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Considering a switch to foil kites

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jkrug
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Re: Considering a switch to foil kites

Postby jkrug » Sun Mar 08, 2020 1:17 pm

if you haven't actually flown one on the water, i'd do that first before making the switch. i personally couldn't stand the slowness of turning with a foil kite. i'm sure you could get used to it...but i didn't want to. yet when it's ultra light, only the guys on foil kites are out. for me, that's my quiet time.

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Re: Considering a switch to foil kites

Postby drsurf » Sun Mar 08, 2020 1:52 pm

If you're considering a switch to foil kites and you use a surf hydrofoil, try a Flysurfer Peak4 foil kite first. They're much simpler with regard to bridles, (very quick to set up), more power per square metre than other kites, don't have the slowness of a twin skin foil kite, are much cheaper than a twin skin foil or an LEI kite and have great performance characteristics no other kite has such as drift, the ability to stay in the air in ridiculously light wind, instant depower without losing steering and you can use any 4 line bar with them.

I sell and use these kites as well as others, both foil and LEI, and I have sold many to LEI kite users who love their Peak4 kites and found them easy to adjust to. They may not relaunch from the water every time but they will not fall out of the sky of their own accord, you have to steer them into the water. If by chance you do end up with a kite that won't relaunch, it's much easier to pack down to swim in than any other kite. Try one first and make you own mind up. You can also check the kiteforum thread on the Peak4, viewtopic.php?f=197&t=2401224 full of happy Peak4 kiters :D

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Re: Considering a switch to foil kites

Postby downunder » Sun Mar 08, 2020 2:12 pm

Ok,

I will bite ;)

Today 3 of us. 12kn full of holes, one 9m Boxer, one 10m Cab, one 10m Soul.

All three of us agreed, the most fun doing backrolls etc was a guy on Cab.

Boxer did not even fly. Soul was all over the place when wind dropped and line tension did not exist. It was fighting the kite, all right, mostly on water start. Once going, sure its nice, but hard to get going.

With a LEI, super easy to loop the kite and get going on strapless HF.

Not so with a foil. Are we all forgetting that looping a kite is sometimes necessary...

So, horses for courses. It is absolutely a matter of taste. I would never ever buy a new foil just to discover that its not for me.

The best investment and fun/price ratio for me is Airush Ultra2. That thing does not drop from the sky that easy. Soul on the other hand will drop and when doing that it will loose a shape and get completely wet. Inside too.

When wet, this is not the same kite. The guys will claim that it is waterproof or whatever, but that is true only when new. Simply get the spare kit out and compare the fabric after 50hrs, than 100hrs etc

Good luck

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Re: Considering a switch to foil kites

Postby edt » Sun Mar 08, 2020 3:24 pm

When the soul falls in the water it's like it's made of anti-water stuff never gets wet can stay there for 15 minutes easy until you relaunch. Soul rarely drops out of the sky and after relaunch shakes all the water off and is good as new. At least that's how I felt, my friend has a 1 year old 10m soul so that's the one I borrow could be the one you tried is beat? If the wind is too gusty I will put the foil kite away and grab a tube kite tho as wing wraps are no fun. I think it's good that everyone tries a foil kite at least once, and if you are buying, keep some tube kites just in case. If you ever kite into hydrofoil racing you will be on a foil kite you have no choice.

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Re: Considering a switch to foil kites

Postby Alvaro » Sun Mar 08, 2020 4:17 pm

Thank you very much everyone for the well intentioned and very useful comments.

- Regarding the cold water, after 20 years living in Miami I just don’t feel like kiting in cold water, I am not brave enough. So that is not an issue.
- I think it’s a good idea not to get rid of my Rebels yet, and have them coexist with my new foil kite.
- It seems that a Soul 8m could replace wind-range wise my 7 and 9m Rebels.
- It seems that there is more than meets the eye when it comes to totally dominating a foil kite and it requires hours in the water with them.
- My 2018 (I think they are 2018) Rebels do fall from the sky although they relaunch easily unless the 5th line (I really dislike the 5th line) gets in the way.
- A foil kite doesn’t fall from the sky that easily, and today’s foils relaunch well.
- I am not looking to ride in <12/13 knots, I am not into super light wind.
- I am talking specifically for Foiling (no Twin Tips or Surf Boards)

So, looks like a 8M Soul could be it? Again, thank you everyone for the help.

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Re: Considering a switch to foil kites

Postby Peter_Frank » Sun Mar 08, 2020 5:28 pm

I agree with most comments here, ups and downs of both so depends on what you personally prefer.

But indeed it CAN replace two LEI kites, yes.

Only comment I strongly disagree with, is saying a LEI can loop you up better.
This is so not true - if you loop a foil kite, does not matter if a small 8 m2, or a 15 m2, you will get looooooads of powerspike.
This is the reason why it can go so low in windstrength, even if not that big.

