Ittiandro wrote: ↑
Sat Dec 09, 2017 10:54 pm
Thanks for your advice and you frank speaking.
Kite Supping (if feasible) would be for me an enjoyable alternative to windsurfing, while still giving me the opportunity of being out in the open, exploring the surroundings and enjoying the freedom of unconfined spaces...
It would help me in my choice if you could tell me more specifically why you have been turned away from SUP kiting. Just curious.
It is good you are here asking these questions and you are getting some great advice. Please keep us updated when you finally get a chance to SUPkite. I am pretty sure that you will see the light on SUPkiting as I have.
To your statement above, you need to reverse it. It should read "windsurfing would be an enjoyable alternative to SUPkiting", because that is the reality. The short of it is that a windsurfing sail is a manageable piece of equipment that stays with you on the board and can be hoisted into position at any wind speed - including 0knots. And your windsurfing sail still works when the wind or apparent wind goes to 1knot.
A kite does not work at 1knot. And it is 17-30meters away from you when it is stuck on the water trying to relaunch. Thus you do not have a chance to just grab it and throw it up into the air and get going again like you do with a windsurfing rig. On hardpack snow my minimum wind speed to get upwind is somewhere around 3knots - walking speed (4-5knots to relaunch an inflatable, but I can launch a foil in 3-4 knots by walking a bit and setting up a hot launch). On water I have the same required wind to launch, but it is relative wind. Given that, in the water you drift with the surface current at some speed down wind, you negate some of the wind ground speed on a non flowing body of water. So if the surface current is 1knot, and the pull of the kite is adding another knot to your downwind velocity, you are losing at least 2 knots of wind in 5 knots and you cannot relaunch. I can write more about a kite in light winds, but what you need to conceptualize is that kiting is complicated - WAY MORE COMPLICATED - at low wind speeds than windsurfing is.
I bought into the idea of kiting in light winds and windsurfing in high winds at first. But it actually works out this way.
Widsurfing works in low (1knot-10knots) great if you want to displacement sail and not plane. Windsurfing works in 6oknots of wind if you have a small enough sail.
Kitesurfing only works in low kite winds (5knots for pros with huge kites, 9 knots to 11knots for less skilled kiters). Kitesurfing tops out at around 30knots for the sane, and for me, at about 48knots using all my skill to stay alive on a 3.5m kite.
Windsurfing has the bigger range if you include displacement windsurfing (sailboarding) at the low end. And at the top end, windsurfing is just safer than kiting.
But for me the biggest benefit of light wind windsurfing is getting to go anywhere on the lake. I can go right up against shore line with a windsurfing sail. I can go into wind shadows so far that the wind actually reverses direction. Neither of these two scenarios are possible or smart to get into with a kite 17-30 meters away from you.
Kite for the roller-coaster ride, and freedom from having a sail in front of your face all the time. Windsurf for the skill, the accessibility of different locations where you could never launch a kite, and the freedom to go wherever you want on any lake in any wind. Just remember that proper gear, whether kiting or windsurfing is essential for safety, along with knowing the currents, tides, and wind characteristics of your chosen location.
And the best advice you have gotten here or NWkite is not mine. Rather, it is to take some lessons at an ideal location and learn a twin-tip. The advice of mine I would most like you to take is to get a trainer and learn to fly it so well you are dreaming of it in your sleep.