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Little Cloud Pelican foil kite

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flying fish
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Little Cloud Pelican foil kite

Postby flying fish » Sat Feb 04, 2017 6:31 pm

Weight and price are looking interesting
http://littlecloud.fr/product-range/pelican/

Maybe some is willing to buy one and test it? :D
Or someone already tested it?

kitexpert
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Re: Little Cloud Pelican foil kite

Postby kitexpert » Sun Feb 05, 2017 7:50 pm

Nice looking kites. Completely new brand for me.

The long experience can be seen: 2D view, canopy curve, air intakes and wingtips look all correctly designed. Cell counts are a bit low but the wing looks clean so it is apparently ok and makes kite a bit lighter and cheaper. A bit strange thing is why biggest size doesn't have some more cells if it has more AR.

HQ's Matrixx kites have quite a lot similar specs and shape.

Pelican's bridle looks exceptionally short. Positive moment of the airfoil is for stability, hard to say if it helps "biting in to the wind" (upwind ability?). Winter racers know going fast upwind is hard work and you use your kite powered as much as you can.

Ability to deactivate the valves I don't see necessary. But you don't have to use it if you don't want to.

There is some controversy with LE stiffeners. Some say they are essential for stability, this designer says they can be even harmful. I think for the highest performance they are needed, and they also prefill kite.

"the blind connectors" system is a bit suspicious. I think it is a bit too cheap not to have own bar for each foil kite. If it works and isn't too slow to use, fine. But there is always increased risk for messes if lines are taken off.

I like how this designer arguments for his choices, even though I'm not 100% behind them.

Regis-de-giens
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Re: Little Cloud Pelican foil kite

Postby Regis-de-giens » Sun Feb 05, 2017 9:48 pm

Thomas Bourdeau is also the designer of previous HQ neo's closed cells (i owned a 14m neo as my firt foil kite, wonderfully stable) . As far as I remember he was the designer of Ozone Frenzy open cells kite.
He makes original choices like you have explained. Also when shaping a TT board called "mana" (TBKiteboarding 10 years ago, very good glide and light), which I bought again this year following the lost of my loved Mana in the méditerranéen sea ...

Anyway just to confirm it is not his first design ... There are 2 tests of the Pelican in France currently with a good feedback in term of lightness and stability.

kitexpert
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Re: Little Cloud Pelican foil kite

Postby kitexpert » Sun Feb 05, 2017 10:42 pm

OK, thanks Regis. I missed Tom at the beginning. I know some of his work and have used those kites you mentioned.

Pelican has quite similar design goals to Pulsion. Also HQ Matrixx and some others (less known) are there, and Speeds of course.

I think these words should be noticed by kiters planning to start using foil kites:

"
Despite the trend of high performance foil kites which provide slightly better upwind and speed, and which are very fast but a pain in the ass to deal with (cravats, relaunch issue due to large span…), I kept the focus on the 100% pleasure philosophy of LittleCloud."

windrider1
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Re: Little Cloud Pelican foil kite

Postby windrider1 » Mon Feb 06, 2017 12:40 am

The kites look good and I like the idea of a new kite company to compete with the rest but the instruction video needs some work. it has some improper procedures for handling the kite like launching downwind and moving to 45 degress while the kite goes up, sorry that just not safe and some other errors. Also whats with the bird noise in the background? I think if ure gonna design a kite then get a few kiters to review things before you put out your product and video and give a poor impression. my 2 cents.

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Re: Little Cloud Pelican foil kite

Postby Hardwater Kiter » Mon Feb 06, 2017 1:21 pm

Interesting kite. It seems pretty well thought out and personally my only gripe about the video is the sounds of the Pelicans and the wrapping of lines before the kite is secured. In my local you secure the kite, then wrap the lines. Wrapping the lines with the kite able to move in gusts and windshifts means you are at risk of some level of power up in the kite and no ability to control it or activate the safety systems. On firm snow or ice especially.

Not that this is specific to this video. We see less experienced riders do it somewhat often.

The moving to 45, not ideal IMO but experience foil fliers do it with minimal risk. Keeping the bar pressure constant on the side away from the ground and let gravity help open the kite works quite well (as we saw in the vid). A little brake input too helps. Gets you up and out without a hot launch and without need of an assist.

But this is off topic. I should focus on the kite which is admittedly intriguing.
Glued construction, is this right? If so I have mixed feelings about this. On one hand it seems very cool as the kite must hold air for days. I have clothing that is made this way and I was skeptical when I first started using it but most of it has helped up really well. As well or better than anything stitched. But when things do come undone, how do you repairs it? I've had kites that were glued but they were also stitched.

The kites look nice. Seem well behaved and look like they share a lot of DNA with the HQ Matrixx which I guess makes sense. The Matrixx 3 is a very nice kite and the Little Clouds seem equally nice with some added features that appeal to me for the environment we ride in.

I think it's a good option for most people who want this type of performance but don't need a kite like a Sonic or R1 or similar variant. I think people will get more out of a kite like this than a race variant even if they think the race variant will give them better performance. Race kites give you want you give them and if you don't know how to get the best performance out of them, they are a waste of money and frustrating to ride.

kitexpert
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Re: Little Cloud Pelican foil kite

Postby kitexpert » Tue Feb 07, 2017 12:52 pm

Hardwater Kiter wrote:
Glued construction, is this right? If so I have mixed feelings about this. On one hand it seems very cool as the kite must hold air for days. I have clothing that is made this way and I was skeptical when I first started using it but most of it has helped up really well. As well or better than anything stitched. But when things do come undone, how do you repairs it? I've had kites that were glued but they were also stitched.
"Unlike some other company, we are not assembling the panels with glued seams. The kite is not 100% airproof..."

So its not glued construction. PL arcs are glued and stiched and they keep the pressure longer than for example FS kites, I don't know if this is so beneficial. But when kite becomes old it is better to have also glue, I have seen some Speed 3's which seams are not tight any more. Of course the fabric itself leaks too.

When you launch a foil kite from 45 degrees you must have some experience and be cautious. There is always a risk kite (not fully inflated) goes back in the wind window and then hot launches. How uncomfortable or even dangerous this is depends of course how strong is the wind. Some use QR, it is the safest option but then you start it all over again.

If wind is 30kn or above I prefer small LEI and a helper. On ice or firm snow these are very strong wind speeds because friction is so slow.. Two years ago I was lofted (or jumped unintentionally) with 4m LEI, fortunately not higher than perhaps 7 feet. It was very uncomfortable feeling, so fast up and down I didn't have time to react at all. That day highest readings on the mountains were 70kn, I guess where I kited it was about 30kn, worst gusts perhaps 50kn.

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Re: Little Cloud Pelican foil kite

Postby Hardwater Kiter » Tue Feb 07, 2017 3:52 pm

Ahhh I see. I read it wrong. Thanks for clarifying. It is striking how much the seam sealing make a difference. In both new and old. For example the Scorpion wasn't sealed the same way other Arcs were. And it bled air nearly as fast as an open cell which given it's relative (at the time) high Ar made it extremely frustrating to fly for some. Loved that kite, hated it on the ground. :-)

I agree with the potential risk in regards to 45deg launch. And like anything kite related, it depends on experience and what you are familiar with. Locally, 45deg is difficult do to the constantly variable wind direction we experience. In fact most "recommended" launch methods proposed by the manufacturers don't work. Arcs are a prime example.

Although once in the air Arcs are phenomenal kites for our local conditions.


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