Contact   Imprint   Advertising   Guidelines

High wind foiling

A forum dedicated to Hydrofoil riders
User avatar
Very Frequent Poster
Posts: 2190
Joined: Sun Apr 01, 2007 7:36 pm
Kiting since: 2006
Weight: 75 kg
Local Beach: Virginia Beach
Style: Race
Gear: ML B3
R1V2 11. VMG 13, 15, 18
OR Mako 130x35
Brand Affiliation: None
Has thanked: 8 times
Been thanked: 15 times

Re: High wind foiling

Postby davesails7 » Sat Oct 17, 2020 3:39 am

Peter_Frank wrote:
Fri Oct 16, 2020 11:37 am
True, from 25 knots a 3 m2 is too big for the average weights...
Do you go to shorter lines for higher winds? For race foilers now, 11m kite is no problem in 25 knots, but on 10m-12m lines. Or do you prefer to stick with long lines to take the smallest kite possible?

User avatar
Frequent Poster
Posts: 466
Joined: Sat Jul 24, 2010 6:22 am
Kiting since: 1996
Local Beach: Comox, BC
Style: Hydrofoil mostly
Gear: Lift 170 Fish & 110 wingsets, 32" strut
Ocean Rodeo & BRM kites
Brand Affiliation: Comox Kite Repair
Location: Comox, BC CANADA
Has thanked: 8 times
Been thanked: 49 times

Re: High wind foiling

Postby GregK » Sat Oct 17, 2020 6:20 am

Somewhere around 35 knots with 2.8m BRM Cloud E & either Lift 170Fish or Armstrong 1050HA foil ; 80 kg rider. How steady or gusty the wind is plays heavily in my decision on whether or not to go out on foil.

Takes some getting used to the speed of tiny kites and how suddenly they can generate pull. For high wind foiling, a tiny kite needs to be designed for foiling where instant and full depower ability is more important than bar load when heavily sheeted in, or more specifically the front bridle's tow point needs to be slightly forward of the kite's centre of lift, not at or slightly aft of it.

Sounds like the OP's 5m is designed for surface board riding.

User avatar
Very Frequent Poster
Posts: 1470
Joined: Fri Nov 10, 2017 6:36 pm
Local Beach: Shhhhh
Favorite Beaches: Nude
Gear: The good stuff
Brand Affiliation: None
Has thanked: 218 times
Been thanked: 427 times

Re: High wind foiling

Postby jumptheshark » Sat Oct 17, 2020 7:45 am

davesails7 wrote:
Sat Oct 17, 2020 3:39 am
Peter_Frank wrote:
Fri Oct 16, 2020 11:37 am
True, from 25 knots a 3 m2 is too big for the average weights...
Do you go to shorter lines for higher winds? For race foilers now, 11m kite is no problem in 25 knots, but on 10m-12m lines. Or do you prefer to stick with long lines to take the smallest kite possible?
Ridden peaks on 12 to 28m enough now to have an idea of what I like. Done with 28m. The 5m has a 22m set up. The 4 on 17 and 3 on 16. Peaks have pretty long bridles. like 4-5m so the kites are actually:

5m at 27m
4 at around 22m
and the 3 at about 20m

Only played with 12m lines on the 4, and always really powered. Don't like it that much yet. Definitely wave oriented. Airs are harder. Likely save really short lines for drift launch.

For now, 17 feels like a good balance between dexterity and lift on small kites in real wind.

I reserve the right to change my mind.

User avatar
Very Frequent Poster
Posts: 10256
Joined: Wed Oct 16, 2002 1:00 am
Brand Affiliation: None
Location: Denmark
Has thanked: 273 times
Been thanked: 319 times

Re: High wind foiling

Postby Peter_Frank » Sat Oct 17, 2020 8:11 am

davesails7 wrote:
Sat Oct 17, 2020 3:39 am
Peter_Frank wrote:
Fri Oct 16, 2020 11:37 am
True, from 25 knots a 3 m2 is too big for the average weights...
Do you go to shorter lines for higher winds? For race foilers now, 11m kite is no problem in 25 knots, but on 10m-12m lines. Or do you prefer to stick with long lines to take the smallest kite possible?

Ha haa, yes it is actually amazing, funny to some extent, to see that a racefoiler can use a kite 3 to 4 times as big, on the very same day.

If out in 11 knots with a 5 m2 Peak on a surf wing, a racefoiler could be out with a 21 m2 kite, and we both have fun :rollgrin:

No, I dont use/like (much) shorter lines in higher winds, for surf foils Uwhich are the types the OP are talking about) - does not work for me at all.

With small LEIs I use longer lines than for my foil kites, also the small ones.

Small kites has a more on/off feel, so sometimes longer lines is a plus, to get them more dynamically satisfactory in terms of handling and surfing.

It is not about holding a bigger kite, or a smaller kite in more wind - it is all about having the right feel and dynamic in terms of power delivery and carving :thumb:

Foil kites: For 3-4-5 m2 I use 20-21 m lines, for the 8 m2 I use 27 m, and 30 m on the 15 m2 but only used when wind below 7 knots.
For LEI kites I use(d) 26 m on the small ones 3.5 to 9 m2, and 30 m on the bigger ones.

