Can anyone who has used both BRM cloud and liquid force solo comment on their comparative relaunch in marginal wind? Also, how do they work with a tether launch?
I'm looking for a lightwind hydrofoil kite in about 12m, and these two are at the top of my list (most likely last year's models unless there are major changes). Is there anything else I should be looking at as well? I have a 12m f-one bandit that is pretty good but I just can't get it to relaunch in the kind of wind I can ride in.
I weigh about 150 pounds and am just starting out on a foil board.
Foil kites are out of the question because my local beach is just too narrow.
tmcfarla wrote:Is there anything else I should be looking at as well?
Naish Trip! Strutless, but really, really stable, almost no luffing in turns!
I've also clouds but prefer the Naish Trip! Relaunch is great with both kites due to their light weight. Stability is better on the Naish due to it's cambattens just behind the LE.
Relaunch of the LF Solo and BRM Clouds is "different". The Solo is really, after all, a strutted kite. The strut at the center helps keep the canopy up off the water. It light or higher winds the Cloud's canopy will be up, but in very marginal winds you pull slightly on an outer line without over sheeting and the canopy works its way up as the wind lifts it. So in very marginal conditions you may be quicker to relaunch position with the Solo. The Cloud is much lighter weight than the Solo which then gives a lift-off advantage in very marginal winds. I can envision a very marginal condition and circumstance (and I have seen conditions when both were down at the same time) in which might might have an advantage and another circumstance in which the other has an advantage. On average, in my experience, the Cloud would have the advantage. But either way, close enough, and I would choose a kite based on how you like your kites to fly.
The LF Solo and the Naish Trip and the BRM Clouds are quite different kites. The Cloud does not luff in turns unless you want it to do so or are flying it incorrectly. Most riders are accustomed to moving the bar a certain amount with other kites...and they need to learn to sheet in and out less with the Cloud. I have seen some figure it out in the first session...some take a while longer.
I know this part is not answering your question about the relaunch, but your question is interesting in that it groups together two kites that are actually quite different. The LF Solo and Naish Trip might be comparable insofar as they attempt to mimic most other kites by maintaining canopy shape behind the leading edge under all conditions. By the name, you can see that the Trip was designed as a travel kite and has battens added to hold that shape....the battens doing or attempting to do what struts do. Likewise the Solo's center strut helps maintain that shape when sheeted way out. To a great degree they are aiming to be more traditional kites. The Clouds were designed from the ground up with the idea of a canopy that can flatten, and as a kite that is very light for performance reasons (not for travel reasons). The Cloud has a notably thinner leading edge, is markedly lighter overall and has a number of other differences.
I suppose if someone was phrasing the question: Which kites pack really small, because I need a small one for travel? Then Trip, Solo, and Cloud would come to mind as all small enough (though the Cloud would pack smallest and be lightest). But after that if you wanted the best boosting kite (going to absolutely maximize the altitude of your hydrofoil jumps)...perhaps you would choose between the Solo and Trip. But if you wanted a fast flying, very fast turning and looping, very nimble, super drifting kite..then the Cloud.
herbert wrote: But either way, close enough, and I would choose a kite based on how you like your kites to fly.
I've read that both stay in the air very well, turn quickly, double as surf kites when the waves pick up, and are all around excellent kites for foiling, so I figured that relaunch was the one thing left I didn't have covered, but it sounds like there is quite a bit more to consider.
My 12m flite flies and relaunches in very light conditions. Looks like zeeko is also coming out with a foil specific inflatable so might be worth waiting for that if your bandit is doing the job for now.
never foiled but i've flown the cloud & solo and the solo relaunches better. If the cloud doesn't get any water on the canopy you are fine it relaunches great the problem is in light wind sometimes it takes a while for the kite to drift into the right position for relaunch and in that time water can wash over the canopy, if that happens you have to work at getting the water off the canopy and then finally relaunch it. So the solo I think is clearly the winner in regards to relaunch. The cloud might lift off in slightly less wind but if you are relaunching it a lot, I would go with the solo. With the cloud you really just don't want to drop it in the first place especially in waves. I do like the cloud's performance a bit better seems like you get more power per meter than with the solo.
I apologize if this was mentioned and I missed it, but for me on a hydrofoil, the short range needed for the cloud to depower is huge. Literally 3-4" and I can be full on to full off. Granted some people may not like this but once you get used to it you can't imagine going back to the other way. I laugh and remember when people tell me how much of the time they had a session with their arms extended. Plus with the BRM CCS I've got 4 choices to have that depower range.
I have the 15.5 and 12 meter Solo Kites. As long the Solo canopy doesn't get to wet (the canopy gets stuck to the water)relaunch in marginal wind is easy. On wind about 8 knots or more no issues relaunching the Solo Kite.
I have dropped a Clouds in waves (every session is part wave session) and also in very marginal conditions....I am pretty experienced flying that kite in most sizes...in my opinion the Clouds relaunch way more readily than my other kites ever did...if it were just about which kite can stay aloft in sub-marginal wind AND which kite will then relaunch if down...I would vote for the Cloud on both accounts (with both being on the water at the same time...with obviously different operators) I find if I cannot relaunch then usually no other kites can. But again, I have a lot of experience with the Cloud and operator technique in all kites is always a factor.
There is definitely technique involve in atypical relaunches for the cloud, but most times its as simple as pull one side of the bar. They are so sensitive to tuning that you barely have to steer it back up into the air and it will relaunch in very low winds. I have done a bunch of drift launches this summer and am completely confident with the cloud. I have had it flipped and twisted and otherwise looking like a completely lost cause and still managed to tension one line patiently, swim a bit here and there to catch a bit of wind and it clears the water and pops up.
Relaunch was a question mark I was willing to gamble on when I bought it. Turned out to be a non issue.
They certainly are sensitive to trim and those that adapt love them. If your a Cabrinha kind of guy who likes to ride your 12m with a yard of strap pulled in, the cloud may not suit you. If you like to be on a smaller kite than the crowd and have a light touch. You may never want a kite with struts again.