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Best kite for sub 10 knot foiling

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Best kite for sub 10 knot foiling

Postby kestromb » Wed Sep 20, 2017 5:22 pm

I am looking to supplement my quiver with a kite that will get me foiling in extremely light winds. Currently, my biggest kite is a 2012 12m RPM. I like the kite a lot for freestyle twin-tip riding, and it works good for foiling in lightwind (10-12 knots) from what I've experienced so far - although I am still very much a novice. I weigh 165lbs and have logged about 10 sessions, totaling between 10 to 12 hours riding. If I were to include the foiling behind the boat then I would probably be closer to 15 hours of total riding. I have a Slingshot converter board and am riding the 35" mast with the Hoverglide NF2 wing. I can ride fairly confidently both directions, go upwind and downwind but haven't really started transitions yet. I have been doing some research and I really like what I see and have read with the Ozone Chrono (I saw a video on youtube of a french rider with a 17m claim to ride in as low as 3 knots!!!) as well as the Boardriding Maui Clouds. I'm not 100% certain on the differences between the Ozone R1 and V1 although it seems that the R1 is geared more towards racing. Not sure how a racing foil kite would suit my skill level, I just want to get out on the water foiling when my LEI and twin-tip setup cannot. I would love to hear some recommendations from more experienced foilers on what size and type kite to get for lighter winds. Above 12 knots I have LEIs that will work fine, all the way down to a 2012 6m Rebel, which I was actually able to foil with in about 13 knots. I live in Raleigh, NC and ride the OBX most frequently but would really be stoked if I could get a kite that I could mess around with on some of the lakes here in town. Not sure if anyone's got any experience with inland lake kiting, but would be interested to hear of experience and advice. Thanks in advance!

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Re: Best kite for sub 10 knot foiling

Postby kiterocky » Wed Sep 20, 2017 5:40 pm

The best and cheap solution Will be rrd emotion 17 or gong or maui strutless... From 4/5 to 10/12kts

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Re: Best kite for sub 10 knot foiling

Postby gbrungra » Wed Sep 20, 2017 6:29 pm

Lots of long threads already on this topic in the hydrofoil section of the forums.

Everyone seems to be able to have fun foiling in 10mph wind, but as soon as you want to go below that then all sorts of factors become more important:
-how gusty (and more important, lull-y) is your wind. If you are on a lake that's normally a bad thing for wind consistency.
-can you foil through transitions? Sounds like you can't yet (neither can I), but if you can that let's you go out in lower winds.
-sea-state. Very light wind foiling is easier on flat water than in chop.
-your foilkite flying skills. Sounds like you are new to foil kites, so trying to learn on a big foil kite in marginal conditions, while also learning your foilboard transitions doesn't sound like fun.
-wind direction. It's going to be more fun to push light wind conditions if it's side shore with an empty, long, wide beach. Onshore or offshore makes it less fun.

Personally, I would get a light-wind optimized (lightweight, with great relaunch) LEI kite somewhere 12m-15m(BRM's latest cloud, airush ultra, etc), with long lines(cleaner air, easier waterstart), so I could practice more on the light wind days, until I could foil through all transition, and then think about pushing even lighter winds.

OR, get serious and learn how to foilkite. But I would get something between 12-15M, and medium aspect, with lightweight fabric (ozone hyperlink, conceptAir pulsion, or flysurfer speed). Medium aspect should be more forgiving for learning. The huge foil kites (17-19M) seem like less fun, and only for racing in a very small wind range.

Disclaimer: I've never flown a foilkite. I'm just a guy learning to foil in light wind locations. If I had to rebuild my quiver, I'd do one of those two things.

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Re: Best kite for sub 10 knot foiling

Postby Peter_Frank » Wed Sep 20, 2017 6:36 pm

You are in the "classic" dilemma, same situation as almost every single hydrofoiler experience.

To be able to foil in the lowest possible wind, you need a really good race foil kite medium to big sized (around 15 m2 for your average weight).

If you get a kite like that, even if bigger, you can not ride in 3 knots.

You will need at least 7 knots probably, as such a kite is really different and you have to learn to use it to the max, and to avoid it from dropping in the water (which will happen a lot, so many packdowns and swims).

When you are experienced you should be able to ride in maybe just under 6 knots with such a kite, with the right hydrofoil.

Then you can choose an easier foil kite, that can be on the water longer, without taking water, and handles a lot better not collapsing either.
These kites will require a tad more wind as they are not tuned to the max, but a lot easier in every way.

