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 Post subject: Re: Yes, Put limits on width of Raceboards ASAP!
PostPosted: Mon Jul 26, 2010 4:44 pm 
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I think we very much agree that the biggest improvements in light air racing will come from the kites that are tuned for light air; as their light air performance can be improved a lot.

The Box rule Alex and I are discussing is only to limit the overall width of the board. This "Box Rule Measurement" Class is not one design, it just sets a reasonable limit on a measurement that the top designers and riders feel is actually a direction we do not need to go crazy on, right now. Right now the discussion is on finding a reasonable board width for our IKA racing class.

This rule can be changed in the future, if custom board development proves that we need to go wider, to move the performance of the sport forward; then this can be incorporated, but leaving it free for all for manufacturers, does not make it easy to get people into the sport, as Alex so eloquently expressed before.

At this time, it may be proven that this measurement of 70cm is a valid limit (mainly needed and optimally working only in light air) and would not need to be wider. If we go wider we will have to race with two boards, a super light air wide board; that works slightly better in 10 knots or less; and then a regular sized board for 10 knots and up. Basically we would use the 69 cm board pictured above, with a 16 meter kite or larger, and switch down in board and kite size once we get to a solid 10 knots. This idea still needs to be tested, and only time will tell if we can ride wider boards in say 15 knots and above. On the Pro Tour now the typical winning boards are right around 58cm wide. This is enough for top riders to even beat the wider boards in light wind. But development of board designs, refined rocker lines and tuned fin set ups will push the performance forward as usual.

Right now the main improvement needed for racing are for kite designs to improve their performance in light air. (kites need to reliably relaunch in less than 6 to 8 knots), as now in racing in 8 knots or less if you drop your kite, your racing is usually finished; as normally you cannot water relaunch in less than 6 to 8 knots. I have raced in numerous light are Pro Races where where the fleet was racing in around 4 to 6 knots of wind, but if your kite is dropped the racing is over for you.

Lighter kites, with specific design ideas incorporating some of the benefits of foils for example is a direction the sports designers and testers need to pushed into developing. Don't worry there are a few of us doing this work now....

If IKA decided to vote on a "board width limitation" I would push for a 70 cm width as our starting point for developing our box rule class measurements. Right now IKA for racing only has a limit on the length of the lines (45 meter max) and a limit on fin length (50cm). I think this class has plenty of room to develop within these limitations, even if the 70 cm (or something close) in the max width rule is incorporated in our class rules.

Stay wet, Mike "Gebi" Gebhardt
IKA Committee Member trying to get Kitesurf Racing in the 2016 Olympics


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 Post subject: Re: Yes, Put limits on width of Raceboards ASAP!
PostPosted: Mon Jul 26, 2010 6:05 pm 
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Posts: 15
The main reason I got into course racing is the portability and reasonable cost of the equipment. Currently I can attend any event in the wold with a 6' board bag and one Quiver bag. That's everything including harness, wet-suit, street clothing and it weighs in under 100lbs.

The box rule is pretty standard for most development sailing classes and allows designers and competitors to focus on similar platforms. The goal for me is to measure my results based on personal performance and improvement instead of my ability to afford constantly buying new equipment.

As an amateur competitor I find course racing a great environment to test my skills on the water instead of my ability to spend money on gear. I prefer to spend it on training and actually competing. The box rule allows for a reasonable starting point with plenty of room to grow so we are focused on the racing and training aspects instead of constantly building a new platform. This also allows us to keep our growing sport portable and affordable.

Regards,
Andrew Koch
Team Fluid


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 Post subject: Re: Yes, Put limits on width of Raceboards ASAP!
PostPosted: Mon Jul 26, 2010 9:52 pm 
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Gebi and Alex

Next time you go out on your boards strap a 50lbs dumbel weight to your harness. :o

Do this in shallow water or add a big lifevest for floatation just incase. :wink:

After that you can continue the conversation. :thumb:


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 Post subject: Re: Yes, Put limits on width of Raceboards ASAP!
PostPosted: Mon Jul 26, 2010 10:55 pm 
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at 6'5", trust me, I'm a big dude; and you might think I'd be all for bigger and bigger boards...
But I'd agree with Alex, Gebi, Andy, etc.

box rule is a good call. and 70cm width should be more than enough... for now at least. If there is ever another major revolution, then the rules can change easy enough.

Right now, IMO the kites need the most work.
> for that you need the brands to put effort in to race R&D
>> for that you need higher sales $'s
>>> for that you mass appeal of racing and/or lightwind.
>>>> for that you need something that is accessible to Joe Average.


I think the increments in improvement are going to be smaller and smaller %'s. For someone trying to win a top level event, it matters. But they are taking it from a whole different perspective anyways.
For a box rule - width is only one piece of the puzzle. I don't think a 70cm restriction would stymie development.

But it also means that joe average is at a point now where he/she can go out and buy a current race board without it being obsolete in 10 days. Sure, new fins will help a bunch, but as a consumer it is easier to wrap your head around the idea of buying a board that might last you 2 or 3 years, given that you'll have the option to upgrade as required/desired.


