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On-shore vs Off-shore wave kite

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chibern
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On-shore vs Off-shore wave kite

Postby chibern » Thu May 10, 2018 4:20 pm

Just getting into kiting in the surf and was curious...

What are the different requirements of a wave kite for on-shore winds versus off-shore winds? I see some kites have on/off-shore bridle settings and some people comment that "this" kite is better for on-shore winds and "that" kite for off-shore.

I think I know the general requirements needed of a wave kite in general (drift, good de-power, fast turning, steady power in loops, etc.) but what makes one kite more suited to on-shore and another to off-shore winds?

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Re: On-shore vs Off-shore wave kite

Postby jonysan » Thu May 10, 2018 5:59 pm

HI, I think all the points you mentioned "Drift, good de-power, fast turning, steady power in loops" are the main requirements of a kite to make it easier to use in onshore conditions, they also apply to cross/on, sideshore, and cross/off conditions,
Offshore winds ......... dangerous, and very hard work.
In onshore conditions the main requirement is very good depower, but also to use the right kite size so you are riding - comfortably to well powered up.
if underpowered then as soon as you top turn off the wave you are riding into slack lines which means you need to bottom turn hard while hoping the kite stays in the sky.
If well powered up then you have possibly the opposite problem, the kite is still pulling you out in front of the wave , and that's when you need good de-power to allow you to stay close to the wave face,
Good de-power is top of the list,
A fast turning , and very reactive kite is next on the list, it allows you to rescue a move either by downlooping to get the kite a bit more powered up, or slamming the kite right back across the wind window to get out of a sticky situation.

Drift, I'm not sure about the whole "drift" thing , as long as the kite stays in the sky, and is recoverable after it drops back a bit, then most low aspect kites work perfectly in waves.

In onshore conditions, probably the most important factor is experience knowing that if you are turning down a decent sized wave then your speed is going to increase toward the kite, so knowing your next move is a good idea !

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Re: On-shore vs Off-shore wave kite

Postby plummet » Thu May 10, 2018 7:35 pm

The more onshore you go the more downwind you travel a when wave riding, drift is most important.

The more offshore you go the less downwind you travel when on the wave face. You need to be able to point upwind higher to stay of the swell/face prior to turning dtl. Upwind and turning speed is most important.

Most wave kites are designed to tackle cross to onshore conditions. They do an ok job in cross off. But there comes a point where a higher aspect non wave kite is better for cross off wave riding due to it's superior upwind capability.

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Re: On-shore vs Off-shore wave kite

Postby chibern » Thu May 10, 2018 9:47 pm

Thanks for the responses!

@plummet - clear and succinct!

So when talking up-wind capability between kites what magnitude of difference are we talking about? Everything else being equal, if riding an on-shore wave kite and an off-shore wave kite (or settings) on flat water, is it a noticeably big difference? 1 degree, 5 degrees, 10 degrees closer to the wind? An "every little bit helps" kind of thing? Or is it just easier somehow to go upwind to the same degree but not necessarily higher into the wind?

[Edit: Hmm, just saw this similar topic from not too long ago. Sorry for not doing more research! viewtopic.php?f=1&t=2398571&hilit=on+shore+wave+kites ]

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Re: On-shore vs Off-shore wave kite

Postby plummet » Fri May 11, 2018 7:53 pm

Not sure of exact angles. There comes a point of offshore wind angle where a wave kite is no longer better at wave riding than a mid aspect or high aspect kite because it has reached its upwind limit and can't easily stay on the face any more.
That said, the board has the biggest impact on upwind angle. So maybe a better pointing board would help more than a better pointing kite

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Re: On-shore vs Off-shore wave kite

Postby edt » Fri May 11, 2018 8:11 pm

on shore wind you are riding towards the kite so it has to drift well but doesn't necessarily have to upwind very well. off shore wind when you are on a wave you are riding against the wind so drift doesn't matter the lines are tensioned the entire time you are on the wave, all you want is maximum upwind performance. Check out some viddies of Kai Lenny riding big waves in off shore conditions. A lot of times he will be on a monster wave having a great time but then the kite pulls him up and over the wave. That said I never ride offshore conditions (sucks in offshore wind if you have a gear failure) so maybe someone who rides them more can say something. I'm not sure what bridle changes you might to do get better upwind angles. If a kite could go better upwind wouldn't it ordinarily just come from the factory with that setting? Upwind angle has more to do with the shape of the kite (low drag high aspect) than the bridle.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T0DpQMk4ay8

6 minutes in Kai talks about riding offshore waves. But even with Kai Lenny the premier waterman of the decade, he has to completely release the kite when he gets too high up on the wave otherwise he would have been pulled over and not been able to finish riding it.

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Re: On-shore vs Off-shore wave kite

Postby TommyDuotone » Fri May 11, 2018 11:36 pm

Onshore: Can't wave ride(down-the line).
Side-onshore: You need a kite that has quick pivotal turns with the ability to turn/loop even when de-powered. Takes more skill to match the turns of the kite to your intended lines(path of the surfboard). Drift not as important.
Side-shore: Ideal for wave riding. Just slight adjustments needed for your kite. Since you are riding directly towards your kite, Drift is important.
Side-off: If it's too offshore, you stay too high on the face and tend to get pulled off the back.
Offshore: Don't go out.

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Re: On-shore vs Off-shore wave kite

Postby Slappysan » Sat May 12, 2018 12:22 am

iblocalsurfer wrote:
Fri May 11, 2018 11:36 pm
Onshore: Can't wave ride(down-the line).
This is not true.

The term onshore means the wind vs. wave angle. Just because the wind and waves are aligned does not mean the shore is perpendicular. As long as you have a sandbar/reef/shoal that goes on a 45 degree angle to the wind + wave angle you can ride DTL if the waves are big enough and you'll need a kite with good slack line drift.

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Re: On-shore vs Off-shore wave kite

Postby mr_daruman » Sat May 12, 2018 1:46 am

From personal experience for onshore wind, a quick reacting light kite is top with good upwind power.

As for upwind:Is it just me or a super good upwind kite is necessary for onshore waves? You get pushed down constantly and being able to ride super upwind helps so much in positioning, and the number of waves you ride.

Exem: Onshore waves, With a switch element5 I can hit the lip hard flying upwind without moving the kite. While with a Reo, I am quiclkly out of power and can barely make the turn with a splash. I have to work the kite so much more.

Sideoff wind is a breeze to get back up the line up. Upwind doesnt seem that important...


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