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What are the traits a wave kite should have?

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tautologies
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What are the traits a wave kite should have?

Postby tautologies » Sun Dec 16, 2012 9:38 pm

Aloha, so me and Peter Frank was discussing a bit on traits of a wave kite.
Now I know there are a ton of absolutely killer kites for waves out there, but that is not really what this is about.

I guess the way I see it we can split traits into two main categories: The first is general traits. They are absolutely needed all all wave riding. The second category is preference traits. These are traits that you personally prefer, or that given conditions provide a preference to but are not absolutely needed in all situations for the kite to be a great wave kite.

Once we figure out what these traits are we can discuss perhaps how to achieve them.
To me this would be:

General trait:
Drift - the way a kite falls backwards while you ride the kite to stay with you as you ride down the wave. I think this is a general trait always needed when riding waves. Even for people that turn the kite aggressively, and people that ride in side off conditions that will be a needed trait. Obviously not as much is straight off shore, but at that points you are not really wave riding you are just riding down the wave face.

Preferred trait (depending on conditions and day and..):
fast turning - I don;t always need this, but sometimes it is great to have.
good depower - again it depends on where I ride. If I ride where it is stable winds this is not a huge issue.
stable (will not fall if all lines are slack) - this is good when the winds are light.

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Re: What are the traits a wave kite should have?

Postby windsuks » Sun Dec 16, 2012 9:50 pm

Yup I've often thought that there could be two dedicated wave kites....

1/. Cross Shore down the line
2/. Onshore

each would/could have quite different traits

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Re: What are the traits a wave kite should have?

Postby tautologies » Sun Dec 16, 2012 10:11 pm

windsuks wrote:Yup I've often thought that there could be two dedicated wave kites....

1/. Cross Shore down the line
2/. Onshore

each would/could have quite different traits


I could agree with that two kites could be preferred in different conditions, but I still think both would need drift. On shore you follow your kite directly, and down the line, if you park your kite, drift is critical.

What traits do you see as important?

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Re: What are the traits a wave kite should have?

Postby Phil » Sun Dec 16, 2012 11:45 pm

tautologies wrote:What traits do you see as important?

Check what a kite designer see as "important trait":
http://www.lesfoilz.com/phpBB3/viewtopi ... 817&p=7749
:cool2:

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Re: What are the traits a wave kite should have?

Postby tautologies » Mon Dec 17, 2012 12:16 am

Phil wrote:
tautologies wrote:What traits do you see as important?

Check what a kite designer see as "important trait":
http://www.lesfoilz.com/phpBB3/viewtopi ... 817&p=7749
:cool2:

Phil
Have Fun & Ride Safe


Bah, as much as I respect his history in the industry..upwind ability as the first criteria for a wave kite?
Though I see drift is one of the criteria. For me upwind ability is very low on the list of what makes a good wave kite (in other aspects it is important, but not for the wave itself).

Btw. the admin profile pic on that site is... :thumb:

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Re: What are the traits a wave kite should have?

Postby Flight Time » Mon Dec 17, 2012 12:26 am

Well, unless you are going for a straight downwinder and have someone to pick you up, upwindability is relatively important. Maybe not as important as drift and stability, but still. Upwind, it could be argued, is on the top of every style of kiting except one that is dedicated to only going downwind. Any trick you do that takes you off your tack (jumps, surface tricks, ripping in the surf) will be pulling you downwind, so the faster you can get back to start is the faster you can get back to what moves you.

Kiting is decidedly less fun when you are fighting upwind and can't seem to get there fast enough. :lol:

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Re: What are the traits a wave kite should have?

Postby Westozzy » Mon Dec 17, 2012 1:17 am

I'd say onshore winds a good wave kite is fast across the window, the faster the better.

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Re: What are the traits a wave kite should have?

Postby geopeck » Mon Dec 17, 2012 5:50 am

Well, unless you are going for a straight downwinder and have someone to pick you up, upwindability is relatively important. Maybe not as important as drift and stability, but still. Upwind, it could be argued, is on the top of every style of kiting except one that is dedicated to only going downwind. Any trick you do that takes you off your tack (jumps, surface tricks, ripping in the surf) will be pulling you downwind, so the faster you can get back to start is the faster you can get back to what moves you.

Kiting is decidedly less fun when you are fighting upwind and can't seem to get there fast enough.


I don't think a kite that upwinds well is going to drift very well or turn as well. It just means that when you're on the outside working your way back up you need to be as efficient as possible and remember that every time you send it off the perfect ramp it's one less wave that you'll be getting.

My priorities are that the kite delivers smooth power through the turns which match my movement heel to toe, turns fast enough for me to be able to keep the kite low after multiple turns, and being able to dump power not just while riding a wave but to make the inside turn while getting the edge planted fast and heading back out. Depower to where the bar is at arms length and the LE is flapping as it goes fast across the window without yarding you.

Another nice feature that some of my kites have had is coming back up after you dip a wingtip - I don't have to relaunch very often but it's nice to be able to smack the water and come out of it without problems.

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Re: What are the traits a wave kite should have?

Postby Hansen Design » Mon Dec 17, 2012 7:02 am

@ Tautologies: :nono: Here is what I said:
...the criteria we sought were: Fast, non-pivotal powerful turning; excellent upwind ability; predictable drift; maximum de-power; easy re-launch; moderate bar pressure (so you can 'feel' the kite.) To us, this is what makes a great wave kite.
@ Flight Time +1 :thumb:
@ Westozzy +1 - Fast is good! :thumb:
@ geopeck +1 - Your priorities match ours! Added bonus: good upwind => more waves! :thumb:

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Re: What are the traits a wave kite should have?

Postby lander » Mon Dec 17, 2012 7:19 am

Really have a hard time to define a general trait, cause I want it all ;)

But dump deepower (for landing strapless airs), no pull in turn (yo be able to stay on the wave), good drift (to stay on the wave), good upwind (to get back to the wave), no colapse when stalling (to easy catch it again), medium barpressure (to feel the kite), fast relaunch (so it get up before the next wave), fast turning (easier to time the wave)

are just some of my "demands" for a wave kite.


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