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Best kites for foiling?

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Sellwood Surfer

Since 17 Oct 2011
11 Posts


PostMon Sep 11, 17 7:59 am    Best kites for foiling? Reply with quote

I am interested in starting foiling, but I dont want to get a whole quiver of foil specific kites. I have always been a Slingshot fan, and am wondering which of the non Phantom kites would be best? ie Rally v RPM v Wave SST? Any thoughts?
Thanks for your input.

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Hazard to Navigation

Since 12 Sep 2016
57 Posts
Hood River

PostMon Sep 11, 17 8:15 am     Reply with quote

I had several recommendations for Wave SST kites for foiling, which I'm just starting to learn. I also enjoy riding the swell in the Gorge and occasional trips to the coast, so I've picked up used 6, 8, and 10m Waves. Happy with them so far.

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Since 23 Jun 2006
1602 Posts
XTreme Poster

PostMon Sep 11, 17 9:25 am     Reply with quote

If you have yet to learn hydrofoil, just stick with your current kites for now and see if you move to that discipline full on. most kites will work fine for foiling. I know many kiters that ride the turbines, RPMs, rallys and wave kites for foiling. since you are going to be kiting with less wind than these kites were originally intended, keep that in mind. also consider a kite that can relaunch well in ultra light winds.

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Since 21 Apr 2007
1664 Posts
Doin' The Dalles

PostMon Sep 11, 17 10:35 am     Reply with quote

I've watched the growing foil army fly them all with success (RPM - SST - Turbine - Rally) and you also see them flying more and more Clouds, Mono's and Drifters but foilers overall do not seem to be too concerned with brand as they strive to find the perfect match with their wings and improving foil skills.

Common themes I hear on the beach echo Stringy.....

- Fly what you know to start
- It should have clean drift capabilities because you'll out run your kite a lot in the beginning.
- You will swim more, good relaunch is a must.

I fly SST's and they always have a little power in them to keeps the lines tight so I can almost always snap the kite back around before it slacks beyond hope so I'm happy my current quiver should cross-over well with beginner foiler needs because it's already a nice beast in the waves IMO.

Also, the SS Flight School comes up frequently as the way to achieve foil enlightenment for guys/gals that have to show up to work Mon-Fri. I'm currently sporting the 15" like a champ. Shocked

Good luck. Have fun.

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Since 13 Jun 2012
229 Posts


PostTue Sep 12, 17 9:39 am     Reply with quote

I only really foil in LW (6-15 knots) so I stick to 0 or 1 strut kites as 3/5 strut kites are too heavy to fly.

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Since 09 Sep 2013
202 Posts


CGKA Member

PostTue Sep 12, 17 10:24 am     Reply with quote

I made the switch from Core XR4's to Core Contours for better gust handling and float. I think any wave kite would work well for Hood. Everywhere else where there is less wind variability, I fly foil kites as they sit more forward in the window helping me climb higher upwind. I started flying foil kites before foil boards so they are my preference.

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craz z

Since 01 Dec 2008
110 Posts

PostTue Sep 12, 17 10:59 am     Reply with quote

Any higher aspect delta shaped kite is ideal for Foiling. Like everyone else just use what you have.

I've seen everything from c-kites to foil kites they all work, but only you can determine what works for you.

I'm currently running on Pivots and love the responsiveness from them they pull when you want and let off when you don't want like when in huge swell and surfing the foil.

I've tried a few wave kites and didn't like the pull on them again more high aspect swept wings for rocking it upwind the drift is excellent but its the consistent pull i don't care for.

If you get the chance demo as many as you can. You'll find quickly what works and what doesnt depending on your riding style which you might not have until you get comfortable with foiling in general.

I would skip any foil kite unless your super dialed in and have steady winds they are a complete nightmare in gusty conditions and if you drop it good luck to you.

I would also skip the short mast program unless you have a need for it like shallower waters. They tend to breach and eject you before you can get leveled out and riding I learned on a full length and was riding fine within 5 sessions also helps to have a shit ton of kite experience otherwise again good luck.

Above all else go out there and put your time in and take your lickins most humbling experience you will ever go through and once you get it, get ready to sell everything cause all you will want to do is foil foil foil.
(at this point im ready to invest in wings and better foils rather then kites as i'm quickly learning i don't need many kites cause the range is absolutely ridiculous easily could go with a 1-2 kite quiver)

Conditions don't matter once you get up to speed. Swell is awesome as you glide right over it but you will need alot of foil control so again you dont breach in the bottoms of them.
(one thing i learned is on flat water you kinda look down to gauge your height in swell it wont work you have to look out at the horizon and trust yourself where your at on the mast when you downwind or ride the swell you can look down again just not when your locked in railing upwind.)

Oh and don't forget the hookers simply the best invention ever for foiling! Thanks Stringy!

