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Hydrofoiling transitions in 5 knots

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sedluk
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Hydrofoiling transitions in 5 knots

Postby sedluk » Thu Oct 05, 2017 6:02 pm

We have seen lots of guys posting and asking about what kite to get for light wind and they are dealing with 10 knots. I don't consider 10 knots to be light wind, I don't typically consider 8 knots to be very challenging. It can be if there are lulls but if the wind is steady, 8 knots is a reasonable wind.

I am traveling down to the Caribbean this weekend and it looks like we will have some light wind days. Most days will probably be 8-10 knot days and that is fine. I find that below 7-8 knots, things can get tricky. I think the reason for this is that the energy in the wind is proportional to the square of the wind speed. So 5 squared = 25 and 7 squared = 49, with 5 knots you are dealing with half the wind energy, you would need to double the kite size. Even between 5 and 6 knots there is a very big difference, on the order of 50% more energy with 6 knots vs 5 knots.

Image

I have the Sonic Race 15m, 18m and 21m for light wind and they are also light for travel. I typically use 27m lines with the 21m Sonic Race but could also extend to 33m. I have the Ketos Freeride XL wing and the combo of 21m and XL wing can be amazing. If I can get started and get that kite moving with some apparent wind, I can generally make progress up wind in 5 knots.

I am not very proficient at air gybes and usually do water gybes. Things work well with smaller kites and a downloop on transitions, but I have not mastered downloops and transitions with the 18m and 21m.

Things go well if I keep the kite out of the water and winds are steady. I can usually work the kite and keep it out of the water, if the kite gets wet, then I most likely will be swimming to the beach.

I know that most people are using smaller kites when hydrofoiling and it get it. I prefer a 13m kite and only reluctantly pull out the bigger kites when needed. It is really these very light winds that can be a challenge and I understand that these big kites have a very small wind range. Maybe something like 5-6 knots with the 21m, and 7-8 knots with the 18m. Obviously both kites get overpowered quickly when you are moving fast on a big wing. That is the frustrating part, I can be very nicely powered up in 5 knots if I can get going and stay moving.

So, let me know how you guys are handling transitions in 5 knots?

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Re: Hydrofoiling transitions in 5 knots

Postby evan » Thu Oct 05, 2017 8:30 pm

Big foilkites have a huge windrange, but not on long lines. So get shorter lines and train to get your foiling gybes 100% to keep foiling in low winds. Can hold my 20m Aero up to 15kn gusts on 13m lines, longer lines won't make much difference in absolute low-end unless i go to 30m that gives me 1-2kn extra max while i get overpowerd as soon as it gets above 7kn. Also gybes become more difficult on long lines to keep foiling. The only problem with short lines is that it is harder to keep the kite flying and getting on your board is way harder compared to those 25m+ lines.

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Re: Hydrofoiling transitions in 5 knots

Postby Peter_Frank » Thu Oct 05, 2017 10:45 pm

But evan, that is precisely the point !

sedluk asks about 5 knots of wind, and here 1-2 knots is a HUGE difference.

It does not matter if you get overpowered quickly here, it only matters what will get you going, and what is needed so you can keep your kite pulling, and "up".

Regarding transitions in this wind - I find it sometimes works to fly the kite up, long lines, while carving really tight - this way you will be able to both keep tension on your lines (when long and you fly the kite up instead of down) and recover the kite IF you make too wide a turn so you get slack lines.
Downlooping if you make a mistake, it goes down, as it wont turn nomore now...

When really good you will probably be able to downloop in this marginal wind, but not easy and you will drop the kite more often.

Others find it works better in marginal wind, to downloop - but as said, no room for errors now.

On the other hand, when you time it perfectly, the help from gravity on the downloop gives more speed so it can work better - but you have to get it right and time it spot on.
You loose a lot going out of the turn most often, but you have good speed into the turn, it your timing is right :thumb:
Turning "up" you might not be able to keep you foiling throughout in 5 knots only, so this is a bummer as then your added power when flown down on the new tack is to no help..

Ups and downs of both up and down ways, ha haa, I have found.
Downlooping works great, but a bigger risk that it goes wrong if you are not really good, or tired.

Most racekiters here tack instead of jibing, when truly marginal, to avoid getting the kite down.

Many will have more experience than me I think, so interesting topic :D

8) PF
Last edited by Peter_Frank on Thu Oct 05, 2017 11:06 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Hydrofoiling transitions in 5 knots

Postby Slappysan » Thu Oct 05, 2017 11:04 pm

I'm not a great foiler, only just started doing flying jibes even though I've been foiling for a few years. The reason is that I only foil in light wind, often such that dropping the kite means a swim in. In those conditions working on foiling jibes is a big risk so I rarely do it.

