I currently foil with an Aluula Roam 10m and an Armstrong 100cm HS1050 and I love it. I upgraded from the single strut Airush Ultra 10m since I felt that it fluttered way too much in the upper end of it's wind range and that was going to lead to its early death. With my new kite I foil comfortably in 9 to 17 knots and uncomfortably in 18-20 knots. I absolutely love the extended wind range. It has made everything so much easier for me.
When I first attempted to learn foiling a while back, I did it with an F-One Diablo v1. I soon figured out it was extremely out of tune due to bridle stretch which caused it to fly very very weirdly. (It was a cheap way for me to try foiling so don't comment on bad decisions early on). One thing I did love however is the lack of pump and permanently attaching my bar lines. This meant I had one trip from my car to the beach and didn't have to walk my lines. Also self launching and landing was awesome, and water launches were way easier than on the old LEI I had at the time. Unfortunately it ripped and is expensive to fix and since then I've thrown it away.
The advantages I felt with the untuned Diablo as well as the potentially wider wind range than even my Aluula Roam always make me wonder about foil kites. There are some things that have prevented me from trying again though. Which is why I'm here...
This is my current knowledge about foil kites
- They provide much better upwind performance
- Foil kites can fly in very light wind and hence be used for foiling down to 6-5 knots or so
- In my opinion, they're easier to set-up on the beach since I'm OCD and pack the kite and bar perfectly when I put them away
- Bridles will stretch and need replacing every season or two
- How many hours of use before I need to replace the bridle system? I personally do 350 hours of foiling a year.
- Can bridles be tuned back to normal after stretching or shrinking by unsplicing and splicing to spec or do I have to buy a new bridle system every season or two?
- Assuming the kite doesn't land in a tree or anywhere abrasive, does the canopy material or some sort of coating on it ever degrade to the point where the canopy is unusable or reasonable levels of performance are compromised?
- Paragliders test air throughput through the canopy material to judge airworthiness. Is this something I would need to think about when calculating the kites lifespan?
- I currently get a range of 11 knots (9-20knots) with my Ocean Rodeo Aluula Roam when foiling. Can Foil kites beat this in any way? If yes, is it some models or all models that have a larger wind range?
- Further to the last question, are the wind ranges for kitefoiling at the end of the Flysurfer Soul page reasonable when thinking about wind range? (I'm 80kg) https://flysurfer.com/project/soul/
Thanks in advance