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Downwind Technique

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UKSurf
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Downwind Technique

Postby UKSurf » Sun Jul 07, 2019 9:55 am

I am having real problems going down wind in lighter winds (approx 10 knots or so). My kite wants to fall out the air. I see some people really blasting downwind, is the secret in getting a kite that will stay in the air with little or no apparent wind?

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Re: Downwind Technique

Postby DukeSilver » Sun Jul 07, 2019 10:39 am

What kite are you using in these conditions?

UKSurf
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Re: Downwind Technique

Postby UKSurf » Sun Jul 07, 2019 10:42 am

DukeSilver wrote:
Sun Jul 07, 2019 10:39 am
What kite are you using in these conditions?
Slingshot Rally 12m. I am thinking a specialist lightwind kite might make it easier.

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Re: Downwind Technique

Postby haare » Sun Jul 07, 2019 11:29 am

yep, it has lot to do with kite choice. Personally I only use foil kites so my tipps might not be the best here

However, looping helps. Keeping the kite moving up and down helps. backstalling little more than usual helps. Big wing helps a lot.

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Re: Downwind Technique

Postby robclaisse » Sun Jul 07, 2019 12:29 pm

We had a client on one of our foiling camps with a 12m Rally and it wasn't an easy kite to keep in the sky in underpowered conditions, so downwind is going to make it even worst.

One tip to try when using a heavier kite that requires more input to keep it flying, is to ensure you are already going fast across the wind before you bear off downwind, so you'll carry that initial speed and already have some good apparent wind affecting the kite. Now when you bear off things will change but at least you'll give yourself the best chance - you'll probably have to fly the kite aggressive to keep the power up and maybe cant the board over to maximise that power transfer from the kite to the foil. If you had a foil kite or a lightweight LEI then you'd be able to cruise downwind more with less speed and a more neutral balance between the foil, you and kite.

What we probably should have asked is what foil you are riding, as that will also have a big impact?

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Re: Downwind Technique

Postby FLandOBX » Sun Jul 07, 2019 12:51 pm

With the Rally in light wind, you'll probably have to work your way downwind with zigs and zags. Be very conscious of line tension and, if your lines start to go slack, bear upwind just a bit until you rebuild some line tension.

I use both LEIs and foil kites on my hydrofoil and, as others have said, it's much easier in light wind on a foil kite.

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Re: Downwind Technique

Postby UKSurf » Sun Jul 07, 2019 1:08 pm

robclaisse wrote:
Sun Jul 07, 2019 12:29 pm
We had a client on one of our foiling camps with a 12m Rally and it wasn't an easy kite to keep in the sky in underpowered conditions, so downwind is going to make it even worst.

One tip to try when using a heavier kite that requires more input to keep it flying, is to ensure you are already going fast across the wind before you bear off downwind, so you'll carry that initial speed and already have some good apparent wind affecting the kite. Now when you bear off things will change but at least you'll give yourself the best chance - you'll probably have to fly the kite aggressive to keep the power up and maybe cant the board over to maximise that power transfer from the kite to the foil. If you had a foil kite or a lightweight LEI then you'd be able to cruise downwind more with less speed and a more neutral balance between the foil, you and kite.

What we probably should have asked is what foil you are riding, as that will also have a big impact?
Thanks for the advice. I think the problem is I am not really at the stage where I can work the kite and go down wind, not easy to balance! I am in the process of buying a zero strut kite which will probably help a bit

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Re: Downwind Technique

Postby Peter_Frank » Sun Jul 07, 2019 2:37 pm

You are riding too slow downwind :roll:

Ride with more speed, not as deep, and any heavy kite will hang just fine :thumb:

Of course it is easier to recover a lighter kite if you make a mistake or get slack lines, but if you ride with more speed you will have more line tension, and also get faster downwind even with a more pinched angle.

But in really low wind you can gain working the kite in sinus curves indeed (looping not good unless you want to ride in a deeper angle, but this is a lot of fun also), works great with a "normal" heavier kite, as long as you keep the lines tight.
And this is, as you say, something you can not fully do yet - but it will come quite fast as you have to, in order to avoid the walk of shame downwind on the beach, as a lot easier to go upwind when new to foiling and light winds.

Also bear in mind, if you use "short" lines only 21-24 meters, everything gets really difficult with a normal LEI kite.
This is another reason (but not the primary) why I use 30 m lines when kites bigger than 10 m2, and 26 meter as the shortest when small kites.

If your Rally is about to "fall" for you, then with longer lines you can simply downloop the kite, sheet it fully out, and it will recover no matter how heavy it is :rollgrin:

Wont say you should not get a lighter kite - you should - but you got a lot more options than you think, with your current Rally :D

8) Peter

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Re: Downwind Technique

Postby UKSurf » Sun Jul 07, 2019 4:17 pm

Peter_Frank wrote:
Sun Jul 07, 2019 2:37 pm
You are riding too slow downwind :roll:

Ride with more speed, not as deep, and any heavy kite will hang just fine :thumb:

Of course it is easier to recover a lighter kite if you make a mistake or get slack lines, but if you ride with more speed you will have more line tension, and also get faster downwind even with a more pinched angle.

But in really low wind you can gain working the kite in sinus curves indeed (looping not good unless you want to ride in a deeper angle, but this is a lot of fun also), works great with a "normal" heavier kite, as long as you keep the lines tight.
And this is, as you say, something you can not fully do yet - but it will come quite fast as you have to, in order to avoid the walk of shame downwind on the beach, as a lot easier to go upwind when new to foiling and light winds.

Also bear in mind, if you use "short" lines only 21-24 meters, everything gets really difficult with a normal LEI kite.
This is another reason (but not the primary) why I use 30 m lines when kites bigger than 10 m2, and 26 meter as the shortest when small kites.

If your Rally is about to "fall" for you, then with longer lines you can simply downloop the kite, sheet it fully out, and it will recover no matter how heavy it is :rollgrin:

Wont say you should not get a lighter kite - you should - but you got a lot more options than you think, with your current Rally :D

8) Peter
Thanks. I think being efficient and going downwind is something I will have to work on. Maybe I will try going on a broad reach when going downwind and stay on the foil!

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Re: Downwind Technique

Postby grigorib » Sun Jul 07, 2019 4:59 pm

UKSurf wrote:
Sun Jul 07, 2019 10:42 am
DukeSilver wrote:
Sun Jul 07, 2019 10:39 am
What kite are you using in these conditions?
Slingshot Rally 12m. I am thinking a specialist lightwind kite might make it easier.
Downloop it, it’ll be so much fun to ride


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