Forums > Kitesurfing General

Are large lightwind kites obsolete

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Created by bramber A week ago, 9 Jan 2019
bramber
VIC, 50 posts
9 Jan 2019 7:25PM
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So while I am in hospital and unable to kite, I've started to ponder some big issues, like are large lightwind kites (eg zephyr, etc) obsolete, now that foiling is here? Will manufacturers stop making them or is there still a place for them in the future?

Kamikuza
QLD, 3581 posts
9 Jan 2019 6:32PM
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Yes, although they'll keep making and people will keep buying them

Plummet
4284 posts
9 Jan 2019 5:22PM
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Yes and no. Yes for foiling they are a dead duck. But not everyone foils and not every spot is good for foiling. So they will still be available.
Also the airstyle crew like a super big kite. So there is a contingent that will still use them.

toppleover
QLD, 1432 posts
9 Jan 2019 7:54PM
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Now proficient at foiling my only kite is 8m, foiling 10-15 & surfboard 15-25 knots

snalberski
WA, 607 posts
9 Jan 2019 8:22PM
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I have a 12m Hyperlink which I use from 10-17 knots for foilboarding. In the top end it is hilariously good for a boosting session with a tt. I don't think I could find a 17m LEI that performs as well that, but I'm open to contenders.

SaveTheWhales
WA, 1593 posts
10 Jan 2019 6:16AM
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Bigi ish kite ? I'd take my chances with an inflatable when everything falls out of the sky.

Most important factor is relaunch...
I've been on the ocean when the wind dropped out and drifted with about 8 others. I was able to get it back up in the smallest gust and get back to shore. Everyone else self rescued..

Imagining my Soul kite in the water for 20 minutes is not fun.
I won't mention weed and foil bridles.

There will always be a place for big kites :)

eppo
WA, 6753 posts
10 Jan 2019 7:14AM
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Yeh have to admit, I'm scratching my head about kite sizes and types of kites now. I mean I was out on the crappiest 8m 2012 catalyst (250 bucks plus bar!) yesterday in winds I wouldn't even dream kiting in (not on a catalyst either ) and had an absolute blast.

Day before i cranked 10 odd km up the guts of a water body in sloppy 12-15 knots on a bloody 10m rebel of all kites. Wasn't the best drifter coming back downwind...

jason from westoz was down foiling with us the other day on a 9m chrono Foil ... been years since I've considered a foil kite (although I've continued to demo them and they are much better now).

So yeh big kites are definelty done and dusted for me.

ActionSportsWA
WA, 618 posts
10 Jan 2019 11:12AM
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Inflatable kites will never do this. They aint dead, but this is only possible on high performance lightweight foil kites. This clip is shot on the North Sea with a Flysurfer Sonic Race kite.




DM

octo
WA, 20 posts
10 Jan 2019 12:58PM
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Bigger the kite the better for airstyle it's coming back!
Foiling is phase for old lawn mowers it will pass

eppo
WA, 6753 posts
10 Jan 2019 1:15PM
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Select to expand quote
octo said..
Bigger the kite the better for airstyle it's coming back!
Foiling is phase for old lawn mowers it will pass



Yep definitely a fad for sure ....

octo
WA, 20 posts
10 Jan 2019 1:33PM
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Must be an old fella

HappyG
VIC, 258 posts
10 Jan 2019 4:55PM
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I am having that problem at the moment. Just sold all of the gear out of the garage (including my brothers).

I was going to get a Big kite but I really just need a 10 & 7 Metre. I ride a 10 and surfboard from 10 - 18 knots and switch to a 7 and surfboard above 20 knots...
I ride my TT when its flat and fun 15 - 18 with the 10mtr and above 30 with the 7mtr....

If its crappy or below that Just take out the SUP or SUP with sail or SUP with 10 mtr the dogs and 2 kids on board or go fishing....

Foiling at my spot its way to tidal and shallow too much other stuff to do... But Boosting with a 14mtr in 20 knots is great fun....

octo
WA, 20 posts
10 Jan 2019 2:37PM
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Ozone Zephyr

octo
WA, 20 posts
10 Jan 2019 2:37PM
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Ozone Zephyr

Gorgo
VIC, 4068 posts
10 Jan 2019 5:59PM
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octo said..
....
Foiling is phase for old lawn mowers it will pass


Says everyone who has never foiled.

