Kites

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sub5rider
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Kites

Post by sub5rider » Wed Jun 25, 2003 3:31 pm

Does anyone here have any practical experience of sea-kayak propulsionvia a power-kite?

I'd like to try it, but it strikes me that whenever there's enough puff to make it worthwhile then the sea-state will be such that I'll not want to let go of the paddle.

I'd also like to try a "polynesian" "V" shaped sail if anyone's got one lying around doing nowt?
Nigel, aka Sub5Rider, Onioneer

Jonathan Theobald
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Re: Kites

Post by Jonathan Theobald » Wed Jun 25, 2003 4:10 pm

I've seen Rob Feloy, designer of Kirton's Inuk and Peter Bray's Newt, using a kite. I think he would only do so in a double with one person handling the kite and the other steering the boat and keeping it stable.

My impression was that Rob enjoyed himself while concluding a kite wasn't a very practical option. But this was a few years ago so I may have it wrong.


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Jim
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Re: Kites

Post by Jim » Wed Jun 25, 2003 6:51 pm

" Does anyone here have any practical experience of sea-kayak propulsionvia a power-kite?"

Are you following me?????

I've just ordered my first traction kite so I can learn to fly one with the ultimate goal of getting a water relaunchable and trying exactly what you are asking about.

The answer to the question is no, ask me in 5 years time, If I haven't drowned by being dragged upside down in my kayak by a massive traction kite....

"I'd like to try it, but it strikes me that whenever there's enough puff to make it worthwhile then the sea-state will be such that I'll not want to let go of the paddle."

As someone who hasn't flown a traction kite yet but fully intends to at the weekend.....
Most of these kites claim to be able to get power at just a couple of mph of windspeed. In 15mph of wind or more it appears that even the gnarly guys find traction kiting extremely exciting/dangerous - most of them have different size kites for different winds. My thought was to try and keep the kite directly in front of the kayak, which restricts you to downwind sailing - the trouble is the kite will need to move to generate power, particularly if using it in light winds. I'm making no claims as yet, just sharing my thoughts - these are likely to change as I get used to kiting, if I get used to kiting....

"I'd also like to try a "polynesian" "V" shaped sail if anyone's got one lying around doing nowt?"

Crab Claw. I saw an article once about an enterprise being sailed with one made of babmoo poles and polythene sheet, I don't see why a similar arrangement can't work out nicely and cheaply for a kayak. If it works gets some spinnaker material or something and make a better version. Searching for "crab claw" rig or sail should get you information on aspect ratios and such.

"I've seen Rob Feloy, designer of Kirton's Inuk and Peter Bray's Newt, using a kite. I think he would only do so in a double with one person handling the kite and the other steering the boat and keeping it stable.

My impression was that Rob enjoyed himself while concluding a kite wasn't a very practical option. But this was a few years ago so I may have it wrong."

I think I saw an article about this about 10 years ago (I even recall discussing it on uk.r.b.p at about that time so there might be info in the archives). If I am not mistaken the kite being used was a brand new style with an inflatable leading edge imported from France - I have a trong feeling that not only is this the main style of kite being used for kitesurfing, but the people involved are now Wipika who are one of the main kitesurfing kite people. They don't currently do a kite that looks small enough to drag a kite sensibly, but I suppose you could try asking them or Nookie about it.

My thought is that for kayaking you would need a water relaunchable kite - I simply can't imagine launching the kite first, then getting in the boat, and then not crashing the kite and having to start over! I have spotted that Peter Lynn kites in NZ do a small water relaunchable, the waterfoil which comes as small as 2.6m (but is reputed to pull like a much bigger kite), they also have experimented with kayak like craft - sit on tops from what I can tell though.

I asked flexifoil and they helfully told me that their smallest water relaunchable is the 8m storm II - that looks way too large to me, but like I say, I haven't actually got my kite yet so haven't any experience to base that observation on.

Anyway, I'm hoping my new kite arrives before Saturday, and that the wind is around 5mph. I doubt if I'll get the confidence to do much dragging this weekend and certainly don't intend to go for air, but who knows if it's easier than it looks, maybe I'll get my boating kit on and try some body drags in the sea? (until I crash my non water relaunchable kite that is).

Do you have a traction kite Nigel???

JIM

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sub5rider
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Re: Kites

Post by sub5rider » Wed Jun 25, 2003 7:44 pm

I did have an 8' Flexifoil, but No.1 Son took it to Uni, and it ended up wrapped around a lamp standard on Aberystwyth's Prom....so "no" not any more

We used to stay at Parry's Field next to Four Mile bridge on Anglesey. One wet & windy weekend we saw No.2 son, then about 12, hurtling across the wet grass at around 20mph, flat on his stomach, not daring to let go the handles. It had me off my feet a couple of times.

