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 Post subject: Re: Strutless kite in development on Maui
PostPosted: Sat Mar 01, 2014 5:47 pm 
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5th?
Have not and would not.
First, if you haven't tried the cloud yet, try it first.
Second, the cloud is different enough from other kites, it is like switching between C and bridled, or between high aspect and delts, it is a fairly significant switch.
If you are not ready to try without a 5th, you also might not like to try a kite that is so different from what you are used to. I saw from your posts above you had concerns about self landing though and I guess that is what you are getting at.. It's not that hard.
Just put the kite down on its ear and release to one front line. Walk up the line to the kite, done.
Or if you have a wind shadow to work with, drop the kite into the wind shadow and flop it onto its nose, Just don't leave it there unattended, run over and weight it down
Usually when I put the Cloud 17 down, the wind has died completely, it's not a concern. Or if it is picking up, others riders are showing up to rig 12s and will catch it.
The loop on the LE is just for the pump, it is not built like a 5th line or bridle attachment point.
I would at least consider adding a a stronger attachment point if you really want to try 5 lines. Or you could rig up some kind of Y or ψ attachment including the inner bridle points, but that seems heavy draggy and unnecessary to me.
Or try an IDS type bridle as above.
To me this is also silly, but whatever.
My concern with the IDS bridle is that without struts, there is less to keep the kite pinned on the water in the smile position, except wind on the wingtips. A chop or a funny gust or current could rotate the kite or pop the LE out of the water pretty easily, then it would roll over inverted. Probably recoverable but a pain.
If the kite had struts, the weight and the aero profile of the struts, and canopy tension, would help resist inverting from this position. Maybe the cloud would work this way, I don't really know without trying.
To me the point of the cloud is the simplicity of using less parts do to the job.
Anyway, be careful if you do experiment.


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 Post subject: Re: Strutless kite in development on Maui
PostPosted: Sat Mar 01, 2014 11:16 pm 
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Joined: Sun May 15, 2011 5:57 am
Posts: 91
Thank you for your post BWD, you're right my main concern it's about solo landing. I'm interested in strutless kites just for its potential use as travel kites.
I doubt that these kites can match strut kites in performance and security.
But again you're right I must try one but it's virtually impossible for me to do that.


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 Post subject: Re: Strutless kite in development on Maui
PostPosted: Sun Mar 02, 2014 9:14 am 
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Joined: Mon Feb 16, 2004 5:36 am
Posts: 8500
Location: Oahu
I self land mine the same way I self land all my kites..put them closish to the ground and pull the front lines.

I do run up to the kite fast. Never had a problem with it..I can see if you self land n a super windy beach it could have some implications.


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 Post subject: Re: Strutless kite in development on Maui
PostPosted: Sun Mar 02, 2014 11:46 am 
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Joined: Sun Jul 24, 2005 6:39 pm
Posts: 2922
BWD wrote:
5th?
Have not and would not.
First, if you haven't tried the cloud yet, try it first.
Second, the cloud is different enough from other kites, it is like switching between C and bridled, or between high aspect and delts, it is a fairly significant switch.
If you are not ready to try without a 5th, you also might not like to try a kite that is so different from what you are used to. I saw from your posts above you had concerns about self landing though and I guess that is what you are getting at.. It's not that hard.
Just put the kite down on its ear and release to one front line. Walk up the line to the kite, done.
Or if you have a wind shadow to work with, drop the kite into the wind shadow and flop it onto its nose, Just don't leave it there unattended, run over and weight it down
Usually when I put the Cloud 17 down, the wind has died completely, it's not a concern. Or if it is picking up, others riders are showing up to rig 12s and will catch it.
The loop on the LE is just for the pump, it is not built like a 5th line or bridle attachment point.
I would at least consider adding a a stronger attachment point if you really want to try 5 lines. Or you could rig up some kind of Y or ψ attachment including the inner bridle points, but that seems heavy draggy and unnecessary to me.
Or try an IDS type bridle as above.
To me this is also silly, but whatever.
My concern with the IDS bridle is that without struts, there is less to keep the kite pinned on the water in the smile position, except wind on the wingtips. A chop or a funny gust or current could rotate the kite or pop the LE out of the water pretty easily, then it would roll over inverted. Probably recoverable but a pain.
If the kite had struts, the weight and the aero profile of the struts, and canopy tension, would help resist inverting from this position. Maybe the cloud would work this way, I don't really know without trying.
To me the point of the cloud is the simplicity of using less parts do to the job.
Anyway, be careful if you do experiment.


My Crossbow will yo-yo up and down off and onto the water in strong winds when on the IDS. I think it does that because it has struts. The struts push the leading edge up and the wind under it lifts the kite into the air. When it gets high enough, the pull from the front lines means the LE is pulled down relative to the wind direction and the Crossbow comes down onto the water again.

