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 Post subject: My own light wind tests
PostPosted: Mon Aug 29, 2005 10:03 pm 
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During the past year I researched and learnd about light wind kiting, coz that's what I have plenty of.
80% of the year 7 to 12 knots.
My first step forward was using a bigger board,
but then I got stucked on the 10-12 knots without being capable of going upwind under 10 knots.

So I started to test every kite that I could get my hands on.
I tried the following (of course in different situations, but always under the condition that my 16 can't take me upwind):

Yarga 21, Venom 19, Contra 16.5 and 19.5, Machine 17, RRD Type Z 20, Hellfish 17 and SofX Eagle 24.
Finally I reached the under 10 knots upwind fun-riding mark, yeahhh ! :dance3:

I can't tell if it's because of the size or the design,
but the only kite on which I could go upwind and even do some small jumps
was the 24.

Besides the low end feature of the kite, it has excellent upwind capability.
I'll try to describe how I got into that conclusion:

I'm 76 kg (naked ) and was riding side by side to a guy weighting 65.
He was on a big directional, while I was on a big twin tip.
He was on a Venom 19 and I had the Eagle 24.
The guy is one of the pioneers in kitesurfing (about 8 years in the field) and a very skilled rider,
while I'm a two year old 'intermidiot' :wink: .

The fact was that I was pointing easily while he was going downwind.

What really surprised me was the holding of the kite in the air during the lulls.

When riding under light winds, the most difficult situation is
when you do a jibe and at that specific point in time the wind lulls down to 5 -6 knots.
Hey ! there are black holes in the wind !
(did I say that Murphy is mother f..r ? )
Despite it's size and weight, the kite sticks up to the air like with glue.
Kill me if I understand why. I am starting to believe that big kites have a better lift per weight-unit than the smaller kites.

Another nice feature is the speed that it developes on such light wind conditions.
At about 9 knots, the kite reaches the sweet point and you speed through the swell as if you are on a 16mt at 15 knots.

As I was getting impressed with the 24, I gave a good look at it's design and I found the following interesting points:
It has a peculiar stitching on the LE. The closing of the LE is on the inner part of the u shape, what seems to give a better support (like a beam) that reinforces the kite while openning wide, for whatever reason.
I had two different kites that exploded because of that issue.

Another point of interest is that the material of the canopy is kind of siliconish (?). The sand doesn't stick to it as to other kites. Also when it gets wet, the water drops out of it faster.

What pissed me off was the inflating inlet on the LE.
It has a one way valve that makes the inflating job a killer (you die on the job ). So I inflated it through the deflating outlet (which is as small as the inflating one, instead of using a bigger one in like most big kites).


Bottom line:
If you don't have too much alternatives but to ride in light winds,
try the big monsters.
I can guarantee that you will have a lot more of joyfull riding days.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Aug 30, 2005 12:32 am 
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What brand was it. Did it happen to be a 24m F-one Mach 2 kite because
that is the kite I ride in about 8-13 knots. With a 135-150 twin tip.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Aug 30, 2005 12:34 am 
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Location: Chicago
Did it look like this.


Attachments:
mach2.jpg
mach2.jpg [ 18.31 KIB | Viewed 1340 times ]
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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Aug 30, 2005 8:21 pm 
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Joined: Thu Dec 25, 2003 11:32 pm
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windyboy wrote:
What brand was it. Did it happen to be a 24m F-one Mach 2 kite because
that is the kite I ride in about 8-13 knots. With a 135-150 twin tip.


It was a SofX (brand name) model Eagle size 24 mts.

BTW today I used 37mt lines and could point at 7 (sustained) to 8 knots.
The problem of course was that the <5 knots lulls (kite in the water :oops: ).


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Sep 01, 2005 4:52 am 
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Abel,

Not much of a comparison when you are comparing sub 20M kites to a 24. I have done similar testing light wind testing. A lot of riders argue that it is better to have a smaller kite (16M or so) and a huge board. I prefer to be powered up on a good size bi-directional. The board does make a huge difference. I bought a SS 149cm Glide. It is the ticket when the wind is marginal.

I have a 30M V4. I have also owned/tested a Psycho 21.5, Wipika Contra 23.5, Gaastra Phoenix 25M, Wipika 16.4 Airblast (22.5M), 23M Naish ARX. Not much of a comparison because most of those kites are older. The ARX was an absolute pig. I like the V4, but I wish it was a bit faster and I think a 25M would probably work just as well.

I just received the 25.5M Machine, but I haven't tried it yet.

Kenny


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