davesails7 wrote: ↑
Thu Aug 31, 2017 12:55 pm
If you're looking at the lightest possible winds, I don't think relaunch makes any difference because you have no chance to relaunch (unless there are big lulls).
When it gets to the lightest winds, you need to go up in size. When I hit the low end limit of my 18m Sonic2, it's because I'm looping over and over and it still doesn't have enough power to lift me out of the water.
Also, when you get to the light wind limit, you need a setup that goes upwind well because the apparent wind shifts in front of you so much. If the wind really is 6 knots, even to ride 90 degrees to the true wind at 10-12 knots board speed, the apparent wind angle shift is huge. At that speed and heading, your apparent wind angle would be only 30 degrees. When I'm at the real low end, I'm riding upwind hard the whole time, but never make any progress upwind.
Although all of this is just to get an extra knot or two. That extra 1-2 knots makes all the difference, so it's really hard to put a wind speed number on it.
So true Dave
Relaunch is irrelevant in terms of riding the lightest of winds, as no chance whatsoever with any kite to relaunch down here, you HAVE to keep going and the kite up, or it is a swim back in
Will also add, that here a bigger wing has its advantages as you shift the angle back up being able to foil with less power and speed, but on cost of apparent wind thus power so there is a limit.
Regarding size, we apparently disagree somewhat, as IMO the 15 and 12 m2 has almost the same peak power when looped as an 18 (a lot less when riding though) - but most never use the smaller ones in marginal winds with a bigger wing/board (around here, as those having an 18 are only racers, noone else with bigger wings got these sizes) so not that many who has experience.
It might also be foilkite specific, yes, some dont give a lot more peak in the faster sizes, others do.
It doesnt matter, the difference in peak power is small at least, compared to the "riding" power.
Your point is spot on:
Because we are pinching the wind window to the extreme in 5-6 knots, the high aspect racefoil kites are the only ones that can go this low without losing ground yes, lower AR foilkites and LEI kites dont have a chance and will either not be able to foil at all (probably no chance of a waterstart as not sufficient peak power), or go downwind only.