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Light Wind

This is the place to talk about riding styles, tricks, conditions, what works, what doesn't on your skimboard. Wondering about what skimboard to get for kiting? Post it all here.

Moderators: Lonny, Todd

Light Wind

Postby Olas » Mon Jul 08, 2013 7:52 pm

Hey All,

I seldom have good winds (light and patchy) in my local area and am considering trying to increase my days on the water by buying specific light wind LEI or large foil.

I'm 75kgs and currently ride a skimboard without fins and 13m Switch Element V1, which I can get going in reasonably light winds. I don't have a wind meter so I hesitate to quantify in knots.

Most of the reviews I have read of these types of kites are from TT riders. I am wondering if any other kite would get me going in a little less wind with my skimboard, or if I just need to refine my riding, sheeting and kite control. Any light wind skim riders out there care to throw in their two cents or experience in trying to optimize for poor conditions?

Cheers,

Olas
Ottawa Valley - Element 13m, Rebel 9m
Olas
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Re: Light Wind

Postby Olas » Sat Oct 05, 2013 12:26 pm

...no replies, I guess you guys have better wind than I do! Perhaps instead of spending my time off the water looking at light wind kites I need to start looking at moving to the coast! Damn these inland lake winds!

I was thinking about pulling the trigger on a Cloud 17m, however I'm worried its light wind performance may be a little more hype than reality due to its short time on the market. Also considering a larger flysurfer, however, I have not had the ability to demo one so I don't know how much I will like it with the skim. No one else at my local spot rides a skim without straps or fins, although a few have considered it when I told them how much mine cost ($150).

Anybody out there feel like they have found the ultimate kite size/model for a skimboard? I ask on this forum because I have had a lot of trouble separating truth on forums from brand pimping and I have more trust in guys like lonny and tungsten on LTS.

Work put a hold on my board building project, but I should be back at it shortly. I'm considering building a travel skim with the front 1/3 detachable to fit in regular luggage. Planning on building two front sections, one with little rocker and one with more, I'll ride the flatter nose when the wind is light and switch it out for the one with more rocker and put TT fins on it if the wind and chop picks up... probably too ambitious but should be fun to try.

cheers,
Ottawa Valley - Element 13m, Rebel 9m
Olas
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Re: Light Wind

Postby tungsten » Sat Oct 05, 2013 5:22 pm

Hi Olas,

tricky one... how light is light? At 75kgs there are a lot of possibilities. A good fun kite for a skim is not only a straight puller (like the FS kites are no doubt), but a kite that turns. And relaunches if lulls are an issue.

So. Where do you kite? Are your winds stable? How many kn min and max in a session? Common lulls?

cheers, tungsten

P.S. I just traveled Canada in July, been to ON an QC. Great people great country. You guys rock.
tungsten
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Re: Light Wind

Postby Olas » Sun Oct 06, 2013 9:45 am

Thanks! Glad to hear you enjoyed your time in Canada. I am in Ontario right now, most of my kiting is done on the north shore of Lake Ontario and some smaller lakes within the Ottawa Valley.

Conditions on Lake Ontario depends on wind direction which varies from day to day. typical days I would like to ride can be anything from a very stable 6 or 7 kts or gusty breeze from 4 to 13kts. I would say average winds during warmer months are between 4 to 12kts with a few good days sprinkled in there. Too often I find myself going to the beach on a day blowing between 6 and 1okts and either wait around or do a boring/frustrating down winder.

With my current LW set up I would ballpark my range as such:

~8 kts - can get going if I can build some board speed but can only point downwind

~10 kts - able to hold ground with very few tricks or surfing, etc

~12 kts - great session!

I don't have a wind meter so the numbers are likely off a bit one way or the other, but I am essentially looking for a kite that will keep me upwind on the skim at 6 to 7 kts (less would be great but it would take convincing for me to believe it possible!).

Despite my largest kite being a 13m I feel like it does not perform very well underpowered and that my 2009 9m rebel has a bottom end only a few kts off the 13m. I have been wondering if I should be looking at some of the giant LW kites or if perhaps there is another 12/13/14 out there to replace my 13m that will give me significantly better low end on the skimboard. Depending on how the new kite fits into my quiver I may sell or keep the 13m.

