I am aware that smaller kites will be more responsive and turn quicker than larger kites.
My question is regarding different sized bow/sle kites ability to stay in the air and not fall out of the sky in weak winds.
Will a larger bow kite be able to launch and stay in the air better than a smaller kite in low winds due to its larger surface area OR is this offset by the fact that it is heavier?
small kite owns over big kite in light wind and keeping the kite in the air... the weight plays a big factor once you start getting below 8 knots.
Totally agree. You will be able to just fly a 7 sqm bow in below 8 kn but a 16 or even 18 will fall out of the sky below 6-8 knots.
The weight is the critical factor and not the size.
PS: best combination for sure extreme light kites with a big surface like a Monzoone or Twinskins.
I think this is one of the major reasons why the suggestion is to use a smaller bow kite with a larger board. Small kites have less weight and fly faster therefore are better for light wind.
However I should have been more specific regarding 'light wind'.
I meant at 10-15knots.
Will a smaller kite still stay in air better than larger kite at side of wind, etc in 10-15kns?
Thats not really Lightwind. In this wind you can probaly go with a big or a small bow. I do not think that it will make a big difference.
What you really mean is, which kite is the best to go surfing in lightwind conditions. And when it comes to this question than the clear answer is going for a big kite >= 16 sqm. Depends as well if you want to go in the surf or flat water. In the surf any big kite will not help too much because they are too slow. On flat water it is a complete different story. Bigger kite means more power means better lowend ability.
I get to try a lot of different kites every year, its part of my job description, really!
In 10-15 knots, all the bow/hybrid kite I know of will fly stably even at the edge of the window, but some are less able to deal with lulls than others.
The best kites in lighter winds are the SB3, Ozone Sport 13 and 15M, T2, Contra3, NAISH Cult, Flysurfer Speed2 19M standard and silver arrow.
There is only a slight difference between low wind stability between the sizes of these kites, and in SB3 and Flysurfer, there is virtually none.
The kiter/rider needs to be a little more vigilant with some kites and not let the kite sit at the edge for too long, when the rider/kiter is stationary.
Beyond 14M/16M there is a diminishing return for size over useable power, with any current kite design, including all the above.
Many times I am the least out and staying upwind and I'm on an Instinct Sport 13M or a Cabrinha SB3 14M and an Underground FLX 1.52x44 board, and thats up against some huge kites like the FS Speed2 Silver Arrow.
Kite flying experience (especially on larger kites) and a sensitive touch play a big part in getting ultimate low wind performance from any kite.
Matched with a large planing surface, flatter rockered board.
I really tried to avoid this discussion; you might be right, that the SB3 14 has a reasonable good light wind performance for a bow but there is a still a big gap to a SA19 that is around 2-3 knots in lowind conditions to get on the board and probably something around 3-4 knots difference to keep it in the air means:
- SA19 can handle lulls with 4 knots, I guess a SB14 needs at least 7-8 knots to stay stable in the air (Difference 3-4 knots). Was flying the kite on tuesday before lunchtime in S/SE around 3-5 knots with lulls to zero where it fell down.
- I can holding line with the SA 19 starting from 8 knots without tide support.
A more experienced or light rider (60 kg) probably can hold line below 8 Knots.
I challange that the SB3 14 (even if seems to be a wonderful kite) will bring a 95 kg guy with intermediate skill level on the board with 8 knots. I believe you need at least 10 knots to get going.
Would really like to try it and compare the bottom end. Same board, same rider and a six pack to shorten the waiting time; starting early (11 am) on a day with an expected seabreeze, so that we have really light wind conditions not more than 4 knots to compare the lull performance. Testing the bottom end of both kites with increasing windspeed due to the seabreeze.
Will be there tomorrow
Saffer how about you give up the Kitepower beatching, its getting really amusing!
The only person looking like a brand pimp is you, we are just left wondering which one it is, maybe we should hold a guessing comp??
