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 Post subject: Re: Average Joe Kite Review - Cloud C2
PostPosted: Wed Mar 19, 2014 1:18 am 
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Thanks to the Average Joe's for putting their heads above the parapet and giving their opinions on all the kites.

Figuring out how to relaunch the Cloud is not straightforward, so kudos for working it out and looking forward to the video.

What did you think of the ability of the Cloud to generate apparent wind? The 17m doesn't seem to be particularly suited to twintips and a lot of the Cloud customers seem to use the 17 with directionals, foils or on snow, which would tend to need less power to ride.

Because it is so much lighter than any of the other kites, I was expecting one of its strong points to be staying up longer as the wind dropped?

Randahl mentioned the bar pressure feeling heavy when on a twintip in stronger wind but didn't notice it in lighter wind on a foil.
How did you find the bar pressure and 'feel' of flying the kite without looking at it?


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 Post subject: Re: Average Joe Kite Review - Cloud C2
PostPosted: Wed Mar 19, 2014 2:31 am 
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I'm one of the Joes - I've ridden the 17m and 12m C2s - I'm 175lbs and tested on a 146x45 TT
ronnie wrote:
What did you think of the ability of the Cloud to generate apparent wind?

Put an edge down and it was pretty quick to move forward in the window. So it did seem to accelerate the wind over the canopy pretty well. Upwind worked very well for me. All things relative with wind pressure - I didn't feel the 17m generated as much grunt as the other kites we tested in lighter winds (10-11mph range). Beyond 11 and it was great. It generates power in a gradual way. Unlike, say a 2011 Turbine that pulls you out of your shoes in a big launch, the 17m power application is...well gradual I guess. It feels like less grunt but there is plenty of power there (above 11mph). I think the key to generating the most power at take off is to keep the bar pulled all the way in during the initial down stroke.

(In comparison, I thought the 12m generated much more low end (relative) for its size. I really, really enjoyed flying that kite.)

ronnie wrote:
How did you find the bar pressure and 'feel' of flying the kite without looking at it?

The first time coming back to the beach I commented on exactly this point. It was one of the first things I noticed about the kite...that is I always seemed to know where it was or where it was going. This applies to both sizes. I never got loaded up on the 17m so cannot comment on bar pressure under heavy load.

FYI - I'm the newest kiter of the Joes and have the least experience. Take all this for what its worth.

Randy


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 Post subject: Re: Average Joe Kite Review - Cloud C2
PostPosted: Wed Mar 19, 2014 3:30 am 
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Dimitri M wrote:
Hello Aummm.
Momi and I have been working on strutless kite just before we introduce the INFINITY V1 kite which was 3 years ago.
Our first INFINITY V1 prototype kite was a "strut less" kite, but after few tests we decided to add just a middle strut,
and after few more test decided to go with 3 struts, because of the better performance the kite was giving us by having more struts on the canopy.
This is when we introduce the INFINITY V1 kite. I did ask Momi to work on having the INFINITY V4 kite "struless" since it has become a fad for light wind and he almost killed me.

So to answer your question, having a strutless kite is a good idea but again some of the issues are that the kite is not as smooth flying through the air.
The kite has too much grunt because of its deep pocket and some times won't depower as well as having a kite with 3 or 6 struts.
The kite will give you a heavier bar pressure compare to other kites. The kite won't be as responsive as other kites with struts (only on the big sizes because on smaller size a 10 m strutless kite will respond almost as fast as a kite with 3 to 6 struts). The kite won't be as easy to relaunch in very light conditions (8 to 10 knots) compare to a kite with struts. Plus the canopy tends to get distort much faster and makes a lot of noise when turning compare to having 3 to 6 struts on your canopy.
So in few words, the performance of a "strutless" kite is not as good as having struts, but it does work or else we would not have this conversation.
On the other hand, a "strutless" kite weighs less then having 3 to 6 struts, has more grunt power and packs very well if you plan to travel.
Plus you don't have to worry about pumping your struts or having to replace the bladders on the struts.
So if you are looking for a performance kite, you best bet will be to go with a kite that has 3 struts and more.
But if you are not looking for a performance kite and travels a lot then having a "strutless" kite might not be a bad idea.
We are working on a new model that will have "NO STRUTS" and this kite will be more for the snow and the "Average Joe".
But once again, I think you need to test both of them to understand what I am trying to explain, because both of these kites are good kites,
it just depends what you are in the market for.

