Totally agree the speed 4 is great in light wind, and relaunch is unbelievable. So as you say in the 7-ish wind range it works great. I used one when first starting to foil, and never had to swim in!coleman wrote: ↑Thu Aug 31, 2017 2:26 amwith my old 10m speed 4 lotus and my XLP wing on the alpine foil i was able to ride in 7-10kt days.....lulls to less than 5kts and gusts to 10kts. kite sits at zenith beautifully in almost no wind. if it hits the water its incredibly easy to relaunch in 5-7kts.
prob at 12m would be the money size for really light air for my weight.
davesails7 wrote: ↑Thu Aug 31, 2017 12:55 pmIf you're looking at the lightest possible winds, I don't think relaunch makes any difference because you have no chance to relaunch (unless there are big lulls).
When it gets to the lightest winds, you need to go up in size. When I hit the low end limit of my 18m Sonic2, it's because I'm looping over and over and it still doesn't have enough power to lift me out of the water.
Also, when you get to the light wind limit, you need a setup that goes upwind well because the apparent wind shifts in front of you so much. If the wind really is 6 knots, even to ride 90 degrees to the true wind at 10-12 knots board speed, the apparent wind angle shift is huge. At that speed and heading, your apparent wind angle would be only 30 degrees. When I'm at the real low end, I'm riding upwind hard the whole time, but never make any progress upwind.
Although all of this is just to get an extra knot or two. That extra 1-2 knots makes all the difference, so it's really hard to put a wind speed number on it.
Yes, I agree that the 15m has almost as much power as the 18m when you loop it, but I think the 18m gets you something, and sometimes that's the difference of riding or not riding. I am only talking foil kites though, i don't think larger inflatables are as much of a benefit. The main reason I have the 18m is not to get out earlier, but to ride fast and powered in 8-12 kts.Peter_Frank wrote: ↑Thu Aug 31, 2017 1:38 pmRegarding size, we apparently disagree somewhat, as IMO the 15 and 12 m2 has almost the same peak power when looped as an 18 (a lot less when riding though) - but most never use the smaller ones in marginal winds with a bigger wing/board (around here, as those having an 18 are only racers, noone else with bigger wings got these sizes) so not that many who has experience.
It is quite rare but I am not with you on this one. I agree that in light winds (say 7 knots) it is beneficial to have a race kite which improves the traction angle (that drastically degrades in low wind). This is true for speed of the ride, ok. But not for riding lower limit (in term of just planning and stay upwind with a hydrofoil). For this absolute low end ride limit, the main design factors (on top of line length) are:Peter_Frank wrote: ↑Thu Aug 31, 2017 1:38 pmBecause we are pinching the wind window to the extreme in 5-6 knots, the high aspect racefoil kites are the only ones that can go this low without losing ground yes, lower AR foilkites and LEI kites dont have a chance and will either not be able to foil at all (probably no chance of a waterstart as not sufficient peak power), or go downwind only.
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