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Author: Subject: questions for and about kiteboarders
shortlineflyer




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[*] posted on 9-15-2015 at 05:52 AM
questions for and about kiteboarders


This will be kind of a rant so I apologize in advance.

Ever since the 5 line development in LEIs (2006 ish I think) there have not been that many advances in LEI design. sure, there are slight changes to profile and shape to each generation of a certain kite that any brand puts out but the safety system still remains the same, and I am sure that some of the previous generations were better than their upgrades. so here is the first question, why do many kiteboarders always insist on having the latest gear? I have heard kiteschools say that you should stay away from older kites because of the "recent advances" in safety technology but I figure that is just them trying to sell their kites instead of buying used and saving alot of money.

PART 2
I have been researching kiteboarding schools because I want to give it another try and several say that in order to get to the board lessons you have to be able to fly the kite with just one hand. WHY?! you get less control. is it just so that you can get the board on with the other hand? it just does not make sense to me.

my mid is coming up blank right now but I know I had something else. more to follow :)




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[*] posted on 9-15-2015 at 06:22 AM


Yep, if you aren't comfortable flying with one hand on the beach, you will be lost floating in water with waves slapping the back of your head trying to put your board on.



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markite


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[*] posted on 9-15-2015 at 07:00 AM


yes i think that there have been milestones in improving kite safety and just how user friendly they are. I often say that looking back at kites over the years we all had fun and rode whatever gear at certain points in time and a couple of years passing doesn't make that gear useless but absolutely some gear was far less forgiving and not as easy to use and had less safety than newer. But in the last 5 years or so there hasn't been a big change in safety and flagging or depowering kites but the kites themselves have become lighter, quicker, some systems refined and cleaned up. Quite often people do follow the trends and just pass along the same thing they read online or hear passed along and have no real reason for knowing what they are saying - the same as hearing "oh you shouldn't be flying on handles" or something about your "trainer kite"
Now there is always going to be a fuzzy line on age of gear and what is a safer generation so in general it's always going to be better for most people and for a school to say use the most recent gear possible - you don't want to be the teacher that says yah go ahead and use that old kite and then the person gets hurt for whatever reason, even if it has nothing to do with how safe the kite was, and it'll always come back to you telling them it was okay. Like anything, if you know what you are doing and have the skills and have consideration for others you can use what makes you happy but i wouldn't put some older gear in the hands of a newbie.

This touches on a whole other similar discussion I recently had with friends that bought a collection of buggies and foils. They were a bit disappointed that the stack of pristine - practically brand new kites are "old foils on handles from 2000 - 2006". Other than foils used for racing, the majority of intermediate performance foils are almost the same - other than changes in bridle line thickness and materials and construction techniques. As far as flying for the average casual flyer (buggier, winter kiter etc) you would not see any difference in using a foil from that age to one from today. You can buy a heavy sluggish new foil and put it up against a great performing foil with a bit heavier bridle from 10 years ago - why should that new kite from 2002 be worth way less than a similar sized but perhaps cheaper constructed one from the last year. The age old question of how much is this kite worth.
but I digress .....

For part 2 - i can see the point of flying one handed. To me there are two components to kiteboarding; 1 - kite flying 2 - board skill
I know many friends that came from a long time kiting background and can buggy and kite ski and fly no problem but had no water experience of any kind whether windsurfing, wake boarding, water skiing etc. They struggled getting going because just getting a board on in our choppy water with gusty winds was tougher and then no idea what to do when sliding on water. So even they would start to oversteer and get a kite out of position when trying to figure out how to get on a board. the more confident and relaxed you are with the kite that you can park it and control it with one hand will free you up to concentrate on the board and your surroundings - i suppose it's really one way of forcing people to spend more time learning how to fly better before getting the board on. The other side of it is that there are many that have board experience but don't spend nearly enough time learning how to fly well.
Another side story .... again helping friends last weekend kiteboarding and one still struggles to get upwind. We were both on surfboards and surfing side by side and I would often surf one handed and be looking off to a point on the shore way upwind and rarely look at my kite except when turning. I watched my buddy and he was always glancing at his kite and when we were trying to go upwind he would be holding the bar with both hands (which also turns your body) and then he would pull the bar in closer to power up more and of course the nose of the board would point more downwind and off he would go on a track 45 degrees off from me. There are many subtle things that make a difference in kiteboarding - a little bit on height of kite, a little bit on where the kite sits forward or back in the window, what direction the board is pointing, on where you position your feet, where you position your body etc - each may only be off by a few degrees or percent in performance but collectively they add up to far more that can make it frustrating and you don't know why. I often see things watching a person either from shore or following them and it's different from what they think they are doing when i talk to them later. Each of those things will have an "ah ha" moment for you and often just by chance when you are relaxed and do something that changes your direction or improves your experience overall. Kiting one handed is one of those little things that seems insignificant but can lead to an "ah ha" moment for you.