Finally you can choose a LEI - as the last 3 years many has been developed these almost solely for hydrofoil, but can be used for any other light wind board too.
These, say a 12 or a 15 m2 Storm Voyager, or a BM Cloud and there are other strutless kites.
Or go for a 1 strut light kite, or even a 3 strut light kite - they have a huge windrange and are all super easy to handle.

But you will not get the ultimate low end, you will probably need just under 7 knots to ride with such a kite, where a racefoilkite can go just below 6.
The advantage is of course the easy handling, and they hang just as well or better as the racefoilkites - and if you drop it you can just relax and drift ashore for a relaunch.

They turn much faster and good for "fun" - but on the other hand, if you seek the very marginal low end, you are probably not able to make that much fun stuff, apart from riding and doing tacks, so here a foilkite would be better one could say.

Just my views - two (okay three) very different kite types, but they all work great in sub 10 knots, where you are right, all "normal" kites are pretty useless here as too heavy.

For your current experience, I dont think a foil kite will give you that much now - but it wont take long till you get the experience and can take advantage of a foil kite, when you have learned to use such an animal (takes some time, they do NOT ride or handle like a LEI in any way)

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Re: Best kite for sub 10 knot foiling

Postby phlow » Wed Sep 20, 2017 6:54 pm

Everyone's experience is different, and it depends on the "character" of light wind in your location. I've been foiling for 1.5 years, by no means an expert, but competent. I live in houston and we get a lot of days in the 7 to 10 knot range, especially in the summer. a Foil has me being able to go to the beach almost every day, if I have time. Because when our wind gets super light, it also gets fluky and inconsistent, I have stayed away from foils (though I fly foils on the snow.). I've gone with 3 strut wave kites and a large 1 strut kite.

[*]I'm 220 lbs
[*]15 to 25 knots: Old North Fuse 7m
[*]10 knots to 15 knots North Neo 9m
[*]7 to 10 knots North Neo 12m
[*]6 to 8 knots North Mono 15m

You need something that either stays in the air regardless , or can relaunch in light winds if you get a lull or you drop the kite on a downloop. I have not self rescued since I went to the Neo / Mono quiver about 5 months ago. If you have a chance, test light wind relaunch for any one strut or strutless kite you consider. Additionally surf specific kites drift like a mofo, you can go downwind at 45 - 50 degrees and the kite just drifts, still with good control.

Remember, you only really need the grunt of a huge kite (foil or LEI) for about 5 seconds until you get up on the foil, then you can typically get by with much smaller. I enjoy flying a smaller kite more actively.

as always your mileage may vary.

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Re: Best kite for sub 10 knot foiling

Postby Mossy 757 » Wed Sep 20, 2017 7:04 pm

If only there were a forum search function to find the other 20 or 30 threads with this exact title...

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Re: Best kite for sub 10 knot foiling

Postby Greenturtle » Thu Sep 21, 2017 1:32 am

+1 for the RRD emotion 17 (or similar strutless)
I can foil easily with this kite in 8 knots reasonable steady breeze. Still relaunches.

As for inland lakes - unless its a huge lake and/or its completely flat land and treeless all around, forget it. It will be too gusty and shifty.

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Re: Best kite for sub 10 knot foiling

Postby sedluk » Thu Sep 21, 2017 3:58 am

My biggest problem can often be the lulls. Sure, it can average 8 knots but if the lulls are 4 knots, even if they are short and only last 30 seconds, the kite can fall into the water. That leads to the second problem, relaunching a wet kite in light winds. The kite might have launched in 6-7 knots when it was dry, not so easy when it is wet and heavy.

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Re: Best kite for sub 10 knot foiling

Postby marekmk » Thu Sep 21, 2017 5:57 am

the 12 m hydro is amazing from around 8 and up.

in the lighter fabric, if available.
could be as low as 6 knots.

weight of rider today was 81 kg

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Re: Best kite for sub 10 knot foiling

Postby abel » Thu Sep 21, 2017 6:04 pm

sedluk wrote:
Thu Sep 21, 2017 3:58 am
My biggest problem can often be the lulls. Sure, it can average 8 knots but if the lulls are 4 knots, even if they are short and only last 30 seconds, the kite can fall into the water. That leads to the second problem, relaunching a wet kite in light winds. The kite might have launched in 6-7 knots when it was dry, not so easy when it is wet and heavy.
Right and right!

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