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Kite foiling - Going from heel side to toeside help?

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max
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Kite foiling - Going from heel side to toeside help?

Postby max » Tue Oct 25, 2016 12:43 pm

I am only new to kitefoiling. Been kiting a long time though.

I have been foiling strapless on a converted 5'2" f-one fish attached to a Zeeko alloy and am improving my success rate at water starting first go on both sides. I can ride ok back and forth and also try to ride any swell. Surface gybes are still tricky. I have been also trying to ride to toeside.

I have actually made it from heel side to toeside twice but most times my kite stalls as I come around and it is a real struggle. Hoping for some guidance.

Any hints, suggestions or links to a vid on this would be greatly appreciated.

Today, I ended up with a bit of a kite mare when the bar somehow wrapped itself through the lines. All ended ok but thought maybe I could ask for some tips on the best way to keep the kite powered through the turn and not stall in the middle. I gather it is because of the lack of tension in the lines as I come around.

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Re: Kite foiling - Going from heel side to toeside help?

Postby evan » Tue Oct 25, 2016 1:09 pm

More wind, a smaller kite and alsways use a downloop!

In less then 15kn the timing becomes very critical to not overrun your kite and get slack lines. When done in more wind with a fast small kite it is much easyer to keep tension in your lines as you don't outrun the wind. Like in 10kn where you can go faster downwind than the windspeed and foil right into your lines when you keep the kite in the wrong position. When you are comfortable in the 15-20kn range you can try your turns in less wind

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Re: Kite foiling - Going from heel side to toeside help?

Postby RobH » Tue Oct 25, 2016 2:31 pm

Another suggestion would be to turn a little downwind before starting the turn, rather than starting the turn from a complete upwind tack, and get plenty of power going before starting the turn. When you complete your downloop, get ready to crank the kite back down in your new direction of travel to avoid slacking the lines and keep power in the kite.

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Re: Kite foiling - Going from heel side to toeside help?

Postby Starsky » Tue Oct 25, 2016 5:44 pm

This is gonna get confusing! I more often do the opposite. When heading into a transition, I bear upwind first, let the kite shoot to the new edge. Before it actually gets there take advantage of the kite's momentum to initiate a committed turn. That will tension your lines and all you have to do keep that tension is follow the kite across to the new tack keeping it slightly ahead of you. You end up making the transitions to toe side with respect to the kite earlier while your still heading across the wind and are already toe side and accelerating through the carve when you pass through a down wind heading. That dead downwind heading is where everyone has trouble at first. You want to learn to carve through that smoothly and not get stuck heading that way and losing line tension.

I can now bear upwind hard, the kite shoots forward and then I fire it up and over the top of the window as I nearly buttonhook a really tight little turn to toe side, or do it by heading way downwind and slowly drifting the kite with almost no power across the top to the new tack and everything in between. For sure when I'm tired and don't want to get wet, I do a little turn upwind to pre load the kite with a bit of momentum.

It's all about maintaining line tension at first. Load the lines and get the turn done early so you can keep the tension and pass smoothly through the tricky part of heading straight downwind.

Something I found helpful in learning to get comfortable toe side was to actually waterstart into toe side. I do that a lot these days, but remember kind of doing it by fluke back when just starting into toe side riding, and it was no harder than making the transitions while flying. I think a low volume board makes it easier, but a buddy of mine does it on his alien air. To be more specific, you kind of do the surface transitions from heel to toe side during the water start so you end up on the surface toe side for a bit before you get enough speed to fly. Once practiced you can pop straight up to flight like a regular start. To do this, instead of diving the kite to get you first boost of power, you drift it down in front of you and send it back across the top to pull yourself up and across to toe side.

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Re: Kite foiling - Going from heel side to toeside help?

Postby Blackrat » Tue Oct 25, 2016 5:51 pm

so you can turn to TS but struggle to keep going ? that was my problem , but ive finally got it !

for me a slider on your harness is critical ! and you gotta lean like crazy to go upwind , if you dont get enough upwind angle you end up in a runaway foil ! i found i need to dive the kite quite aggressively once i have turned , using one hand on the bar (held in the middle) and reaching with your other hand for the water ... one day i will try a down loop

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Re: Kite foiling - Going from heel side to toeside help?

Postby Peter_Frank » Tue Oct 25, 2016 6:50 pm

Interesting - VERY different approaches...

I would never recommend the downloop, nor going downwind :roll:

Like Starsky, head up REALLY high before you carve, but keep the kite relatively low, not at the water but a bit under 45 degree.
Unlike Starsky I will NOT follow the kite, not send it early - but fly it up and around to the other side in an arc while I turn the board, thus keeping the lines tight because the kite is flown up (and around).

