Foil Kites

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Foil Kites

Postby PowerManJ316 » Tue Sep 12, 2017 12:38 pm

So I know the general pros and cons, but I was wondering if anyone would be interested in sharing their personal experience with foil kites.

I am looking at getting a foil kite for a few reasons.

1. I want something I don't have to inflate in the winter time when I'm on the ice. I've seen the wear and tear self launching from hard ice puts on the inflatable kites. Also, I've heard that sub-zero temps can affect the valves on the inflatables over time. Plus it's nice to not have to have a pump.

2. I am torn between an open/closed cell kite. The open cell are far superior in my opinion on ice, but that is really about 3 months out of the year. I am thinking of doing something like a chrono because it's decent in winter, but also an option year round. I don't want to invest in a kite that is specific only to land/ice use.

3. Bar pressure is a big one for me. In winter, I'll kite for 2 to 3 hours minimum for most of my sessions and frankly an 8m switchblade in 15 knots fatigues me massively given the heavy bar pressure. I've flown a few foils and the bar pressure seems extremely light compared to my inflatables.

Would love to hear others feedback.
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Re: Foil Kites

Postby jv. » Thu Sep 14, 2017 10:41 pm

Jeff, since I know firsthand that you have enjoyed a Chrono on water at Hatteras, I do not think I need to sell you on the power they provide in very light air. And since you already realize that saving winter wear on your inflatables, will leave that alone. Yet, these are great points...

The real Chrono drawback is cost, which is signifigantly more than its open cell peers from Ozone. You know I only use foils on ice or snow, and my foils last a long time. I do not need to hurry to replace my 8m or 12m for a few more years, and when I do I will need to carefully consider if I really want to pay more for closed cell for winter riding. Of particular interest to me will be how well the chrono wears, as it does seem to be a bit more frail. However, recent experience with my chrono in surf, sand and even some rocks makes me hopeful that they will indeed last. I cannot say that I feel open cell outperforms closed cell, it does take a closed cell a little longer to fill and stabalize after launch, but on the other hand a closed cell holds its shape a little better in less stable ait. The real advantage of chrono is it is higher aspect ratio - it is really a wing and used for flying by hang gliders! Yet even my 15m can be easily looped!

As for chrono cost - iKitesurf has a lot of used ones for sale, I am betting some people just don't take the time to get used to flying foils and giving up on them. This makes the price a little better...

Other SIGNIFIGANT advantages of foils include:
- Setup & takedown time. While an occasional tangle may complicate any particular session, generally I setup & launch, and land & put away in half the time it takes to deal with inflatables.
- Safe launching and landing even when dark outside with 5th line setup.
- With backpack it is easy to carry 2 kites, so one can be in pack while using the other. Landing and switching kites easy, no need to carry pump or any type of anchor to land kite.
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