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Adaption to smaller size kite

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vela99
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Re: Adaption to smaller size kite

Postby vela99 » Mon Jun 08, 2020 1:42 pm

Herman wrote:
Mon Mar 30, 2020 8:12 pm
Imho there are two main points in this thread that are worth clarifying:

A. Small kites have a shorter bar travel sheeting range.
B. The joy of small kites is they are fast and easy to work.

A suggests a delicate touch so as not to choke the kite etc; B suggests an aggressive approach with lots of positive inputs.

Obviously both are required for different circumstances. When very powered go with A if you have to, but whenever possible go with B. This will give the fastest progression imho. You will soon get used smaller bar movements, just feel the line tension!

Also, with both A & B when you gybe, particularly if it is onto a wave, once you send the kite across the window learn to sheet in hard with a little steer from the new backhand to keep the kite in front of you rather than letting it zip off to the edge of the window.

Personally I think being delicate is rarely an appropriate mindset for small kites as they are easy to recover. Usually I reserve being delicate for big kites in very light wind. Obviously big would be less big if hydrofoiling!

Thanks Herman and all previous posters.

In the meantime I have had more sessions with my 6m and getting the hang of it in essence working the kite, pointing less in shifty winds and being easy on the bar not to choke it.

My main spot has decent windswell but being nearly 100% onshore the frontside waveriding can get tricky when it is blowing hard. Here I am still struggling with the power spike when dropping down initiating the bottom turn and moving the kite across the powerwindow. I have several scenarios to cope with, some I manage well, others ok and one is a problem.

1. The wind drops a bit allowing for a nicely traced bottom turn. The power spike is actually desirable as not too powerful sllowing still to change radius as you turn.

2. A nice wave has build up, I am in the middle of the gust but I cannot withstand temptation to drop in....the kite moves across the powerwindow and I feel like a waterskier behind a powerboat with a loooong bottom turn difficult to control and place. Most of the times I cannot purposely choke the kite to stay more or less in front avoiding it to fly all the way to the other edge...

Any thoughts?

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Re: Adaption to smaller size kite

Postby Pana » Mon Jun 08, 2020 3:00 pm

A couple of things,

First try to attach to the higher pressure point on the wing tip to gain feeling. After a while you can moove to the lighter/faster setting.

Second point is that there is a enormous difference between 6 and 8 specially in luls, a 7m sail is not a luxury (along with 6 & 8) if you live in a windy spot. As my wife kites we have 1m up from 6 to 10 and have witnessed several days that 6&8 where no fun and 7 a dream. Two reasons here 2/6 is proportionally an enormous difference and the change is in higher wind conditions with power Increase being the square to wind speed.

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Re: Adaption to smaller size kite

Postby Herman » Mon Jun 08, 2020 5:54 pm

For me it's frontside if you are facing the wave in your natural or switch stance in cross off or cross shore wind with the kite to seaward of the wave. Not that it matters! (Old windsurfer terms.);

I assume you are talking toeside in onshore with a nice wave jacking up in front of you. You are probably just holding the bar with the backhand. (Not fully sheeted so max transit across the window when redirected.) It's just a natural to crank it hard and carve onto your stronger stance at speed but there is no way of staying on the wave like that. By the time you get the new back hand on the bar it's probably a bit late checking the kite etc. and even if you keep the kite in front of you with a double movement you will still.be way out in front of the wave.

First you have to accept that onshore is the worst direction for wave riding and going down the line with top and bottom turns in the same way as cross or cross off wind is not really possible. It is much harder to stay on the wave doing full turns. However if you want to stay engaged with the wave in your toeside scenario you need to get rid of the kite power. Instead of cranking it across the window wait until you are on the wave and just send the kite gently up, then just use the board and power of the wave to make your turn. Leave the kite high as a get out of jail reserve, dive the kite to pull you out if you are about to get munched or are falling out the back of the wave. Also make sure you move the kite if it looks like you are riding under the kite or the lines are starting to slack.

In many ways I think riding in onshore wind is more riding in waves rather than wave riding. Still fun, good jumping, lip smacking etc but not the same as down the line as in cross or cross off.

Apologies if I have misunderstood your scenario. Don't mess with offshore wind unless you have a plan for gear breakage, injury etc.

