So a couple of things to come out of the recent racing in La Ventana...
1. Big kites and short lines. 15M/18M kites and lines as short as 15M. Feedback from feet on the ground is everyone started chopping their lines down the first day after observing the champs. Reasoning was as much surface area as possible for the downwind legs while still being controllable.
2. New FlySurfer Sonics and they appear to be made of Lotus fabric this time round?
3. There were prototype R1 V2's on the course. Feedback I received was the current R1's are heavy compared to F-One's and Elf's.
4. Heavy front lines - Supposed to help the kite fly forward in the window.
Last edited by foilonfoil on Mon Mar 28, 2016 7:01 pm, edited 1 time in total.
3asy_pie wrote:If the new Sonics are lotus I guess I'll see a new 15m in my quiver. I wish they would finally get rid of the pull pull depower. Maybe they can test out the WAC line or Diablo line too?
Agreed on the depower - I'm using Ozone Race bars for all my kites. I tried modifying a Flysurfer bar to suit my needs but the split bar hole and the tiny hole in the release for the safety line turned out a failure for me. Could not change my front lines on the fly surfer bar to heavier lines as the safety depower would not work.
Line length is certainly interesting. Making them shorter you gain lots more control, more upwind, more high end but with a lesser loss of low end. For a long time I used 30m lines on my 15m and I got about 1-2knot low end improvement but lost about 5knots topend. I ended up switching back to 21m as I preferred better control and more range. The same for one of my 6m kites, I used to use 12m lines, gained about 10knots topend lost about 3-4 on the bottom. Shorter the lines the more you need to work the kite, makes it hard on you arms and joints etc. I wouldn't use short lines if you just want to cruise, but then you could just go for a bigger kite. The big advantage of longer lines comes when trying to ride in wind shadows or inland winds, some times just an extra 5 or 10m is enough to reach wind that is 10knots stronger. The trick I think with lines is to change them for the conditions. Flysurfer used to break their lines into 3 lengths, all sorts of combinations could be had with 2 kites.
foilholio wrote:Line length is certainly interesting...
Agreed! From a racing perspective, it is about having as much kite surface area up as possible for the reaches on the circuit then dialing back line lengths to provide control for the windward tacks. Makes sense and results seem to provide it...
The net net of all this is manufacturers tuning the bigger kites for faster turning so downloops are possible on the big kites.
I love my Sonics and have been happy with their performance - Today my 15M is my largest kite which gets me out on the water in 9kts+ but this all gives me pause to consider a bigger 18M Sonic with 18M lines may be my next light wind configuration?
I never really gave much thought to going shorter on the big kites. Hunting for the ultimate low end always had me trying longer lines, I have even used 54m lines. Long lines , even 30 meters are certainly a hassle to setup and land. Turning is a bit of a concern, but I love wind range. I am trying to get used to a 6/10/18 quiver. So I will give 15 and 18m lines a try on my 18m kite. Hopefully it is enlightening and brings the 18 and 10 kites a bit closer.