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 Post subject: LW Freestyle/Freeride: Zephyr vs Turbine vs Contra vs Boost
PostPosted: Sun May 24, 2015 7:41 pm 
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Joined: Sun May 24, 2015 12:25 pm
Posts: 19
Dear readers,

I am looking for a 4-line light wind specific tube kite to get going as early as possible.
The kite will be my work horse from 0-16 knots but should remain controllable when the wind picks up and reaches around 20+knots (Therefore I exclude all strutless and single strut designs). I am willing to sacrifice bar feel for better wind range, water restart and low end.
It should have Single Frontline Safety and be compatible with a low V (eg Slingshot Bar).

I have an old race board for very low winds but prefer riding my skimboard, surfboards and my 138x42 freestyle/wakestyle TT (Slingshot Asylum). Therefore I need a kite with plenty of low end grunt to pull my 75-80kg (175lbs). Later we might pickup a Hydrofoil to explore the absolute bottom end.

At my home spot the wind the wind is very gusty and often dies completely, so all kites fall from the sky (therefore I excluded all foil kites). Due to limited space I often have to start my sessions from the boat with a drift launch - to avoid tangles I prefer kites with short pullieless bridles.
--> Water relaunch has high priority!

Based on these criteria I came up with the following kites:

Ozone - Zephyr 17 (I often read about bad low end?)
Slingshot - Turbine 17 (seems to be a solid tractor but I often read about imprecise bar feel and down tendency?)
Flysurfer - Boost 18 (complex intriguing bridle system - but excellent reviews so far)
Cabrinha - Contra 17 (???)

How do these kites compare to each other?
Which one would you recommend to me?
From my experience kites with lower aspect ratio and bigger diameter front tubes are more stable in gusts?

I am not too experienced yet but have aspirations to learn more freestyle and wakestyle tricks, also I like playing around in smaller waves. Winning races is not important to me. Looking forward to your input.

Thanks a lot for your time!


Last edited by snowflake on Tue May 26, 2015 4:13 pm, edited 3 times in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Low Wind Kite (Tube) / SFS / 4-L / Water Relaunch!
PostPosted: Sun May 24, 2015 10:22 pm 
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Joined: Sun Feb 09, 2014 10:19 am
Posts: 27
Sounds like you want the perfect light wind kite.... News is: it doesnt exist.

Here are some good comparisons i used when selecting my light wind kite. At the end i went with my North Juice 18 meter.

http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=OootDRvjQNM


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 Post subject: Re: Low Wind Kite (Tube) / SFS / 4-L / Water Relaunch!
PostPosted: Mon May 25, 2015 1:27 am 
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Joined: Sun May 24, 2015 12:25 pm
Posts: 19
Thanks for your answer, I looked at all the average joe reviews. I believe the juice is the wrong kite for me. The kite has a quite long bridle with a pullie and the NKB bar has a medium Y instead of a low V.


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 Post subject: Re: Low Wind Kite (Tube) / SFS / 4-L / Water Relaunch!
PostPosted: Mon May 25, 2015 2:42 am 
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Medium Poster

Joined: Tue Jun 19, 2012 10:39 pm
Posts: 196
Well, I'm biased, but try the Switch Helium.

I'm 85 kg, and on long lines (28m) I can ride flat water with my Shinnster (160x46) in 8 kts. I can unhook and have real fun even on short lines in 11-12 kts. With my boots on the twintip I have ridden it on the regular 23m lines in 17 kts and didn't have to depower yet, so 20 kts should be possible.

No pulleys (a bit longer bridle though compared to the Nitro/Element), low V and single line safety on the Switch bar, you can use regular size bar, stays in the air at 5-6 knots, reverse launches very good, relaunch is tricky in 5-6 knots, but not really a problem in 8 knots. Could take a while to get to the edge though. Kite won't flip over easily (guess that's what you mean with 'stable') forwards or backwards if it drops for whatever reason.


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 Post subject: Re: Low Wind Kite (Tube) / SFS / 4-L / Water Relaunch!
PostPosted: Mon May 25, 2015 2:45 am 
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Joined: Thu Jul 24, 2014 11:14 pm
Posts: 139
Maui Cloud. Size of your choice. Done.


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 Post subject: Re: Low Wind Kite (Tube) / SFS / 4-L / Water Relaunch!
PostPosted: Mon May 25, 2015 2:57 am 
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Joined: Sun May 24, 2015 12:25 pm
Posts: 19
I currently own a BRM - Cloud 17 C1, my desire to get another kite resulted from my experiences using the Cloud. First of all I love this kite for holidays at the sea with steady wind.

At our lake the kite tangles easy with the long bridles while drift launching (gotta try a short bridle modification). It is also very hard to relaunch below 7 knots when the canopy collapses and water runs over it (which means I have to swim home when the wind dies instead of body dragging). I know I can try to get the water off the canopy by swimming towards the kite. When I manage to get the canopy up I can always relaunch it.

When the wind picks up what happens on a regular basis here, the kite flutters while depowered. The flutter seems to generate drag and forces the kite to sit a bit deeper in the wind window. I had better results by depowering less and trying to push the kite to the edge via the edge of my board.


