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Technique: Trim for performance

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mcfly777
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Technique: Trim for performance

Postby mcfly777 » Thu Apr 04, 2019 6:45 pm

Been foiling for 2 years, and enjoy going fast. I don't want to race, but I'd like to know what the "correct" technique for trimming the kite is while riding. Both upwind and downwind. Sometimes I try to lean back as hard as possible, and sometimes I ease off. Perhaps an even better question is how to achieve the fastest speed (not VMG), and also the steepest angles (not necessarily both at the same time).
thanks!!

tkaraszewski
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Re: Technique: Trim for performance

Postby tkaraszewski » Thu Apr 04, 2019 11:01 pm

Maybe some racers will come by and give better info, but since nobody has yet, I’ll give my take on it, as top speed runs are something I’ve been playing with lately, but really I’m not very fast yet.

For a top speed run, come off the wind until you can sail the board flat. When you’re angled upwind the wing doesn’t go straight through the water, but cuts through it at an angle of a track that helps you go upwind, but creates drag.

Don’t come down too far that the wind is light though. To create speed, you need tension in your lines to pull you forward faster. So fly the kite low, and sheet in to build speed. If you can’t get enough tension in your lines, point up toward the wind a little more.

As you build speed, you build apparent wind, so as long as you don’t make a mistake and slow yourself down, you get more pressure to work with as you go faster.

Balancing the pressure on the lines and the drag on the wing is a dance you just need to get used to, but as you get the hang of it, you can eek out higher top speeds.

Another thing is the faster you go, the more lift your wing generates, so the more forward you need to be to keep the wing underwater.

That’s my completely amateur take on it, hope it’s helpful.

Edit: Oh, and fly the next bigger kite size than you’d usually pick for the conditions. Bigger kites give you more line tension to work with.

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cglazier
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Re: Technique: Trim for performance

Postby cglazier » Fri Apr 05, 2019 12:02 am

Good tips above for top speed. but..
When racing we rarely try for top speed but instead are concerned with VMG (velocity made good) going upwind or downwind. Most race courses are set up with upwind and downwind legs because across the wind (where you might achieve top speed) is less challenging.
The easiest way that I know of to improve your upwind and downwind performance is to match race with at least one other kiter on similar equipment. You quickly learn what technique works. When I'm kiting with my friends we are constantly trying to outperform each other. We have a destination about 4 km downwind that we often visit. It is certainly a race between us going downwind and then on our return going upwind. I rarely have a session where I have not been near to another kiter or windsurfer or sailboat and tried to outperform them.

A few tips:
-always keep your kite low
-ride heel side, it is always faster than riding toe side
-depower your kite going upwind but power up your kite going downwind
-crouch a bit and edge hard going upwind
-crouch a bit and edge hard going downwind (this skill is more difficult to master)

Of course your overall performance will also require you to master gybes and tacks.. and the tack is a challenging trick to learn.

Have fun
:wink:
CG


Guy Bridge going upwind
san-fran-1.jpg
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Guy or maybe Oly Bridge and Nico Parlier
(not sure if they are going upwind or downwind in this picture)
Kite-Foil-Formula-kite.jpg
Kite-Foil-Formula-kite.jpg (31.72 KiB) Viewed 301 times

Mossy 757
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Re: Technique: Trim for performance

Postby Mossy 757 » Fri Apr 05, 2019 4:08 pm

I'll share my technique, I'll make no claims that it's "correct" 😜 I use a stock Ozone Foil Race control system with lots of depower.

Upwind:
For the power stroke, I usually trim in about 2-3" so the kite doesn't stall, then as I'm up and riding and accelerating I'll trim in another 6-8" so that I have 15-20% trim remaining. I only ever fully trim when I'm super over powered in somewhat survival mode.

My goal when going upwind is to accelerate, get my board/body in the right position, then pull in the trimmer until the bar is in a comfortable position with my arms. I have a low-back injury, so I can't do the full poo-stance anymore, so I get where I feel balanced with my chest out/shoulders back, and then trim so that my arms aren't reaching and that I can comfortably sheet the bar out in a puff or if I get overpowered. If you're on the right kite, you should be able to sail with a pretty stable body position and just move your arms in and out 3-4" to control gusts.

One thing to note, you're not trimming the kite to feel more bar pressure, you're trimming to go faster. Sometimes, you can let the trimmer out and feel a lot more line tension, but that's not necessarily power, it's actually probably just a bunch of drag. You want to pull enough trim that when you're riding you can sheet in and prevent yourself from falling backwards, but when you sheet out a bit the kite flies forward in the wind window and accelerates.

Downwind:
I'll describe the bear-away at a windward mark of a race. You approach the mark, usually on Starboard tack, and right as you're rounding it and starting to head downwind, pop the trimmer ALL the way off (which in my case causes backstall) and the kite should fall WAY back in the window and pull like a friggin truck. Use this pull to 'slingshot' yourself around the mark, then pull on about 1-2" of trim (or however you have your bar tuned) so that riding with the bar at or near the chicken loop is full power (not backstall, as is the case with my bar when the trimmer is all the way out). If the kite feels slow, backstally, or draggy pull about 2" of trim. If the kite feels like it's too far forward in the WW and you can't head deep enough downwind to be competitive, you can let the trimmer out and the kite will fall back in the WW more and get you deeper.

This is always a trade-off with speed, so what you're trying to do is go deep when the puffs hit and you're powered up, and edge upwind slightly to accelerate when the wind slacks and you feel like the kite isn't keeping up. Like was said before, you can go downwind a bit flatter to the water which will reduce drag, but if you're going properly fast, your apparent wind will shift forward and actually fake the kite out into feeling like it's sailing upwind; for this reason, ripping downwind is almost the same body posture as ripping upwind, although you're not trying to edge upwind incrementally you're doing the opposite, edging downwind when the gusts allow.

mcfly777
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2017 Crazyfly Raptor Pro LTD
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Re: Technique: Trim for performance

Postby mcfly777 » Fri Apr 05, 2019 6:29 pm

Thanks so much for all your answers. Helps me think about it a bit differently. I always thought for example that going downwind the board would be flat, but as I ride more I'm engaging the board more in order to go faster, so I think I'm on the right track. I'll read this again and practice more.

Also, for the trim line, I once built a bar where the trim was long, and it ended up just constantly tangling with the center line. How do you manage the long trim line? Do you always keep it in your hand?

thanks again


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