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 Post subject: general kite racing info?
PostPosted: Tue Oct 26, 2010 7:19 pm 
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Joined: Wed Sep 08, 2010 5:54 pm
Posts: 8
Hi nice forums thanks for having me,

I'm fairly new to kite boarding (been riding for a few months) and really like the idea of kite board racing (tricks are crap i like going fast ;)

I'm looking to get some new gear and I want to get into competitive kite racing in the future and i need some basic advice on what gear i should be looking at- (I'm about 145 pounds)

- Regarding kite racing boards, I've noticed many companies make similar designed race boards in two size. Would a smaller board suit me due to my light weight or is it a matter of the conditions i.e lighter winds bigger race board and strong winds smaller race board or vice versa?

- Do the top racers carry several race boards for different conditions or once I find a board that suits me should it cover me for all conditions? Of course with evolution of the boards i understand serious racers will probably upgrade boards often but would the best board they can buy right now for them suit in all conditions (until a new better boards comes along)?

- Also I've seen some boards with narrow designs and some very wide flat front designs of the 4 fin style race boards what advantage does one have over the other?

- Does a race board make a nice freeride board and also does a kite surfboard make a good freeride board for ripping around the bay?

- What style harness (seat or waist) is best used in racing and is there any other gear do racers often use?

- With regards to kite sizing for racing, is it mainly a case of the biggest size kite that the rider can hold down in the given wind and ride well in the conditions? What is a normal racing quiver sizes?

- I understand racing kites are usually narrow and high aspect kites. What is generally the best race kite design type (SLE, bow, C, etc) and what other styles of riding do good race kites excel in and what styles of riding are they not so great for (i.e freeride, freestyle, wave, etc)?

- Do foil kites make good race kites and do the top racers have a preference?

- Would heavier riders have an advantage as they can hold down larger kites or is being smaller an advantage due to weight savings?

- Is there any formula or box rule used in kite racing like there is in sailing with regards to kite and board size, i.e. a person who weights X amount can use a kite of X meters max, etc?

- Is the any professional kite racing organized and a world kite race championship or anything like that as it would be cool to check it out?

Crap that's a lot of questions...

Thanks for any help..

Cheers


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 Post subject: Re: general kite racing info?
PostPosted: Wed Oct 27, 2010 5:28 am 
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Joined: Fri Dec 26, 2008 8:44 am
Posts: 18
Hey there,

since no one has responded yet I figured I would

I have been flying kites for about 10 years and kiting surfing for 5, grew up racing sailboats and surfing so kite racing was a no brainer for me. Lucky for me Airush decided to support me in my kite racing and surfing future and goals.

I am a similar size to you, 140 lbs. My quiver to be competitive at the World and San Fran Level is a 13, 10, and 8 m SLE kites. I might get a 15 as well for super light winds. You want kites that fly forward in the window as it is faster upwind. Lower aspect kites (C kites) are fast downwind but slow upwind, its good to have a kite more in the middle, too flat and you will be passed on the downwinds. Too low aspect and you will be passed upwind.

Rider size doesn't seem to be an issue, because every rider can put up any kite they want. Most people ride fairly powered (i dont switch to my 8 unless its puffing to 28 knots) because you are riding big fins you can hold onto more power than you can on a surfboard.

Harness type varies by comfort, many people choose waist but i personally like the seat, keeps the power lower in my legs and stress off my back. Some really fast guys in SF are using sailing harnesses, with shoulder straps so you can hike it down harder. I just got one but haven't tried it yet.

So far as I have seen most guys are only riding and traveling with one board. The quad fins have proven to be fastest in results, but the Tri fins are just beginning to be explored. I have been helping develop the Airush Monaro V.3 which is 60 cm wide with full tuttle boxes, which you can only get through custom builders, all the production companies are using crap boxes, which makes the fins loose and slow. In very heavy chop (SF ebb tide and 25+ knots) the more narrow boards become faster if sailed well. Flatter and fuller boards with more vertical fins are harder to handle in heavy chop and wind, but are faster if you learn how to handle it. I have sailed many boards, and one thing that the Monaro has is the ease of riding the board well. This is very good for racing because control is everything, and since it is easy to ride, you pass people who have tougher boards to ride because you make less errors. I made my own board this summer and its works well upwind but can be tough to handle downwind. I think it may be a bit faster than the older 2010 Monaro but I havent gotten my 2011 Monaro V.3 yet, so am not sure. This is why I know the Monaro is fast because my board is much much harder to ride and thus I explode all over the race course. I have lots of training to do if I am going to race my personal board in the worlds.

Weight and size doesn't have much to do with it, because you are trying to hold onto a kite too big there is excessive drag and you will be going slow. There is no Box rule like in sailing, put up whatever you want, call us an experimental class with two rules, 18 inch fin limit and 45 meter kite line limit. Fastest around the track as far as sailing goes, unless you wanna buy the Oracle Tri or sail moths in under 10 knots.

