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Importance of a lightweight kite for non-foiling

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Re: Importance of a lightweight kite for non-foiling

Postby deniska » Thu Mar 14, 2019 6:32 pm

OP asks about 12m kite and TT,
given that's it's his first kite, I don't think weight should be on the top of features he should be considering.

Most of scenarios that were listed are for light wind conditions and do not apply to this case..
At 10kts any 12m kite will fly solid while I doubt that you'll be going anywhere on TT (maybe downwind....assuming you are a beginner)
Even if you have gusty 5 to 15kts wind and your 12 drops, it's easier to just relaunch the kite on next gust than deal with some strut-less kite sticking to water, etc..

Best advice is to see what others are flying in your area and dont get concerned with weight at this point of your kiting career..
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Re: Importance of a lightweight kite for non-foiling

Postby jakemoore » Thu Mar 14, 2019 7:41 pm

Matteo V wrote:
Thu Mar 14, 2019 5:48 pm

On a LEI, what do you think the difference is in stall speed on a standard kite construction vs light weight construction? Statistically significant?

Once you hit zero wind speed at the kite, the displacement of the kite is the only force keeping the kite up, until it starts to fall and resistance to falling includes area presented to the air it is falling through. Foil kites stay up better because of this "displacement", though that may be a somewhat inaccurate term for it.
A few knots. Yes its significant. Cloud, 1 Strut, and Deluxe cloth Flysurfer all appeared before hydrofoil became popular. In riding downwind on a wave 5 strut falls before 3, then 1 strut. Foil kites are in another league. No doubt lower weight, and more even distribution of weight matter as much as air resistance in falling. Single skin are almost magic in terms of staying in the air. Yes some brands 1 strut kites are heavy and some have relatively lighter 3 strut. Weight matters.

Lake winds. Gusty. Lulls. Windshift. Long irregular shore with long walks of shame? Ugh. My suggestion remains to learn to ride upwind on land first.

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Re: Importance of a lightweight kite for non-foiling

Postby Foil » Thu Mar 14, 2019 7:55 pm

I agree that a light kite is more relevant to foiling, and not so much to twin tips.

I am only talking about the larger sizes here 10-12 mtr typically the most used for TTips
and this fact has made my next kite purchase more difficult to choose.

I currently use V4 Ozone Reo 3 strut kites, which work very well for both foils and Ttips, but!
the 10 and 12 Reo's are not as light as lets say the Ozone V1 one strut Alpha, and I know through using many other large 1 strut kites that they are poor for many aspects of Ttip riding, most of all boosting! and high wind stability is poor in comparison to multi strut kites.

But for foiling I am thinking the Ozone Alpha will be superb, it should not tumble down to the water as easily, and being very light should be easier to encourage off the water when I drop it for some reason, which of course I will at some time, as we all do.
but It will never be able to replace the Reos for use on the Ttip, and that makes the choice so difficult, owning two 12mtr kites is so expensive to fund.

I need to demo a 12 mtr Alpha, and then make an informed choice.

Years ago there were some very light multi strut kites, made to be very responsive, fast turning, easy to launch, boosting demons, they were superb,
they were fragile, very fragile in the case of the Airush 15mtr pro, which was unbelievably good in every aspect except durability.
later came the North Dyno, great for lightwind and boosting on a Ttip, not as fragile as the Airush but not a nimble either, but good all the same.
just two examples of two lightweight- light wind kites which excelled in many ways better than their heavier cousins.

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Re: Importance of a lightweight kite for non-foiling

Postby Slappysan » Thu Mar 14, 2019 8:54 pm

People keep harping on the weight of the kite, but there is a huge factor that make 1-strut kites the ideal kite for light winds and that's flapping (yes flapping).

If you are flying in 10-14 knots (aka 12 knots) and you get a lull of 10 knots and your kite is too far above you (common beginner mistake) your 3 or 5 strut kite is going to hindenburg (for the OP: this means the leading edge sinks downwards and the kite just falls out of the sky on your head).

Now that same scenario the 1 strut kite starts to flap as soon as that lull hits creating lots of drag at the trailing edge of the wing. This does 2 things:
1) it rapidly moves the kite downwind where it needs to be to fly
2) because of where the drag is it creates a rotational force on the kite keeping the LE pointed upwards

You also have to consider your launch and land, not just the conditions you'll be kiting in. One of my main spots has gnarly, swirling, switching, lulling wind for the first 200m at the launch. 3 and 5 strut kites are dropping out of the sky on to the sand and rocks all the time here, but I can keep my 1 strut kites in the air.

If you watch the end (8:13) of this video you can see the kind of winds I'm talking about, and yes, this is me flying a 3 strut kite which made it harder to do successfully. Note how my final landing spot of the kite is almost directly upwind of my positon:

I didn't mention 0 strut kites because they are hydrofoil only IMO.