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 Post subject: Re: Yes, Put limits on width of Raceboards ASAP!
PostPosted: Mon Jul 26, 2010 11:28 pm 
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My brother FredBGG,

Sky Solback is the biggest guy racing consistently in Pro races and he is just over 200 pounds. Sky you care to comment as your the big guy on tour....?

At 70 cm wide I would guess he will be switching down in size of board in medium winds as well, but just my guess. So the 70cm measurement is "Plenty wide.

Sky was using a Paolo Rista Tri fin at or around 58cm wide at the Worlds in Corpus where I raced as well. Sky was matching angle and speed upwind with Damo and Adam in our lightest wind races, (lighter than 10 knots) races so I don't think the size of the board was such an issue for him. If he needed a wider board 2 to 4 cm wider in width would be enough to bring him up to having the same power in platform as the lighter racers. His board was already the thickest being raced. This gives him another 6cm in width to play with in the future....thats a lot!

I would guess Sky would ask for bigger and more efficient kites before bigger board...and slightly bigger fins. A thicker board does help as well. If I make my race boards 25% thicker they float Much better in the light stuff, but then you suffer with control when it gets windy. So volume makes a huge difference as it keeps you out of the water and stops you from sinking and over sheeting the kite.

Its this volume difference and larger fins that makes a twin tip look super slow and unrideable in 4 to 6 knots compared to a race board that actually blasts around in the same conditions and with the same size kite.


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 Post subject: Re: Yes, Put limits on width of Raceboards ASAP!
PostPosted: Mon Jul 26, 2010 11:31 pm 
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FredBGG, Just got off the water and was kiting with a 90 pound kid on my back in 20 knots and an 11 meter Ozone Edge. I was first riding my 5'3" long wave board that is pretty thin and then I rode on of my 5'4" long reaching race board that is about one inch thicker, and alittle narrower in width. With the thicker board we had a much easier time riding, so volume is a very big help!


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 Post subject: Re: Yes, Put limits on width of Raceboards ASAP!
PostPosted: Mon Jul 26, 2010 11:33 pm 
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ktouhey wrote:

But it also means that joe average is at a point now where he/she can go out and buy a current race board without it being obsolete in 10 days. Sure, new fins will help a bunch, but as a consumer it is easier to wrap your head around the idea of buying a board that might last you 2 or 3 years, given that you'll have the option to upgrade as required/desired.


Right on. That hit the nail on the head.

@Fred: There is always a certain bodytype that has an edge for a given sport. Nobody in the NBA e.g. will lower the height of the baskets just so that a 4'11 guy can dunk the ball.


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 Post subject: Re: Yes, Put limits on width of Raceboards ASAP!
PostPosted: Tue Jul 27, 2010 12:06 am 
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Nobody have answer WHY put the restrictions on in the first place!!??!!

Besides that Alex A might having trouble mailing his boards. :P

And DONT play the joe public card, his is getting a North-Naish-Cabeinha $1000 board anyhow.. Not the Sky-Bjoern-Bruno $3000 custom board anyhow.


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 Post subject: Re: Yes, Put limits on width of Raceboards ASAP!
PostPosted: Tue Jul 27, 2010 12:15 am 
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SBBeachbum wrote:
@Fred: There is always a certain bodytype that has an edge for a given sport. Nobody in the NBA e.g. will lower the height of the baskets just so that a 4'11 guy can dunk the ball.


Sure there's different classes. Weight class in boxing. Women's volleyball has lower net. English football has bigger goals. How about we have little guys race low wind and big guys race strong winds. :remybussi: Just kidding.

I agree, keep it so that the product benefits the sport and consumer. I'm not saying there should be a limit or not...that's up to the pros.

Like motorcycle/car racing...get R&D and custom equipment for the pros (even though they have restrictions)...but production gear, tweek it for the consumer. We need big boards for the big guys but we don't need giant boards to enjoy kiteboarding...if u do, u can get it custom.


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 Post subject: Re: Yes, Put limits on width of Raceboards ASAP!
PostPosted: Tue Jul 27, 2010 12:18 am 
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PAFF wrote:
Nobody have answer WHY put the restrictions on in the first place!!??!!

...
And DONT play the joe public card, his is getting a North-Naish-Cabeinha $1000 board anyhow.. Not the Sky-Bjoern-Bruno $3000 custom board anyhow.


but that's exactly it. the "Joe public card" is a driving reason.

Everyone would prefer being on an easy to order and cheaper board. The top guys are still paying for boards... they just buck up because it matters to them.
Also, most people would much rather spend time training (or just riding for fun) than tuning equipment.

Without restrictions, it's not that there will be more development, it's that the gear will get TOO specialized. Imagine a scenario where you have a board for 4-8knots, another for 9-15, another for 15-25, etc.... LAME.
A Box rule is a good compromise between unlimited & one-design, because it means that no one actually actively determines the line of 'too specialized'. It just sort of works itself out as a nature of box rules. They work well with sailboat classes.

With SOME restrictions, it levels the playing field a bit. = better racing and better for the growth of the sport.


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