By nature they can depower more when flown to the edge and either into the wind or downwind.

Thus both giving a foil kite a much bigger wind range :thumb:

But going halfwind you can get in trouble faster, because of this, but you will learn to edge or bear away instead.
Also, the peak power when looped is a downside for me personally, loving to play around carving in flattish water, or having fun in the waves, looping the kite a lot, and prefer the smooth pull without powerspikes for this.

Thus I dont like foil kites except for wind under 7 knots, where it is the only ones that works.
They dont really hang better in really light wind, as a strutless or superlight LEI hangs just as good, and even better in "difficult" winds actually - but a LEI has no chance of giving sufficient powerspike, so useless in low wind...
That was off topic though, as you are talking about smaller foil kites.

Locally around here, I have seen riders going both ways - changing to foil kites from LEI, or from foil kites to LEI.

In retroperpective, I can see a clear pattern, that those who like to go fast, go towards foil kites even if not racing, and those wanting to play around in the chop or waves or freestyle, change back to LEIs.

In general of course, nothing is black and white.

And some are using single skin Peak4 kites, and these are, to my knowledge, nothing like a foil kite (not same yank when looped) nor LEI kite - and could also be the choice as drifting incredibly well?

8) Peter

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Re: Considering a switch to foil kites

Postby BOEMIX » Sun Mar 08, 2020 6:04 pm

Both kites, inflatable and foils are good choices.

From my experience I think foils ard more geared towards light and stable winds, they have features like back line relaunch and solo launch that are a plus to have in light winds, and resist lulls better than inflatables.

However inflatables are better for high winds cause they resist gusts and variable winds better. Also ard easier to land in high wind, when foil kites are trickier and need an experienced helper to have everything ok.

So my best advice, get first a big foil, sell your biggest inglatable, and keep your smaller inflatables for higher winds.

Just my point of view, I don't want to start another tread of "inflatables are better" or "foils ard better".

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Re: Considering a switch to foil kites

Postby marlboroughman » Sun Mar 08, 2020 6:24 pm

The wing size plays a role in my thinking about it. I just started and have way more fun on big wing. My 8m 3-strut does reverse launch in 12knots no problem. I don't need anything bigger than 11m one strut for super light wind, so foil kite just does't make sense, for now. Also, I have some tricky launch spots here where I get away with inflatable, foil not so much.

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Re: Considering a switch to foil kites

Postby Peter_Frank » Sun Mar 08, 2020 6:28 pm

marlboroughman wrote:
Sun Mar 08, 2020 6:24 pm
The wing size plays a role in my thinking about it. I just started and have way more fun on big wing. My 8m 3-strut does reverse launch in 12knots no problem. I don't need anything bigger than 11m one strut for super light wind, so foil kite just does't make sense for now.

Remember he does not ask for a lightwind foil kite, but one for higher winds instead of LEIs :wink:

8) Peter

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Re: Considering a switch to foil kites

Postby tomtom » Sun Mar 08, 2020 7:42 pm

Perfect summary!
Peter_Frank wrote:
Sun Mar 08, 2020 5:28 pm
I agree with most comments here, ups and downs of both so depends on what you personally prefer.

But indeed it CAN replace two LEI kites, yes.

Only comment I strongly disagree with, is saying a LEI can loop you up better.
This is so not true - if you loop a foil kite, does not matter if a small 8 m2, or a 15 m2, you will get looooooads of powerspike.
This is the reason why it can go so low in windstrength, even if not that big.

By nature they can depower more when flown to the edge and either into the wind or downwind.

Thus both giving a foil kite a much bigger wind range :thumb:

But going halfwind you can get in trouble faster, because of this, but you will learn to edge or bear away instead.
Also, the peak power when looped is a downside for me personally, loving to play around carving in flattish water, or having fun in the waves, looping the kite a lot, and prefer the smooth pull without powerspikes for this.

Thus I dont like foil kites except for wind under 7 knots, where it is the only ones that works.
They dont really hang better in really light wind, as a strutless or superlight LEI hangs just as good, and even better in "difficult" winds actually - but a LEI has no chance of giving sufficient powerspike, so useless in low wind...
That was off topic though, as you are talking about smaller foil kites.

Locally around here, I have seen riders going both ways - changing to foil kites from LEI, or from foil kites to LEI.

In retroperpective, I can see a clear pattern, that those who like to go fast, go towards foil kites even if not racing, and those wanting to play around in the chop or waves or freestyle, change back to LEIs.

In general of course, nothing is black and white.

And some are using single skin Peak4 kites, and these are, to my knowledge, nothing like a foil kite (not same yank when looped) nor LEI kite - and could also be the choice as drifting incredibly well?

8) Peter


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