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Kite foiling is dying sooo fast

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Re: Kite foiling is dying sooo fast

Postby shred_da_gorge » Sun Sep 13, 2020 5:59 pm

Interesting thread. The "yoof" here in Hood River aren't winging, they are a new generation of groms trying to megaloop Dad's old kites. Have you tried jumping with a wing lately? Meanwhile, many of the old-school windsurfers have moved past kiting and windfoiling into winging. Easy launching and toting of the gear, and they are up in the swell in no time. But I recognize Hood River is not everywhere...

Just got my first foil on closeout to mount on a Slingshot Converter and give it a go. Early in the pandemic I had the line of thinking shared by many others I've talked to, in that windsurfing/windfoiling can be solo-launched just about everywhere. I already have a garage full of carbon masts/booms and old wave sails (which ironically exhibit the 'locked draft' behavior of new foil sails), so I figured I could get a crossover board (JP Foil Slate or Starboard Hyper Nut) and use a larger front wing setup to play around with windfoil and SUP foil in addition to using the Converter setup to kitefoil. I borrowed my buddy's Slingshot setup and went windfoiling a sum total of three sessions. Fun, but not worth the investment - and forget about wings to rip my should out of socket, just lifting that damned setup was enough!

I'll stick with kiting/kitefoiling as long as there is still a sandbar here. OzBungy nailed it - these have always been fringe sports and their growth will come and go, but I'll probably be able to buy a new kite next decade. Sailworks is still in business, Northwave too (and will partner with a wing company soon). Airush used to make sails now they have a wing - like most kite companies do/will. I know skiers who tried snowboarding but simply stuck with what they knew - and they still buy new gear and take trips, although their new skis are shaped surprisingly similar to snowboards. I know a woman over 90 who still windsurfs (but I doubt she'll take up winging). And without foiling there really isn't a massive case for winging, so there's that too.

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Re: Kite foiling is dying sooo fast

Postby TomW » Sun Sep 13, 2020 6:06 pm

Lots of talk about it up here in Sweden. Potentially it would open up all of the 10s of thousands of lakes we have. But there's very, very few that are lake- locked and into windsports. Plus we have abundant coastline.
But I've seen only 1 or 2 guys trying it.
I've put a lot of thought into giving a go, but adding all that equipment, a big board, cost, id have to get a van...etc etc.
And even now, I can't get more freetime, so it will subtract time from other activities which I still enjoy.
Kiting, and kite hydrofoiling opened up the possibilities here, opening up a new framework.
Winging mostly fits inside that framework.
I might try it, I'll wait a few seasons until equipment improves. Or not, my old body might not be able to take it.

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Re: Kite foiling is dying sooo fast

Postby palmbeacher » Sun Sep 13, 2020 7:37 pm

Today at one of the most popular beaches in The Netherlands: 200+ kiteboarders, of which 95% twintip, a handful on hydrofoil and 2 on a wing.

It seems that getting on the foil with a wing does require quite a bit of wind (much easier with a kite). It also seems a bit like a de-evolution: what if after windsurfing first started winging and then kiting? Would it still be popular?

From a cost and material perspective it certainly doesn’t beat kiteboarding, which is also the reason most people have never tried kiting on a hydrofoil.

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Re: Kite foiling is dying sooo fast

Postby FLandOBX » Sun Sep 13, 2020 9:20 pm

palmbeacher wrote:
Sun Sep 13, 2020 7:37 pm
.....It seems that getting on the foil with a wing does require quite a bit of wind (much easier with a kite)....
IMHO, this is the reason winging will never replace kite foiling.

Today, I had a nice, relaxing light wind kite foiling session with my 10 meter FS Soul. The only other people on the water were kayakers and fishermen in the shallows. No wings (too much work) and, of course, no twintips (not possible). When the wind is really light, kite foiling is king. That's the reason many (most?) of us got into kite foiling in the first place.
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Re: Kite foiling is dying sooo fast

Postby a99 » Sun Sep 13, 2020 10:30 pm

In Lithuania saw this summer about 4-6 wingers. Two of them winging very well. Much more this year incearsed number of foilers, still not hundreds, but something about 40-50 i think can be.

