lightwind riding

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lightwind riding

Postby jonkite » Fri Feb 20, 2009 3:28 pm

hey everyone 1st time on here and i got a question. how is it possible that people are riding in say less than 12 mph winds on smaller kites and boards than me? They are either just damn good with a kite or weigh 140 lbs. I'm 6'2" 190 lbs with a 07 16m bularoo and a 08 crazy fly all around 145x41cm board. I find it hard for the kite to even stay up in the air with wind that light. I do have the rear lines attached at the knot closest to the kite as well. I figured I would be good to go in light wind with such a big kite but apparently not. Please tell me what im doing wrong. Thanks.

-Jon
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Postby NICKM » Fri Feb 20, 2009 3:55 pm

jonkite: hey im not real sure of the exact wind but in 8-12 you should be able to ride. maybe a little under powered but still do-able. i have an 08 waroo 13 and can go downwind in 8 and up in 12. actually its funny you mention that last knot. if i hook to the closest knot to the kite, i have major issues with the kite dumping the wind and backstalling. its more a sport of kite swimming then instead on kiteboarding/surfing. i weigh 180. i would definantly check your bar tuning, power settings and drop that rear line 1 knot or so. other wise, ease up on that edge. i have found that expert light wind riders to dig their edge as hard. if you edge as hard as possible, you will definantly kill the kite power. im not familiar with the bularoo though. dive the kite, get plenty of downwind speed then ease baack on that edge and let your kite play in the wind. hope this helps.

-nick

p.s. if that kite starts falling out, push that bar away! i see so many people over sheet and when backstalling they try to pull the bar to raise the kite. if it starts to stumble on light wind push away!!!
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Postby trant » Fri Feb 20, 2009 3:56 pm

Hey Jon,

I'm not familiar with the Bularoo, but I'm 220lbs and familiar with the frustration of light winds ;)

There's few things I can say though

1) Move those rear lines down a knot or two, it's a classic mistake that will help you stall the kite
2) Let the kite breathe, let the bar out rather than in, the natural reaction to pull the bar in for more power is wrong in light winds. This will stall the kite.
3) You need to gain speed (go downwind), then ease back upwind. This will help you build apparent wind and build more power in your kite.

Light wind riding is an art in itself, Once you've gotten used to the idea of letting the kite breathe, you'll find things becoming easier. FredBGG has written a few good posts on Kiteforum.com, so it might be worth searching for them on there.

Finally, know when going upwind has become a chore. If I'm spending all my effort to gain a few inches every tack, I say "sod it" and start doing tricks again knowing full well that I'll have to walk upwind again shortly. My belief is that it's better to be having fun and doing the walk of shame, than have a miserable time with my pride intact :wink:
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Postby NICKM » Fri Feb 20, 2009 3:58 pm

trant, i think we think alike!
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Postby trant » Fri Feb 20, 2009 4:17 pm

trant, i think we think alike!


lol, Do you have the other half of this amulet? :lol:

Yeah, saw your post just as I was submitting mine. Oh well, at least you had the same advice so I know I wasn't wrong :smile:
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Postby mnpaslay » Fri Feb 20, 2009 5:27 pm

The only thing I can thing of to add, is that in light wind you can't edge too hard or you will kill all the power.

If the kite keeps flying to end of the wind after you are up and riding and planning, try less edge
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Postby Small World » Sat Aug 08, 2009 12:25 pm

I understand the idea behind sheeting out and using the second pig tail (furtherest from the wing tip) to catch more wind on a light day. I also understand from the Manual that the second pig tail should be used on high wind days. So I guess that means that you should use the first pig tail (closest to the wing tip) on medium days? Where I sail in the SF bay the wind fluctuates by at least 5 mph during most sessions, so it seems like I should always ride on the second pig tail and just adjust using the depower straps as needed. Am I missing something here?
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Postby mnpaslay » Mon Aug 10, 2009 9:53 am

It is all about getting the right trim of the kite for the conditions and your reach. As you pull the bar in while riding, watch the kite, you get more and more power and then at some point you don't get more power and your kite moves back in the window, that is too far. I like to put that spot in maybe the last inch of pull towards me (If riding unhooked, you don't want that to happen at all). Just before that is the sweet spot, where you want the bar to be while riding, put that in a comfortable sport. You want bar close to your hips to give you a good stance. Choose your knots based on this, I usually don't change knots that much based on wind conditions and when I do usually it is when I think it will crank and I want more depower. So, if you are always holding the bar in with not enough power and the kite is not falling back, move a knot inward towards the kite. If you are always pulling your depower, move a knot away from the kite.

