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Snow/Water Foil Question...

forum for snow- and landkiters

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Re: Snow/Water Foil Question...

Postby matthepp » Tue Nov 25, 2014 12:48 am

My friend Parker has the Bravo pump. It's almost too nice! I have a little low pressure Airhead inflator. It does 75% of the volume. I still have to top off with the hand pump. At least this way, I tend to not under inflate cause I'm tired/out of patience of pumping. And the Airhead is light enough that I'll skin it up the hill for back country.

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Re: Snow/Water Foil Question...

Postby plummet » Tue Nov 25, 2014 2:10 am

Foils have less depower, they can't handle as much turbulent wind. To be fair it has to be pretty bad before a foil wont fly effectively. They are slower to turn.

But set up and back up is easy. Leave the lines on. Unwind and go. They generally have better float. particularly in the bigger sizes.

Closed cell foils have the advantage of being able to be taken on the water. But they are the hardest kite to solo land in high winds. Yes you can pull a safety and flag out a closed cell foil in high winds. But yourl be spending alot of time untangling bridles as the kite will flap around until you walk to it.

Typically foils rule the light wind and leis the high wind. Also alot smaller pack up volumes and alot easier to take a spare kite without having to carry a pump.

Generally lei flyers find it hard adjusting to foils. If your time will be 90%+ on leis. Stick with them. Or consider monster closed cell for light winds then roll with lei for high. If you can afford the decadence of multiple kite quiver then go for it.

Option number 3 is single skin foil like a FS Peek. stupid small pack up volumes.

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Re: Snow/Water Foil Question...

Postby Don Monnot » Sat Jan 03, 2015 8:54 pm

Craz Z wrote:
Loon wrote:I live in Michigan where "gusty" is a way of life.
If gusty is a way of life stay far away from the foils. They are ok for 5-10mph spreads but after that they are a trash bag prone to bowties and explosive relaunch.
"Explosive relaunch" brings back a very vivid memory. My second season I was riding alone on a frozen lake with a foil kite--very gusty, and at the high end of the kite's wind range. My kite did a massive bowtie/crumple-up. It dropped like a wadded up used tissue. It spun around and did strange gyrations as it came down. I assumed it was hopeless to try and play with the bar to get it to relaunch, so I took off my snowboard (big mistake) and then started to plant an ice screw, not paying any attention to the kite (big mistake). I was just about to hook the CL to the strap from the ice screw when the kite hot launched explosively. It dragged my butt across the ice so fast it almost melted my snowpants! Without the snowboard I had no way to increase my drag to get the kite under control (along with lack of experience). I rode the gust until it backed off, then had to struggle back upwind for a few hundred yards to my board and ice screw. I really miss that kite!


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Re: Snow/Water Foil Question...

Postby NHKitesurfer » Sun Jan 04, 2015 3:24 pm

I have seen a number of bad snow/ice body dragging in gusty conditions when using a foil, however it's likely end user error as I rarely see this happen to the experienced riders using foils. Have seen foils in trees too (golf course snowkiting) and it's a pain to get them out although I think if my LEI landed in a tree it would be lights out too with the risk of popping a bladder.

I use LEI kites 100% of the time on snow and water and have an electric pump (bravo) which makes life easier. Nothing worse than trying to manually pump in 18" of powder with ski boots on.

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Re: Snow/Water Foil Question...

Postby macgruber » Sun Jan 04, 2015 4:33 pm

Any experience with Ozone Peaks? The packability looks awesome and there are a bunch on iKitesurf used for what seem to be great prices. The videos of them in action show the wingtips flapping a lot though? They make them in 6 and 9m but say they are way more powerful. Do they really ride like a 3m larger LEI?

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Re: Snow/Water Foil Question...

Postby windrupted » Mon Jan 05, 2015 6:15 am

"Get a compressor I carried one around for years let the kite pump itself while I sat in the car warming up. Then I figured out that pumping the kite was a better way for warming up after the hour ride in the car to the kitespot." So true

"Trees are another thing to consider if you put a foil in a tree good luck getting it out without taking the tree down. branches are like velcro to bridles. doesnt happen often but out here you cut through the trees to get to the next big powder stash."

THATS RIGHT!! This is huge. The longer you kite in the mountains, the more you get in the trees. Just disconnect the lines from your LEI and pull them through. Excellent point!

"foils used to be 50-70% on the snow around here. hardly ever see them anymore maybe 5-10% I think the performance difference and having one set of kites for year round kiting makes more sense for the majority."

It does seem like fewer kiters are using foils these days.

