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Lightwind assessment

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Lightwind assessment

Postby Cefirmeza » Tue Feb 04, 2020 6:12 pm

I posted on HF section because it may concern foilers who seek ride in light wind conditions:

If there is no one riding how do you assess the conditions to see if it’s worth giving a try?

I am talking to below 10 knots of wind. Since there is no local station on the spot, from your experience is there a way to say its blowing something around 6, 7, 8 or 9 knots by just looking at the water?

I think white caps start showing from 9 knots or above so how can you tell the difference before having your kite in the air?

The intensity of ripples on the water maybe?

Is there a way you could guess or you just have to launch it to see if its enough.

I usually ride my 9m starting at 9 or 10 knots but I am planning to start using a bigger single strut or a foil kite so this kind of assessment would help me to chose the right equipment and spend more time on the water.

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Re: Lightwind assessment

Postby tomtom » Tue Feb 04, 2020 6:20 pm

My assessment is kite flying - if it fly without backstalling at zenit - Im good to go. My light wind kite is 9m foil kite.

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Re: Lightwind assessment

Postby jakemoore » Tue Feb 04, 2020 6:57 pm

I look at the trees and local flags to get a feeling if the kite will fly. I also look at the area iKite sensors and have an understanding of the local wind. Even if there is not a sensor within 5 miles I have an idea what to expect. Finally, a foil kite with lines attached is easy to put up. I will fly the kite a moment before putting wet suit on.

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Re: Lightwind assessment

Postby norcom » Tue Feb 04, 2020 7:27 pm

To me, it's ALWAYS worth giving it a try. The only thing that would stop me is if I can't get the kite flying. Fortunately the Peaks have solved that. Pushing the limits is the only way you'll tell how low your skill and gear can go. When you reach your gear's limits, come back here and ask for advice on the best light wind kite. :lol: That usually goes very well in all the light wind kite threads. :lol: :lol: :lol:
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Re: Lightwind assessment

Postby PullStrings » Wed Feb 05, 2020 12:13 am

Sure trees are good
Water texture
How it feels on your face
Direction of the wind versus the shoreline
Warm wind over cool water can be gradient
Test with a kite up
Some light wind have power up there
Some light wind are gutless
Sucker wind happens
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Re: Lightwind assessment

Postby Kamikuza » Wed Feb 05, 2020 1:24 am

If the kite will sit just to the side of the zenith and park there without insisting on dropping, I can probably ride ... but it won't be much fun.

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Re: Lightwind assessment

Postby lightwind » Wed Feb 05, 2020 1:56 am

PullStrings wrote:
Wed Feb 05, 2020 12:13 am
Sure trees are good
Water texture
How it feels on your face
Direction of the wind versus the shoreline
Warm wind over cool water can be gradient
Test with a kite up
Some light wind have power up there
Some light wind are gutless
Sucker wind happens
Exactly, 5-7 knots is not the same every time. What I practice is trying waterstart on the beach (sit down and perform power stroke). If I feel enough power to be pulled out of the water then I go. Sometimes wind can be stronger out there. I had some of the best sessions when I almost gave-up.

Talking about foiling.

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Re: Lightwind assessment

Postby juandesooka » Wed Feb 05, 2020 2:18 am

Back when I was desperate to fly my trainer kite in the most marginal of conditions, I found a pretty good tell-tale ... walk with the wind for a moment, if you can't feel any breeze on your back, then it's not windy enough to keep a kite in the air!
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Re: Lightwind assessment

Postby tkaraszewski » Wed Feb 05, 2020 2:43 am

There's a chart here in this wikipedia article.

There are hints of windspeed available even before there are whitecaps. I sailed boats before kiting and sailboats easily sail in wind less than whitecaps, and yes, you can tel lthe difference between 1-3 knots and 6-9 knots very easily, even without wind instruments on the boat.

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Re: Lightwind assessment

Postby Regis-de-giens » Wed Feb 05, 2020 11:32 pm

Actually the lowest wind limit will depend on your kite (weight and size), hyfrofoil area and skills. So your limits are not the same as for each kind people here, and is very personal. Hence this even add on the complexity of describing their own limit. Forget speed meters unfortunatelly ...

Personally i use 3 things in on shore conditions (experienced light weight rider with the optimum foilkite) :

- the feeling of wind on my face: if i can guess the direction of the wind with eyes closed, it is ok with me.

- the water surface in open sea: small local glassy areas are still acceptable but it is my limit, but being psychologocally ready to swimback . Without glassy part like oil, i can ride with very few risks.x

- flags in exposed area (but can change with flag weight): about 1 second frequency and 45 degree angle is my limit.

BUT : since you should assess your own limit with your kite, best is to try with your kite everytime, which is anyway a good exercice to know your kite and spot by heart (including waterstarts laid on the beach), and you will build your proper references.

Then ... enjoy your unforgettable succees in very light winds, riding 3 times faster than no-wind :allbegood:

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