iLog wrote: ↑
Thu Aug 09, 2018 7:09 pm
I wanna start with the directional and I am fairly new to kiteboarding.
So you have some TT experience? That is what I will assume.
The best reason to dedicate some time to learning a surfboard is that you are no longer "happy" with the way a TT feels. Or, you just want to try a surfboard.
My suggestion is that you don't get off the TT to quickly. TT's are great at doing lots of things that directional's don't do well. You should learn those things on a TT and later move on and try to apply those skills on the different platform of the surfboard.
Here are some things you need to know:
1. In the beginning, it will be difficult to go between a TT and surfboard. The primary hurtle to overcome is changing your weight distribution. You ride a TT with your weight back pressuring the tail, but you ride a surfboard more evenly, though sometimes with your weight more forward.
2. In my experience, about 80% of kiters understand that they were lied to about a surfboard being better at light wind than a LW TT. Though you can make a LW surfboard go upwind better with some time and skill, it is not "plug and play" like TT's are. You won't see light wind benefits to a surfboard until after you have mastered the jibe. This is for many different reasons, but the primary ones are,
(a) surfboards have a more rounded outline and rounded rails made for smooth turns, not getting upwind when edged - so it is difficult to edge them upwind
(b) surfboards have lots of fin area compared to a TT, but getting upwind on fins requires flow (speed) over those fins as they are vertical foils - whereas a TT has the capability to set a hard edge to resist downwind pull instantly, without speed.
(c) steady wind is essential to a surfboard going upwind, turbulent wind favors a TT getting upwind for the reasons in (b)
(d) the volume of a surfboard is of no help above about 3mph where planning (plowing) forces take over from displacement forces - this is why LW TT's have no additional volume added (for the sake of adding volume) to them.
(e) the jibe loses upwind gains of a short tack on a surfboard, vs a simple transition on a TT. So shorter tacks (smaller lake, or not going so far out in the ocean) favor a TT.
3. Surfboards can be fun even if you cannot jibe. If you get hooked on the power of the fins (with speed), and the control over the tail, you may enjoy them without being able to turn the board around. But go into it understanding that the jibe takes lots of work to get - ESPECIALLY IN DIRTY WIND LOCATIONS!!! Don't expect to jibe right away. The kitesurfboard jibe is not nearly as difficult as a windsurfing jibe, but it will take some time and many dedicated sessions just to learn how to turn around. Oh, and you will be going downwind on that surfboard when learning to jibe. Durring that same time, you could be having a good session on a TT.
Just a disclaimer - I ride directionals exclusively because I like the feel. I sold all of my TT's a few years back. For me it was a feel thing. Originally I was just going to go back to windsurfing instead of continuing with kiteboarding. But when I finally got on a GOOD/SLASHY/POPY/FUN kitesurfboard, I was hooked and I don't windsurf much anymore. To me, kitesurfing was what windsurfing was always trying to be, but the high volume requirements of windsurfing held it back. In kitesurfing, there are no volume requirements.