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Best kite for hydrofoil?

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Re: Best kite for hydrofoil?

Postby purdyd » Sat Nov 28, 2020 3:47 pm

There are a couple of provisos with the Peak4. Number one is don't start with an 8m or above unless your wind is always under 10 knots. The essence of the Peak4 is experienced with sizes 6m and lower. Although some say the Peak4 is in some ways not a light wind kite, it flies better in light wind than virtually any other kite due to its very low weight. All of the Peak4 kites from the 6m down weigh less than 1kg. If a given Peak4 kite can get you out of the water then you'll have plenty of power for foiling. It's amazing how much power one of these small single skin kites can develop.
But I can say the same about virtually any other kite. Well except for the less than 1 kg part :D. The 6m or maybe 5m sizes are really good and then you drop below 10 knots and bigger kites and it is a whole different ball game.

Using a peak or foil kite makes a lot of sense at less than 10 mph to me because relaunch gets really dicey anyway and if the wind is averaging 8mph you could likely see lull to 4 or 3mph and you can’t the lightest thing you can get.

To say that a three strut kite is not good for foiling or foiling on a surf foil is I think not true. They in fact do matchup well with the efficiencies of foils as some of the more rounded kites fly farther out in front. I’ve been noticing some around the world videos as of late where three strut kites are used.

And certainly you can do double duty with them, It is pretty fun to get way over powered on your kite and come in swap to your surfboard.

And there is this continuing trend for lighter kites, aluula for instance.

I have a friend who basically uses only a 6m cabrinha Apollo five strut kite and you guessed it, you be amazed on how light of wind he can get going.

I started with foils and Pete Lynn arcs and dabbled with flexifoil blades so I have some idea of the good and bad of the peak.

And back in 2002 there were worse things than a kite that would go into the water and stay down.

Right now I’m on slingshot ufos 7, 5, 3m. (The lack of a 4m is almost enough to consider clouds or peaks. I had to fill that gap in with a 4m ghost.)

The ufo is remarkably easy to relaunch and encourages you to try new things. And those 3m kites can get into the water pretty quickly.

I appreciate the passion for peaks and I can see buying one or two or three :D in the future. To say they are the end all for for surf foiling might be a little over the top.

Just like I don’t think the ufo is the end all kite for everyone either.
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Re: Best kite for hydrofoil?

Postby Frankieboy » Sat Nov 28, 2020 6:26 pm

I own a quiver of Clouds and a quiver of Peaks (5/4/3) for kitefoiling only.

Unless you want to kitefoil in waves (and this is not your case) peaks have no added value compared to Clouds.
If you want to ride in flat water and do some tricks, using a big wing and thus riding a small kite, then nothing beats the clouds from 6,2 and down. You can down size, you have the best drift an LEI can offer, and you can relaunch anytime, this will give you the opportunity to try things.

I am having a blast with the peaks in the waves but never could relaunch it...
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Re: Best kite for hydrofoil?

Postby tkaraszewski » Sat Nov 28, 2020 6:49 pm

There are infinite possible riding styles that people might have, and that affects their kite choice. There’s sort of a “spectrum” but not exactly. On one end of that you have pure race foiling. These are people who are serious about competition and are trying to win. They care more about VMG and laylines than backrolls or wave rides. These guys are on high aspect everything with small foils and big kites. These guys are sailing. They’re wind powered over everything else.

At the other end of this spectrum are the “surf” guys on the smallest kites they can get away with and the biggest foil wings. These guys would rather not have a kite at all, but it gets them between small waves without falling off foil. These guys want to be wave-powered as much as possible. They’re surfing more than sailing.

And it’s a spectrum because you can mix as much from either category together however you like for your own style somewhere in the middle. But it’s not *strictly* a spectrum either, because it’s not just a straight line from race to surf. The “big air” guys ride race-like equipment but don’t compete for speed. Some of the freestyle guys ride wave equipment but don’t care that much about surfing. It’s a bit of mix and match.

So it’s hard to tell someone what the “perfect kite” is for them, if you don’t know where they fall on this scale. When I tell someone what works best for me, it’s not likely to work well for them unless they ride similarly to me. And even if I take someone’s stated preferences into account when giving them a recommendation, it might not be a perfect recommendation if I haven’t kited with them and seen their style, or if their style is far enough from my own that I’m not qualified to give a great recommendation.

So if kite X or foil Y is “perfect” for your style, that doesn’t make it perfect for someone else, even if they describe their style similarly, because there’s no standard of descriptions for kitefoil style, and also because things like location affect equipment choice as well.

Someone earlier in this thread said a 10m wave kite and 1050sq cm foil were “perfect” in 8-14 knots of wind. For them. In those conditions I’d be on a 550 sq cm race foil and a 15m Sonic, that’d be my “perfect” equipment for those conditions. Someone else would pick an 8 or 9m strutless kite for the same conditions. It all depends on what you’re looking to do.
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Re: Best kite for hydrofoil?

