Hey I’m new to foiling and am having hit or miss success. Seems like as soon as I get up and moving my kite immeadiately wants to stall and come down. Some of this is probably because I am trying to go in very minimal winds, like 12 mph lulling to sub 10 mph. Also I’m thinking my kites (switchblades and drifters 9 m, 11 m, and 13 m are heavy and not prone to hanging in marginal conditions. My best seshes have been on the 11 m switch in wind where it is barely whitcapping. I also have a 6.5 Solo that I have not tried yet so I am tempted to try it in those same conditions because it is lighter than the bigger Cabrinhas. The question is which way do you loop the kite to get up and going, back loop or front down loop with the kite going back up and heading forward at the end of the loop? Or is that kite too small in 10 to12 mph to get me moving after I am up? I have watched some of the other guys on very small kites but didn’t notice which way they were looping.
Ok thanks, I kind of thought that would make the most sense because at the end of the loop the kite will be coming back up and heading in the same direction that I am pointing. I will try it with the small kite first to see how it works because I think it will respond to steering faster than the larger Cabs. My gear is a Liquid Force foil (first gen) and Happy Pill board. Thanks for the reply and if anybody else has any tips I will appreciate them.
10m Neo is my biggest kite and I learn in similar winds (and I'm 220lbs), so stick with the 11 or 9m - the faster turning kites are easier to keep moving and save if they do start stalling. When you do get up and start foiling, you'll find you then have plenty of power once the apparent wind kicks in.
In those really light winds, I find that it's best not to bring your kite too low as you can't really keep tension against the lines when its right at the bottom of the wind window and the wind can be even lighter down low. So keep the kite flying in the top 2/3's of the wind window, which also helps to keep weight off your feet and the board.
When I got into foiling I hadn't ridden in lightwinds for a long time so part of the practice is just getting used to flying your kites when really underpowered and being able to feel when a kite is gonna stall and react before it does. Like anything you get better with time.
I think both of those things are part of the problem. Light wind, heavy kite, not turning into the wind quick enough. I think also I have been trying to go out in too light conditions when I see the other guys going out who already have it down. A lot of the guys here are flying 12 to 18 m Flysurfer foils and they stay up in very light wind. I should probably wait till it’s whitecapping pretty steady and go with the 11 or 9.
if your kite doesn't crash immediately after launching you can ride a hydrofoil. After riding a hydrofoil all summer I have been converted from a skeptic to a believer. You know those videos where they say the wind is as low as 3 or 4 knots, well I believe it now. Personally I will ride in as low as 7 knots as long as it's steady. When I go in the lower limit I have to increase my line length to 30-40 meters as it's just too hard to keep the kite in the air with shorter 20 meter lines when wind is this low. When I first started out I had to go out in 12 knot wind or more because I didn't have enough control. Now the only lower limit is how badly do I really want to swim if I botch my transition. At the lower limit you have to keep moving because as soon as you lose that apparent wind you are in trouble and probably swimming, lol. If you haven't tried it yet, try some longer lines it might help keep the kite in the air if only because it has a longer way to go before it falls in the water.
It's partly your kites, partly your technique. Hard to say what you are doing wrong, but make sure you are sheeting out and getting some line tension to get kite to climb.
As beginner you should use one kite smaller than TT riders. If Tt guys are on 12's take a 9. If they are on 17-15 m kites take a 12.
As winds get light the heavy 12 with 5 struts is going to stall more.
Yep, been there. Having more wind definitely helps, but it really is just a matter of experience and time. At first I had a hard time turning the foil cross or upwind after water start and the kite would crash because I was pointing too far downwind. Takes some time to get a feel for the stance and weight shifting.
In the beginning, the foil takes you for a ride. You gotta learn to take control and take it for a ride.