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Author: Subject: Downwind FB Performance
frankiter


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[*] posted on 6-3-2018 at 04:09 AM
Downwind FB Performance


I really enjoyed this last JIBE. I rode over 80 miles and may have set a new PB for speed. I say "may" because both Peter and Chris rode my buggy at different points in the week, but I'm pretty sure that I can claim the 35.9mph showing on my eTrex.

One thing that stuck with me were the great downwind speed runs that the arc guys enjoyed (looking at you, Mark, Bobby, Errol, and Phillip). I love my Reactors, but certainly didn't get any downwind speed from them - I was more concerned with just keeping them in the air. Any tips on how to improve my downwind performance?




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RedSky


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[*] posted on 6-3-2018 at 07:46 AM


Are you trying to travel directly downwind or are we talking a Broad reach ?
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acampbell


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[*] posted on 6-3-2018 at 07:56 AM


I think its all about maintaining the apparent wind across the kite by keeping it moving through the window. I find that when going downwind, that can mean flying the kite in the opposite direction to go almost behind you for a moment, up high, Just behind your shoulder, which sets it up for a downward power dive forward to the front edge. It seems kind of counter-intuitive at first but it has worked for me. It's almost like the beginning of a deadman's turn (sending it back) but bailing out and swooping it back forward to keep up kite speed.

Great question and I'd like to hear other riders' thoughts on it.




Angus Campbell
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acampbell


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[*] posted on 6-3-2018 at 08:00 AM


Quote: Originally posted by RedSky  
Are you trying to travel directly downwind or are we talking a Broad reach ?


Just saw this. In the context of JIBE this year, it would be a broad reach. On much of Jekyll Island, a ESE wind would yield a beam reach almost dead on side shore. This year we often had winds from the SE, resulting on an upwind reach to the south, and kind of a Nantucket sleigh ride back to the north. Tops speeds were in the range of 45-53 mph!




Angus Campbell
Coastal Wind Sports
...where life is better when it blows!
Golden Isles Region, Georgia, USA
912-577-3920 new number

Flying on the beaches of Jekyll Island
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Bladerunner


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[*] posted on 6-3-2018 at 09:13 AM


What Angus said. In his manual Angus describes how your relation to
the wind changes with speed and apparent wind.

I start as Angus describes and then pump / repeat for more speed. At a point you are going fast enough to just park and edge. The folks with the smaller FB kites do similar but take advantage of kite looping to build that running speed.




Kites: 2.5m Profoil , Quadrifoil XL kitesurfer, NPW 5 Danger.
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RedSky


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[*] posted on 6-3-2018 at 11:42 AM


Quote: Originally posted by acampbell  
I think its all about maintaining the apparent wind across the kite by keeping it moving through the window. I find that when going downwind, that can mean flying the kite in the opposite direction to go almost behind you for a moment, up high, Just behind your shoulder, which sets it up for a downward power dive forward to the front edge. It seems kind of counter-intuitive at first but it has worked for me. It's almost like the beginning of a deadman's turn (sending it back) but bailing out and swooping it back forward to keep up kite speed.

Great question and I'd like to hear other riders' thoughts on it.


Interesting. Never heard of anyone flying their kite in the opposite direction of travel.

I've not mentioned this until now as it only happened the once and I have not repeated the move, but some years ago I pulled the same stunt, albeit without the swooping.

I was riding my local beach where the tide had retreated for about a mile and while riding back to base (directly downwind), I instinctively switched the kite (13m fuel) into the position you described to prevent it from stalling.
It was bizarre, just hanging there with trailing edge moving in the same direction as the bug.

The bug was riding over a skim of water and sandy corrugations with a grateful kitesurfer hanging off the back with his board and folded kite. ( spent a satisfying day ferrying kitesurfer's to and from the shoreline. Red's taxi service. :) )

Maybe this helped provide the rolling resistance needed for the kite to fly backwards continuously for a almost a mile.

Until you mentioned it, I was unsure if it was an actual thing. Maybe someone can get some footage and upload it.
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[*] posted on 6-3-2018 at 11:43 AM


Going downwind is not usually my problem - I get there sometimes whether I want to or not. But these are really great comments. Sometimes all you can do or want to do is go downwind and this seems like it will be fun to try.



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markite


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[*] posted on 6-3-2018 at 06:45 PM


This year there were slightly different wind angles depending on the day and even varied during the day. Early in the week it was later afternoon when there were just a few of us left that it often became more easterly and straighter onshore.
Overall when it's more of an angle so heading upwind is anything from close reach to close haul most of us with arcs were going up in size so you have more power to take a longer run upwind before needing to do the zig zag turn. then turning to come downwind the larger kites will help you keep it in the power zone a bit longer and not run in and out of it so quickly as you do with a smaller kite.
Depending on the downwind angle we were mainly doing a broad reach and with the arcs to start the runs I was working the kites in what would look like an infinity symbol tilted slightly, not quite at 45 degrees. So a big swing forward and low and before it gets too far forward I would turn it up and swing it way back and then forward again. For half the pattern the kite is pointed the opposite direction but because you are picking up speed moving forward that backward direction is short and it's more about getting the kite quickly into position to start the next power stroke. Once the buggy picks up some speed then l'm usually working what would now look like a number 8 - as I dive the kite I'm trying to keep it in the power but a more vertical dive to keep it from getting ahead and at the bottom turn and start to go straight up and then arc back a bit before coming back over the top to start the next five down - all about trying to keep from having the kite getting in front and then catching up to it or stalling it.