Postby papasmerf » Sun Nov 29, 2020 12:09 am

GregK wrote:
Sat Nov 28, 2020 2:27 am
airsail wrote:
Sat Nov 28, 2020 12:12 am
What’s the kite weight of the 5 mtr Roam?
My 5m Aluula Roam is 1.450 kg, measured on an 11 kg max. / 1 g resolution digital mailing scale.

It's not only the weight that's unique, it's the very small diameter but also very stiff Aluula leading edge and strut pockets.

Try one if you prefer apparent wind kites over sluggish, grunty kites.
aren't they quite expensive compared to other similiar sized kites? i mean, for some of us price isn't an issue and for some, it is.

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Re: Best kite for hydrofoil?

Postby tomtom » Sun Nov 29, 2020 9:45 am

Frankieboy wrote:
Sat Nov 28, 2020 6:26 pm
I own a quiver of Clouds and a quiver of Peaks (5/4/3) for kitefoiling only.

Unless you want to kitefoil in waves (and this is not your case) peaks have no added value compared to Clouds.
If you want to ride in flat water and do some tricks, using a big wing and thus riding a small kite, then nothing beats the clouds from 6,2 and down. You can down size, you have the best drift an LEI can offer, and you can relaunch anytime, this will give you the opportunity to try things.

I am having a blast with the peaks in the waves but never could relaunch it...
Legit question - no trolling

If you compare Cloud - Peaks - in which characteristic are Clouds better?

In my book /never ride Cloud - just some other no strutter and extrapolating to clouds/
Upwind Cloud +
Relaunch Cloud +
Windrange =
Handling /turnnig speed and bar feeling/ =
Launch/Land Peak+
Drift Peak +
Kiteless feeling Peak +
Stability Peak +
"jumping" =

Im using just 3,4,5 - one of first Peak pioneer. Peak 8 is unusable kite for me - Here good closed cell kite or strutless or even good one strutter are better alternatives. Im dare to say that even 5m Peak have not as much Peak magic as 3 and 4 - this is core Peak kites. Every "normal" 3 stutter kite is for me borderline usable for freeride big wing foiling. Inertialess is keyword. Kudos to Greg Dexler for concept.
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Re: Best kite for hydrofoil?

Postby Janus » Sun Nov 29, 2020 12:08 pm

Don’t forget conditions, it’s not always about what you want but what conditions you got..
I love to ride the Peaks (3,4,5) in waves and good wind conditions, My Souls are great on flat water and having a blast, and little jumping again.
Though my local little pond is rideable with the Souls, the Peaks shine.. gusting winds with lulls which drops all other kites except the Peaks.
I have the 11 for 7/8kts till 12kts and in 3kts lulls it floats and waits for the next little gust to get me going again without a swim.
Occasionally a swim will happen but I don’t care. Managed to restart all the sizes and the 5 and 11 with drift launch (re)starts.
So on my little gusty pond the Peak is definitely the best kite for hydrofoiling.

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Re: Best kite for hydrofoil?

Postby Frankieboy » Sun Nov 29, 2020 12:16 pm

for me:

Windrange: Cloud better
Launch/Land: Peak for launching, Cloud for landing
Turning speed: peak
Stability: Cloud better
"jumping": I don't jump but I guess Cloud would be beter

Also you can't compare the Cloud to any other strutless kite. It is unique.

Still the peak is amazing for a very specific use in the waves

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Re: Best kite for hydrofoil?

Postby azoele » Sun Nov 29, 2020 12:37 pm

Just my experience on Peaks, of which I own a large quiver (13, 8, 5, 4).

They are very special instruments, and I completely understand the hype (they are my only kites, now).
But I don't think the relaunchability issue can be downplayed as much as some are doing.
Of course, some people are inherently better/more talented than others, but me, I have several swim-ins with the Peaks, and none of them has been any nice in the least.

I use the 13m for ULW with a large surf foil. It gets me going from very little wind (I'd say between 6/7 knots, if there's not much current), which, given my weight (110Kg) is nothing to sneer at.
But bar pressure is very high, and while it is a relaxing ride that has allowed me a lots of otherwise impossible sessions, but it will never relaunch in such a low wind, and trying to get back to shore without losing the foil, and trying to pack a huge 13m sail is no joke.
Do it when wind is dying, but there are waves big enough to pull the kite like a tractor underwater, and to shake you, and it's even less of a joke.

The 8m is a "meh" size. You would never try surfing with the 13m, but you may attempt it with the 8... and be disappointed.

