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High wind veteran, small kite novice: 4m questions

 
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bfb38

Since 02 Sep 2016
59 Posts

 



PostTue Nov 10, 20 6:31 am    High wind veteran, small kite novice: 4m questions Reply with quote

I'm in the market for a 4/5m to complement my 6,8,11m neos, batwing/larger dwarfcraft, and surfboard. I'd use it mostly for foiling but also occasionally on the surfboard, which I'm usually on and would likely continue to be on from ~21/22kn and up if there's any sort of organization to the swell/chop where I am. So I'm looking at pretty niche use: strong wind with crummy chop or really strong wind regardless.

I'm interested in a single strut, partly for the sake of travel and partly because I've heard a lot of 3 strut smaller kites backstall frequently.

At the moment I use my 6m if at all possible while foiling and above 24kn on my surfboard. I've spent a lot of time on a 5m neo, the smallest I've flown, and loved it, but am considering the range I could gain going to 4m. I also demoed the 5m ufo at Rufus a few weeks ago and loved it (Thanks, Jon), but perhaps naively want to retain some functionality for jumping/riding swell on the surfboard. I can only remember 2 days ever when I couldn't use my 6m(Both in South Africa), but have had plenty of days when I'm stacked and needed to think before downlooping.

I likely won't have a chance to demo anything before I buy so I'm looking for input. What do you like? Is a single strut going to fold in half at 40kn? What kind of ranges have you worked out for your smallest? Is a 4-6 quiver gap annoying? Is it worth it at all? Would I be better off investing in other stuff like a foil/single strut bigger kite, less crummy foil setup, or my IRA?

Thanks for weighing in

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phill

Since 26 May 2016
46 Posts

 



PostTue Nov 10, 20 9:43 am    High wind veteran, small kite novice: 4m questions Reply with quote

I too ride a 6M Neo almost by default when foiling , however 25knots and above my 2020 4M Neo calms everything down.

Of course it would be nice to fill in a 5m as well , but the 4M is a stable fit.
I have never had any issues with back stalling with it.

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user124

Since 02 Aug 2012
366 Posts
Portland
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PostTue Nov 10, 20 12:45 pm     Reply with quote

I think a 4-6m gap would be too much. I have drifters in 4/5/7/9 and often wish I had a 6m. But maybe I'm just picky. It's often said though that the gap between sizes should be smaller in smaller sizes because the percent increase in surface area of your kite is similar going from say a 4-5 and 8-10. Makes sense to me.

Also, I'm not sure if number of strut always predicts backstall. Drifters are hard to backstall, at least compared to SST, and are 3 strut. I'm with you on the UFO - they look like great foiling kites but I'm not ready to give up my surfboards and I don't want another quiver of foil-specific kits.

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a.benjamin76

Since 27 Jul 2017
86 Posts

 



PostTue Nov 10, 20 2:55 pm    Strut it up Reply with quote

If you're kiting in 4m weather, the wind is usually honking somewhere between 35 and 60. In my humble opinion, your kite won't hindenberg or stall in those conditions and you want something rock solid in the sky that can handle strong gusts. My tiny kites are all 5 strutters for this reason. Who cares about the extra kite weight when the wind is that strong. I'll take stability and wide wind range (more struts) any day over these light weight feather kites. Not to mention, a heavier kite is usually stronger and thicker built to withstand stronger conditions. A single strutter or strutless kite may have you overpowered very quickly as soon as you hit some gusts and could damage easier. Light kites are for light wind.

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bigjohn

Since 13 Mar 2012
592 Posts

Addicted



PostTue Nov 10, 20 5:25 pm    Re: Strut it up Reply with quote

Big wind = lots of struts and big leading edges.... unless you're mamann

You may want to pm mamann as he seems to make tiny little single struts work in all conditions. He does it with a foil though, not a surfboard.

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bfb38

Since 02 Sep 2016
59 Posts

 



PostWed Nov 11, 20 6:53 am    Re: Strut it up Reply with quote

a.benjamin76 wrote:
If you're kiting in 4m weather, the wind is usually honking somewhere between 35 and 60. In my humble opinion, your kite won't hindenberg or stall in those conditions and you want something rock solid in the sky that can handle strong gusts. My tiny kites are all 5 strutters for this reason. Who cares about the extra kite weight when the wind is that strong. I'll take stability and wide wind range (more struts) any day over these light weight feather kites. Not to mention, a heavier kite is usually stronger and thicker built to withstand stronger conditions. A single strutter or strutless kite may have you overpowered very quickly as soon as you hit some gusts and could damage easier. Light kites are for light wind.


For what it's worth, and I'm guessing here, I'd probably be foiling on a 4m foiling in low 20kns, which is where I start to feel plenty(read "too much") power on my 6m. This is of course unless the gap between the two would leave me lost. I'm happy riding super lightly-powered while foiling and actually prefer the freedom to loop with impunity.

After a session just last night in gusts and rather horrible chop I was on my surfboard only because my 6m would have been too much for foiling. I'm pretty set on pursuing something smaller at this point.

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ldhr

Since 21 Jul 2009
1373 Posts
Hood River
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PostWed Nov 11, 20 7:24 am     Reply with quote

how much do you weigh?
When using a 4m to foil, when working the kite back and forth to waterstart in lulls.... - it will taco if you weigh more than 170.
The 5m Neo is a great kite. You'll use it a lot (foil and surfboard).
The 4m Slingshot Ghost is also a great kite for foil.

The reduction in size from 10 to 8 is 20%
The reduction in size from 6 to 4 is 33%. That's a big gap.
That's why a lot of gorge foilers have a quiver of 4,5,6 or 4,5,7.

