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Air gibes in marginal winds

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Regis-de-giens
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Air gibes in marginal winds

Postby Regis-de-giens » Sat Apr 06, 2019 6:55 pm

Hi,

In marginal wind during a gibe, the risk of loosing the kite in the water is higher (degraded drift speed, slack lines as soon as your turning radius is unadapted to kite position, very slow reactive kite due to very light wind, less stable kite , less tension in the line to balance the rider); loving marginal winds, I searched quite a long time to adapt my gibe technics when the wind is very poor; I found some tips that we can discuss and mutually improve with your own experience; my feedbacks are for moderate ratio free ride foil kite, this could differ for a race kite with a small and rapid race HF wing in a bit higher wind;

1- Race gibe : = having the kite above your head and pointing downwind (180 degree inverted vs zenith on the beach) for a long time during your feet change and still during the HF turn ignition ;
Maybe my technic is not "fluid" enough for this but I found it very risky since the kite will slow down de foil speed (while you have less speed/inertia than on a race run); which is in detriment of marginal wind requirements ; too risky; I never do it in marginal wind.

2- standard free ride gibe : = pointing downwind kite high but not staying long time at the zenith (only very punctual before launching the downloop); this us to me the one most of rider practice in normal/low wind, with or wiythout changing feets; the risk here is to suffer from the very low drift of the kite, that you get slack lines when pointing right downwind faster than wind;
For this gibe, I recommend the following : the idea is to benefit from your relative speed to downloop the kite as fast as possible and pass the leading edge as fast as possible on the other window, before turning ; so I:
- point 90 degree of the wind (not deeper downwind), to maximize the line tension ;
- put the kite very kite very high (the highest; the less slack line in the third part) ;
- just before it reaches the zenith, send the kite in a short radius downloop without changing HF direction (still 90 degree of the wind);
- keep tha same HF direction, 90 degree of the wind
- kite will pull hard; try to resist the pull the longest you can in order to rotate the kite more than just pointing toward water ; the later you can resist , the lower risk of kite in the water.
- when you definitelly cannot resist the pull of the kite, engage the HF turn ; kite will stop moving from this instant and stay in the air with no move. The kite must be as high as possible to limit the amount of slack.
- turn as short as possible ; you will certainly get slack lines but kite is already well engaged on the other side, hence not a problem ( if the kite is a stable model).
- point upwind as rapidly as possible; which will tension the line again and the kite will finish its loop.

3- the pivot gibe : = almost no speed gibe = almost no risk of loosing the kite in the water.
It is the more recent I use; and now the one I prefer in marginal winds, and it is beautiful and quite rewarding IMO; It works better with a large and low ratio HF wing like Ketos 1200: the idea here is to do a gibe with almost no speed, lifted up by the kite, and do a prompt hankle movement to rotate the HF 180 degree in one instant ; to me (with a bit of practice first in a bit more wind , say minimum 7-8 knots to get used to the move), it is the safer in term of kite in the water, and extremely efficient to gain upwind :
- point upwind the max you can, until starting to slow dow so much that you reach the planning limit of the foil
- send the kite very violently to the zenith and toward the other window; as if you would like to jump (a bit impressive for my level of poor jumper, but you are in very light wind and you should trust you (or me ... :D )
- as soon as you feel the upward pull, initiate the turn downwind as fast as you can ;
- kite will reduce its lift as soom as you start turning, just enough to be high on the foil, very light and do a hankle movement to send the HF 180 degree on there opposite direction (it is not a tack, the HF should turn point downwind in there middle of the turn)
- when done properly the HF turnes 180 degree in less than 1 meter.
- keep the rear hand still pulling the kite and maybe even exaggerate to speed-up the kite turning
- always look to the warter to balance your altitude, do not look at the kite : the more difficult is to avoid the foil going put of the water.
- at the end of the move; pull on the front foot to lower the HF altitude which will maintain planning and give more speed to tension the kite.

