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Inflatable or foil

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Postby Guest » Sat Aug 31, 2002 5:33 pm

I was interested in some of the latest postings. Are inflatable kite bladders real that delicate, that a small shell or twig in the garden can damage them.I have always chosen to fly foils both for kitesurfing and using a mountain board.I do not have a great deal of experience with inflatables but it seems that everyone I talk to has something bad to say?

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Postby Paraflysurf » Sun Sep 01, 2002 6:47 am

Dont listen to them and stay with your softkites.

I do the same !!

Softkites have more advantages than tubes do.

The only advantage a tube has is its really big depower-range.
There are some softkites on the market that already try to place their depower systems, but the dopower range is still much smaller than on tubes though they try to tell you the opposite. Perhaps one day in the future.

+ Softkites are much easier to lanch and relaunch
+ You can launch and land them alone and safe
+ higher safety ( easy to full stall when you get in trouble)
+ the kite can not start when you connect the lines wrong
+ much more lift power
+ smaller kite, same power, better handling

- harder to handle in rogh winds
- in very low wind they are hard to inflate
- a lot of lines
- lying on the water in strong waves they can drink a lot

If Robby Naish would fly softkites, half of the market would do the same.

Softkites on water are only for experienced pilots. So you must be good.

I always tell the people that I teach in kiting : Dont go on water before you can fly your softkite with closed eyes. If you can, you are ready to go !!



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Postby Toby » Sun Sep 01, 2002 8:53 am

just small shells and stones won't hur the tubes, unless you crash them with full speed on the beach. But normally it shouldn't be a problem.
Foils had a big disadvantage: not such lift as a tube. But the foil makers are on the way to solve this problem.
Flysurfer's Psycho will be a new generation of foil kites with great lift and hangtime.
More test reports about it should follow soon.

Foils have so many lines at the kite which makes it a little bit scary when you look at it, but therefore you have to pump up the tubes.


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Postby Royce » Sun Sep 01, 2002 4:10 pm

Again, everyone has an opinion...go wavesailing on you foil kite and wakeboard a couple of miles out to sea and really go for it. I'll launch the rescue craft now. Float yourself in on your foil kite after you have broken your leg....lay on your foil kite till you are rescued when the wind drops....tow yourself in on your foil kite when you break a line.....relaunch your foil kite when the wind drops and comes up again... show me a foil kite in any KPRA event....In my opinion eventually foils will be extinct. I don't think there has been ONE sold in the Carribean for a long time. The inflatable kites these days are leaving the foils for dead. Go compare your towel to an X2 for height, hang, depowerability and maneuverability, then if you are not convinced go see how quickly people are learning ( and safely with the ease of self rescue ) people learn on a LEI. Sorry..of course thats just my opinion.
Tractors have been replaced by high performance trucks. See you on the racecourse.
AS for Manfreds statements...Go to the beach and watch the people learning trying to launch their "soft kites...."
I will be happy to teach you how to land a LEI kite alone safely in any conditions.....
There is no safety on your soft kite....sail 10 miles out to sea then rescue yourself brah....
There is much less power and much less height.....
As for the better handling...when I see the top guys riding a foil and doing the stuff they are now.... I'll eat my words. Till then I'll keep licking my lips every time I see a foil in my heat. PS call F-one and see how they love foil kites this year...I heard rhumor that the total foils sold by F-one in the us was less that 4 % of their total kite sails....Ouch. One more point...naish started a foil program at the same time as their 2 line bladder kites and decided that the LEI was much safer( among other things.) Sorry.

<font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: Royce on 2002-09-01 17:21 ]</font>

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Postby Mr Jo Macdonald » Sun Sep 01, 2002 4:23 pm

My humble opinion on this is that inflatables are way beter than foils in strong/medium wind (above 12-14 knots)
Foils are way better than inflatables in light wind (below 12-14 knots)


Postby Guest » Sun Sep 01, 2002 7:53 pm

Royce, Royce, Royce, what a negative taste comes out of your mouth about foils.
Did they attack you from behind?

At the moment there are 30+ tubekite brands
and 4+ KITESURF foil brands.
Ofcourse this also indicates the marketing
potential of both types. (spons. riders etc.)

Most things you claim in your post are things
that happen with foils that were NOT
originally designed for kitesurfing, they
just were redisigned for it.
And here is the whole problem.

Just try out a Flysurfer Warrior or PL S-Arc,
in the hands of an experienced sailor they
will not hold him back in any way.

And for learning, a couple of friends of mine
have learned on tubes and some on kitesurf
foils, all guys who learned on kitesurf foils
are more advanced in riding then there tubies.

Furthermore these kites (FS) have excellent
safety, range, restart (land&water) etc. etc.

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Postby me » Sun Sep 01, 2002 8:06 pm

Royce: Interesting.I have been flying Arc Kites for some time now and know many people that would rate them over an inflatable anyday.Excellent relaunch after crash. You could float home on it then kip on the beach for a while. Good depower range. No bridles.Very good wind range. No inflating tubes. Very stable in gusty conditions.Will fly in very low wind. Virtually indestructable.Outstanding safety system.I could go on.Maybe they are not seen in major events as much because the inflatable is seen to be the fashionable kite to buy for water use.I have never followed the crowd. The other advantage of an Arc is that you are not limited to the water.Buggying, playing on a mountain board are all within the kites ability.Like you say however, this is just my opinion.

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Postby Royce » Sun Sep 01, 2002 9:33 pm

Love stiring up the boys. Didn't mean to offend anyone just kinna showing that yes everyone thinks their kite is better than everyone else, and the more adamant you are about it the more adamant everyone else gets with their opinon. I hate to see people ragging on inflatables just because they like foils. Still.....most of the top guys who used to be foil guys are now not....

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Postby BLOWN AWAY » Mon Sep 02, 2002 7:09 pm

Kites like the X2 have made inflatable flying so much more enjoyable now.... flies more like a foil. The older inflatable kites really were slow but nowadays they've sped up heaps and fly nice and fast and with even more depower to them.

As for solo landing inflatables. It's not that hard... just make sure you have space and preferably shallow water where you plan on landing it. The new saftey systems make kite landing real easy.

It still depends on the wind as well... constant 20 knots... inflatables all the way. But in real crappy rotoring stuff I'd get something real stable like the ARC.

For real light stuff foils are hard to beat and like the inflatables... the foils nowadays are also a lot better than the ones 2 years ago.


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Postby aklbob » Tue Sep 03, 2002 1:51 am

Do you think an X2 is a good light wind kite? I prefer inflatables even for light wind, as if the conditions change you have plenty of range left. Also, launching a foil off damp sand makes it stick to the kite.
And also if you drop your kite in the water, relaunch is 100% with an inflatable, and it flys fine afterwards, whereas a foil can take in a small amount of water, and flying is affected badly...
Big foils are a pain in the ass to dry out and get sand out of... inflatables you just pump up at home in your backyard and let the sun dry them.. 1/2 hour and you can pack it away.
And it sounds like stacking a 16m X2 and a 12m gives you the low wind fun too..

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