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Switch Element?

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junebug
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Switch Element?

Postby junebug » Tue Jun 06, 2017 1:21 am

I'm considering trying a Switch Element for foiling. I'm thinking about an 8m for 12-15kn. I have read on Switch's website that they are going to be releasing a single strut kite, but I'm thinking I don't think I need the low weight of a single strut for 12kn+. The Element is 3 strut/3kg and I think that will probably hang in the air at 12kn.

Does this sound right? Does anyone have experience foiling with the Element? Any insight as to drift, power in loops, relaunch, etc.?

dylan*
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Re: Switch Element?

Postby dylan* » Tue Jun 06, 2017 1:37 am

12 knots is about the minimum that my 12m Nitro 4 starts to fly well in, so a lighter weight element should be fine in that wind range. Not sure about the 8m though, might not have enough canopy area for that wind. But to be totally honest I've never even tried that small of a kite in that kind of wind. I know my 10m TS doesn't really fly at all in ~10 knots.

OzBungy
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Re: Switch Element?

Postby OzBungy » Tue Jun 06, 2017 2:16 am

I have Elements in 5,7 and 10m. I rarely use the 5m but I have plans for it.

I foil almost exclusively. They're perfectly fine kites for recreational foiling. I am not disadvantaged to any extent for general free riding in 10-30+ knots winds.

They are surf-style kites so they don't have the super forward movement of foil kites or race LEI. You would lose out on upwind performance ... compared to yachts and race foil kites.

I have had not much luck with tacks so far. I have pulled off a few 360's but they are not very elegant. The kite tends to sit back and not support my weight. I am getting better results using a bigger kite.

The main advantage of Switch kites is that they're very well made and very cheap. They are 1/2-2/3 the price of other kites.

junebug
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Re: Switch Element?

Postby junebug » Tue Jun 06, 2017 2:54 am

Thanks Oz. I am only interested in free ride, so speed and upwind performance aren't super important to me. I'm still learning to air jibe, but I'm loving flying smaller kites, even if that makes staying on foil more difficult at this stage.

The price is the main draw, but the promo video for the Element on Switch's website was impressive. I have an old 7 Fuse I'm using for 13-16kn, but, among other problems, it doesn't want stay in the air easily in 13kn. One of my main concerns is that the kite will stay in the air even at the low end of the range. Do you think an 8m will stay in the sky at 12kn?

danidr
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Re: Switch Element?

Postby danidr » Tue Jun 06, 2017 3:12 am

junebug wrote:
Tue Jun 06, 2017 2:54 am
Thanks Oz. I am only interested in free ride, so speed and upwind performance aren't super important to me. I'm still learning to air jibe, but I'm loving flying smaller kites, even if that makes staying on foil more difficult at this stage.

The price is the main draw, but the promo video for the Element on Switch's website was impressive. I have an old 7 Fuse I'm using for 13-16kn, but, among other problems, it doesn't stay in the air in 13kn. My main concern is that the kite will stay in the air even at the low end of the range. Do you think an 8m will stay in the sky at 12kn?
I don't have info on the switch element, although I plan on getting a 7m soon for those few very windy days, but in my spot it's common to see small kites on 9-10kts. I personally use my 9m cabrinha drifter on those winds (3 struts, surf kite) without problems, and there's a guy always on a 8m f-one bandit. 12kts is plenty of wind for any modern 9m kite to fly decently. I also have no problems going upwind and actually like my surf kite better for the foil than my switchblade all round kite. The surf kites normally are not so good going upwind, which in a foil is a non issue unless you're racing, but are better at going downwind, they also have a good depower range for when the wind picks up a little. I'm inclined to say that most 8m will stay on the sky at 8kts as long as it's consistent wind!

Bletti
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Re: Switch Element?

Postby Bletti » Tue Jun 06, 2017 2:48 pm

I have the element 4 in 9m and 5m I use for waves and for freeride foiling. I'm thinking of getting a 7m element 5 soon to fill the gap. I have a 7m switch nitro 4 that's just too heavy to fly enjoyably and was tending to size down early to the 5m element which is good from 15ish kts if I work it. It has better looping power than pure wave kites i've tried. Relaunch is good when I pull the opposite front line to pivot the kite onto its side. I like the elements for foiling. I was initially going to hold off till the switch monostrut is released but having read other people's experiences with monostrut kites I'm thinking they might be more advantageous in 9m and larger sizes. I'm curious how different the element 5 is. From what I've read the drift is better on the element 5 at the cost of some upwind angle (not that upwind is too critical when freeride foiling).

Other people on this forum have found the Ozone Enduro to be good for foiling and so I don't see why the element would perform too differently, having a similar weight and kite style.

borist
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Re: Switch Element?

Postby borist » Tue Jun 06, 2017 6:55 pm

Recently I've tried 3 or 4 different models of 1 and 3 strut kites with HF. To my surprise I liked Element the most. It was the overall feel of the kite. Not sure about the size though, 9m I think. I thought the relaunch was the worst of those I tried. Not terrible, just little bit harder. I think your idea of size is sound as long as you ride in not too choppy water where speed is harder to maintain at lower wind range. Loops softer than high AR, which is nice for carving S turns and such


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