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Foil kite flying techniques/tips

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baxterbradford
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Foil kite flying techniques/tips

Postby baxterbradford » Wed Sep 16, 2015 12:14 pm

I've just started flying a foil kite and have been looking for tips on how to use it.
Its flying characteristics are so different from my LEI kites. I've flown it 3 times, one of which was just on the beach in 3-5kts. I'm finding that I am too prone to pull the bar in too far, choke the airflow and lose power, whilst I'm actually trying to increase it!
I tried a down loop, but found that I didn't get much extra power. Having read one post on the 'new foil kite' thread, it implied that I probably had the bar pulled in too far. So it seems that airspeed of the kite is paramount to generate more apparent wind and thus power from the kite.
In addition to searching this forum I've looked on YouTube to no avail, is there anywhere that provides more detailed information please?
I come from having sailed a range of craft and have had to learn new techniques for each, some of which felt very alien and against what I'd learned (e.g. use of jib in slow dinghies kept pinned in upwind & play main to keep boat flat whereas in twin trapeze dinghies planing upwind, jib is freed off before mainsail).
So I appreciate that this is currently very much a case of 'pilot error', but I'd love to accelerate my learning and get the full benefit that these high performance wings offer.

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Kamikuza
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Re: Foil kite flying techniques/tips

Postby Kamikuza » Wed Sep 16, 2015 12:33 pm

You sound like you'll get there on your own, but basic rule is gentle hands -- no more bar than you need.

Details depends a lot on how the kite is reacting in the wind, and how it's set up, too.

If you're riding, sheet in til you just feel resistance on the bar and that's usually good power; don't muscle the kite.
Sheet out to get the kite flying and let it accelerate, looping it through the window with the bar right out will generate power.
But also be aware that keeping a little pressure on the rear lines is a good idea for controlling stalls -- and if the kite is surging to the edge of the window, especially the zenith, sheet right in.
If you've stalled the kite and it's falling back with slack lines, don't be afraid to reach up and grab and pull a steering leader to get some tension and control back!

Learning to finesse a foil will improve your general kite flying skills too.

3-5 knots is very light wind though, and won't be tha exciting...

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Kamikuza
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Re: Foil kite flying techniques/tips

Postby Kamikuza » Wed Sep 16, 2015 12:34 pm

Oh and - use the TRIM STRAP to trim the kite: if the wind is light, pull some trim so the kite just starts back stalling after a second or so, when you sheet right in.

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Bille
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Re: Foil kite flying techniques/tips

Postby Bille » Wed Sep 16, 2015 3:21 pm

You gave yourself, some good advise , over on :
Who will introduce the next foil kite?

If you get those light (late evening) sea-breeze , where you live ; then
flying your foil in 3-5kts , is the best practice you can get. Ya got to
do everything perfect in that wind ; or the kite will fall out of the sky !

I have old Peter-Lynn foils, that i learned to kite board with
about 13 years ago ; i pump them up with a bilge blower on 3
lipo batterys for 11.1v, (in that 3mph stuff) because it keeps the Running
backwards, to a minimum .

Bille
baxterbradford wrote: ...
I've just started flying a foil kite and have been looking for tips on how to use it.
Its flying characteristics are so different from my LEI kites. I've flown it 3 times, one of which was just on the beach in 3-5kts. I'm finding that I am too prone to pull the bar in too far, choke the airflow and lose power, whilst I'm actually trying to increase it!
I tried the down loop, but found that I didn't get much extra power. Having read the above posts, it implies that the bar was pulled in too far. So it seems that airspeed of the kite is paramount to generate more apparent wind and thus power from the kite.
...

foilonfoil
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Re: Foil kite flying techniques/tips

Postby foilonfoil » Wed Sep 16, 2015 3:55 pm

Finesse is a world that describes foil kite flying and essentially keeping it moving in light wind is the secret. Yes you can have too much bar and too little bar. As others have said, maintaining line tension is important.

There is one big "No No" where if you let the kite power to the edge of the window the lower wing tip will fold on itself and you need to be proactive to not do this or worse, recovering by grabbing the opposite line(s) to keep the kite open.

Backstall can be ok and you can use this as a technique to reposition the kite in the window.

Various foil kites have a power band for a given speed so you need to "learn" how to identify it. Worse case, one pass and you have no power, yet the next pass, there is so much power it will pull you off your board.

Different foil kites have different power band characteristics so a Sonic/R1/Jester/Chrono/Speed all have unique feel.

In gusty conditions - If a foil kite drops back low in the window then regains power, immediate steer to the left or right side of the window or you will be lifted and thrown a distance... Same for any kite, but foil kites can have so much more power, what you can get away with on a LEI, you will suffer for on a foil kite.

In very light conditions, water starts with a down loop (or possibly two) to the direction you want to go generates power to get you moving then you build up apparent wind and accelerate away.

baxterbradford
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Re: Foil kite flying techniques/tips

Postby baxterbradford » Wed Sep 16, 2015 4:12 pm

Thanks so much. All very helpful, some gems of advice.
It's recognising these traits and how to correct when they manifest themselves in same way that when starting out & diving kite to waterstart you have no feel and how to compensate if given it too little or much.
It was only flown once at 3-5 kts & it was interesting keeping it in the air, I did need to resort to grabbing front lines at one point. The other times were 10 & 12kts, so easier in the air, just me being heavy handed & kite reacting in unexpected ways to me. So far wing tips have remained in position.

foilonfoil
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Re: Foil kite flying techniques/tips

Postby foilonfoil » Wed Sep 16, 2015 5:19 pm

By the by, I absolutely love foil kites. I'm now flying the Flysurfer Sonic FR 9M and 11M with my foil board and the 11M I can take down to 9kts-10kts. Any lower and I should really be on a 15M.

The problem I have is it is really hard to justify a 15M foil kite for the small window (7kts-10kts) where it would be useful for me. Anything above 10KTS on a 15M Foil kite with the foil board, I'm overpowered.

foilonfoil
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Re: Foil kite flying techniques/tips

Postby foilonfoil » Wed Sep 16, 2015 6:09 pm

baxterbradford wrote:t was interesting keeping it in the air, I did need to resort to grabbing front lines at one point. The other times were 10 & 12kts, so easier in the air, just me being heavy handed & kite reacting in unexpected ways to me. So far wing tips have remained in position.
You are doing the right thing - All good experience on the beach. Earlier this week I was on the beach in light wind flying pushing the kite through the window and beyond to practice tip tuck avoidance and recovery. Just needs to become second nature like every other aspect of this sport. With 10-12kts, the kite will be easy to handle.

baxterbradford
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Re: Foil kite flying techniques/tips

Postby baxterbradford » Wed Sep 16, 2015 6:18 pm

Ultimately I want to be able to use the foil kite on my foil board. However intention is to get better at using both individually before going for the combination. So am using the kite with twin tip initially.
I'm a heavyweight, so have bought a 15m kite. My Zephyr has been the kite I've used most. In light winds, its weight is a hindrance with it falling back into the water & then not able to relaunch.


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