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Buying larger kite 15m vs 17m (Contra, Emotion, Juice etc.)

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ACD2B
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Buying larger kite 15m vs 17m (Contra, Emotion, Juice etc.)

Postby ACD2B » Mon Feb 22, 2021 11:22 am

Hi Guys,

I am considering to buy a light wind kite, to take advantage of the nice spring/ summer lower wind sessions. By lower wind, I don't expect to ride in sub 10knot conditions, but more around 14-20 range.

I weight 93kgs, have a 139x43.5cm (and a RRD Spark 5'5 surfboard) board and in these winds I usually struggle to get up or stay upwind and get going. Not a lot of fun...

I am looking to buy a 15m now to be more powered and enjoy these kinds of sessions more.

3 strut kite seems a bit heavy for even in the light wind format of 15m (4.0-4.5kgs), whereas one strut is closer to 3.3kgs like the Juice or RRD Emotion.

My question is, how much of a difference will the 15m kite make vs my 12m and whether it would make more sense to buy a 17m instead? Noting that the 17m is a heavy truck, moves much slower etc...

Any feedback is greatly appreciated.

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Re: Buying larger kite 15m vs. 17m (Contra, Emotion, Juice etc.)

Postby TheRussian » Mon Feb 22, 2021 12:14 pm

15m one strut is good, although for me this is too big for foiling & 14m is the max I would use, as this is v close to kiting in minimum wind, which can drop to nothing easily.

But I have an old 17m Ozone edge & nothing beats this in 12-20knots for wake style pop jumps, in v low wind. When i am powered on my 17m, a 12 or 13m would be fine

But for a SB, possibly go 14 or 15m one strut (I have a 14m Alpha which is v good) as this has the same low end grunt as a 17m 3 strut and is far better on a SB
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Re: Buying larger kite 15m vs. 17m (Contra, Emotion, Juice etc.)

Postby RustyChain » Mon Feb 22, 2021 1:37 pm

I have a 17m and I don't like it as it's too slow. I only use a TT, so I can't speak to the surfboard, but a litewave really helps. It requires so much less power than my 140 to stay on a plane.
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Re: Buying larger kite 15m vs. 17m (Contra, Emotion, Juice etc.)

Postby Windigo1 » Mon Feb 22, 2021 1:56 pm

I have owned many 15m and 17m single struts 3 struts 5 struts 7 struts.. like the TheRussian said 15M is big for foiling on a large surf type wing but it's goof for freeride. Single struts are nice because they are ligth but they are almost always lower aspect kites so the wind range rigidity and turning speed suffers compared to a kite with many struts.

If money is no issue the Aluulla Flite 14.5 or will be lighter than a single strut but have and even better wind range than a regular 3 struts. The regular Flite is also very ligth for a 3 struts. Personally I still have a Core GTS ligthwind 15M that I kept from my pre-foiling days I like it because it's fast turning and enjoyable for freeride. The Contra is nice in 3 struts there is a single struts now but I haven't tried it. If you don't want to foil a 15M will give you more power than your 12m. Typically I can ride a twintip in about 15 knots comfortably on a 12m and 10 knots on a 15m. I'm 80KG.
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Re: Buying larger kite 15m vs. 17m (Contra, Emotion, Juice etc.)

Postby Havre » Mon Feb 22, 2021 2:12 pm

Not sure if I would worry about the weight. My Zephyr (17m) is heavy, but it offers a lot more power than my 12m.

I haven't ridden a big 1 strut, but I could imagine that would be a bit difficult to jump well with? So I guess it depends on how you ride.

I have grown out of my 17m, but I will never regret buying it. It is a lot more fun to ride a 17m with decent power than fighting to stay afloat with a 12m.

For me my 17 and 12 overlap each other nicely. Depends on the type of kite as well, but pretty sure 12 and 15 in most cases will have some overlap. Not a huge problem of course, but potentially a bit of "waste". How much difference you would notice between 17 and 15 in terms of how fast it turns I don't know.

Big kites are typically quite expensive - so if I were to buy a new/used big kite now finding a good deal would probably be more important than finding the perfect kite - be it 15 or 17. That depends on how much money you are willing to spend though - of course.

As for the Zephyr. Personally I think it is brilliant for what it does. All very anecdotal of course and I can't say it is better than the alternatives, but it is not terribly slow. I have ridden a 13m Rebel (2019) which might not be any faster - if faster at all (not sure). Very easy to relaunch. Jumps OK. Can be a bit difficult to ride upwind when you got a lot of power, but I suspect that is true for all big kites - they just pull you hard downwind naturally. When you are reasonably powered up it rides upwind just fine. To me it doesn't have any serious flaws at least. Maybe it would have been nice with less bar pressure? Probably. Not sure how the newer version are when it comes to bar pressure. Never been a big issue for me, but if I was to make it better I would have reduced the bar pressure a tad.
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Re: Buying larger kite 15m vs. 17m (Contra, Emotion, Juice etc.)

