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tube vs foil in light wind

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matzh
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tube vs foil in light wind

Postby matzh » Wed Feb 15, 2017 2:31 pm

Hello
I already got a tube kite(slingshot rpm 12m) but want to enjoy the snowy mountains close to my home. Would like to climb mountains, but also be able to do some freestyle.

Will the rpm do the job in 3-4m/s, if not would it help alot or anything at all to buy extra long lines?

How will light wind performance be on a foil the same size(12-13m)?

Enyone got some experience with the GIN eskimo(13m) foil kite in light winds?


Matz

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Re: tube vs foil in light wind

Postby matthepp » Wed Feb 15, 2017 4:42 pm

Here we go again. Try searching this topic as it's been discussed ad nauseum with zealots on both sides of the debate. I have shitty quality light wind conditions here and prefer lightweight big tube kites (15m+) that won't tangle and bowtie. If you have steady winds others will tell you that a high efficiency race foil is the only way to go.

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Re: tube vs foil in light wind

Postby Starsky » Wed Feb 15, 2017 5:19 pm

I have seen Shasta do stuff under foil kites in alpine conditions that blow my mind. They obviously work.

Around here, you almost never see em. Plenty of people winter riding mostly lakes but some inland fields and hills. Most are also summer kiters so already have tubes. I would imagine foils dominate more as you get up into the mountains. Certainly makes a lot of sense for any kind of trekking in or out. We treat winter kiting just like summer. It's car based with minimal hikes.

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Re: tube vs foil in light wind

Postby Mossy 757 » Wed Feb 15, 2017 5:21 pm

An RPM is a very different kite than a ChronoV2/Speed5. A ChronoV2/Speed5 is a very different kite than a Summit/Peak. If your goal is to climb vertical feet and sometimes do freestyle a dedicated snow foilkite will be designed for that purpose and will have the most favorable attributes. The RPM is a good freeride kite but it's heavy, your low end will be very different than a Summit for this reason.

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Re: tube vs foil in light wind

Postby edt » Wed Feb 15, 2017 5:30 pm

matzh wrote:Hello
I already got a tube kite(slingshot rpm 12m) but want to enjoy the snowy mountains close to my home. Would like to climb mountains, but also be able to do some freestyle.

Will the rpm do the job in 3-4m/s, if not would it help alot or anything at all to buy extra long lines?

How will light wind performance be on a foil the same size(12-13m)?

Enyone got some experience with the GIN eskimo(13m) foil kite in light winds?


Matz
1) maybe it will be enough depends on the snow, how well it glides, the altitude too, wind power decreases with altitude, long lines can help sure
2) a foil will give you about 1 or 2 extra square meters, but you know you could just buy a 14m tube kite
3) Never heard of the GIN

If you have exactly ONE kite and you spend time switching between water and snow, just get another RPM, but get a 14 or 15 meter.

Foils are great on the water, they are great on snow, tubes are great on water and great on snow, well then why choose one over the other?

1) foils are terrible in gusty wind. They bowtie and get tangled. Doesn't matter if on snow or water, if your wind is super gusty go with a tube
2) tubes require a pump. If you are hiking miles and miles into the back country the last thing you want is to carry a pump around you or worry about something breaking. A foil kite is great for long hikes into the back country.

Water or snow, tubes and foils do both. There's a myth that tubes = water, and foils = snow. No. Both tubes and foils work both on water and snow, so choose your next kite not with the feeling "snow" or "water" but what kinds of conditions you have, is it gusty or smooth, are you free riding or racing, then you'll know what to get next.

If you only have one kite, then get another tube kite maybe a 14 or 15 meter then your 3rd kite can be a foil kite maybe a 15 meter foil, and then your 4th kite can be 7 meter, and your fifth kite can be a 5 meter and then and then . . . . :-)

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Re: tube vs foil in light wind

Postby Hardwater Kiter » Wed Feb 15, 2017 5:33 pm

As Matthepp states, this is an old discussion (or debate) with strong opinions on both sides. Many of which come from limited or no experience with both types of kite.

My 2 cents... 1st. The question of what defines "light wind". For me personally we rarely have deep powder. We usually have firmer conditions that require less power to move about effectively. For our local riding light winds are 4kts and less. For those winds, 12-13m foils are not going to do much. Maybe if they are made of UL material and you work the hell out of them you can poke around. But unless its some flavor of super efficient race type kite or fixed bridle, You are going to be frustrated in what I consider light winds.

In General, 12-13m foils are not "light wind kites" but are actually kites for heavier riders or for conditions like deep snow, that in normal winds require more power to get around in. Some kites in the 12-13m size range can be used in relatively light winds but compared to a say a 15-18m Ozone Chrono, R1, Flysurfer Speed or Sonic, they fall way short of any reasonable lightwind performance. The only exception that comes to mind is the Flysurfer Peak 2 and 3 in 12m sizes. They are extremely capable in light winds by virtue on their design.