Agree that the 5m is a fantastic kite (still haven't tried my 4).
It flies amazingly, pivots, has gobs of power and enormeous depower and drift.
But while small, it will still be a hassle (in the best case scenario) when it falls.

Me, I have (still) no idea how some can "swim towards kite, turn it upside down, swim back, apply pressure to lines, wait for wind to raise the kite and then fly it".
I had a tough swim-in yesterday (my fault): kite fell, relaunched, but it all happened in an instant, with the kite launching horizontally, immediately hitting the water while I was grabbing the foil (which is black, again my fault, so not easy to spot if lost), being submerged by a wave, and collapsing in the dreaded un-relauncheable position.
I then had to try to load it on the foilboard, didn't succeed (again, my mistake, as I usually succeed with the 13), and when 20minutes later I got to where I could touch with my feet, the whole kite's bridles were tangled everywhere. I acquit myself partially, as at shore break waves were big, and they would have rolled my and my foil happily if I gave to much consideration to the Peak trailing underwater.
Current near shore was very strong, so dragging the now full-of-water Peak out required serious efforts, and when eventually I exited to shore, I found the Peak's bridles so tangled around my harness, and the peak itself choked amidst them, that I almost panicked realizing in true emergency I would have had to get rid of the harness not to drown, as I couldn't even unhook the chicken loop and it would have taken ages to cut through all of them.
40+ minutes later I had disentangled the unholy mess (thanks to previous experiences I was "quick"), and some time afterwards I reconnected the bar and flew it.

So, unless one is very experienced, or kites in a nice, non dangerous location, the Peak is not a very recommendable answer, in my opinion. Sure, you will make it relaunch when there's not much current and your feet stand on the ground, but doing the same when current drives you towards it faster than you can leg-kick backwards, with waves tumbling over it, it's another story, at least at my level of ability.
And Peak's best use case is exactly in waves...

So, long story short: the Peak will fall, and it will mean swim-ins, and swim-ins with a kite that eventually sinks, and is subject to the underwater currents.
To each one his/her choice.

I still fly them (although after each swim-in I go to Gong's site to see if they have Strutless availables :D ), and when conditions are right they make me truly happy, but in no way would I ever honestly say "Peaks are easy" or "Peaks are for anyone", or "Peaks are relaunchable".
They are amazing in the proper conditions, just amazing.
They are easy, in the right conditions.
They are for anyone, as long as they are in the air.
They are relauncheable, as long as all the conditions – including kiter ability – are right on the spot.

The trade off is necessarily very much personal, not matter how good these things fly... and how little they cost! :wink:

And don't get me started on the unholy mess that is the 5th line.
Whoever invented it, and gave it cables of same color as internal bridles, has much, much to answer for it.
Yes, it will allow lowering the kite "easily" and safely.
But it adds significant time to install and remove (after at least 50 sessions, I still have not got any faster), and it is responsible of the worst tanglings.
Only, I don't feel flying without it to be good for the Peak: yes you can crash it on the ground, but that will not be very good for the kite... and backstalling the 5m in moderate wind is not for the faint of the heart: if released, it will zip through noon faster than you can see it, and pulling like a 17m!!! :D
(I wonder how fast truly the 3 and 4 are!)
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Re: Best kite for hydrofoil?

Postby Shadow Jack » Sun Nov 29, 2020 1:13 pm

Ok, I see huge difference in kites, according to riding style. Racing is different universe for sure. Here we talk on surfing-like freeride. Other thing that we must keep in mind - is conditions. Kiting in sea or ocean is so much differs from lake kiting (as we do). For example - here on a small lakes we have low wind close to the surface, but much better - on 20m altitude (I know, it’s general rule, but on a closed water its much more critical), density of the wind is different, even gusts are not the same (on a lake gusts are shorter, air is more turbulent).
So, kites, which are best for usage on salty water are definitely not the best for sweet-water kiting. For example I would never use Peak here, cause it’s will be too difficult to relaunch. Same, as no-strut kite. As I see from here - my best choice for surf-style foiling (slow, learning and progressing, carving) on the big wing (1200cm) in continental conditions (flat water, closed lake, gusty lightwind around 10knots) are single-struts 10-11m.
Important parameters will be:
-low-end grunt
Significant marks in kite design:
-weight of the kite
-thin LE and flat canopy profile
-square "ears"?
In that case what kite would you recommend? Could you rate that options: Ozone Alfa, Airush Ultra, F-One Breeze, Slingshot Ghost, Naish Boxer, Gong Unik?

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Re: Best kite for hydrofoil?

Postby jumptheshark » Sun Nov 29, 2020 2:24 pm

I guess there is no real need for this discussion.

Precisely all of the reasons you state for opting for a single strut kite at your spot are reasons the Peaks are a better option.

No matter, you choose a single strut. It will work and you will have fun.

Just know there are better options out there when your ready to see it.

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