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PHREERIDER


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[*] posted on 9-15-2015 at 09:26 AM


# 1 yes modern LEI are so much more safer and far more responsive.
the basic projected area for any kite is still the same , be it c-kite, bow , delta , hybrid, ..

those areas are going to be unchanged, but shedding the design of drag, weight, efficiency, balance points, relaunch tolerance, rider input mechanics and a mountain of subtle changes to make it super user friendly.

you have to fly with one hand , your balance in the water, upwind bodydrag! its an essential element. you must be able to handle board with one hand . walking to the water with the board in one hand, and flying kite with other....i don't see that equation really changing without extra hands , extra people ...i can't see someone thats going to put the board on your feet while you hang to the bar with both hands as you float in the water....if thats the case you are in trouble as soon as you loose the board. even if you use wake bindings , you still have fly the kite with one hand to get into the bindings.

older kites have older material, over time that becomes brittle , it may look new, feel new, first lick of the kite hitting the water could crack in half , an old kite put into service with what would seem like very little UV exposure will age and fade quickly




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[*] posted on 9-15-2015 at 09:39 AM


As a person that started flying LEI kites in 2003 I can tell you the kite manufacturers have made great strides in kite safety and technology since the old days. One of the biggest improvements is the SLE kite and its depower system , The 5th line existed a few years before this but did not really revolutionize the sport in my opinion. Back then the sport was seen as an extreme sport and you were putting your life and limb at stake every time u went out to kite. Kitesurfing requires a lot of power to move and if you didn't control it in a safe way it will control U. Lots of people were getting injured or even killed back then and with the invention of the sle kite that has changed a lot and open up the sport to many in a much safer way.Being able to let go of your kite and it losses 90% of its power is one of the best things that happened for the sport. I know its hard to understand but take it from people that actually went through it . I can see as an instructor why he would recommend newer kites its easier for him and safer for you.

As far as being able to control the kite with one hand yes I can see his point as there are lots of times you will be flying the kite with one hand especially while learning as u will be spending a lot of time retrieving your board when u trying to learn a water start or just getting thrown around by the kite. The whole sport is just practice, practice and more practice. I sometimes hear people always talking about learning kitesufing after 1 or 2 weeks of lessons and I just laugh . In my opinion it takes a whole summer (3 months or more) of weekly practice to be able to kite in a decent way sometimes more . Sure there are people that can learn it in a month. but that's the ultra minority.
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shortlineflyer




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[*] posted on 9-15-2015 at 11:02 AM


learn something new every day. I am glad people are getting into this discussion



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[*] posted on 9-15-2015 at 09:57 PM


Fifth lines are a PITA that outweighs their benefits, IMO.

One-handed is a vital skill.




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ssayre




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[*] posted on 9-16-2015 at 03:33 AM


You have to be able to fly one handed. How else would you take selfies :P
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[*] posted on 9-16-2015 at 03:58 AM


Or scratch yourself.

Kitesurf, landboard, snowkite or buggy. One handed flying is a critical skill.

How many shots of pro riders do you see where they are riding with one hand on the bar? It has a number of safety and performance benefits as well as being a lot more comfortable.

One handed flying is part of our lesson plan and that of every legit kite school you will look at. The reason you take lessons is to learn what you don't know and what your buddy(s) can't teach you. If there is something that seems a little outside your expirience, that's the point. You don't take lessons to learn what you already know. :smilegrin:





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grigorib




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[*] posted on 9-20-2015 at 08:19 PM


From a different thread on the same topic
Quote: Originally posted by grigorib  
Well, there's been many details for improvement in recent years:
- push away release as a standard
- single inflation point as a standard
- large inflation valve
- split strut (kinda pain for strut camera mount)
- bridles on trailing edge (cronix/boost)
- no pulleys (fewer pulleys) on wing
- low friction rings for pulleys
- 2:1 bars are history
- clam cleat / above the bar
- C kites going "bridles" (Fuel 2015)
- variable length bars
- leading edge "ribs"
- above the bar front lines swivel (with flag line in the center)
- one click harness (Mystic)
- lighter canopy fabric
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grigorib




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[*] posted on 9-20-2015 at 08:37 PM


On point of "why buy new":
UV damage the fabric, load damages fabric, sand and sticks and dirt damage fabric. Shells and thorns just kill the fabric. Same for lines. Heat and time damage glue. Fresh water and mildew damage gear.
Buying a kite used for just one season by a kite school is like marrying a hooker - it's been used and abused so much physically and gradually by nature of use and by elements. You don't want to know where it's been put.

Most of the kites past 2008 are modern kites by construction and if you manage to get a new one of previous years model on sale - it usually comes at a great price and will be full of life.
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shortlineflyer




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[*] posted on 9-21-2015 at 06:07 AM


why would you want fewer pulleys, clam cleats above the bar have been around for a while. its just some companies have just started doing it



Elliot Kites sigma 360 --- Rev Blast 2-4 --- HQ Scout 5.0 --- HQ Crossfire II 10.0 --- HQ hydra 350
2010 Liquid Force Havoc 10m -- Slingshot ranger 12m -- Peter Lynn Scorpion 16m -- EH Cabarete Freestyle

MBS Elements mountainboard
MBS atom cruiser (stake trucks and wheels)
Peter Lynn XR+ kite buggy (std wheels and wide treads)
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grigorib




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[*] posted on 9-21-2015 at 10:42 AM


Quote: Originally posted by shortlineflyer  
why would you want fewer pulleys, clam cleats above the bar have been around for a while. its just some companies have just started doing it


simple is beautiful. pulleys get stuck, stuck pulleys get cut and then cut the bridle.
I'm talking mainstream, not the crazy bells and whistles going into past fortunately. Explains why newer models are popular.
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