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How are strutless kites doing ?

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Peter_Frank
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How are strutless kites doing ?

Postby Peter_Frank » Sat Mar 01, 2014 9:30 pm

It started in 2012 according to the 46 page long thread started in 2012.

And there are several brands having these now, right ? (which, by the way ?)

Whats the ups and downs nowadays ?

The 46 page thread has gone through a lot of evolution it seems, and also many "lovers" in between, who often cant judge very objectively because of passion - and difficult to get anything out of it because of the evolution :wink:

What do those having tried the strutless kites say now in 2014 ?

Around here there are no strutless kites at all - I only saw a German guy with one, on a light wind day in Hvide Sande.

Is it like the Sigma shape - not really any benefits, so it has died out again ?

Or is it just the opposite - a LOT of advantages, but not many has discovered the gold yet ?

Lets hear some facts about the ups and downs now :rollgrin:

For some reason I read most about light wind riding, meaning bigger sizes - true ?, and if, why ?

Curious :thumb:

8) Peter Frank

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Re: How are strutless kites doing ?

Postby william_rx7 » Sat Mar 01, 2014 10:42 pm

Been flying my 17m Cloud for a year now, and love it, perfect for a powered 6 knot snow kite session.

God, remember those 7 strut Crossbows a couple years back. That's a lot of rubber up in the air.
Image Image

After you launch the kite, those struts are all dead weight IMHO...

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Re: How are strutless kites doing ?

Postby dyyylan » Sat Mar 01, 2014 10:49 pm

There really isn't a point other than light wind, or something like the naish trip that you can pack up super small and take anywhere. Other than that the use is kind of limited

they dont relaunch well because there are no struts, here in choppy florida if the kite goes down it's only like a 50% chance you'll relaunch it because water washes over the canopy

they have very limited depower because they lack structural rigidity. if you sheet out a bit too far the canopy flaps away and flies like a trash bag

so for those very light wind sessions where you are desperate to get on the water and (pretty much all the time here this season :x ) it's cool

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Re: How are strutless kites doing ?

Postby eree » Sat Mar 01, 2014 10:51 pm

still have not seen strutless kites in my place, although last season was litest ever since i start kiting.

i really like your parallel with sigma though, Peter. at least i've seen some of them before they went to oblivion. and once i even helped the owner to secure one to the ground with loads of sand as it was trembling violently on the gusty wind. what a joke!

it is hard to beat logic and the laws of physics...

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Re: How are strutless kites doing ?

Postby fdvj » Sat Mar 01, 2014 11:03 pm

Still don't get the sigma hate, I am happy to buy a 4.5 2010 naish cult if anyone has one.

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Re: How are strutless kites doing ?

Postby Kamikuza » Sat Mar 01, 2014 11:20 pm

The Airush Lithium I used in Thailand didn't seem to have any more bottom end than my Flite gen 1... and flapped a lot.

william_rx7 wrote:God, remember those 7 strut Crossbows a couple years back.

Hey! I still have a quiver of 7-strut XBs and I think they're great, especially when you're over-powered and want to boost and float :D

The Epic surf kite looks a bit sigma-esque to me...

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Re: How are strutless kites doing ?

Postby Peter_Frank » Sun Mar 02, 2014 2:03 am

fdvj wrote:Still don't get the sigma hate, I am happy to buy a 4.5 2010 naish cult if anyone has one.


There is nothing wrong with the Sigma shape :thumb:

But all in all no advantages either.

Maybe a few small advantages in some areas, and then some small disadvantages in other aspects.

That was not the topic though....


I understand strutless kites really excel in light wind then, because of lower weight, great :rollgrin:

What about front tucking in sudden small gusts followed by lulls ?
Just thinking it could be a bit worse (as all kites can do it) because the COG is more forward relative to the COE :roll:
I don't know just a thought...,

They are much simpler as no one pump vents and fittings, really good (but obvious).

8) Peter

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Re: How are strutless kites doing ?