Regards Herman

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Re: Adaption to smaller size kite

Postby sewerrat » Tue Jun 09, 2020 4:55 am

Just read all the posts, Herman's are text book (or he should write the textbook!) Only thing I didn't see was gear wise... a small kite on long lines and long bar (like you probably have for your big kite) will allow you to depower and still turn kite especially in side-off conditions where the wave is adding apparent wind, but especially in onshore conditions, I'd prefer a shorter bar with shorter lines and less depower throw, as it will keep the kite more in the kite's power window. Bottom turning in onshore conditions really is just following the kite like in a gybe, bummer is that there's no power when you hit the wave on the other side unless you already looped your kite. The other advantage of the shorter bar/lines combo, is that you'll have an easier time letting the kite drift a bit if you leave the kite higher (so it doesn't pull you waterski style!) and you'll keep the kite kite moving more so gusts are less noticeable. A gusty day on a 12m is like, "that kinda sucked." A gusty day on a 6m is like, "that sucked."

vela99
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Re: Adaption to smaller size kite

Postby vela99 » Tue Jun 09, 2020 12:05 pm

Herman wrote:
Mon Jun 08, 2020 5:54 pm
For me it's frontside if you are facing the wave in your natural or switch stance in cross off or cross shore wind with the kite to seaward of the wave. Not that it matters! (Old windsurfer terms.);

I assume you are talking toeside in onshore with a nice wave jacking up in front of you. You are probably just holding the bar with the backhand. (Not fully sheeted so max transit across the window when redirected.) It's just a natural to crank it hard and carve onto your stronger stance at speed but there is no way of staying on the wave like that. By the time you get the new back hand on the bar it's probably a bit late checking the kite etc. and even if you keep the kite in front of you with a double movement you will still.be way out in front of the wave.

First you have to accept that onshore is the worst direction for wave riding and going down the line with top and bottom turns in the same way as cross or cross off wind is not really possible. It is much harder to stay on the wave doing full turns. However if you want to stay engaged with the wave in your toeside scenario you need to get rid of the kite power. Instead of cranking it across the window wait until you are on the wave and just send the kite gently up, then just use the board and power of the wave to make your turn. Leave the kite high as a get out of jail reserve, dive the kite to pull you out if you are about to get munched or are falling out the back of the wave. Also make sure you move the kite if it looks like you are riding under the kite or the lines are starting to slack.

In many ways I think riding in onshore wind is more riding in waves rather than wave riding. Still fun, good jumping, lip smacking etc but not the same as down the line as in cross or cross off.

Apologies if I have misunderstood your scenario. Don't mess with offshore wind unless you have a plan for gear breakage, injury etc.

Regards Herman
Thanks again Herman.

You captured it; I face the wave towside and hold the bar with my backhand while bottom turning. I do figure eights meaning that after the cut back I usually build up some speed again with the wave on my back to place the next bottom and so on up to 5 times.

I know this constellation is very technical and not as fun as surfing cross or cross-off but it is fun enough and excellent sparring to prepare for the good conditions. And as you say, it requires power from the kite as the power from the wave alone often is not enough.

I will try to play more with keeping the kite high and maybe I will be able to dial this in. So far when doing so the surfing was rather poor. I will also try the other bar to see if this has an influence.

Just a side comment; on really good days with well defined long lines I actually stay toeside ( no figure eights) for really agressive but more open cuts leaving the kite drifting downwind in front of me. Here I do not experiment any problems.

vela99
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Re: Adaption to smaller size kite

Postby vela99 » Tue Jun 09, 2020 12:12 pm

sewerrat wrote:
Tue Jun 09, 2020 4:55 am
Just read all the posts, Herman's are text book (or he should write the textbook!) Only thing I didn't see was gear wise... a small kite on long lines and long bar (like you probably have for your big kite) will allow you to depower and still turn kite especially in side-off conditions where the wave is adding apparent wind, but especially in onshore conditions, I'd prefer a shorter bar with shorter lines and less depower throw, as it will keep the kite more in the kite's power window. Bottom turning in onshore conditions really is just following the kite like in a gybe, bummer is that there's no power when you hit the wave on the other side unless you already looped your kite. The other advantage of the shorter bar/lines combo, is that you'll have an easier time letting the kite drift a bit if you leave the kite higher (so it doesn't pull you waterski style!) and you'll keep the kite kite moving more so gusts are less noticeable. A gusty day on a 12m is like, "that kinda sucked." A gusty day on a 6m is like, "that sucked."
Good point on the shorter lines! For sure the power the kite generates while flying through the power zone will be lower.

One thing I tried is to flick the bar right when initiating the bottom turn to point the kite in the new direction but limiting kite travel to control speed and consequently power spike. No success so far but I need to continue trying and in combination with shorter lines this could work.


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