My go to technique for riding down to 6 knots is what I call a tack-jibe. It's not pretty but it works and it's very recoverable if you mess it up.

1) carve upwind a bit like you are going to tack
2) bring kite overhead
3) once kite is passing overhead on it's way down the other direction you should have come to a complete stop
4) at this point do a little hop-kick and switch your board around as if you were jibing (not as if you were tacking)
5) often you will touch down, but you can ride away from it
6) once you've switched your feet now ride away if you have enough power or loop the kite to get going again

When you mess up this transition you end up right beside your board with your kite flying directly above your head.

I use a 17m Cloud C2 for this down to 6 knots.

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Re: Hydrofoiling transitions in 5 knots

Postby Horst Sergio » Fri Oct 06, 2017 2:54 am

sedluk wrote:
Thu Oct 05, 2017 6:02 pm
...
I have the Sonic Race 15m, 18m and 21m for light wind and they are also light for travel. I typically use 27m lines with the 21m Sonic Race but could also extend to 33m. I have the Ketos Freeride XL wing and the combo of 21m and XL wing can be amazing. If I can get started and get that kite moving with some apparent wind, I can generally make progress up wind in 5 knots.

I am not very proficient at air gybes and usually do water gybes. Things work well with smaller kites and a downloop on transitions, but I have not mastered downloops and transitions with the 18m and 21m.

...

So, let me know how you guys are handling transitions in 5 knots?
Hi Sedluk,

clean jibes and tacks in 5 knots are possible as you can see in the worldcup, but as you may see, require very clean technique and perfect setup of equipment. It is not about flying gybes or water gybes, but just the little braking by a 1 sec touchdown during a full flying manouver in a 4 knots lull can make you swim. And 21m² kites on 27 m lines doesn't make a clean maneuver more likely, tacks may even be impossible with that in those conditions.
But long lines are helpful to learn flying gybes and generally to get started, but better on a Lotus and not on a Sonic Race.

As also Peter Frank said 5 to 7 knots is complete different story and in 5 knots I also prefer flying tacks, but all equipment has to be race style, so kite pretty big but on very short lines.

If you start doing flying gybes and tacks than you can start to develop step by step into race technique and equipment, which is required for clean maneuvers in real 5 knots. A freeride wing is something that won't work well anymore in those conditions. You will need an extrem low drag hydrofoil, allowing you to pick up high speed even in such low wind which gives you enough momentum to go through maneuvers. But as you may see it is a pretty long way. I stopped myself for the moment to go into this direction, but prefer freeriding with smaller easier kites on longer or normal line length, but for sure also a bit more wind, lets say 6-7 knots :D . My last setup for 5 knts has been full race hydrofoil with a 15 m ChronoV1 on 16 m lines which are already a bit to long (to much "Freeride-setup") for clean fast maneuvers, about 14 m lines would have been better, just 1 m changes a lot here, but require very good kite control to get started. And you may swim often with this setup, in every 3 knots lull or every not 100% perfect maneuver in 4 knot lulls.

So first think about material and direction you want to go. Freeride equipment and flying jibes in a bit higher winds is normally the first step. Race style for maneuvers in real 5 knots comes much later. I often see people blocking own progress with improperly or improperly combined equipment. Doesn't mean not nearly every combination can make sense for a particular style, I misapply myself a sonic2 freerace kite for stunt kite flying :) during freeriding, but I wouldn't use a sonic Race for that, as even a Lotus freeride kite in many cases would be better for learning new maneuvers, what I enjoy doing most of the time. Last session I had to completely dismount and mount my sonic2 on the water after a missed maneuver, no problem if your used to do this, just takes time, but for many it is better to use a kite with always easy relaunch to progress fast with maneuvers.

So best for first might be: Try depending on your weight a big to mid size Lotus first on longer lines as you actually use to learn flying jibes and tacks and then go the further steps. :thumb:

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Re: Hydrofoiling transitions in 5 knots

