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Gong Strutless V4 review

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tomi3000
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Re: Gong Strutless V4 review

Postby tomi3000 » Mon Sep 06, 2021 2:27 pm

OFK wrote:
Mon Sep 06, 2021 3:27 am
apollo4000 wrote:
Thu Aug 19, 2021 7:28 am
OFK wrote:
Wed Aug 18, 2021 3:47 pm


That is pretty discouraging to hear, but I fear I will be agreeing with you once I get some time on this thing. Currently I am using my 14m Airush DNA or 9m Lithium to foil. The 9m is much better since it responds to inputs so quickly, but at 220 lbs it just doesn’t have enough ummphh to get me started in really light winds. That is why I went with an 11m from Gong. More ummphh than my 9, but better turning than my 14 and hopefully stays in the air better than both of them due to lighter weight per meter. After seeing this high aspect ratio, however, I am afraid turning won’t be so easy.
Post a review once you’ve tested it.
well this isn't a thorough review, but an update after using it for 5 sessions. Always riding my old LF Foilfish foilboard. First session was horrible, but it is a new kite and you are always going to have a learning period. More importantly, wind was much too strong. Close to 20mph if not above. I only took it out because my old 9meter Airush broke a connector right before launch. Second session was much more enjoyable, but only a half hour and still some struggles. Definitely not a fast turning kite. You need a lot of pull to get it to respond. Third session I went for an hour and a half. Did some distance with a 5 mile bay crossing and back. Went down ( off board...not kite) several times, but that is probably more a reflection of my weak foilboarding skills than kite performance. The last minute of this session, however something happened that was a bit surprising and concerning. Getting close to shore, there may have been some wind shadow or I was riding directly downwind to come in ... i can't remember exactly, but kite started to backstall. I yanked on front lines like I always do with other kites to get it back up to 12 oclock. Kite leading edge deformed as I have seen before ( more often in high wind ) and BOOM kite was inverted. And I don't mean lines inverted. What exactly it did, I am not sure I am clear on myself how to describe... but nose must have flipped between tips somehow and canopy was just.... inside out ??? Inverted lines, I can correct on the water, but I don't believe their is any recovery from this. It is surely what tomi3000 is mentioning above. I was only in waist high water, but i had to actually get to the kite and hold LE while pulling middle section of canopy back around to the right side. There was plenty of tension in canopy. I believe there is zero chance you can correct this inversion from far by manipulating lines. I had wrapped lines around control bar to get to kite and it was too sketchy to unwind with kite then catching wind on the water so I just carried everything to shore.

I just had my 5th session today after being out of town two weeks for work. Everything OK for 20 minutes. Had just gotten tossed off board and was getting ready to water launch when there was lull. Then came the backstall, then the yank... then the inversion. Seems like it almost likes to invert. This time i was in deep water a few hundred yards from shore. Since I had at least 20 minutes to float in, I had plenty of time to study the situation and gentlemen..... it is not good. If someone knows a trick to un-invert with lines unwound, i would love to hear it, but i don't think it's possible. I wrapped lines and got to kite, but then was flummoxed on how to flip canopy without making a god awful mess of the remainder of my lines. When I could stand, I forced the canopy back to right side and began unwinding my lines. Then in the waves ( they weren't very big ) it somehow managed to invert again !!! I then gave up and was planning to relaunch from a sandbar when i spotted a 4x4 inch L-shaped ripped in canopy. Probably made it when crawling all over kite determining best was to un-invert. Session over.

So 5 sessions and I have experienced two unrecoverable inversions. I plan to start a new thread on this specific topic with pics and perhaps a video link. I think the best solution to this problem is to avoid having it in the first place, but I am afraid that may be easier said than done...
Inverting was more frequent when I was using Gong Strutless 9m in gusty wind then with 12m size. When it happened the session was over as with all the swimming in, resetting the kite I was done for a day. I think partially to blame is kite design specific for Gong Strutless - long leading edge, high aspect, no struts obviously. If it was more delta shaped e.g BRM or UFO it would drift better and require less support for the leadding edge that is proned to twisting. Also I found that the weight destribution was not great with haevy leading edge and light conopy making kite suseptible to inveresions. In my case using batton did not make any difference and kite would invert anyway. Maybe if it was made of Alula or allow for very high pressure inflation it would be better but IDK.