Definitely a bit shorter on the small foil kites, works for me, but not shorter than 20 m - I dislike that, way too little range and low end, and feels wrong.
This is the most important feature with the small foil kites used for waves or carving, for me :D

8) Peter

Very Frequent Poster
Posts: 2398
Joined: Fri Oct 21, 2005 11:35 am
Has thanked: 2 times
Been thanked: 101 times

Re: High wind foiling

Postby OzBungy » Sat Oct 17, 2020 8:37 am

Rule 1 of foiling is you can make almost anything work in almost any conditions. It's partly technique and partly attitude. Just get on with it and make it happen.

Thing is, no matter what people on the forum say, you're the one who has to go out and make it work. I would suggest you probably know more than enough to formulate a plan and work out how to deal with stronger conditions in a way that is fun for you.

My basic rule of thumb is that I can foil happily on a kite half the size of the TT and SB kiters. Recently I've been going the same size, or bigger, just to work out how to deal with power and exploring the expanded capabilities you get with more power on a foil. It's fun. Foils love a shedload of power.

My smallest kite is a 4m. I don't feel the need to go any smaller. Others might. It works in a wide range of winds but is happiest starting at 20-25 knots and gets very nice above 30. It's reasonably happy above 40 but it shakes and quivers like a yappy dog on a lead when squalls come through. I would suggest any small kite will work above 40 knots but it's not the most sensible thing to be doing. I've been experimenting with the wingding for 40-50 knot days with varying degrees of success. A big wingding board becomes a missile when the wind picks it up. I'm going to try a kite foil board with a variety of foils and see how that goes.

One of my favourite strong wind things to do is send the kite back, carve onto the wave and then leave the kite behind me. If the wind is strong enough the kite will happily drift backwards. You can get in a bunch of wiggley turns then either turn back to the kite or flick the bar and have the kite come across the window. That solves the problem of getting pulled off the wave by the kite.

My local sites are adjacent to weather bureau monitoring stations. Those stations and decades of experience mean we have a fairly good idea of what the wind is doing at our local spots. We're certainly not standing on the beach waving around hand held wind meters.

Frequent Poster
Posts: 261
Joined: Fri Sep 07, 2018 5:42 pm
Kiting since: 2000
Local Beach: NSW South Coast
Gear: Too much too describe
Brand Affiliation: Whatever I sell
Has thanked: 9 times
Been thanked: 110 times

Re: High wind foiling

Postby drsurf » Sat Oct 17, 2020 4:13 pm

Flyboy wrote:
Fri Oct 16, 2020 4:42 pm
The progression for me, & I suspect a lot of other people: you start with the idea to foil in light winds - say 10 - 15 knots, when It's not possible or not interesting to kite with a SB or TT. As you get more competent you start nudging the wind range higher to 15 - 20. You discover that riding swells on a foil is very fun ... & the great thing is you can carve down wind on the swells & then ride back upwind in one tack & do it all again. :thumb:

My local wave conditions are entirely wind-driven. Waves start to get rideable at around 20 knots, but don't get really interesting until 25 knots. I'm looking to try foiling in those 20 - 25 knot conditions. I don't really expect to foil in anything above that because that would be great SB territory.

5m LEI is too much for me on a foil in 20 - 25. Never used anything smaller than a 5m on a SB, because wind over 35 knots is generally so unstable riding with a smaller kite would usually just be too on/off to be enjoyable. However, I'm guessing that 20 - 25 knots with a 3.5 on a foil would be fine as you're just using the kite to add a bit of speed to the foil when you need it.
Your comments sound like me when I started foiling, I'll have something for those crappy light wind days. And I did, and my kites were 5m and above so with my 65kg I was getting overpowered riding wind swells like yourself in 18 knots plus winds. Also when the wind dropped a few knots I had to focus more on the kite in downwind manoeuvres so it didn't drop.

Then I read the then just beginning Peak4 thread on this forum, with Horst Sergio trying a 3m Peak4 snow kite on a foil in stronger winds and having fun. With a 3m Peak4 being the cheapest small kite on the market I thought I'd give it a go. It was initially a bit strange as I tried it in approx 12-15 knots and it was very sensitive to bar position and fast. It took a bit of flogging the kite around to get on the foil but then I was sold. It was a revelation compared to other kites. Because the whole kite weighs only 620 grams, it drifted like no other kite and was incredibly responsive on waves. In its range you can do a 180 degree turn onto a wave face and go downwind with the wave and the kite just hangs in the air and you're almost completely powered by the wave on your surf foil.

I've just been out today on the 3m with wind ranging from 10 to 18 knots. When it dropped below 12 knots I came in for 15 minutes and when it was 12 -15 knots I was just able to go back out and get up on the foil and then I was fine. I can use the 3m until 25 knots then it gets too much power and I outrun the waves, though I can still mow the lawn. But I'm amazed at how low I can go in wind speed and still keep foiling on the 3m Peak4. I find the smallest Peak4 kite that can get my arse out of the water is the most fun on a surf foil and I have the 3m, 4m, 5m and 8m sizes.