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 Post subject: Re: Low Wind Kite (Tube) / SFS / 4-L / Water Relaunch!
PostPosted: Mon May 25, 2015 3:19 am 
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Joined: Mon Apr 14, 2014 4:16 pm
Posts: 8
I only have 4 flights trying it, and I'm still a beginner, but I recently started using a Switch Helium (18m) in similar conditions to yours - boat launching on a lake with winds around 10 knots, with lulls from almost nothing to gusts at almost 20 knots. Thus far the Helium seems to work pretty well...

The boat launching has been very successful (for this and an older 12m Cabrinha), although there definitely is an art to it and I'm sure it would be significantly harder keeping the lines straight without my "Speed Rig" from Kite Solutions (no affiliation, but a $10ish piece of velcro is great! Probably simple enough to just make your own).

The kite launches in pretty low winds, not sure exactly how low, guessing 6+ knots. On the lake, I think there are usually enough occasional stronger gusts to launch easily, even if you aren't the best with technique.

Once the kite is up you can generally keep it flying. I had it stall and fall forward and tangle on itself in a lull once, but that could have been due to my letting it sit too much for the conditions instead of actively flying it.

I've been pulled through some decent gusts, guessing mid to high teens, and didn't feel out of control (I'm 195 pounds).

So thus far, all in all I've been pretty pleased with the Helium. No idea how it would compare side by side with the competition, but the price can't be beat.


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 Post subject: Re: Low Wind Kite (Tube) / SFS / 4-L / Water Relaunch!
PostPosted: Mon May 25, 2015 7:59 am 
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Joined: Wed Nov 24, 2010 11:03 am
Posts: 241
On your list and priority requirements I'd not recommend Zephyr and Turbine for water relaunch. Neither Best TS 17, Airush zero 19m or Cloud 1 17m (oh you had a cloud) or Nitro2.

Reason: They do not (re)launch and/or maintain ground even when I am riding (>100kg) on my generic purpose foil kite & door-twintip. And this is perceived at local spots riding against those kites and also me by testing some of those kites, not on net surfing.

In my mind on low winds you need high performance kite with high AR. Because less the wind speed, your board speed is higher relative to wind speed and more the wind window twist because of apparent wind. So with low AR kite sitting deep you'll find really hard to maintain ground so expect walk of shames. They pull you on the beach and you 'feel' the power but they pull you to the wrong direction -> down wind.

My list would be: Edge 17-19m, Boost 18m + other race LEI kites, is Contra a such? But there are talks about Edge's durability at least if you need to solo-launch. But low wind relaunch might still be an issue.


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 Post subject: Re: Low Wind Kite (Tube) / SFS / 4-L / Water Relaunch!
PostPosted: Mon May 25, 2015 9:37 am 
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Joined: Sun Jul 24, 2005 6:39 pm
Posts: 3272
That's an unusual set of requirements.
Thing is - power is proportional to the square of wind speed, so the lower the kite will go, the more the range tightens. A kite that goes from 8 knots to 24 knots handles 1 to 9 times the power. 8 to 24, 7 to 21, 6 to 18, 5 to 15, 4 to 12 are all the same wind range in terms of power.

I like the IDS system because of the launch, relaunch, pack down. If you have those things as a high priority, then something like the 2013 16m LW Crossbow should be on the list (if you could find one). The IDS system makes drift launching very easy, as is pack down. Relaunch is easy if there is enough wind, and you can get it to relaunch with a bit of technique in quite low wind. It may not relaunch down to as low wind as the Cloud, but its easier to get it ready for relaunch.
This is a good technique, and you can pump it into the air a bit better than in the video if you can use both hands and alternately pump the front lines and the upper rear line.



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 Post subject: Re: Low Wind Kite (Tube) / SFS / 4-L / Water Relaunch!
PostPosted: Mon May 25, 2015 10:32 am 
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Joined: Sun May 24, 2015 12:25 pm
Posts: 19
Hi,

thanks for your feedback. I am sure the Helium is a nice kite, however I have no opportunity to demo it here and I won't buy a kite without testing it first.

spatty99 wrote:
On the lake, I think there are usually enough occasional stronger gusts to launch easily, even if you aren't the best with technique.

This is true, you need a kite with struts that hold the kites profile for this, so you can wait in starting position and quickly pull it up when the gust hits.

In low winds I usually reverse launch my kites. Sometimes I also have success by pulling a backline and the opposite frontline.

you are right concerning the proportional power of wind ronnie, out of the given ranges I guess I am searching for the 6 to 18 or 7-21, but with the possibility to fly (but not deliver power) below 6/7 knots.

I am surprised that you do not recommend the Turbine joriws, which kites water start better?
I often saw guys reverse launching the Turbine in 5 knots (metered), this impressed me as it would give me the opportunity to body drag home when the wind dies or pull around a laser (sailing boat) / old windsurfer. The Ozone Edge is very difficult if not impossible to launch in such conditions. Ozone promotes the Zephyr as based on the Edge but optimized towards fun and water relaunch, so I thought it might be a good compromise?
The contra seems to be Cabrinha's equivalent as they also have the velocity for pure racing.

I am aware that I need to work with apparent winds in such low wind speeds. I know that a higher aspect ratio kite has better upwind ability, but at the same time they are not as stable in the air at the absolute low end,

Even the upwind ability of the low AR Cloud is good enough for me and I guess any of the mentioned kites will be easier to go upwind?


Last edited by snowflake on Mon May 25, 2015 11:03 am, edited 1 time in total.

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