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21m Race Kites

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davesails7
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21m Race Kites

Postby davesails7 » Sun Mar 31, 2019 1:31 pm

Most race kites are available in 21m size now. Does it give you noticeably better low end than an 18m race kite? Or does it just allow you to go faster on shorter lines in the same wind?

Asking specifically for riding race hydrofoils. From what I've seen, the best absolute low end is on a big surf wing with a smaller foil kite on super long lines, but that's not as appealing to me. I really love going fast in light wind when the water is mirror flat.

It's interesting how things have progressed. When I went to my first race 4 or 5 years ago, I remember a top racer saying we will never need a kite bigger than 13m for hydrofoils. Then foil kites came out and everyone got 15m kites. Now most racers have 18m, and the 21m is available. Most are using <15m lines for all kite sizes.

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Re: 21m Race Kites

Postby windmaker » Sun Mar 31, 2019 4:55 pm

You could also argue that the same trend happened with inflatables (up to 25 m?) Where are they now ?

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Re: 21m Race Kites

Postby Peter_Frank » Sun Mar 31, 2019 6:05 pm

windmaker wrote:
Sun Mar 31, 2019 4:55 pm
You could also argue that the same trend happened with inflatables (up to 25 m?) Where are they now ?

According to my race mates it does not really give you better low end no.

But a hell of a lot better VMG both up and down on the course, in light winds :thumb:

windmaker, not sure I understand, here it is the opposite:

With LEI kites we had these monster 20 to 25 m2 kites, for a few years, but they died when the better and more efficient bow kites came, and the C kites were also too slow and made no sense, but we had to try back then, and found out it made no sense with bigger than 15-17 m2 kites, as is now for LEI.

In foil kites the opposite has happened.
15 m2 full on race kites were the max size at first, and then the 18 m2's came an instant later only.
Now 20 and 21 m2 are used quite often in light wind racing.

Of course there had been freeride kites earlier, heavier kites non racing kites, 19 and 21 m2 indeed, but not for light wind racing, mostly for TT riding in lower winds where an easy and a tad heavier kite can work.

Havent flown one myself, and never will, but talk to my mates who race, and they choose a 15 m2 if they want to go out and have fun just fooling around in really light wind, which luckily happens for them too, not only racing.
Even though they should have taken a 20 or 21 m2 kite if it was about to race or practice racing.

Thus I believe the lowend isnt really different, but the race pace is Dave :naughty:

8) Peter

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Re: 21m Race Kites

Postby davesails7 » Sun Mar 31, 2019 8:38 pm

windmaker wrote:
Sun Mar 31, 2019 4:55 pm
You could also argue that the same trend happened with inflatables (up to 25 m?) Where are they now ?
You definitely get to a point of diminishing returns. Flysurfer has had 21m foil kites forever, so I don't think this is a fad. 18m-19m seems to have been the biggest size for inflatables since those 25m C-kites (2004-2005?).

I'd guess a 25m C kite from 2004 has about the same projected area as a modern 21m race foil though? I'm sure the race foil has much more power and stays up in much less wind.

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Re: 21m Race Kites

Postby Kamikuza » Sun Mar 31, 2019 8:39 pm

Massive difference in low end between 21 and 15m foil kites.

And massive difference in speed, range ... fun.

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Re: 21m Race Kites

Postby davesails7 » Sun Mar 31, 2019 8:47 pm

Peter_Frank wrote:
Sun Mar 31, 2019 6:05 pm
According to my race mates it does not really give you better low end no.
But a hell of a lot better VMG both up and down on the course, in light winds :thumb:
Thanks Peter. My gains in low end from 15m to 18m seem fairly small, but I'm going much faster on the 18m when it's light. Makes sense that the low end gains going to 21m are even less, if any.

I was at a race last year where two of the top racers had 20m and 21m kites. The wind was really light, but after some deliberation, they both took 18m kites out instead because they were worried it would pick up and they would get overpowered quickly. Maybe not really worth it for me, because my range would be very limited on the 21m kite.

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Re: 21m Race Kites

Postby davesails7 » Sun Mar 31, 2019 8:49 pm

Kamikuza wrote:
Sun Mar 31, 2019 8:39 pm
Massive difference in low end between 21 and 15m foil kites.

And massive difference in speed, range ... fun.
Are you talking race kites and hydrofoils though?

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Re: 21m Race Kites

Postby Peter_Frank » Sun Mar 31, 2019 9:04 pm

Kamikuza wrote:
Sun Mar 31, 2019 8:39 pm
Massive difference in low end between 21 and 15m foil kites.

And massive difference in speed, range ... fun.

Not sure what your point is here ?

IMO the 15 got a lot more range (all smaller foil kites got more range than the bigger ones), and way more fun as faster.

But somehow I think that was not your point, or ?

8) PF

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Re: 21m Race Kites

Postby AndersP » Sun Mar 31, 2019 10:01 pm

For racing upwind/downwind you can have a bigger kite without getting overpowered. On 90 degrees to the wind you get overpowered much earlier. It's the same with fast catamarans and dinghies.

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Re: 21m Race Kites

Postby tegirinenashi » Sun Mar 31, 2019 10:38 pm

It is easy to imagine that 21m for 210 lbs rider would feel as natural as 15m for 150 lbs one.


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