Correct. LW kites are great because you can get out on most calm days (depending on the size you choose of course) and have the place mostly to yourself. It is true that few people go for LW kites for the reason given above and also because they come quite pricey and are more delicate because the material needs to be light. The biggest plus of a LW kite is that you become a very good kite flyer. You are forced to make the most of all the variables you can’t control as opposed to battling to keep those variables from ‘gobbling you up’ when the weather is heavy. I have to say, I have never met anyone who just got into kitesurfing for the LW experience.hgrimberg wrote: ↑Sat Nov 04, 2017 8:17 pmThat was a great explanation. It helps me a lot what you say about how difficult it is to learn on very light wind. Also a bigger kite that is not a pure lightwind kite is not for lighter wind but for heavier people with the same amount of wind. Right?Flyboy wrote: ↑Sat Nov 04, 2017 5:56 pmHere's the deal: kites are much more efficient than windsurfers in marginal conditions. The ability to create apparent wind by moving the kite far exceeds what is possible on a windsurfer by pumping. That means a kite gives you more range than a windsurfing sail & more ability to ride through lulls. However, there is a point at which you will not be able to get planing with a kite. What that point is depends on your skill,level with the kite & also, importantly, what kind of board you are using. On an average TT with a 12m kite, 11 knots will be the absolute minimum that you will be able to plane with at your weight. 12 - 13 knots required in order to kite consistently upwind & 14 - 15 knots to be fully powered. Getting a bigger kite, like a 15m, might add 1 knot to the those minimums, so it's barely worth it (IMO). A light wind board - like a big, flat rockered TT, or a flat rockered directional, like a North Nugget, will make a significant difference - you could probably stay upwind in 10 -11 knots with a 15m kite. However ... still questionable if it's really worth - perhaps, if you have a lot of days that have consistent 10 - 12 knots. It is also true that learning to kite in marginal winds is difficult, however, 13 - 14 knots is all you need to feel decently powered up, even when you are learning.
I am the same weight as you. For years I rode TTs & had 16m, 12m & 9m kites. About 8 years ago I switched exclusively to a small, flat rockered directional board. Since then I have never used anything bigger than a 12m kite. BIg kites are not worth the trouble (IMO) as they give you only a very small amount of extra bottom end & become over-powered quite quickly. As someone coming from windsurfing you might considered starting with a flat rockered directional, rather than a TT. A powerful 12m kite will be as big as you need.
I suppose I'll always be a windsurfer first and always remain as such. I was one of the founders of windsurfing starting in 1978. Used to live in Maui for a few years and one of those that were always needing bigger waves. I still think windsurfing is better for waves because you don't have to be thinking about the whereabaouts of the kite when riding a wave. I just want the kite for a substitute of working out. All of my windsurf friends that were hooked by kitesurfing, moved back to windsurfing after a few years. In any case I want to learn and experience it myself.jeromeL wrote: ↑Sat Nov 04, 2017 9:25 pmAnother thing to consider is that you risk to stop windsurfing even when wind is over 15 knots, once you get hooked on kitesurfing.
Unless you are a pro freestyler windsurfer, or really get the thrill of cutting through chop at high speed, but the progression on kite is a lot easier than windsurfing which looks really hard to learn anything beyond some variation of jybe and tack.
Not talking about personal experience, just did some basic windsurfing 25 to 17 years ago.
All good thing though.
Like other said 12m and 17m kite gives you 1 knot difference. But at 12 knots you can do a bit more tricks on bigger kite than on 12m at your weight.
Anyway I weight about the same and 12m has plenty of low end my 14m enable me a knot more but depends how steady wind is in those range and with a knot more I have more fun on 12m... so overall if I had to pick one it would be 12m. It's true that some kite are more geared toward heavier people, below 12 knots you are going to need light wind specific kite, depends how gust and lull are happening at your spot.
With hydrofoil you can go down to 10 knots or less with specialty gear. Can't go wrong with 12m, you will buy more gear down the road