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When is "Big" too big?

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Slappysan
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Re: When is "Big" too big?

Postby Slappysan » Wed Dec 19, 2018 2:58 am

Anthonyshopguy wrote:
Tue Dec 18, 2018 6:21 pm
The 11m peak 4 seems very different and I love the fact that it at least seems to be pretty structurally sound ( can take a beating ). What I cannot find is any info on what kind of lift it provides for heavier people, how does it compare to a say 15m lei for power. And why does the 4m have such a silly wind window 4-38 knots, and the 11m only 3 to 15 knots.
The Peak doesn't provide that much vertical lifting force so it's not a very good kite if your looking to jump a lot. It can jump but nothing like the crazy hang time you'll get from a Soul or Speed. It does provide plenty of pulling force to get you up the hill though.

Power per sqm is high on the Peek, the 11m is going to be in more like 15m and the 4m more like a 6m.

The reason they give the window as low as 4 knots for the 4m is that on packed snow it can take very little force to pull someone across flat ground, basically the low end numbers are the wind needed to keep the kite in the air.

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Re: When is "Big" too big?

Postby fernmanus » Wed Dec 19, 2018 4:26 am

I weigh 180 LBS. I have been flying versions of the 21 Speed on the snow for a decade in the mountains of Utah (Skyline is at 9600 feet).

If you want a kite only for riding in the lightest winds, not jumping or gliding, your best bet is a single skin kite. A 12m Peak 3 or the new 11m Peak 4 will fly in the lightest of breezes. They don’t have the pull of the 21, but if you are on skis and work the kite you can get going unless you are in powder and then you will need a 21.

If you like to jump and especially if you like to glide, you should take a hard look at a 21m Soul. The Soul is the best kite that I have ever flown in the mountains. It is so stable and it is the best kite that I have found for gliding. It is also a powerhouse for deep pow days.

There are days when even a 17m LEI is not able to fly and I am gliding and riding up the mountain. When the wind begins to pick up, I usually ride lower on the hill and in typically wind-shadowed areas where the pow is untouched. When the wind is light in the mountains, it is usually steady here in Utah. I usually put up the 21 when the wind is blowing from 6 to 15 mph, I have never had issues with lofting in the light wind range. I usually see more erratic wind when the wind is above 20 mph. I still use the Soul in smaller sizes because the kite is so stable and the depower is huge.

The other great thing about a 21m Soul is that if you live in a light wind area, it will increase your number of days of water riding as well. The kite is just as versatile on the water.

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Re: When is "Big" too big?

Postby joriws » Wed Dec 19, 2018 1:45 pm

Anthonyshopguy wrote:
Tue Dec 18, 2018 6:21 pm
Thanks for the input joriws, 15m speed 3. By the way great shots pulling the kids around. And yes, it seems to have lots of lift. Question, what altitude was this shot at? My typical spot is at 3200m. So air density is an issue.
Altitude is under 100m from sea level (Baltic sea). Temperatures (air density related) is -10 to 0 degrees in Celsius. And on video most of the time (video clips) winds were under 10kn. Also we have strong inversion on lakes - wind might be 50m high from ice.. The smoke on heat plant pipes on video - pipes are 75m high..
Anthonyshopguy wrote:
Tue Dec 18, 2018 6:21 pm
Oh and joriws the window video was a complete cheat :-? ,though very cool, with zero friction I probably could get a trash can to fly if I can skate fast enough. :D
Weird that it can be seen that way as complete cheat (although there is a smiley). There was no effort to hide that we were skating on nice smooth lake ice like a window what we were scraping with our skates. The point of video was that you can make kite fly stable on low wind and as a proof of low wind I showed I could do full 360 kite wind window - kite circle - while slowly skating backwards meaning true wind is low and certain brand closed cell foil kites are stable to fly when pulled on lines. On video I teached my friend (Sonic-FR 15m flyer, 17y kite experience but never did 360 aka deadman's turn) how to do it, I was flying 8m Speed4dlx which I purchased 2nd hand and was first time out with me. Also on first memories video I do kite 360 with walking - so it is not just skate related trick.

The point for this video to be attched to this discussion was that EDT stated foil kites just bowties. I slapped a proof to his face that (at least some brand) foil kites are enough stable on ultra low wind 1-5kn to fly with apparent wind assist. I've not seen LEI kites too many 360 window circles (I've seen some on YT with buggy and hydrofoil - you don't have to point it out to me). But *you* try to get LEI to fly in that "scraping windows" videos wind levels - would be impossible. Ozone Frenzy 5m (open cell foil, red-black-white -mess on ice) failed to fly with skates. You mention you could make "trash to fly", well not Frenzy to fly.. So "scraping windows" video-part was more to user EDT like I started in the chapter "For edt, ...".

