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When is a kite too big??

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wind_starved
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When is a kite too big??

Postby wind_starved » Mon Nov 12, 2007 7:10 pm

Hi, I am around 140lbs (67 kg), and at the intermediate level of kiting I would presume, and ride a 138x41cm board. I live in an area where light winds are usually the case, and when it is stronger, I am invariably working! I currently have a 12m One kite, but am contemplating getting something bigger.

With this in mind, I figure there comes a point when a kite's size is almost counter productive? What I mean by this, is that there must be a point when the physical weight of the kite itself affects or determines the amount of wind required to actually keep it in the air? If I were to buy a 20m kite for instance, APPROXIMATELY what would the lightest wind I could hope to get on the water in?

I hope this makes sense!
Thanks for your advice!

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Postby BizB » Mon Nov 12, 2007 7:47 pm

You're better off with a skim board and a kite that's smaller than the 20... perhaps a 15 or 17 meter C kite.

Skyway Scott

Postby Skyway Scott » Mon Nov 12, 2007 7:56 pm

Windstarved. You reason it out perfectly. There is a size where it becomes overkill and the drag of the kite and it's loss in performance just don't make sense.

As BizB said, the 15m is as big as you should go. At your size, you can make an 11m "work" in ten knots on a larger board, or skim board, but I assume you are wanting to feel more powered up in the light stuff and do more than just putz around.
My girlfriend weighs only 110 and can comfortably ride a 15m kite up to the high teens. It's not necessary to have a kite this powerful just to get going, but she is capable of jumping and having a very good time in as little as 12 knots due to the added "juice" she has with the 15m.

Some "big" kites are still pretty fast and performance oriented, while still providing plenty of low end power.
One example is the 14m Royal Era.
Last edited by Skyway Scott on Mon Nov 12, 2007 7:59 pm, edited 1 time in total.

WindRyder
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Postby WindRyder » Mon Nov 12, 2007 7:58 pm

I live in an area that has light winds all summer. I weigh 135-140lbs, and when I first started kiting, I had a 16M Crossbow. I couldn't imagine flying a kite that big. A 12M kite is the largest kite I will fly, but I am usually on my 10M Era and a bigger board. I don't know how light of wind you really want to ride, sub 10kts?? I can ride my 10M Era and CF Ltd 125x41 in 12kts. You may just want to look at a larger board, as you can generate more apparent wind on a small kite. IMO, if I can't ride a 12M, then I'll not kite.

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Peter_Frank
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Re: When is a kite too big??

Postby Peter_Frank » Mon Nov 12, 2007 8:03 pm

wind_starved wrote:Hi, I am around 140lbs (67 kg), and at the intermediate level of kiting I would presume, and ride a 138x41cm board. I live in an area where light winds are usually the case, and when it is stronger, I am invariably working! I currently have a 12m One kite, but am contemplating getting something bigger.

With this in mind, I figure there comes a point when a kite's size is almost counter productive? What I mean by this, is that there must be a point when the physical weight of the kite itself affects or determines the amount of wind required to actually keep it in the air? If I were to buy a 20m kite for instance, APPROXIMATELY what would the lightest wind I could hope to get on the water in?

I hope this makes sense!
Thanks for your advice!
It makes perfect sense !

In fact it is a thing that most new kiters dont learn before years later.

I dont think you can get going in any lighter wind at all, if you have a kite bigger than 14 or 15m2.

It will not be very efficient - turn bad and not produce power when turned, and weigh more, and have a lot more drag and only a fraction more lift.
And with your light weight you can not go any earlier at all, if you go above approx. 15m2 :wink:

You are also right - that big kites can not be used in as light wind as smaller ones - because they tend to "drop" if wind lulls, where a smaller kite stays in the air, and is much faster and easier to turn and keep up in the air no matter what.

So with a bigger board, you dont need any bigger kite than your 12m2 IMO.
And you can have more fun this way - much faster and not as expensive to change a board when the wind goes up or down :thumb:

And regarding your question ?
Hmmm, I would say the difference in how light wind you can go out in, is almost not present, if you are 67kg and go from a 12 to a 20m2 :roll:
But the "fun" factor is not present with a 20m2 !

Go for a 14-15-16m2 instead, and you have your perfect light wind weapon 8)

Kindly, Peter Frank

Skyway Scott

Postby Skyway Scott » Mon Nov 12, 2007 8:04 pm

BTW, just an opinion, but that 12 One kite has a great range for a person your size. I would only get a larger kite if you are wanting to feel juiced.
If you just want to make it work, like BizB said, get a larger board.
I weigh 160 and could make that 12 One work with skim board in 10 knots, no prob. :)

(just saw the same answer popped up from Peter) :thumb:

wind_starved
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Postby wind_starved » Mon Nov 12, 2007 8:47 pm

All excellent advice guys, thanks. It adds peace of mind to know this before getting something as big as a 20m!!

I'll look around for a larger board I think. I love the 12m One, although I have had trouble in the light stuff keeping it in the air. It might be just to play with the attachment points more.

Cheers

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Postby doubleeuphic » Mon Nov 12, 2007 9:20 pm

I dont know where you live, but it cannot be much lighter than it gets here in San Diego.

For anybody who says they have kited light wind, you probably have never experienced the crap we have over here. I kid you not, that 9mph will entice me to pump up.

Out here 15m is the minimum to get around in these type of winds. I have owned a 17.5m, 15m, and 16m all c-kites. They all work well but I have found that I love the 16m the best. Do not think either that I can do nothing with a 16m. There are plenty of guys working the waves and making it happen, while I can also still do unhooked kiteloops when it picks up to 15mph and stay upwind at the same time on a smaller board.

If your like me and do not like large boards, then go for a larger kite. However if you do not mind the larger board, then use that with your 12m or perhaps get a 14m aswell.

Let us know your seasonal wind avg around where you are, than we can better evaluate what could be best for you.

I do agree however anything over 17m is overkill. My buddy has a 20m ckite and it will pull him like truck in the lighter winds, but fails at turning at efficient speeds, boosting, ect. Just good for the tow.

Greg

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Postby KiteSurfingKen » Mon Nov 12, 2007 9:37 pm

To address you question about bottom end, the larger the kite, the more surface area available to catch wind. While it seems counter intuitive a larger kite stays in the air easier in light wind than a smaller kite because of the increased projected area.

However, the affect of diminishing returns can be felt in the wind range of a larger kite.

A small kite has a lot of range for two main reasons, sheeting and speed.
If you are overpowered you can sheet out, if you are underpowered you can fly the kite fast and work it in a sine motion.

A large kite does not fly as fast in forward speed so the affect is to reduce your wind range overall.

The main problem with big kites is, when you are talking about flying in sub 10mph winds, the lulls can often be below 5mph. Even big kites need enough wind to keep flying, this is usually about 5mph.

I weigh about 145-150lbs. My favorite kite is my 14M GK Sonic. However we have some days where the wind does not go over 12mph.
For those days I have a 17M Sonic, it does not fly or turn as fast, but the raw power is a lot better, meaning I can be fully powered at 10mph.

The comfortable wind ranges for me are:
14M 12-25mph
17M 6-15mph
As you can see the additional low end sacrifices top end.
Personally I prefer to always ride the same board and the pick the kite that suits the conditions, instead of riding a larger board.
I have found that my Nobile 666 132x41 can handle anything well, except large waves.
Good winds,
Ken

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Postby calikites » Mon Nov 12, 2007 10:30 pm

This is when a kite is too big
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