In light wind it can be interesting to play with Going strutless as you can easily make it hindenburg by overflying it to zenith and then to depower it so that it loses lift, falls from the sky and you can catch it in your hands. Cool trick but not really usefull. In gust wind this can easly result with inversion. For me sometimes I was still able to keep the kite flying inverted, it was making returning to shore a bit easier then having to perform self rescue.

Sollution for me was buying Flysurfer Peak 4 and getting rid of Gong kites all together.

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Re: Gong Strutless V4 review

Postby OFK » Mon Sep 06, 2021 7:46 pm

jaros wrote:
Mon Sep 06, 2021 6:25 am
Hi OFK,
Are you sure your kite was inflated well? Strutless kites need high internal pressure.
Greetings,
Jaros
.
kite recommendation is 8-10 psi. I used to fly a lot of used kites which, of course, meant lots of bladder work so i got gun shy from high inflation pressures. That last inversion was at about 8.25 according to the gauge on my electric pump. I will try higher from now on, but I don't think it will save me if I continue with my current behavior. Reading the other responses to my post, I think, I will have to learn to recover from a backstall with a little more finesse and little less yank...
.
.

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Re: Gong Strutless V4 review

Postby OFK » Mon Sep 06, 2021 8:25 pm

.
for those who don't know, this is what the inversion looks like on the water. I am thinking now you have to swim between tips, grab center of LE ( if possible ), flip it over towards you, then grab the center batten working way from LE to trailing edge till canopy flips back. you will then be under kite in full wind catching mode, possible wrapped in bridle... could get dicey.... have a good knife ready.

scratch that.. I just tried it in the yard standing up and it took a bit. Bobbing in the water trying to keep out of your lines... that would be a crazy challenge if even possible.

I am thinking now would be a lot easier without that center batten installed. i will try that next session after my tear is repaired. I want to avoid this again, but if it does happen, I would like to be able to recover without completely swimming in.
.
Attachments
Gong Invert.JPG

OFK
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Re: Gong Strutless V4 review

Postby OFK » Mon Sep 06, 2021 8:37 pm

tomi3000 wrote:
Mon Sep 06, 2021 2:27 pm

....Sollution for me was buying Flysurfer Peak 4 and getting rid of Gong kites all together.
yeah. I am looking at Peak 4's already, but this Gong purchase is still way too fresh. Gotta try to make that lemonade you know ?
.

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Re: Gong Strutless V4 review

Postby jaros » Mon Sep 06, 2021 10:13 pm

OFK wrote:
Mon Sep 06, 2021 7:46 pm
kite recommendation is 8-10 psi. I used to fly a lot of used kites which, of course, meant lots of bladder work so i got gun shy from high inflation pressures. That last inversion was at about 8.25 according to the gauge on my electric pump. I will try higher from now on, but I don't think it will save me if I continue with my current behavior. Reading the other responses to my post, I think, I will have to learn to recover from a backstall with a little more finesse and little less yank...
Ok, that should be enough pressure, if your gauge is showing the right number, so underiflation is most likely not the problem in your case...

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Re: Gong Strutless V4 review

Postby AndersP » Tue Sep 07, 2021 10:20 am

I always pump my Gongkites to 10 psi. 3struts and no strut. That is with my pressure meter, no guaranties for other meters.

The sound when i tap it is more ping than boff.
It's not recommended to slam it hard to ground though.

It is possible but not reccomended to kite with an inverted kite. I've seen some being able to kite to the shore with inverted kites. Just put as little presure as possible on the kite. NO GUARANTIES that it will work.

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Re: Gong Strutless V4 review

Postby OFK » Wed Sep 08, 2021 3:40 pm

AndersP wrote:
Tue Sep 07, 2021 10:20 am
I always pump my Gongkites to 10 psi. 3struts and no strut. That is with my pressure meter, no guaranties for other meters.

The sound when i tap it is more ping than boff.
It's not recommended to slam it hard to ground though.

It is possible but not reccomended to kite with an inverted kite. I've seen some being able to kite to the shore with inverted kites. Just put as little presure as possible on the kite. NO GUARANTIES that it will work.
I am pretty sure to fly inverted, you would need higher winds than i have experienced my inversions in. Winds were so light, i was backstalling with the kite normal. It only inverted, because of the immense pressure I put on it yanking on the front lines to get it back up to 12 oclock after getting real close to the water. Once inverted in those light winds, there is no flying it anymore... just watching it crash.
.


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