... Don't like to enter too deep in polemics, but I need to clarify things on some comments ; Believe me or not, I never exaggerate my reports, intentionally at least, neither here nor on the french forums I am participating for years. I am just passionate by light wind rides, try to put a maximum of objectivity. I really have nothing to sell, no commercial interest with nobody, I own different kite types and brands, and I paid all of them at the normal price. I am even not comfortable influencing people to buy this or this! Because then I feel responsible of non-adapted choices or deceptions. Propaganda is a wrong attribute, sorry ; I just do reviews to illustrate and share, I hope you noticed this in the tone of my reports.
I say again that wind measures can be tricky but I see we definitely cannot avoid them ... my wind scales reference is as follows (onshore wind),
so that everyone can re-calibrate this scale to its own experience and figures (I also put my upwind abilities in correspondance with the related kites and boards, me with 60 kg which OBVIOUSLY has a significant impact
: little foam on every 2-3 waves (= Speed 3 15m or Big LEI with a large Door TT, or HF with 9m LEI):
- 9 knots
: far less foam than waves (=Aurora 22m or Speed 2 15m with standard TT or HF with 9 m Light LEI)
- 8 knots
: some rare white foam here and here , say one every 100/200 meters (= Aurora 22m or hardly Speed 2 15m with large TT or HF with Speed4 10m lotus)
- 7 knots
: no foam at all, regular little waves by the wind ( Aurora 22m with L Door TT or HF with Speed4 10m lotus, limit)
- 6 knots
: micro waves, water reflect is still uniformally blurred by the wind (Pulsion 12m with HF); standard foil kite can stay at the zenith
- 5 knots
: some parts of the sea surface is visually less disturbed by wind, glassy almost like a mirror (Pulsion 12m with HF) ; only light foilkites stay at the zenith ( lotus, Silver arrow, Diablo, ect ...
- under 5 knots
: local or uniform sea surface without reflect distortion by the wind (Pulsion 12m with HF but no waterstart); only kites like FS peak or Pulsion or maybe Ozone R1 V2 stay at the zenith
I understand it can bring some doubts for people who did not try very light kites, but now on 4 people having tried this same kite (all without financial interest to sell any, I can promise), they all said they reached new low ends (weight of the kite and stability/agility are to me the key factors).
Ok sorry guys for the digression, now I will only bounce on technical questions, more interesting for other readers.
Back the initial question "power" of foilkite vs LEI
, I would just add that it highly depends on what you call "power" and your objective:
- if it is the ability to waterstart and stay upwind at the minimum low end possible, LEI are to me in the same range than Foilkites ; for example with a TT, it is easier to stay upwind with a LEI fat lady 17m than a speed3 15m (and even speed3 19m to be discussed since I think it was a poor light wind kite); Hydrofoil is not so far from this situation if we just talk about minimum wind for planning and stay upwind
. Foilkite will indeed benefit from more projected area but LEI will be more agile for working and generate the lift for waterstart like using loops with short lines ...
- if it is rather the ability to ride the faster possible (in an identical low wind but not searching for the absolute minimum low end), then a Foilkite will benefit of its higher L/D ratio, hence a better frontward angle of traction to generate speed.
Another example to illustrate the difficult answer "foil vs LEI" power: a medium skilled TT rider looking for top low end may feel the LEI has more "power" (at low speed, the foilkite will go "too" far away in the window with less lift), while a HF looking for better speed in low wind range of its kite will feel the Foilkite has more "power" because he can ride faster. And finally ... the case of a medium skilled HF looking for freeride in low end without special speed requirement ... he will be in between ... so his power preference can either be race LEI or freeride Foil, depending on its skills and kite designs