Thanks to LTS for convincing me to get a stapless skimmer! I still laugh when I see guys on $1000 LW TTs mowing the grass while I am having a blast tearing around on the skimboard.
Ottawa Valley - Element 13m, Rebel 9m
Olas
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Re: Light Wind

Postby Olas » Sun Oct 20, 2013 9:41 pm

Really dialed in with the skimmer today! Finally had a windy day (15kts) and was able to do some powered riding. Wind died down to maybe 9kts but blowing directly on shore. Probably the lightest wind I've been able to hold ground wutg as the skimmer was in its element planing super well in the shallows by the shore, plus ripping right along the beach is just so much fun!

Still need to find the kite that will have the power to get through the chop when the wind is side/side-on though. I have always like the idea of higher AR kites that use more apparent wind, however getting through the chop has really been slowing me down and preventing me from going upwind. Perhaps a good LW kite needs to be mid AR to mitigate this. A friend has the Epic Renegade V1 (low AR), it pulls great in the light stuff but I could not stay up wind.

I'm hoping the developments in fewer strut kites will help out guys in my predicament, as well as pully/sliderless SLEs. I digress... perhaps I should just focus on finding a job in a windier area (warmer weather would hurt either)!
Ottawa Valley - Element 13m, Rebel 9m
Olas
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Re: Light Wind

Postby sflinux » Fri Mar 28, 2014 11:00 am

Just my two cents but if it is not windy enough for a good ~12M kite and an efficient light wind board, then it is not worth going out, or going bigger. The key is an efficient light wind board. I've tried a couple of skimboards: Zap pro large, Windwing skimboard and they were not what I would consider to be an efficient light wind board (I weigh 200#). For straight on shore winds, I've found finless boards work best. I prefer concave and a fishy tail. Still to date, the best efficient light wind board I have, is a homemade one, inspired by the Zeroprestige Flying Pig (23" wide by 1/2" plywood), but made into a directional. I use that board, when my other boards are not enough, I've had many days being the only one out on this $20 board. The $$$ light wind specialty kites are for the sub 10 mph market imo and if you go that route, I'd recommend buying from the used market. And before going big kite, I'd recommend trying line extensions to get more power out of the wind window (e.x. 30-35M flying lines), as in my experience is like adding a few meters to a kite's size.
http://www.mit.edu/people/robot/zp/zeroprestige.html
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Re: Light Wind

Postby don Wilcox » Tue Jun 03, 2014 7:24 pm

Hi Olas. I think what sflinux said is so true about the board. A no fin, no rocker, long board will get you going in the lowest possible winds. I see guys having quite a bit of fun on them too. And pretty much when the wind is enough to fly a kite, then a 12m kite seems to be enough to keep them moving.

That all being said, I would add the following. I used to say that if it is not windy enough for my 13.5 then no point in kiting. I was on a variety of boards but nothing as light wind as those long, finless, no rocker boards. I did buy a Maui Cloud 17 meter kite a couple of months ago. It is not hype. I can have a fun session with that 17 when I couldn't plane with the 13.5 kite. Overall I would not say that the 17 Cloud pulls any more than other 17 meter kites. I could have a great time with them too. The Cloud just feels a bit different. A little less of that pull you out of the hole grunt....but the Cloud has a steadier pull and with the leading edge so small it pulls upwind and faster and faster with the building apparent wind. So my top speed on low wind feels remarkable. Also, when the lulls hit 6mph I can keep the kite aloft.

I think if I had the maximum low resistance flat Alaia type board, then I wouldn't want or need bigger than the 13.5 kite. But I am using the BRM Paipo a lot and sometimes other light wind...but not pure light wind boards....and then the 17 for sure gives me an edge for way more time on the water. This is a personal preference for me coming from a surfing background...I like a bit of rocker and surfboard type characteristics. And the 17 Cloud does turn and moves markedly faster than my 13.5 (RRD) in the same wind. So sluggishness is not an issue. The Cloud also drifts way better than any of the other kites I happen to own. I have had about 25 sessions on the 17 Cloud so know it pretty well but am no expert for sure. Happy to have you give it a try...but you have to come to Oahu.

don
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