Kent- Thanks so much for your advice. There just isn't much information out there for beginning racers. I am not sure what you mean when describing the different styles(Damos lines crossed/ Brunos lines straight)? Can you explain this? Also, what are racers doing for stop watches? I don't see any racers with those large race watches wrapped aroung their biceps like the windsurfing course racers used years back? I am also wondering if slalom will be an event in the near future? I have been considering having a slalom board made for quite some time. I'm surprised that there are none out there. Something in between a course board and surf board that will turn better and designed for beam and slight broad reaching at speed. Sounds like alot of fun to me. Thanks again!!!
Great info from Kent and i will see if i can add an idea or two.
As for kites in light wind; as I am an Ozone Team Rider now; but I was on Cabrinha last year. I can attest for the fact that the Cabrinha 16 crossbow is a big powerful kite. It is funny to watch Kent be nervous when ever he has to race the 16 Cab, as if it picks up it becomes a handful in the top end. Now for comparing the Ozone Zephyr against the Cab 16 crossbow, I would have to say the Cab might be bigger in actual size and definitely pulls harder on the bar, but overpowers earlier as well.
The Ozone Zephyr 17 is low on bar pressure and seems to fly further forward in the window than the 16 Crossbow. This flying further forward in the window usually means the kite goes better upwind if you are on the same boards and fins. Also the Ozone 17 Zephyr has more top end, it handles being overpowered easier and does not drag you downwind when overpowered; as I was racing Kent one race in Puerto Vallarta when Kent was lit on a 13 and I was comfy on the Ozone 17, with a stock set of 25 meter lines and I still had some room to depower the kite some more.
As for Low end, Adam Koch who raced the Ozone 17 head to head with Damo, Bruno and Farley in the light air races, (I was underpowered on a Ozone 13 Edge as my biggest kite in light air, still waiting for my new 17 Zephyr) Bruno and Farley were both on longer line sets and for sure this is an advantage in lighter winds as longer lines means more power from the kite. Farley was on a 40 meter set of lines and Bruno was on what looked like something similar. Damo is light so he might have been on a regular length line set, but Kent would know better. Also adam was racing on slightly shorter fins than Damo, and Kent, not sure about Bruno's fins as i did not see his fins up close. So if you use bigger fins you can use a slightly smaller kite, and if you are under in fin size and power, you need to use a bigger kite.
The game in racing is to tune your kit to fit your power needs and to know when to switch up and down in size. the new revelation from Puerto Vallarta is that with the wider thicker boards and bigger fin sets, you need to switch down in kite size earler as you become overpowered much faster than last year as the board/ fin set ups a generating more power now!
Gebi- Thanks for the explanation about Cabrinha vs. Ozone. I live in Utah and have been riding Ozone kites since day one. I agree, you can definately hang onto the Zephyr when the wind picks up. I also will hang onto my 08 Sport 15m. That is a good kite and goes upwind well and has great low end without having to sine the kite. At my size I feel this kite works better for me than the 13 Edge. Can you comment on Mike Z's current designs and board specs? I am wondering why he made me a board with only the rear fin boxes? No 4 fin option. I got this board last summer. He also sent me the smaller Curtis hammer fins. I weigh 235 lbs. I probably need to get the bigger fin set ASAP! My board is 6' x 19.75". I imagine this board will work for me if the wind is strong but i will need a larger one for light wind? Thanks for your help guys!!!
Zajicek makes boards for myself, Johnny Hieneken and Chip Wassen. Last year at the worlds Chip finished 2nd, Hieneken 3rd and myself 10th. So 3 boards in the top 10 was the best effort. Right now Alex Aguera is making some sweet boards but Mike is still busy with his summer windsurfing board orders. It was good to race in Mexico as we got to see where we need to improve in designs. Boards are getting bigger, fins bigger and kites smaller when used with the powerful board/fin designs.
Last year twin fin boards were working at the beginning of the season, so it is understandable you got a board from Zajicek with that fin set up. You can send your board back to Zajicek and get some fin boxes put in up front. But if you are 235 you could use a much bigger board that the current board sizes being built by Mike. He could scale you up a bigger board pretty easy as Chip and myself have been giving him some good ideas of what needs to be changed.
P.S. If you weigh that much you might want to ride your kites with an extra 5 to 10 meters added to your line set....