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Need advice on kite I should buy

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Ghost1
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Need advice on kite I should buy

Postby Ghost1 » Thu Dec 04, 2014 2:28 pm

Hi there,

I have been windsurfing for 4 years and am looking to try kiting. I want to start in the winter with my skis in the snow. Then try with my snowboard. Then perhaps next summer try it on water. When windsurfing in lighter winds I am always so jealous of the kites that are planing back and forth across the water while I slog around. I typically need 15kts+ to get planing and that doesn't happen a lot.

Anyway, for the winter what is a good size kite to have? I weigh 175lbs. I live in Ontario Canada and would probably need a kite for 10-25kt of wind. Is there one kite that will fill that range? I'm guessing I would need a different kite for the snow than the water.

Also, can I use my windsurfing waist harness for kiting? Or do most kiters use a seat harness?

I have been practicing flying a kite with a pansh(spelling?) 3m training kite. Although this trainer has 2 handles instead of a bar, not sure if that is good?

Thanks for the advice,
Jonathan

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Re: Need advice on kite I should buy

Postby matthepp » Thu Dec 04, 2014 4:21 pm

Jonathan,
Welcome to kiteboarding! You'll likely pick it up fast. Sounds like you're on the right track flying trainer and starting on skis. You could tinker with the trainer to convert it to a bar with kite-killer safety line.

Do a search here. There are a million similar posts.

There are many opinions on kite type. In short, a good beginner inflatable, Ozone or HQ open cell foil, new FS Peak are all good options. Look around your area and see what works for others.

A safety lesson is important! On a poleboard, you're not going to get lofted or teabagged. I used my old Dakine windsurf harness til the kite pull ripped it apart.
Good luck-

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Re: Need advice on kite I should buy

Postby Séb » Thu Dec 04, 2014 5:04 pm

Hi Jonathan,

I am from Quebec and do a lot of snowkiting and of course kiteboarding on water (you have some very nice spots in Ontario!). I was in Cuba last week with many guys from Ontario. We had a blast kiting all days :)

During the winter I much prefer to only use open foil kite as they are more robust, very fast and easy to setup and I can usually use one size for most conditions. This year I will ride a 11m most of the time but I am 190lbs. A 10m kite is good for most wind during winter. However if you are sure that you also want to kite on water next summer you may prefer to go with a LEI (Leading Edge Inflatable) as you will need it on water. But to me, I see it like a car....I prefer to have open foil kites for winter (aka winter tires) and LEI on the water (your summer tires). But going this route will be more expensive on the first year. But as I said, just one kite for winter is ok 90% of the time.

During the summer I use a waist harness but for winter I prefer a seat as it offer more protection if you felt on your back. Anyway, I am sure you will love this sports and get addict just like us ;) Feel free to send me an email if you need more info: info@kitexpress.ca

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Re: Need advice on kite I should buy

Postby Hardwater Kiter » Thu Dec 04, 2014 5:29 pm

All good advice Ghost1. Really read up on the forums and see what people in your general region prefer. Here in New England we have very similar riding as in Quebec and on snow we're all on foils. The Flysurfer Peak is a great kite to start with as it's affordable and covers a wind range equal to the wind range of two traditional foils. And the safety factor on the Peak is huge.

But any kite will do the job in the right conditions. And these days there are hardly any "bad" kites. Just some suited better for some things than others. I do want to point out a simple thing to be mindful of in regards to kite size. Leading Edge Inflatables (LEI's) have a smaller projected area than a foils of the same size. In other words the amount of kite acting as a sail is smaller. So a 10m foil like Seb mentioned is going to have a lot more power than a 10 LEI.

There is a lot of debate as to what kite type is better. Personally I like Seb's "snow tire" analogy.

If you can windsurf this will come easy for ya. :D

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Re: Need advice on kite I should buy

Postby Ghost1 » Thu Dec 04, 2014 7:26 pm

So a 10m foil kite would do the trick? In knots what would the wind range of a kite that size be? Also, what would be overpowered conditions for that? I'd like to avoid a "kitemare" I've heard so much about. Would a second 5m kite be good for really high wind?
Hardwater Kiter wrote: If you can windsurf this will come easy for ya. :D
I hope so! I figured if I do it on land, on skis, then a board, then finally in the water it will be a simple progression. I enjoyed the process of learning windsurfing and getting where I am now, but I don't know if I would want to devote that amount of time again to a sport to reach the "fun level"!

