TheRussian wrote: ↑
Fri Jul 24, 2020 9:22 am
My first foil session did not result in any damage, but wind dropped, forcing a swim in and an ungodly tangled bridle.
I vowed never to use a foil kite again & swapped it over for a one-strut Alpha - which has similar performance (not quite) in light winds, but no tangles and it doesn't partially sink !
wow! that made me think, and post back my thoughts,
Yes the foil kite experience can at first be very scary, and disasters can happen in many ways to the new foil kite user, that's just the way it is, however you can mitigate the early days of foil kite ownership, and this should be done to understand the many downsides of foil ownership and how to manage them to get the rewards on offer when more confident, more skilled, more knowledgeable, and more at one with your foil kite.
the rewards are definitely there, and well worth harnessing if your willing to take the early knocks in confidence,
I am of course referring to foil kite use on a foil board, as for use on a Ttip,well then this becomes more questionable, and not the choice of kite i would go for for general use on a Ttip,
I have done, but only as a light wind anti frustration tool to get me on the water, but it never really worked well enough, and the cost was off the scale as the supersize foils were needed for the ttip,
and then these monsters were next to useless as the wind picked up, and in no way fun, (well not for me at anyways) just try to loop one of those monsters.
however for foiling then the little foil kites(9mtr and under) are simply amazing, the little low aspect ones relaunch so easily, and if you do have to roll one up in the water then they are easy, ok the big ones are less easy, and less fun, but "kite down" time after learning how to relaunch is hardly ever a problem,
and in super light wind a foil kite is the only kite able to easily relaunch, the Alpha mentioned above is very good if not the best lei at light water relaunch but it stays down in winds most modern foil kites will find easy to get flying in again,
The Alpha will not jump, I know I owned 3 of them, and small foils are much more fun to use, amazingly quick, snappy pivot tuns, minimal slack line situations, so so easy to body drag out in onshore winds and against shore break that "slack line" any LEI, light wind boosting that is really unbelievable,remembering of course that a foil kite made from ULight material will resist falling from the sky, my Hl foils hover, in steady winds will hover for ages without bar input,just stays up there, I do need to either just steer it into the water or end up doing something very silly to get one of these super light low aspect kites to fall.
as an example i was using my 7mtr foil yesterday in rain of biblical intensity, all the windsurfers and ttips went ashore and took cover, I opted to stay out as landing on wet sand was not a great option, it rained heavily non stop for an hour, the kite just kept looping, and having as much fun as me, so that dispelled rumours that foil kites are useless in rain, a tiny tad slower due to added weight but still great to use,
so no, for me the alpha will never get back onto my christmas list,
get the right foils and get a bit of user practice in easy conditions, and you would never say the Alpha is a better kite for a user with fairly good foil kite skills,
however the foil kite is not a great tool to use when learning foil boarding, that fact I would say is a point worth making,newbies crash in so many weird and wonderful ways all the time, spending more time splashing around than up and blasting around.
On a side note- the tangled bridle situation can be a big put off, however there are now bridals that resist that sticky awful rats nest of tangled mess, they are the bridle lines with the smooth slippy feeling outer braiding, not the very thin hairy type which are commonly found on older design kites, or lower price point kites, or budget kites, and if this type of kite has the super long and complicated bridle system then the frustration of a tangle can be much worse than just bad.
good (more expensive) "slippy" bridal lines of the smooth surface variety generally just shake free, with a little teasing if needed.