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upwind performance

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Postby Adolfo » Mon Oct 28, 2002 7:13 pm

I’ve been reading the forum for a while, but I just registered, so I want to say hello to everybody here, and happy birthday to Toby.
I’m a kiter and windsurfer, and regularly kite with a Cabrinha 12.2 BT/ 2002 and a 137 cm wakeboard, on straps.
I have a question for you guys:
Just bought an old (98 /99) 2 line Wipika 6.5; and converted it to 4 lines (with the ‘V’ setup) to use it with the Cabrinha bar. I bought it as a cheap alternative for a rare windy day, that I may not have my windsurf equipment handy.
Yesterday I gave it a first try. On land it looked fine. The depower worked as it should, and it turned OK, so I decided to give it a try on the water. The kite pulled normally, but for some reason I couldn’t go upwind at all. It was really frustrating. Wind was a bit gusty, mostly around 20 knots, but the kite felt well powered up. But after 10 ins an outs I was almost 200 mts downwind, when I can usually go that distance upwind in a couple of in and outs with the Cabrinha.
Can anybody give me an explanation for this? Is there a different technique to go upwind with old, low AR kites? Do old kites have so little upwind performance? Can it be something wrong with the setup?
Thank you.


Postby Guest » Mon Oct 28, 2002 11:07 pm

The old kite wont fly as far to the edge of the window, so won't pull as high into the wind.
You should be able to get upwind though if you have enough power and edge control...

Theres one basic thing with these kites... EDGE EDGE EDGE EDGE EDGE EDGE, it's the only way. If you chicken loop the kite it will help - you might want to do that, and then put it back to your V bar once mastered. I take it by V you mean a pully bar setup?

This is the basic reason why we had such big problems learning to go upwind 2+ years ago, the kites just sat to far back in the window, and most of us had them 2 lined so it was hard for a begginer to get them to the edge... Good luck! :smile:


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Postby chicagokitesurfer » Mon Oct 28, 2002 11:24 pm

Look upwind - away from the kite. Twist your hips into the wind. Pull the front of the board upwind with the lead foot. Edge by digging your rear heel into the board. Most importantly with a lower AR kite....lean your weight back and toward the rear of the board...and hold that balance point. So if you're going to the left, you would shift your weight back and to the right a bit, holding the edge and your balance on your rear foot. By shifting your weight to the right, you can edge futher upwind since the pull is being directed more to the downwind side of the board, forcing you to travel more upwind. Its all about balance. This is the same as sailing with the wind force being directed to the downwind side of the boat's center of gravity, twisting the boat slightly upwind helping it get upwind...and for steering. Maybe someone else can explain better.

The new higher AR kites make it easy. The kites fly further to the edge (more perpendicular to the wind) which creates lift less downwind which helps you resist and edge upwind. On the Farc, I don't think its possible to ride downwind unless you jump! LOL


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Postby aklbob » Tue Oct 29, 2002 12:27 am

Yep that is a characteristic of low aspect kites, they have a sloid pull back in the wind window, you just have to edge real hard. This is another reason higher aspect kites perform well overpowered, you can hold power power than you could possibly hold with a low aspect kite, hence getting big air, and going for long sessions without tiring yourself out from edging!!

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Postby Adolfo » Tue Oct 29, 2002 3:20 pm

Thanks for the answer.
Leaning back, and trying to find a balance there, looks like a good solution. I’ll give it a try next weekend, if there is enough wind for that kite.
For some reason edging didn’t work. Maybe it just wasn’t windy enough, but every time I tried to edge hard, the kite lost all its power. I could never find a balance point.

Regarding the ‘V’, its not the pulley bar setup, but the setup of the lines on the back of the kite. The front / depower lines go to the front of the kite, as in a normal 4 line kite. The back lines go to a pulley that runs trough a line that links two holders on the back of the kite. That is the way those 2 line kites were converted to 4 lines.


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Postby Dwight » Tue Oct 29, 2002 3:32 pm

On 2002-10-29 15:20, Adolfo wrote:
For some reason edging didn’t work. Maybe it just wasn’t windy enough,
That is exactly it. It wasn't windy enough! Forget all the other crap, it needs more wind, and you'll go upwind easy.

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Postby murdoc » Tue Oct 29, 2002 3:40 pm

don't forget the different backgrounds...

i think it's easier with a 2002 model to go upwind than an old one that doesn't fly so far out.

in summer, i used my old ar3.5 instead of an 2002 6.3 airblast and i noticed a serious difference in upwind performance. . .

when you learned on these old ones, no problem.
but i guess that it's harder to get upwind if not.

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Postby Peter_Frank » Tue Oct 29, 2002 9:05 pm

Dwight is right - you need more power !

When you tell us you can go upwind with your big Black Tip - then you will certainly be able to go upwind with the Wipika Classic 6.5 - your technical skills must be okay.

The Wipika Classic 6.5 might not perform as newer kites - but when converted to a 4 line, you should fly the kite somewhat depowered (but not too much - the old converted 2 to 4 can't be controlled if too much depowered), and in LOTS OF WIND like Dwight says !

I am sure this is your only problem.

I have flown the Wipika Classic in size 5, 4, and even 3 - in 2 line mode - just racing upwind when powered !
And this was very recently, when I had some kite school students, and the wind picked up - so I went out myself with this small kite (different days), that now was too big for the student to handle safely.

You will be surprised - because a 2 liner sits quite far back in the window, and you can not really jump on land, and would expect it to go bad upwind and jump.

But on the water these small kites turn into real "pleasure" kites - fast upwind, you can jump high, easy to control and relaunch !

Newer small kites will perform better of course - but you should still be able to go better upwind with an older small kite, than with a newer really big kite, IMO and experiences.
It will be just as easy, or, I think, even easier, to go upwind with the 6.5 than your 12.2 - IF powered properly !

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