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Considering a switch to foil kites

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Alvaro
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Considering a switch to foil kites

Postby Alvaro » Sun Mar 08, 2020 1:05 am

I am thinking more and more about switching from inflatable to foil kites. I think that the re-launchability issues of the past are gone, and it looks like if my main kite discipline is foil boarding, a foil kite will make sense.
One question that I still can’t answer is, -generally speaking- can I assume that a good 7m foil kite can give me the wind range (+-) that I currently get with my Rebels 7 and 9m for foiling?

If I can have just one kite instead of two for 90% of the occasions that I currently use my 7 and 9M, that would be a good plus towards switching to foil kites. Also, Is there any other major consideration to make before switching?

Thank you

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Re: Considering a switch to foil kites

Postby edt » Sun Mar 08, 2020 1:20 am

don't switch right away, just ride both. foils are prone to wing collapses when it gets really gusty (the soul is the best in gusty wind). Also sometimes the wind will completely die I mean go to zero. So on a tube kite you sail it in, on a foil kite you need to roll it up in the water, put it on top of your board and swim in. If you snap a line again you are swimming in. I don't mind swimming and have done probably a dozen swims with the foil kite but what if the water is 32F? When the water is that cold I'll ride my tube kite. Also what if you are foiling in waves? Then it's also nice sometimes to have a tube kite because if a wave eats a foil kite it takes forever to get the water out. I mean I get it, you want to minimize the gear in your life, but buy a 6 or 7m soul keep your tube kites at least for a little while.

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Re: Considering a switch to foil kites

Postby tkaraszewski » Sun Mar 08, 2020 1:23 am

I bought my first foil kite about a year and a half ago. It’s a 10m Soul. I bought my second one just recently.

They take a bit of getting used to, and they don’t fly like waves kites, but if you’re on rebels now, I hear you’ll love them.

I actually think my Souls relaunch *better* than my Apollos. You can relaunch a Soul in less wind. However, if the wind completely dies, you’re SOL on any kite, and the swim in is worse on a foil kite.

Once you get accustomed to the kites, they have a huge range. I use my Soul 10 in 10-20 knots pretty comfortably. I haven’t really figured out the full range of the 6m yet, I’ve only flown it twice, but it seems to be something like 14-28+ knots.

These two kites give an enormous overall range on the hydrofoil with enough overlap to comfortably choose either in a wind range in the upper teens.

I’m going to try flying only these two kites for the next few weeks to validate that they work as a two-kite quiver with almost total wind range coverage.

The 10, once I got used to it, is fantastic in light wind, and the 6 has way more lift/float through maneuvers than bigger inflatable kites.

Try them and see, but don’t expect to gave them totally figured out in an hour or two. I probably spent 20 hours on my 10 before I really started to feel like I “got” it and it felt as natural as inflatable kite.

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Re: Considering a switch to foil kites

Postby cglazier » Sun Mar 08, 2020 1:45 am

I have an 8m Flysurfer Soul foil kite and it generally covers the range of my 7m and 9m inflatable kites. Foil kites have excellent range. If I could take only one kite on vacation, that would be it.

With previous foil kites I occasionally had to roll them up and swim in, but the my Souls relaunch so easily I have never had to swim.. in close to 100 sessions on them. (Maybe I'm just getting better at sensing when the wind is dying..)

For anyone who hasn't flown foil kites much here are some foil kite features:

- they are quick to get started since they don't require pumping up and they can be self launched very easily.. (but self landing not so easy)

- they turn slower than inflatable kites

-when jumping they lift you up (rather than jerk you like an inflatable does)

- when jumping they hold you up longer and float you down more slowly

- in light winds they stay in the sky better since they are lighter

- new user friendly models like the Soul (and maybe the Hyperlink?) relaunch quite easily

I own four nice inflatable kites (5,7,9,12) and two foil kites (Soul 8m, 12m) and I spend over 90% of my time on my two foil kites these days.

:wink: CG

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Re: Considering a switch to foil kites

Postby downunder » Sun Mar 08, 2020 2:53 am

Hmmm,

We all tend to use a new toy, and forget about the old ones.

Here is a thought: many of my friends moved back to LEI or to singe skins.

Why? Very expensive to fix. A lot of swimming in, drying a foil is not easy, not easy to launch/land on small beach, even more with a few trees.

Main obstacle for me is that noticed panels sewing expanding due to crashing on LE. This is now quite noticeable, and I wonder if is air tight as before.

Because how foils work, it is sometimes not possible to save a kite from tomahawking. But it is possible to do that with LEI, ie walk back and tension one line to steer it a bit.

With my foil, I cant do that easily, hence a LE crash.

Or, an LEI will rotate when dropping from the sky, it might flip the side, LE front, but foil will not.
Foil will loose a shape and go bow tie.

