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 Post subject: Snowkiting progression/gear question
PostPosted: Mon Nov 26, 2012 8:34 pm 
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Hi,

First post on here, just looking at getting into snowkiting this winter, I'm already a decent-ish kiter (go upwind/jump consistently, getting towards backrolls), and an expert skier. I figure I shouldn't take too long to work out how to snow kite, so should I go straight for a full on snow kite? Or do I really need to buy a trainer first? It seems a cell kite is the way to go, but would my Best Kahoona 9.5 work ok?

I'll be using it initially in Hokkaido, Japan, where we have tonnes of snow, and quite a lot of wind. I would like to use the kite for uplift instead of skins when touring, plus just messing about doing jumps on the flats. Looking at the Frenzy range, unsure about whether to get the 9m or the 11m, given that powder adds a lot of friction, but we do have a fair bit of wind. Anyone have experience kiting in Hokkaido!? I weigh about 80kgs, but probably 90 in ski gear.

Also unsure about the year, is there much difference between the 2011, 12, and 13 models? I have seen the 2011 for what seems like a decent price.

Cheers

James


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 Post subject: Re: Snowkiting progression/gear question
PostPosted: Mon Nov 26, 2012 9:17 pm 
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Joined: Fri Apr 08, 2011 7:57 am
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Forget trainerkites if you know how to kite on water!
The kahoona is a really really great snowkite, you don´t need anything else!

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 Post subject: Re: Snowkiting progression/gear question
PostPosted: Mon Nov 26, 2012 9:34 pm 
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Oh perfect! Well, that makes life a lot cheaper then!

I have read a bit about valves freezing etc, any truth to that?

Do you think a 9.5 will have a decent range in powder? Anything you do differently set-up wise?


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 Post subject: Re: Snowkiting progression/gear question
PostPosted: Mon Nov 26, 2012 9:52 pm 
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Joined: Sat Aug 29, 2009 11:25 pm
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Location: The Naki
foils offer easier pack up/set up. faster launch/land plus if your going to do distance its easier to stash an extra foil or 2 in a back pack just incase the wind changes. its more of a pain in the arse trying to take spare inflatable /pump just incase the wind changes. Of course if you riding closely to your launch land spot then taking multiple kites isn't an issue.

disadvatage to foils. they are typically slower with less depower. Though the latest foils are damn good. in extreme gustyness the inflatables have the edge in holding there shape. in smoother winds foils have the edge and are more stable at the edge of the window.


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 Post subject: Re: Snowkiting progression/gear question
PostPosted: Mon Nov 26, 2012 9:55 pm 
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Joined: Wed Mar 15, 2006 2:59 pm
Posts: 126
Location: Homer Ak
You definitely don't need a trainer - the kahuna is going to be a lot of fun for climbing hills with due to it's ability to keep your speed high through deep turns.

I think that the main reason you might want a foil is weight and speed of set-up and packdown. Once people are familiar with their foils they can sometimes launch within minutes of coming out of the bag, that also means less time with the hands out of the gloves and less postholing if the snow is difficult to move through.

Depending on your riding style you may notice that a foil is less fun than the inflatable. I think that fairly few people feel the opposite way, foils are a compromise that we make for light wind and ease of use rather than being better for aggressive riding.

With your deep snow you're going to need some good power to climb hills and your Kahuna will be your mid to high wind kite - foils are flatter and more powerful per square meter so a 10m foil will be useful in much lighter wind than the Kahuna - I would think about going 11/12 for a foil at your weight. Also if money is a concern the Ozone access is a great kite at a little lower price, and a little better for winds that are broken up by terrain. Another great kite at an even lower price is the HQ apex 3 or 4 - also lower aspect ratio and good for hill climbing. It sounds like the 4 which is coming out this month has some nice upgrades to the bar and is going to turn well in the bigger sizes.


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 Post subject: Re: Snowkiting progression/gear question
PostPosted: Mon Nov 26, 2012 10:07 pm 
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Ahh, you make some good points. I was definitely wondering about fiddling around with a pump and valves in -15.

I was already pretty set on getting a kahoona 11.5 for next summer, so maybe I could get that early and take that. Though the foils do sound better for snow kiting, I'm not entirely sure how much time I will have for snow kiting, so maybe a dual purpose kite is better. Also, I will only be able to take one kite, I am flying to Japan from the UK for the winter, so am already taking all the things I need for the season, plus 2 pairs of skis, boots etc. Can't really find space for 2 kites in the luggage. So I really need to decide this week what I want to do.