I didn't go ahead with the IDS mod so I can't say for sure how it would have worked. I do know from holding by both front bridles while standing close to the LE that it has less pull than a strutted kite would when flagged.

If I can drift launch the kite to my satisfaction with Greg's mod bridle I won't have any wish for going IDS.
EDIT: having tried drift launching with the Greg's mod bridle, I can't see me ever being happy with the amount of slack line floating around (its because of the one front line flagging, not the bridle), so I'm going to make a copy of the Greg's mod bridle for flying the kite and a lightweight IDS version of the original C1 bridle using shock blocks and see what differences it makes for launching.


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 Post subject: Re: Strutless kite in development on Maui
PostPosted: Mon Mar 17, 2014 4:58 pm 
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Posts: 2922
Well I tried the IDS type copy of the original bridle.
Result is - it doesn't work.

Because the canopy tends to flop down, there isn't the leverage to make the kite drop on its back.
Even when there was wind on the canopy, it tends to spill the wind rather than keep pushing until the canopy is on its back.

It will stay in the parked position for drift launching.

I had thought it might give more options for manouvering the kite around for relaunch in very light winds. It doesn't seem to.

So its back to Greg's mod bridle and I will investigate how best to drift launch that and relaunch it.


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 Post subject: Re: Strutless kite in development on Maui
PostPosted: Mon Mar 17, 2014 10:09 pm 
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Joined: Sat Dec 12, 2009 3:38 am
Posts: 110
Location: Seattle
I installed the new bridle modification on my 17m C1 and can say that I really like it and will keep the new set-up. For me it provides a snappier feel and maybe a bit more on the high end. Nice work Greg!


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 Post subject: Re: Strutless kite in development on Maui
PostPosted: Mon Mar 17, 2014 10:23 pm 
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Joined: Fri Dec 20, 2013 8:49 pm
Posts: 92
Ronnie,

What's that wood box your pump is mounted on?


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 Post subject: Re: Strutless kite in development on Maui
PostPosted: Mon Mar 17, 2014 10:39 pm 
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Randahl wrote:
Ronnie,

What's that wood box your pump is mounted on?


I have a bad back, so I built a wood frame to raise the base of the pump about 13" and tilt it slightly away from me. The bottom panel is sanded to give a slope for my foot to rest on.
I found the Cabrinha pump was the most efficient.


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 Post subject: Re: Strutless kite in development on Maui
PostPosted: Tue Mar 18, 2014 2:16 am 
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Joined: Sat Oct 13, 2012 3:46 am
Posts: 17
My personal impressions of the Maui Cloud C2 17m and 12m kites:

I recently bought a Maui Cloud C2 17m.  After trying it out the first day, I bought a 12 m also.  The short version of this subjective review is: "The Maui Clouds are as described on the Boardriding Maui website."  The long version follows (forewarning, I am verbose):

I weigh 190 pounds (86 kg).   I use 3 different boards, a Mako King twin tip, a 5'7" x 19" thruster strapped surfboard and a 6'1" Cabrinha S-Quad strapless.  I have only been kiting for 4 years and other kites I have or have used plenty include Naish Helixes 9 and 12, Naish Cult 13, RRD Visions 10.5 and 13.5, and Cabrinha Switchblade 16m.  I like all those kites. I am no expert.  I don't do tricks (though not long ago I thought going upwind and coming back to the same spot on the beach were tricks).  My focus is primarily waves.

I lived with the 13.5 RRD vision as my "low wind kite" having been influenced by those who said that the fun factor in kiting really diminishes as wind drops and the need for bigger kites develops.  But we have droughts of "good" wind and I have been kiting 50 days when I wish I were kiting 150 days a year.  The 13.5 is what I used 90% of the time. 