Other than that, they are great ;)

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Re: Considering a switch to foil kites

Postby Foil » Sun Mar 08, 2020 7:01 am

In my experience it takes a long time to get really dialed in to the features of a good freeride foil kite,
I have been using them exclusively now for 14 months, and would say i am just about there with most of the nuances that foil kites offer,
as i progressed with them I sold off my 2 larger ones, the 15mtr and then my 13mtr just last week, however the bigger ones were very useful during my early months on foil kites, but as you get used to them you get the best out of them which is hard to do in the first 6 months, being around other good foil kite users certainly helps.
All the scare stories you hear about foil kites are mostly out of date, but there is a warning here, if you buy one of the older type ones you will regret it, and it may turn you off foil kites for ever(I had one of them, in fact 3 of them, all different brands of the older design ones that were at times a right nightmare)
in my book the truly stand out designs out today are just 3 main players.

The soul, the smaller sizes seem more in tune with foil boards,12mtr maximum maybe on shorter lines, or the very good smaller sizes, there is a 9 out now.
ozone hyperlink mk 1, of sizes 9mtr and below, but definitely in the ultralight cloth, 12mtr is dog slow and standard cloth is disappointing compared to ultralight
ozone hyperlink mk2, comes in only one cloth and weighs the same as the ultralights.
Ozone Chrono mk3 only, ultra light cloth, all great for foiling, 15mtr sizes down to 7mtr
my choice is now the chrono v3 ul in 11/and 9mtr, hyperlink mk2 in 7mtr and hyperlink mk1 u'light in the 5mtr.

yes its possible to go to a one kite quiver as the range of the mid size ones is staggering, you will still get out in the best winds for foil boards,
my choice of kite for that would be the 9mtr chrono mk3 in ultralight of course.
Swim in on these kites above are rare, and the more time spent learning them then the less time dropping the kite, and more easily and quickly you can relaunch.

I am just back from 5 weeks of near every day on the water at flag beach, i dropped my kite 3 times in that 5 weeks, kite relaunch was easy each time, most used kite was my 9mtr chrono, one local there who weighs 105kg only owns a 7mtr hyperlink mk1 U'light, he hardly misses a session using his 633wing on a 120 skate.
don't listen to the naysayers
but be careful when choosing, the 2nd hand market is full of rubbish, buy one of these and you will become one of the naysayers.

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Re: Considering a switch to foil kites

Postby UKSurf » Sun Mar 08, 2020 11:15 am

You should also consider a strutless or mono strut kite. They will stay in the air alot longer than a Rebel

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Re: Considering a switch to foil kites

Postby Frankieboy » Sun Mar 08, 2020 11:41 am

UKSurf wrote:
Sun Mar 08, 2020 11:15 am
You should also consider a strutless or mono strut kite. They will stay in the air alot longer than a Rebel
that is the way to go ! They also perform very well for kitesurfing in light wind or in the waves.

But it also depends on your riding style. Freestyle or waves => go for a light inflatable. Freeride => consider a foil kite as you are more "locked" on a rail and it performs better going upwind and more important downwind + great range

I bought foil kites 3 times for light wind and sold them everytime because too slow and boring...

Regarding the setup and the advantage of not pumping it: it took me much longer setting up the bridles and lines of the foil kites, also deflating it takes very long and is complicated while in the wind on the beach.

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Re: Considering a switch to foil kites

Postby joriws » Sun Mar 08, 2020 11:47 am

edt wrote:
Sun Mar 08, 2020 1:20 am
Also sometimes the wind will completely die I mean go to zero. So on a tube kite you sail it in, on a foil kite you need to roll it up in the water, put it on top of your board and swim in. If you snap a line again you are swimming in. I don't mind swimming and have done probably a dozen swims with the foil kite but what if the water is 32F? When the water is that cold I'll ride my tube kite. Also what if you are foiling in waves? Then it's also nice sometimes to have a tube kite because if a wave eats a foil kite it takes forever to get the water out.
How on tube kite you can sail in if there is *zero* wind ("I mean go to zero" by your words)?

What prevents foil kite not to be used as sail? A tip, just roll lines and grab foil kite tips, if there is any wind coming it will grab the kite and it will downwind sail you. Closed cell foil kite (Flysurfers at least) can keep air inside like 5 minutes if no new air is coming in (total zero wind). Us two have already talked about this in the past Edt, you asked for a video, recall that. Well I've not been kite-sailing home so no video and not using helmet cam that ofter anymore.

If you ride tube kite in the cold waters 0C and snap a line. You are still in the water for extended period of time.

Wave eats foil kite? Depending on wave (Nazare will eat everything) but usually foil kite floats on top of wave because it is less dense than water. A tip again, you can *launch* empty foil kite from water surface. IT behaves like like avalanche rescue kit. Tube kite gets wave's water on top of leading edge making it to stick down (relaunch also suffers water on top of LE), and rest of the wave hits your kite dead on splitting tube in half. This has been seen sooooo many times, also on smaller waves.
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Re: Considering a switch to foil kites

Postby Jyoder » Sun Mar 08, 2020 12:19 pm

Depends on where you ride. I ride on the Chesapeake Bay and hydrofoil only.

My style: Foil kites for 9m and bigger sizes. LEI for 9m and smaller sizes. A little overlap in middle gives options.

In higher wind, I like to carve more and tend to throw the hydrofoil around a bit, try new stuff, slack the kite lines, and generally go a little nuts. LEI are best for this. In light wind, I like to go fast as water is smooth, and do long graceful curves, transitions, relax and mellow Flow. Foil kite is best for this.


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