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Foil vs LEI: how does the riding differ

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Re: Foil vs LEI: how does the riding differ

Postby tomtom » Mon Apr 08, 2019 5:46 pm

I will stop pimping peak - if somebody is interested i like to continue in general debate why SS turn LEI like fast in smallers size and foil like in bigger sizes. It certainly cannot be from weight and inertia. Even with traped air behind LE they are multitude lighter than LEIs /which are heavy and have heavy compressed AIR in LE/ There must be other structural stifness and aerodynamics reason.
I think good start is compare PEAK 3 and 4 - in same size 6 /5,5 vs 6m/. Why there is at least 3 times faster turning and ca. 2 times faster flight speed? Same weight... Even more trapped air in P4 due to tips. All these numbers are my estimates from head to head flying. If somebody is interesting please - make new thread - thanks

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Re: Foil vs LEI: how does the riding differ

Postby plummet » Mon Apr 08, 2019 7:37 pm

Ok, It appears we have a different opinion on what slack and drift is. Plus i'll clarify my position oh why lei's are better.

Drift to me is a controllable float downwind while you ride the wave or swell. The kite sits there without imput floating backwards down wind. Yes the lines are slack ish but they still hold some loose shape as the kite drifts downwind.

Slack on the other hand is when there is zero tension and the lines at all as you rip toward the kite. The lines even fall in the water/ground because you are travelling too deep too fast towards the kite. In this instance the lei is more predictable and recoverable than the foil. Yes I admit there are some damn good foils out there that float exceptionally well. But the fact is that all foils require line tension to hold shape. Remove that tension for a signficant portion, and in some wind variable like gusts and wind shifts and that is all it takes to put the foil into a collapse. Sure you can do things line a deep back stalll before you slack line and even dive the foil directly to towards the water then slack line it. That will give you better chance of recovery. But the reality is that you can stupidly slack the lei through all sorts of turbulent rotor style gustiness and it will hold its shape and snap back once you regain line tension.

Now i have owned and flown foils since i started kiting in 2004. I have flown all sorts of foils in all sorts of conditions. The hardest conditions/environment I use lei's and foils as far as slack line is concerned is kitebuggying sand dunes. Sometimes you have to run downslope downwind straight at the kite with varying rotor conditions from the dune formation you are riding down. The rolling speed of the buggy combined with the steepness of the dune and the rotor it produces on the dune back face far exceeds any water based slack lining for difficulty. I can tell you without a doubt that the lei handles those severe conditions better. I ride with some of the best kitebuggy dune riders in the world and they have some on the latest foil tech. None of them can ride all the lines i can. They simply simply can't the foil gets to that point of slack combined with gustyness combined with rotor and it collapses.

It me a while to figure out that my lei was far better than their foils for downwind/downslope slack. These guys are very good pilots, several of them have been kitebuggying sand dunes since before kitesurfing was invented! They simply cant follow the same lines i take. Its that simple. These guys have the skill, the equipment limits them.

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Re: Foil vs LEI: how does the riding differ

Postby neilhapgood » Mon Apr 08, 2019 7:45 pm

I have a 12m soul and my favourite thing is the lack of stress in getting in the water in light winds. I tend to use foiling as an exercise in downtime, so listen to music and glide around instead of trying to nail new manoeuvres or getting an adrenaline rush!

I used to have a one strut 12m LEI but the spot I kite at is a west facing UK beach so often has some swell running, I used to find with the LEI that I would be super tense walking out trying to keep it in the air as it constantly threatened to drop and if a wave swept me forwards at all the kite would often drop which meant back to the beach to reverse launch and try again, consequently what should be a relaxing exercise was not as I was a bundle or nerves trying to keep the kite up! With the foil it just sits so nicely and I can maintain a calm composure and then have a fun cruise around in light winds!

Very smooth compared to an LEI, nice to sit back and let it pull you along requiring little input, however its also then nice when i then get the 9m lei up as it feels quicker etc

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Re: Foil vs LEI: how does the riding differ

Postby kitexpert » Mon Apr 08, 2019 8:00 pm

I thought I explained it. If you can't get enough tension in front lines kite will not fly as fast as it could. Because you can have same tension for different kites fastest flying are those which reach highest L/D ratio (and have smallest inertia, because there is only limited space to fly, to accelerate). In practice this is a small kite with high L/D. If drag is already high (like it is in single skin kites) it very easily needs too much force from the kiter to reach as high L/D as it is theoretically possible.

If you give a 21m Speed to 110lbs girl it always flies and turns very slowly. But if you give it to 240lbs strong man he can make it fly and turn relatively fast.

I have a 2m highish AR very efficient kite. For my weight 170lbs it flys extremely fast in 20-25kn, it is about the limit I can hold it. If it was bigger it would work with lower L/D ratio, because L would be limited.

Bigger kites have also more inertia and also bigger wingspan, so turning needs more space.

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Re: Foil vs LEI: how does the riding differ

Postby jatem » Mon Apr 08, 2019 8:49 pm

foilholio wrote:
Mon Apr 08, 2019 4:39 pm
You can test the slack ability of a kite quite easy standing on the beach, no running needed :-) . Simply pull in a length of front lines and let go. The more front line it can handle and how well it recovers and (if it) stays in the air the better a kite is at slack.
I tested this when I first flew a peak4, you can yank metres of front lines and it will fly lower with no front stall. When you drop the pile of slack lines on the ground, it remains stable and flies back up.

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