I hope that answers your question :thumb:
Here is a professional answer from Dimitri to the solution of strutless, so his experience is not clouding our judgement :nono: :thumb:


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 Post subject: Re: Average Joe Kite Review - Cloud C2
PostPosted: Wed Mar 19, 2014 9:54 am 
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Thanks for the answers Randy.

This is a review by Herbert of the C 2 17m from the other Cloud thread.

Quote:
"My personal impressions of the Maui Cloud C2 17m and 12m kites:

I recently bought a Maui Cloud C2 17m. After trying it out the first day, I bought a 12 m also. The short version of this subjective review is: "The Maui Clouds are as described on the Boardriding Maui website." The long version follows (forewarning, I am verbose):

I weigh 190 pounds (86 kg). I use 3 different boards, a Mako King twin tip, a 5'7" x 19" thruster strapped surfboard and a 6'1" Cabrinha S-Quad strapless. I have only been kiting for 4 years and other kites I have or have used plenty include Naish Helixes 9 and 12, Naish Cult 13, RRD Visions 10.5 and 13.5, and Cabrinha Switchblade 16m. I like all those kites. I am no expert. I don't do tricks (though not long ago I thought going upwind and coming back to the same spot on the beach were tricks). My focus is primarily waves.

I lived with the 13.5 RRD vision as my "low wind kite" having been influenced by those who said that the fun factor in kiting really diminishes as wind drops and the need for bigger kites develops. But we have droughts of "good" wind and I have been kiting 50 days when I wish I were kiting 150 days a year. The 13.5 is what I used 90% of the time.

Re: the Cloud 17. I have flown it in what I thought was ridiculously low wind ranges. 7 to 10 mph with lulls to 5 and gusts to 11 or 12 mph. I never felt as though the kite would fall. At the lower wind levels I would walk toward the kite and the canopy stayed filled, the kite drifted back and the lines didn't slack as I would have expected with my other kites. With an average wind speed of 10mph (as listed by the web reading and by a friend with a meter on the beach) I was able to shoot upwind on a borrowed Spleen Door and hold ground on the Mako King. When the wind averaged 11 to 12mph I was able to easily go upwind on the King. The Cloud 17 can turn much more quickly than my 13.5 RRD vision at the same wind speed. The Cloud must weigh half as much and as such it feels very lively. I know that kites have flying sweet spots and it took me a while to learn that fact and remember it. But with a sailing background it was easy to find on the Cloud. The bar movement needed is much less than my other kites. From a sheeted in position with the canopy perfected filled, I sheet out until the canopy just begins to show a slight waviness in the luff (the area right behind the leading edge). I know my other kites all do this between the struts, but with dark colors and the presences of struts it is harder to see...but easy on the Cloud. Then I sheet in until that just goes away. That is the sweet spot for cruising and moving upwind. Really upwind beautifully. It is just an aerodynamically elegant position. It just feels right. If I recall, the bar must be out somewhere around 6 or 8 inches. But I go by looking at and feeling the kite. I never actually got the trailing edge (or any part of the canopy) to flutter. I rarely sheet all the way in but did find it useful in two situations: In the initial (only) downstroke when waterstarting in very low wind and when I wanted the kite to turn super fast on a transition or turn. Then it turns faster than any of my other kites. Even at these low wind speeds, when I purposely steered the board down a wave into the wind, it drifted and drifted without slack lines.

I had read everything about the Cloud I could before buying and imagined a bit of a learning curve, being described as different from others. Ironically, it turned out to be the opposite, the easiest I have flown. Relatively speaking the other kites feel like tanks. The Cloud is lively and maneuvers quickly...but it is not twitchy...and it holds it position well.