Re: the Cloud 17.  I have flown it in what I thought was ridiculously low wind ranges. 7 to 10 mph with lulls to 5 and gusts to 11 or 12 mph.  I never felt as though the kite would fall.  At the lower wind levels I would walk toward the kite and the canopy stayed filled, the kite drifted back and the lines didn't slack as I would have expected with my other kites.  With an average wind speed of 10mph (as listed by the web reading and by a friend with a meter on the beach) I was able to shoot upwind on a borrowed Spleen Door and hold ground on the Mako King.  When the wind averaged 11 to 12mph I was able to easily go upwind on the King.  The Cloud 17 can turn much more quickly than my 13.5 RRD vision at the same wind speed. The Cloud must weigh half as much and as such it feels very lively.  I know that kites have flying sweet spots and it took me a while to learn that fact and remember it.  But with a sailing background it was easy to find on the Cloud. The bar movement needed is much less than my other kites.  From a sheeted in position with the canopy perfected filled, I sheet out until the canopy just begins to show a slight waviness in the luff (the area right behind the leading edge).  I know my other kites all do this between the struts, but with dark colors and the presences of struts it is harder to see...but easy on the Cloud.  Then I sheet in until that just goes away.  That is the sweet spot for cruising and moving upwind.  Really upwind beautifully. It is just an aerodynamically elegant position.  It just feels right.  If I recall, the bar must be out somewhere around 6 or 8 inches.  But I go by looking at and feeling the kite.  I never actually got the trailing edge (or any part of the canopy) to flutter. I rarely sheet all the way in but did find it useful in two situations:  In the initial (only) downstroke when waterstarting in very low wind and when I wanted the kite to turn super fast on a transition or turn.  Then it turns faster than any of my other kites.  Even at these low wind speeds, when I purposely steered the board down a wave into the wind, it drifted and drifted without slack lines.  

I had read everything about the Cloud I could before buying and imagined a bit of a learning curve, being described as different from others.  Ironically, it turned out to be the opposite, the easiest I have flown.  Relatively speaking the other kites feel like tanks.  The Cloud is lively and maneuvers quickly...but it is not twitchy...and it holds it position well.  

My amateur analysis is this:  A key factor is inertia.  With very low weight it has very low inertia.  As such, it takes much less input and time for it to go from standstill to turning, to moving forward, to drifting and then to stopping...it doesn't overshoot the mark.....you stop the input....it stops the intended movement much faster.  It is like a superlight carbon fiber mountain bike compared to a fat tire steel beach cruiser with kickstand and fenders.  To get this light weight...everything on the kite seems to be there to relate to flying...not to dragging the kite on asphalt (no dense plastic bumpers.  The leading edge material seems to be what is needed to hold shape (along with the amazing bridle) and to hold inflation pressure....not to hold it down in the beach and drag it across concrete.  Obviously, eliminating the struts (and all the associated paraphernalia  and potential failure points) removed the most weight.  Ironically, beyond the weight loss, this is a great advantage to me.  I can see the whole canopy well and trim the kite more accurately and more immediately.  And it drifts like no other kite I have flown...so for waves this is perfect.  High or low wind the canopy stays perfectly aerodynamically filled.  Perhaps struts are also an aerodynamic negative making turbulent flow by creating irregular, non-smooth surfaces under and even on the top of the canopy?  I don't know.

I have been waiting for the wind to drop to fly the 12m. I couldn’t wait. It was 18 to 20 mph with plenty of high winds at 25 to 26 mph. The 12 meter Cloud is pretty equivalent to my 13.5 RRD Vision. I never needed to use the trim strap to “depower”. The 18 inches or so range of motion of the bar is more than enough to very de-power the kite. The trim strap system has been rendered redundant. Wind at 25mph and bar out...then I could create a little flutter, like a sail, and ride out the squall.

My impression is that the Clouds like to be flown with finesse. They can dance in the any wind, low, medium or high. They dance to input, not on their own. They move smoothly like silk over a woman’s thigh. Fortunately, they fly in such a quickly responsive manner to input, that it takes no time to learn to finesse the kite.

For me, having a 17 meter kite that I like flying more than my 13.5 or 10.5 kites means now more than doubling my kiting days.  We have so many 10 to 15 mph days, it is now my "go to" and most used kite. That has really been the first major change in this sport for me since I started.  I know I need a better, but fun, light wind board so I am awaiting the Boardriding Maui Paipo board to be back in stock to see if I can add significantly more fun days. Some of this review is objective and no doubt a lot of it subjective, but it is because I am giddy and doing a lot more kiting and a having lot more fun kiting.


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 Post subject: Re: Strutless kite in development on Maui
PostPosted: Tue Mar 18, 2014 2:33 am 
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Quote:
They move smoothly like silk over a woman’s thigh.

That good? :o
Well I might have to trade in my c1 after all :lol:
I mean I thought I liked it ,
but really, that sounds like an upgrade ;)

Seriously, I like the way you describe the trimming etc though....
I will say one thing more though:
If you have a 6' surfboard and want to go lower in wind range, for your weight you also probably need to go wider than the BRM paipo in my humble opinion. I would, at 82kg, anyway.
If I were you I'd build a paipo myself but make it 19 or 20 inches wide instead of 17.25 or whatever the BRM ones were. I built one at 18.25 and if i build another it will be wider.
If you are not a builder, a wider, maybe nugget style surfboard would be good.
If you would be interested in building one, I could give you a pointer or two.
Or just check this out: http://nwkite.com/forums/t-31780-17.html


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