Postby Greenturtle » Mon Feb 22, 2021 2:19 pm

Current gen standard dacron construction Ocean Rodeo Flite -
14.5m - 3.3kg
17m - 3.65kg

I had a strutless rrd emotion in 17m, it was light and stayed in the air very well, I liked it, but it was not as responsive or fast as would have expected, and no top end at all compared to a 3 strut.
I find the ocean rodeo flite to be the most nimble and fast, reactive kite I have used in these sizes, and has amazing upwind drive. Definitely worth a look if you are in the market for a big kite but want to keep good turning speed and good windrange. The aluula series is expensive but the regular construction is price competitive and still lighter and more playful than any other 3 strut kite I am aware of.
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Re: Buying larger kite 15m vs. 17m (Contra, Emotion, Juice etc.)

Postby 1234567Simon » Mon Feb 22, 2021 3:29 pm

I am the one, that likes my 17.

I am 75 kg, and I would recommend the 17m for you. 12/15 is too close.


Just for you to get a feeling, what I do with my 17.

6 knots: Not possible to fly 17m

8 knots: Kite is flying when active moving. But it falls down sometimes.

10knots going forth and back. With 12m ABSOLUT NO CHANCE). But need to concentrate to stay upwind.

12 knots. Massive fun an action while kiting..(for me as an intermediate kiter. Not real Boosting, but Jumping. (With 12m not really possible with TT)

14 knots big jumping with hangtime with 17m . ( with 12m starting to get fun)

16 knots: I would prefere my 12m.


The knots I measured are just on my little measurement thing so not really objective.


Especially at the ocean my 17m is a session saver.

Just my opinion.
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Re: Buying larger kite 15m vs. 17m (Contra, Emotion, Juice etc.)

Postby PullStrings » Mon Feb 22, 2021 3:38 pm

93kg = 205 lbs
Twin tip 43.5 cm = 17 1/8 inches wide
Surfboard tri-fin 19 1/2 inch wide = 49.5cm
No riding below 10 knots
Light wind will be between 14-20 kn range
Largest kite is a 12m
Wants to get going and stay upwind

First thing to look at is a much WIDER board in twin tip form or quad surfboard even if the length remains close to what you have now
That is what gets you going on a plane easier and keeps you upwind as you can edge more rail with more board surface area

Examples : 53.3cm wide Quad / 21.0 inches wide
50.0 cm wide TT / 19.7 inches wide

Now for a kite size and amount of struts
15 is too small / you need power
Consider 17 / 18 / 19 sizes
The more struts usually equals the most kite projected area / most upwind pulling power
Tuned properly and with practice those big kites can be turned plenty quick and looped when needed
Weight don't really matter because LW designed big kites will stay up flying easily in 7-8 knots without much input

There are plenty of used large kites for sale
New one are very expensive
As an example Ikitesurf Classifieds has this amount of large kites for sale

17 sqm = 83
18m = 26
19m = 14

So ideally first a much wider board that you secondly combine with a much larger kite

Have fun
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Re: Buying larger kite 15m vs. 17m (Contra, Emotion, Juice etc.)

Postby mikelet » Mon Feb 22, 2021 4:19 pm

I have grown out of my 17m, but I will never regret buying it. It is a lot more fun to ride a 17m with decent power than fighting to stay afloat with a 12m.
I can't said it better !
I also own a 17m Edge from 2013 that save me few sessions here and there over the years . A big kite has the advantage to lower the range of wind to any type of board you're willing to ride , my advice is to go for a high AR big kite that allows you for efortless upwind at the cost of pure grunt ..avoid delta shapes and be careful on lesser strut designs not to choose a downwind pulling truck...
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Re: Buying larger kite 15m vs. 17m (Contra, Emotion, Juice etc.)

Postby POACHER » Mon Feb 22, 2021 5:53 pm

I just pulled the trigger on a carry over 19/20 Naish Boxer 16m. After fighting the urge to keep it simple and not have a big quiver of kites, the realization hit that I don't live in a reliably windy place, my Pivot 14m isn't a great light wind kite and I don't like sitting on the beach while on vacation. Light wind kiting isn't my favorite discipline, but I like it more than spectating/snorkeling/hiking so this is hopefully going to be a session saver for me. I've also started to foil, so this might be a decent kite to get me out in light air while learning. My Pivot 14 does do well for a 14, but I think it's too heavy and unstable in very light air. It hates being at 12 for more than a few seconds.

After doing enough homework and watching a few of these vids, I couldn't say no when I found a decent closeout.




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