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Benefits of small foil kites for freeride hydrofoil?

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dave1986
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Benefits of small foil kites for freeride hydrofoil?

Postby dave1986 » Sat Jan 16, 2021 10:55 am

I've owned a few big foil kites (11m and 13m Chrono V3 Ultralight) and the benefit for light wind hydrofoil is obvious compared with LEI kites.

With smaller size foil kites such as 5m and 7m the benefits are less obvious to me as any kite will fly well in 15+knots required for these kites.

I'm interested to hear from anyone who uses small (5m-7m) foil kites (such as Ozone Hyperlink/ Flysurfer Soul) for freeride hydrofoil... I'd like to understand what are the benefits and disadvantages of small double skin foil kites over small LEI's.
Last edited by dave1986 on Sat Jan 16, 2021 3:38 pm, edited 2 times in total.

slide
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Re: Benefits of small foil kites for freeride hydrofoil?

Postby slide » Sat Jan 16, 2021 11:08 am

i can't comment on water pursuits , but from a landboarding point of view you can get great power return from using a smaller kite and really throwing it about fast and i love that way of flying ,sliding flicking myself about -you could get higher jumps with a bigger kite and a slower pace but a slightly smaller kite can be really great fun and create alot of power ,just keep the kite moving fast and keep it turning

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Re: Benefits of small foil kites for freeride hydrofoil?

Postby dave1986 » Sat Jan 16, 2021 11:13 am

slide wrote:
Sat Jan 16, 2021 11:08 am
i can't comment on water pursuits , but from a landboarding point of view you can get great power return from using a smaller kite and really throwing it about fast and i love that way of flying ,sliding flicking myself about -you could get higher jumps with a bigger kite and a slower pace but a slightly smaller kite can be really great fun and create alot of power ,just keep the kite moving fast
But this is true for both small foil kites and small LEI kites.

I'm specifically looking to understand whether there is a reason to buy small double skin foil kites instead of small LEI kites for freeride hydrofoiling.
Last edited by dave1986 on Sat Jan 16, 2021 3:38 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Benefits of small foil kites for freeride hydrofoil?

Postby slide » Sat Jan 16, 2021 11:59 am

yea ok , i wasn't sure if it was relevent but leis turn and loop on a pivot foils don't and that is

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Re: Benefits of small foil kites for freeride hydrofoil?

Postby Peter_Frank » Sat Jan 16, 2021 2:04 pm

Dave, you ask about twinskins - I can not comment on those, as I have never seen anyone using these.
A few in here got these, so they might be able to answer, as I would expect them to behave relatively similar, but maybe not in all aspects...


But regarding small singleskin kites, ie Flysurfer Peak4 and Conceptair Firefly, the benefits are:

1. Way faster to set up and go ride.
2. No pump needed, just go "anywhere" with your kite and board under your arm, you dont leave anýthing on the beach.
3. They pivot turn REALLY fast, no LEI can follow (slyde is wrong here, sorry to say), so can be tossed around in every way you like, more options and more fun.
4. They can accelerate both when flown down and up (up, a small LEI can not), so you get more powerspike for a longer time, and you can stop the spike whenever you want if needed.
5. They drift WAY better than any LEI wave kite, so you can ride towards them for fun in flat water, and in waves, nothing comes close to their abilites.
6. They dont drop if wind goes almost fully away, can be kept in the air in a few knots, and you can loop yourself ashore, or walk when into low water.
7. No punctures can occur.
8. Seems to ride well on shorter lines than LEIs, and still have all benefits - can be practical for some.
9. Lower cost.
10. Pack a lot smaller.
11. Can be launched and landed in LOT more difficult wind and spots.
12. A lot easier to get "foreigners" to take it down, if needed.


Downsides are:

1. They dont float. If you hit the water, it can be relaunched most times when done immediately - but if it goes wrong, you are toast and have to either pack it down (easy as small), or put it on its back and relaunch.
2. Less "sweet spot" silent range than a LEI, eventhough the actual wind range is the same or bigger.
3. None - cant think of more downsides?



A Peak4 and a LEI in the small ones goes about the same upwind angle, no difference; a double skin foilkite will go better upwind but doesnt matter for freeride/waves.

I bought my first Peak4 in late April 2020, and other sizes later, and can see from my log I have been out 120 wave/freeride kitefoil sessions with these kites, till now.
Out of total 296 sessions/sizes since that date - the rest on waveboards and wingfoil, or with bigger kites on freeride kitefoils.

Only used a LEI once instead, since then, a 10 onestrut because it could carry a strutcamera on an amazing indian summer.
A handful of times my 12 m2 strutless LEI.
The 12 because it is the only thing I have which can ride in 7 knots without feeling big like my 15 m2 foilkite (use that for 5-7 knots).

So in reality, I havent needed/wanted to use a LEI kite for freeride hydrofoil ever since the small single skin kites :rollgrin:

8) Peter

The reason I took my onestrut LEI once - was to see this amazing colour of the water from above, in late august her in Denmark:
PF20200809.jpg

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Re: Benefits of small foil kites for freeride hydrofoil?

Postby drsurf » Sat Jan 16, 2021 2:22 pm

Ditto what Peter said ^ :thumb:

Peak4's rock!

