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 Post subject: Re: What are the traits a wave kite should have?
PostPosted: Tue Dec 18, 2012 1:35 pm 
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Ok, you get a pass, considering you don't bother with the upwind thing at all. :lol: There are several nice places to do downwinders around here, but I usually don't downwind if I can help it. Or I'll start the session going upwind a mile or so and then play in the waves until I get sick of it, or get back to where I started, and then the jumping starts... A well timed wave can really add some height to a huge boost, and then the idea is to come down right on the face of a wave and ride it toward shore, and turn around and repeat.


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 Post subject: Re: What are the traits a wave kite should have?
PostPosted: Tue Dec 18, 2012 4:52 pm 
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I think it is very locally and personal wether downwinders is used or not :-?

But for most places, in fact almost every single spot here, downwinders are not used - except for ocassionally making something "different" as a nice trip with friends.

If you want to ride where the waves are best, at point breaks and pier breaks (most or all really good wavespots), the waves will work and be clean and peel, ONLY in this very spot.

Then, at the open coastline (hardly ever used for waves, as they are crap often), it will typically not be possible to get back to your starting point, besides walking - which is not fun nor possible if about to get dark or cold.


Even if you ARE doing downwinders - you will explore the coast and waves on the given day, and when you get to a part where the waves are just AWESOME, you want to stay there for a while and ride these babies :rollgrin:
Meaning, you need a board that goes even better upwind than otherwise - as at open coastlines the current is typically much stronger downwind !

Which is also the case for many good but only slightly curved pointbreaks (not pier breaks though) - here the downwind current is typically even stronger than at all other spots - because the water has to pass through a place where the water is not as deep - thus the current gets way stronger :wink:

So "adequate" upwind ability is one of the most wanted features in waveriding IMO - eventhough I think it is the board mostly, and not the kite, that dictates your upwind speed.

:D Peter


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 Post subject: Re: What are the traits a wave kite should have?
PostPosted: Tue Dec 18, 2012 5:51 pm 
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1) Small kite with a lot of power: deep profile needed (typically a delta or compact kite)
2) Fast turning without pulling you off the board - compact kite needed
3) Upwind ability because on a wave you go downwind and you need to get back to get the next wave set - many parameters define the upwind ability
4) Drifting - less weight helps a lot - so cheap kites are sometimes very good drifters
5) Relaunch - on the worst moment you will drop your kite into the water - if it relaunches quickly you will be so happy. A delta kite still relaunches the fastest.
6) No high jump ability required - actually prefer no jump kite


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 Post subject: Re: What are the traits a wave kite should have?
PostPosted: Tue Dec 18, 2012 6:25 pm 
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peterheirman wrote:
1) Small kite with a lot of power: deep profile needed (typically a delta or compact kite)
2) Fast turning without pulling you off the board - compact kite needed
3) Upwind ability because on a wave you go downwind and you need to get back to get the next wave set - many parameters define the upwind ability
4) Drifting - less weight helps a lot - so cheap kites are sometimes very good drifters
5) Relaunch - on the worst moment you will drop your kite into the water - if it relaunches quickly you will be so happy. A delta kite still relaunches the fastest.
6) No high jump ability required - actually prefer no jump kite


Spot on :jump:


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 Post subject: Re: What are the traits a wave kite should have?
PostPosted: Tue Dec 18, 2012 7:00 pm 
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Hi Peter_Frank:
I always enjoy your posts and usually agree with them - but not entirely your previous one.

Upwind sailing is an efficiency game where improvements in one area quickly detect deficiencies in others. Clearly as boards, fins and riders improve, kite efficiency ultimately determines the end result. Where a kite sits in the window is a direct measure of efficiency and simple analysis shows the benefit of a degree or two better upwind VMG. This is a matter of design and not all kites are the same. I have countless reports from riders using their same board astounded by how much better their TOW (time on water) became when using a kite where improved upwind ability was the only major change. Once they experienced something better, adequate became inadequate.
:thumb:

@ peterheirman +1!


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 Post subject: Re: What are the traits a wave kite should have?
PostPosted: Tue Dec 18, 2012 7:55 pm 
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Surely its different for different people?

Some may prefer a kite that pulls through the turns, has decent power and good bar feedback (those who use straps and ride their surfboards more like a TT) and some may prefer a kite that they can switch on and off where required and doesnt pull through the turns to actually surf on the waves :?:

Also if you have big waves you can actually surf them so the kite is only used to get you onto the wave but in small waves/mush you would want a kite that you can use for turns/carves etc :?:

Hey what do I know, rarely see waves where I live :roll: Only time I have it was the lack of upwind ability that ruined it as it was cross on and I was riding downwind along the wave so needed to get back upwind easily.