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Re: Importance of a lightweight kite for non-foiling

Postby Peter_Frank » Thu Mar 14, 2019 10:52 pm

matrium wrote:
Thu Mar 14, 2019 5:28 pm
dylan* wrote:
Thu Mar 14, 2019 4:58 pm
For twintip riding in normal wind, kite weight is not really a big deal. I've always found that when the kite has enough power for me (145 lbs) to ride, the kite will stay in the air and fly just fine.
That's exactly what my initial idea was. But jakemoore raised some good points where weight could be important, the biggest one for me would be lulls. But than again, what good is a kite that stays in the air on a lull when then wind is too weak to actually pull me? Might as well drop onto the water, our local lake is so shallow you can walk through the whole thing and I am confident to relaunch even in weak conditions because I can WALK backwards.

Agree fully, kite weight is not relevant for you on a TT and I would prefer a kite that can take some beating and also turn in higher winds without flapping like crazy.
Furthermore they work a lot better in the high end or when overpowered, in every way.

In lulls where you can not ride, you can always loop the kite to keep it flying easily, or drag yourself ashore, so no big deal either.

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Re: Importance of a lightweight kite for non-foiling

Postby longwhitecloud » Fri Mar 15, 2019 12:22 am

you would be amazed how much difference kite weight makes to exactly the same shaped kite, can make them feel more powerful.

heavier kites store a bit more potential energy (weighed down in back of wind window)when you start turning them through the power zone, and plus have a bit more momentum.

its a damn shame cos who wants to lug around a heavier morw expensive kite.

if you want a light kite.. it is easy.... dont get a one pump kite ( heavy components), and get less than 5 struts

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Re: Importance of a lightweight kite for non-foiling

Postby tmcfarla » Fri Mar 15, 2019 12:46 am

Definitely don’t get a foil kite or strutless kite for first kite, and I would really recommend against a 1-strut kite for first kite. A regular 3 or 5 strut kite has a wider sweet spot and is more versatile. Beginners won’t be kiting in light wind anyways- too technical. One person recommended land boarding first- if and only if OP lives in an area where land boarding is viable should that be considered. For what it is worth, I’ve lived in many different parts of the United States since learning to kite, and I’ve not yet lived in an area where I could land board. I’ve never even seen a landboarder.
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Re: Importance of a lightweight kite for non-foiling

Postby matrium » Fri Mar 15, 2019 10:37 am

Don't think landkiting is a a possibility in Austria. Snowkiting is, but the season for that is pretty much over.

As I said, I will probably never kite below 12knt, just makes zero sense for me right now because I don't want to foil. I love the feeling on a twintip, beeing close to the water, so there is a strong chance I will NEVER get into foiling at all, even if that means limiting my windrange. Using some sort of surfboard is a possibility though

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Re: Importance of a lightweight kite for non-foiling

Postby Regis-de-giens » Fri Mar 15, 2019 10:58 am

12 knot : I would not care a lot on the kite weight (this might be the first time that I do not push for light kite ...)
But with a bit of practice and a large TT board, you could target around 10 knots (with a kite around 15-17m), in that case a light kite is more efficient and easy to drive ; on top of above good arguments of riders in preceeding posts (stability, relaunch, loop ability), I would add that it is easier to work it with sinusoids when wind is too light : there is more pull regularity when driving the kite up and down, so easier to keep upwind with less rider skills.

Knowing that If you are not looking for very high end (it is IMO preferable to change-out your kite for a smaller and funnier size when wind increases ...) you will not seek for the higher rigidity of a heavier kite.

So my opinion in summary ... if the kite is light this can only be better as light wind kite, but it does not deserve to change it if you already have a 12/14 m kite and if you are sure to stay above 11-12 knots .
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Re: Importance of a lightweight kite for non-foiling

Postby deniska » Fri Mar 15, 2019 3:05 pm

Regis-de-giens wrote:
Fri Mar 15, 2019 10:58 am
if the kite is light this can only be better as light wind kite
True statement in general.
It gets a little tricky when people start pushing this further stating that 0-1 strutters are better light wind rigs than 5 strut kites, etc..
It's not true obviously. There are plenty of 5 strut kites that are marketed as light wind (Zephyr, XR LW come to mind).
Who cares if they fallout of the sky half a knot earlier then Clouds when parked at 12?
You just ride them differently and keep moving through lulls.
That fat 0-1 strutter will be slow (as in not developing much of apparent wind) and pulling you downwind as it would sit deeper in the window.
The high aspect 5 strut kites will get you more speed, better upwind and much better jumping (as you need speed for that)

So all really depends on what you are trying to do with your kites..

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