drsurf wrote: ↑
Mon Oct 05, 2020 1:30 pm
Flyboy wrote: ↑
Mon Oct 05, 2020 7:41 am
So, we seem to go round in circles on this a bit. There's a consensus that the 5m, 4m, & 3m are "fun" because they are small, light & lively with great drift for riding downwind on waves or swell. But there's some hesitation about recommending the bigger sizes because they are slower & so lack some of the qualities that make the smaller ones appealing. However ... there's still a place for a kite that works in light wind ie. sub-10 knots for an average ( 75 - 85 kg) foiler. For that wind you could get a 10m or bigger Soul, but that's a lot more expensive & "complicated than a Peak4. An 8m Peak4 may not be as much fun as the smaller Peaks, but how much Peak4 fun performance is it reasonable to expect in 10 knots or less?
So, you come back to the question of how light a wind do you want to foil in? Will 8m Peak4 will start working in 9 knots? A 5m Peak4 in 12 knots? Perhaps a 6m Peak4 will start working in 10 knots? I think I'm happy with foiling in 10 knots & above rather than chasing the really low wind days. So a choice between an 8m & 5m quiver, or a 6m & 4m quiver?
There's really a simple explanation regarding the performance of Peak4 kites of various sizes and it's basically due to simple physics. First however I define the Peak4 as a kite best suited to surf hydrofoils of approx. 1000 sq cm and larger. So this tends to mean where not going for high speed or jumping but manoeuvrability.
So given these hydrofoil parameters we want a kite that offers manoeuvrability to match the foil in a wide range of wind conditions. The lightness of the Peak4 and the fact that it sits deep in the wind window gives manoeuvrability even in gusty conditions where other kites may overfly or stall. Accordingly a smaller kite gives more responsiveness to aid manoeuvrability because it is so light and the wind it requires to develop enough power to foil is correspondingly higher. Of course higher wind speed means more energy at your disposal as the energy embodied in the wind increases exponentially with the wind speed. A small Peak4 can also deal with gusty wind with lulls as it can be moved fast within the window to increase apparent wind for periods of time. So this paragraph pretty well covers the experience of flying a 3m, 4m and 5m Peak4 which can cover, depending on your weight, foil and skill, in winds from 10 to 30 knots.
So the physics above deals with the fun winds for kitefoiling, so when it's 10 knots or less it's the domain of the 8m, 111m and 13m Peak4 kites. However although most of the sizes of Peak4 kites will fly in 3knots, you are not likely to get enough power to foil satisfactorily until approx. 6 knots of wind. So in essence you have three sizes of kite that are focused on quite a narrow range of wind from say 6 knots to 12 knots, as after 12 knots you'll probably enjoy a 5m more. That's not to say that these larger sizes won't work in 12 knots plus however.
So given the narrow range of wind where these big kites will get you foiling, the exponential forces come into play in reverse in that the lighter the wind the more challenging it is to get enough energy out of it to foil. Surface area will get you there but the physical forces of friction also increase with size so you enter a situation of diminishing returns.
So more wind = smaller P4's = more fun. And this applies to all kites regardless of type. You can get around the forces of friction with a more efficient design of kite like having double skins. However you then add weight of material plus the weight of the air trapped inside which = less manoeuvrability an high $$.
So a Peak4 kite is a compromise in lighter winds with sizes 8 to 13. However it is a very good compromise if your using the kite within the parameters I outlined at the start, and you'll be foiling when most other kiters have packed up or their kites have fallen from the sky.
One other point, when it's stated that a Peak4 8m, 11m or 13m kite is slow ... compared to what?? Given the power a Peak4 produces for its size, it's usually considerably faster in turning and speed
through the air than a comparable inflatable or twin skin kite. Remember an 8m Peak4 for example is roughly equivalent to a 12m inflatable kite which, unless it's made from Aluula, is a relatively slow kite, especially in 10 knots!
So if you've got a surf foil and your wind speed is often 6 to 10 knots, try a Peak4 8m, 11m or 13m. For the relatively low price I can guarantee it's the best bang for your buck you'll find until Armin and Flysurfer bring our something better
This post by DrSurf is just brilliant....nicely sums up the Peak4. I have a 5m and love it....rarely fly my LEI kites anymore. However, the 5m doesn't cut the mustard in lower winds....I can not generate enough power to get me out of the water and onto the board. I'm sure the combo of 200lb and lack of skill is the reason. I think the most power is needed when getting out of the water and up on the board.....the other phases I believe require less? Which is what is going to drive the proper kite size for ME and my local conditions. On light days, I've tried and tried....loops and figure 8 and boxes...nothing works for me. Try to fly the kite with just a bit less sheeting than that for making it flap (over-sheeted). Very frustrating as I wanna RIDE !
So I am seriously considering a 13m Peak4. I ride small midwest lake surrounded by trees and bluffs, so the wind is not steady at all. I'd prefer to fly the smallest kite possible, so considered an 8m also...but logically all else being the same the 13m will allow me to get onto the board in a couple knots less wind than the 8m right ?? Maybe another question is how much more power would the 8m and 13m allow me to generate during getting up on the board phase, compared to the 5m ? probably hard to answer that.... I do know that several riders on this thread who have similar weights to me say the 13m gets them going in 6-8kts.....which is very encouraging. I do have a large board, but not a large wing, but I don't thing the wind size really matters in the getting out of the water and on the board phase, right?
My two fears with the 13m are how it is going to handle gusts, and how I will handle a deep-water pack-down if it goes in. If the wind is 4G20 knots...is it crazy to have a 13m Peak up during those gusts? Flysurfer says 3-13, but I believe a video by AdventureLogs shows him flying it in 16kts or so with no problems. If anyone who owns a 13m can comment on what happens in high winds, or even if there is a limit before the kite goes wonky, that would be VERY helpful !!! I have flown the 5m in winds with some gusts strong enough to deform it, but never felt unsafe or scared (like I would with an LEI in similar conditions). Our light winds can be pretty light for a long period of time, but big gusts do happen. It is not fun sitting out on the water flying the 5m in 5-ish kts and no gusts....I eventually get pushed onto the opposite shore and the wind is to light for me to body drag upwind and continue to wait for a gust to get up and ride. Am hoping the 13m will solve this problem so I can ride on those days !
I guess the summary of this lengthy post is: how much more does the 13m extend the low end compared to the 8m, all else being the same??? I assume from DrSurf quoted post, rider weight is what determines getting an 8m, 11m, or 13m ?
Thanks in advance,