I recommend the number 3, which is not difficult at all and extremely efficient ; you even can see and cross again your previous HF wakes after only 2 or 3 meter in the new direction, with the original and pleasant feeling to feel the turbulences underwater.
Last edited by Regis-de-giens on Sat Apr 06, 2019 11:27 pm, edited 3 times in total.

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Kamikuza
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Re: Air gibes in marginal winds

Postby Kamikuza » Sat Apr 06, 2019 11:11 pm

You doing those with foil kites?

I still prefer a down loop, but start the gybe with turning the kite back up to the zenith. Start the down loop as soon as the kite starts climbing, then quickly turn downwind to gybe and ride the foil around.

Keeps enough tension on the lines to get the kite around and if you slack the lines, the kite falls in the new direction and you can pick it up as you finish the gybe.

Loops without the turn up to the zenith at the start don't give me enough time to get around to the new tack before the kite stalls into the water...

I like #3 when I'm over powered too

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Re: Air gibes in marginal winds

Postby windmaker » Sun Apr 07, 2019 12:12 pm

Kamikuza wrote:
Sat Apr 06, 2019 11:11 pm
You doing those with foil kites?

I still prefer a down loop, but start the gybe with turning the kite back up to the zenith. Start the down loop as soon as the kite starts climbing, then quickly turn downwind to gybe and ride the foil around.

Keeps enough tension on the lines to get the kite around and if you slack the lines, the kite falls in the new direction and you can pick it up as you finish the gybe.

Loops without the turn up to the zenith at the start don't give me enough time to get around to the new tack before the kite stalls into the water...

I like #3 when I'm over powered too
:thumb:
It's all about good timing and down looping is the most efficient way of jibing in light wind as it keeps the kite moving thus generating power thus limiting slack lines. Also you do not loose any board speed which in very light wind is super important as there is some times not enough wind to get going again (or takes a lot of effort).

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Re: Air gibes in marginal winds

Postby Pedro Marcos » Sun Apr 07, 2019 12:17 pm

Race jibe, just not pointing so much downwind to have more speed. Speed if friend, its when the speed is gone that you start sinking.

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Re: Air gibes in marginal winds

Postby tomtom » Sun Apr 07, 2019 2:24 pm

I do not agree that downloop is most efficient - there is too much kite changing direction thus slowing down - most smooth path is sine path. But line lenght had very much to with this.
Im talking about 25m+bridles so long.

My gibes in marginal - get max speed before turn - carve hard upwind to maximize line tension - while this put kite down almost on water - send kite hard up and back toward zenith - resist the pull and let yourself be pulled to turn. Turn hard and point upwind as soon as possible - you will end in new direction with kite up and just send it down in front of you - with gravity helping you in worst moment - least tension in lines and loosing speed.

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Re: Air gibes in marginal winds

Postby windmaker » Sun Apr 07, 2019 3:10 pm

tomtom wrote:
Sun Apr 07, 2019 2:24 pm
I do not agree that downloop is most efficient - there is too much kite changing direction thus slowing down - most smooth path is sine path. But line lenght had very much to with this.
Im talking about 25m+bridles so long.

My gibes in marginal - get max speed before turn - carve hard upwind to maximize line tension - while this put kite down almost on water - send kite hard up and back toward zenith - resist the pull and let yourself be pulled to turn. Turn hard and point upwind as soon as possible - you will end in new direction with kite up and just send it down in front of you - with gravity helping you in worst moment - least tension in lines and loosing speed.
Used this technique for years (kitefoiling since 2005) it s much easier than the traditional foot swap /down loop method used by racers. Can only be done on a very close reach which often implies a change of direction before each turn and looks a bit clunky or not as fluid. Completely useless on a downwinder as you end up sailing away from your original direction on every turn which is very ... inefficient.

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Re: Air gibes in marginal winds

Postby tomtom » Sun Apr 07, 2019 3:21 pm

Completely true but i think we are talking about marginal when nobody even try to go downwind and gibe at the same time. Or maybe its just me and my lousy riding :) but i definitely cannot gibe from downwind course in marginal.

