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light wind kite quest 2016

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klamo
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Local Beach: austria - neusiedler see, croatia - istria, bol
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Gear: f-one bandit 7, 2013, size 11
liquid force NRG 16m
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light wind kite quest 2016

Postby klamo » Sat May 07, 2016 6:43 pm

dear kiteforum community,

I took my time, searched and read a ton of posts in this forum about light wind kites, so I think I'm ready to formulate my open question.

situation: I own Bandit 11m 2013/2014 and the 2016 will be my 3rd season. I didn't spend much time kiting, so I consider myself a beginner, able to drive consistently upwind if conditions are ok, but that's pretty much it. In my region, only destinations reachable by car are mostly with the low wind (Austria, Neusiedler See), usually around 10knots. I'm 80kg/175lbs and bellow 13-14 knots I'm not able to ride my 11m kite, so I'm looking for low wind weapon that starts to pick up as low as possible and when wind reaches 15+ knots, I'd switch to 11m bandit. I'm looking at the newer kites, because I want to make an investment that will keep me riding and learning for years to come.

other kites I tried:
1, slingshot turbine 17m, year ~2014, wasn't able to drive upwind in 10 knots, but I attribute it to my improper small board and the lack of skill, others were driving upwind with smaller kites no problem, so I can't judge
2, liquid force NRG 16m, 2014 - this is the kite I bought as second hand, rode 3 times, one time the session was successful, other times I struggled. I'm planning to sell this kite, it doesn't suit my abilities and for me it's very hard/impossible to re-launch. And in my sessions the kite falls to the water a lot, trust me. You know what they say, Just because you love something doesn't mean you can’t suck at it. ;)

my contestants, due to what I heard from people from the beaches, schools and from this forum and various other reviews, sorted by priority/likability:
  1. switch helium 2, 18m - tricky to guess if the kite is up to the task compared to the more "well known" brands, I'm intrigued to try, since they have 30-days money-back guarantee
  2. f-one bandit 9, 17m - not so many information about 17m size bandit 2015/2016 anywhere on the net, makes me a bit unsure, but the few reviews/opinions I encountered are generally good. I'd appriciate having a new bar with bandit 9, so I can use it for my 11m other bandit. It has an old bar, quite worn and shattered, the new one must be better.
  3. Core XR4 LW, 17m or 19m - good reviews here on the forum and elsewhere
  4. oceanrodeo flite gen 4, 17m - detto, a lot of comments and positive feedback from users here on forum and elsewhere, 60days satisfaction guarantee - good
  5. cabrinha contra, 17m - recommended to me by various schools
  6. slingshot turbine, 17m - detto, recommended by "other gruop" of schools, but some people claim that lately other options are better to look at these days

my priorities for choosing the right kite:
1, re-launch
2, low-end ride-ability, good upwind riding performance
3, at least 17m size, so it would be a great companion to my bandit 11m
4, price is not a biggest issue here, but if I can save a few bucks buying ex. 2015 instead of 2016 model of some brand and there is no big difference, why not if it's worth it,

some of you could read this post and think, "it's here again" :), but really, I'd like your input to get oriented a bit and maybe do a better decision, my current knowledge and experience is poor,

dylan*
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Re: light wind kite quest 2016

Postby dylan* » Sat May 07, 2016 7:00 pm

I'm 15 kg lighter than you and I haven't found a kite that is is worth buying for 10 knots of wind. My biggest kite is a 12m and I have very good light wind/efficiency skills since that's our normal wind 90% of the time. I've found that 15-18m kites really don't give me much extra low end, if any at all, in that light of wind. The difference is that if you weigh more, an 18m will give you a lot more power in "normal" lightwind, like 12-13 knots (in which case I am already overpowered on a kite that big).

The thing that makes the biggest difference is the board. I can get upwind in 10 knots on my 12m with a huge door style board, but that isn't fun. I know there are people riding hydrofoils in less wind than that, on smaller kites even, so that is my next attempt at riding in light wind.

Just my opinion... I don't think those giant kites are really worth it unless you're overweight and need the extra canopy size to add more power in normal wind ranges.

piccio
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Re: light wind kite quest 2016

Postby piccio » Sat May 07, 2016 7:15 pm

how small is your board compared to others in your spot ? it makes big difference ,I would choose a bigger board and smaller kite ,better to carry around,better to inflate,better to turn.
chek fins also ,the bigger the better for upwind.
maybe 14 15 meter
ciao

klamo
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Posts: 9
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Kiting since: 2014
Local Beach: austria - neusiedler see, croatia - istria, bol
Favorite Beaches: tarifa, sardinia
Style: freeride
Gear: f-one bandit 7, 2013, size 11
liquid force NRG 16m
Brand Affiliation: None

Re: light wind kite quest 2016

Postby klamo » Sat May 07, 2016 7:22 pm

dylan* wrote:I'm 15 kg lighter than you and I haven't found a kite that is is worth buying for 10 knots of wind. My biggest kite is a 12m and I have very good light wind/efficiency skills since that's our normal wind 90% of the time. I've found that 15-18m kites really don't give me much extra low end, if any at all, in that light of wind. The difference is that if you weigh more, an 18m will give you a lot more power in "normal" lightwind, like 12-13 knots (in which case I am already overpowered on a kite that big).

The thing that makes the biggest difference is the board. I can get upwind in 10 knots on my 12m with a huge door style board, but that isn't fun. I know there are people riding hydrofoils in less wind than that, on smaller kites even, so that is my next attempt at riding in light wind.

