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Snowkite for a big man?

Forum for snow- and landkiters
Sceotend
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Re: Snowkite for a big man?

Postby Sceotend » Fri Aug 14, 2020 8:50 am

Thanks again fernmanus, wise words. You are right, I don't like to hammer expensive toys, I got kids and a dog to do that for me :) I'll definitely try to find a single skin or a beginner foil kite first. As you said, that's safer and cheaper way. And I would indeed need a big Soul for gliding anyway, which is out of the question as a first kite. And would be really expensive even before considering medical bills and lost income.

Yes, I will be using skis, I'm a lot more comfortable on skis and skates than on boards.

I'm still a bit unsure about the sizing. I read that smaller Peaks are a lot faster, funnier and relatively speaking stronger. I guess because they are easier to loop. I would love to max out the days I can ride but of course the fun factor plays a role too. I now think that 8 m might strike the best balance for me but given the second hand scarcity I will settle with 5 m or 11 m too. I guess I need to factor in the fact that I already own a 4 m kite (Nasa Star by Born Kite), which I can hammer in high winds. Weather statistics say that the average wind speed during winter is 10 knots but of course almost half of the time it's more than that.

nate76
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Re: Snowkite for a big man?

Postby nate76 » Fri Aug 14, 2020 9:19 pm

You're going to get lots of opinions in a forum like this, but based on your criteria, I think you would be quite happy with 18m Matrixx you mentioned. They are really forgiving kites, kind of gentle giants - which sounds like it might be great if you're a big guy and want to get out in light winds - which is often the best time to learn, because winds are less gusty typically when they are light. The Matrixx is lightweight and packs down small, and has all the lift you would want or need as a beginner.

As others have said though, I would start with something like a Peak 4 or Apex. You will be crashing quite a bit while you are learning, so you don't want to do that to a closed cell kite like a Soul or Matrixx - which you will be more likely to burst and damage if you crash.

I don't think you would go wrong with either a Peak 4 or an Apex. If choosing an Apex, I would recommend an Apex V or HQ4 Apex. I've ridden both the Peak 4 and the Apex - the Peak 4 will produce more power per size, but has a heavier feel in the bar. Neither of the kites are made for jumping, but both will jump a bit with the right timing and winds. I found the Apex to be a little easier to jump, but it may be because I am more used to the kite.

I would also say that if you can find someone who has one or get a demo: the Little Cloud Pelican is a fantastic kite: super lightweight, very user friendly (as good or better than the Matrixx), great lift and efficiency. The largest size is 13m however, and as before - I wouldn't make this your 1st kite, as I wouldn't want to be crashing it a lot. Find another cheaper used kite to beat up first :)

If you decide to go with that Matrixx, here is a something I recently did to makes kiting on land a little safer, and you will be less likely to blow up your kite on a crash: you can roll up the inlet socks and make it more like an open cell kite when you are operating on land. I've found it works really well:

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Sceotend (Sun Aug 16, 2020 8:20 pm)
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fernmanus
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Re: Snowkite for a big man?

Postby fernmanus » Sat Aug 15, 2020 1:58 am

Have you tried reaching out to any of the local riders in your area? Perhaps, there is a facebook page for local riders. I would find out how windy the location(s) you intend on kiting. They can give you a lot better idea of what you will need. You will end up buying larger kites, but it is a good idea to start small and work up to a larger kite. If one of the kiting locations is primarily hard pack snow, you don't need much of a kite to get going. If it is powder snow, you will need a larger kite.

Skis are the best way to go for learning as they are more stable and give you two edges to resist the pull of the kite.

Since you live in Finland - you already know that the best thing after a day of snowkiting is to hit the sauna, roll in the snow and repeat! Have fun this winter!
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Sceotend (Sun Aug 16, 2020 8:19 pm)
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joriws
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Re: Snowkite for a big man?

Postby joriws » Sat Aug 15, 2020 8:36 am

Where in Finland you are based at? If I can help you to get some contact with locals.

Many areas have local FB or Whatsapp or Telegram group.

To the subject, if snowkiting in Lapland is the main target you probably niin big and small kite. Many times at Pallas (Lappis kiteweek) for example we use kites from quiver ends as there is no wind (2-4m/s) or it is nuking.

