Ram airs simply aren't safe. They are inferior to inflatables aerodynamically AND in safety terms.
- Inflatables are safer than ram airs because
-- Downwind launches are bloody SCARY for a beginner
-- Rams deform, twist, wineglass, explode in the middle of the power zone etc when they are downwind of obstacles, in rotors, and in VERY gusty conditions. This is VERY dangerous. Some of the most frightening kitemares ever witnessed have involved ram users walking along beaches in cross-offshore conditions - their kites have been virtually uncontrollable and have endangered both the rider and other beach users.
-- Wind dropouts and gear failure
--- You will invariably experience a few gear failures (eg broken lines) and COMPLETE wind dropouts every year. If you are a fair way offshore, you can use the inflatable as a "sail" to get back in. Alternatively you can use the inflatable structure to support your weight.
--- All ram airs become hopelessly waterlogged after 45 minutes - unlaunchable and certainly unable to support your body weight.
-- Surf conditions
---While it is always a gamble if your kite gets caught by a wave, at least you've got a fighting chance if it is an inflatable. If it is a ram air, it's all over.
-- Bridle tangles and failures - Scary and expensive (US $500 plus) (eg see the thread titled "Flysurfer Warrior Exploding:" phpbb/viewtopic.php?t=4612
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