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Foil Kite vs LEI kite for medium wind hydrofoil

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dave1986
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Foil Kite vs LEI kite for medium wind hydrofoil

Postby dave1986 » Sun Sep 01, 2019 12:11 am

I've just bought an ultralight foil kite for the very light winds where it seems that foil kites are the clear winner over inflatable/ tube kites. However in medium winds the choice seems less obvious to me!?

From a purely performance and fun on the water point of view (ignoring price, setting up of bridles, pumping up etc...) What are the pros and cons of foil kites vs inflatable kites for freeride hydrofoiling in medium winds (12 to 25mph)?

My gut feeling is that a typical inflatable/tube kite would be faster turning than the equivalent typical foil kite? But perhaps the foil kite would generate more constant lift making tacks and gybes easier?

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Re: Foil Kite vs LEI kite for medium wind hydrofoil

Postby grigorib » Sun Sep 01, 2019 1:29 am

I personally didn’t like increasing apparent wind pull of foil kites - I need less power when going, not more. And I like to be able to loop on a tack or downloop on a jibe so I really need a quick turning kite.

If you’re looking for upwind - probably foil kites would come out winners, but it has also to do with high AR and sitting at the edge of the window

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Re: Foil Kite vs LEI kite for medium wind hydrofoil

Postby Jyoder » Sun Sep 01, 2019 1:46 am

I’ve been exploring this question myself, and I’m realizing that the biggest consideration for me is water texture. Where I kite, we only get wave-like conditions where I truely want an LEI over foil kite when it’s blowing 20+ and that’s just windswell. Otherwise, it’s just chop, sometimes big, sometimes little, and I’d rather go fast and upwind hard to go sight seeing.

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Re: Foil Kite vs LEI kite for medium wind hydrofoil

Postby geokite » Sun Sep 01, 2019 3:00 am

I've found that 12-25 is quite a range. 12-18mph, I could see either working just fine. My experience was that LEI kites needed correction to be parked (could have just been the Skinny Boys I was flying), so I now fly ram air in that range. But average of 20mph and above, not racing or looking for speed, LEI seems to be the best choice.

I have a 6m FRS coming in, so this view may change.

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Re: Foil Kite vs LEI kite for medium wind hydrofoil

Postby cglazier » Sun Sep 01, 2019 3:59 am

dave1986 wrote:
Sun Sep 01, 2019 12:11 am
My gut feeling is that a typical inflatable/tube kite would be faster turning than the equivalent typical foil kite? But perhaps the foil kite would generate more constant lift making tacks and gybes easier?
Correct.
It comes down to personal preference. If you want a foil kite the Flysurfer Soul is a significant improvement in user friendliness of foil kites. It relaunches quite well. It turns slower than an equivalent inflatable but holds you up longer in jibes and tacks and other tricks. I have no trouble downlooping my 12m Soul.
But the majority of kiters prefer the direct feel and responsiveness of inflatable kites especially in stronger winds.

:wink: CG

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Re: Foil Kite vs LEI kite for medium wind hydrofoil

Postby Peter_Frank » Sun Sep 01, 2019 8:31 am

Agree.

Depends solely on what your favorite way of riding is.

Some like to be ok powered and have lift for tacks, and enjoy the awesome angle to the wind.

I like to make narrow carves and jibes, not be very powered, and to be able to ride any course without getting overpowered by apparent wind.

So using an UL foil kite in the lowest wind as a necessity, but as soon as it gets to 7 knots of wind I use a LEI instead.

Maybe in a bit higher winds a foil kite starts to work again as these turns fast now - I hear many using the Peak 4 in this.

I use my smaller wavekites in this, so I dont need two sets of quivers.

But if you only hydrofoil it wouldnt matter :naughty:

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Re: Foil Kite vs LEI kite for medium wind hydrofoil

Postby tomtom » Sun Sep 01, 2019 8:48 am

You all forget about PEAKs. In medium to strong they are everything that LEI are just better. I also think that what gregorib says "I personally didn’t like increasing apparent wind pull of foil kites - I need less power when going, not more." are one of reason why they are so good /and also why they wont work in light stuff/

Peaks are much more LEI than foil. Sorry to pollute thread but i dont know ANYBODY who tried Peak on foil in stronger wind and dont RAVE about it.

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Re: Foil Kite vs LEI kite for medium wind hydrofoil

Postby elguapo » Sun Sep 01, 2019 2:31 pm

grigorib wrote:
Sun Sep 01, 2019 1:29 am
I personally didn’t like increasing apparent wind pull of foil kites - I need less power when going, not more. And I like to be able to loop on a tack or downloop on a jibe so I really need a quick turning kite.

If you’re looking for upwind - probably foil kites would come out winners, but it has also to do with high AR and sitting at the edge of the window
this is a pretty big deal.
peak4s solve this...but it's obviously not for everyone(as its not technically even a water kite)

a 4m peter lynn novsa and 6m FS soul covers those medium winds(both can almost do it alone)...but both will run to front of window and will throw you if not paying attention or getting lazy on loops. (esp the nova since is turns and spins like an angry little elf)

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Re: Foil Kite vs LEI kite for medium wind hydrofoil

Postby joriws » Sun Sep 01, 2019 7:42 pm

Turn faster? I think mid-ar high wind foil kites turn fast enough. For example Hyperlink on this Gunnar's video at 1:10, similar to smaller Cloud on other video.



Also foil kite pro is less speed drag meaning you can go upwind direction you want in faster speeds compared lei kites at speed drags you more down wind. How do I know? I blasted snowkite race this year with speed4-8m-dlx.

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Re: Foil Kite vs LEI kite for medium wind hydrofoil

Postby dave1986 » Sun Sep 01, 2019 8:24 pm

joriws wrote:
Sun Sep 01, 2019 7:42 pm
Turn faster? I think mid-ar high wind foil kites turn fast enough. For example Hyperlink on this Gunnar's video at 1:10, similar to smaller Cloud on other video.
The fast turning which you mention in that video at 1.10 isn't a "regular" turn, it's a stalled turn. So one side of the kite is stalled and flying backwards. This isn't the way the kite turns normally unless it's forced to do it... and I don't really see a benefit.


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