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Strutless kite in development on Maui

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darippah
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Re: Strutless kite in development on Maui

Postby darippah » Fri Jun 28, 2013 2:32 pm

Pogibro wrote:I'm curious about light wind performance. Can anyone compare it to the previous champ, the Speed 3 21 meter?

Wondering the same ! I'm guessing its a close second

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Re: Strutless kite in development on Maui

Postby Vacaloca » Fri Jun 28, 2013 5:15 pm

I had another lonely session with the 17m Cloud yesterday, self-launching for the first time, here are my thoughts

    * Wind was 9kts (avg 8-10)
    * I have to launch from shore, very near the water
    * On my first attempt I put the LE on the water and the trailing edge on the sand. While getting prepared, water got trapped between the back of the LE, creating some sort of water bag.
    * I tried to get rid of the water but wind just wasn't strong enough
    * I had to revert the launch, get the water out manually, and re-position the kite closer to the sand, barely outside of the water

I must admit I let too much water get into the kite.. with a little less water I had no issues.

I also found my lower-end range, being 74Kgs and using a Cabrinha Caliber '11 (TT) 136cm:
    * With 8kts I start going downwind
    * With 9kts I can barely go upwind, but I do not go downwind
    * With 10kts I can easily go upwind

(all have to be consistent winds).
The wind is pretty accurate as it was on-shore and we have a local weather station at the site. I kited between 3.30pm and 5pm.
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Re: Strutless kite in development on Maui

Postby Osprey1 » Fri Jul 12, 2013 6:30 pm

Had another sweet session on my Cloud the other day and getting jumps on it dialed. With no struts I'm definitely getting more time on the water instead of pumping. Loving my 13 and 17 and thinking about getting an 6m for fall/winter riding.

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Re: Strutless kite in development on Maui

Postby fishfood » Wed Jul 17, 2013 2:28 pm

I've been a long time reader but this is my first post; I've never really had a reason to post anything in the past. Anyways, I want to share my experience with the 8m Cloud kite for those that are considering purchasing.

Prior to delving into my review of Board Riding Maui’s Cloud kite, I’d like to offer a brief description of my background. I’m a surfer, tried and true, that started kiting eight years ago to combat the blown out days. For the most part I’m into wave riding and only get the twin tip out once in a great while and I weigh 165lbs.

First off, I bought an 8m cloud off of Greg to replace a 10m in another brand, the 8m Cloud ended up having more grunt than the 10m it replaced (more on that later).
All the way around purchasing the 8m Cloud has been one of the best kite boarding purchases I’ve made and it all started with Greg’s customer service. I live in a location where I couldn’t get a demo kite to try out, so Greg was really patient with me, answering all my questions and as I a result I decided to take a chance and buy the kite. This service has continued even after buying the kite, answering the additional questions that I’ve had and discussing the kite’s flying characteristics. Although I hope Greg’s brand takes off, I hope he can somehow find a way to maintain the level of service he is offering at this time.

As a freestyle kite, I don’t have much to offer: it turns fast and jumps fine for me.

As a wave kite, I can’t say enough. The Cloud has all of the characteristics that I’ve been looking for in a wave kite and has exceeded all of my expectations. On the waves I prefer to ride a smaller kite, partially because I want less input from the kite while on the wave and also because I want something that turns quickly; the Cloud, meter for meter, is the fastest turning kite I’ve flown but then I have the added benefit of dropping down a kite size too. Now I’m able to use a smaller kite with increased turning speed without losing any power. When I got the kite my biggest concern was how it generates its power and if the grunty nature of the kite would pull me off the wave. Well, the kite generates a lot of its power through apparent wind; in short, you can go out on the kite seemingly underpowered but once you work the kite a little and get up on plane, it only becomes more powerful, which may explain why you can drop down a size. Meanwhile, with the short throw depower nature of the kite I can easily turn the kite on and off, generating pull when I need it and letting it drift when I don’t. I’ve also found it’s possible to make really tight radius turns with the kite and if you do so without pulling all the way in on the bar it won’t pull you off the wave, but if you do need a little power to get past the next section pull in 4-5 inches and you have all the power you need. Drift: this kite drifts amazingly well but even better is how the light weight nature of the kite allows it to float. I find some of the best waves available to me tend to be found in bays where there are wind shadows, which can present a lot of problems when you have a kite in the air. The other day I was kiting a really walled up wave in a bay with extreme gusts ranging from 13 – 25knots. Even though the wind dropped down to around 13 only momentarily, in the past I would have dropped the kite multiple times, with the Cloud it just kept floating, these kites love to be up in the air.

