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PostPosted: Fri Aug 09, 2002 3:16 pm 
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Here is a repost from ikitesurf.com that deals with kite selection for an experienced, lighter weight rider, in this case a woman. As usual, Spyder has expressed the concepts well.

Rick Iossi

<snip>

basically there are 2 kinds of kites out there today, high aspect and medium aspect.
examples of modern high aspect kites are:
X2 Naish
Lift Airrush
Rhino North

examples of modern med aspect kites are:
Aero Naish
Toro North
Hydro Wipika

The high aspect ones do very well going upwind, jumping, efficiency, and good control. the downsides, are less low end power, more difficult relaunching
some new ones have less depower.

The medium aspect ones do everything pretty well, sacrificint a bit less performance. they jump ok, go upwind ok. the upsides are very good control, good depower, and easy relaunching.

as for your weight and skill level, you probably would be happy with a 14 flat area in that wind range. example Aero 14, or X2 14.

i think the 16 would be too big, although you probably would need it if the winds were really 8-12 mph. anything higher you would feel overpowered. it does depend on what board you are riding. wakeboard, or directional, floaty? or not floaty?

you can go with less kite with the floaty boards, and will need more kite for the wake and less floaty designs (high density foam boards).

*************************
Hello all,

Is it true that big kites are for big people or are there big kites out there where a lighter person could get just more "good", usable power out of it? Not just drag.
I would like to get the biggest kite which makes sense for my weight (140 lbs, female, advanced kiter). But all these big kites have so different shapes/power/lift/drag profiles that it is hard to make the right buying decision. It is for riding in 8-14 mph wind. What are the differences in controlling the power/lift/drag for a 16 m Slingshot, Wipika 11.8, Naish X2 16 or Aero 16 or the Cabrinha equivalent? Does any of these kites make sense for my weight? Any experiences out there?

Thanks! -Sylvia

Posted by: spyder - 08/09/2002


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PostPosted: Fri Aug 09, 2002 3:38 pm 
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That is a really interesting question. But I don´t really see it is answered in this post.

I myself only weigh 61kg. My biggest Kite so far is an AR 5 13,5. From my experience I can say that I can go out on a wakestyle Twin (138cm) whenever the kite I fly just flies without a problem. That means about 10 knots with the 13,5.

On the other side I feel overpowered really fast when winds are gusty or even when there is a little more wind a few hundred meters from the beach.

I think for a really light rider the windrange of a kite is smaller (and of course a little bit down in the windrange).

The question now is, which kites allow a light kiter to use the kite earlier but in the meantime have a windrange as wide as a heavier kiter with the same kite.

Fabe


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PostPosted: Fri Aug 09, 2002 4:20 pm 
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Good question. Being on the heavier side myself, I agree, it does comfortably allow a bit wider wind range with a given kite. It is also a curse in our common lighter winds, so feel blessed!

Based upon Spyder's email, it would seem the medium aspect kites should serve the conditions you describe best. I have only used high aspect kites for the last few years and am in no position to comment on the medium range ones, yet. The key to expanding wind range for any rider with a given four line kite is technique and perhaps rigging. Having a long enough range or length on both the strap and the loop can make a big difference. Also rigging the kite for the likely wind range can make a big difference. That is in terms of line length and attachment points on the kite bridle. As Spyder pointed out, board size can make a significant difference. If in doubt, use an asymetrical board! Edging and kite placement also play a large roll in expanding kite wind range. Most of this is widely held information but I hope it helps.

Rick Iossi


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PostPosted: Fri Aug 09, 2002 5:10 pm 
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I agree that the right techique allows an experienced kiter to use a kite in higher winds and gustier condtions.
I feel much more comfortable out on water in overpowered situations since I got my 138. It´s of course a question of how effectively you can edge the board and force the kite to go in front of you and not drag you over the board after getting faster and faster. (We all know this situation.)

But why do you think an intermediate would be better for lighter kiters? Aren´t the high-AR-Kites the ones that fly more to the edge of the wind window and the kites with the better depower capabilty? I refer to the Airblast for example.
I only fly two AR 3,5 and one AR 5 wich all are intermediates if not below.
For the next season new kites are planned but I´m not sure what kites and sizes would be perfect. I´m pretty sure that nothing above 16 (developed) would make sense for me. But the biggest kite should also not only be a kite for the suboptimal days.

Fabe


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PostPosted: Fri Aug 09, 2002 8:16 pm 
It depends what is a "suboptimal" day.
At my homespot good wind is 10-14 knots.
So around 75% of the kitedays, I use 18m F-one.
Big Kites have to be fast!
And the more Wind is, the less AR I prefer.
Most small kites with high AR tend to be too fast for me.
Thisl


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PostPosted: Fri Aug 09, 2002 9:25 pm 
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So far a suboptimal day is a day when the 13,5 does not fly, as I said that I can go out whenever any given kite I had in my hand flies without problem.
What I am looking for is a kite, that is flying perhaps a little bit earlier but which I can hold longer when there is more wind.
I know that the 18.1 F-One is a great lightwind kite but I learned last week that it does not fly much (if any) earlier then my 13,5.
But I did not fly it, so I can´t compare my upper limit with the kite.
What I know is, that I had fun as hell on the water with my 13,5 on other days when other flew the 18.1, so it seems to me, that this kite is too big for me.

I guess the truth is, there are conditions in which no kite really flies and there are kites which are to big for me from the moment they fly.

From now I think I´ll try a 16 and 12 Rhino2 (if they are as good as the Rhino1) and a 8 Toro as my combination next year.

Fabe


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PostPosted: Sat Aug 10, 2002 5:03 pm 
Hi Fabe.

I weigh about 65kg in a wetsuit aand have also had the same need to find kites with a good wind range. So far I've tried a few and as I have a kitesurf shop it has been a mixture of business and pleasure :smile:

Currently I have an F-One Mach1 12m for the average winds around here of about 12-25 knots and find it has very good range and is light and easy to use. For lighter days, 8-18 knots, I have an Airush Lift 12.2 (15.2m flat size). The Lift also has excellent range for its size and I can handle up to approximately 20 knots if the wind is steady and the water relatively smooth. For really light days under 10 knots I have a Flysurfer MastAir 12m which I can stay upwind on in 6-8 knots.

I get more range out of my kites by using suitable boards, ie an Underground 141cm Lunch tray for the high winds, Underground 159 Twintip for medium winds and an Underground Smorgasboard 148, (very wide), for the light days. It's easier to come to shore, keep the kite in the air, and swap boards than rerig another kite to expand your wind range.

I think most of the 2002 high aspect kites have good range but it's really good if you can try them. From my experience with Naish AR5 kites which are quite an old design now, I would say any comparably sized 2002 kite is going to have way more range and be easier to fly without tiring than an AR5.

Have fun, Dave (Dr Surf Australia) dave@machelp.com.au


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