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Re: Need advice on kite I should buy

Postby bay surfer » Thu Dec 04, 2014 9:17 pm

A pair of FS Peaks, is a good choice for foils, but its what you like that counts. Personally I prefer a LEI's when the kites get over 9M. Bigger foils tend not to undo themselves when bow tied.

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Re: Need advice on kite I should buy

Postby Hardwater Kiter » Thu Dec 04, 2014 9:25 pm

Wind ranges vary wildly depending on kite model and the skill of the pilot. A new rider is not going to enjoy the high wind end of a kites listed range like a seasoned pro. In general most 9-10m size kites (size depends on the brand and model) are rated for 12-20 kts. The Peak is a little different as it's recommended 3.5kt-18kts but in an experienced kiters hands the 9m can be flown with relative ease over 20kts and still be a lot of fun.

The amount of power a kite generates is affect by a number of factors. Aspect Ratio, Projected Area, the profile etc. Even line length has a bearing on it not to mention the trim/depower systems and the type of throw. Read up on the wind ranges of the various brands in a given size and you'll see where they are similar or different. 10m today is what older more powerful 7-8m were 10yrs ago. Kites are a lot more user friendly and safer these days.

A 5m kite would serve you well for learning on and for high wind days. The gap between the two sizes is substantial. Unless you intend to ride in high winds a 7m/10m 2 kite quiver would treat you pretty well. But the sad reality, in general, is that it's hard to get by with a 2 kite quiver. :wink:

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Re: Need advice on kite I should buy

Postby jumarcil » Thu Dec 04, 2014 9:56 pm

Ghost1 wrote:So a 10m foil kite would do the trick? In knots what would the wind range of a kite that size be? Also, what would be overpowered conditions for that? I'd like to avoid a "kitemare" I've heard so much about. Would a second 5m kite be good for really high wind?
Hardwater Kiter wrote: If you can windsurf this will come easy for ya. :D
I hope so! I figured if I do it on land, on skis, then a board, then finally in the water it will be a simple progression. I enjoyed the process of learning windsurfing and getting where I am now, but I don't know if I would want to devote that amount of time again to a sport to reach the "fun level"!
A 10m foil was my one Kite quiver for the winter for the last couple of years. As for the knots that the kite can handle; it will vary a lot with the rider experience. The manufacturer recommendation are usually pretty conservative but still adequate.

a 5m second kite for big wind ? yes and no; the thing is that a 5m is really fast and in strong wind a small kite can still generate a lot of power. If you are starting I would avoid really strong (and usually gusty) winds. As for kitemare, most kites today have good security, especially open cell foil kite which kills all the power once you release the security.

Have fun and kite safe !

Jules

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Re: Need advice on kite I should buy

Postby joriws » Fri Dec 05, 2014 8:21 am

Original question was to use single kite in winter and summer. I would not count Peak as single kite offering. Although good point of Peak is that it is very affordable. Same goes for open cell foils.

So for original question the options are closed cell foils and inflatable kites. Both work at summer and at winter. On both worlds, closed cell foil and inflatable, there are numerous brands providing a bit different gear with different qualities.

Also the wind range (10-25) is quite broad if we consider different surfaces. On wet soft snow the proposed 10m could be too small for 10kn winds, on pure ice anything which flies is ok. Also considering 10kn water conditions you give as a clue.

I don't know how you think about kiting vs wind surfing. Are you going for wind surf at 20kn and above, so 25kn is upper gust limit for kite or do you plan to kite at 25kn + gusts? And you say on your are you have very seldom +15kn winds.

My proposal would be to go for 12-15m kite if 25kn is the upper gust limit and you prefer wind surf on higher winds (+18kn). On summertime as a beginner you need much more power at 10kn winds than not-a-beginner kiter.

For most broadest windrange and winter + summer usability I would recommend you Flysurfer Speed4 15 (or smaller 12) as a single kite option. But I admit they are on a bit costly side but if you can afford to windsurf with many sails/boards/means of transportation :). Or second hand Speed3 15DLX from reliable source. With reliable source I mean that you get tuned kite and not out-of-tune one and the kite still has hours left.

It would have the wind range you request with emphasis to lower section you mention (10kn) and as you mention you rarely have +15kn winds. On my winter area we mostly have 3kn-12kn and sometimes heavy inversion with 0kn at surface so you need a kite to be able to launch and fly at those conditions and Speed-kites are the ones. Inflatables usually want to hinderburg down because they mostly are nose heavy if able to be launched at all.


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