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