the Speene door. Or another option is finding a used old race board (cheap) because racers don't use them anymore.

Some surf boards are "fish" style and very wide and they provide some improvement in light winds (and most regular surf boards help a bit).

The worst board you can ride in light winds is a common twin tip which has rocker for turning performance but that increases drag through the water. I just shake my head when I see someone with a giant kite in light wind plowing through the water on a regular twin tip board. To me it looks like driving a car with your parking brake on..

;-)
CG

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Re: Light wind kite advice

Postby Flyboy » Mon Jul 01, 2019 5:57 pm

cglazier wrote:
Mon Jul 01, 2019 5:04 pm
Here is what I have been preaching for several years now..

Don't waste your money on big kites, until get a better light wind board!

The ultimate light wind board is a hydrofoil board of course. We hydrofoilers are having fun with our 12m kites in winds down to maybe 8 knots. (And 12m kites are much more fun to fly than bigger ones.)

Another option is a big stiff door type twin tip board with very flat rocker like the Speene door. Or another option is finding a used old race board (cheap) because racers don't use them anymore.

Some surf boards are "fish" style and very wide and they provide some improvement in light winds (and most regular surf boards help a bit).

The worst board you can ride in light winds is a common twin tip which has rocker for turning performance but that increases drag through the water. I just shake my head when I see someone with a giant kite in light wind plowing through the water on a regular twin tip board. To me it looks like driving a car with your parking brake on..

;-)
CG
What Chris said.

Back in the day, my most used kite was my 16m. That was the era (ca. 2004 - 2008) when it was fashionable to ride very small TTs. In 2010 I started riding a flat rockered directional & I stopped using a 16m. With a powerful 12m kite I could get planning & stay upwind in 12 knots. The extra power provided by a 16m would get me going in perhaps 10 knots, but the wind is so rarely consistently in the 10-12 knot range (in the Great Lakes) it was not worth the extra trouble of pumping up a 16m.

Now I am foiling, my largest kite is an 11m wave kite. I gets me planning comfortably (& of course upwind) in 10-12 knots & probably less, although again, the problem is winds are not often consistently 8-10 knots where I am.

I've kited in the Madison area: small lakes with gusty, inconsistent wind. I'm not saying a 15m kite isn't worth while ... but as Chris says, I would first get a light wind board - either some kind of directional, or a a big "door type" board. Less expensive & less trouble than a big kite & will do the same thing for you. You can always decide then if getting a big kite to drop your low end an extra knot or two is worth it.

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Re: Light wind kite advice

Postby Mossy 757 » Mon Jul 01, 2019 6:12 pm

cglazier wrote:
Mon Jul 01, 2019 5:04 pm
Here is what I have been preaching for several years now..

Don't waste your money on big kites, until get a better light wind board!
Amazing advice, spot-on. If I were to re-learn kiting again, I'd buy gear like this: Kite&Board, Board, smaller kite, Board, biggest kite.

Now you own 3 boards and 3 kites. From here I'd sell 1 or 2 boards, then look to replace the original starter kite if riding style has shifted. You should be good to go from there until something breaks.

For what it's worth, my board progression was: 137x42 twin tip, 5'8" paddle surfboard (not kite designed), Foilboard setup, retire surfboard, sell twin tip. Now I just have 1 foil board, 0 twintips, 1 surfboard I no longer use for kiting, and 3 kites. Unless something really crazy happens to the sport, I'll probably only ever replace the foil wing(s) to change riding styles.

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Re: Light wind kite advice

Postby Michaelr123 » Mon Jul 01, 2019 7:55 pm

Interesting advice,

I'm having a hard time biting the bullet with a $1000+ foil board after just buying a whole twin tip setup about a month ago now. I am really interested in a surfboard type setup for cruising. I think that would be a blast to get out and just enjoy free-riding with. I feel like can do that and practice my kite handling over the summer in preparation for better wind in the fall when I can get my normal-ish sized twin tip out again. I've been reading up on free-race boards, something like an airush sector v3. Any opinions on these?

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Re: Light wind kite advice

Postby grigorib » Mon Jul 01, 2019 8:20 pm

Michaelr123 wrote:
Mon Jul 01, 2019 7:55 pm
Interesting advice,

I'm having a hard time biting the bullet with a $1000+ foil board after just buying a whole twin tip setup about a month ago now. I am really interested in a surfboard type setup for cruising. I think that would be a blast to get out and just enjoy free-riding with. I feel like can do that and practice my kite handling over the summer in preparation for better wind in the fall when I can get my normal-ish sized twin tip out again. I've been reading up on free-race boards, something like an airush sector v3. Any opinions on these?
With amount of seaweed in WI lakes you will be hardly able to foil in summer. Sheboygan might be a better spot and better winds but summer in midwest is usually bleak.

Don't bother yourself with a formula raceboard - those are dead meat and no fun compared to a foil and will collect seaweed just as much while featuring a bumpy and bulky ride

As of door - get a complete 160cm Liquid Force Libre from Real for $299 and it's going to serve you for long, long time.

https://www.realwatersports.com/collect ... -strap-kit
Last edited by grigorib on Mon Jul 01, 2019 8:38 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Mossy 757
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Re: Light wind kite advice

Postby Mossy 757 » Mon Jul 01, 2019 8:30 pm

Michaelr123 wrote:
Mon Jul 01, 2019 7:55 pm
I've been reading up on free-race boards, something like an airush sector v3. Any opinions on these?
Lots of good feedback, that's a solid choice. I know a lot of guys who wish they'd just purchased a foil with the money, though. 1 month is pretty soon to buy a foil board though, I'd want to really feel like I couldn't get a session in average conditions before expanding my quiver.


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