Gorgo
VIC, 4068 posts
10 Jan 2019 6:09PM
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ActionSportsWA said..
Inflatable kites will never do this. They aint dead, but this is only possible on high performance lightweight foil kites. This clip is shot on the North Sea with a Flysurfer Sonic Race kite.

.....


DM



I'm not sure about that. We quite often ride in glass when the wind direction is right. Cross shore coming from a protected headland gives beautiful smooth conditions in up to 15 knots.

The problem with big foil kites is they are outrageously expensive. About $4500 (same price as a paraglider). My 15.5 light weight inflatable cost $900 (Switch Helium).

The problem with riding in those <10 knots conditions is the difference between low wind and no wind is only a couple knots. If you drop your huge foil kite then you're swimming in. Our local foil kiters are always dropping their huge kites and swimming in. If you drop your inflatable you can self rescue, or just bob along until you get to shore. At worst you swim in towing your inflated kite.

Realistically there's no point going out in "no wind". There is a lot of point in going out in any detectable steady breeze. In most cases I can do that with a 12m inflatable. The 15.5 doesn't give me much more low end, but it does give me a bit more resilience to lulls.

I would suggest any experienced foiler can handle big kites in lots of wind so being overpowered is rarely more than an inconvenience. It makes blasting upwind quite fun.

dafunk
QLD, 548 posts
Thursday , 10 Jan 2019 9:00PM
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I think it depends on your local winds

eppo
WA, 6753 posts
Thursday , 10 Jan 2019 7:30PM
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dafunk said..
I think it depends on your local winds


Yep and water conditions

Youngbreezy
WA, 456 posts
Friday , 10 Jan 2019 11:09PM
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I think big lightwind lei are slowly becoming less relevant with foiling taking up more of the light wind sector.

They will still have a place but I think we will see more and more people turn to foiling and big LEI will become more niche and only really targeted to airstyle

Plummet
4284 posts
Friday , 11 Jan 2019 1:30AM
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eppo said..
Yeh have to admit, I'm scratching my head about kite sizes and types of kites now. I mean I was out on the crappiest 8m 2012 catalyst (250 bucks plus bar!) yesterday in winds I wouldn't even dream kiting in (not on a catalyst either ) and had an absolute blast.

Day before i cranked 10 odd km up the guts of a water body in sloppy 12-15 knots on a bloody 10m rebel of all kites. Wasn't the best drifter coming back downwind...

jason from westoz was down foiling with us the other day on a 9m chrono Foil ... been years since I've considered a foil kite (although I've continued to demo them and they are much better now).

So yeh big kites are definelty done and dusted for me.


But you were the airstyle king Eppo. Have you killed aurstyle all together? Or are you not bothering in light winds now And boosting 20+ knots on the 10 rebel?

Side note, my 12 chrono v1 is insane on the foiling light wins, soooo much speed, soooo much upwind. It's pretty damn cool to be full trimmed going balls to the wall fast in winds that the tt and sb riders don't even bother turning up to the beach for.

Mark50
NSW, 130 posts
Friday , 11 Jan 2019 8:42AM
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Love my 19m Edge!

KitersElbow
WA, 68 posts
Friday , 11 Jan 2019 7:15AM
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A beginner I know just bought a 17m kite, hoping to get more water time.

quikdrawMcgraw
725 posts
Friday , 11 Jan 2019 8:27AM
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Select to expand quote
bramber said..
So while I am in hospital and unable to kite, I've started to ponder some big issues, like are large lightwind kites (eg zephyr, etc) obsolete, now that foiling is here? Will manufacturers stop making them or is there still a place for them in the future?


How long will you be in hospital?

kemp90
QLD, 1636 posts
Friday , 11 Jan 2019 10:44AM
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Gorgo said..

octo said..
....
Foiling is phase for old lawn mowers it will pass



Says everyone who has never foiled.


That's what I always said, until I gave it ago. It's the funnest thing ever

stoff
WA, 172 posts
Friday , 11 Jan 2019 9:33AM
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ActionSportsWA said..
Inflatable kites will never do this. They aint dead, but this is only possible on high performance lightweight foil kites. This clip is shot on the North Sea with a Flysurfer Sonic Race kite.




