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Tube to Foil Progression?

 
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wylieflyote

Since 30 Jun 2006
1351 Posts
Puget Sound & Wa. Coast
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PostSat Mar 16, 19 8:08 am    Tube to Foil Progression? Reply with quote

Question: Who of you have made the switch from inflatable kites to foil kites... even if for part of your quiver? What are some key points to keep in mind if I want to dabble in this?
I've got this notion that the only place I can even think about this is at Jones with 20 acres of bare solo sand, no gusts.
Been looking at the Soul.

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Kip Wylie

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ErraticAKn

Since 08 Jul 2011
593 Posts

Addicted



PostSat Mar 16, 19 9:24 am    Foil Kite Reply with quote

Kip,

It's not as difficult as you think. I have Ozones for snowkiting and have flown Flysurfer, F-one and Ozone for water.

The big issues and notes for me are in punchy/gusty winds (regardless of velocity) some foil kite shapes aren't as stable and can collapse in partial or full. Self launching and landing is a breeze either at edge of window or back stall/braking and reverse launching. Being in a hurry and not making sure your bridal lines are clear of tangles and wing tips can cause line burns in the canopy, getting a launch or land can be tricky if your assistant is not familiar with foil kites.

Water relaunches take practice on complete collapse

I do not disconnect the bar from my kite when I pack it up and I pack all my foil kites together like a sandwich for compact easy travel.

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Wind Slither

Since 04 Mar 2005
2330 Posts
The 503
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PostSat Mar 16, 19 1:35 pm     Reply with quote

Wylie, curious why you're interested in this. Seems like even the snow kite world is riding LEI's unless compactness and light weight is needed for backcountry exploration. Maybe that's it? LEI's just handle so much better, and on the river, especially at Jones with those freighters, I would not want to be worrying about relaunching a foil! Shocked

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Matt V

Since 26 Oct 2014
374 Posts
Summer- OR Coast, Winter - My van near good snow
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PostSat Mar 16, 19 6:27 pm     Reply with quote

I went from foil kites to closed cell foil kites to inflatables, though I still utilize all 3 between snow and water.




Wind Slither wrote:
Seems like even the snow kite world is riding LEI's unless compactness and light weight is needed for backcountry exploration


The way it is and has been for a very long time -

1. smaller inflatable kites for high wind, larger foils (closed cell for all or at least the largest) for light winds

2. Foil kites in all sizes if you are doing snow only, inflatables if you do both (more time of the year on the water than snow), both inflatables and foils if you snowkite enough that you want to save your inflatables from wear on the snow




Wind Slither wrote:
LEI's just handle so much better,......


That is true from a certain point of view. Given the more rigid support of the entire underside of the wing on a foil, stall is more of an issue/advantage with foils. If you want to reach the ultimate understanding and skill with a kite, most foils will teach you that - especially twichy or "bad" foils. "Good"/"beginner" foils can have the same characteristics and handling capabilities as beginner inflatables, while also not truly teaching you the additional skills required to fly advanced foils.

Inflatables, given the less front to back support (no front to back bridal attachment points), tend to cone and deal with stall, gusts, and turning in a very different manner. This makes inflatables seem "easier" and require less skill to use. Access to, and utilization of, stall with inflatables is not truly necessary. Thus most "inflatable only" kiters have zero understanding of how to exploit a foil to the fullest extent.

Please note that the above statements are a very broad generalization. There are some foils that are better at handling gusts and would be better at the smaller sizes than an inflatable. There are also some light wind inflatables that can outperform some of the lower performance large foil kites.




Wind Slither wrote:
....and on the river, especially at Jones with those freighters, I would not want to be worrying about relaunching a foil! Shocked


I love foils but I have to agree with you on this. The advancements of lightwind inflatables make them a great choice. But I would not discourage you from trying foils so long as you are truly prepared to make the commitment to them.

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Brian H

Since 08 Aug 2015
29 Posts

 



PostMon Mar 18, 19 5:14 pm     Reply with quote

I'm foil boarding only for about 2 1/2 years and was only riding rpm's mainly and I bought a Ozone 9m hyperlink last year and my foiling improved way faster . A foil kite has so much lift for doing transitions that I was switching my feet while foiling before and after the turn within 6 sessions. The hyperlink or the soul are way different than your normal high aspect foil kites , my hyperlink has super even power thru the loop and that helps so much . My next kite will be a 6m soul. These 2 kite will relaunch as easy or better than a tube kite , a few down sides are self landing in hi wind and they need a bigger area to launch like the ES sand bar or Jones beach but I can drift launch very easy also. Ps I still keep my tube kites for when I can't use my foil kite.

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