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bfb38

Since 02 Sep 2016
59 Posts

 



PostWed Nov 11, 20 2:55 pm     Reply with quote

ldhr wrote:
how much do you weigh?
When using a 4m to foil, when working the kite back and forth to waterstart in lulls.... - it will taco if you weigh more than 170.
The 5m Neo is a great kite. You'll use it a lot (foil and surfboard).
The 4m Slingshot Ghost is also a great kite for foil.

The reduction in size from 10 to 8 is 20%
The reduction in size from 6 to 4 is 33%. That's a big gap.
That's why a lot of gorge foilers have a quiver of 4,5,6 or 4,5,7.


That's helpful beta about the weight. I weigh 185 in my birthday suit.
Overpowered on the 6m again today in low 20smph gusting mid 20s and that's in warm (barely) tropical wind

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dcfordo

Since 19 May 2011
56 Posts
The Dalles
 



PostMon Nov 16, 20 6:09 pm    4m ghost Reply with quote

I have a 4m ghost, that I got mainly for my smaller wife and son to use, for which it has been absolutely great.

I have used it a bit myself for foiling. It worked reasonably but even on a foil, when I flew the kite aggressively, it deformed easily. I never tried it, but I think it would be a terrible kite for a surfboard in high wind. Especially for you, since I weigh less than you at #160.

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purdyd

Since 27 Nov 2006
38 Posts

 



PostWed Nov 18, 20 2:41 pm     Reply with quote

Quote:
I likely won't have a chance to demo anything before I buy so I'm looking for input. What do you like? Is a single strut going to fold in half at 40kn? What kind of ranges have you worked out for your smallest? Is a 4-6 quiver gap annoying? Is it worth it at all? Would I be better off investing in other stuff like a foil/single strut bigger kite, less crummy foil setup, or my IRA?


I dint think a single strut kite will fold in half at 40 knots. I think that is more about the leading edge thickness and pressure and not the # of struts.

My 4m ghost I admit I have not had it out in 40 knots seems fine as does my 3m ufo. I don’t notice any folding of those kites.

I would not like a 6-4 meter gap. I think that is a huge gap and the 5m is a great size for foiling.

I’d get the 5m neo and you know you will use that foiling and even on your surfboard.

I think the small kites feel like they are prone to stall because bar sheeting changes the kite angle more than on their larger brethren.

I’d probably upgrade your foil and then board in that order.

And then consider some small foil specific small kites.

Hopefully slingshot will come out with a 4m ufo next year.

Then you could have 5,4,3 m no strut kites which would be more of an extension of your quiver instead of being duplicates.


Good luck!

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kitemike

Since 23 Apr 2017
3 Posts
US
Kook



PostThu Feb 18, 21 3:04 pm     Reply with quote

Thank you for sharing and all the good tips!
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Nak

Since 19 May 2005
3937 Posts
Camas
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PostThu Feb 18, 21 3:34 pm     Reply with quote

ldhr wrote:
how much do you weigh?
When using a 4m to foil, when working the kite back and forth to waterstart in lulls.... - it will taco if you weigh more than 170.
The 5m Neo is a great kite. You'll use it a lot (foil and surfboard).
The 4m Slingshot Ghost is also a great kite for foil.


I'm going to have to disagree. I weigh a bit more than 170--OK a lot more--and I've never had a 4 taco on me. I do pump up small kites to a lot higher pressure than larger kites. Smaller tube diameters require higher PSI to get the same tension on the fabric. If not pumped up to 12 psi or so, then even a 6 has issues tacoing for sure. As long as I feel the same tension on the LE surface everything is good.

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Jonpnw

Since 22 Jul 2010
1293 Posts
Pacific Northwest
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PostFri Feb 19, 21 7:50 am    3m Rally Reply with quote

I have a 3m Rally GT that I have demo'd out on high wind days to foilers . I heard positive feedback from those who tried it.

JON

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Join the Columbia Gorge Water Sports Association. http://gorgewindsurfing.org/

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Wind Slither

Since 04 Mar 2005
2429 Posts
The 503
METAL



PostFri Feb 19, 21 8:17 am     Reply with quote

Coming from the more typically light and steady winds on the coast, small kite/high wind sailing always seemed so schitzo. My favorite 5M was my SS T3. This was a kite I hated in all other sizes cause it turned like a slug, but the 5M in nukey winds just sat there and did it's job.

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phill

Since 26 May 2016
46 Posts

 



PostTue Feb 23, 21 7:35 pm    High wind veteran, small kite novice: 4m questions Reply with quote

I foil with a 4m Neo in winds 25 knots plus , on a 633 foil and I weigh 210.
It is awesome .
Almost all other wind on a 6m Neo when foiling and light wind on a 7M

It would of course be better to have a 5m as well , however the gap from 4-6m is comfortable.

2 cents

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sfbomber

Since 27 Jun 2012
102 Posts

Stoked



PostWed Feb 24, 21 7:24 am     Reply with quote

If the kite doesn't have a fat leading edge, pump it up rock hard.
Use an appropriately sized bar: bar length, line length.
A bar that is too long, can make the kite stall in turns.
Line lengths that are too long, make the power spikes bigger. Shorter will smooth out the power. You only need enough line length to comfortably loop the kite.
The higher the aspect ratio the kite, the more power the kite can generate.
Respect the power a looping kite can generate in high winds.
You only need enough power to get up and going, looping is your friend when you feel underpowered. With my 200#, I can get going on a 5M and foil in 20-25 mph winds, 25-30 mph on a surfboard. I need slightly more with a 4M, and slightly more still with a 2.5M. If you don't feel comfortable looping the kite, chances are that you are on too big of a kite. Small kites are fun.

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