RagingGrandpa wrote: ↑Fri Jul 07, 2017 10:17 pmFor water use with a TT, I'd recommend setting your expectations low.
I bought a 15m foil this past spring (the "Chinese Speed3 Lotus") because I was comfortable with foilkites from snowkiting, and wanted 10kt wind capability on water with a TT. Rode LEI's on water up to that point, biggest in my quiver was 11m- not fun below 15kt.
The 15m high-aspect foil doesn't have much low-speed pull. I know from using it in the snow that it behaves better when going faster, but I'm just not able to get into its powerful speed range in light chop on water in just 10kt of wind. Downloop waterstarts are easy and effective, but I find trouble keeping the speed. Stroking / sineing has a very limited benefit, unlike an LEI. Usually hotlaunch unassisted. Tethered launch seems impractical- it collapses and recovers in unsmooth ways when a wingtip rests on the ground. Water drift launch seems inconceivable- choices are unwind the lines while holding the kite (leads to bridle mess), vs inflate and release the kite and unwind the lines as the kite drifts away (risk of launch with lines not ready). Evidently people make it work though; I'm just here reporting that it's trivial with my LEI's, and very much not with the foil.
I'm kinda down on it for water use now, after a few sudden unexpected bowties from wind shifts. Now whenever I think of that kite I just envision the slog of being far from shore and having it suddenly collapse. Mine water relaunches pretty reliably actually, but often it relaunches with a bridle tangle that takes a few minutes and good luck to shake out. If there's a bowtie, you're probably swimming in.
Hydrofoiling with these things seems state-of-the-art regarding covering distance upwind. Spooky stuff, heading 10mi away from your launch in marginal-relaunch winds with equipment that often turns into a mess if it hits the water. Makes great video though.
So, I shelled out for another big LEI. Found that I like using 17m FatLady or 14.5 Flite on water much more than the 15m foil. Keeping it for snow use.
me: 1 season TT rider 139x42; 2 seasons snowkiting; 70kg; Michigan; go upwind easily; won't impress anyone