from years of sailing with one of my foiling buddies who has had a17mtr gong strutless for 2-3 years, I can totally relate to the above reply, I have been comparing the pros and cons between strutless and my own ultra light new generation foil kites and earlier lei kites.dave1986 wrote: ↑Thu May 28, 2020 4:40 pmThe issue for ultra light-wind hydrofoiling with a tube kite tends not to be not enough power, but keeping the kite flying.
For example in 8 knots a 15m tube kite will probably give enough power, but it will also begin to be unstable and high risk of falling out of the sky. At 6 knots it will be extremely tough to keep it flying. So regardless whether the size is big enough to board-start, you are at high risk of swimming due to the kite falling in the lulls.
In contrast an ultralight foil kite will keep stable in 2 or 3 knots of wind. So you have a much larger buffer margin for error in case of lulls in the wind.
In answer to your question. I think a 15m strutless kite will be enough in 8 knots with good skill. But be careful as you'll have little margin for error.
The only comment missing from the above reply is the fact that the strutless large gongs 12mtr and 17mtr have a very narrow wind range, above which they pull like a truck, which is very hard to cope with, being big and strong and loving heavy on the bar feeling kites helps when being overpowered, but not enjoyed my many,
However,when used In their range, and in safe onshore conditions sailing close to shore, then the fact they are mega cheap is their ace card. great value, and they certainly work well
In many ways much better than most lei strut kites, more hover, but certainly less relaunch ability
and of course leis have the downsides of more cost and falling more easily in slack line minimal wind conditions, and the more struts the lei has the more weight to bring it down and keep it there.
if cost is a barrier to buying recent versions of freeride foil kites then remember you can buy just one ulight foil kite to replace 2 lei kites, or when "foil kite skilled" then many foil kite users on foil boards manage quite well on one foil kite for "all" conditions, but that takes lots of practice and time.