Regis-de-giens
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Re: Air gibes in marginal winds

Postby Regis-de-giens » Sun Apr 07, 2019 5:21 pm

Indeed this thread should be for really low wind, say below 7 where no LEI can ride for example. When Only few light foil can stay in the air (my definition of marginal). In my personal wind scale, I would say that such technics are tequired in 5 knots. 6 or 7 can affort a "standard" give with standard loop, so when these gibes does not work any more (with my medium level).

Indeed line length will impact, but not much with the 2 above technicks IMO: kite is so immobile when skack lines appears that it is more a matter of rider direction and turn that will tension the line again.

I agree with tomtom which technic seems to be similar as the pivot gibe. Here whatecer the line length you can avoid slack and moreover in case of mistake you do not crash the kite. Indeed you comd down to almost no speed, but it is not an issue because at that moment you have a lot oof enrrgy available to re-accelerate : foil high + kite high and starting to sink in power zone. In really extreme light you can loop the kite but not so comforrable and you loose significant upwind.

Maybe this is wing dépendant as a race HF will be more adapted to downloop gibe with speed vs large HF wing which can better pivot-gibe. Anyway a small race wing does not really allow marginal wind, , so ...

Ps: indeed i also use the same pivot when I am overpowered, just sending the kite far smoother...
Last edited by Regis-de-giens on Sun Apr 07, 2019 9:13 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Air gibes in marginal winds

Postby Peter_Frank » Sun Apr 07, 2019 5:26 pm

windmaker wrote:
Sun Apr 07, 2019 3:10 pm
tomtom wrote:
Sun Apr 07, 2019 2:24 pm
I do not agree that downloop is most efficient - there is too much kite changing direction thus slowing down - most smooth path is sine path. But line lenght had very much to with this.
Im talking about 25m+bridles so long.

My gibes in marginal - get max speed before turn - carve hard upwind to maximize line tension - while this put kite down almost on water - send kite hard up and back toward zenith - resist the pull and let yourself be pulled to turn. Turn hard and point upwind as soon as possible - you will end in new direction with kite up and just send it down in front of you - with gravity helping you in worst moment - least tension in lines and loosing speed.
Used this technique for years (kitefoiling since 2005) it s much easier than the traditional foot swap /down loop method used by racers. Can only be done on a very close reach which often implies a change of direction before each turn and looks a bit clunky or not as fluid. Completely useless on a downwinder as you end up sailing away from your original direction on every turn which is very ... inefficient.

Second this, longer lines, keep lines tensioned before the turn, and kite quite low (not so low that you lose speed though), and turn it up and around while you carve, carve tight, and use the downward path to get kite speed so you keep foiling.
If you use shorter lines, you will probably end up with the kite too low at the end of the carve, thus stop foiling, and you will also lose the good power sweep.

This is the very reason I use 30 m lines on all kites above 10 m2, as this works splendid for me from 8 knots and down.

Sometimes I do a "race jibe" meaning kite up high, carve around and let the kite follow after.
Problem is, if I carve too late, the kite can not downloop and might end up in the water, because of slack lines, and a swim ashore is the result in this wind.
If I carve too early, I might end up not foiling during the carve, as the kite havent picked up power yet when it hasnt picked up speed in the downloop yet.
So for me this is a difficult move actually, and more risky too.
But I can see, when perfected and you keep a lot of speed, it might be the best way to get as low as possible yes - I just havent found the holy grail here yet, OR, my bigger wings are too slow :wink:

Windmaker, you are one of the very early pioneers then?
Since 2005 :thumb:

It seems the first experiments was around 2001.
But I first saw a more public video of kitefoils in 2007, where the Mango Carafino board came, awesome and started it all slowly back then, eventhough it was the French who made kitefoils so fast that raceboards died and got extinct in one single year, so now the whole world started foiling and believing in it :rollgrin:

8) PF

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Re: Air gibes in marginal winds

Postby Pedro Marcos » Sun Apr 07, 2019 5:38 pm

Race wings can go really low in the wind if you dont lose the speed, this means, you dont fail your manouvers, if you do, you will probably swim. The same low end can be done in a much easy way using a bigger foil, but even like that, speed is your friend, you just dont need such a big kite.


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