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Big kites are NOT light wind kites?????

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Lmrutledge
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Big kites are NOT light wind kites?????

Postby Lmrutledge » Thu Jul 26, 2007 3:57 am

I think it has finally made since to me regarding trying to use a 17M light wind kite as it is marketed or the 14M kite from last year that is also a light wind kite.

I think I know the answer but here is my question. Why can I take the 14M kite with the same board a 146 twin tip that is completely flat made for light wind vs. the brand new 17 M light wind kite in wind 9-11MPH that will hardly get off the beach but the 14M jumps off the beach and have awesome sessions even in onshore wind. The only answer I can come up with is that the bigger kites are heavier, maybe they are not tested as much??

Just curious as to anyone else's experiences.

thanks

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Postby Jahmi » Thu Jul 26, 2007 4:12 am

I'm fumbling with this one myself. Some days like today I can get away with a 12m or 14m and my light wind board. Other days like yesterday I need to use my big kites 16m and 21m to ride. Same board, same location and wind about the same 12 - 14 kts.

I've also come to the conclusion that wind density as I call it has a lot to do with it. The warm summer winds around here just don't carry the punch of the spring and fall ones.

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spork
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Postby spork » Thu Jul 26, 2007 4:38 am

Kind of a broad generalization here, but I'll try and explain my meaning.

Big kites are for big guys - not light wind.

If you weigh 300 lbs you'll generally do just fine on a kite that's twice as big as your 150 lb friend is riding. However, if you're having a blast in 16 knots, there ain't any kite under the sun that's going to give you the same results in 8 knots. The reason for this is that the bigger kite generates more pull in a given amount of wind, but the bigger kite doesn't give you greater L/D (lift to drag ratio). There's a reason this is important. Let's say that with your given board and kite in 16 knots of wind you can get going 24 knots. Life's pretty good. You're going 1.5X the wind speed. That factor comes down to the L/D of the board and kite.

Now lets try the same in 8 knots of wind. With the same L/D of board and kite you'd only manage 12 knots of board speed. Not much fun (unless you're Dr. LightWind). Without a significantly better L/D you're not going to get a higher board-speed to wind-speed factor. So, you need a bigger board to plane. Even then, there's only so much you can do at 12 knots.

Bottom line generally speaking is... bigger butt requires bigger kite. Lighter wind requires bigger board. Below 12 to 14 knots you have no business being on the water - good day for picnic, frisbee, or proving to the family you really do like spending time with them.

Now obviously, it's not entirely that simple. When the wind is big, we do use smaller kites - because what other choice do we have. But basically once you're down in the range where your board-speed to wind-speed factor is limiting you, a bigger kite won't do you much (if any) good.

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Postby FredBGG » Thu Jul 26, 2007 5:49 am

spork wrote: Below 12 to 14 knots you have no business being on the water - good day for picnic, frisbee, or proving to the family you really do like spending time with them.
That's your opinion. Despite being 225lbs I have some very nice sessions with a good 10 to 12 mph riding a Speed 2 19 and a Door semi-strapless.

Here's a bit of video of Erik (Flysurfer Teamrider) having a bit of fun in such low wind that the kitesurfing competition he was at was cancelled.

http://www.gotlandskitesurfskola.se/media/bastad07.mov

and the article:

http://www.flysurfer.com/News/article/1323/

A Speed 2 Silver Arrow brings a whole new meaning to low wind riding.

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spork
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Postby spork » Thu Jul 26, 2007 6:36 am

FredBGG wrote:
spork wrote: Below 12 to 14 knots you have no business being on the water - good day for picnic, frisbee, or proving to the family you really do like spending time with them.
That's your opinion....
Agreed. That speed threshold is simply my opinion. But the principal still holds. It's great that you have fun in 10 to 12 mph. But I'm willing to bet you can't have fun kiting in 5 to 6 mph even with a very large kite.

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Postby k2ski3 » Thu Jul 26, 2007 3:27 pm

To add to Sporks explanation, the power within the wind quadruples every time the kite speed doubles.

So 8 knots has 1/4th the power of 16knots.

In light wind, you are looking to build apparent wind through board speed. The smaller kites, turn & fly faster making it easier to make quick use of the light wind & get up to speed on the board. So a fast board is the most important feature to light wind where Flatter is faster, and fins create drag.

Chingadero
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it depends on the kite! not size

Postby Chingadero » Thu Jul 26, 2007 3:32 pm

It depends on 2 factors:

1. riding skill - an advanced rider can make a smaller kite really get cooking to generate as much wind as a bigger kite, an new rider will HAVE to go with a big kite.

2. kite performance - the Batwings have 2 sizes more pull so I would suggest those, however a pro can use an eclipse that turns on a dime to generate more power with working the kite

FredBGG
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Postby FredBGG » Thu Jul 26, 2007 5:08 pm

This small kite in low wind theory is misleading.
I ride light wind very often. The best formula I have found is big relativly fast kite and a big flat board. Technique with this setup is also very important and part of the fun of riding low wind.

When I'm out around the low wind limit with my setup Speed 2 19 and Slpeene flydoor there are sometimes smaller kites trying to ride with surfboards or big flat boards and all they can do is go downwind.

One other important factor with a big kite is how well it pulls durring turns and how much rider lift it has durring the turns.

The second important factor is kite stall. many kites tend to stall early if you sheet them in for more power. You want a kite with very little backstall so that when you sheet hard durring longer gradual down strokes you get a long power spike.

Then there's a great characteristic of the Speed 2 19. The Speed unlike all LEIs does not really change the angle of attack when powering up. What happens is that the front of the kite keeps the same angle of attack(very low) while the back of the kite curls in like the landing flaps on an airliner.
This can be used to create extra power without slowing down the kite by doing short fast sine wave strokes with the kite. The momentum of the weight of the air in the kite keeps the kite moving while you use the flaps effect for more lift in bursts.

If the wind picks up and the smaller kites start to just stay upwinf I'm starting to depower the kite a bit and riding way upwind often reaching a bit more wind up there.

When it comes to light wind discussions the generalizations that apply to most kites do not apply to the Flysurfer Speeds. That said the Speed 2 15 and Speed 2 12 are also good light wind machines.

One condition where using a smaller kite in lighter wind helps is when thee is a nice medium long swell. It can really help to have a faster turning kite to time catching the swell. By this I don't mean catching a breaking wave, I'm talking about changing tack to sort of ride along on the down hill on the front of a swell using both kite and the energy of the wave. I'll still do this on the bigger kite and the board speed you get is quite amazing. Does take more skill to be at the right place at the right time with the bigger kite.

Cheers

Fred

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Postby Nino_fs » Thu Jul 26, 2007 5:50 pm

Spork had a great explanation but I would like to add just a little bit to the end.

The reason you are experiencing more fun on the small kite when the big one won't lift off is likely hidden in the airofoil of the smaller kite. All kites are somewhat shaped like a wing and can generate lift just by wind passing over them.

Usually a big kite is used as a truck it just sits and pulls. But with a good aerofoil a smaller kites can generate large spikes of power by sineing.

For example I have an original ARC 840. That is 8.4m of projected area which is about an 11-12m C-kite. But I can ride it down to 25kph easily. This is a first generation Arc the newer peter lynn kites changed to a less efficient aerofoil shape and lost the low end but gained easier relaunch. The reason is in those winds the kite does not pull hard at all but as soon as the kite dives the power spikes by an enormous amount.

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Tom183
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Postby Tom183 » Thu Jul 26, 2007 6:02 pm

Same brand, same model? A 17m C would have less power than a 14m bow, and be heavier too...


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