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Kites you use for your surfboard and skimboard

Welcome to losethestraps.com - the original site dedicated to kitesurfers that are evolving the strapless scene. Please introduce yourself to the forum by posting here.

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Kites you use for your surfboard and skimboard

Postby reyrivera » Fri Jun 04, 2010 10:15 pm

Hi,

I'm fairly new in this forum, and I do not know where to post this question.

I'm a long time surfer, average kiter going on 5 years kiting experience. I'm just into riding waves with my kites and surfboards on mellow conditions coast side (Scott Creek, Waddell Creek, CA) during summer/late fall. I'm recently into kiting strapless with my old trusty thrusters and skimboards. I don't do any jumps and tricks. My riding style is mostly gliding through waves, a little bit of spray here and there, and only jump waves if I'm in trouble of getting macked by one.

Now, I'm dialed in with the surfboards and skimboards that I use (6' 0" rhinos and 52" surface skimboards), but I still seem to be having some issues of choosing the appropriate kite on a given condition. When riding my surfboards, I ride with C kites on low wind conditions, and switch to bow kites (Mayhems) when the winds get a bit heavier. Skimboards, however, is a different issue. I get yanked out of my board most of the time when riding a C kite, and when I switch to my bows when the winds crank up 25 and above, I can't hold my edge even with the smallest kite that I ride (5 m).

So, what do people ride with their skimboards and/or surfboards that gives them the most stable sessions?

Thank you in advance for your replies.

Rey
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Re: Kites you use for your surfboard and skimboard

Postby tungsten » Sat Jun 05, 2010 3:27 am

At our spot, those into strapless and skim are riding just about anything, delta, flat, C, ARC, 2005 to 2010... I think it's about kite control, not so much about the kite. Some even use an old style fixed pulley bar.
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Re: Kites you use for your surfboard and skimboard

Postby Lonny » Mon Jun 07, 2010 11:17 am

Hey Rey,

Welcome to LTS! Thanks for posting your question. When it comes to strapless riding I look for two main characteristics from my kites of choice, stability and good range. Both of these features are key because since you have no straps to keep you attached to your board an unstable or short ranged kite will just make your life generally difficult. The range on most C kites is just too small for where I ride. We can have 10 knot differences in our wind range on an average frontal wind driven day, and that is not a lot of fun when you have a kite that does not adjust well to that range especially when you cannot stay on your board! :wink:

Also, from my perspective it is best to stick to one style of kite, and learn it inside and out. For example, I like Cabrinha Switchblades, and find it hard to use the Crossbow as an alternative. Stick with one series from whatever manufacturer you like. It is hard to jump from a Bow kite to a C kite and then back to a Bow. They are such a different animals as far as feel, the timing of the kite, its sweet spot, pull, etc.

Lastly, if you are riding in good wave conditions (regularly head high and above, side-shore, etc)I would also consider turning speed as another important characteristic.

We had a great discussion about Kites recently here, which you may find useful
viewtopic.php?f=7&t=518#p2281

About getting yanked, riding a skim in wave conditions over 25 can be a real challenge, and it takes a lot of time to get somewhat dialed. Even then you will get rocked a lot because when you do a bottom turn you have to get off your edge and on to the other edge. That is tricky to say the least since you have no fins! It takes time, and again if your kite is not working for you but against you, it becomes even harder. Keep at it! And feel free to post more questions as they come up.
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Re: Kites you use for your surfboard and skimboard

Postby reyrivera » Mon Jun 07, 2010 3:51 pm

tungsten,
Yeah, you are right, kite control on high winds while riding my skimboard is the issue. I handed the skimboard to my instructor buddy and ask him to try it, he has never ridden a skimboard before. We were riding the same type of C kite that day, the winds picked up, and he just road the board like he's been doing it for a long time. Time to get advanced instructions from him, how to ride skimboards in high wind conditions.

Lonny,
thank you for the thread, that was the type of feedback I was looking for.
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Re: Kites you use for your surfboard and skimboard

Postby tungsten » Tue Jun 08, 2010 5:06 pm

hi reyrivera, I agree with what Lonny says, it all comes down to knowing your kite and being comfy with it like in a pair of old shoes. a good deal can be done with the settings, most kites allow to adjust more or less aggressive settings, a long throw on the bar can do miracles, and getting used to a smooth piloting style helps with strapless. keep at it!
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