My LBS, Leisure Lakes in Bury, is big on traction kites - which is where the germ of the idea was planted.

I still haven't grasped (and I've seen the video) how to effectively control a "V" sail and steer, without a rudder.
Now before I got a sea boat I was convinced that I'd put a rudder on it, but the Onion just doesn't need one (I can do a 360 deg turn in 5 strokes now) so I'm very reluctant to do so given the hassles involved and the likelyhood that it won't work when I need it to. But sailing's in the blood and I hate working with a paddle when I could be sailing.....
Nigel, aka Sub5Rider, Onioneer

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Jim
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Re: Kites

Post by Jim » Wed Jun 25, 2003 8:06 pm

"I did have an 8' Flexifoil"

That was what I was initially thinking about, but then I discovered that there are a whole new breed of traction kites that are quite different from the good old stackers. you get 4 lines instead of 2, 2 for flying on and 2 for braking - allows you to get tighter turns and depower the kite if it all gets too much! Also some of them are designed for buggying and have less lift and more pull, or so they say.

"My LBS, Leisure Lakes in Bury, is big on traction kites - which is where the germ of the idea was planted."

Yes, didn't get on too well with their website, but I think they listed the waterfoil I mentioned earlier.

About your rudder, now that you've seen how easy it is to construct a slip-on skeg, how about constructing your own slip-on rudder for use when sailing? That's right I've given no consideration at all to how to run the wires! I tend to agree with you that it's not wise to retrofit a rudder to a kayak that handles perfectly well without one.

As for controlling the crab claw, the polynesians managed it in canoes, so it can't be that hard - oops! :-)

JIM

chris
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Kites & sails

Post by chris » Wed Jun 25, 2003 8:14 pm

The Tasmanians are into kites and sails.

Have a look at

www.vision.net.au/~jennings/sail/sail.html

I've been thinking about this for a while and have got as far as trying a friend's 4m2 kite on the beach. It will fly well out to the side, 70 or 80 degrees, and is quite controlable there. However, it pulls very hard if straight downwind. I think it needs practice.

Good luck and please tell us how it goes.

Chris

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Re: Kites

Post by Steve B » Wed Jun 25, 2003 8:16 pm

Nigel> "Aberystwyth's Prom"

Is/was your son at Aber(ystwyth University)? I've just got back from an Alps trip which was kind of with them in as much as we arranged to be there at the same time. I know your surname but very few of theirs.

Steve B.
Edited by: Steve B at: 6/25/03 8:17 pm

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sub5rider
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Re: Kites

Post by sub5rider » Wed Jun 25, 2003 8:46 pm

Yes, Jim, but the Polynesians used outriggers ('spose s*******s would do?)
This looks the business for getting some miles in www.baloghsaildesigns.com/ but is p'raps a bit OTT for pottering about with. Besides which I have the reactions of the Guru to consider.

Cornwall Canoes (www.cornwallcanoes.co.uk/) imports the "On Top Down Under" "V" sail, which has the advantage of transferability twixt boats, and at the not too unreasonable cost of £128. This is the current favourite, but I'd like to try before I buy!

Yes Steve, I've one at Aber and one thinking of going (sigh)
Neither son paddles anymore :| being MTB headcases. ;)
Nigel, aka Sub5Rider, Onioneer

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Jim
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Re: Kites

Post by Jim » Wed Jun 25, 2003 8:58 pm

Oooh, oooh, you said that word!!!!

Where's me paddle float????

I don't think the guru will have any problems with you applying outriggers and sails to your onion, as long as you don't reduce your beer carrying capacity. If it increases ones ability to chill out he'll probably approve wholeheartedly. If it increases beer carrying capacity he'll probably get one! Sea kayaking isn't just about eating seagulls you know!

I have to agree that the on top down under sail does look like a good buy, if it works (the sail will work, the rigging might let it down). Maybe this is a good excuse for a weekend away in cornwall with the onion?

JIM

dave miller
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Kites & sails

Post by dave miller » Fri Jun 27, 2003 10:55 am

For what it's worth here is a bit of my experience.
I put some stuff on kite towing in an old thread about a year or so.

I tow with a single line 0.8 sq m parafoil that I launch from the boat on 150m 2mm polyproylene floating line. This is about as big as I can make work in reasonable conditions. Works well from top of force 4, below that there's no point, you can paddle faster. I can then sit back and enjoy the ride and the kite looks after it's self.

I paddled with Rob Feloy when he was selling the Wipi kites, and I only ever saw him fly from a double on fairly short lines - it wasn't impressive.

