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Making Turns?

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soplo
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Making Turns?

Postby soplo » Wed Feb 27, 2019 9:28 pm

Can you please help me make sense of turning while you’re going downhill and/or across the flats? I’ve been experimenting with turns, but still learning, so here’s where I’m at (ignore any or all):
1. Can/do you make turns? And can you it freely, or just in certain conditions?
2. It seems like when you turn downwind, the lines lose tension and the kite drops. When you turn back upwind, tension returns and the kite pulls. Is that about normal?
3. Would it matter where you have the bar while turning? Like does leaving the bar out cause less jerking (and does the kite move forward or something..?)?
4. Bonus question for going downhill into the wind. It seems like the higher the kite the better? Because it’s not pulling you to one side, with all the stuff above, but you risk getting lofted, which some of us might not be ready for.

Thanks for any tips!

Justin

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Re: Making Turns?

Postby matthepp » Wed Feb 27, 2019 10:11 pm

Hey Justin,
1. Yes you can make turns but you're onto the line tension requirement. It's like wave kiting so there is a relationship between your direction and the wind direction and wind speed. If it's really windy you can crank nice big powder-slashing jibe-style turns while keeping plenty of power in the kite. If it's light, you need to get your trajectory through the turn and back up wind to keep lines snug.
2. Yep, if you head toward your kite too much the lines will go slack. Some kites will drift and hang better than others. There is a cycle or balance to the downwind slack/ upwind re-tension to get the hang off. This practice will all pay off for when you go kite Jaws on a big day.
3. Yes maybe. At some points you want to sheet the kite in to choke it a bit, then sheet out to let the kite get moving again. Try making series of smaller turns so that you get lots of cycles in to get a feel for it. Then slowly open up into bigger turns as terrain presents itself.
4. Bonus. Depends on conditions. First off: learn to jump! That way the prospect of lofting becomes an opportunity, not a risk. I like to keep my kite low when it's super windy. Sometimes an off angle fall line plus the wind pushing you downwind feels really insecure. Try to find better terrain angles where you don't have to fight both. If the wind is light i keep my kite above 45 degrees to reduce chances of stalling the kite to the ground.
Last edited by matthepp on Wed Feb 27, 2019 11:17 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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jumptheshark
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Re: Making Turns?

Postby jumptheshark » Wed Feb 27, 2019 10:57 pm

As mentioned, there is a rhythm to it that is essentially the same as when wave riding. Watch a bunch of wave footage and you will see the rhythm with which they turn the kite depending on their direction and the wind direction. On snow the best line to carve consecutive turns is not straight downwind, but off the wind or downwind on a broad reach (diagonally downwind). As you carve toward upwind, you leave the kite headed in the forward direction. Your tensioning the lines with the carve with make it shoot forward toward the window edge, then just before you carve the other way (downwind) you turn the kite up and it kind of stalls and drifts back better. If you don't turn it up, you will slack the lines enough to have it turn toward the ground. You go back and forth through your turns, essentially leading with the kite. You will see it referred to as following your kite. Just before every carve toward the downwind angle, you crank on the back hand and the kite turns to point upward, don't do it too much so the kite is not pointed all the way up, but really just gets a bump skyward, so that when you initiate the next part of the S turn back upwind, it can kind of do its own thing and shoot forward again and stay in front of you. The windier the easier all this is with less pronounced bumps of the kite. Different kites drift slightly differently, so its easier with some than others. Leading with the kite is the same principle it takes to pull off a nice carving transition from one tack to the other where the kite goes through the transition slightly before you and maintains some pull throughout. With S turns your just doing bits of that same move without fully changing tack.

One of my favourite things about snow kiting in decent snow is to do runs of S turns on a broad reach unhooked with the kite in one hand and find just that right angle off the wind where the bar is light in your hand but still responsive so yo can pull this off without much strain, carve a big corner and then do it off the wind on the other tack. Magic.

Going downwind is truly the most fun to be had in kiteboarding.

