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Concept Air Smart Wave 6.5 & 4.5 & 3

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kitexpert
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Re: Concept Air Smart Wave 6.5 & 4.5 & 3

Postby kitexpert » Fri Oct 06, 2017 1:59 pm

Thanks jannik and Regis for your good answers. More than anything I think we've discussed different interpretations, I don't see much disagreement.

LEI's and single skins having obviously different construction than foil kites is IMO the main reason for different characteristics between them. Lot of single skin manners can been seen in strutless kites, but of course in any LEI. However small PA and heavier construction of usual LEI's limit low end.

It's ok if you Regis won't buy my interpretation or claim for correspondence between weight and drag. A bit paradoxically I feel like we've changed places: you have underlined the importance of low weight, I have said aerodynamic advantages are worth added weight. But because we have meant slightly different things for performance all this is understandable.

L/D can be increased by two way: having more lift or less drag (ok, third way: more D, even more L). Single skins use this third option because they tolerate so high AoA's before backstall and have very much bridle line drag. If you fly single skin kite through the window it first accelerates very fast but then reaches its flying speed which is limited by L/D. For high performance foil kite limiting factor is the size of the wind window (normal line lenght and windspeed).

So line drag is not very harmful for light wind performance. It limits upwind, high speeds and jumping ability though. LIft of a foil kite is limited differently and more than with a single skin, because if more lift is tried to achieve by adding camber it makes kite too unstable. Then also depower suffers a lot. AoA can not be increased because of backstall.

Thank you Horst Sergio :wink:

I agree with your opinions very much. Perhaps I'm having now a bit more active period for kites. All these new foils and also PanTau's wonderful work with LEI designs gives inspiration. I have some ideas, or combinations of used solutions developing or in process... If you or Regis or someone has a vision what could be useful or needed feel free to comment or suggest.

stefFZ
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Re: Concept Air Smart Wave 6.5 & 4.5 & 3

Postby stefFZ » Fri Oct 06, 2017 6:52 pm

Interesting discussion!

This said the Concept Air Wave is a performance kite ... for wave riding. Those of you who used old mid ratio foils and even LEIs may remember that people used to sell us beginner / intermediate foil kites as good wave kites. I never liked this approach, in particular with accumulating experience kitesurfing in waves. LEIs designers did get it with dedicated wave kites but no one followed that route with a foil kite design. At the same time, Flysurfer stopped doing R & D in non beginner low/mid ratio kites. They did a huge work on high ratio kites, this is not a critique (!). I liked the psycho 4 and was still using them but it was a 2008 design without new inputs over the years. I had the chance though that Armin sent me a Psycho 4m prototype that I tested many times in strong winds (30/45 knots) and I knew that small foil kites could be very good in strong winds. But even after many emails, I could not convince him that there was an opportunity there (... and he may have been completely right for a brand like Flysurfer and seeing all they have done since then). This is when I started sending emails around and started exchanging with Benoît Tremblay at Concept Air. I had a sort of love at first sight with the Concept Air Smart design (the first prototype that Benoît did some years ago without really going further and which was lying in a cupboard in his workshop). The main idea as we progressed further was to design a performance kite for wave riding, not a beginner/intermediate foil kite that would be ok/good in waves. If it works for beginners / intermediate (and I am sure it works -- I even think that for snowkiting the Wave will be nice and a 5th line would be a nice add-on for this use), great but that was not the idea. This was of course a challenge for Benoît because I am not at all an expert in kite design but I know what I expect from a foil kite in waves.

Right know my quiver is : Waves 3 / 4.5 / 6.5 + pulsion 9m (again a mid-ratio kite that I would call a performance kite and not a beginner kite -- for instance, upwind is impressive with a surfboard on its low-range given its ratio). I would not mind adding a pulsion 12m though. That's the first time I think that my quiver is complete. I could ride these for a long time (I even have another Wave 4.5 as a back up just in case!)... it does not mean that the Waves could not progress further, that another consensus on flying characteristics could be better, etc. but now I focus rather on adding the last piece of my quiver, a new surfboard, I am perfectly fine with the kites and that's cool :-) (thanks Ben if you read me!!!)