My amateur analysis is this: A key factor is inertia. With very low weight it has very low inertia. As such, it takes much less input and time for it to go from standstill to turning, to moving forward, to drifting and then to stopping...it doesn't overshoot the mark.....you stop the input....it stops the intended movement much faster. It is like a superlight carbon fiber mountain bike compared to a fat tire steel beach cruiser with kickstand and fenders. To get this light weight...everything on the kite seems to be there to relate to flying...not to dragging the kite on asphalt (no dense plastic bumpers. The leading edge material seems to be what is needed to hold shape (along with the amazing bridle) and to hold inflation pressure....not to hold it down in the beach and drag it across concrete. Obviously, eliminating the struts (and all the associated paraphernalia and potential failure points) removed the most weight. Ironically, beyond the weight loss, this is a great advantage to me. I can see the whole canopy well and trim the kite more accurately and more immediately. And it drifts like no other kite I have flown...so for waves this is perfect. High or low wind the canopy stays perfectly aerodynamically filled. Perhaps struts are also an aerodynamic negative making turbulent flow by creating irregular, non-smooth surfaces under and even on the top of the canopy? I don't know.

I have been waiting for the wind to drop to fly the 12m. I couldn’t wait. It was 18 to 20 mph with plenty of high winds at 25 to 26 mph. The 12 meter Cloud is pretty equivalent to my 13.5 RRD Vision. I never needed to use the trim strap to “depower”. The 18 inches or so range of motion of the bar is more than enough to very de-power the kite. The trim strap system has been rendered redundant. Wind at 25mph and bar out...then I could create a little flutter, like a sail, and ride out the squall.

My impression is that the Clouds like to be flown with finesse. They can dance in the any wind, low, medium or high. They dance to input, not on their own. They move smoothly like silk over a woman’s thigh. Fortunately, they fly in such a quickly responsive manner to input, that it takes no time to learn to finesse the kite.

For me, having a 17 meter kite that I like flying more than my 13.5 or 10.5 kites means now more than doubling my kiting days. We have so many 10 to 15 mph days, it is now my "go to" and most used kite. That has really been the first major change in this sport for me since I started. I know I need a better, but fun, light wind board so I am awaiting the Boardriding Maui Paipo board to be back in stock to see if I can add significantly more fun days. Some of this review is objective and no doubt a lot of it subjective, but it is because I am giddy and doing a lot more kiting and a having lot more fun kiting."


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 Post subject: Re: Average Joe Kite Review - Cloud C2
PostPosted: Wed Mar 19, 2014 10:44 am 
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Tried out the new C2 12M today



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 Post subject: Re: Average Joe Kite Review - Cloud C2
PostPosted: Wed Mar 19, 2014 5:34 pm 
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ronnie wrote:
What did you think of the ability of the Cloud to generate apparent wind? The 17m doesn't seem to be particularly suited to twintips and a lot of the Cloud customers seem to use the 17 with directionals, foils or on snow, which would tend to need less power to ride.

Because it is so much lighter than any of the other kites, I was expecting one of its strong points to be staying up longer as the wind dropped?

Randahl mentioned the bar pressure feeling heavy when on a twintip in stronger wind but didn't notice it in lighter wind on a foil.
How did you find the bar pressure and 'feel' of flying the kite without looking at it?



I rode on the twin tip for all of maybe 1/4-1/2 mile, which is about 4 out-and-backs at the spot I rode at. So please take my comments about bar pressure with a grain of salt. Also I am accustomed to a 13, where this kite was a 14.5. In fact all of my comments should be read with the understanding that this was the first and second time flying it, so obviously there will be some changes in my perception as I get used to it. With that said, I still think bar pressure is a little heavier than my strutted kite, though like I said I use my 13m 90% of the time, and I have a 16m that I haven't pulled out in a while.

I don't recall feeling the bar pressure much on the foil. I do recall being happy with being able to sine the kite with one hand and not looking at it.

Certainly my favorite aspect so far is that it doesn't stall or drop out unless you practically make it. That and the fact that I can make it turn back into the power zone when it has comparatively little wind to help with control. I can't say how many times I have been frustrated with my other kites that can make one dive or pass through the power zone and then stall out when you try to turn them back. You can see in Hawaii's video, the 12m is probably small for the 8-12 mph winds he was in, in order to get planing, but he is able to turn it back through the power zone over and over. This is what I was doing, each swoop would give a little more energy so after 2 or 3 you are planing, then 1-2 more and you are foiling, at which point you just set the kite and go. It was a new experience for me.