Light wind LEIs have come a long way and have narrowed the gap in performance. And as Matt points out they are less prone to twists and potential tangles that most LEI riders aren't willing to deal with or have enough experience with foils to deal with effectively. An LEI isn't going to wing tip curl or leading edge collapse in a wind window shift that happens in wind so light that you can't feel it on your face thus giving you no indication that it's occurring.

For those of us who fly foils exclusively it is less of a problem but an issue that needs attention sometimes. But even high efficiency foils today are surprisingly stable and forgiving. We ride in mountainous lake regions with pretty terrible wind quality some days. And I am regularly impressed at how well modern race kites behave here.

At the end of the day I guess one should look at foil board racing. In the crazy light wind conditions that those races take place you can pretty much tell what the best tool for the job in light wind is based on images of these races and the kites that are being used. You will notice a considerable lack of LEIs in the field.

In comparison of your RPM 12m vs. the Gin foil in a 12-13m the foils is going to have better low end. The square meters of the kite are not as important as the Projected Area (the amount of those square meters that actually do the work)

Your Kite is C shaped. Much of the wing is not generating power compared to a flatter kite like a bridled foil. If you had the kites at 12:00 casting a shadow straight down and compared the two kite's shadows you would see a good visual of the difference in their PA.

This all said. Smaller kites can be made to work in winds below their factory ranges. Adding longer lines or extensions can help a lot. The smaller kites can be thrown around faster and be made to build power in light winds. But it depends on how willing you are to work the kite.

Not sure is the myth that edt describes is really much of a thing theses days. It used to be the many LEIs weren't durable enough for winter use and many of us who ride snow primarily considered this a deal breaker. That has changed quite a bit. Pumping still sucks in low temps but the kites do well in terms of surviving winter use.

The reality is there are certain tools for certain uses and those tools depend on what your demands are. We do a lot of touring here over pretty long distances and it's not unusual to have to swap wings midway through a session. LEI's are not practical for that type of snowkite duty. The idea of carrying a heavy LEI in a pack and hauling a pump to go with it is silly.

For staying close to your launch, anything that pulls will work. But for many snow kite applications, foils are the tool of choice.

Conversely, for water riding, sure foils work great. But they are foils and when in the water they can present issues that LEIs don't have. I'm a dedicated foil rider. I use foils exclusively here in the winter as does all but one of our local riders (uses both). If I were a water rider however I would probably ride LEIs. They are the right tool for the job IMO.
Last edited by Hardwater Kiter on Wed Feb 15, 2017 5:43 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: tube vs foil in light wind

Postby Regis-de-giens » Wed Feb 15, 2017 5:41 pm

matthepp wrote: If you have steady winds others will tell you that a high efficiency race foil is the only way to go.
I love riding LEI on snow when possible ; however IMO foils are the only kites ( with strutless LEI in a moderate way ) that allow you to have fun in the range 5-8 knots. Among foils, for mountains application specially, I will never choose a race foil kite ; you rather need a more stable/agile freeride foil , that will have same or better low end, pull you better in the deep snow or high slopes and more prone to freestyle. And some foils have the same stability as LEI, but less depower and a bit less speed on hard snow or ice compared to race foil kites, which can be a great advantage when going up or down significant slopes.

3 days ago, I had a great 2/3 hour session with my 12m freeride foilkite, while the 12m LEI of my friend was stuck to the ground 80% of the time in the 6-8 knot wind we had ;

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Re: tube vs foil in light wind

Postby Starsky » Wed Feb 15, 2017 5:49 pm

I bet with the rise of foiling and associated race foil kites, we will see more of em out in winter.

To date, the majority of winter kiters here are on tubes...

For sure your average 12m tube pretty much has a the same low end on hardback snow as it does foiling. About 10 knots, so they stay in the air. Even that takes a bit of kite skill to make the most of. Snow is not as fast as foiling so 12 knots is much more fun.

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Re: tube vs foil in light wind

Postby kitejumping » Wed Feb 15, 2017 11:04 pm

Just take your existing setup up there. LEIs are easier to kiteloop compared to a high ar foil, and you will be doing lots of kiteloops if you want to climb a lot of vert.

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Re: tube vs foil in light wind

Postby joriws » Thu Feb 16, 2017 7:44 am

kitejumping wrote:Just take your existing setup up there. LEIs are easier to kiteloop compared to a high ar foil, and you will be doing lots of kiteloops if you want to climb a lot of vert.
What if you want to freeride down without a kite and then climb up again? Then how about packing kite down on tight spot on top of mountain with high winds? For example Peak3 when released to safety will naturally stop flying and "compress" leading edge and you can stand still and reel the kite in.


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