Postby BWD » Sun Mar 02, 2014 4:35 am

actually Peter it's just about the opposite with the clouds at least. The sweep of the LE and the large wingtips keep the CG back enough I think.
When the AOA is too low, from sheeting out or from unstable wind, the area behind the LE luffs, making more drag, as this happens, the kite moves back into in the window and the luffing decreases a little. Sheet in and the whole canopy makes lift again, plus drag decreases, and the kite moves forward in the window, powering up.
This can happen pretty fast and probably helps resist Hindenburg or inversion problems. It's used to advantage in waves, because it is very hard to run under the kite on a wave, just sheet out and the kite drifts really well.
One time in really light dying wind, maybe 3-4 knots, I tried the silly stunt way of landing, unhook leash and bar and throw them downwind to force a hindenburg crash. I figured the kite would land within a few meters downwind of me (I once saw a video of someone doing this and actually catching the kite I think. stupid stunt but funny.)
The Cloud? Nope, it sailed downwind almost a full line length, not even rolling over until it was a few meters from the ground, and when it rolled, it rolled sideways.
Definitely not nose-heavy.
I had to scramble to retrieve it before it drifted into something!

The fellow saying relaunch is bad I don't agree with completely.
You can create situations that make it hard to relaunch, but you can also avoid them, and the clouds are very easy to keep in the sky anyway.
It is true though, you don't want to leave the cloud sitting in the water in a funny position a long time, because it will get water on the canopy.
If the kite is LE down and the canopy droops into the water, letting water pool onto the top of the canopy, normally no problem, tension backline on one side and that side will start to fill with air, which will roll the water part farther and farther to the other wingtip, draining it in the process.
Sometimes if the kite is oddly positioned water can get in a big pocket behind the LE.
This is usually easy to fix though, just haul in lines on one side until the kite is diagonal or parallel to the wind, the water will drain away to leeward. Then launch as normal.

I only have a 17m cloud, it would be fun to have a 12 and 9 also.
The 17 is so smooth and good to fly in its proper range, nice floaty jumps in 12-15 knots, really fast turning, great drift, and riding fast with apparent wind in really low wind, etc.
If the wind is higher, a smaller size cloud would be right in its sweet spot.
I suspect the main frustration folks have is starting a session with the c1 17 or 13 and having the wind pick up to where they are overpowered.
It's definitely not like having an edge or switchblade a little overpowered.
Bar pressure becomes strong and if you tire of holding it and sheet out a lot, the kite flaps.
Sheet out a far and it becomes sluggish in steering.
But really what do you expect at 18 knots from a kite that gets on the water almost as early as a a 21m Speed?
Me? I switch down to a 13. Or even a 9 with a surfboard.
The other frustration that may occur is dealing with it being a different kind of kite, definitely as different as a C from a bow, maybe almost as different as a foil from a LEI.
The handling and relaunch, feel, etc, are all just different.
Not hard to master though.
I really don't know if my next kite will be strutless though.
The 17 gets rid of most of what I didn't like in other big kites -weight, bulk, slow turning, long time pumping etc. These things aren't problems with small kites, so for the 9 and under sizes it is just down to preference and exactly the right feel for the rider, in my view. Would I prefer a 9m Cloud to a 9m c4? A 9m rally? REO?
Don't know, haven't tried yet.
The big question for me is what I'll get after my 2011 13m c4 goes. That one is still very good for me and fairly versatile. I think I may find a personal size where I'd like to break my quiver between kite types, but not sure yet if it should be around 12 or around 9.....

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Re: How are strutless kites doing ?

Postby tautologies » Sun Mar 02, 2014 9:08 am

Peter_Frank wrote:It started in 2012 according to the 46 page long thread started in 2012.

And there are several brands having these now, right ? (which, by the way ?)

Whats the ups and downs nowadays ?

The 46 page thread has gone through a lot of evolution it seems, and also many "lovers" in between, who often cant judge very objectively because of passion - and difficult to get anything out of it because of the evolution :wink:

What do those having tried the strutless kites say now in 2014 ?

Around here there are no strutless kites at all - I only saw a German guy with one, on a light wind day in Hvide Sande.

Is it like the Sigma shape - not really any benefits, so it has died out again ?

Or is it just the opposite - a LOT of advantages, but not many has discovered the gold yet ?

Lets hear some facts about the ups and downs now :rollgrin:

For some reason I read most about light wind riding, meaning bigger sizes - true ?, and if, why ?

Curious :thumb:

8) Peter Frank


I like the strutless for wave riding. I still have not ridden a big strutless kite but I suspect the weight will have big implications for for instance wave riding. THe packing and simplicity is really good.

Your comment on the sigma is nonsense as the kites were killer, and you know that there are many reasons why a technology dies..not only performance...
Doesn't really matter what works as long as it does.

Both the Naish Trip and BRM Cloud is easy to relaunch IMO. They also have good windrange.

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Re: How are strutless kites doing ?

Postby ronnie » Sun Mar 02, 2014 11:15 am

Greg's explanation of why he thinks the Cloud drifts so well.



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