Last edited by JGTR on Tue Dec 18, 2012 7:59 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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 Post subject: Re: What are the traits a wave kite should have?
PostPosted: Tue Dec 18, 2012 7:57 pm 
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peterheirman wrote:
1) Small kite with a lot of power: deep profile needed (typically a delta or compact kite)
2) Fast turning without pulling you off the board - compact kite needed


these both are valid points, but unless you ride at a spot where wave/wind direction are at the perfect park&ride angle, you will have to work your kite around. and what i`ve found is that deep profiled kites have more on/off power and thus they require a lot more attention and precision steering (mostly sheething) which is hard if you are unhooked e.g... also it generates more power via kiteloops, which atleast for me are an ultimate way to keep the kite were i want with lines at perfect tension.


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 Post subject: Re: What are the traits a wave kite should have?
PostPosted: Tue Dec 18, 2012 8:35 pm 
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I hate kites that pulls me when turning.
I love kites i can turn on and off in the shortest amount of throw.
The powerfull "small kite mega power" kites normally suck at the above.

JGTR is absolutely right. The wave kite topic is not for TT riders riding in waves.


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 Post subject: Re: What are the traits a wave kite should have?
PostPosted: Tue Dec 18, 2012 8:49 pm 
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Actually, I dont think there is many "general" traits about a wave kite !

One of the things in common everybody lists, is "good drifter".

But this is not a wavespecific desire IMO, but a general thing EVERYONE wants.

Freestylers, having slack lines in handlepasses, but also sometimes riding with speed in the landing towards the kite - also want a kite that just drifts back and is easy to recover.

Freeriders, sometimes make mistakes and the lines unintentionally go slack.
They want a kite that just sits and balances, till the lines are tight again.


Remember the "good old" C kites in the early days ?
Well, good and good - they would hindenburg before you could blink with your eyes :o

Look at the C kites nowadays ?
They drift simply awesome, and for some used as wavekites too - a HUGE difference, simply by good kitedesign and balance :thumb:


So I dont see this as a specific wave related feature, simply evolution on all kites.


The only real thing that is wavespecific, I think, is the ability to turn while depowered :thumb:

In freestyle this feature is not that important - but for waveriding it is essential !


All other parameters are extremely individual IMO, and goes both ways, regarding waveriding :

1. Some like a tad smaller kites with lots of power.
Others like kites with lots of depower and no powerspikes.

2. Some like kites that sits deep in the window.
Others like kites that flies fast across the window and sits further forward.

3. Some like a kite with a constant predictable pull through turns (C kite like).
Others like a kite that can be turned without pulling whatsoever (pivot turn like).

4. Some like kites with lots of bar pressure (feedback)
Others like kites that can be easily turned with one hand (low bar pressure)

5. Some like kites that can be relaunched fast, typically low AR.
Others dont care that much, compared to other advantages of slightly higher AR.

6. Some like a kite with an easy depower stroke that is very continous and easy/natural.
Others like a kite that can be depowered on a VERY short stroke immediately, like an F1 gas pedal.


Of course, everybody wants a "fast turning" kite too, but somehow this is also an evolution, AND a compromise, as if you want a kite that flies fast across and goes upwind, it is slower turning, and reverse.


:D Peter


Last edited by Peter_Frank on Wed Dec 19, 2012 8:50 am, edited 2 times in total.

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 Post subject: Re: What are the traits a wave kite should have?
PostPosted: Tue Dec 18, 2012 9:06 pm 
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PS: My personal preferences, although irrelevant when a general discussion, are:

1. I just HATE wavekites with low end... Evo and similar, and love kites with massive depower.

2. I like kites that flies fast across the window, and sits okay forward.

3. I hate kites with pull through the turns...

4. I like kites with very low bar pressure, except for low winds, where higher bar pressure is a must.

5. Relaunching ? Dont really care - as other features are more important, and kites of today all relaunch well.

6. I dont like kites with a long depower stroke, but not too short either, as too "sensitive" for your body movements.

A fast turning kite is a must for me, and the ability to turn when extremely depowered, as for everybody I think.

:D Peter

PS: Regarding #1 - this is VERY dependant on your average weight. If heavier, kites with more power and grunt are preferred without the same disadvantages as lighter riders. This is very important to emphasize.


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