Last kiteweek I used only Flysurfer Sonic2 in 15m size and Peak4 in 5m size. I am a heavy rider too and I go with skis and snowboard.
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Sceotend (Sun Aug 16, 2020 8:19 pm)
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Anthonyshopguy
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Re: Snowkite for a big man?

Postby Anthonyshopguy » Sat Aug 15, 2020 9:47 pm

I asked the same question. About 2 years ago. All of the above advice is sound and here are a few more for you. viewtopic.php?f=6&t=2401460
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Sceotend (Sun Aug 16, 2020 8:19 pm)
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Sceotend
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Re: Snowkite for a big man?

Postby Sceotend » Sun Aug 16, 2020 8:19 pm

nate76, thanks for sharing your expert opinion and comparison between Apex and Peak. I think I prefer Peak 4 at the moment but second hand or discounted Apex Vs if I can find one. That's an interesting mod! I think I will skip Matrixx for now but that might be something I look into once I will get my first closed cell kite. And I'll definitely check out Little Cloud, sweet name!

fernmanus, I have joined to a local FB group (Kiteboarding Finland group). But I have only spoken once with one "kite guy" in person but he was more into LEIs. LEIs seem to be still more common among the kite surfers, even though I guess more people are moving into foiling. Anyways, you are right, I should be more active locally, even before getting all the gears. Yet, I find it a bit odd to go out and see kiters without being one. I'm planning to take a course if one is organized near by. That will be obviously subject to enough snow during the next winter season. Unfortunately, even at this latitude proper snow cover is not for granted. Lappland will always have snow for months though.

joriws, thanks that would be awesome. I live in Helsinki but I have kiting in Lappland (and Alps) on bucket list. Can you please pm me if you know groups etc in Helsinki area.

Anthonyshopguy, thanks, I read it all! I see that you got almost the same suggestion, Peaks and Souls. That feels reassuring. The other take away seemed to be that in the end I really need to go big, even Soul 15m is probably not enough!? One more reason to start with something safer and cheaper like Peak.

Sceotend
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Re: Snowkite for a big man?

Postby Sceotend » Sun Aug 16, 2020 8:21 pm

B-Roc, thanks a lot for the info. I'm now a new proud member of Power Kite Forum!

B-Roc
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Re: Snowkite for a big man?

Postby B-Roc » Sun Aug 16, 2020 10:49 pm

Sceotend wrote:
Sun Aug 16, 2020 8:21 pm
B-Roc, thanks a lot for the info. I'm now a new proud member of Power Kite Forum!
Welcome. I am also B-Roc over there and look forward to your progress.
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Sceotend (Mon Aug 17, 2020 9:14 am)
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joriws
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Re: Snowkite for a big man?

Postby joriws » Mon Aug 17, 2020 8:33 am

Sceotend wrote:
Sun Aug 16, 2020 8:19 pm
Can you please pm me if you know groups etc in Helsinki area.
In Helsinki there is a kiteclub "Larukite", they have wind station & camera on Lauttasaari, also mobile chat, instagram, twitter, FB etc. https://larukite.fi/

Most new comers to kite sports usually train at Hanko area (on water obviously) because 'Laru' is a littlebit sketchy launch area during swimming season. If you need a beginners course (recommend if kite flying is very new to you) go to https://www.lappis.fi/leijasurf-kurssit-helsinki-hanko/ or Jujukas. Just remember their business is to train you and then "force"-sell gear to you so stay tough :) .

For bucketlist experiences, very easy start is Pallas kiteweek with hundreds of other (also international) snowkiters at hotel at Pallas. There are also clinics available or gear demos etc. https://www.pallaskiteweek.com/ but naturally 2021 kiteweek is a big question mark.

I hope this helps you get going and meet more kiteboarders.
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Sceotend
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Re: Snowkite for a big man?

Postby Sceotend » Mon Aug 17, 2020 9:14 am

Thanks joriws for all the pointers! I think I will apply for a snow course / some private lessons once we have snow. I'll contact Larukite too. I have followed also SPLL kite site (https://pulinat.purjelautaliitto.fi/kitebb/index.php) but it's not very active. Pallas kiteweek seems super interesting! I hope they will be able to organize it for 2021.
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