25knots, yep that’s overpowered on the 8m for me and the biggest possible annoyance of being overpowered on the Cloud is flutter in the canopy. Although I’ve read other posts where the Cloud’s flutter is a weakness, it doesn’t bother me; I just look at it as additional feedback through the bar. The wind range of the Cloud is comparable to any other kite; it’s just more geared towards the low end. In the past I was more likely to go out in seemingly overpowered conditions, whereas now with the Cloud it seems like I’m going out in seemingly underpowered conditions. For me the biggest challenge has been relearning my kite sizing.

In closing, I couldn’t be happier with the Cloud and I look forward to getting it in some of the other sizes.

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Re: Strutless kite in development on Maui

Postby cleepa » Wed Jul 17, 2013 4:17 pm

Agree with everything fishfood said - my experience was very similar. I also started with the 8 and shortly after got the 10 and the 6, too. If you liked the turning speed of the 8, just wait until you try the 6. Unbelievable! So much fun!

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Re: Strutless kite in development on Maui

Postby boardriding maui » Wed Jul 17, 2013 9:13 pm

Wow! Thanks for all the stoke on a couple of the threads currently active here. Hugely appreciated! Feedback from my side:

I guess readers will assume much of the stoke is bogus. That's not the case to my knowledge but can't blame that assumption as there's plenty of information on other threads that I disagree with. Much of it really bums me out so I step back from the discussions. But when things are constructive I'm stoked to participate.

Development, as this thread is titled, is always ongoing. In the search for improvements for future models I've been getting super exciting results also for new bridle configurations on the current designs. Launch of any new designs will not be set by any calendar schedule. Will be the result of development. Regardless of what changes may come for future designs I'm stoked to be working toward tuning new options for the current designs. Instead of making gear obsolete my hope is to provide something like a software update so riders can continue to get the latest and greatest in the gear they already have.

Tuning is still in the works, then needs to go to production, so too soon to know when I'll be able to make this available but I'm super excited by the idea of serving riders in this way. I've been in the watersports industry since '88 and I can't think of any examples of retrofit updates like this.

Its been very interesting for me to experience the reaction to the gear since I went online with the development in this thread last September. At the time of the season now when the industry is announcing what's to come for 2014 I'm more puzzled than ever what influences rider's gear choices. Global sales volume for Boardriding Maui is sufficient to sustain the effort but is below what one high volume store sells to a single market. So seems either my designs are too outside the norm or that dealing with the designer is not interesting to most riders. Regardless, I'm holding the course and send mad thanks to the supporters. I hope my efforts like that for updates to the kites you currently have continue to generate the stoke as has been expressed in this thread. Thanks again.

Every week I see other brands working on strutless designs. I'm stoked for this as it will offer more different performance options. Just as different kites with the same strut-count have very different performance, the same is true of designs without struts. Every design I've ridden from other designers are very different so will give riders the option to choose which best suits their handling preferences. I had theories that some handling characteristics would be inherent to all strutless kites but some of those theories were totally wrong. Ideas are constantly evolving for what components are creating what results and then how to take things in new directions.

Early on I had riders express excitement over weight. This was not a focus of mine until a couple months ago I did some testing of a new concept. Didn't get the result that I was seeking. But what was interesting is that it added just a little weight to the current design and this changed everything. Feedback from most riders is that the Cloud's low end power is comparable to kites about 2m bigger. Add some weight to the Cloud and this advantage is lost. AMAZING. So of course this is influencing ongoing development to find way to cut weight even further without thinner bladder or other compromises to longevity.

