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 Post subject: Re: How strong is too strong?
PostPosted: Wed Apr 10, 2013 11:10 pm 
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Location: Ford Lake, Michigan
"And you can never ever remember what the force 1-9 corresponds to in wind speed anyway, so it becomes some "translated" thing in between that you can never remember nor make sense out of it..."

This part is definitely true I can never remember which number is what strength wind. Do entire trees start shaking at bf6 or bf7 I dont remember but I do know that it is something I look for, is the entire tree in motion, or just large branches. Definitely useful.


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 Post subject: Re: How strong is too strong?
PostPosted: Wed Apr 10, 2013 11:49 pm 
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Location: Seattle
I've kited 3-4 times in sustained winds of more than 50 knots, it's not really that fun as you are just trying to survive. For myself gusting to the low 40's on a 6 and a surfboard is about the high end of my tolerance. Unless you are Ruben Lenten 40 knots is probably a good upper limit overall if you've got a 5m or 6m and short lines.


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 Post subject: Re: How strong is too strong?
PostPosted: Thu Apr 11, 2013 1:03 am 
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30 gusting to 50 knots was the worst I was out in, with a dirty 1.5 x overhead swell. measured it on 2 separate wind meters Had my 6m kite depowered an extra knot. Kite would barely pull in the lulls and rip me off my edge with the gusts if I wasn't ready for it. It was just a wrestling match between the wind and the waves to figure out which one was gunna eat me for breakfast.......like many said not that much fun.....got tired of getting tossed around so brought it home after an hour or so.

If you've got a small enough kite and the winds are steady the upper limit is probably in the 50s. But the gust vs lull difference that accompanies these storm fronts makes kiting in these winds a death match.


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 Post subject: Re: How strong is too strong?
PostPosted: Thu Apr 11, 2013 2:55 am 
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Location: Wolfe Island Canada
I think 40knots is fun if it's steady enough. But like others have said it is the quality of the wind that matters. Even in 20-30knots it can be great or crap. When I come off the water and somebody asks me how was it? I 8/10 times say it was OK but gusty. When I don't say that I am soooo stoked how smooth the wind was and I am in whole different zone when it is like that.


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 Post subject: Re: How strong is too strong?
PostPosted: Thu Apr 11, 2013 5:06 am 
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Strongest winds I can handle with my smallest kite (7m2 Takoon Furia, depowers very well) is about 40 knts with gusts up to 50knt.

Had some conditions like this in Tarifa and Southern France, was actually a lot of fun (but of course, please know what to do with your handle bar).

If a kite depowers well, slightly bigger is not necessarily more difficult then smaller, as you drop not so fast....
Depends a lot on the kite

PS: fully agree with Peter regarding scale, stick to knots or m/s, and bury the bf scale as deeply as possible :naughty:


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 Post subject: Re: How strong is too strong?
PostPosted: Thu Apr 11, 2013 6:15 am 
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IMO it's all about the gusts. I've ridden 40 kts that was so gusty it was no fun. Too much up and down and never any consistency. I've ridden the same 40 kts that was consistent smooth wind and had the best most fun session ever.

Never ridden anything over 40 kts though. At some point the law of diminishing returns comes into play. I know a couple of dudes who have ridden 50 kts and said it was fun but super sketchy at the same time.


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 Post subject: Re: How strong is too strong?
PostPosted: Thu Apr 11, 2013 7:08 am 
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Location: Denmark
I think the location and experience is very important !

To me, the gusts are WAY easier to handle with a small kite, and they tend to have much more wind range too.

Meaning, you can actually go in very low wind with a 5m2 simply because of the wind speed (not its power).

But the upper end is quite extreme on these sizes.

Although, many small kites (small means less than 6m2) are designed with a camber close to or identical with the bigger sizes, which just sucks for waveriding, but is awesome for TT riding, so thats a :angryfire: for us who ride waves.
That is another topic though...

Some locations only got 5m2 wind so rare, that it is almost "stormy" conditions and extremely gusty.
Then it makes sense that it is not fun and will most likely be risky and fickle and dangerous to ride :(

Other spots, like here, a 5m2 is a must and in every wave kitesurfers quiver no doubt, and most experienced TT riders got one too.
Many actually love riding this size the most, instead of the 7m2 which is by far the most used size in average here (in waves).
A 6m2 is not that small and can not handle the "big" days.
Whereas the 4m2 is quite rare (only a few brands make these), but some got it as said before.
We can manage fine without the 4m2's and have to miss out those days, or ride slightly overpowered with 5's.
Without a 5m2, we would miss out a solid number of really good days.
Although - water surface more choppy unless there are big waves that smoothes out - but there will most likely be huge waves :rollgrin:

My point is, that when this wind is "quite common", and nothing special about this, eventhough not that many times compared to sizes 7 - 10 - 15m2 which are all used other days, then the wind is typically strong low pressure systems but not with the violent nature like a storm front - so I assume they are not even close to what other countries who rarely got this much wind will experience.

Some spots like Capetown got REALLY stable wind, and for 3 weeks when down there, 4-5-6 and max 7m2 was used.
The 9m2 never came out of the bag 8)
Other times we have seen lower wind for 8-10m2 down there, so it is possible, but extremely rare.
Typically howling, or no wind at all (at least in jan-feb which is summer).

So this is another spot where this high wind is the standard, just like I assume Tarifa can have loads of good 5-6m2 wind for long periods too (eventhough a TT spot, where you can go one kitesize up easily)

So if used to this wind relatively often, you most likely have weather systems that are maybe not stable, but definitely not erratic horrifying wind either, like in locations where a big 10-12m2 is the norm, as then those 4-6m2 winds can typically be a nightmare :o

Think this is the reason why there is such a huge difference in what the posters here write and experience - it is not just personal liking, but also the weather systems that are really different, besides experience of course.

Personally I like to ride 7 or 8m2 the most, as it gives smoother water surface all over in waves, and still good easy DTL handling.
But most of my wave buddies prefer the days with much smaller sizes, by far.

:D Peter


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 Post subject: Re: How strong is too strong?
PostPosted: Thu Apr 11, 2013 8:04 am 
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Location: The Naki
50 knot gusts are the top end for me.
but in reality that's a 30-40 knots session with spikes to 50.

6reo. holds a lot of wind.

haven't found the top end of that kite yet. but lefts face it I wouldn't go out if it was 40 gusting past 50.

35+ gusting to 50 or just under is fair game.

PS Peter. too much typing. just list your top end in knots. I dare you to list your max speed without a 500 worth thesis behind it.


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 Post subject: Re: How strong is too strong?
PostPosted: Thu Apr 11, 2013 9:19 am 
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I GOT OUT OF THE CAR and WALKED at 64 knots measured during a typhoon (water was 'smoking' in some spots, literally looked like fire smoke, so I'm guessing outside the gusts were about 70). Walking was doable but not easy. My car rolled away if parking brake not engaged.

A friend tried to windsurf at that wind and just got blown down the sand.

Ah the good memories...


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 Post subject: Re: How strong is too strong?
PostPosted: Thu Apr 11, 2013 9:50 am 
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Is wind speed that relevant? Its the force of the wind that is important, I have stood on the beach unable to walk into the wind and the sea was almost blown flat, the local wind meter was saying 40 to 45 knots!
I make my judgements based on how it feels and what it looks like out to sea and the predicted pattern of the wind( increase or decrease) The actual readings of the wind speed in whatever units is way down the list and only really useful for bragging about afterwards e.g. 2-4 knots I was staying up wind.


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