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What influences going upwind

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Aberdovy kiter
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What influences going upwind

Postby Aberdovy kiter » Sun Aug 01, 2021 3:58 pm

Just recently a mate has switched kites going from airush lithium V10's to crazyfly hypers 12m, 9m, 7m and he is noticing that his ability to go upwind is not as good as me and another mate (both of us are flying 2019 evo's) he is riding a crazyfly raptor and I'm riding a crazyfly raptor Ltd edition, the other lad is riding an old north x ride board, the thing is he is convinced that the boards are what's making the difference and not the kite, I'm trying to tell him that it's the kite that has a bigger influence on going upwind bearing in mind that all things being equal ie our abilities and the boards are fairly similar, just wondering if i have this correct. He has changed kites and board at the same time also.

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Re: What influences going upwind

Postby Matteo V » Sun Aug 01, 2021 4:34 pm

I used to be really proud of my upwind capabilities. I'd get compliments on being the only one to stay upwind in marginal conditions on a smaller kite, at a higher weight, with old beginner kites (2011-2013's). And in higher winds, I could use a 5.5m and do circles around lighter guys who were on 11m's.

Then a Canadian and I spent some time racing each other upwind and he pretty much destroyed me. Talk about getting taken down a notch!

He may have had a slight edge in natural talent and weight, but my assessment was this:

1. My kites are older and beginner orientated. They are great at providing a good constant pull without overflying because they hang back in the window. They also keep pulling in turbulent wind. But he was on a North (now Duotone) Rebel which was definetly optimized for upwind in the cleanwind we were in.

2. I was operating under the assumption at the time, that a quad (what I was on) was better at getting upwind than a thruster (what he was on). Since then, I have proven that a thruster is almost always superior getting upwind compared to a quad.


Are there other variables, yup!

But I guess this experience taught me, outside of "there's always a bigger fish", that while upwind is important - I'd rather be stuck in kite hell only doing downwinders than give up the fun of a quad for the boringnessiness of a thruster. So upwind ain't everything.

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Re: What influences going upwind

Postby danlar » Sun Aug 01, 2021 5:09 pm

My experience say…it’s a high ratio kite and a sufficiently big board 🧐

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Re: What influences going upwind

Postby knotwindy » Sun Aug 01, 2021 5:44 pm

In order;
Kite
Kiters ability to use said kite well
Board
Just my opinion, YMMV.

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Re: What influences going upwind

Postby Faxie » Sun Aug 01, 2021 6:03 pm

I think your friend needs to check his linelengths and work on his technique. Hypers go upwind very, very well. Certainly better than Evo's.

Also one important factor, especially in lighter winds: Speed. Go too fast and the window shifts too far back, the higher apparent windspeed and higher neccesary boardangle negate eachother. Go too slow, and the kite won't pull hard enough to keep a steady speed. Your VMG will eventually depend on the best combination of angle and speed, all other things equal (kite, board, current)

In my experience it's better to go a bit slower, but keeping enough power in the kite so you don't have to sine. Also, keep the kite a bit higher and the board flatter, relying more on the fins. If there's more downwind current, you need to go a bit faster becasue you need more distance per second to negate the current.

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Re: What influences going upwind

Postby Havre » Sun Aug 01, 2021 8:20 pm

I never been on a Hyper, but as Faxie says I would expect those to be excellent for upwind riding.

When he was on the Lithium he was better at going upwind than now?

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Re: What influences going upwind

Postby jumptheshark » Mon Aug 02, 2021 2:45 am

Even as surface dwellers, the board is the biggest variable.

Rocker primarily, but width and then length and rail outline all play into efficiency. On a big ol door, any kite will fly upwind.

All other board variables comparable, rocker is the one with the most impact. More rocker = power hungry. twin tip and surfboard alike

Same principles at work when you up the efficiency to a foil. I use Peaks. Probably one of the lower aspect, highest drag kites on the market, and I bet my upwind is better than the pre hydrofoil race gear.

All things equal board wise, kites definitely have a big influence, but board first..

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Re: What influences going upwind

Postby vakiter » Mon Aug 02, 2021 2:52 am

You could switch rigs part or whole and test rider ability . Best upwind board I have found is or duke or mako , but I only tried a few. Rider weight and ability is big factor , you can tell that when you switch gear.

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Re: What influences going upwind

Postby Aberdovy kiter » Mon Aug 02, 2021 7:07 am

Havre wrote:
Sun Aug 01, 2021 8:20 pm
I never been on a Hyper, but as Faxie says I would expect those to be excellent for upwind riding.

When he was on the Lithium he was better at going upwind than now?
He definitely noticed that going upwind on the hyper seems to be harder, like I said he changed boards at around the same time, i know from my own experience changing from north rebels to the evo's i found going upwind much easier using the same board that's why I tend to think that the kite plays a bigger influence than the board, it's interesting even among the replies on this thread the consensus seems to be split..

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Re: What influences going upwind

Postby Havre » Mon Aug 02, 2021 7:53 am

Aberdovy kiter wrote:
Mon Aug 02, 2021 7:07 am
Havre wrote:
Sun Aug 01, 2021 8:20 pm
I never been on a Hyper, but as Faxie says I would expect those to be excellent for upwind riding.

When he was on the Lithium he was better at going upwind than now?
He definitely noticed that going upwind on the hyper seems to be harder, like I said he changed boards at around the same time, i know from my own experience changing from north rebels to the evo's i found going upwind much easier using the same board that's why I tend to think that the kite plays a bigger influence than the board, it's interesting even among the replies on this thread the consensus seems to be split..
I'm not sure if you said that? In any case I see.

You found the Evo better going upwind than the Rebel? Not being sarcastic here, but this seems to be some sort of upside down world you are riding in :D

I don't think you could say which one would matter much. If I were to speculate, I would imagine for the same size the kite with the "worst" upwind ability vs. the "best" kite would have a bigger gap than for boards. However, in your case I would have expected the kite - assuming same sizing - to be better going upwind with the change (that is the Hyper).


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