--

But my original posting input as you asked still is that in my (and all my friends) experience 15m is the biggest foil kite you need for general usage. You can ride with: twintip, door twintip, hydrofoil, skate, snowski, snowboard everything and have power levels for deep snow, wet snow, powder and finally quite safe option to fly hill/mountains. It is a perfect balance for many things. If you a lighter kiter go for 13m as biggest kite. Play with extension lines (4-6m) on very low wind.

As videos are handy to proof things - hard to counterfeit - here is another video about power level and 15m is enough. 17m LEI kites are barely flying and I with my 110kg of mass am riding/planing with 15m Speed4 Lotus kite. You can see "kite loop" kite flying speed that wind was low.



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Re: When is "Big" too big?

Postby edt » Wed Dec 19, 2018 3:30 pm

the soul sounds so amazing.
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Re: When is "Big" too big?

Postby fernmanus » Thu Dec 20, 2018 5:06 am

But my original posting input as you asked still is that in my (and all my friends) experience 15m is the biggest foil kite you need for general usage. You can ride with: twintip, door twintip, hydrofoil, skate, snowski, snowboard everything and have power levels for deep snow, wet snow, powder and finally quite safe option to fly hill/mountains. It is a perfect balance for many things. If you a lighter kiter go for 13m as biggest kite. Play with extension lines (4-6m) on very low wind.
That has not been my experience. When the snow is over 20cm deep and the wind is blowing 8 to 9 knots a 21m is fun, a 15m is not enough.

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Re: When is "Big" too big?

Postby Digdawg » Thu Dec 27, 2018 5:54 am

I bought a 14m foil kite for snow. It has good power, but it is soo slow... I keep going back to my LEI's. My Ocean Rodeo Flite 17m and 12m are soo much more fun. I don't claim to have a ton of experience with foil kites - they seem to be a different beast, and maybe require different techniques.? I'm sure there are foil kites that will fly in less wind, but a Flite or a Turbine can go in pretty dang low wind and pull well. With my limited foil experience I don't know how comfortable I'd feel being way overpowered on a foil (gusty mountain winds). Super confident on my Flite - I'm 215 lbs. and have had it out way overpowered (on water). Kind of a test - I knew the wind was coming up a lot that day & I thought I'd stay out kiteboarding until I felt uneasy. If things felt real bad I'd punch out (a very safe location). Never did feel in trouble, just got tired of stayin out while overpowered, so I came in to grab a smaller kite. When I came in everyone was laughing and shaking the heads at me because the bad gone so high. Sheeting strap was all the way in and the kite was not flying at its optimum, but I was in total control. Unless I am getting into places I want to pack and unpack a kite (expedition kiting) then I'm leaning toward my inflatables. Maybe someone can show me how to take fuller advantage of my foil, until then LEI and preferably a Flite. 🙂

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Re: When is "Big" too big?

Postby Anthonyshopguy » Fri Dec 28, 2018 12:05 am

Weird that it can be seen that way as complete cheat (although there is a smiley). There was no effort to hide that we were skating on nice smooth lake ice like a window what we were scraping with our skates. The point of video was that you can make kite fly stable on low wind and as a proof of low wind I showed I could do full 360 kite wind window - kite circle - while slowly skating backwards meaning true wind is low and certain brand closed cell foil kites are stable to fly when pulled on lines.
jorwis first, sorry slight sarcasm in my reply. Deads man turn, only seen it once in my life "Ivanpah" Brian Holgate . Seen videos twice, including yours. Very cool. And since I'm am really trying to make a good purchasing decision I'm really appreciating ALL of the people who are giving me input here.
by fernmanus » Tue Dec 18, 2018 8:26 pm
I weigh 180 LBS. I have been flying versions of the 21 Speed on the snow for a decade in the mountains of Utah (Skyline is at 9600 feet).

If you want a kite only for riding in the lightest winds, not jumping or gliding, your best bet is a single skin kite. A 12m Peak 3 or the new 11m Peak 4 will fly in the lightest of breezes. They don’t have the pull of the 21, but if you are on skis and work the kite you can get going unless you are in powder and then you will need a 21.

If you like to jump and especially if you like to glide, you should take a hard look at a 21m Soul. The Soul is the best kite that I have ever flown in the mountains. It is so stable and it is the best kite that I have found for gliding. It is also a powerhouse for deep pow days.

