ronnie wrote:Greg's explanation of why he thinks the Cloud drifts so well.
I can see the characteristics described in the video being a benefit for wave riding, but when I tried the cloud out in flat water, this is exactly what I didn't like about the kite. When trying to stay upwind in very light wind on most kites, you hit a gust, you let the bar out a bit, the kite moves forward in the window. This pulls you upwind and you can take advantage of the gust.
With the cloud, you let the bar out in the gust and it does the opposite. It falls back in the window, just as shown in the video. In the video, he says the idea is for the canopyt to go "flat" when you let out the bar, but it actually goes "FLAP", not "flat"
That's great for riding downwind in the surf, but if you want the ultimate lightwind kite for staying up wind, I don't think strutless is the best option.
I don't think the no strut concept is as much of a benefit as it first seems. The weight of the kite is low, but so is the projected area/total area. The kite can't be flat or have a high aspect ratio in order to keep the canopy shape without struts. The cloud is probably the lightest 17m, but it has much less projected area than a typical 17m. I'd be interested to see how it compares to other kites in weight/projected area.
My 18m with 7 struts stays in the air in less wind than I can get going on my full size raceboard. Maybe a strutless kite would stay in the air in even less wind, but it wouldn't add to my low end because it wouldn't have any more power (lower projected area) and it wouldn't go upwind nearly as well.
Like every aspect of the design, going strutless is a tradeoff with benefits and downsides.