Don't discount a light wind TT! I initially believed the lie about surfboards being better at light winds than TT's. But LWTT's are just superior to even the most light wind directional. At least when comparing equal rider skill. If you are willing to develop a high degree of skill on a light wind directional, you can match and possibly exceed the performance of a light wind TT.
A hydrofoil, as others have mentioned, is not comparable to planing boards. Hydrofoils are in a league of their own.
At 100kg, I was suckered into believing surfboards were superior in light wind to TT's. My first surfboard proved me wrong, but I loved the feeling of surfboards over my TT's. Surfboards, in general, just do not go upwind better than a light wind TT. But they will, in general go upwind faster than a non-light wind TT. Light wind TT's are better than almost any directional out there at light wind - especially in light "up and down winds". The only directionals that can match the LW performance of a LWTT are custom made and maybe a wide shorty like the SS Alien Twister (or old school race board with uncomfortably large fins). Surf fins are great for upwind when you have speed, but at low speeds, they go not have the upwind capability of an edging TT board. When you can just barely move in light or variable light winds, a LWTT is the way to go.
Here is a scale from lightest wind to highest.
2. "Old school" raceboard (surfboard with racing fins)
3. Light wind twin-tip
4. Custom or purpose built LW surfboard (Sector series down to SS "Alien Twister")
5. Large standard surfboard
6. Medium to large twin-tip
7. Medium surfboard
8. Small standard surfboard
9. Small or highly rockered TT
#8 and #9 would swap if you used them in light wind. But at the typical wind speeds (high) they are used in, the small surfboard with standard surf fins, would be able to use those fins to beat the small or highly rockered TT upwind by foiling off of the fins.
I do not own a bigger kite for the water than my 13.5m. And I still can race past guys on 17m kites that weigh less than me. Kite skill makes a difference. Using smaller kites to get that experience will help you become more efficient. If you continue to rely on lager kites and keep using your weight as an excuse, you will always need bigger kites.
I no longer own a TT as I love the feel of a surfboard. But I can scream upwind much faster when I borrow almost any LWTT on the beach. Then when I go back to my surfboard, I need to work a little harder for that upwind or sometimes I just can't make it. At that point, I am usually the last idiot out on the water anyway.
Last edited by Matteo V
on Sat Sep 30, 2017 5:26 pm, edited 2 times in total.