There are days when even a 17m LEI is not able to fly and I am gliding and riding up the mountain. When the wind begins to pick up, I usually ride lower on the hill and in typically wind-shadowed areas where the pow is untouched. When the wind is light in the mountains, it is usually steady here in Utah. I usually put up the 21 when the wind is blowing from 6 to 15 mph, I have never had issues with lofting in the light wind range. I usually see more erratic wind when the wind is above 20 mph. I still use the Soul in smaller sizes because the kite is so stable and the depower is huge.

The other great thing about a 21m Soul is that if you live in a light wind area, it will increase your number of days of water riding as well. The kite is just as versatile on the water.
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Fernmanus Really appreciating your input. I have a feeling some of the videos of kiting and soaring at Skyline might be yours. So Awesome!! I know you weigh over 40lbs less than me. But the idea of 21 is to say very intimidating. What is your thoughts on an 18m soul. Will I regret not going 21 like I wish my turbine 15 was a 17? Where I live there is no such thing as a dealer to test fly a kite. And to just reinforce the beginning of this thread. I've been out on relatively fresh deep snow 3 times in the last few weeks winds 9-12 mph and one more time on icy surface winds 6 to 7 mph . Fresh wax on a 174cm board. 30m lines on my new 17m Contra. I struggled to get speed, even on the ice. Just feeling let down by my new 17, my old Turbine pulls and lifts about the same. Referencing another thread about the oversize tendencies of the Turbines.

I'm still leaning towards the Soul but not getting much input on any other kites out there, Ozone? I have a very old Frenzy works fairly well. Just don't use it much for the snow due to its small size 11m. Others???

Hey Digdawg Funny you mention a 17 Flite. The above reference to Ice was with a friend Matthepp on his Flite. Both of us struggled to get any good runs in and I felt that if I had the Soul I would have been more powered up. The Contra held very light winds a bit better than the Flite but when it came down to it neither kite rocked in this scenario.

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Re: When is "Big" too big?

Postby Digdawg » Fri Dec 28, 2018 5:24 am

My 14m foil kite is a Frenzy, newer model. It could be for sale.? Like I said, I hardly ever use it.

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Re: When is "Big" too big?

Postby fernmanus » Fri Dec 28, 2018 6:24 am

Hi Anthony,

Your concern is valid. I will try to direct you to the right kite. The first consideration is weight, I would not recommend the 21 to someone that weighs under 175 LBS. The 18 is the ideal light wind snowkite for someone in the 160 to 180 LB range. A couple years ago, I weighed 170 LBS and I did not need anything larger than an 18, but I have been eating too many cinnamon rolls, so at 185, I need a 21 on the light days. Since you are over 200 LBS, the 21 at first blush is your kite.

The next consideration is altitude change, so if for example you regularly start at 10,500, but wish to climb and kite at say 12,500 where the wind is much stronger, I would steer you towards the 18 or maybe even a 15. At Skyline and Strawberry we see a noticeable change in wind speed climbing under 500 vertical feet. I have 6 and 9m Peak 3 kites that I use for backcountry touringwith large elevation gains as I have seen windspeeds double over 1000 feet of gain.

The third consideration is how volatile the wind speeds are where you ride. Skyline and Strawberry often produce 8 to 15 mph wind. It is easy for a guy my sizeto hold down the 21 in 15 mph wind with 20 mph gusts. What would not be fun is baseline wind in the 8 to 15 mph range with 25 or 30 mph gusts hanging onto a 21. We don’t see that kind of variability on the snow. We do see it sometimes on the water, I have ridden the 21 in that kind of wind, I just fly far upwind from other riders and send it in the gusts, but I would not feel comfortable with that kind of wind on the snow with a 21, I would use a 15 instead.

The last consideration is skis vs snowboard. You can get away with a slightly smaller kite if you use skis. However, I usually snowboard, but on the lightest days I use the 21 and skis. I rarely get skunked. The wind has to be dead for me to not go out.

One trick that I have learned is when the wind picks up that I can no longer ride the ridge lines, I ride the lee and windshadowed areas where the best powder is located. I fly 24m lines so I can keep my kite high and ride those spots.

Yes, I do use the Soul for gliding and it just rocks for that purpose. The 21 is perfect for light wind gliding. Even if you just have barely enough power to climb the hill, you can fly down.

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Re: When is "Big" too big?

Postby fernmanus » Sat Dec 29, 2018 4:27 am

Today, 12/28 was a light wind day at Skyline with the wind starting out around 6 mph and building to 12. Honestly, for the first half of the session, I would have been happy with a 24m Soul. It was that light. The funny thing about a light wind day is that it may take me several minutes to loop up the hill, but flying down is so smooth, no buffeting like you get on a windy day while in flight. Not a lot of kiters take advantage of the light wind days on the snow, but if you have a big enough kite, they can be the best days as the powder doesn't get blown off the hill and gliding is exceptional.


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