Just my opinion... I don't think those giant kites are really worth it unless you're overweight and need the extra canopy size to add more power in normal wind ranges.

this is also what I was worried a bit, that those 17m+ kites would only drag me downwind,
thanks for sharing opinion dylan, piccio, maybe since I'm familiar with Bandit already, I could just add a new 14m size for low wind days and in a 1-2 years when I'll advance with my skills, add 9m or 10m, and then I could skip my old 11m and have only ex. 9m and 14m with me,

btw, at this moment, I wouldn't dare to go out on the see/lake if it's more than 25knots :), I already had my share of scary situations with 11m Bandit in 25+knots winds (I know, out of the range for 11m kite), after that I really leveled up my respect for this sport and want to learn step by step,

my current board is 138x44 twintip, which doesn't work well with low wind, I know, I'll be looking into that as well,

dylan*
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Re: light wind kite quest 2016

Postby dylan* » Sat May 07, 2016 8:33 pm

The board really does make such a difference. Last year I remember driving over the Hood River bridge many times with my mountain bike on the back of my car since there was no wind, and as I drive over the bridge I see a bunch of people out on foil boards :D

Tone
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Re: light wind kite quest 2016

Postby Tone » Sat May 07, 2016 8:48 pm

TL:DR - get a large foil kite.

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davesails7
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Re: light wind kite quest 2016

Postby davesails7 » Sat May 07, 2016 9:11 pm

Be careful comparing wind speeds. Everyone measures the wind differently. One person's 8 knots is another person's 10 knots, and 2 knots makes a huge difference in light wind.

There are a lot of variables, but everything else being equal, bigger kites get you out in less wind. There's no question about it.

I'm fairly light (160lbs/72kg), and I've always liked riding big kites for light wind (18m-19m). I want to get out as much as possible, and big kites let me get out more. Some people don't think it's worth it.

markchatwin
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Re: light wind kite quest 2016

Postby markchatwin » Sun May 08, 2016 10:20 am

I would add Ozone Zephyr to your list. It has a higher end than alot of light wind kites. It doesn't scare me like the big TURBINE. The Turbine has one to two mph on the low end but can pull very aggressively when the gusts or surges come. It's a fairly slow turner as well.

Have ridden Cabrinha Contra 15m and the OR Flight 17m and both are fine kites.

I go from a 12m Dice to the 17m Zephyr very effectively.

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Peter_Frank
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Re: light wind kite quest 2016

Postby Peter_Frank » Sun May 08, 2016 11:38 am

klamo wrote:
dylan* wrote:I'm 15 kg lighter than you and I haven't found a kite that is is worth buying for 10 knots of wind. My biggest kite is a 12m and I have very good light wind/efficiency skills since that's our normal wind 90% of the time. I've found that 15-18m kites really don't give me much extra low end, if any at all, in that light of wind. The difference is that if you weigh more, an 18m will give you a lot more power in "normal" lightwind, like 12-13 knots (in which case I am already overpowered on a kite that big).

The thing that makes the biggest difference is the board. I can get upwind in 10 knots on my 12m with a huge door style board, but that isn't fun. I know there are people riding hydrofoils in less wind than that, on smaller kites even, so that is my next attempt at riding in light wind.

Just my opinion... I don't think those giant kites are really worth it unless you're overweight and need the extra canopy size to add more power in normal wind ranges.

this is also what I was worried a bit, that those 17m+ kites would only drag me downwind,
thanks for sharing opinion dylan, piccio, maybe since I'm familiar with Bandit already, I could just add a new 14m size for low wind days and in a 1-2 years when I'll advance with my skills, add 9m or 10m, and then I could skip my old 11m and have only ex. 9m and 14m with me,

btw, at this moment, I wouldn't dare to go out on the see/lake if it's more than 25knots :), I already had my share of scary situations with 11m Bandit in 25+knots winds (I know, out of the range for 11m kite), after that I really leveled up my respect for this sport and want to learn step by step,

my current board is 138x44 twintip, which doesn't work well with low wind, I know, I'll be looking into that as well,


Agree fully with Dylan here :D

Nobody uses these sizes here either, a few racers did years ago - but now racing has been cancelled and into hydrofoil and foil kites instead.
Many have had a 15 or even a 17, but most have ditched these again - as they work indeed, but the difference down to a "normal" 12/13/14m2 is not that big in terms of wind level, but in terms of fun the jump is huge, besides the classic "You always try to avoid having to ride with this size even if you got it, as you dont want to risk you should have taken a smaller one later if it picks up" :wink:

So I would definitely look for a different board instead, lightwind surfboard, skimboard, hydrofoil :naughty:

8) Peter

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Re: light wind kite quest 2016

Postby Mossy 757 » Sun May 08, 2016 11:38 am

dylan* wrote:I'm 15 kg lighter than you and I haven't found a kite that is is worth buying for 10 knots of wind. My biggest kite is a 12m and I have very good light wind/efficiency skills since that's our normal wind 90% of the time. I've found that 15-18m kites really don't give me much extra low end, if any at all, in that light of wind. The difference is that if you weigh more, an 18m will give you a lot more power in "normal" lightwind, like 12-13 knots (in which case I am already overpowered on a kite that big).

The thing that makes the biggest difference is the board. I can get upwind in 10 knots on my 12m with a huge door style board, but that isn't fun. I know there are people riding hydrofoils in less wind than that, on smaller kites even, so that is my next attempt at riding in light wind.

Just my opinion... I don't think those giant kites are really worth it unless you're overweight and need the extra canopy size to add more power in normal wind ranges.

This is exactly how I felt when I bought a "light wind" tube kite only to realize it was actually just a fat guy kite.

I am a foil kite convert now because they actually do what big tube kites only claim to do.


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