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 Post subject: Re: Average Joe Kite Review - Cloud C2
PostPosted: Wed Mar 19, 2014 9:26 pm 
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Quote from Ronnie:

"What did you think of the ability of the Cloud to generate apparent wind? The 17m doesn't seem to be particularly suited to twintips and a lot of the Cloud customers seem to use the 17 with directionals, foils or on snow, which would tend to need less power to ride.

Because it is so much lighter than any of the other kites, I was expecting one of its strong points to be staying up longer as the wind dropped?

Randahl mentioned the bar pressure feeling heavy when on a twintip in stronger wind but didn't notice it in lighter wind on a foil.
How did you find the bar pressure and 'feel' of flying the kite without looking at it?[/quote] "

Ronnie,
I have been using the 12 and 17 Clouds with surfboards and twintips. My twintips happen to need less power to ride than my surfboards. It seems to be a misconception among twintip riders than surfboards mostly need less power. Of course they have more buoyancy, but there are a multitude of factors that determine ease of planing beyond that. Anyway, a surfboard might require less power than a twintip. But we ride surfboards for other reasons. As with any board type and size and your weight and technique....you have to match it with the appropriate kite size. Although I use mostly surfboards, with the Clouds I have been using mostly twintips and my enthusiasm comes mostly from that.

I think this power thing about kites is overemphasized. It has its' place in determining which size kite to buy or pump up relative to your current quiver but I think that is all. Match up the right size kite with the right size board (of any type) and your skills for the given conditions....and THEN see how you like the kite. I cannot say if a 14.5 Cloud has more or less "low end grunt" than some 16 meter brand x kite. And it doesn't matter to me. And I wouldn't think the 14.5 Cloud is "better" because it has more "grunt" than the 16 meter brand x. If I needed more power in the brand x I would try an 18m and buy it if I liked it. That all being said, in my back to back comparisons in the same conditions with my 13.5 RRD vision, my 12 Cloud pulls around the same and the 17 Cloud pulls quite a bit more than the 12. So in usable wind range I have kind of rendered the 13.5 RRD redundant in my quiver. That is my fault. But I am greedy. So which one will I fly? They do fly differently. On first dive the RRD feels like it has a slightly high peak pull. The Cloud has a longer, smoother pull. It is as though I have longer lines on the Cloud, though the bar and lines are the same. If I am flying it right then steady pull from the Cloud is about the same or a little more. The apparent wind can be started more immediately and is a smoother curve....like the same energy spread more smoothly and precisely. The Cloud moves and stops moving way faster on line input (as though the lines are shorter). And of course drift is great. So now I fly the Cloud regardless of the board I am on.

Regarding bar pressure: I can say it is pretty middle of the road. Not high, not low. It is less than by RRD's under the circumstances of just the right kite for the given wind...I can tell that because my arms tire after the RRD sessions but not after the Cloud sessions.

Feel of the kite without looking at it? The Cloud reacts more quickly....start, stop, turn....than my RRD visions....but it doesn't matter, I just adjust to the different performance either way, can tell where they are and don't need to look much at either kite.

I apologize to readers....i don't know if there is a length of posting/reply rule...but I no doubt exceeded it. I never posted hardly anything before but just got so enthused and wanted to share. To spare the whole audience, anyone please feel free to respond directly to me to ask my details or to curse me in private. Aloha.


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 Post subject: Re: Average Joe Kite Review - Cloud C2
PostPosted: Wed Mar 19, 2014 10:23 pm 
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Nice review Herbert. Thank you.


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 Post subject: Re: Average Joe Kite Review - Cloud C2
PostPosted: Thu Mar 20, 2014 8:58 am 
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Thanks Herbert.

I sit corrected on the twintips comment - and in the relaunch video of the C1 17m, after 23 minutes he seems to manage OK on a twin tip in very light winds.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=do4VZxp0VVc

Its OK to write a bit more as you seem to be pretty good at describing things to make clear what you mean.

Being stoked about new kites is good too.
The main reason for the Average Joes test is to help people find the kite that suits them.


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 Post subject: Re: Average Joe Kite Review - Cloud C2
PostPosted: Tue Mar 25, 2014 11:55 pm 
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This is the other part of the same video.


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