"but hey don't listen to anyone but yourself. Go try before you buy." Amen, see the youtube I posted of Didier Botta ("Into the Wild"), ripping snow on foil kites: of course being sponsored he probably doesn't have to buy two sets of kites for water and snow. Nor does Chasta I reckon. Correct me if I'm wrong.

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Re: Snow/Water Foil Question...

Postby joriws » Mon Jan 05, 2015 9:15 am

Please don't generalize too much.

There are foils and foils as there are LEIs and LEIs. Open cell foils are totally different breed from closed cell foils. Open cell foils are much worse (IMO) as they get more snow inside and tend to collapse more in gusts.

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Re: Snow/Water Foil Question...

Postby gl » Mon Jan 19, 2015 5:06 am

As I read through this topic I found that I have experienced many of the negative comments regarding foils while mountain boarding on beaches and on the snow. For the last couple of years I have been using Concept Air Smart kites for my land based kiting and have used them a couple of times on the water just to see how they performed. I have never had a tangle or a bowtie or ever had a problem relaunching them. I am not saying it could not happen but I have not experienced it and I kite a few times a week on the snow on frozen lakes during our winter. I have had problems with my Flysurfers and Peter Lynn Arcs although not a lot. One of the things that I really like about the Smart kites is their gusts handling ability. I can comfortably fly them in conditions where my Flysurfers would be surging and falling out of the sky and then powering up in the middle of the power zone. They do not tend to get the fast surge forward in gusts that make them overfly and then fall back. The other thing they do really well is depower. They have the most depower of any kind I have owned. The other thing I really like is that any time I want to rest or stop even in really high winds I just pull the strap connecting the back lines and it drops to the ground fairly quickly and just sits there will minimal pull even in quite strong winds. Relaunch is easy just let go of the line and push out the bar. Of course if you are near the top range of the kite hot launching is a bad idea even with the high depower. It that case it is easy to move the kite to the side of the wind window and launch from there. If it is nose down just point the bar at the kite and it spins and launches. Of the 3 I have I like the 8.5 and 4.5 the most. I prefer higher aspect kites in the larger sizes but got the 12.5 to handle the gusty days and I do like the fact that it turns faster than any of my other larger foils. I find they are very easy to use and very comfortable with the progressive depower. Everything is just easy. As compared to my Speed 4 10 meter moving the Smart kite tends to generate less immediate power from the power stroke and the lift in jumps seems to be softer. I do not tend to be lifted as fast and generating speed with the kite again seems to be more progressive. I should mention that I tend to keep my kites in the bottom half of their wind ranges most of the time. Things become a little less gentle at the top of the range although far less scrary than my flysurfers in the same part of their range. I do think for anyone in really gusty conditions and those that are not looking for the absolute top performance out of their kites would really like these kites (that is most of the people I have kited with). The really top performing kiters are relative few in numbers here, I have posted this as I rarely see english reviews of the kites. I really like them and at least to my experience do not seem to have the foil problems others were attributing to all foils. I have been flying foils since 1999 on both water and snow and I have tried many different brands and models. I do really like my Flysurfers on both snow and water but stopped using them on land since I got the Concept Airs. I buy my own kites and fly what I like.

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Re: Snow/Water Foil Question...

Postby Hardwater Kiter » Tue Jan 20, 2015 1:35 am

As someone mentioned earlier in this thread, a lot of the negative views of one or the other LEI vs. Foil can probably be traced down to rider inexperience or error more than kite type.

We get a number of clients that are dedicated LEI guys who want to learn about foils. They are apprehensive due mostly to what they read in forums like this. After they get out and see up close (and after they get over the shock of what bridles look like when you unpack) they see that foils are actually awesome kites.

In my opinion, anyone that say's a foil doesn't handle well in gusts is either flying an early foil, a fixed bridle, or simply don't know how to fly a foil. The basic handling may be the same but there are a lot of foil specific skills that one has to build to be able to use a foil effectively.

The same can be said about foil riders who dis LEI's.

I live inland. I kite on small lakes surround by mountains. Our average gust factor is 100%. Foils treat me very well. We teach raw beginners on them and they do fine. :wink:

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Re: Snow/Water Foil Question...

Postby gl » Tue Jan 20, 2015 4:10 am

Hardwater Kiter, I definitely agree with what you said in your last post regarding knowing how to fly foils in gusty conditions but I have also found some kites make gusty conditions much easier, requiring less skill, effort and attention. Your reviews of the of the Flysurfer Peaks make them sound like that kind of kite. My Concept Airs do the same thing for me. So you would think more people should be investing in the easier to handle kites rather than going for maximum performance and trickier handling if they are in an area that has gusty conditions. I find that that leads to more enjoyable sessions for me even though I can fly the others kites in the same conditions without much trouble.

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