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What is overpowered?

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OzBungy
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What is overpowered?

Postby OzBungy » Sun Jan 31, 2021 4:20 am

I hear people talking about being "overpowered". I have been using my 5m wing in winds around 30 knots and I can't say I've ever felt overpowered.

There have been moments when I have thought that a smaller wing might have been more fun, but no moments when I have thought I have to get back to the beach before something bad happens or come in and change wings to complete a session.

When the wind is very strong I find getting to my feet a little interesting. The act of raising my front leg pushes my weight back a little and the board instantly comes up on the foil. It can be a little exciting foiling along on one knee. I can deal with that by placing my front foot further forward and immediately raising up on my back foot. That minimises the brief period where the foil is pitched up and allows me to properly control the board.

Similarly, if I allow the wing to get into an odd position and load too much weight on the handles the wing takes over and I can get pitched off backwards or lofted a little. I just don't do that and that problem is solved.

My usual technique is to allow the wing to self-align with the air flow. I suspect there is an amount of reflex in the profile so that the wings can sit stable when riding the wave. This would mean the wing will always seek to be stable in the air flow if you leave it alone. It seems to work.

I also suspect the large number of ex-windsurfers coming to wing foiling are bringing their previous expectations about sail size to the game. They're not aware of the self-stabilising possibilities of kite-style wings. They have talked about "holding down a big wing" when there is no holding down. I just provide support and it holds itself. Actually trying to hold down the wing creates the problem.

What do you think?

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Peter_Frank
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Re: What is overpowered?

Postby Peter_Frank » Sun Jan 31, 2021 9:49 am

I think it simply feels wrong in every way, to ride a 5 m2, when you could use a nimble 2.2 m2 (30 knots average wind)

Have seen one super experienced semi pro having troubles even with a 3.5 in just below 30 knots but gusty wind, "It did not work" was his answer, and he rides ANYTHING and big waves.

But it all cooks down to what you aim for - yes you can survive in high winds easy, but if you can not make your "loved" moves out there, it is too much, right?
I cant do much yet anyways, but those making 360s and riding waves backwinded and jibing wing LE down etc, dont like having a wing more than twice the needed size :roll:

The other problem is wings getting destroyed by the boards, when wind picks the foil up after a crash, or even on land, they can not stay put on the ground in that much wind and can destroy your wing when blown into it - but that is not a "wing size" issue, I know.
Especially new wingfoilers, who can hold a big wing in a lot of wind, often trashes their wing, cut the fronttube and bladder with the wing, so it explodes.
This happens SO much more often, when windy, as you get out of control so much faster if using a wing twice as big.
Again, I know it is not an issue when experienced, if you dont make any errors and got a supersmall board.

It does not feel good when you have troubles sheeting the wing, and it always try to stay in its "flapping" mode (most flaps in this much when when neutral), and you can only sheet in partly now and then.
The good thing is, even when the COE moves, you can just move yourself forward or rear on the board so it fits.
Getting lifted off the board when strapless, is another issue, but comes down to rider level one must expect, yes.

Apart from above, you are right, it IS possible for most, to ride with big wings in high winds (just not much fun IMO) :naughty:

8) Peter

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Re: What is overpowered?

Postby Topaz » Sun Jan 31, 2021 2:53 pm

If racing, overpowered means you could go faster with a smaller kite.

If riding for fun, overpower means you would be having more fun with a smaller kite.

Overpower may also mean that you're scared to death and really putting yourself and others in danger.

If I feel any of those, I go back to the beach.

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Re: What is overpowered?

Postby slowboat » Sun Jan 31, 2021 4:19 pm

To me it means I start thinking this would be more fun with a smaller wing. Very subjective.

A lot depends on the type of wing you have. Stiffer wings are much more difficult to handle overpowered than softer wings.

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Re: What is overpowered?

