matthepp wrote:Hey guys,
My trusty 2010 11.5m Kahoona is starting to perform badly when over-powered in big gusts. I (200 lbs, intermediate kiter) ride in variable mountain wind so I love to hang on to my bigger kite to survive the lulls. Starting this past winter, and getting worse every session, the Kahoona 'freaks out' while depowered surviving the biggest gusts. In the center of the kite, the canopy just behind the LE luffs a LOT, and the LE tries to fold in. I had the kite invert twice, so I try to keep some amount of rear line pressure to prevent excessive luffing and just survive the gust. I make sure inflation is up to spec to avoid the under-inflation cause. I feel like this didn't happen last year in similar wind?? So my question to you experts is: Is this an inherent part of the v2 Kahoona design, is the canopy and/or bridle stretched, or something else I've not considered? Anything you'd recommend to give it a tune-up? I'm an engineer/tinkerer sort...
Thanks. I'm too heavy to make my 9m Waroo work in these winds. (That kite will behave in any wind, no issues!)
sorry buddy, you didnt know that about this kite before you got it huh. for those that dont know: this is the definition of STABILITY. a term i hear thrown around a lot, with a lot of misuse and ambiguity: this is (part of) what it actually is, and this an example of a kite design that doesnt have a lot of it.
it is the kind of thing that can get worse over time and use, for whatever reason (stretching or softening, or whatever) it is also the kind of thing that will always be blamed on pressure, which is not the actual cause, this will happen to your kite regardless of how hard you pump it (as you have probably discovered)
STABILITY is always a more important issue for heavier riders, and rider that otherwise put their kites through high load situations (bigger kites in higher winds, etc)
another stab at a terminology thread ..... could be trouble
and your exactly right about how it isnt necessarily a problem most of the time. however, even tho it might not happen a lot, it can happen, and therefore could happen, and therefore could happen at a really bad time (far from shore, downwind obstacles, whatever). It may be possible that any kite can be deformed in the right situation, but it is definitely true that some will do it way easier than others, and some will in worse ways than others. there are many known models with stability issues of more or less degrees. it is unfortunate that it is not talked about properly in things like kite reviews and magazines. everyone is like: "it feels super stable" but they either have no idea if it really is, or are just saying that just because. they often are referring to how "steady" or "consistent" the kite feels in the air ("its super stable, it just sits at 12 oclock", or "its really stable flying straight across the wind, no pulling upwards or downward or no bar wobble", or something else like that, which isnt really talking about a kites STABILITY)
stability is the kites ability to hold its shape, and perform consistently. especially in high load situations. deformation of LE, wingtip buckling, backwinding of the canopy and flexing the LE, are all examples of instability issues. (twisting and bowtying, i know a lot of people have experienced that) popping a kite inside out while cutting it through the powerzone and high depowering might also be, im not sure about that one, but i throw it in anyway.
good post. get a more hardcore kite is your only solution, leave the kahoona for the lawn mowers and the lighter riders