Foils and waves

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Foils and waves

Postby Soulman » Fri Aug 24, 2012 7:39 pm

I recently developed an addiction to riding in waves. Got myself a surfboard now and loving it. Unfortunately, now that I have proven to my tube friends that my "inferior" foils can scream upwind, jump, and manage highwinds just as well as their tubes (we have a friendly but spirited rivalry) I am facing fresh criticism about the suitability of foils and waves. The main criticisms are they turn too slow (I don't believe that) and they don't drift well enough (I don't have enough experience to know either way if this is true).

In your experience, are tubes really that much better in waves? I'm finding that my Speed 3 isn't too well suited to waves, but that doesn't surprise me in the least - it's high aspect ratio is designed for other applications. Plus the kind of winds that I'm using my Speed 3 12M in do not really produce much in the way of waves. But how about the Psycho or Unity? Any advice on what foils are well suited to waves and how to fly/trim them for wave riding?

Thanks.
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Re: Foils and waves

Postby Flyfish » Fri Aug 24, 2012 9:21 pm

Soulman,
They RIP! They float and float and just keep on floating!
I ride older Peter Lynn's (venom's and synergy's) and also older Flysurfer Pulse 2's. I converted after 10 years on tubes.
I will be honest, my older foils don't turn as fast, but I found that with their floating ability, I don't HAVE to turn them as much while I'm on the wave face. The PL's float the best, but the auto Zenith kinda pisses me off when I'm surfing. The Pulses float just fine though. I've gone for a lip hit, blown it, gotten Maytaged, upside-down in the whitewater, had ZERO tension on the lines, come up to the surface, and the Venom is politely flying above my head.
I'm just average rider, but here's a clip with a PL Venom.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YXRjOvAKK3o

I've never tried a Speed, but I would think they aren't so good for the waves, because of their high aspect ratio. I would think they would like to zoom across the wind window to the edge while you were trying to park it down wind of you.
I don't even go to the "tube vs. foil" thing. who cares. both kites have good and bad qualilties. But IMO Foils do just fine in the waves.
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Re: Foils and waves

Postby SuperFly » Sat Aug 25, 2012 2:11 pm

Springing for deluxe cloth would help for sure. The deluxe acts more like a helium ballon than a kite when it comes to drifting.
Flysurfer: Speed3 12m & 21m, Psycho4 8m, Unity 6m, Viron 4m
Ocean Rodeo Mako 150cm, Liquid Force 127cm (I need a directional!)

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Re: Foils and waves

Postby Way Too Much Wind » Sat Aug 25, 2012 6:10 pm

It's all about how you ride. I kite as hard in waves as anyone at my favourite spots. Also the speed 15dlx whilst is too slow for down the line style riding can still have you carving & smashing individual waves/lips in glassy smooth conditions when others are stood on the beach watching. Unity's are excellent wave kites. Ride them with a more stable mixer but in the upper reaches of their wind ranges.
Only small waves but a little clip. Hoping to get some better sized waves on film this autumn.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mGi8Y5xw ... ontext-cha
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Re: Foils and waves

Postby Soulman » Sat Aug 25, 2012 9:33 pm



Way Too Much Wind wrote: Unity's are excellent wave kites. ... http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mGi8Y5xw ... ontext-cha
WTMW


Fantastic clips! Motivates me to get ripping! WTMW - how do the Unitys compare with the Psychos for waves?

SuperFly wrote:Springing for deluxe cloth would help for sure. The deluxe acts more like a helium ballon than a kite when it comes to drifting.


Good idea. Just hope it's a good idea worth EUR250 or so! c :)
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Re: Foils and waves

Postby Way Too Much Wind » Sat Aug 25, 2012 10:06 pm

Hi soulman. I have a 15m p4 only & the biggest unity i have is the 10m so i cannot make a comparison. RE the dlx fabric. There was an article posted on here on the benefits it had. It suggested that the biggest gains in turning speed & power were found with the larger kites.
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Re: Foils and waves

Postby SuperFly » Sun Aug 26, 2012 9:38 pm

Yeah, I'm not sure about the premium for deluxe being the same on a big kite as it is on a 6m. I have seen one dealer with a small premium for deluxe on small kites, getting larger as the kite gets bigger. This is the way it should be, as it is only more expensive fabric, everything is the same otherwise. Smaller kite, less of the expensive fabric. I hope FS makes sure our dealers are not trying to hose us. They would sell more deluxe cloth if it was priced fairly.