Postby davesails7 » Fri Oct 06, 2017 1:21 pm

Peter_Frank wrote: sedluk asks about 5 knots of wind, and here 1-2 knots is a HUGE difference.
I think 1-2 knots is definitely over estimating the gain from longer lines for big foil kites. On my 18m Sonic2, I don't notice any benefit going longer than 20m lines. The few times I have ridden the 18m on 25m lines, I right away get overpowered even in moderate gusts. This is all based on my feel for it though. It seems reasonable to me that 33m lines get you waterstarted in 0.5 knots earlier, but once your are riding, I think an experienced rider who foils through transitions would be better off on 20m lines or shorter.
Horst Sergio wrote:
Fri Oct 06, 2017 2:54 am
And 21m² kites on 27 m lines doesn't make a clean maneuver more likely, tacks may even be impossible with that in those conditions.
I agree, the shorter lines definitely make the foiling tacks and jibes easier to foil through because you can get the kite to where it needs to be in the window sooner.
Peter_Frank wrote: Most racekiters here tack instead of jibing, when truly marginal, to avoid getting the kite down.
Yeah, my lowest wind transition is a mostly-foiling tack with a downloop. I need the 20m lines for this. On 18m kite with 17m lines, it's hard to do the downloop out of the tack. Jibing takes more wind (at least for me) because you are riding under the kite at >10 mph in <10 mph of wind. In light winds, often all 4 lines go slack with the kite facing leading edge down as I carve through the foiling jibe. (That could just be that I'm not that good at foil jibing)

When there is enough wind to foil jibe, you can get the kite downloop on very short lines because you are riding under the kite as it loops. This video shows it very well at 0:48:


I talked to someone who rides the 20m F-one Diablo 3 on 15m lines. He said there is no way to loop it from a standstill, but he can foil jibe with downloop on it no problem because you ride under the kite as it loops.

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Re: Hydrofoiling transitions in 5 knots

Postby Pedro Marcos » Fri Oct 06, 2017 8:13 pm

I agree that tacking is easier to manage then jibing in marginal winds, i normally always sink in the middle of the jibe, while on the tack i can keep pressure on the lines much easier and keep foiling.

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Re: Hydrofoiling transitions in 5 knots

Postby evan » Fri Oct 06, 2017 8:37 pm

davesails7 wrote:
Fri Oct 06, 2017 1:21 pm
I think 1-2 knots is definitely over estimating the gain from longer lines for big foil kites. On my 18m Sonic2, I don't notice any benefit going longer than 20m lines. The few times I have ridden the 18m on 25m lines, I right away get overpowered even in moderate gusts. This is all based on my feel for it though. It seems reasonable to me that 33m lines get you waterstarted in 0.5 knots earlier, but once your are riding, I think an experienced rider who foils through transitions would be better off on 20m lines or shorter.
Exactly what i was trying to say and even 20m lines gives me a very small gain over 13m. Too small to bother with extensions as those winds are too unstable here and almost always a guaranteed swim.

I am only puzzled why everyone says that tacking is easier/safer when on the edge of to low-end. In my experience if you crash a tack or slow down too much in such way that your kite is in a position that you can't loop it anymore you have a guaranteed drowned kite, sometimes even upwind of you.
If you crash a gybe your kite is already halfway in a downloop so when you go down the kite jus accelerates through the loop as you stop your downwind momentum. I am now at 100% foiling gybes and tacks in normal winds so gybing feels less of a risk when the too low to maintain speed through my tacks so you always need a downloop to get going again. In the absolute low-end you just want to minimize contacting the water as there is always the risk you end up in a big lull you can foil throug but is impossible to waterstart and/or keeping your kite airborne while swimming.

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Re: Hydrofoiling transitions in 5 knots

Postby davesails7 » Sat Oct 07, 2017 3:35 am

evan wrote:
Fri Oct 06, 2017 8:37 pm
if you crash a tack or slow down too much in such way that your kite is in a position that you can't loop it anymore you have a guaranteed drowned kite, sometimes even upwind of you.
I'm much better at tacking than gybing, so that's probably a big part of it.

Also, when you tack, you're increasing your apparent wind by riding into the wind.

When I do a tack with a downloop, I usually decide ahead of time and the downloop is just a continuation of the kite coming over the top for the tack. When I do downloop, I almost always touch down for a second because there's a slight stop in power when the kites going the opposite direction of the board at the bottom of the loop. That usually gives me a chance to get my rear foot in the strap. Then after that, it climbs to the top of the window and I dive it, so lots of power.

One problem though is the tack with downlooop brings you pretty far downwind. Usually on the really marginal days, I'm barely staying upwind because of the downloops out of the tacks, and I'm only doing short tacks so I won't have to swim as far in case the kite goes down. Also, when it really is super-light wind, the apparent wind shift from going >12 knots in 6 knots of wind is huge! I think when you're going upwind no problem, it's not really 5 knots, based on the apparent wind shift.

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Re: Hydrofoiling transitions in 5 knots

Postby Slappysan » Sat Oct 07, 2017 8:30 am

evan wrote:
Fri Oct 06, 2017 8:37 pm
I am only puzzled why everyone says that tacking is easier/safer when on the edge of to low-end.
It's easier because to jibe you'll be headed straight downwind at around 10 knots, when there is only 6 knots of wind that means slack lines.
It's safer because you have the chance of catching a wingtip on the water if you bail mid jibe where as if you bail mid tack your kite is nice and high.


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