Stef

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Re: Concept Air Smart Wave 6.5 & 4.5 & 3

Postby flying grandpa » Fri Oct 20, 2017 7:15 pm

Just after few sessions at Manawa/LeMorne/Mauritius with Smart 6,5 on 18m lines/Spitfire LW and winds around 15 knots for my 90kg. Smart came back from Benoit with reinforced trailing edge. Now it is strong enough, checked, as I usually put kites in the drink ewentually.

I feel Smart in my hands like a cream. Its smooooooothness in power delivery is fantastic. On foilboard you are high above water. I remember sharp yanks in gusty winds or when you lose tension riding down the wave with LEI.
Not with Smart. It sits where you want it and delivers as much power, as you want.
HF waterstarts stright into the air are a piece of cake. Relaunch takes 2-3 sec. Puling one steering line. There are waves at Manawa.
What will I do with my LEI's now.

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Re: Concept Air Smart Wave 6.5 & 4.5 & 3

Postby borist » Fri Oct 20, 2017 7:43 pm

I am intrigued. Keep those reviews coming. Well performing kite with minimal pack size and simple setup is the right way to go IMO. Now where can I find $$$ for those.
Reading thru the thread, my ozone HL 12m, plus SW 6.5, 4.5 or 3, might make for a good quiver, right?
Grandpa, how low can you go with SW 6.5 and Spitfire XLW?

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Re: Concept Air Smart Wave 6.5 & 4.5 & 3

Postby flying grandpa » Sat Oct 21, 2017 6:53 am

Not an easy answer. Spent to little time with Smart. I would say 14 kts av, taking into account that on waves you need a bit less power to start.

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Re: Concept Air Smart Wave 6.5 & 4.5 & 3

Postby jannik » Fri Oct 27, 2017 11:25 am

I received my Waves last week and yesterday I finally got to try the 6.5. My initital impression is that it is a great kite in many ways!
I come straight from LEI kites(Switch Element5 5+7) for waveriding but had about 2 seasons on HQ Matrixx+Neo3 foil kites years ago. I left the foils because they didn't work for me in the waves. This thread got me interested so I ordered the 4.5+6.5 and sold my LEIs :-)

I thought it could be fun to list my first impressions coming straight from LEIs before it all blurs up. Setup was factory setting on the front bridle and second knot from the top on the steering lines. Conditions I guestimate to have been 8-12 m/s, clean sideshore bordering to a little offshore. Because of lower wind than anticipated and the wind direction we only had a small shore break to play with. Board is an early planing Paipo kind of board. Other kites out where 8 and 9 m2. I was from lightly powered to fully powered but always enough. Played shortly with the bar trim but left it all out.

First things noticed:
No backstall with no trim and bar all in.
Bar pressure - and lots of it! The description from Stef of 2-line kite feeling is a good description.
Sheeting power: the kite generates lots of power by sheeting in. Very similar to a LEI.
Turning: very nimble. It has been a while since I've flown the LEI 7m2, since I mostly used the 5, but I think I will claim that it's just as quick. Maybe I even like the turn of this one better because of the power delivery. But you have to give more bar input. You get a great deal of power by diving the kite and you do not have to sheet out to climb up again.
Great upwind abilities and I thought my LEIs where very good in this department. I think the Wave is better.
Sheeting range: Smaller than on the Elemen5s which means shorter travel between full/less power. This is good news for using my trimless bar also consindering I didn't have to trim during the changing conditions.

Collapses: I had 3 collapses. 2 on the outside by flying the kite high while jibing on a large rolling swell so I got too much under the kite. 1 by falling in and not keeping bar pressure in the shadow of the point. This is a gusty place but I don't think my LEI would have stalled in either situation. The good thing was that it was very controlled and sorted out before the kite hit the water all 3 times.edit: the kite didn't hit the water. It sorted out and I could steer it up again. I never had the kite on the water so I don't know about relaunch.
Solo land: Very difficult! I'm fully familiar with backstalling foils down and staking them out with what ever at hand and find this feature a unique selling point of foils. This kite does not like to stay on the ground so the 2 landings I did ended up with me climbing up a front/front+back line to get to the kite.

