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No information and lack of exposure

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CARMELHILL
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No information and lack of exposure

Postby CARMELHILL » Sat Apr 27, 2019 11:52 pm

This is going to be a little lengthy and all over the place...

I don't see any magazine exposure for foil kites and information is sparse. It drives me crazy. I looked through my last three mags and found one ad from Flysurfer. Not a single picture in the 3 mags of a kiter using a foil kite. Yet you check youtube videos and they seam to be everywhere, especially Miami and Tampa.

I've been kiting since 2004. Went from 2004 Cabrinha c kites (9,12,23) to 2006 Best bows (9, 14, 20), and in 2017 bought a Cabrinha Switchblade 14 after having problems with all my Best bladders finally falling apart. I love my Switchblade but I'm getting a little tired of the pumping and pack up. I kite on Long Island NY but travel to Lido Beach Florida in April and Cresecent Beach Florida in August. I'm VERY interested in a Ozone Hyperlink V2 to get started and maybe a higher aspect wing once I get going. This summer I'm going to give foilboarding a try with a 2018 Naish KS1 wing and Thrust wing with 40cm and 90 cm masts.

But what gives with the lack of exposure? It's absolutely impossible to find a youtube video with anyone wavesurfing with a foil which worries me. The kites look more durable than a LEI, and I haven't dropped by kite in a few years. That brings me to something else....I don't understand the hoopla about water relaunching. We are not ALL pros trying the latest tricks. Make me a mid-level aspect ratio kite with good behaviors so I can go out an enjoy myself, instead of trying to push the limits of physics and kite in 2 knots of wind.

I need quick and easy setup, quick and easy breakdown, less maintenance, and maybe 2 kites to cover all my wind range.

How do you feel about this? Where is the exposure, where are the advertisers for foils, are they too expensive to make so there are smaller margins and they can't afford to advertise. I think a good LEI can last about 7 to 10 years if you take care of it. Do foils last so long that they can't afford to sell them?

I truly think if they could get these costs down a little more, than more guys would enter this sport. It has gotten WAY too expensive since I started in 2004. I priced a North bar last year at between $650 and $800. Screw that. I bought a Switch Controler 4 bar for 1/4 the price. I try to only buy gear that is end of year closeouts or last years model to save around 20%. Work less to support and afford this sport, surf more.

My 2 cents plus a lot more. What do you think?

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FLandOBX
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Re: No information and lack of exposure

Postby FLandOBX » Sun Apr 28, 2019 12:33 am

Carmelhill, I think you described it perfectly: your post is "a little lengthy and all over the place..." :D But you raise some interesting points.

On the question of advertising, I think foil kites have a niche market. People like you who have kited for a while may eventually find their way to foil kites. But the mass market for kites is LEIs, so that's where the manufacturers put their advertising dollars. You have identified the Hyperlink as a possible foil for you to purchase, and that is probably based on word of mouth, what you read on forums like this, and maybe a few foil kites that you see here and there at your local launch sites. Ozone doesn't really need to advertise, because you and others like you will eventually find the Hyperlink even without the advertising. And the market just isn't large enough to justify a lot of advertising dollars. Just a thought.

CARMELHILL
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Posts: 73
Joined: Fri Sep 30, 2005 8:33 pm
Kiting since: 2005
Local Beach: Robert Moses Field 5
Gear: Best Waroo 9, 14, 20 (2006)
Cabrinha Switchblade 14 (2017)
Switch x4 bar 2018
Best Float 33 2006, Cabrinha Prodigy 158-2005
Cabrinha Squid Launcher 5'2" 2017
Slingshot Screamer 5'6" 2017
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Re: No information and lack of exposure

Postby CARMELHILL » Sun Apr 28, 2019 12:42 am

But why are foils a niche market?

They layout and launch faster, pack up smaller, take up less space when traveling, go upwind better, and have better performance (all from what I've read). Seems like a no brainer that foils would have more appeal than LEI.

I learned to kite on a landboard in an empty beach parking lot during the winter, with a Blade 4meter. So I have a little experience with ram air kites, but this is going to be interesting.

Does anyone use these kites for wavekiting? Or are they a niche market for low wind and foilboard kiting?