A more recent theory is regarding what makes a kite drift. I didn't have any strong impression if this was weight or steering speed or something else. But when discussing with a rider technique for positioning the kite in the wind window for maximum upwind performance, a light went on. Watching a video of the kite in flight reinforced the impression that the kite drops back in the window when sheeted out at a low angle of attack. My theory is that the profile going flat reduces the lift at the front of the canopy driving the kite forward in the window. The result when sheeting out while surfing is that the kite is dropping back as your turning under it reducing the likelihood of the lines going slack and/or the lift pitching the kite forward resulting in the kite dropping. Same applies to launching in areas with variable winds so that the kite does not shoot forward and outfly the window as the position of the window changes in gusty wind.

This is long enough for one post but I just wanted to give back with some more info and ideas to support discussions focused on such things and maybe away from other stuff like beach conflict and other bummers.

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Re: Strutless kite in development on Maui

Postby ozonelevel » Thu Jul 18, 2013 1:26 am

plummet wrote:I'm trying to understand how the no strut kite works. the only thing i can come up with is mega pressure. Have you stiffened the le bladder and pump 20-30 psi into it?

ps is it a light wind only kite? the vid seems to be light wind.


Nothing like that, it's just magic. I pump my 13 Cloud to 6-7 psi. Until you try it you will just not believe how fast and stable these kites are.
Last edited by ozonelevel on Thu Jul 18, 2013 11:17 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Strutless kite in development on Maui

Postby cleepa » Thu Jul 18, 2013 5:58 am

Global sales volume for Boardriding Maui is sufficient to sustain the effort but is below what one high volume store sells to a single market. So seems either my designs are too outside the norm or that dealing with the designer is not interesting to most riders. Regardless, I'm holding the course and send mad thanks to the supporters.


I think this is in a large part because people simply don't know about the kite. Most of the people that ask me about my Clouds ask something like "who makes that"? But they generate a lot of interest, especially after people see how they fly.

With regards to drift...
I didn't have any strong impression if this was weight or steering speed or something else.

and
My theory is that the profile going flat reduces the lift at the front of the canopy driving the kite forward in the window. The result when sheeting out while surfing is that the kite is dropping back as your turning under it reducing the likelihood of the lines going slack and/or the lift pitching the kite forward resulting in the kite dropping.


I have a variation on this theory. I definitely don't think the drift is anything to do with turning speed. I think mostly the light weight of the kite. But also, I think it is the lack of struts. The most extreme drift I see is if I come out of a turn moving really fast, but I started moving the kite too late. The result is a huge amount of slack in the lines. With strutted kites, this would result in the nose of the kite dipping into the wind and the kite falling out of the sky (and often tumbling through the lines). With the Cloud, I still get the same amount of slack and the nose still dips into the wind a bit. But, instead of hindenburging, the canopy of the kite luffs heavily. The kite drifts back into the wind window. The first lines to generate tension are the back lines, which pulls the nose back up, filling the canopy and the kite starts flying as normal again.

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Re: Strutless kite in development on Maui

Postby turfAndsurf » Fri Jul 19, 2013 1:17 am

boardriding maui wrote: Instead of making gear obsolete my hope is to provide something like a software update so riders can continue to get the latest and greatest in the gear they already have.


Now that would definitely be revolutionary in this industry.

BTW I'm loving the 13M besides all the great things about it like the drift, weight, and fast turning, I found out today that if I use my 6'4 fish with it I can kite with it as low as 11.5 mph in flat water and I weight 183 bl., I will have to try it on the surf. Keep up the great work.

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Re: Strutless kite in development on Maui

Postby diogovilla » Fri Jul 19, 2013 2:30 pm

Can any rider comment on the cloud's bar pressure? (i'm used to the switchblade bar pressure). Tks.


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