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small front wing

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dkazhdan
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small front wing

Postby dkazhdan » Tue Feb 25, 2020 1:33 am

I have been foiling for about a year and always have been under the impression than the bigger the wing is the smaller the kite you can use.
I normally ride a huge 1200 sq cm wing and recently I took my friend's levitaz element foil for a test ride.

It's pretty much counter-intuitive but riding a small wing (680sq cm) generates so much apparent wind that I almost instantly got overpowered using the same kite in identical wind conditions.

Which brings up a question, that apart from the obvious fact that you instantly pop up on the foil when using big wings, what are the other benefits?

The way I kind of see it now is that small wings move faster, create less drag and require smaller kites, but people still seem to gravitate towards surf size foils.

I'm relatively new to foiling so I wonder if anyone shares the same experience?

regards
Last edited by dkazhdan on Tue Feb 25, 2020 8:01 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: small front wing

Postby grigorib » Tue Feb 25, 2020 4:29 am

I’d say profile thickness makes more difference in speed than wing area. Large wings tend to be pretty thick, smaller one are way thinner. But the moment you try smaller thick wing you’ll feel it being slow.
Well, that’s speed-wise.

People like larger/slower wings, besides popping up on a first dive and not needing a large board, because you can ride waves without outrunning them. You can go super-slow without wing stalling and sending you down - large wing just parachutes down slowly giving you all the time to practice tricks ant turns

Last, heavy guys need larger wing
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Re: small front wing

Postby Peter_Frank » Tue Feb 25, 2020 7:49 am

dkazhdan wrote:
Tue Feb 25, 2020 1:33 am
I have been foiling for about a year and always have been under the impression than the bigger the wing is the smaller the kite you can use.
I normally ride a huge 1200 sq cm wing and recently I took my friend's levitaz element foil for a test ride.

It's pretty much counter-intuitive but riding a small wing (680sq cm) generates so much apparent wind that I almost instantly got overpowered using the same kite in identical wind conditions.

Which brings up a question, that apart of the obvious fact that you instantly pop up on the foil when using big wings, what are the other benefits?

The way I kind of see it now is that small wings move faster, create less drag and require smaller kites, but people still seem to gravitate towards surf size foils.

I'm relatively new to foiling so I wonder if anyone shares the same experience?

regards

You are correct, smaller wings creates more apparent wind, and once riding you can typically ride with the same kite indeed.

You said you are pretty new to foiling, so you probably ride a tad bigger kites than experienced strapless riders would, so you will experience feeling overpowered somewhat more.
The weakness with the smaller wings are, they need more power to "pop up", meaning in light and especially marginal wind it is not possible to start.
Even if you get up in a puff, you will have the downside that you need to keep your speed to have power to be foiling, and when carving in light winds, you will lose this power for some moments, which can be critical.

Also, with a bigger wing you can carve tighter, meaning you keep more power in the kite when carving downwind.

To some extent, the fact that the big wings DONT accelerate you into "overpowered" is a big advantage when surfing waves, and they got a quite big windrange also in flat/chop conditions because of this, easy to handle in both light and high winds.

Clearly, the fact that they stall at a much lower speed, is beneficial for learning "things", that goes without saying.

The downside is, they feel slow and boring and draggy as he.. :roll:

I very often use my medium wing 800 cm2, gives me (average weight) a good compromise between being able to ride fast and effortlessly, have apparent wind power, and still carve tight - it just feels good :thumb:

And use bigger low AR wing either for small or bigger waves, and bigger high AR wing for marginal winds.

8) Peter
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Re: small front wing

Postby Kamikuza » Tue Feb 25, 2020 7:57 am

Big draggy wings need power too. But big wings don’t have to be draggy — they just have to be designed right.

And what grigorb said about speed range and stall speeds.

I’ll add stability too. Bigger is more stable, especially roll.
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Re: small front wing

Postby Peter_Frank » Tue Feb 25, 2020 1:22 pm

Bigger wings ARE more draggy, no matter what.

Of course, "fat" low AR big wings are really draggy, eventhough they turn well and easy to ride.

But the same wing say twice the size, has almost the double amount of drag, at the same speed.

When going fast, they have exactly the double amount of drag.

They can never ride as fast, nor glide as fast and free, and will feel more draggy than smaller wings.

The fuselage and stab and lower part of the mast is a constant drag of course, so the total drag is not doubled, no, but it can be felt immediately if you change wing size both the ups and downs.

You are right though, that you can, on bigger wings, to some extent get rid of some drag having high AR thin profiled wings, and they feel "light" and free, compared :D

The downside is they will turn slow because of the span, have less windrange (less "good" AOA range), be more fragile, and risky for jumping :wink:

Hmmm, stability?
Roll stability is better yes, but a disadvantage in turns and not what most seek.
And pitch stability will be worse I would say, you got similar more torque with a bigger wing.