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Re: Benefits of small foil kites for freeride hydrofoil?

Postby jumptheshark » Sat Jan 16, 2021 2:51 pm

Not enough to talk about foil kites as a whole anymore.

Single skin and double skin foils are very different animals.

The Peak4 thread is a long read, but here are a few reasons I like small single skin foils for hydrofoiling:

Exceptionally light weight yields better performance in the low end
Exceptionally light weight makes for unmatched drift compared to heavier kites regardless of wind strength
Exceptionally light weight provides stability and dexterity in orientations and areas of the window that require recovery downloops with other kites.
Exceptionally light weight keeps them reliably in the air down to 3 knots
No trapped air in the structure makes them extremely durable to even tomahawk style impacts.
No trapped air makes for low inertia which translates into a host of performance characteristics i.e. instant access to power and depower regardless of kite orientation or position in window
No trapped air makes for the kite instantly taking shape with stability upon launch
Exceptional control and dexterity allows for safe launching and landing in tight locations unsuitable for other kites.
No trapped air makes for instant loss of traction shape upon landing or going to safety i.e. no death loops
No trapped air makes for exceptionally fast set up and pack down
No pump facilitates walk/hike in launch locations with alternate exit points
Exceptional power per meter makes the functional for foiling in very small sizes and increases the safety factor significantly
No reliance on air tight condition for function i.e. valves leaking, ungluing, pinholes from things like thistles, blow outs from inflation pressure or heat expansion.
Smallest and lightest packed size
With experience can be drift launched safely in locations and conditions previously not possible
Available in a range of small sizes i.e. I have a 3,4,5 and 6m which covers from 9-35 knots
Inexpensive compared to other kites
Exceptional kite control and response when completely depowered
Extremely light handling for virtually full time single handed flying
Excellent control and stability in turbulent poor quality winds allowing for fun in conditions that are generally frustrating with other kites.

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Re: Benefits of small foil kites for freeride hydrofoil?

Postby dave1986 » Sat Jan 16, 2021 3:37 pm

Can anyone answer my original question? I.e. for double skin water-relaunchable foil kites?

I have no interest in single skin foil kites because their relaunch is inferior and their lift for doing big jumps is inferior.

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Re: Benefits of small foil kites for freeride hydrofoil?

Postby Peter_Frank » Sat Jan 16, 2021 4:27 pm

Okay, but your original question was not very clear, as you asked about small foil kites for hydrofoil freeride, not specifically about small double skin foil kites...

Dont know, as hardly noone uses these, and very few brands offer these.

Because they are too small for racers, and too hard to handle (some of them) for freeride, and for jumping you got no hangtime with really small kites, no matter which type.
The reason why many dont offer these sizes.

They also cost a lot, drift like sh.. and can be difficult to handle if too high aspect.
But got more windrange, and can be longer on the water and still relaunch.

8) Peter

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Re: Benefits of small foil kites for freeride hydrofoil?

Postby TomW » Sat Feb 06, 2021 12:04 am

Hi Dave,
I started foiling with north monos. Had 12-9-7m.
I thought they got overpowered quickly and were flapping and jerky in top end, and range pretty narrow. Im sure my novice foiling level was part of it.
Then over 2 years ago i got a hyperlink v1 UL 9m. Immediately i was blown away by how smooth they were in linear power delivery, no flapping and the 9m covered range of 12 and 9 mono. Sold those monos. And bought a 7m V1 hyperlink for 16knot+ days.
It was same thing, but found the 7m had a lot of overlap with the 9m and for some reason it was more difficult to handle in top end. After a year of testing 20 and 15m lines i figured out it wanted to stay further back in the wind window in gusts. But still very smooth and no flapping jerking power. I bought a hyperlink v2 13m for ultra light winds and even in its upper range at 14 knots it performs well.
I decided to try a FRS 6m after testing a FRS 9m. The FRS 6m has same or better low end of 7m HL, but far more controlled at high end and has higher high end. Again, super smooth and no flapping or jerking. Love this kite.
During all this i bought a 4,5m concept air Wave, and it needs solid 22knots to work for me. Have used it little, but a few times to 30 knots, it was a lot if fun.

I should point out that I don't like to be underpowered and do kite loops to start. Been kiting for so long, 20 years now, and got used to power.

Recently replaced v1 9m ul with slightly used v2 9m after dumping the v1 in side off shore wind and it sinking at sea. ( another story) . Feels the same. After using FRS, I think I should have got FRS 9m. But wait was too long in middle of season.

For me, 6-9-13 covers 98% of my sessions. 9 gets used 75%, 6 used 15% and 13 used .
My winds are not that turbulent. Ocean , but low pressure based, no thermals at all or super rare. 55N so its not like its super smooth wind.
Mixing lei and foil kites seems to mix up muscle memory too much. Perhaps a larger 2 skin foil kite for light wind then either lei or peak 4s for rest. Its personal preferences.

The benefits are: smoother power, linear power along bar trim, no jerking, no flapping, bigger range, light bar pressure, more static lift for tacks and transitions. Smaller foils can always be relaunched, usually relaunch by themselves or simple reverse launch. Self launching and landing has become routine, no problems ever.


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