Good luck calling pros who drop their kites kooks. Flat water carving falls under the category of wavekiting apparently. I wouldn't want to drop a 17m inflatable either as anything over 2ft mush will be needing a repair.
If pro drops lightwind kite in the water while in waves in 10kn then he is not a pro but a kook
0.5% of my seshs involve flat water so your info is wrong
If 2ft mush is going to hurt a kite then it is not an inflato but a waterlogged ram air
Inflatables are vastly superior to ram airs in light winds.
LIGHT WINDS Ram airs are inferior light wind kites for the following reasons:
a) Excessive drag (bridles, lack of internal rigidity, excessive friction at the "boundary layer", and trailing edge thickness), compromising the Lift/Drag ratio b) VERY slow turning c) Inertia. See above. d) Bridle failures and tangling e) Wind dropouts and gear failure
ALL kiters experiences a few gear failures (eg broken lines) and COMPLETE wind dropouts every year. Inflatables can be "sailed" (self-rescued) or swum to shore. If things are REALLY bad, the inflatable structure can support your weight, eg viewtopic.php?f=1&t=2368004
The following is an example of "diraklib's" experience with ram airs in wind dropouts:
diraklib wrote:"the SA-19 is huge and can whack you silly if you let it get down wind of you in a low wind launch. It is downright scary - be ready with the QR at all times if not up and riding!!! I can't say I agree with claims that you can ride the SA-19 in anything lower than a steady 8 knots. I made a personal choice to not ride the SA-19 any more. It went down twice in lulls and managed to bow-tie on the way down - there was no way to relaunch. I was not as lucky as others that self rescued. My kite was full of water by the time I dragged my very tired and frustrated a$$ to shore. It sounds simple, "wrap the lines around the bar, fold the kite in half, roll it up on your board and paddle in"... noooo... there are lines everywhere under water that wrap around your feet as you are trying to manipulate the kite. You just pray that a gust won't pop the kite up and slice of an appendage. The kite ... is just too scary when it goes down. My attitude now is - if my LEI won't fly, I shouldn't be on the water. Anyone interested in a slightly used SA2-19m??? Cheap???"
The following is the experience of "pmaggie" with ram airs in wind dropouts:
pmaggie wrote:I rode foils only a few times, so these are really my two cents. The problem I experieced with foils in very light wind when they suddenly fall. In my home spot, in very light wind days, sometimes the wind really goes to zero for 1 minute or so. When this happen, both foils and inflatables suddenly fall. In this cases, my inflatable, since it's far heavier than a foil, fall directly into the water with no line tangling and I just have to wait for a gust to relaunch (when possible, that means about 7 knots for my Core 17). When a foil falls with no wind, being very light, it's common that its lines roll over it and became completely tangled. At that point, it's not that easy to relaunch.
The other big problem with foils in very light wind is when the wind completely stops. With an inflatable, you just get your kite and swim attached to your little floating boat. With a foil, you have 20 sqm of tissue to carry home with you!
Here is the experience of "FredBGG" with a line failure:
FredBGG wrote:The other day I had a front line fail.
Wind was slightly off shore...
I really needed a tow to the beach.
I had the kite safely on the 5th line folded in half (flysurfer Foil)
I waved down two kiters.... both expert judging by their riding.
Both refused to help.
One even yelled if you can't relaunch it's your problem.
Anyway after a difficult ordeal in the surf and current I got back to the beach.
I had to rest a bit but my board was still out there.
For the full admission viewtopic.php?f=1&t=2362065
The problem here isn't with the other kiters, it's with Fred's choice of kite. If Fred had an inflatable, he would have been able to "self-rescue" by grabbing the tips and "sailing" to shore. The other kiters refusing to help is understandable: Fred opted for less safe equipment. It's his problem and he shouldn't impose on others to make up for his equipment deficiencies. Also, towing a ram air to shore is like towing a sleeping bag full of water - difficult and dangerous.
f) 8 knot limit Despite the lies of ram lovers, you won't really get going on any kite (ram air OR inflatable) unless the wind is over ~ 7-8 knots and won't really have fun until ~ 10 knots.
This video may prove the 7-8 knot low limit. Both kites - the 21m Flysurfer and the smaller (?17m) inflatable are FAILING TO STAY UPWIND and, by the look of the flag, there's about ? (hard to say) 8 knots of wind.
