edt wrote: ↑Fri Oct 13, 2017 2:32 amIt's not about skilled = never swim. more like who wants to push their limits. Some days I don't feel so like swimming so only launch if it's good other days I don't care how low it is or how bad the lulls I'm going for it. so not really about skills but how much you feel like testing yourself. some kiters never swim not becuase they are amazing but because they are simply a bit more cautious
You are absolutely right, that how often you swim is not based on skill only, but har far you go, and how low you go and push it.
But, having said that, everything else being equal, skill is by far the major part of avoiding a swim/drop, no doubt at all, even more important than the kite and conditions IMO.
It somehow grows during the years for most rider, meaning:
When starting most ride with say their 12 m2 heavy LEI kite well lit in 10-12 knots.
When getting better, you ride in less wind so not overpowered when foiling, 9-10 knots with the 12, but it will drop very often and be a PITA in every way, so you get a lighter LEI or a foilkite instead.
Great, now you can ride in 8-9 knots, but you will still mess up now and then.
More time and experience and you will soon avoid getting it in the drink, and also make you able to ride in 6-8 knots instead with the same gear, and now you will start dropping it again on occasion.
When you have fully mastered this discipline after some years at least, you will hardly never mess up in above conditions, but can ride in maybe 4-6 knots, and again you will drop the kite now and then no matter how skilled and experienced.
So you keep pushing the low end with experience, thus the risk of dropping it increases, but so does your skill, so it almost evens out
The rider around here having the most long swims, is a really good racer who rides very far and take the chance in marginal winds with the 15 and 18 m2 racekite - so having quite a number of really long swims from miles out also, after a packdown.
But he is also an expert and can ride and keep his kite flying in even the lowest winds, where you can not foil nomore - a HUGE difference in skill, so he will hardly never drop a kite, compared to a medium to highly skilled rider in the same conditions