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Overpower issues. Any insight appreciated.
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Post new topic   Reply to topic    Northwest Kiteboarding -> Gorge / Portland / Oregon Coast
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Since 13 Jun 2012
271 Posts


PostMon May 06, 19 9:39 am     Reply with quote

Has anything changed with your board in the last few years?

Also why pick RPM if you are in the waves? A 5m wave kite sounds like what you need.

And why would someone want to be a quarter mile out to sea at Pistol River? Is there some magical reef break out there?

What would you describe your riding style as?

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Since 11 Feb 2006
4838 Posts

PostMon May 06, 19 11:08 am     Reply with quote

4.5 rpm works well in 30 to 50 ...
Go Deep!

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Since 08 Jun 2005
483 Posts

PostMon May 06, 19 2:50 pm    and Reply with quote

4m rally works 35 mph to ?

if it's too windy for the 4m, it's Drunk

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Since 18 Aug 2006
251 Posts

PostTue May 07, 19 9:07 am     Reply with quote

5m is a pretty magic size, I highly recommend having a 5m.

I use my 5m at Manzanita a lot of times when others are on 6m rpms. The low-end of the kite's wind range is key, my 5m works in 20-40mph, this covers the high wind days at Manzanita a lot better than my 4.5m RPM did. The 4.5m RPM is excellent, but it's wind range is 30-50mph, I was slogging when the wind dropped to 20mph. I always wondered why Slingshot said no to the 5m RPM, they make 5m in everything else, go figure.

But for Pistol, a 5m is a no brainer.

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Since 09 Mar 2005
1837 Posts

PostTue May 07, 19 10:34 am     Reply with quote

Slappysan wrote:

And why would someone want to be a quarter mile out to sea at Pistol River? Is there some magical reef break out there?

here are a few reasons:

1) riding when big waves are present and trying to find the rip tide/break in the break to get outside the break. Often times one losses downwind position relative to the wave break/area they are riding and or loss of position relative to their launch site.

2) to point sail and make upwind progress and or to be able to surf a specific break/wave and or get back up to the point of launch.

3) to mix things up

4) to check out whatever. . . like whales or sunfish. Or if the waves are small and or mushy and the wind waves/swell are bigger and cleaner to ride.

5) to get away from crowds (if there are any).

6) probably not an issue down in the southern Oregon coast/Pistol, but if the wind is light and or one doesn't have a big enough kite rigged/power. . .sometimes better to ride outside the break as the wind can be stronger and or one isn't dealing with wave surge which can bog one down.

7) to be like Gman and take super long, way out to sea "crazy Ivan" tacks (Hunt for Rock October reference).


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Since 12 Jun 2006
97 Posts


PostWed May 08, 19 8:37 am     Reply with quote

Get a 17 inch bar with 20m lines. With 23m lines, there's a 99% chance you have a 20 inch bar, and that will bring out the devil in small kites. I run the 17 on 4.5-8m RPMs, and the 20 on 8-12m RPMs.

Get a 4.5 RPM too. Pistol is windy enough that you will get lots of sessions on it. It's a real treat to be comfortably powered when it's crazy windy.

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Since 20 Apr 2010
354 Posts
Gold Beach, OR

PostFri May 10, 19 2:11 pm     Reply with quote

Wind Slither wrote:
LOL, I remember on my last trip to Pistol, flying a Slingshot T3 5M with 18M lines and being so happy. I think bow type kites with short lines is a magic wand for nukage!
Thumb's Up

Lol I pull my 5m t3 out with the pulley bar from time to time. Agree. Total beast at Pistol. I learned to kite on that thing in the estuary. There is no wind too strong for the 5m T3. Had terrible elbow pain from the bar pressure but I didn’t care.

As far as being 1/4 mile off shore.... I would say standard tack distance when point kiting. More like 1/3 of a mile for me downtown Gold Beach because I like to tack back out before I hit heavy inside current. Crazy Ivan’s are fun. Going out to blue water is fun from time to time. But I always remind myself that the valve that keeps the air in my kite is the same valve on my inflatable alligator that I take to the pool. Kites are amazing. Ridiculous that you can play like that in the surf zone.

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Since 16 May 2006
6079 Posts
forever labled as the
retired kiter & motorhead Unicorn Master

PostSun May 12, 19 6:45 pm     Reply with quote

You need ankle weights brah
Bury me standing cause I won't lay down!!

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Since 12 Jun 2006
97 Posts


PostTue May 14, 19 1:40 pm     Reply with quote

SimPistol, also make sure the bridles are attached to the "Freestyle" mount point on the kite, not "Wake", and that the steering lines attach to the back or next-to-back mount point.

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Since 28 Apr 2008
827 Posts
Newport, OR

PostTue May 14, 19 5:12 pm     Reply with quote

Another thing to consider is the quality of high wind you might be riding in when experiencing times of being overpowered. Really strong and very gusty is a totally different animal than strong and steady wind. I fly a 5m kite when it is 30 knots plus. If it is gusty with surges of wind, then lulling back to less wind (40 to 20 knots), the kite behaves accordingly and it surges with the gusts and stalls with the lulls. This can make for what I call "herky jerky" wind which can be overpowered and then underpowered. Not the most pleasant kiting and I have literally been ripped right off my board sometimes during a strong surge after a lull. No kites like this type of wind especially small kites which demand always juicy conditions to work right. Big and mid-size kites can coast through lulls, but small kites (6m and less) will not do well with gusty wind.

