jens wrote:Depends on where you are. In the Great Lakes there is no "Ground swell" , whatever waves there are are a result of the wind you are experiencing at the moment. So no light wind wave riding. That said the biggest I have used lately is a 10 but for the most part the waves aren't worth getting excited about until it is 8/9meter wind.
Jens, for the most part you are right, but some of the best wave riding session can happen here (MI side of Lake Michigan) on the "die-down", e.g. when the waves are still good size and the wind shifts from West to NW side shore and drops into the 15 kt range, holding the waves up nice and clean.
I like to be on "the smallest kite possible"...but that can be defined a lot of ways. I like to have plenty of power when in the waves to help me get of the beach, but also a kite that will let me park and ride/float and ride. I've had a lot of great wave sessions with my 2007 15m Hypertype I (one of my favorite light wind kites) and my 2007 16m Bularoo (a super stable, light weight, reliable kite). I can hold these kites down close to 20 kts, both kites turn surprisingly well, and I'd rather have a little extra power than to be contantly whipping a smaller kite around while trying to enjoy a wave. Plus, when it's light, the extra "reserve power" of the big kite helps me get back upwind quickly so I can go for more and more rides down the line.
Of course I'd rather be ripping it up on my 7.5m kite all the time, but I need a solid 25 kts for that. I ride a good mile or more downwind around a pierhead to hunt waves quite often and getting home is always a priority. And slogging about underpowered on a long down-winders isn't much fun either IMO.