The problem with kitesurf & buggy traction kites is that they have to be held prevented from going downwind to produce the aparrent wind to generate these big forces. Running downwind there is little kayak drag (only a few Kg at 5 knots), so the aparrent wind drops and the kite comes down.
Also have you thought how you will water launch it, bearing in mind your kayak will drift downwind faster than the kite on the water - and you can't paddle because you are holding the lines.

I have tried the Tasmanian sails but found a small spinnaker without a pole works best for me. I've had my Orion planing on flat water in a force 7, but takes a bit of nerve.

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sub5rider
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I am sailing....

Post by sub5rider » Fri Jun 27, 2003 1:00 pm

Ah -ha, an expert!

Thanks fro the reply Dave, I did do a search for previous threads but Ezybored's searching is poor...


I'm interested in your "from top of force 4, below that there's no point, you can paddle faster" comment. I want to save energy (and joints - bones, that is). The other week in what was a force 2 maximum, I was still making 2kph downwind, with no aid at all. I, personally, never ever _plan_ (but am prepared!) to be out in more than a 4 ever again & can't imagine sailing on Onion in those conditions.

How do you support a spinny type sail, single mast, stepped on the deck?

I can see lots of advantages to the "V" sails. They seem to be easy to both deploy and to store. The only obvious drawback is that the whole of the foredeck is covered by the stowed sail & spars - so compass, GPS, maps, camera are all hidden.

"Orion planing on flat water in a force 7, but takes a bit of nerve"

Err, I'll bet. I could try towing mine behind a 30hp RIB on Sunday....but I'll drive the RIB & recruit a CTD for the Onion. Were you steering with paddle, or a rudder ?

I could conceive a "demountable" rudder operated by an above deck continuous loop cord loop. If some friction were built in to the cord runs the rudder would be "hands free" when required.

(Loads AutoCad...)





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Re: Kites & sails

Post by Jim » Fri Jun 27, 2003 5:09 pm

"I tow with a single line 0.8 sq m parafoil that I launch from the boat on 150m 2mm polyproylene floating line."

Crikey, thats like 5 or 6 times the height traction kites are flown at!

"The problem with kitesurf & buggy traction kites is..."

Technical issues committed to memory!

"Also have you thought how you will water launch it, bearing in mind your kayak will drift downwind faster than the kite on the water - and you can't paddle because you are holding the lines."

Not considered the details very much yet, just learning to fly on the ground! It does strike me that with a 4 line kite on a bar you could attach the brake lines to a harness (or fitting on the boat - quick release, knife handy) as one of the apparantly normal safety setups, then you could back paddle to allow the kite to get downwind and then very quickly park your paddle, pick up your bar and launch. That doesn't seem very likely does it?

Of course I'm learning with handles.....

JIM

bigjeff
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kites

Post by bigjeff » Sat Jun 28, 2003 3:47 pm

I got a flexifoil 10 and a four line bullet 3.5, the latter being the ultimate in power, its two outerlines are 500 lbs braking and inner 300 lbs.Ill be trying to kayak surf in a few weeks time after my broken ankle has meneded, yes and that was from flying my 3.5 with a mountain board, so be warned there not toys, someone was actually killed flying the same kite I have, a couple of weeks ago, and if it can lift me off the ground, and I aint small, then heavens knows what it can do to medium size people.
Be Careful


:hat :hat :hat :hat

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Jim
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Re: kites

Post by Jim » Sun Jun 29, 2003 11:05 pm

Mine's a bullet 2.5, and it's enough to haul my lardy backside around the beach in fairly moderate winds (based on my first session with it today).

My experience has left me with a huge grin, but not much hope for dragging a kayak behind something like that - it takes a lot of work. As Jeff says, certainly not just a toy, a very serious toy for people who take playing very seriously. No jumps as yet but I had to hop a few times. My balance is pretty crap on a skateboard so I might have to try buggying rather than mountain boarding - I need quite a bit more flying time first though. I was in control by the end of the day and feeling quite happy scudding down the beach - I'm fairly sure the 2.5 would be enough to pluck me completely off my feet with the right wind, and I'm 95kg+ (so I use the same strength lines as Jeff). Anyway, can't wait for my shoulders to stop aching so I can go out flying again :-)

JIM

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Douglas Wilcox
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kites and kayaks: cf venison flavoured ice cream

Post by Douglas Wilcox » Tue Jul 01, 2003 12:22 pm

Good grief, somethings just do not go together. Have you not heard of these things?
www.gla.ac.uk/medicalgene...troon5.jpg
or a yacht, a dinghy or even an International Canoe???

