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!)
Buddy of mine has a very used 2008 11m waroo that does the same thing...tacos up like a pancake and then snaps back ...freaky to have a kite do this in high winds...I'm wondering if it has anything to do with bladder twisting....we double checked the pressure and its always ~8psi...the thing ripples like crazy during aggressive turns...I'll never ride it again...that said I absolutely love my own 2010 9m waroo in high winds
The older Kahoonas were limited on the high end for their size. I had the same kite, 2010 11.5m. At 165 lbs (~75kg) wind range for me with Mako 140 and Mako King was 10-21 knots or so. Amazing low end and relaunch for such a small quick kite, but it was a handful in anything over 20 knots. Bar pressure go heavy, and you couldn't even jump with it. It just pulled you off your edge and you went horizontal.
I then had the 2011 11.5m Kahoona V3. Lost a knot of two on the low end, but gained 3 or 4 on the high end. Lower bar pressure. Much better more controllable above 20 knots with bigger jumps. Still fun up to 25 knots. If you want a similar range (and a little wider range) to the 11.5m, I'd say go for 13.5m in 2011 or later kahoonas.
Thanks for your feedback. I'm sure short-lived gusts are over 30 knots. I've got a nice long throw on my bar so I can usually hold the kite down, but the LE in-flip becomes the issue when really depowered. Maybe I should just shorten the bar throw and go for the 'calculated lofting' instead.
Come to think of it though, that 2010 kahoona wore out faster than any other kite I've owned. I had it for a little over a year and used it 80+ sessions because almost all of our sessions are 10-20 knots here, but even so, the canopy seemed pretty loose and worn by the end of the year. Not a bash on best kites, all of my waroos lasted a long time and so did my 2011 kahoonas.
That's what I'm afraid of. Do you mind telling my wife for me...
Your wife wants to see you happy right? And when she asks "I thought I made you happy" respond by saying "Of course you make me happy; it's just that kiting gives me such a release that I can be an even better husband and make you even happier too"
Its not the kite thats the problem, Its YOU. You have got so good at kites control and holding down the kite in High winds, your pushing the kite past its limits.
Switch to a smaller kite!
New crispy kites do have a little better performance, but not much, most performance improvement is by design, Dacron does stretch some, causes flutter, but not a big issue, struts lee edge inforcement line(internal) and leading edge bladder keep the shape.