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Do foil kites sink?

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cglazier
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Do foil kites sink?

Postby cglazier » Tue Feb 09, 2021 4:48 am

I lost my 8m Flysurfer Soul when my harness line broke (I knew it was worn and should have replaced it) and then my kite leash stainless steel weld part failed. The last I saw of my kite was flopping downwind toward land several km away. The wind was over 20 knots. My buddy dragged me in. I then searched the downwind beaches with no luck.
It may have been picked up by someone but I am wondering if it just took on enough water that it became water logged and sank? Does this happen?

I have already had many good times with this kite and so I am not too upset with the loss. Just wondering what happened to it.

:wink: CG

evan
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Re: Do foil kites sink?

Postby evan » Tue Feb 09, 2021 11:14 am

The only parts of the kite that naturally float are the Dyneema lines with a density of 0.97 gr/cm³ with a polyurethane coating that is also less dense than water.

Polyester (tread, dacron, ripstop of tube kites) sinks with 1.38gr/cm³
Nylon (mostly used on foilkites as it wrinkles less) is 1.15gr/cm³

This means that any kite will eventually sink when all the air gets pushed out when left out on the open sea for long enough.

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jakemoore
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Re: Do foil kites sink?

Postby jakemoore » Tue Feb 09, 2021 7:45 pm

Usually they will stay near the surface as there will remain a small amount of air trapped.

Once most of the air is gone, the kite is more subject to current than winds. The current may not favor washing the kite ashore.

Alas evan is right and I have sunk both foil and LEI kites when the air is gone.




The rope sliders do wear quickly and the wear seams to accelerate once noticeable.

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Re: Do foil kites sink?

Postby edt » Wed Feb 10, 2021 3:11 am

There should be some air trapped in the kite for at least a day or two, long enough for it to wash up on shore, if the current is right. When this sort of thing happens to me I always go to the last place I saw the kite, and drop my board in the water and see which direction it goes. Sometimes the current is different from the wind direction. After watching it for a minute or two I then head to shore where it was being pushed.

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Re: Do foil kites sink?

Postby revhed » Wed Feb 10, 2021 10:36 am

Yes.
Know of three never recovered RAM AIR kites that drowned.
All were in choppy conditions leading to "washing machine effect" thereby
hindering relaunch and quickly filling kite with enough H2O to sink it.
Of course bar floated as sea floor depth was not deeper than line length but no way to pull kites up.
Also know of history of kite being able to be recovered but stress on seam thread holes made kite much less air and water proof.
Seems like staying close in could save a kite.
R H
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drsurf
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Re: Do foil kites sink?

Postby drsurf » Wed Feb 10, 2021 12:39 pm

Had a customer with a Soul 12m in northern Australia. It dropped in light wind and was taking a while to relaunch. Unfortunately the area is full of crocodiles and spending time in the water waiting for enough wind was not an option so he cut it loose and quickly swam for shore :(

He survived but the kite was never seen again. A new Flysurfer Sonic3 helped ease the loss.

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Re: Do foil kites sink?

Postby jumptheshark » Wed Feb 10, 2021 1:55 pm

revhed wrote:
Wed Feb 10, 2021 10:36 am
Yes.
Know of three never recovered RAM AIR kites that drowned.
All were in choppy conditions leading to "washing machine effect" thereby
hindering relaunch and quickly filling kite with enough H2O to sink it.
Of course bar floated as sea floor depth was not deeper than line length but no way to pull kites up.
Also know of history of kite being able to be recovered but stress on seam thread holes made kite much less air and water proof.
Seems like staying close in could save a kite.
R H
Some sage advice or maybe rather experience.

I worked on swim launching Peaks quite a bit last season as well as riding a number of spots that suit a wet exit. Peaks obviously are faster to sink. Once you drop em and leave em flat on the water, if there are white caps, its not long before they will sink. Being quick to wrap up lines to the kite is key. ATTENTION must also be taken in lifting the LE and tips to drain and rolling up the kite in a patient fashion as not to stress the material with the load of the water. Wet work with Peaks and I would imagine most foil kites is a mixture of efficient but gentle work to best avoid damage. Care taken to work WITH the kite and not AGAINST the force of water is key.

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Re: Do foil kites sink?

Postby edt » Wed Feb 10, 2021 4:19 pm

A few years ago I went out with my foils and deliberately dropped them to practice self rescues. After 5 or 6 self rescues I got it down and was able to roll up my foil and swim in easily. The first time though was a mess. Like anything this gets better with practice. I think if you practice self rescues with your foils it gives you more confidence to go further from shore because you're not afraid off packing up and swimming in. Unless there are crocodiles then all bets are off.

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Re: Do foil kites sink?

Postby papasmerf » Thu Feb 11, 2021 6:02 am

jumptheshark wrote:
Wed Feb 10, 2021 1:55 pm
revhed wrote:
Wed Feb 10, 2021 10:36 am
Yes.
Know of three never recovered RAM AIR kites that drowned.
All were in choppy conditions leading to "washing machine effect" thereby
hindering relaunch and quickly filling kite with enough H2O to sink it.
Of course bar floated as sea floor depth was not deeper than line length but no way to pull kites up.
Also know of history of kite being able to be recovered but stress on seam thread holes made kite much less air and water proof.
Seems like staying close in could save a kite.
R H
Some sage advice or maybe rather experience.

I worked on swim launching Peaks quite a bit last season as well as riding a number of spots that suit a wet exit. Peaks obviously are faster to sink. Once you drop em and leave em flat on the water, if there are white caps, its not long before they will sink. Being quick to wrap up lines to the kite is key. ATTENTION must also be taken in lifting the LE and tips to drain and rolling up the kite in a patient fashion as not to stress the material with the load of the water. Wet work with Peaks and I would imagine most foil kites is a mixture of efficient but gentle work to best avoid damage. Care taken to work WITH the kite and not AGAINST the force of water is key.
i will attest to jumps advice due to a recent experience,, get kite packed up fast if that is the plan. however, i found during my first time doing this,, some thing are easier said than done, which i will start another thread about. and mine wasn't even a peak. really don't want to say which kite it was as i absolutely love the kite, amazing bit of engineering, and don't want to give it a bad name, it was my fault really.

papasmerf
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Re: Do foil kites sink?

Postby papasmerf » Thu Feb 11, 2021 6:08 am

cglazier wrote:
Tue Feb 09, 2021 4:48 am
I lost my 8m Flysurfer Soul when my harness line broke (I knew it was worn and should have replaced it) and then my kite leash stainless steel weld part failed. The last I saw of my kite was flopping downwind toward land several km away. The wind was over 20 knots. My buddy dragged me in. I then searched the downwind beaches with no luck.
It may have been picked up by someone but I am wondering if it just took on enough water that it became water logged and sank? Does this happen?

I have already had many good times with this kite and so I am not too upset with the loss. Just wondering what happened to it.

:wink: CG
that sucks glad you are ok. ironically this just happened to me yesterday, my rope slider broke. i now have a back up, secondary rope, alongside the main one. i didn't lose my kite though. i don't know if anyone remembers the slingshot surefire spread bar? it had a cool releasable hook that was bolted to a typical spreader bar with i think it was a freaking 3/8's stainless steel bolt ( could have been 5/16) anyway,,, this was ages ago but out of the freaking blue, i was coming back in from a session (thank god i was somewhat close to shore instead of where i had been) but the bolt literally just snapped in half.


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