And when heading close to the other tack, the kite is now flown down again, thus accelerating and giving you pull so you keep foiling on the new tack :thumb:

If you fly the kite too low before carving, it will lose its power (in light wind), it might work when learning and in more wind.
If you send the kite first and follow it around, you end up just like if you downloop, namely that you make an okay turn, but the kite reaches the other side before you have completed the turn and you lose ALL power :(
With a downloop even worse, as you will most likely send it in the drink, because it has no power and if you make just a tad too wide an arc, you can not turn/save the kite and it goes down for sure :wink:
With a normal "up" turn, the worst that can happen is you get slack lines if too wide arc, but usually you can save the kite this way :naughty:

This works for me - the downloop works great in really low wind too, but your timing has to be really opposite and different and IMO way more difficult when new (but works great later), as you have to turn the board and carve around BEFORE you downloop the kite, otherwise you are fu.... :o
In low winds that is - but for beginners the chance for making a succesful full carve is exactly the same problems that we experienced suffer in marginal winds.

The trick is the kite timing, and carving tight which is difficult when learning so you need more wind for success, but it will come, just carry on :thumb:

Eventhough I can see you might be confused, now we have suggested at least 4 VERY different ways of doing it we all think is the easiest/best ha haa - sorry :rollgrin:

At least you can now try'em all and see what works for you, right ?

8) Peter

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Re: Kite foiling - Going from heel side to toeside help?

Postby RobH » Tue Oct 25, 2016 8:14 pm

So Max, you now have to try out each one if these approaches and report back which one works best for you :thumb:
(maybe try my recommendaton last - I ride cloud kites that have a lot of drift capability :naughty: )

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Re: Kite foiling - Going from heel side to toeside help?

Postby juandesooka » Tue Oct 25, 2016 8:22 pm

Not knowing you or your kite / board experience, first a question ... are you able to do this easily and without thinking about it on a surfboard?
Because the principles are the same, just with more going on, more variables involved. If not, you may want to practice on a surfboard first, then transfer the skills over.

I think the keys are:

1. to sharpen the turn, don't let it drag out slowly downwind as you slowly complete it....by the time the turn is done, you have lost all power and apparent wind. You need to turn quick and not lose speed.

2. to ensure the kite follows you through the turn. Some say with a surfboard what you want is to have the tip of the board and kite the matched through the turn. I like to quickly turn and then whip the kite through it to accelerate out of the turn. Some use downloops for the same purpose (but to be honest, I'd disregard downlooping advice at this point unless it's something you're already really good at.....overcomplicates an already complicated scenario)

3. Fly kite more actively or aggressively after the turn (or remove some depower/trim). I find riding toeside has maybe 70% the power of heelside, loss of efficiency in flying. You will need to gain the extra power somehow or you will bog down after the turn.

x2 on sliding hook....makes a huge difference to toeside riding on foil IMHO

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Re: Kite foiling - Going from heel side to toeside help?

Postby max » Tue Oct 25, 2016 9:32 pm

Wow ... Can I say a really big thanks to you all.

Background wise I can ride toeside natural and goofy on a surfboard and no issues with turning.

Initially, issues with the foiling toeside was stalling and heavy weighting back foot shooting the foil to the moon. Now I make the turn more or less but the kite stalls in the centre of the turn.

I have tried both down looping and normal turning but must have the kite in the wrong position in order to keep the tension and/or perhaps allow myself to run towards the kite as I concentrate hard on the foiling part.

Lots of mistakes but one mistake from reading above would seem that I do not start turning the board before the kite. Also not pushing to windward to perhaps get the kite closer to the edge of the window before going for the turn in an attempt to hold tension through the whole turn and out of the turn.

I will reread the above comments a few times and become more aware of what I am going to try when I hopefully get out again this arve (if the wind would be so kind to help out).

Thanks again for all the advice. Will report back with anything that helped me once I have a few more successful attempts.

Have to agree that this foiling feeling is super addictive. So much fun but punishing learning stages on my aging body ... Haha.

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Re: Kite foiling - Going from heel side to toeside help?

Postby stevez » Wed Oct 26, 2016 9:57 am

Cool thread with lots of great advice.

It took me a really long time to learn to turn to toeside reliably. Now I'm trying to get the foot changes nailed which is also taking me a really long time. Everything in hydrofoiling seems to take a long time to learn it seems, at least for averagely talented people like me.

Now I find if I'm well powered, it's quite straightforward. Things get a little more interesting when the wind is light and/or I'm on a kite size a little small.

Starsky's tip to turn upwind slightly to load up the lines before initiating the turn is really helpful. Also Peter Frank's tip to fly the kite through a high arc is very useful to help keep the kite drifting as you're heading downwind, and it gives you some reserve power to accelerate out of the turn.

I still find that there's a point for me where even these don't work completely. Maybe I am not turning the board aggressively enough and heading too far downwind, and this is something to work on.

As for downlooping, the timing is completely different. Whereas with a normal kite turn (uploop?) I initiate the turn with the kite first and then follow around with the board, this doesn't work at all when downlooping. You have to start turning downwind before initiating the downloop as the kite is so quickly flying in the new direction and with quite a lot of pull, you need to be turning already before this happens, otherwise you just get pulled off your board. I'm still working on getting this dialed. Unless you're very comfortable downloop turning on a surfboard, I can't imagine this would be easier to learn. But it's a very useful skill to learn in the long run.

Also as suggested, a sliding hook makes riding toeside much more comfortable and probably more efficient. I'm using a chicken loop free setup with a connection straight to the spreader bar, and this has similar benefits.


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