Anyway, I'm ranting....
Flysurfer: Speed3 12m & 21m, Psycho4 8m, Unity 6m, Viron 4m
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Re: Foils and waves

Postby FredBGG » Thu Aug 30, 2012 6:44 pm

Flysurfers can be good in the waves.

I used to use them in the waves here in California, but have now moved on to inflatos because they work better for me in the waves.

The flysurfer Psycho and other low aspect ratio models are a blast in the waves, but only if the wind in the wave area is clean and with no holes.

Unfortunately most really good breaks are point breaks and there are obstacles upwind rendering the wind so so.

IF you have clean wind at your wave spots a Flysurfer will be great, just don't chase the kite too fast down the line.

For the best wave performance you are better off with a two or three strut modern inflato.

With that said though there are quite a few very neat characteristics of a flysurfer that I miss in the waves.

I really miss the controlled back stall with the Pulse. It would let me bring the kite deep into the wind window with little power and then release it like a race horse
for burst power for hitting a wave face just at the right time.

Nothing beats riding a Flusurfer Speed up the line (upwind) in really light wind and 12 foot surf at a world class spot with a perfect south swell.
I was the only one on the water on a saturday with many kiters on the beach waiting for wind.

I wrote up a post on that session here on the forum... I'll see if I can find it.
Fred

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Re: Foils and waves

Postby Tontiney » Fri Aug 31, 2012 12:55 pm

Lower aspect kites are generally easier to use in waves, mainly because they turn quicker and don't twist as easy when they drift. Interestingly the pyscho4 drifts alot better than the pulses2, because of the triple depower thing. Generally inflatables are easier to use in the waves, till you slack the lines at that point flysurfers take over and allow things not possible on an inflatable.

The speed3 is definitely usable in waves and the only option in light wind in deluxe cloth, not the easiest kite to ride waves with, you need alot of practice to learn it's limits, which are surprising at times.

Because everyone is not the same weight, and they use different size kites in different winds. I would say if you are going to use a kite below 20knots get it in deluxe fabric, 20knots is where you start to see the weight of the kite play a lot less of a role. This would mean for me the 21,19 and 15 I should get in deluxe and the 12 and 10 I could or might not.
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Re: Foils and waves

Postby stef » Sun Sep 02, 2012 2:19 pm

I have been riding in waves with FS kites for some time now and in many places and I really like them. I travel a lot and I found that two kites (psycho 4 10 DLX and psycho 4 6m for me) with one (or 2 if I want to paddle surf small waves) surboard(s) is a perfect light-and-travel-everywhere quiver. When I am driving with our van, I am a bit more greedy and I take a 4m + a 12m and an additional surfboard or 2.

SuperFly wrote:Springing for deluxe cloth would help for sure. The deluxe acts more like a helium ballon than a kite when it comes to drifting.


The DLX for my psycho 4 10m is certainly a big + (I have used both the DL and the normal cloth)... the kite drifts very well and, when the wind is dropping, the kite stays in the air. This is a very good characteristic for safety.

FredBGG wrote:The flysurfer Psycho and other low aspect ratio models are a blast in the waves, but only if the wind in the wave area is clean and with no holes.

Unfortunately most really good breaks are point breaks and there are obstacles upwind rendering the wind so so.


Fred, I am not sure I agree with you. Were the psychos you were using with the DLX material? There is a huge difference when there are some holes between the 2 materials, even with the 10m. My psycho 4 10m DLX is really hard to put in the water and it stays in the air better than inflatos I think when the wind drops.

As for surfing down the line, there is a trick. One needs to speed up the kite (I speak for my psychos). When you look for a wave and see the peak, once you have decided where to take-off, it is important to accelerate the kite before the take-off and then off you go. It needs some time to understand the trick but it works very well in particular when the wind is side-off and the waves are not too powerful.

