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Bigger wing - bigger kite needed?

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kitenight11
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Bigger wing - bigger kite needed?

Postby kitenight11 » Mon Jan 13, 2020 1:44 pm

Hi,
I read everywhere, that the bigger the frontwing is, the smaller the kite can be choosen - because of more lift from the wing.
But on the other side, I also read that these bigger wings tend to have way more drag than the smaller ones. Doesn't this mean in consequence that you therefore also Need for a bigger wing a bigger kite to achieve the same Performance/Speed as with smaller wings?
Can somebody explain?
Thanks
Last edited by kitenight11 on Mon Jan 13, 2020 2:57 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Bigger wing - bigger kite needed?

Postby SWO_kite » Mon Jan 13, 2020 2:33 pm

Please keep in mind that although a bigger wing provides more lift, it doesn't make the air more windy. You can only down size your kite to a certain point, after which, the kite just won't have enough low end to get you lifted out of the water.

Bigger wing would produce drag for a slower riding speed and other maneuvers.

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Re: Bigger wing - bigger kite needed?

Postby Peter_Frank » Mon Jan 13, 2020 3:39 pm

kitenight11 wrote:
Mon Jan 13, 2020 1:44 pm
Hi,
I read everywhere, that the bigger the frontwing is, the smaller the kite can be choosen - because of more lift from the wing.
But on the other side, I also read that these bigger wings tend to have way more drag than the smaller ones. Doesn't this mean in consequence that you therefore also Need for a bigger wing a bigger kite to achieve the same Performance/Speed as with smaller wings?
Can somebody explain?
Thanks

You are absolutely right kitenight11, in some respects a bit counterintuitive.

If we take equal wings, then you got less drag with the small wing, but also less lift.

But lower drag means its topend is higher, it can ride faster, no doubt.

The bigger wing will need a bigger kite actually, than the small wing, to obtain the same max speed.

BUT, as most dont seek speed with the big wing, its higher area means you can ride with a smaller kite, which is great for maneuverability and to avoid getting overpowered in carves and waves.

Then again, in lighter wind, IF you can get the small wing up flying, it might be able to ride in just as low wind, because of the apparent wind :rollgrin:

This is mostly only possible with kites that has loads of peak power, t.ex a high AR foilkite.

In real life for most riders though, the big wing will be so much better when light wind, as it starts earlier, can go just as low or lower in lulls as the small wing, but more important, you can ride slow and still foil, meaning your maneuvers and jibes are A LOT easier, no slack lines because of high speed with the wind, and you can still use a smaller kite :D

You can also carve tighter when going slower, so very narrow radius in waves or turns :thumb:

There comes a point though, where it gets really dull, and you dont really gain when bigger because of too little apparent wind and not much fun either, like foiling with a heavy bag around your wing.

Because of above: Speed giving lift, low area giving low drag giving speed, area giving lift, you can usually ride in the same low wind on a smaller wing, once you are able to get up foiling, because of the apparent wind.
IF you are able to get up, that is the tricky part, maybe not possible.

Which is the reason why there is a limit, besides not being fun, where it can be too big, as well as too small, for the individual rider.

8) Peter

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Re: Bigger wing - bigger kite needed?

Postby jakemoore » Mon Jan 13, 2020 4:08 pm

Many of the big wings produce so much lift that you can’t match the speed of a small wing with any amount of kite power because the wing will get lifted out of the water.

Also there are big wings with less lift and drag so speed is more complicated than just wing size.

Ketos Kruiser for example is a big wing that is efficient and can go reasonably fast. Some surf wings e.g. early Takuma have similar size are markedly slower but also allow foiling at a much slower board speed.

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Re: Bigger wing - bigger kite needed?

Postby Peter_Frank » Mon Jan 13, 2020 4:27 pm

Very true.

So to go just as fast, if that is the goal, you need a bigger kite with the big wing, than on the small wing, and you CAN not obtain the same max speed on the big wing, no matter what.

And reverse, you can, and probably everybody does, use smaller kites on bigger wings.

8) Peter

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Re: Bigger wing - bigger kite needed?

Postby airsail » Mon Jan 13, 2020 8:15 pm

It all comes down to how much load your legs can take, you can put a bigger kite on a big thick wing but at some point your legs will be so loaded up trying to push the foil through the water you have reached max speed of the wing, no matter the area of that wing. On a tiny race wing, there is almost no loading to the legs, top speed comes down to you ability and fear factor, big kites dragging you downwind at scary speeds.

When talking about big wings, larger than 1000 sqcm, it is the thickness of the wing that governs top speed. But the bottom end does not seem to be effected whether thick or thin. As an experiment I built two wings, mostly identical except the thinner of the two is about 1200 sqcm and the thicker is 1100 sqcm.
The thinner, 16mm maxes out at around 40kph (21 knots), the thicker, 30mm at about 33kph (17 knots). Even with a bigger kite the thicker won’t go faster, your legs just get loaded up more as you try and push that thick foil through the water.
I also have a thin 600 sqcm wing for that foil, it’s top speed is about 44kph (23knots) so area has little effect.
I can probably get away with a smaller kite on the thin wing as the apparent wind generated is higher. So unless you need the drag of a thick wing to slow you down on a steep wave the thin large area wing trumps the thick wing in all aspects.

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Re: Bigger wing - bigger kite needed?

Postby tkaraszewski » Mon Jan 13, 2020 8:46 pm

The more water that flows over a wing, the more lift it makes. So going faster means more lift. Bigger wings also mean more lift. You get the same amount of lift from a bigger wing at a lower speed than you from a smaller wing at higher speed. If at any point you produce more lift than your bodyweight, the foil will start to rise, and if you don't reduce that lift, by slowing down or pitching forward, then the wing will breach the surface of the water.

So you're really aiming to create a constant amount of lift - enough to equal your body weight so you stay suspended on foil. A bigger wing does this at lower speeds than a smaller wing, and as such, it will get up on foil with less power required, because you don't need to be moving as fast to water start, you can foil at low speeds with small kites.

But of course, there is more drag from a big wing and less power from a small kite, so it will have a lower top end speed than a small wing and big kite.


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