I've put together a quick video of some connecting turns. I know you can't see the kite movement across zenith but maybe you can still get an idea of how the kite moves when you try to catch waves.
phpBB [video]

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Horst Sergio
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Re: Concept Air Smart Wave 6.5 & 4.5 & 3

Postby Horst Sergio » Sat Oct 28, 2017 5:19 pm

Nice :D :thumb:

Have been out with my 4,5 m² today and after a bit of a disillusion after the first look on the construction details ... in flight I was really impressed by how much a foil kite can be designed to fly "wave style". There are for sure some disadvantages as far I see till now. But for what it was designed, most it does really well. It is a really nice light package with just 2,0 kg including a kite attitude bar and the bag.
Monofoil+SmartWave4,5m.jpg
On our biggest lake I have done first a long downwinder towards north east to find the spots with the best "lake waves" in between 14 to 30 knts riding the monofoil. I was a bit afraid first that I never come back as going upwind in 14 knts first was a bit hard.
Monofoil-4,5mSmartWave.jpg
But on the other hand the joy to go downwind in slalom turns and sometimes catching a wave was just to great to not do it. :D While doing this the kite just stands neutral in zenit or on the side with extremly low fly down, even for a foil kite but if you need a pull just sheet in and the very progressive bar force helped to lift up again, but without any risk to over steer the kite as even in 30 knts and with its very low span it does not feel a bit nervous on the bar. Unfortunately when reaching the most east ward point after about 20 km I was already a bit tired, as monofoiling consumes a lot of concentration in windwaves, so directly started to go back south west wards upwind. Even here I was able to go upwind pretty well with lets say around 55° close to the wind (with a race kite up to 37°) so about half of the upwind angle of a race kite, which is not bad for a 100% wave kite, that looks in the sky like a pizza. :wink:

Hope to come back with some pictures and more details.

For now, good job Ben and Stef :thumb:

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Re: Concept Air Smart Wave 6.5 & 4.5 & 3

Postby jannik » Sun Oct 29, 2017 10:04 pm

I tried the 4.5 in crazy windy conditions today! A storm is passing by with hurricane strength winds some places but fortunately it wasn't that extreme at the time. We estimated around 20 m/s maybe even a little more at the end. So 40 knots.

I was not overpowered at any point and I didn't pull the trim before at the very end where I just wanted to truck back to the beach. I don't think I will need the 3m2 after all since this is about maximum wind I'm going to kitesurf in. Now I need to find the low end of this kite.

All in all it behaved well but in these unstable frontal winds I did experience some sudden power losses when there were holes in the wind. I had it down once leading edge first in the waves but one pull at a steering line and up it went. I need to learn to keep some backline pressure because going directly towards the kite with the bar out can result in collapses. This is reflex handling for me. I think I had better result when I remembered to keep the bar in.

I used the factory settings on the front bridle but these where not the same as on the 6.5. Instead the red line is two knots down. Benoit told me this is for higher winds and his preferred setting. I did not have the high bar pressure like on the 6.5. Not that it was low, just not high. I missed that and maybe the bridle setting was the cause.

Which settings are you other owners using and which effect do you feel?

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Horst Sergio
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Re: Concept Air Smart Wave 6.5 & 4.5 & 3

Postby Horst Sergio » Mon Oct 30, 2017 4:45 pm

@jannik
I had the A-level bridle installed pulled towards me by one knot under B-Pully-Level-Line. And it felt right. But for sure will test if it will get to instable or significant more powerful when pulling A a knot more towards me.

What is your weight? I think I (62 kg) also could hold the 4,5m² more or less compfortable close to 40 knts gusts, but not on a monofoil or strapless, but then on a small twin tip.
Received a picture a friend has done, while I was out in a corner without waves. Can't wait to get into serious waves: :D

Image

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Re: Concept Air Smart Wave 6.5 & 4.5 & 3

Postby jannik » Mon Oct 30, 2017 5:18 pm

Nice picture :thumb:

I'm 78 kg and was strapless without a problem.


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