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Since 19 May 2005
3592 Posts
XTreme Poster

CGKA Member

PostTue Sep 12, 17 12:17 pm     Reply with quote

Fly what you have... That said, I found the rally to be a bit unstable as a beginner foiler. It doesn't stay put as well as the other Slingy kites. I never noticed this riding twintips or surfboards. But learning to foil took a lot more of my concentration than I was used to on a twintip. The RPM is great, and I REALLY like the SST. The SST just sits there waiting for you if you let go of the bar, and it relaunches almost too easy. By too easy I mean you want to make sure your board is clear of your lines, because sometimes the SST relaunches after a crash with no rider input. The SST has less low end than the Rally, but that isn't a big deal on a foil. The SST likes to stay in the air even in very light winds, and when you do hit a really deep lull it falls in a very controlled manner which keeps your lines straight. All three of the kites--along with the bigger Turbines--steer well even when fully de-powered. Personally, I do not like the 13m and smaller Turbines for foiling. The 15m and 17m Turbines work fine in very light winds. (Sub 10 knots.)
Stay away from the jumping seals!

The CGKA is your advocate for Kiteboarding in the Gorge!

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Sellwood Surfer

Since 17 Oct 2011
11 Posts


PostTue Sep 12, 17 4:27 pm     Reply with quote

Thanks so much, all, for all the good insight. My 9m Rev is worn out, and I'm planning on replacing it anyway. I initially thought I'd go for the Rally, but then when I realized I would like to try foiling, I figured perhaps having a wave kite might be helpful for the "out run your kite" feature.

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Since 22 Jul 2010
1097 Posts
Pacific Northwest
XTreme Poster

PostWed Sep 13, 17 9:08 am    Fly Before You Buy Reply with quote

I have a 9m Turbine , 10m SST , 10m Rally & 10m RPM for you to try. The event site grass will be open soon for launching and landing , It would be a perfect setup to try kites back to back. Hit me up when your ready !


Slingshot | Ride Engine |Try before you buy | PM me | Quikfin |

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Since 08 Jun 2005
437 Posts

PostWed Sep 13, 17 7:49 pm    kites Reply with quote

my 2 cents...

i've never ridden anything bigger than a 9m foiling, so i don't really care what the big sizes of kite are like.

rode my fuel once (odd circumstance) while foiling at rooster rock and it sucked. not enough depower. would get pulled up and off the board constantly.

not sure that any kite will drift enough when you start riding straight downwind. they all require some rider input, whether flying back and forth or looping

my rallys are really heavy, and this is a drawback in lighter winds.

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Since 13 Jan 2006
1310 Posts

XTreme Poster

PostWed Sep 13, 17 9:49 pm     Reply with quote

If your current quiver depowers, you're good to go. If it doesn't, you will experience many unpleasant foil crashes.

My biggest is a 7m. I use my 5/6 most often. I will get a 9m at some point, but for the Gorge you rarely need it on foil. I have a 10, actually, but every time I rig it to foil the wind dies, or picks up too much.

5/7 or 6/8 is money foil quive for Gorge IMO.

I only kite if I am alone, or with somebody else.


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Since 27 Jun 2012
86 Posts


PostThu Sep 14, 17 6:16 am     Reply with quote

Any kite works with a foil. Depower is not necessary with a foil, as I've foiled with an old school pulley bar. If you need to spill power with a hydrofoil, you can adjust your path to put slack in the lines. The important thing is to have the kite trimmed for no backstall. If a kite has too much vertical pull, or I don't feel comfortable looping the kite, I switch to a smaller kite. The most fun I've had while foiling, was with kites that tend to go to the edge of the window and that are responsive. Usually kites that are 8M and smaller are responsive enough. A 5M and a foil works well in the low 20s. A 8M and a foil works well in the low teens.

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Since 08 Jul 2011
567 Posts


PostThu Sep 14, 17 7:03 am     Reply with quote

I'm seeing OR Roams and Prodigys at Mosier. I'm flying the Prodigy because as echoed. It's what I have and it works.

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Windance Crew

Since 18 Apr 2008
442 Posts
Hood River Kite Shop

PostFri Sep 15, 17 8:33 am     Reply with quote

Wow, I am surprised by the huge # of different kite recommendations.

I am not promoting a brand here but am suggesting a style.

I have tried variety of kite styles and find the wave kites way better. They sit deeper in the wind window and therefore always keep your lines tight. A problem when you are new to the sport is getting slack lines and dropping the kite. The foil has no glide resistance and the next thing you know your kite is rolling down the river and inverting it's lines. This happens particularly easy on kites that fly more forward in the window like a jumping style kite.

The wave kites have a constant pull as well which means less need to steer them so you can concentrate on the foil balancing instead.

My other point is YES you do need depower. There are plenty of times when you can't slow down and heading downwind is not an option. Sheeting out is a bonus.


Windance Boardshop- Hood River

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Since 28 Nov 2010
394 Posts

PostFri Sep 15, 17 9:35 am     Reply with quote

has anyone tried foiling with C -kites? Seriously.

I have vegas' but have assumed they won't work well. After Dave's post they have me wondering if they may actually have some merit.

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