We have a spot here on the central coast (I will not say where it is), but it consistently produces the best strong and steady high wind I have ever experienced anywhere. When it is blowing 35 knots, it is 35 kts and not 34 or 36 knots, just ridiculously steady 35 knots. It is sooo much fun when kiting rock solid high wind. Strong and steady is the standard that small kites should be accessed in to determine their worth. I know Pistol River can get strong and steady, but it can also be herky jerky because I have been there under both conditions.

Moral of the story: Don't dismiss a kite or your riding technique as dysfunctional if you are out in substandard wind. Funky conditions are not where you will find dreamy sessions!


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Since 27 Jun 2012
93 Posts


PostWed May 15, 19 7:46 am     Reply with quote

I used to have a 6M RPM but sold it. I now have a 2.5M/4M/5M/7M high wind quiver (200#). There are many days at my local spot when guys bale on 6M kites, where I am having the time of my life on my 5M. 7M and smaller kites are better behaved on short lines. I had a 7M kite that felt like a dog on 23M lines, but then I put it on 18.5M lines and it was all smiles.
Can you confirm that the kite was shipped with the correct bridle, correctly attached?
Does the kite have adjustable front bridle attachments to affect how it sits in the window?
Does the kite have any backstall with the bar pulled all the way in?
Small kites can be oversheeted by using a bar that is too long. I like 17" or smaller bars with small kites.

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Since 05 Jul 2009
202 Posts


PostFri May 17, 19 10:08 am    Re: Overpower issues. Any insight appreciated. Reply with quote

SimPistol wrote:
The vast majority of my kiting career has been spent on various 6m kites (I’m 6ft, 185 lbs). Last season I decided to buy a new 2016 Rally 6m and spent most of the season getting blown off the water. ... I learned quickly that the 6m Rally really rides like an 8m kite as far as range is concerned. So this year I went back to a kite that has never failed me or my friends in Pistol conditions: The RPM. I purchased a 2017 6m RPM because, outside of a winter storm, I can’t recall a day any of my previous RPM’s ever failed me in nuking conditions. It’s been windy down here recently so I’ve finally had the opportunity to get out on my new RPM and “express myself”. Much to my disappointment I’m having the same overpower issues I’ve been experiencing with the Rally. Last Friday my buddies were flying older 7m and 8m RPMs without issue while I was wrestling for control of my 6m kite and getting yanked off my board and yarded across the sharky black water on the outside. I went from NEVER having these issues to having half my sessions out here end in frustration as I can’t kite safely with control, .

Summary: I’m consistently overpowered on my newer 6m kites. This has never been an issue before. What am I missing here?

1. No doubt the New Rally's have a nice powerful low end and seem to get a bit locked into power when over-powered. They are not as agile as many designs that allow rapid turning "swatting" the kite into and completely out of the power window. I add a meter to the size when describing a newer Rallys (a 6m is actually a 7m) while RPM are more agile have a narrower power band.

2. Cold, "dense" air & wind has more power and will feel punchy if it is gusty (Pistol for sure!). Short lines will help & a 5m is right for Pistol R.

3. Perhaps most revealing is that both your 2016 Rally and 2017 RPM are a handful.

Assuming bar and line lengths are correct and rear steering lines are on the last (light bar pressure and "fast turning" setting then, we may find one not yet mentioned common denominator. This is a harness problem. My bet under those frustrating conditions you may find your harness is distorting more than your body and sliding upwards from it's initial waist location. The hook or slider is then re-positioned to somewhere around your sternum. This migrated hook plus extra harness slack and distortion effectively disables precise depower control by introducing lag response and/or failure to fully depower because you can not push the bar far enough away from the harness hook.

The syndrome goes like this.
1. The harness and/or hook slides up the body when the rider has a fall or when over they bring the kite up to twelve o'clock.
2. After the harness and hook are yanked up to the chest this new hook position (now at the chest) will NOT allow the normal arms length-throw to fully sheet the bar out.
3. Just like a good martial artist or street fighter will grab the opponents shit collar (high on the body) and yank them to the ground, the distorted, new high hook position is far above from the center of effort (the waist level). In this configuration relatively small kite forces will easily pull the kiter off balance.
4. The kiter leans at the waist, reaching to pushing the bar away for more depower sheet out range, but gains very short bar displacement from the bar.
5. The kiter compensates by shifting their butt backwards totally distorting a even weighted, athletic stance. (Don't get me started on what this does to foot weighting and board control.)
6. The new posture is heavily levered forward which makes the harness want to slide & stay far up the chest.
7. The rider gets pulled off the board...superior hook displacement...rinse...and repeat.

A. Reduce the upward migration of your harness & hook.
B. A lower hook allows longer arm throw hence accesses the largest range of bar throw (full power to over sheeted).[/b] This is especially helpful for those with short arms.
C. Tighten your harness like crazy
D. Use a stiffer back plate type harness,
E. Increase the friction of the harness to wet suit interface (skin type wetsuit vs nylon two),
F. Add leg, crotch straps like those you see on land & snow kiting.
G. Use a slider rope and very small chicken loop (or short attachment) super close to your waist.
H. Set & fix your hook height low with aptly design harnesses.
I. Do two hundred stomach crunches & fifty pull ups per day to make your lats into a monster V-block that keeps the waist harness at your waist.

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