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Re: Kite foiling is dying sooo fast

Postby airsail » Sun Sep 13, 2020 11:37 pm

Look at it from another perspective, your a sup foiler or surf foiler who can’t go out because it’s too windy, or your a windsurfer and want simpler gear. In both cases your options are winging or kiting, I think winging will win as it is simpler and cheaper.

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Re: Kite foiling is dying sooo fast

Postby longwhitecloud » Mon Sep 14, 2020 12:28 am

I just went on the kitebeach maui cam... I see more winger than kiters wtf!

Anyway, I triggered a good debate, and I truely see it has great advantages over kite foiling in aspects of cost and the fact that you are not restricted by having to retain line tension.

Most kite foilers will give up kiting now not having to deal with gusty winds, dangerous launch spots, launching off boats, keeping line tension, racing while avoiding other riders lines (26 protests per race!), they can ride waves - even open ocean waves freely, the equipment is cheaper and not currently part of planned obsolescence (someone will come along and mess this up though..), the equipment being cheaper will mean more competitors from different classe$ - and not the $$ based class system introduced by kite foil racing via world sailing where most cannot access the equipment due to affordability. Also the honeymoon new sport hype factor - dont underestimate this - people love to be first in pioneers!

I'm going kiting, on a surfboard, connected to the water.

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Re: Kite foiling is dying sooo fast

Postby GregK » Mon Sep 14, 2020 12:31 am

A few "what - ifs " to consider :

- What if wings' LE and strut were made from the new lighter and much stiffer composite fabric, allowing massive reductions in tube diameters and thereby also greatly reducing the form drag when holding the wing aloft / depowered

- What if new reduced-drag composite fabric wings makes it possible in moderate to high wind conditions to water-start similar to the way a kiteboard/foilboard/shortboard sailboard is water-started, eliminating the need for large or medium volume boards on which the winger kneels to retrieve the wing and then stands once flying the wing

IMO winging is only now at a development stage similar to the early longboard/soft sails days of windsurfing or the two-line Wipika days of kiteboarding. Wing equipment developments in the near future will almost certainly greatly improve things.

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Re: Kite foiling is dying sooo fast

Postby StellaBlu » Mon Sep 14, 2020 2:09 am

A wing demonstrating these properties would either be rigid (an actual wing) and not packable in a bag, or would require rigid elements to enhance stability (ie a windsurfer boom and mast).

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Re: Kite foiling is dying sooo fast

Postby mr_daruman » Mon Sep 14, 2020 4:02 am

Winging for 6 months now, my impressions. BTW people saying they see more wingers than kiters now; whats your spot average winds? 20 to 30+ knots or under 15 knots lol?

Winging is great for some conditions. Side-off shore, off shore variable winds, and surfing longer mellow breaks. It feels super good and safe in 30+ knots!
Setup time, exactly like kitesurfing, maybe actually takes longer due to the larger boards and foil size to carry.
Due to the larger gear it is more in line to windsurfing for spots. Im not seing wingers hiking down trails, or walk more than 10 minutes to a spot which is way easier to do and is a no issue when kitesurfing. So the "TONS of new spots open up! "talk is kind of moot. Convenient windsurfing spots do open up to the winger.

For riding, it will never replace kite foiling, nigh and day in control and speed. With kites I can ride fully powered in 10 to 15 knots with a tiny 80cm long 3cm thick board spinning, turning, jumping all around a winger all day. At those wind speeds winging is like a truck, kiting is a F1 car. When the wind picks up winging is more like a van and kiting like racing motorcycle.
Why I still love winging? The upper body workout you get is insane compared to kiting ;)

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