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Re: Making Turns?

Postby soplo » Thu Feb 28, 2019 5:41 am

Thank you both, this is helpful (and will be even more helpful once I actually understand more of it). I had a breakthrough day yesterday and am looking forward to having a lot more control — it's even more fun when you know what you're doing! I'll start trying to get the feel for this cycle/rhythm, and gotta dip my toes into jumping at some point, ideally on a soft day.

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Re: Making Turns?

Postby jumptheshark » Thu Feb 28, 2019 10:53 am

Better learn to jump on water. One mess up can have you go way higher and land way harder and off balance. A big splash is better than a hard thud!

We have winter here so many have learned the basics on snow. We all learn to jump on water where the mistakes are no big deal. Then a little later with a decent understanding of how it all works and more importantly how not to screw up, you can learn to jump on snow...….. At that stage, its actually more about learning to land well!

Stay safe

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Re: Making Turns?

Postby Sojourner » Thu Feb 28, 2019 3:57 pm

It's sound's like you've got it. Big picture is your "slalom ski turns" will take you in a direction that is angled downwind.

On the lake/flats, allow yourself to drift a fair amount downwind as you make your turns. It may be as much as 45 degrees off the wind. Then, you'll tack back upwind. So if you make 20 perfect slalom turns, you'll have to earn the distance lost by gaining it back with upwind edging.

Tighter slalom turns are trickier than lazy slalom turns. Use your ski edges softly. Maybe like you are skiing a green run at the resort. Like you pointed out, its more of a rhythm/timing thing. The harder you turn, the more likely you'll stall the kite or the kite will lose tension and collapse. The stall/collapse effect going to happen and is part of sussing it out and finding the right rhythm and ski edge pressure. The earlier posters explain this technically better than I can. I just don't know anything about waves or water so I chimed in :)

On the flats you get a downwind run of turns and then pay your dues with upwind tacks to get back. On a hill, the mechanical forces create a different dynamic. If you've been watching other kiters and wondered how it works and can't replicate it on the flats, then you're right; it's different. You can depower your kite and then make turns directly into the wind. If wind and gravity align, the uptrack will be straight up the fall line and the slalom turns will be down the fall line. Absolutely the holy grail, and probably really what you wanted to hear!

(Steering the kite. For me on the flats making turns, I park the kite and don't really pump it or need to move it around. The fun is just skiing and enjoying the turns. I'd say equilibrium between ski edges and kite line pressure is the central dynamic. Power/depower isn't fundamental. It's easy to make turns on a fixed bridle kite. Yet your ski edging will actually redirect the kite, so the bar isn't the only thing that causes a change in kite direction or kite power. )

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Re: Making Turns?

Postby Sojourner » Thu Feb 28, 2019 6:52 pm

Soft turns being laid down as forum skier N---76 makes it look simple with relaxed kite control. (Wind is going uphill and also across the slope.)


soplo
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Re: Making Turns?

Postby soplo » Thu Feb 28, 2019 11:18 pm

Cool, thanks, it is helpful to watch while I'm thinking about these things. Last night I decided I'm going to try slower turns instead of quicker squiggly ones and go from there. Just get on one edge, find my way to the other one... see what happens.

And yeah, for jumping, in my mind I want to just do the motion so understated that I never leave the ground and just feel a tug. Do that 100 times, and pull a little harder. But water would be better if I learn how to get up on a board.

soplo
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Re: Making Turns?

Postby soplo » Wed Mar 06, 2019 5:30 pm

Just coming back to say thanks again. Snuck off earlier this week for a quick session making turns downwind (or 45ish degrees). Sometimes "following the kite," skiing directly toward it, with relatively quick turns to keep tension. Before, I was always trying to make turns sideways or upwind. These pointers helped a lot, thanks!

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Re: Making Turns?

Postby jumptheshark » Wed Mar 06, 2019 7:29 pm

Stoked for you. Headed out now to cut some ribbons.


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