W sell and fly Flysurfers, and remember we have been selling foils for over 15 years, there are very few people with more epxerience over a broad range of foils.
I have been flying the SB3 14M at the same time Granini and some other guys have been using PS2's, there is very little difference in light wind performance.
No-one I know has put an SB3 16M or Contra3 17M up against the 19M PS2, but I reckon there will be a bees d1ck in it.
I have flown all the other brands, in larger sizes, they are not mentioned just for the sake of it, but to asnwer Maverick2's question.
Light wind kiteboarding performance - a lot depends on the skill and experience of the kiter.
There is no denying for absolute bottom end performance going upwind and nothing else the PS2 19M is the bees knees.
The SB3 and other similar bow style kites like the T2 will launch in incredibly light winds, even off the water.
Getting a PS2 off the water sub 8 knots is not exactly easy, and under 5 knots its near impossible, and you cannot float on them!
Lighten up, stick to the topic, get over your obsession with me. Everyone knows I sell kites, look at my user name FFS. LOL's
I don't BS about them I just tell people about my real experiences with them, when a question is asked - thats what this forum is for eh??.
Experience wins everytime Maverick.
i.e. if you normally fly bigger kites and thats what you are used to then YOU will be able to handle bigger kites in lighter winds just fine.
If you however prefer smaller kites and fly them a lot then your technique will lend itself to producing the correct power when required.
As for which kitebrands are better? haahahah, not surprised, <insert whatever kite i own or sell at the moment> is by far the best and i can PROVE it don't you know.
That said, light wind kiting can get very very tedious and boring and sometimes its better not to spend shedloads of cash on specific kite for those winds. Maybe get a surfboard/kayak/hobie cat or my personal favourite a nobile skimboard instead.
I totally agree with Steve that a lot of lightwind performance depends on the skill/experience of the rider as well as of the type and size of kite.
Having in mind that I have started kite surfing in April this year and steve probably has surfed since years it levels the above written.
And this thread was surely not meant to push any type of kite.
So coming back to the original post.
The following order shows the light wind performance in terms of just flying the kite on the beach from worst to best:
BIG Tube (>12) -> Small Tubes -> Big Foils -> Small Foils -> SA19
In order surf from worst to best:
Small Tubes/Small Foils -> Big Tubes -> Big Foils -> SA19
Hope that helps.
Not sure if anyones mentioned it, but the size of the kite needed in light wind is dependent on what you want to do.
Personally I'd rather play on a surfboard with a 12m in light wind than fly a truk of a 16m, although others enjoy flyng 16m on twintips and attempting tricks.
For reference big kites arent needed in light wind, 7.5m c-kite, and a 129 board in 15knots.
Oh sunday there was a 12-15kn NE'er down our way, and guys 12m bows and i think a 19m mattress (also 17m fuel) couldnt stay upwind, or jump, they were on various boards, from surfboards to twin tips
Now i was riding a 20m Best yarga and using either an exile or a 158cm cabrinah board.
the yarga never fell out of the sky due to low wind, and at the edge of the window was sooo stable i was flying it a few meters off the water.
My mate was on his 15m flysurfer speed3 having the same amount of fun as me.
Yes the 20m was a super slow mac truck of a kite, im an avid hybrid user, but in this wind the 20m was soo fun to use, but bajesus its a big kite, and one you get moving apparent wind just keeps you going and going and going.
Its fine Pete, I mean, Steve, if you can't see the favoritism then you're probably never going to see it.
Steve has been good of late your being a bit harsh saffer.
I find using 20mtr lines I'm able to get the kite moving quicker especially with larger kites as I have using a 16mtr bow and a 18mtr cshape. but being on the surf board doesn't give you the grace to stay upwind. Fighting the board and the kite, riding on your forehand and into the wind...that's hard..
My brother (who kites 7yrs now) told me of the guys he met over in Dubai where the winds get up to 20 knots but because the hots winds prevailing, the kites have to be big,so as to gain any momentum, and I'm talkin 20mtr and upwards...spare a thought for them!!