Same thing goes the other way, for race wings, they are not necessarily smaller than our small/medium wings, but have less camber, so a lot more stable and only need really small stabs.

8) Peter
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Re: small front wing

Postby drsurf » Tue Feb 25, 2020 1:36 pm

I have a large medium aspect surf wing sets, 990 & 1250 sq cm and a small high aspect race/freeride oriented wing set around 650 sq cm. The difference between the surf wings and smaller race wing is substantial. They're for two completely different activities in my experience. If you want to travel fast and cut through waves and chop as if they were'n't there a race/freeride foil will do that. You can cover a lot of water very quickly with any sized kite and the speed can be incredible. There is very little drag with these wings and when used for the first time they seem to accelerate continuously until you crash :o

The surf wings are slower by intention to varying degrees depending on design. ie faster wings for faster, larger waves. As has been mentioned, you don't want to outrun the wave you want to ride and therein lies the second benefit of surf wings, they are more manoeuvrable. This enables easy turning on the wave for cutbacks and bottom turns which can be done even at very slow speeds if required. With a surf wing you can feel the terrain of the water, waves and chop rather than just cutting through it. You can feel the wave with the foil and ride it's force with virtually no pull from the kite. Even small waves and chop can be ridden as the combination of low drag, (compared to a surfboard or twin tip), manoeuvrability and pumpability makes surf foiling a lot of fun. You can also use very small kites, as like most foils, there is very little drag when you're on the foil and small kites add to the manoeuvrability.

Both styles of foil are fun but the surf foil can be easier to learn on as they can be flown more slowly which can make learning easier. It just comes down to what you like the most. The beauty of foiling is that with a good mast and fuselage from some manufacturers, eg Moses, you can have interchangeable wing sets to cover kitefoiling for speed or surfas well as for prone surf foiling, SUP foiling and wing surfing as well with additional wings.

With so much on offer there is something for everyone to enjoy when you can foil. So if you don't yet foil, when are you going to??
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Re: small front wing

Postby grigorib » Tue Feb 25, 2020 4:03 pm

Roll stability seems to increase with wingspan/AR. Moses 720 at 740 sq.cm felt way more stable (pretty much unnecessarily more stable) than 683s at its 1005 sq.cm. And as I said average/top speed was pretty comparable as wings are not much different in thickness

Pitch stability depended greately on stabilizer in use and proper stabilizer angle to the wing. At the same attempt 720 behaved like a little sh!t with tiny 325 stabilizer and was extremely pitch stable with 450

At 200 lbs I also like 800-1000 sq.cm wings. So far 683s and 695 are my favorites
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Re: small front wing

Postby Kamikuza » Tue Feb 25, 2020 10:49 pm

Peter_Frank wrote:
Tue Feb 25, 2020 1:22 pm
Bigger wings ARE more draggy, no matter what.

Of course, "fat" low AR big wings are really draggy, eventhough they turn well and easy to ride.

But the same wing say twice the size, has almost the double amount of drag, at the same speed.

When going fast, they have exactly the double amount of drag.

They can never ride as fast, nor glide as fast and free, and will feel more draggy than smaller wings.

The fuselage and stab and lower part of the mast is a constant drag of course, so the total drag is not doubled, no, but it can be felt immediately if you change wing size both the ups and downs.

You are right though, that you can, on bigger wings, to some extent get rid of some drag having high AR thin profiled wings, and they feel "light" and free, compared :D

The downside is they will turn slow because of the span, have less windrange (less "good" AOA range), be more fragile, and risky for jumping :wink:

Hmmm, stability?
Roll stability is better yes, but a disadvantage in turns and not what most seek.
And pitch stability will be worse I would say, you got similar more torque with a bigger wing.

Same thing goes the other way, for race wings, they are not necessarily smaller than our small/medium wings, but have less camber, so a lot more stable and only need really small stabs.

8) Peter
:roll:

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Re: small front wing

Postby foilholio » Wed Feb 26, 2020 12:59 am

:roll: :roll:

No big wings are not more draggy no matter what. Yes bigger things will tend to be more draggy but it has more than that as a factor. You have the shape, and the area. In the case of shape a thinner design having less frontal area and will have less drag over a fatter one, as well a shape with less camber will have less drag. With a bigger wing you will need to use less AoA to produced the desire lift and so the induced drag which could also be viewed as frontal area will be less. A bigger wing will make more lift and so can ride at slower speeds. Drag is non linear to speed. This is why we have maximum speeds, the drag just gets too excessive to go any faster.

I would say the majority of the turn characteristics are from stabilizer size and position not the main wing. Large wings turn on a dime with no stab.
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Re: small front wing

Postby PrfctChaos » Wed Feb 26, 2020 1:12 am

Surprised there arent any videos out there showing someone foiling behind a boat, with a scale on the rope to show the drag at varois speeds.
That graph of drag vs speed on various foils would be excellent information.
I would expect (most good) large foils to have less drag at low speeds and small foils less drag at high speed.


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