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 Post subject: Re: Snowkiting progression/gear question
PostPosted: Tue Nov 27, 2012 1:48 am 
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Joined: Tue Dec 15, 2009 1:43 pm
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Location: North Conway New Hampshire USA
These guys are right, if you can ride water translating to snow will be pretty easy and no need for trainer.
If you are a good skier the kite thing will come easy. Flying a kite is cake compared to being a technically proficient skier.
The inflato will work but the concerns about valves and weight are fair but more of an issue if you are going to risk being stranded a long way from your launch site.

Though I agree with geopeck that by and large you aren't going to find a foil that's as snappy as you LEI I fly strictly on snow/ice and my kite of choice is the Peter Lynn Phantom 2 or Charger 2. The benefits of a foil and damn near the turn rate of an LEI. Pretty mush the best of both worlds with better gust handling than anything out there.

The next kite of choice here is in New England for a lot of riders is the Apex 2-3 or 4. More of a touring kite, slower turn than an LEI or an Arc and less lift. But super easy to fly, really good in gusts for a bridled kite, tough as nails. The APex 4 is supposed to have better lift, faster turn and 30% less bridle than the Apex 2/3.

Oh, and the Peter Lynns can be used on water as well as snow/land.

My 2 cents for what it's worth.


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 Post subject: Re: Snowkiting progression/gear question
PostPosted: Tue Nov 27, 2012 4:27 am 
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Joined: Sun Oct 21, 2007 7:24 pm
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Location: Utah ish
japow wrote:
Ahh, you make some good points. I was definitely wondering about fiddling around with a pump and valves in -15.

I was already pretty set on getting a kahoona 11.5 for next summer, so maybe I could get that early and take that. Though the foils do sound better for snow kiting, I'm not entirely sure how much time I will have for snow kiting, so maybe a dual purpose kite is better. Also, I will only be able to take one kite, I am flying to Japan from the UK for the winter, so am already taking all the things I need for the season, plus 2 pairs of skis, boots etc. Can't really find space for 2 kites in the luggage. So I really need to decide this week what I want to do.



Stick with the kites you have and can fly. Dont waste any money on snow spacific kites It will be much easier to learn and progress, Stuff does get brittle in the cold but if you are smart and take the time to be care ful you will be fine, Remember when pulling your deflate valve only after warming it up in your hand or by blowing warm air on it you will be fine.. Go out and try with what you have. In deep snow you need more kite, but if there is enough wind your nine will work. Having a 11.5 would help a bunch for lighter wind days. Use the biggest fattest Pow skiis you can find to get up on top of the snow. I and most of the riders progressing the sport tend to use pump up kites for there proformance,in gusty mountain winds. Just be spart and safe and always be prepard to go to your saftey!!!

BIlly.
2009, 2010, 2011 US national snowkite champion.


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 Post subject: Re: Snowkiting progression/gear question
PostPosted: Tue Nov 27, 2012 9:03 am 
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Joined: Mon Nov 28, 2005 11:44 pm
Posts: 168
Location: Great Falls, Montana, USA
If you can kite decently on the water you'll have fun right away on the snow. A few different puzzles when you hit terrain but it's all fun. Just stay away from rocks and trees until you're up to speed. :D

I've been an avid foil guy on the snow for 7 years. The past two summers I've flown inflatables on the water and have reached a decent level. This winter I've had 2 days on snow and have not been very excited about the foils. I really wanted to pump up. One of those days was a gusty, whiteout 5m day, and surprisingly the convenience factor of the foil didn't cross my mind. The second day was a typical 10-12m day, and the difference was clear. I flew a 10m ozone Manta II for a few hours, then a 10m rally for 30 min. Totally different beast. Much more responsive, but slightly less powerful.

If you know how to kite, go with the inflatable. Any modern kite will flag out and have an effective safety, so I don't worry about that now that I'm comfortable. I could see the foils being more enjoyable if you're starting out. As a beginner you may not yet know the value of the time spent pumping. They turn slower, which is nice for learning spins and not getting jacked up by looping the kite accidentally. Boosts on a foil feel a little more floaty. Other than that, I may sell my last trusty foil and pump for the rest of the season.


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 Post subject: Re: Snowkiting progression/gear question
PostPosted: Tue Nov 27, 2012 9:37 am 
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Thanks for the input guys, so I'm just going to take my 9.5 and see how it goes. I'm not even sure how much time I will have for snow kiting anyway, so probably best I don't invest a ton of cash straight away.


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