In summary, if the question is about using foil kites in waves, the answer is 'yes' (a big one), they work very well and the psycho 4 was a real improvement over psycho 3 -- for no latence between bar input and kite reaction - and pulse 2 - for the additional performance - I don't like so-called beginner/freeride kites in waves.

If the question is about foil kites being better than inflatos (or, as many would argue, the contrary), then I think it is irrelevant. That is mainly a question of taste. For instance, the feeling with bar inputs with foils are softer (but not delayed since psycho 4) than with tubes. For travelling, I really prefer foilkites, no pump, easy to repair, very light with DLX material and autonomy is great even with strong winds and small beaches (as long as one finds something to keep the kite on the ground to prepare launching).

I take the opportunity of this message to tell you that we have opened a new forum : http://www.LesFoilZ.com (when I have some free time, I'll open a dedicated post). We give a special attention to foil kites but also surfing (with and with kites, with and without straps). Some of us have experience with foils and tubes in waves. The forum is in French but do not hesitate to participate (online translation is usually funny for technical discussions and I can also translate and/or speak English).

Ate logo,
Stef

My best session in waves in 2011 was in the US - Nahant, North Boston. Very nice and clean swell (12 to 15 feet) with gusty and shifty side-off wind. Snowing during the night:

Image

and kitesurfing (strapless with my Psycho 4 6m) in the afternoon:

Image
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Re: Foils and waves

Postby jakemoore » Sun Sep 02, 2012 5:31 pm

I'm riding foils and tubes and IMO there is a difference. Our typical conditions are side onshore wind swell and the wind is generally steady and clean. While we don't see many wind holes, I will often slack the lines from riding the wave.

I would say that even standard cloth foils drift better and stay in the air better than a tube kite, but the tube kites can do very well. The fact that a foil goes in to the air before a tube kite in the lightest of winds demonstrates this fact perfectly.

But I find there is no comparison in responsiveness between tube and foil kites. Its not just the bar pressure, pulling on the bar causes a change in what the kite is doing sooner, and you can feel that and it makes it easier to generate power when you need it. Also, when the lines go slack, the tube kite is flying and generating pull sooner than a foil kite. I don't know if this is because the canopy loses air pressure, the bridle lines need to take up slack, or the kite needs to gain its shape back. But this responsiveness a tube kite is worth pumping.

Also, the tube kites generate power a lower board speeds. So in flat water when you can ride very fast across the wind a foil kite has better low end due to apparent winds. But when the wave period is 5 seconds, and you are often changing direction to get out past the swell, there is no way to keep the speed in the kite. In these conditions when I ride waves, there is no question the tube has better low end.
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Re: Foils and waves

Postby Tontiney » Mon Sep 03, 2012 12:24 am

Inflatables also depower better riding waves upwind.
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Re: Foils and waves

Postby chemosavi » Mon Sep 03, 2012 1:36 am

I don't believe much of anything Fred has to say about anything after I gave and shipped him some stainless wind sculptures I made and then asked him for some advice about where to get some good surfing lessons for my son in LA and got nothing in response.

I can only gather that he's a complete LA whacko.

But people can be that way if it suits their present needs and I'd be only too happy to be proved incorrect.
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Re: Foils and waves

Postby carlos_c » Mon Sep 03, 2012 8:56 am

I've just spent a little time riding waves in northern france - on old kit of the same age - psycho 3 and Fuel 2006.

The fuel wins on slighly sharper turning and not collapsing when you ride down the front of a wave

The psycho wins when you stick the kite in the water - can't relaunch the fuel in the waves - 5 th line often wraps
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Re: Foils and waves

Postby stef » Mon Sep 03, 2012 11:04 am

@jakemoore and Tontiney ... which foils and boards are we talking about? I am quite surprised by your somehow definitive comments. I am using foils for a long time in waves with standard surfboards and I don't think I have been limited by using foils yet (but I am talking about 10m as my biggest size which I think is the upper size in wave for me -- light riders have an advantage here). Psychos 4 are reactive and depower very well and moving them generates good power (they are not standard FS park & ride kites).

If we are talking about wave riding with directional boards (even onshore) I don't see any problem using foils. Riding waves with TT with power in the kite may be another issue but I don't have any experience with this (I have not ridden a modern TT for some years now) .

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