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Gong Strutless V4 review

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tomi3000
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Re: Gong Strutless V4 review

Postby tomi3000 » Wed Aug 18, 2021 10:06 am

I had Gong Strutless V2 9m and 12m and used them for a year or two. I didn't like them as they didn't work well for my hydrofoil riding style. After a while they started to invert in the air very easily when hit by a gust and were just PIA to use. These high aspect/no struts kites have no drift and if you want to use them for anything other than riding in a straight line they will suck. Then one day I tried Peak 4 and I knew this was exactly what I was looking for. For freeride HF use it is a true game changer.
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OFK (Mon Sep 06, 2021 12:57 pm)
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Re: Gong Strutless V4 review

Postby AndersP » Wed Aug 18, 2021 11:06 am

The velcro is for getting the right tension. Set and forget.
The forward pocket is for taking the batten in and out.

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Re: Gong Strutless V4 review

Postby OFK » Wed Aug 18, 2021 3:47 pm

tomi3000 wrote:
Wed Aug 18, 2021 10:06 am
I had Gong Strutless V2 9m and 12m and used them for a year or two. I didn't like them as they didn't work well for my hydrofoil riding style. After a while they started to invert in the air very easily when hit by a gust and were just PIA to use. These high aspect/no struts kites have no drift and if you want to use them for anything other than riding in a straight line they will suck. Then one day I tried Peak 4 and I knew this was exactly what I was looking for. For freeride HF use it is a true game changer.
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.

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Re: Gong Strutless V4 review

Postby Kiteski » Thu Aug 19, 2021 6:30 am

I picked up a 9m for foiling on a whim, as I was sick of swimming with my older foil kite when the wind is low and I make an error.

I have been out on it once (with 633) and it was pretty good. Started around 10-12 kn I think and steadily dropped off to nothing. I was happy to make it back in though with a dry kite whilst my two friends swam and walked ; )

I was very happy with stability and zero front stall. It hangs in the air nicely.

I think it is awesome looking (I got green and blue I think). Seems like solid construction.

I also got the Gong bar which seems kinda cheap maybe, but functional.

Out of the box, once rigged, I found the back lines too long (super slack with zero front line trim) so I shortened the back by making another knot on the kite pigtails (I like having backstall available).

I was hoping it would have more power through a loop to get me up and going in light wind but maybe I can dial in technique with more sessions. I think turning speed was like average, I dunno, wind was light.

I flew it with the battens but understand you can go without the ear battens but I wonder if you can also skip the center one? Not sure. Pros and cons? Worth a shot? Maybe better relaunch with battens? I dunno

The clear issue with tube kites for foiling is relaunch in light wind and lulls. We’ll see how that goes...

Looking forward to the next sesh with a bit more wind. Should be able to rip upwind and I feel like it will drift downwind pretty well (for an lei)

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Re: Gong Strutless V4 review

Postby apollo4000 » Thu Aug 19, 2021 7:28 am

OFK wrote:
Wed Aug 18, 2021 3:47 pm
tomi3000 wrote:
Wed Aug 18, 2021 10:06 am
I had Gong Strutless V2 9m and 12m and used them for a year or two. I didn't like them as they didn't work well for my hydrofoil riding style. After a while they started to invert in the air very easily when hit by a gust and were just PIA to use. These high aspect/no struts kites have no drift and if you want to use them for anything other than riding in a straight line they will suck. Then one day I tried Peak 4 and I knew this was exactly what I was looking for. For freeride HF use it is a true game changer.
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.
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romainlp (Thu Aug 19, 2021 8:37 pm)
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OFK
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Re: Gong Strutless V4 review

Postby OFK » 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
tomi3000 wrote:
Wed Aug 18, 2021 10:06 am
I had Gong Strutless V2 9m and 12m and used them for a year or two. I didn't like them as they didn't work well for my hydrofoil riding style. After a while they started to invert in the air very easily when hit by a gust and were just PIA to use. These high aspect/no struts kites have no drift and if you want to use them for anything other than riding in a straight line they will suck. Then one day I tried Peak 4 and I knew this was exactly what I was looking for. For freeride HF use it is a true game changer.
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...
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apollo4000 (Mon Sep 06, 2021 11:11 am)
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jaros
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Re: Gong Strutless V4 review

Postby jaros » 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

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Re: Gong Strutless V4 review

Postby AndersP » Mon Sep 06, 2021 9:50 am

Inverting is a problem with strutless kites.

Don't let kite overfly you. If you yank the front lines be prepared to brake with the steering lines. There is no structure (struts) that will stop the inverting.

Always have some tension in the backlines when the the kite is getting close to the edge of the wind window.

When you get used to it's not a big problem. If the kite have multiple bridle attachments you can put it in the atachment that is closest to the backline.
You will loose some sheet range deep in the window but you will gain more stability and power at the edge of the window.

Last but not least, don't fly strutless kites overpowered.
Battens helps a bit but they are far from the stiffnes of struts.

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Re: Gong Strutless V4 review

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

Before Peaks I was using strutless kites for 3 years in sizes 12, 9, 7, 5, (Storm Voyager) and 3m2 (Gong V2) and they never inverted in the air on me. Only once when hammerd in the water really hard, one got inverted (or something), but it was such a hard crash that i was really glad it did not rip apart.
The strutless Gong V2 in size 3m2 is a great and forgiving kite, to bad they do not make sizes smaller than 5 anymore. I allways use it without a batten.

"Pump it hard" was one and only tip I got from the Storm designer, when buying a first strutless kite from him... and I am doing it so ever since... :D

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Re: Gong Strutless V4 review

Postby apollo4000 » Mon Sep 06, 2021 11:12 am

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...
Thanks for this. Really interesting insights


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