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Re: No information and lack of exposure

Postby tomtom » Sun Apr 28, 2019 12:43 am

I will be very short

Kiting since 2000
LEI guy all the way
had foil kites in past - every time back to LEI
Last year start hydro foiling.
Tryed LEI and foil on foil.
Selling all LEI kites.
There are big difference between foil kites - its very WIDE category - i hate a lot foil kites.
Still i LOVE a lot of things about LEIs especialy SOLID physical bar feel - its not heavy on bar - its different feel.
But as ultimate compromise foil kites have edge right now for me /and its not even close/.

Im riding 9m mid aspect close cell and 5,4,3 Single skin /for now/.

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jumptheshark
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Re: No information and lack of exposure

Postby jumptheshark » Sun Apr 28, 2019 12:44 am

Im not there yet. I see and am interested in the development of mid aspect and single skin foils. Just like you I understand the relative importance of relaunch vs just staying in the air.

So far, Im happy with clouds. I have flown only enough foils to understand the turning physics and slack line behaviour to continue to appreciate the LEI platform. Most are too heavy for foiling. I keep strutted kites for tt and surfboard, but for foiling, Im happy with the strutless concept. I'm not ruling out a ram air in the future, pumping and getting the pump back to the car before launching is a pain, but so far the flying characteristics of strutless LEI kites keep me pumping. I've adapted to routines like pumping as close to the car as possible and walking the kite pumped out to the launch where possible. Its generally only an 8m so amenable to a lot of spots. OP rides way bigger kites than me so I would imagine he'd be happier with the Ram air option.
Last edited by jumptheshark on Sun Apr 28, 2019 12:48 am, edited 1 time in total.

tomtom
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Re: No information and lack of exposure

Postby tomtom » Sun Apr 28, 2019 12:46 am

Aha all i wrote is for HF only

On TT i will rode LEI without hesitation. Completely different needs.
On Surfboard it will be close and HF is foil all the way.

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jumptheshark
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Re: No information and lack of exposure

Postby jumptheshark » Sun Apr 28, 2019 12:51 am

Tom,

would very much appreciate your comparison of your mid aspect foil and a cloud.

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FLandOBX
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Re: No information and lack of exposure

Postby FLandOBX » Sun Apr 28, 2019 1:20 am

CARMELHILL wrote:
Sun Apr 28, 2019 12:42 am
Does anyone use these kites for wavekiting? Or are they a niche market for low wind and foilboard kiting?
I don't know of anyone who is using foil kites for waves. They are simply too slow, and they don't have good drift capability when compared to good wave LEIs. There are some really good surf specific LEIs on the market.

I think foil kites have found good use for low wind conditions and foilboarding. But in addition, they are being used more and more for moderate to high wind airstyle riders who want the extra hang time a foil kite provides.

CARMELHILL
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Posts: 73
Joined: Fri Sep 30, 2005 8:33 pm
Kiting since: 2005
Local Beach: Robert Moses Field 5
Gear: Best Waroo 9, 14, 20 (2006)
Cabrinha Switchblade 14 (2017)
Switch x4 bar 2018
Best Float 33 2006, Cabrinha Prodigy 158-2005
Cabrinha Squid Launcher 5'2" 2017
Slingshot Screamer 5'6" 2017
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Re: No information and lack of exposure

Postby CARMELHILL » Sun Apr 28, 2019 2:40 am

Dam, this is a tough call then. We get mostly mushy waves less than 3ft high. Not Maui by any means. So when I say waves, I mean small mushy crap for boosting. We don't get any appreciable down the line wave riding here. We also have a flat water bay behind the barrier beach.

The places I go in Florida are pretty much the same. Maybe after I try foilboarding a little I will rethink things.

The 10 minute setup is very appealing.

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Toby
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Re: No information and lack of exposure

Postby Toby » Sun Apr 28, 2019 3:14 am

With small waves foil kites are ok.

But waves 2+m drop your kite once and cannot relaunch quickly...you will be back at LEI the next day.

If you do stuff where you barely drop the kite, or in small waves, you will be fine with quick relaunches.

Two reasons why I don’t ride foils, although for my style they would be good:

1. I ride powered up. So every launch would be taking a bigger risk than LEI

2. Once I almost drowned, a tube saved my life. Wouldn’t be here if I had a foil kite.


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