It's interesting to note that the ram air and the inflatable are both struggling IN SIMILAR CONDITIONS.
gmb13 wrote:My Speed 3 19 DL gives up under 5 knots... - Gunnar Biniasch
Wind moving at <7 knots (13km/h) simply cannot deliver enough power for ANY kite to perform; certainly NO KITE WILL PERFORM AT 5 KNOTS. Gunnar's exaggerations can be found at viewtopic.php?f=1&t=2361421
g) Objective Testing A variety of kites were tested in a "Light Wind Showdown" in San Diego viewtopic.php?f=1&t=2319439&hilit=ram+a ... +san+diego . Despite the over-hyped claims from the U.S. Flysurfer rep, Ted Bautista, Flysurfer ram airs crashed and burned. The overall consensus was that ram air kites are ok in light wind, but turn VERY SLOWLY. The overall impression was that there are much better inflatables.
h ) BIG INFLATABLES are better than BIG FLYSURFERS in Light Winds
See this thread about the poor light wind properties of Flysurfer viewtopic.php?f=1&t=2349064 , in particular:
gobigkahuna wrote:I read all the same reports and reviews that everyone else here probably read and spent the "big bucks" for the S2-19, but to be honest was extremely disappointed and sold it…Flysurfers just plain suck in gusty, light winds…I had a hard time keeping the thing in the air much less getting enough power from it to go on the water… A couple months later I got an 07 Waroo 20m…and it is the best 20m I've ever flown. I am able to fly it in winds I would never have thought possible.
i) Peter Frank's opinion Peter Frank, a well respected commentator on the sport, says 8-9 knots is the bare minimum viewtopic.php?f=1&t=2365531
Night_Thrasher wrote:What is the lowest wind condition I can go kitesurfing and what is the best kite brand and size for it?
It depends a lot on your weight, how low you can go.
If you are "average" around 80kg, the lowest you can go will be around 5m/s (10knots) with the right kite and board.
If you are REALLY experienced, you will be able to push the lower limit down to about 8-9 knots, but this is the absolute lowest wind possible to kitesurf in (holding ground/going upwind) with average weight IMO.
And talking about EXACTLY how "low you can go" is just pure bullshit - as you can not measure the windspeed at the kite, which is the only true value for this.
Sometimes you have a huge windgradient, sometimes a small one, and air temperature and height also influences.
But around 10knots is the limit for most kitesurfers, and just a small tad lower for the "extreme" ones
When you talk about windspeed - where is it measured then ?
At headheight, maybe around 2 meter above the water ?
Or at 10 meter height, which is our (Denmark) meterological standard height for wind measurements ?
There is a difference of typical 2 knots, so VERY important.
My point is - always take those claiming "this and that" as their minimum wind speed with a grain of salt
And the lies.
Of ram airs ignore.
OMG pete was invoked. Is it mention foils 3 times and he comes? Life on welfare must really suck to be this down about life.
What is it with some peoples obsession to never drop the kite? You'll never progress with an attitude like that. I have seen pros drop kites in all strengths of wind, most don't even go out in 10knots. That includes the likes of Aaron Hadlow, at his best. Still landing the trick but dropping the kite You know what really good riders can do? Drop and relaunch a kite while still riding. Get back to be when you have mastered that one HAHAHA
Thanks PMU. I have been getting a headache lately watching this newbie ( kook status) trying to learn to kiteboard with a ram air. OMG he keeps dropping it. Keeps pulling it out of the water full of water and weeds in bridle. WHY ?? does he go through all that pain ? Who recommended that to him. He needs to get on KF and read about your wisdom.
I just got a 2012 Naish Fly from a friend brand new, how is that year compare to all the kites discussed? I went ahead and took out the one pump system so will have no peeling valve problems was easy 2 struts only on the kite. I weigh 85 kilos ride a tt what is the range for me to anybody that has experience with this kite? It only cost me 400 bucks and came with a 2014 Naish bar that is like new, couldn't pass up the deal. wind is for 9mtr here at the moment did not get a chance to test before I bought. Tks and happy holidays to all!!
Last edited by Jbrook on Mon Dec 21, 2015 6:46 pm, edited 1 time in total.
BWD wrote:Bille I think that kite is for a guy your size to do freestyle or wake style in ~13-18 knots. I am still not a foiler so take with a grain of salt but I think most foilers prefer kites with more depower -wave kites or race kites, or foil kites. I do have a 13m c4, weigh 80kg, and it is good with surfboards from 12 knots or twintips from 14 or so, up to 22 or so. So, for what it is, a c shape that makes power in the turns, range is ok. Maybe enough??
Darn ; i'll do a bit of research on that , (before i use it for foiling) . It was a mistake
how i ended up with it, in the first place ; so maybe that C4, just wants to kite board with me
without the hydrofoil ?
PullStrings wrote:Thanks PMU. I have been getting a headache lately watching this newbie ( kook status) trying to learn to kiteboard with a ram air. OMG he keeps dropping it. Keeps pulling it out of the water full of water and weeds in bridle. WHY ?? does he go through all that pain ? Who recommended that to him. He needs to get on KF and read about your wisdom.
Thanks PullStrings. Setting-up a beginner on a ram air should be an indictable offence for all the reasons you mentioned (any many more).