DM


While the performance of these kites is impressive and I'm sure they have their place, I'd suggest that it's not too far away from shore or a rescue boat.
I reckon the guy at the 12 second mark would agree. He's in for a bit of a swim without that JetSki!




Surfer62
VIC, 1204 posts
Friday , 11 Jan 2019 1:01PM
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Gorgo
VIC, 4068 posts
Friday , 11 Jan 2019 2:27PM
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You can roll the end of a downed foil kite around the bar to pressurise the remaining air. The water on the valves gives a very good seal.

You can then swim and tow the inflated kite behind you. From time to time you need to put some more wraps around the bar to keep the pressure high.

More important than a huge kite is a relatively big wing on your foil. That makes water starting and foiling much easier. A big and/or floaty board helps. I have one of those but I never take it to the beach. The shorter board is so much more fun.

All this foil stuff also applies to freeride raceboards (Airush Sector 60). They are the best fun in a wide range of conditions. Think longboard surfing with a kite.

Of course, rule number one of light wind kiting is to never ever drop your kite. I have waited out several lulls by sitting in the water with the board on my feet and figure-8 flying the kite. Eventually a puff comes and that is enough to water start and ride back to the beach.

My record for this is 25 minutes of figure-8 flying and 3km down the coast. Fortunately I was returning from an upwind run so the return drag left me near my landing point. The downside is I passed a yacht club and the boats were coming out for their evening race. It never ceases to amaze me how obtuse yacht racers are. They will see a kiter in obvious trouble, and park their boats right in the way and in range of the kite and lines.

high as a kite
SA, 1282 posts
Friday , 11 Jan 2019 3:34PM
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Surfer62 said..


"EPIC" fail

NorthernKitesAUS
QLD, 684 posts
Friday , 11 Jan 2019 3:31PM
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bramber said..
So while I am in hospital and unable to kite, I've started to ponder some big issues, like are large lightwind kites (eg zephyr, etc) obsolete, now that foiling is here? Will manufacturers stop making them or is there still a place for them in the future?


You're assuming everyone wants to yawn and mow lawns, with a foil board.

bramber
VIC, 50 posts
Friday , 12 Jan 2019 12:05AM
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quikdrawMcgraw said..

bramber said..
So while I am in hospital and unable to kite, I've started to ponder some big issues, like are large lightwind kites (eg zephyr, etc) obsolete, now that foiling is here? Will manufacturers stop making them or is there still a place for them in the future?



How long will you be in hospital?


I actually got out today! Got lots of rehab to do, but with a bit of luck I'll be walking again before too long.

While foiling is technically more efficient, I'm currently leaning towards getting a big kite for lightwind days, as my local is very shallow, it's cheaper (secondhand), and I am at a stage in my life where I just don't have heaps of hours available for learning to foil (which seems to have steep learning curve), as my session times are generally very intermittent with a young family keeping me busy most of the time.

Of course this is all assuming my wife lets me buy another kite...

Gorgo
VIC, 4068 posts
Saturday , 12 Jan 2019 11:05AM
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NorthernKitesAUS said..

....
You're assuming everyone wants to yawn and mow lawns, with a foil board.


Foil boards are by far the most versatile and fun water craft ever invented. The only limitation is your imagination. Boosts, carve, glides, slides. If you can imagine it you can do it.

I was going to say shallow water is a bit of a limitation (which it is), but with a bit of experience you can foil through knee deep water very easily. You just need to keep the foil up high. As long as the bottom is sandy you can get away with bouncing the foil off the bottom as long a you don't mind the odd scratch and the occasional crash.

If you're powered enough and have a big enough wing you can water start sideways straight up onto the foil. I tend to avoid that in shallow water. It seems pointless to risk damage to my foil when I can just drag a few more metres into deeper water.

You can do all the usual stuff, but the energy retention of the foil lets you do heaps of stuff that you can't even imagine riding surface boards. Lots of whip carves, descending glides, rotations in both directions etc etc etc.

The same can be said for huge kites. It can be dull and scary being hauled along by a giant kite, or you can use that power and the slowness to do stuff.



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"Are large lightwind kites obsolete" started by bramber