When there were the times when we were almost running straight downwind then I like to zig zag the buggy and actually zig zag the kite in opposite direction to my buggy line of travel. Heading about 45 degrees to the left I would have the kite going across to the right. As the kite is approaching the edge of the window I'll do a downturn to bring the kite down and turn under and at the same time turn the buggy the opposite way. The downturns keep power on and going opposite to the kite keeps tension but it's a lot of quick zig zags but fun. The downturn one way puts a cross in the lines and then downturn the other side takes it out - again flying what looks like an infinity symbol

Position on the beach also made a difference. Heading north when we were heading downwind I would try and get closer toward the dunes whenever I had power that way I always had room to angle across the beach when needed and then try to get back to dune side again to leave that beach width for swinging the kite and changing angle if needed.

Lastly it also depends on the kite and how it picks up power from apparent wind and whether it's give you some power, or float limp or if it'll get way too far out front. Following Spencer the last day when he was using his Peak I noticed it had a really good downwind run. He had it parked overhead and was heading pretty much downwind while I was swinging a smaller arc all over the place




Mark Groshens NAPKA KC 13
WindSpeed kites & design - Canada
Peter Lynn: Ch2 22 +18 + 15 + 6.5, Scorp 16 + 10, Phantom II 12 + 9, Orig Phantom 9 + 6, Syn 8, Charger I 6, F 1200, 840
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TEDWESLEY




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[*] posted on 6-6-2018 at 08:35 AM


When I fly the Peaks downwind, I do as Spencer does. I keep the kite high and parked assuming some wind. In light wind I'll add some rolling resistance ( I Flintstone the front tire with the heals of my boots) to keep the slingshot effect of accelerating and out running the kite in check. I'll work the kite and do whatever will keep the kite in the air. Each of my kites behaves differently in light air for that kite size. Turning speed is a real big factor in generating power down wind 12m + kites do not turn all that fast so sometimes over the bar steering is needed to complete a turn. The goal is to keep the kite flying and moving in some direction that enables you to suck off some forward drive.



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frankiter


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[*] posted on 6-6-2018 at 10:41 AM
Downwind FB Performance






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shehatesmyhobbies


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[*] posted on 6-6-2018 at 05:52 PM


Pump that kite or add more material. :D you have got to make it back to WBB soon sir.





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[*] posted on 6-6-2018 at 07:45 PM


Frank, my fastest runs were the almost dead downwinders. Granted they got that last turbo boost close to buggy camp when the wind seemed to be a bit more onshore. I would sine the kite like crazy and get that apparent wind working for me, after a bit of working the kite, I could park and ride till I wanted to go faster. I was on depower but still open cell foil. (Ozone Frenzy 9UL)



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frankiter


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[*] posted on 6-7-2018 at 09:59 AM


Let's try this again.

First off, thanks for the responses.
At JIBE I used both methods to get downwind. One was to park the kite overhead, LE into the wind. This doesn't generate much speed, and takes a fair amount of concentration to keep the kite inflated without overrunning it. Like Mark, I would stay close to the dunes, angle across the beach, then get back to the dunes.

The second method was more similar to what Angus and Mark were saying. I was moving the kite left and right through the window while steering in the opposite direction to keep the lines tight, basically zigzagging up the beach. I could build up good speed, but usually wound up outrunning the kite. And since this zigzag motion uses up a lot of beach, I wasn't comfortable doing this near any beachgoers.

So I guess my challenge is figuring out how and when to transition from zigzagging to parking the kite with enough apparent wind to straighten out my course. Does this make sense?

Rich, hope to be there in October.




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[*] posted on 6-7-2018 at 11:11 AM


My vapors were amazing upwind but were just outside their element on the downwind runs. The Montana was the same way. My 12m Phantom was pretty good at the upwind and was a rocket on the downwind runs. I've thought about this and now wish I had just gone bigger with the Vapors. Can't wait to test it out again! I love the testing out to see what works best, which is why I ask lots of questions and like riding in proximity with others both to learn from them and to see what is/isn't working for the conditions.



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[*] posted on 6-7-2018 at 12:16 PM


I think it was definitely more SE the times when we had good speed - a touch more SSE and it was more kite work and slower coming downwind.
Kite size makes a big difference - you have a big kite that is a bit slower than a small kite so not getting as far ahead of you so fast - the bigger kites build up the apparent wind and then it's not at all overpowering when heading more downwind.




Mark Groshens NAPKA KC 13
WindSpeed kites & design - Canada
Peter Lynn: Ch2 22 +18 + 15 + 6.5, Scorp 16 + 10, Phantom II 12 + 9, Orig Phantom 9 + 6, Syn 8, Charger I 6, F 1200, 840
Ocean Rodeo: Flite 17 + 12, Rise 13 + 10 + 7, Razor 9 + 6
Foils: PL Leopards and Lynx, Airea Raptors, some PL Reactor IIs + IIIs, Libre Spirits, Cross Kite Sonics, Ozone Flow
Peter Lynn Kite Cat for cruising the lakes
buggies: PL XR+, Cameleon Pagona, custom bigfoot, PL Bigfoot, custom ice buggy
Boards: 2 custom directionals, O.R Surf series 6-3 and 5-11, Mako Duke, Mako Skinny, Mako 140 Wide, Mako 150 Wide, Mako King, Brunotti
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soliver




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[*] posted on 6-7-2018 at 09:55 PM


Yea the 12m Peak 2 was the bomb running down wind... Thursday (I think) the wind was right in that zone where I could've used either the 12m or the 6m... I started with the 6m and got upwind just fine but really suffered trying to get back downwind.... I switched to the 12m and it performed better for both up and downwind. The 12m P2 has a slightly higher AR than the 6m P1 so it really handled like a champ running upwind and then like Mark said, it's sheer size just kept it ahead of me moving back downwind with relatively little work. I was doing ok keeping up with Mark and Jim with their Phannies, but Peaks aren't quite as high performance and I don't push as hard as they do.... but it was loads of fun with that kite!!!



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