By the way, I do have a TT and surfboard in the back of the car for the 25 knot plus days, along with some LEI kites. Can't remember when I last used them and I've been kiting more than ever over the past year :D
These users thanked the author drsurf for the post (total 2):
Flyboy (Sat Oct 17, 2020 11:49 pm) • wheat (Wed Oct 21, 2020 5:42 am)
Rating: 16.67%

Medium Poster
Posts: 177
Joined: Tue Apr 02, 2019 1:53 pm
Local Beach: Jones Beach, The Gorge
Favorite Beaches: La Ventana
Style: Hydrofoil
Gear: Flysurfer Soul, BRM Clouds, Moses
Brand Affiliation: None
Has thanked: 88 times
Been thanked: 24 times

Re: High wind foiling

Postby PurdyKiter » Sat Oct 17, 2020 8:20 pm

GregK wrote:
Sat Oct 17, 2020 6:20 am
Somewhere around 35 knots with 2.8m BRM Cloud E & either Lift 170Fish or Armstrong 1050HA foil ; 80 kg rider. How steady or gusty the wind is plays heavily in my decision on whether or not to go out on foil.
Been thinking about this. I'm happy all summer in the Gorge (Rufus) in 35+ with a 2.8 Cloud and a Stringy wing (think of 633-like). But... here I am now in fall storms and 35+ feels entirely knarly different.

User avatar
Very Frequent Poster
Posts: 1782
Joined: Thu Oct 17, 2002 1:00 am
Brand Affiliation: None
Has thanked: 61 times
Been thanked: 87 times

Re: High wind foiling

Postby Flyboy » Tue Oct 20, 2020 4:37 am

The wind range on a foil with a single kite is quite impressive. Just had a session using a 6m tube kite. I was anticipating the wind would pick up (as forecast). It never did, so I was lightly powered in perhaps 11 knots gusting to around 14. It was still quite enjoyable riding the swells with very little pull in the kite & the occasional looping to keep the foil going.

It takes me think that something like a 3.5 tube would probably be adequate starting at 18 knots & then hang in there up to 30 knots.

User avatar
Very Frequent Poster
Posts: 947
Joined: Tue May 14, 2002 1:00 am
Kiting since: 1999
Local Beach: New Brighton
Gear: Alkita boards
Zeeko Slash/AirWave/Scrambler
Spitfire XLW/ XXLW. GoFoil Kai/Iwa
GK Trix
FS Peak4
HB Legion
Brand Affiliation: GK enthusiast
Location: Te Wai Pounamu
Has thanked: 25 times
Been thanked: 86 times

Re: High wind foiling

Postby bragnouff » Tue Oct 20, 2020 10:30 am

I guess it depends heavily on the spot and wind direction, but at my local ocean beach in cross-onshore over 30kts, it gets quite rough. The ratio of whitewater to clean un-churned water isn't really favorable to foiling anymore. The water condition is actually more of a problem than the strength of the wind. It's just not the right tool for the job anymore, and there are much better options, like 5m and SB. On our mountain lakes however, strong winds are much more manageable, and are usable on foils. The foil can handle a fair bit of overpowering, provided you go hard upwind and hard downwind (which is where the fun is). I have used a 4m Airush DNA in about 30-35kts, and also later that day with a surfboard, and a TT successfully, as if the lower end advantage of the foil was getting thinner. Maybe when the wind is really strong, anything just works, you can always find some power somehow to get you up to speed. Also when wind is really strong, surfboards and TT perform much better in terms of upwind ability, downwind runs and drift, so when compared to foils, the advantages of the foil become much less obvious. It's just a matter of choice, not of necessity, to foil in those conditions (unlike in sub 15kts).
In the end, it's good to mix it up!
I don't think I'd need a kite smaller than that 4m (or even than my good 5m), as the surfboard is typically a more suitable vessel for these conditions, manageable till mid forties, and then again, it's also the water conditions that start to dictate if it's still enjoyable or just survival.

Mossy 757
Very Frequent Poster
Posts: 1852
Joined: Fri Sep 11, 2015 5:10 pm
Local Beach: First Landing State Park, Virginia Beach Oceanfront
Style: Kitefoil
Gear: Delta Hydrofoil and board. Cabrinha Velocity 9m, Flysurfer Sonic2 11m, Ozone R1V2 15m
Has thanked: 41 times
Been thanked: 69 times

Re: High wind foiling

Postby Mossy 757 » Tue Oct 20, 2020 4:15 pm

One thing to think about is that you basically can't send it reliably on anything smaller than a 7m without risking a trip down the elevator shaft in the descent. So while many of you may select a kite primarily on its ability to provide suitable traction to power your foil, if you want to go ballistic and foilboost (which I would argue one should strongly consider doing), you'll want something with some size and you'll want lines that aren't max length so the kite is controllable.

I was out last week really lit on my 15m R1V2 and did a little baby-send on port that's fun!

Return to “Hydrofoil”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 5 guests