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 Post subject: Mysteries of wind range charts
PostPosted: Thu Sep 18, 2014 1:31 am 
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Its been discussed before on this forum that kite manufacturers make kites bigger over the years, so a 12m one year is a bigger canopy than the exact model/size last year. I think the Switchblade wind range charts could be evidence of exactly that.

For 2015, by Cabs recommendations, the 12m is now barely suitable for 15 knots. And the 4m got whacked big time in the upper range. Every single kite is down in its range, implying larger canopy, or something else.

If I'm cynical I may ask: are the canopies now weaker? Cab don't want their kites exposed to higher winds for less warranty claims? Fly it and break it outside it's range and you are outta warranty: "Um, lets see son, so you were out yesterday in 5 knots over the range of that kite and the canopy self destructed while flying the kite? No warranty for you!"

I take these charts with a grain of salt because I know the SB kites and my capabilities, but it bugs me I don't know the why behind this. So I speculate. Anyone else can shed light on this?

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 Post subject: Re: Mysteries of wind range charts
PostPosted: Thu Sep 18, 2014 1:56 am 
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But in reality, how do the 2015 kites compare with 2014? Do the charts actually reflect what you experience on the water? I take the charts with a grain of salt too, but maybe the person testing wind ranges ate too many pies this year.


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 Post subject: Re: Mysteries of wind range charts
PostPosted: Thu Sep 18, 2014 2:35 am 
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It would be logical to examine the mean to determine the ideal wind speed for a specific kite. But if one begins to really dig in to the numbers they make no sense. Take the North Rebel, who would consider the ideal wind speed for a 16m to be 18mph?


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 Post subject: Re: Mysteries of wind range charts
PostPosted: Thu Sep 18, 2014 6:13 am 
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NYKiter wrote:
Take the North Rebel, who would consider the ideal wind speed for a 16m to be 18mph?


Toby ? (Might even find it on the light side :rollgrin: )

18 mph = 16 knots = 8 m/s


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 Post subject: Re: Mysteries of wind range charts
PostPosted: Thu Sep 18, 2014 7:13 am 
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Yep that's about right...few more knots would help at my lighter weight. A good 10 knots off what Toby would want. They are only indicators, that's all. I wouldn't get my knickers in a twist about them that's for sure.


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 Post subject: Re: Mysteries of wind range charts
PostPosted: Thu Sep 18, 2014 8:09 am 
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What I frankly can't understand is why (e.g.) a Switchblade 12 has a claimed wind range about 10 to 15/16 and my Core XR 11 chart shows 11-26. About the Core, I can say the chart is more or less correct. I've been riding this summer in Kos in about 20 to 24 knots, no problem. Maybe the low end is a little optimistic, my experience says you need about 12 steady knots to stay upwind with a regular TT (I'm 160 lbs / 73 kgs). How is it possible that the Cab has such a limited wind range in comparison to my Core? I don't think with a 12 you're overpowered in 18 knots... I'm talking about the Core and the Cab just for the fact I own one and in this post appear the wind range chart of the Switchblade but I think there are lot of examples if you compare the various wind charts.


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 Post subject: Re: Mysteries of wind range charts
PostPosted: Thu Sep 18, 2014 11:58 am 
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That looks to me like the intern of the marketing department was told:

"son, make me a wind range chart for the new SB... you know we claim more low end this year... get going, you've got 5 minutes!" - "OK then... I'll shift the whole thing to the left... bit more grey at high end for the safety dudes to STFU... done!",

not considering that the chart scale in low and high winds is different: 1 little box = 1 knot low end, 1 little box = 2.5 kn high end.

So, shifting to the left, he meets a scale jump at 15...20kn, and all of a sudden the SB 12 has the narrowest wind range on the market :D


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 Post subject: Re: Mysteries of wind range charts
PostPosted: Thu Sep 18, 2014 12:31 pm 
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I think Cab is just being super conservative with their numbers. I would say the numbers they post are good for beginners and entry level riders. Maybe they want to err on the side of caution. A 12m kite in 25mph can be a lethal weapon. It takes a few years of riding to safely control that amount of power IMO.
We all learn what numbers work for ourselves eventually, why not start out on the low end?


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 Post subject: Re: Mysteries of wind range charts
PostPosted: Thu Sep 18, 2014 1:32 pm 
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matth wrote:
I think Cab is just being super conservative with their numbers. I would say the numbers they post are good for beginners and entry level riders. Maybe they want to err on the side of caution. A 12m kite in 25mph can be a lethal weapon. It takes a few years of riding to safely control that amount of power IMO.
We all learn what numbers work for ourselves eventually, why not start out on the low end?


Exactly - I think Cab put the "right" and sane numbers out IMO.

If somebody then wants to take it to the limit, or over, is another thing.

Wind charts that says a given kitesize can cover from "5 to 25 knots" are pretty useless.

Eventhough it could be true, if using the best riders, and going on hydrofoilboards and down to small TwinTips (and maybe even different weights too, if not written it is average weight).

It is still useless :wink:

Wind range charts are only a very very rough estimate - and you can not compare between brands thats for sure, and within the same brand, it is just a rough thumb rule nothing but :naughty:

The problem is, that experienced riders never ever look at these charts of course (only for having a laugh sometimes) - but they dont need this help so no problem.

And the less experienced, or very naive, who really need help regarding wind and sizes, or when building a quiver - they look at these wind range charts and gets fooled (or not in rare cases)

It is a lose-lose this way, if the ranges are too wide.

If too narrow, everybody is happy and safe !
(except the PR of a brand who wants theirs to be superior with the double windrange of all other brands of course, ha haa :rollgrin: )

8) Peter


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 Post subject: Re: Mysteries of wind range charts
PostPosted: Thu Sep 18, 2014 1:58 pm 
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I shouldn't deal in rumors and I stand to be corrected but didn't flexi used to do this. Claim that their 9m for example was more powerful than another 9m kite out there when in actual fact it was a 10m in disguise.

I haven't read the Cab hype yet but anything to suggest a more efficient design might be due to a larger canopy.


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