Postby fluidity » Mon Feb 01, 2021 5:40 am

I'm still in the early stages of the sport. I can competently ride and usually stay on the foil except for foiling gybes. The locals who do foiling gybes seem to be cheating, i.e. riding strapped and keep their feet in the same straps riding the other way, I don't think that classes as a full gybe to me. Last week my brand new 6m Ensis wing arrived. Plenty of thickness, fat leading edge. I'm 105kg at the moment and i can start foilng with it down to the level where wave tips are just curling over on themselves and stay foiling when the waves have gone flatter again. (I'm riding a DIY 2650 sq cm 1200 mm wingspan wing) However riding that same wing in the gusts when it's averaging 17 knots and gusting to just before squalling wind levels is no longer fun. I have to hold the wing more overhead and any attempt to use a more normal stance results on a lot of pulling force on my arms, I don't want to resort to a harness and harness loops. However is I drop down to the 1800 sq cm x 980 mm foil I first made when I didn't actually have the technique to use it, I have a lot less foil drag and it's easier to work with the large wing. I still wouldn't recommend the wing for my weight above 16 knots average though unless jumping, it's simply not needed and a smaller wing is less bulky, more fun.

Short version: a significant part of feeling overpowered can be one or both of wind and water wings being oversized.

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Re: What is overpowered?

Postby Dontsink » Mon Feb 01, 2021 9:25 am

When i am overpowered i cannot sheet in fully so the wing is only creating lift with the back two thirds.This is not an efficient airfoil,lots of drag vs lift.
Also i have to umbrella it a lot and dosifying forward/upwards drive gets very difficult.I end up going a lot slower when really overpowered.
Keeping the foil in the water becomes very hard, too much forward drive and i overfoil,too little and you ride very close to stall, pulling just a bit too hard on the wing when it is in umbrella will take your weight off the foil...meh.
Add the bigger sea conditions you get at +25kt and that the board can get lifted by the wind on any fall and it becomes rather pointless.
As Robby Naish said in one of his YT vids "it is not even fun anymore".

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Re: What is overpowered?

Postby OzBungy » Mon Feb 01, 2021 1:03 pm

I am more curious about being overpowered in terms of, there is too much power and I have no control. I have not experienced anything like this.

Making a choice to use a smaller wing because it is more fun, or allows for more agile moves makes perfect sense, but that's not the same as not being in control. That's a choice to optimise your equipment.

I have torn a wing on a foil in too strong conditions. That has more to do with using too big a board and foil. The board flipped upside down and the wing flipped onto the foil. That could happen with any size wing.

A smaller board and foil would be less likely to float foil up (My kite foil never does that. My new lightweight SUP foil rarely floats foil up and is easier to push down if it starts to roll). Notionally it might be better to use a bigger wing in stronger conditions so that it is easier to start a 30-40 litre board (I've only experimented with that size boards so I can't comment on what can be done with them).

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Re: What is overpowered?

Postby Dontsink » Mon Feb 01, 2021 11:43 pm

My 40l board goes foil up much more than my 100l board.Its narrower and lighter and the foil floats so...
I am guessing your kitefoil does not go foil up because a smaller front wing has a lot less volume, so the foil floats less or even not at all.

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Re: What is overpowered?

Postby OzBungy » Tue Feb 02, 2021 1:06 am

The first board I used was a convertible surf SUP. It weighed 10kg. It would settle upsidedown simply because the board was big and heavy. It was quite hard to push over because the board is wide and heavy.

My current SUP foil board weighs 6kg. It usually settles foil down, or on it's side. Occasionally it will flip foil up but it is fairly easy to push over on it's side.

My kite foil boards weigh 3 and 5 kg respectively. I've used them a few times with my wing foils. They never settle foil up. It's usually side on or foil down.

I tried a long board leash and that was no benefit. It only helps if the board is floating at the end of the leash. It's not unusual to fall and to have the board right beside me or just upwind. It doesn't just drift to the end of the leash. The worst is being between the wing and the board and having both banging at me and each other at the same time.

Being more skilled reduces the chances of these things happening, but it can't stop them. The nature of getting out and pushing things means you're going to crash eventually.
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Re: What is overpowered?

Postby Dontsink » Tue Feb 02, 2021 5:47 am

Ok, sorry,i misunderstood.When i wrote foil up i meant foil to the side.None of my boards have gone fully upside down.Yet :).

Once it gets to 25kt or more the wind and the foil float will lay them sideways, and very often in a fall the board will be picked up and flipped...it is my main fear in strong winds because it may land on me or the wing.
Smaller board is lighter and bigger board has more surface for the wind to grab...i always wear a helmet nowadays because you cannot really control what happens in a fall.

I use a luna surf waist spring coil leash, i sometimes wish the coil was not so spring like because it sometimes pulls the board right towards my teeth just as i surface from a fall :).


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