I had an friend introduce me to snowkiting last year, and I'm totally hooked! This year I decided I should get my own kite (instead of borrowing). I've found and bought a 10m North Rebel (2008), as last year I was using a 10m kite and I know I can handle it. But there were a lot of lighter days when I couldn't get moving on the 10m kite, so I was wondering if it's worth investing in a slightly bigger kite, and if so, how much bigger?
We generally have winds around 7knts during the winter, with the odd days of 15knts. The days of 15knts I could easily get the 10m flying, 7knts not so much. I'm not small, weighing in around 93kg, but obviously not very experienced. I snowkite on a frozen lake, so there's plenty of room and the wind is pretty constant once you get a little bit away from shore.
I was thinking that a 12m-13m kite would be good for the lighter days, but I'm wondering if that isn't too small a gap (if I'm going to buy another kite, I don't want to have an enormous overlap). I'm very happy at the moment just freeriding, with the odd jump where I find a good snow-drift, so I'm not looking for a high-performance, trick-extraordinaire kite, just something comfortable to ride.
Any suggestions for size? Or even recommendations for what kind of kite to buy (that I could easily find in the $500 range)?
I think your 10 is a perfect size and if you can't get moving then the wind is just not really enough. A flysurfer 19 would get you going in 7 but that is a different snackbracket. I do a lot of winter riding and most of it on a 10 or 12m royal.
I use a 12m kite most days. Once you feel comfortable I'd bet you would enjoy a 13m SLE. Beside wind speed, another important factor is the snow surface. If I'm riding deep powder, I (200 lbs) need a lot of kite to keep moving. If you're on icy hardpack, not so much. You might consider a big foil kite for those super light days. At least they have a better chance of staying in the sky during the lulls. I'm experimenting with an old Peter Lynn ARC since the bar setup is identical to a 4 line SLE.
I'd love to get a foil kite (so much simpler for everything), but they don't come cheap and don't seem to lose any value like the inflatable kites do. It's rare for us to get more than a foot or so of powder, and much beyond that it's not really ridable. But on the other hand we only get really hardpack stuff right at the end of the season when the temps get closer to freezing...
From what I understand, going much bigger than a 12m isn't really a smart choice on the snow. I've found 2 possible kites that seem to fit what I'm looking for, a 2008 Cabrinha Switchblade3 and a 2008 North Vegas (both 12m). I'm not really sure what sort of differences there are between the two different styles of kite, SLE vs C-kite and how appropriate they would be for me. Any insight?
My quiver is a 6, 9 and 13 foils. It is nice to have a big foil you can fly in lite wind. Having a 10 puts you in that zone of overlapping kite size. That 12 is too close to the 10. Get a 13 or bigger for lite wind.
What 7knt??? Thats very low... I normally use the same kites on snow as on water...
I would look at the 17m Best Taboo or maybe a 19m flysurfer speed (it´s f### expensive and I don´t like foils, but it will work in that low wind).
You could also take a look at the 13,5 Kahoona, it´s got a great pull for it´s size and a good price...
But with only 7knts it´s going to be work just flying a kite... And a 12 is way to small!
also remember if your you going to kite in deeper snow your going to need a bigger kite than a 12 or 13m in 7knt..foils are great for snow kitting but if your going to open up to the h2o scene i would go with pump up kites and you could also use in the winter. flysurfer has a great line up as well in the speed3 deluxe but yes they can be pricey..