The worlds for 2011 just got announced the other day, they are going to be in Germany in June. Last year was a blast even though we only had 2 days of racing out of 4, but every year it should get better and bigger, which makes for more fun. Check out the IKA website for future events.

Let me know if you have any other questions. Hope you get things sorted soon and can start training and make it to worlds.

Let us know how it goes!

CB


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 Post subject: Re: general kite racing info?
PostPosted: Wed Oct 27, 2010 5:00 pm 
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Joined: Wed Sep 08, 2010 5:54 pm
Posts: 8
Hi Toober,

Thanks loads for taking the time to answer my questions it's all very helpful, just a few questions remain-

- What other styles of riding do good race kites excel in and what styles of riding are they not so great for (i.e freeride, freestyle, wave, etc)?

Thanks again


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 Post subject: Re: general kite racing info?
PostPosted: Wed Oct 27, 2010 5:10 pm 
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Joined: Tue Dec 15, 2009 12:03 pm
Posts: 168
There has been another thread about limiting sizes of boards and kites, but dont know what happened to that.


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 Post subject: Re: general kite racing info?
PostPosted: Wed Oct 27, 2010 6:49 pm 
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Joined: Wed Sep 12, 2007 10:19 am
Posts: 590
Location: Fuerteventura
The IKA will be discussing this in the next AGM.

Here is part of the Agenda:

(5) Course Racing Equipment (a submission from the Executive Committee based on negotiations with National Associations,Riders and Industry)
To introduce an equipment division for racing through the championship rules with the following limitations:
- Max length: 190 cm
- Max width: 70 cm
- Max Fin length: 50cm
- Max number of boards to be used in one event: 2
- Max number of kites to be used in one event: 4
- Max size of kite: 19 sqm
- Min number of equipment to be registered for production status: 50
Reason: the vast majority of riders (incl. PKRA race riders committee) requests to introduce racing on pure production boards to equal the playing field. The industry is not able to sell numbers of boards and thus is not encouraged to develop production equipment as riders see only custom boards as competitive. Changing to production boards will heavily increase the participation numbers as riders are able to get their hands on competitive equipment. This recommendation follows a three month negotiation process with a notable number of riders of all categories, national associations and producers (big brands as well as custom manufacturers).
Note: this submission reflects the result of the negotiations with industry, rider and NCA representatives and may be amended by other submissions below

--
Gunnar


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 Post subject: Re: general kite racing info?
PostPosted: Wed Oct 27, 2010 6:57 pm 
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Joined: Thu Oct 14, 2010 1:48 am
Posts: 81
Hi Toober! In my country there only two brands availables.
North Race Ltd and Cabrinha Race.
Which one would you recommend for a beginner on kiteracing? I ve kitting TT's and Wave Kiteboards, and also have a surfing / snowboarding background.
Thanks.
Tio


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 Post subject: Re: general kite racing info?
PostPosted: Thu Oct 28, 2010 6:43 am 
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Joined: Fri Dec 26, 2008 8:44 am
Posts: 18
I dont really feel like the race kites have a place in freestyle/waves. They are made for racing and thus have lots of lift and less drag, which is not what you want in a wave or freestyle kite.

"Freeriding" is whatever you want it to be, If you are into just cruising around super fast and doing some really lofty jumps I would say go for a race kite. If you are going to be spending lots of time in waves or doing shoulder popping tricks you might want something that sits deeper in the window.

Both the North and the Cab are very tough to ride. My friend tried the new Cab board and said how uncomfortable it was to ride compared to his Aguerra board. Which many other people say is very uncomfortable to ride until you build your muscles.

I have a friend here who has an Aguerra Board for sale, comes with normal and a custom set of weed fins made by Alex himself. PM me if any of you are interested.


As to the box rules above, I like it! The only one I don't like is the 2 board rule. I think it should be one board to encourage participation and get away from the "pros have more/better equipment choices." I think those are good rules within the parameters of what people have been finding to be fast. I dare someone to hold onto a 70 cm wide board in 30 knots and heavy chop. I believe that it needs to be a box rule, not a "production only" rule. You need to allow people to experiment and build things for themselves, thats half the fun of it! So far what we have seen with the production boards is that no companies are willing to step up to the plate with strong and stiff enough boxes for larger fins. Finally Airush is doing it with their 2011 Monaro V.3 having full tuttle boxes, which is a step in the right direction. Do you want one screw holding your fin in? (like the Cab boards) or do you want two so it doesn't wiggle loose?

Thats why the custom boards are winning, the kite companies aren't willing to commit to a universal fin system due to the monopolistic approach to a board. The top riders are beyond this, they all have different boards from different builders so can switch fins around as much as they like.

Argentina should be interesting, I wish i could have made it.

CB


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