With new kites I always start at the farthest knot. On 2009 11.5m Kahoona, I never use the "low wind knot" it seems to really oversheet the kite.
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Re: lightwind riding

Postby peater2010 » Thu Jul 29, 2010 4:58 am

hello sir,
i am peater, i am new for here, the site is really nice and information are also useful and increase of knowledge of everyone. i like learn and share information with friends. thanks for nice posting. i tell my friends for the nice site.
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Re: lightwind riding

Postby enoshima5 » Thu Jul 29, 2010 12:06 pm

I agree with everyone that riding in lightwind requires a special set of skills. But I do not agree on the walk of shame: sometimes it is not really an option because the beachable part of the shore is limited (rocks, trees, debris, shore break) and if you're not riding on an infinite sandy strand, you want to always be able to get out of the water where you got in.

As for the rest:

1. Larger kites don't make for good lightwind kites because they are too heavy. On a windless day, the best kite is a trainer kite: if flies easily and it even get some pull if you sine it real fast. I am not saying that's enough to ride on the water, but on the beach you can verify that you get more traction from a trainer kite than from a huge 16m that you can barely launch. So use as lightwind kite the smallest possible kite you can plane upwind on--trial and error will tell you. For me, it's size 12: beyond that I find decreasing returns for size, both because of weight and sine ability (larger kites stall more in my experience).

2. Board size is essential. The shape depends whether you're on flat or choppy water, but the more buoyancy (volume), the better. You also need a board that goes upwind well: often that has to do with the fins on a surfboard-like shape, so you get the board to plane without edging and let the fins handle direction. I use a 6'0" custom hybrid, part surfboard part racing board. It's really like windsurfing: be as light on the board as possible, around the center of gravity, don't transfer weight around the board and let the fins do the work.

3. Never oversheet the kite. Let it breathe. Anticipate when it could stall and sheet out. Sine it gently.

4. Regarding trim, I keep the same trim whether light or strong winds (only adjust from the bar). I think pigtails adjustments have more to do with lines that would be unevenly stretched front vs. rear. Once you've figured out where the kite works best (start from middle position and try around that), I would always keep it there because there is plenty adjustment from the bar---unless you are riding in a crazy overpowered day in which case, rather than trim the kite, you'd be better off switching to a smaller kite.

5. The real question about lightwind riding -- and I hope Best is reading -- is the shape of the kite. I use SLEs (old Waroos) because I care about upwind ability, although if you're ok with the walk of shame you're probably better off having fun downwind with a delta. On lightwind days, my friends on delta excel in the stalling/turning department, but they take twice as long to go back to the start of the lineup -- if they go back at all without an excursion on the beach.

What I hope Best will produce this year is a dedicated lightwind kite that's super light in weight, not too big (12-15, for different rider weight), tweaked for sining and fast turning which would translate in great upwind ability. If anyone hears me, there is a huge market for lightwind kites in crappy wind place like Phuket, Thailand. The world is full of places with crappy wind for Best to conquer...
Last edited by enoshima5 on Fri Jul 30, 2010 8:31 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: lightwind riding

Postby jumarcil » Fri Jul 30, 2010 3:05 am

enoshima5 wrote:
What I hope Best will produce this year is a dedicated lightwind kite that's super light in weight, not too big (12-15, for different rider weight), with excellent sining and turning ability which would translate in great upwind ability. Some kind of lighweight SLE (old waroo), tweaked for fast turning. If anyone hears me, there is a huge market for lightwind kites in crappy wind place like Phuket, Thailand. The world is full of places with crappy wind for Best to conquer...


There ii a big market in a lot of place I don't know if you've lokked around to see what is coming in 2011 but a lot of companies are coming out with dedicated LW kite and it dows make a big difference. I love Best but for LW I ride a 13m Airush Lithium LW and I can assure you that it beats a lot of 14, 15 and 17m SLE and Delta that I have tried. Another real nice LW kite is the CB XBOW 13m.

I also have a Flysurfer 15m Speed3 which I will probably trade for the Speed 3 19m with one of my friend since my Lithium 13m is really Close to my FS 15. On a really light wind day nothing will beat a FS 19m S2 or S3. They may have some downside but they can realaunch in 5 or 6 knots something that is impossible with a 17m SLE (well maybe but really painfull).

So I wish best will come out with a really nice LW machine. I really like Best products and I also like the good support they offer.

Some people don't ride in LW but me I like to ride along the coast and just cruise along when it is really light.

As for the board it is probably as much if not more important than the kite. I just bought an Sector 160 directional board and I can go upwind in 7 knots of wind with my 13m.

Jules
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