BWD wrote:For what it's worth, I too have flown both a batwing 15.5 and a cloud 17, as well as a zephyr.
I prefer the cloud over the batwing, for low end, better turning/handling and great relaunch.
As opposed to poor light wind relaunch on the bat (mainly due to the lack of LE sweep in my opinion). The bat did go upwind and jump well, and had good range 12 to 20 knots or so.
The bat's other low point was mush turning.
I am sure it suits some well, and the upwind and jumping were nice, it's an efficient wing.
But with it's smaller size and different priorities, not an ultra-light wind kite.
The cloud bar pressure does not bother me, maybe that make me hardcore. Ha ha!
I thought a hardcore rider, could hold the pressure....
Cloud bar pressure may be more than some bows, it's fairly comparable to an RPM, and some other things....
Cloud upwind is fine, maybe not ultimate, but good for sure.
For an 80kg rider with a surfboard or large twin tip, the Cloud range is 7 to 17 knots.
Or maybe 20 if you are athletic and can pull in the bar.
If you're light or wimpy call it 7 to 15 knots.
Last week I enjoyed (!) session in the rain, in 6 to 14 knots, with the 17m cloud on a curvy thruster surfboard.
The 17 will relaunch and fly with good stability even in light rain, in about 6 knots.
By 8 knots heading upwind, by 10 knots making good speed.
No doubt with a raceboard, fish, etc. it could go upwind in less.
I have also had the 17 out in small waves in 15-17 knots, and while it did flap a little turning on the wave, there wasn't much vibration, and drift and handling remained great.
Honestly, all kites flap in waves, unless you ride in a straight line.
The only time I had much bar vibration was in sustained 18-20+,
when I got too tired to sheet in and fly the kite properly.
So I switched down to a 9.
So, if you don't know how to fly a kite, or pick one for the conditions, don't fly a cloud.
Or I should say, don't fly a 17m cloud when a 10m would be enough! And maybe take a lesson?
The cloud is a good light wind option.
Especially if your are riding when the wind risks dropping below 10 knots. It sticks to the sky.
If you are riding in building wind that starts at 8 or 10 and may hit over 20, I'd choose something else, maybe the zephyr, or a race kite of some kind.
That way you could get going early and have a little reserve in 18-20 knots (but only a little).
Or just wait a few minutes and rig a 12.
No one kite is best or worst for everything.
Just thought my experience might shed a little light, as opposed to slinging mud.
Choose your kite for what you want to do.
Ride in 18-20?
For me that means a 9-12m kite...
Anyway, here are pictures of cloud flying, you can see a wrinkle in the canopy from flapping as I get onto a wave and the kite drifts. Sorry not a better picture but you get the idea. This was fun and the flapping was not a problem, believe me!
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