I'm new to foiling, I've bought the Liquid Force Foil Fish, after 4 sessions or so I'm starting to string runs of 100m or so up on the foil on my natural stance. Switch is not so good.
The most successful days have been in lighter conditions and a large Flysurfer - ie 10-12 knots and a Speed 4 15m.
Today the wind was a little stronger, say 14-16 knots and I thought I'd use my 8m BWS wave kite as was too strong for the Flysurfer. I felt like I'd gone backwards big time, kept crashing to windward, stalling the kite, just a real mess. Just could not get going with any consistency. As I was about to call it quits, a guy on the beach offered me a fly of his 2015 North Rebel - 10m.
Suddenly I was back up and foiling again, stringing runs together, happy days.
My question is was it the size of the kite, or style of the kite that made the difference. I'm surprised how much difference 2m made, but it was dramatic. Should a wave kite work on a hydrofoil, or do they depower too much at the edge of the window to be effective ?
Any input would be much appreciated.
Your experiences are just as I think all of us have experienced.
Firstly, a depower wave kite works IMO better on a hydrofoil, when learning - everything is easier.
For going upwind or downwind racing, and as soon as you got some consistency in your riding, you can use ANY kite, and some will prefer kites that does not sit as deep
When learning, you want some pull in the lines, to support you
This is why you choose a big kite the first times.
This is also why you can not ride downwind, as you have no pull to lean against - so a really difficult balance, especially when new and in waves
When you get more experience, you will find that you can ride with a really really small kite - smaller than you want or need, but no problem.
This is great for lulls, or if the wind dies you can still ride home.
But I know the exact feeling you describe - taking a small kite out in more wind, and as such it has sufficient pull to get you foiling, but EVERYTHING is way more difficult - you will fall because you dont have anything to lean against, and you will stall the kite trying to support yourself from falling.
So kitechoice is even more important when learning, NOT too small, better too big initially.
When you get the hang of it later, you will probably be able to ride with both too big and too small a kite (I prefer the latter, but i am mostly into carving and turning/waves, and not racing).
Generally, for all kite sizes: Depower the kite a bit !
The sweetspot where they work and feel right, compared to a TT or Waveboard, is somewhat more depowered than usually.
If you try to ride with the same trim as on your other boards, you will find the kites backstalling and being a PITA all the time, slowing down, not mowing, not pulling as you choke them, especially when jibing or riding against the kite
This also means you wont backstall the kite as easily.
So try to use the right kitesize when learning, and IF out with a too small kite - resist the urge to get it to pull by pulling the bar
Better to balance the board, and fly the kite a bit depowered up and down if an extreme lull.
It wont take long till you find out yourself, and can ride easy with a (too) small kite