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Kiteboarding in zero wind. It's possible after all!

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alexrider
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Kiteboarding in zero wind. It's possible after all!

Postby alexrider » Thu Oct 13, 2016 10:53 am

At least theoretically until someone tries.
All it takes is to be in a sufficiently strong current that creates the apparent wind you need to get going.
It's bit of a mind bender to understand the assumption (just like it was for those who first struggled to understand how it is possible to gain ground against the wind, btw), because everything is reversed. In order to gain ground, you should ride downwind of the apparent wind, and sail upwind to go downstream. Funny enough, technically, the upstream velocity should still be called VMG, even though you'd be sailing on a broad reach.
It seems that proving the theory right by experiment should be easier than proving it wrong with scientific arguments. A beer to anyone taking either challenge. With a hydrofoil/foil kite combo in a current greater than 6 knots, it should be doable. Perhaps I should have posted this in the hydrofoil section?

"In theory there is no difference between theory and practice. In practice there is."
I wish not for this case. :)

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Re: Kiteboarding in zero wind. It's possible after all!

Postby or6 » Thu Oct 13, 2016 3:39 pm

You'd have to start with some wind, to get the kite flying, but your theory probably holds water...though I wouldn't call it kiteboarding, I'd call it currentboarding :-).

B.T.W. this sort of thing should be discussed over a beer, or two, not on a forum :wink:

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Re: Kiteboarding in zero wind. It's possible after all!

Postby alexrider » Thu Oct 13, 2016 4:17 pm

If you're drifting, say in a 8 knot current, the apparent wind is 8 knots. If you can't you relaunch a kite in 8 knots, you're not the right candidate to take up the challenge, or6.
As long as you're using a board and a kite to ride over water, it's still kiteboarding in my book.
What's telling you I'm not holding a glass beer in a pub with my mates looking and laughing over my shoulder? :cheers:
Thanks for your advice, but are you seriously telling me what should or shouldn't be on a kite dedicated forum with your 10th post here? :baby:
Just check the busiest thread by far (with 6 thousand replies and nearly 4 million views) in this forum and tell me if it should be here.
or6 wrote:You'd have to start with some wind, to get the kite flying, but your theory probably holds water...though I wouldn't call it kiteboarding, I'd call it currentboarding :-).

B.T.W. this sort of thing should be discussed over a beer, or two, not on a forum :wink:
Last edited by alexrider on Thu Oct 13, 2016 5:06 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: Kiteboarding in zero wind. It's possible after all!

Postby edt » Thu Oct 13, 2016 4:26 pm

or6 wrote:You'd have to start with some wind, to get the kite flying
Put the kite on the beach in a hot launch position swim out into the water upwind ah I mean upcurrent of the kite. Now let the current drag you downwind, as soon as your lines go tight the kite will pop up and start flying and you will be drifting downwind while the kite stays in the air with apparent wind. Might be fun to do on a tidal current, there are some nice strong tidal currents I know of you could do this near Vancouver in the islands, can get up to 8 knots or so definitely enough to hydrofoil on and stay upwind or I guess upcurrent?

The wildest thing is these places have zero fetch in them you are surrounded on all sides by cliffs and trees and wind shadows but you will be able to ride anyway. Would be a crazy experience being able to kite in a place that normally you could never go because of the huge cliffs blocking the wind. Just be careful with those tidal currents. You are not gonna be swimming back to shore if you mess up. You could do it in a few rivers too maybe "The Drop" right before Niagara falls? That is supposed to flow at 30 knots. Just remember if you go over the falls not to let your kite hit the cliff and stick the landing in case you end up on some stupid meme video.

I should check the flow rate near Tahquamenon falls in my home state see if it gets fast enough in the spring to ride that river. It's got a 14m drop but the river is too narrow for long lines I would have to be on 10 meter lines. Maybe the colorado river?

It would be hilarious to have some white water rafter come down the colorado and there you are kiteboarding you bust a megaloop over them and they keep drifting down river wondering wtf they just saw.

Relaunch would be a bitch you would have to do a self rescue swim back to shore, find a spot that was big enough for you to walk up current lay out your lines again and make sure your kite was in a good position on land and jump back in the river.

I'm down with this idea! Only thing left to do now is find the best spot.
Last edited by edt on Thu Oct 13, 2016 4:46 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Kiteboarding in zero wind. It's possible after all!

Postby knotwindy » Thu Oct 13, 2016 4:45 pm

In the spring, the Gorge can get flowing that fast. Hard to find no wind, though!

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Re: Kiteboarding in zero wind. It's possible after all!

Postby edt » Thu Oct 13, 2016 4:47 pm

Yeah the gorge is a good idea, but correct me if I'm wrong but aren't the currents really slow near the edge of the river in the gorge where you normally kite?

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Re: Kiteboarding in zero wind. It's possible after all!

Postby alexrider » Thu Oct 13, 2016 5:03 pm

You got it, edt. As you guessed the major problem would be to find an appropriate spot, i.e. wide enough current stream and not too rough (as in the Maelstrom). In France there should be a couple of suitable places around the Cotentin Peninsula in the Channel.
How wide are the current channels you mention near Vancouver? Surely they should be charted?
Found this so far: http://www.burkard.baschek.info/researc ... tidal.html
Yes, a jetski on standby is definitely a good idea. You could also use it to launch the kite from the beach, parakiting style.
edt wrote:...

Put the kite on the beach in a hot launch position swim out into the water upwind ah I mean upcurrent of the kite. Now let the current drag you downwind, as soon as your lines go tight the kite will pop up and start flying and you will be drifting downwind while the kite stays in the air with apparent wind. Might be fun to do on a tidal current, there are some nice strong tidal currents I know of you could do this near Vancouver in the islands, can get up to 8 knots or so definitely enough to hydrofoil on and stay upwind or I guess upcurrent?

The wildest thing is these places have zero fetch in them you are surrounded on all sides by cliffs and trees and wind shadows but you will be able to ride anyway. Would be a crazy experience being able to kite in a place that normally you could never go because of the huge cliffs blocking the wind.

I'd want a rescue boat or jetski on standby. Messing with those tidal currents is no joke. You are not gonna be swimming back to shore if you mess up.

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Re: Kiteboarding in zero wind. It's possible after all!

Postby edt » Thu Oct 13, 2016 5:09 pm

alexrider wrote: How wide are the current channels you mention near Vancouver? Surely they should be charted?
The ones I was thinking of are a couple hundred meters should be wide enough. They are between the various islands there.

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Re: Kiteboarding in zero wind. It's possible after all!

Postby or6 » Thu Oct 13, 2016 6:01 pm

I am not telling you anything Alexrider, of course you're wellcome to discuss this here.

I am not so sure launching or relaunching a kite would be really possible, though I believe your theory, but I have kited Raglan (NZ), where a very strong current (don't remember how strong, any locals here?) would enable us to kite in very little wind. I remember trying to jump, having plenty of load on the lines, and then realising there was not nearly enough to jump. Weird experience, a blast. The wind was opposite the winddirection though.

As far as relaunching goes in no wind....sorry mate, the kite is going to drift in the same direction you are. Launching the kite from the beach...sounds almost possible, why not.

Cheers :-)

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Re: Kiteboarding in zero wind. It's possible after all!

Postby or6 » Thu Oct 13, 2016 6:14 pm

how about normandy? What's the famous peninsula called? Mont St Michel? Go Alex! :D


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