As for kites, paragliders, parachutes, microlites etc..... spawn of the devil the lot of them. Windsurfing is much safer, I've dislocated my knee a few times, broken my nose, a few black eyes, broken ribs several times, dislocated thumb, played with a Portugese man o' War in a shorty wetsuit, been bitten by a dog while carrying my board to the water, hurt my fist on a dog's head, tetanus jab in the bum, surfer's ear nodules, ear infections, gastroenteritis, nasty Coxacki virus infection; nothing serious.

The last time I was windsurfing at Troon, I gave up because the wind was very variable and flukey. Just after I left, a kitesurfer was lifted right up out out the water by a sudden squall. He was carried right over the beach and the dunes and smacked into a lamp post. Details of his injuries are second hand from one of his mates but I understand included head injury with concussion, broken arm, fractured ribs on both sides with punctured lungs, ruptured spleen and kidney. He was lucky to survive after a week in ITU.

A friend who is a windsurfing and kitesurfing instructor, Murray Samson, who has his own kitesurfing school in the Carribean, told me kites are really great in places with steady trade winds but downright dangerous in places with variable winds like the UK.

I would be most interested to hear of other's injurxxx... experiences with kites and kayaks!

:rollin
Douglas

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Jim
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Re: kites and kayaks: cf venison flavoured ice cream

Post by Jim » Tue Jul 01, 2003 5:09 pm

" Good grief, somethings just do not go together. Have you not heard of these things?
www.gla.ac.uk/medicalgene...troon5.jpg
or a yacht, a dinghy or even an International Canoe???"

Yes, never really got into them. Did a lot of dinghy sailing when I was younger and might do again if I ever settle down. IC's are pretty rare, I used to build skiffs for a while, my one regret is never getting a shot of one :-(

As for kiting, yep, it's an extreme sport - I've decided kayaking just isn't dangerous enough and I'm in danger of outliving the life expectancy I gave myself as a teenager....

:-)

JIM

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Douglas Wilcox
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International Canoe

Post by Douglas Wilcox » Tue Jul 01, 2003 7:46 pm

Jim>my one regret is never getting a shot of one (IC)

I did a lot of sailing in Hornets and Fireballs in the 70's. At Troon Sailing Club Regatta about 1972 I was lucky enough to get a shot in a brand new Northcote hull IC (the guy was based at Loch Lomond). It was in light conditions, about force 3, and it really was fast but I capsized it several times trying to tack, despite being familiar with the sliding seat from Hornet (and Int Moth) experience. I then got into Lasers which I kept with until windsurfers started overtaking me. In retrospect I did not really take to the IC as it was so difficult just to sail, never mind get the best out of. In contrast, the first time I got a shot in a Laser, I knew I wanted one and quickly thrived in force 5/6 conditions. Then along came windsurfers and although I have since sailed a Laser 5000 asymmetric, the only dinghies I now go in are a Wayfarer and Mirror for family potters.

Douglas

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Jim
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Re: International Canoe

Post by Jim » Tue Jul 01, 2003 8:34 pm

"Jim>my one regret is never getting a shot of one (IC)"

No, I meant the skiffs, I've only ever seen one IC and that was on a stand at a show!

I used to build RS600's and 49ers. Also built an 18' skiff, a handful of International 14's and loads of Flying Fifteens. After a whole year of that I never actually got out in any of them :-( (well we never really had any rigged ones about the place...)

And having worked in the high quality hand layup end of the business, I spit on lasers! :-)

Might get a 600 one day, possibly the modified version with the asymmetric.....

JIM

dave miller
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Kites

Post by dave miller » Wed Jul 30, 2003 1:58 pm

Re: Sub5 post.
Sorry to take so long to get back.

"Ah -ha, an expert!"
Less of that sort of language please, however...

"The other week in what was a force 2 maximum, I was still making 2kph downwind, with no aid at all."
Depends how patient you are, clearly more than me.

"How do you support a spinny type sail, single mast, stepped on the deck?"
A piece of 3/4in inside dia plastic water pipe through the deck as far fwd as you can reach and glassed in.
Mast is a 5 or 6ft bamboo (cost 10p) dropped in. If you start looking at the fish just pull it out, roll and get sorted out.

"I can see lots of advantages to the "V" sails".
They're a pain in the wotsit. Make one out of polythene & bamboo to see for yourself.

"Orion planing on flat water ~ Were you steering with paddle, or a rudder?"
A rudder is the only sensible option.

"I could conceive a "demountable" rudder operated by an above deck continuous loop cord loop. If some friction were built in to the cord runs the rudder would be "hands free" when required."
Or foot controlled. I use stirrups hooked onto my footpump. Cost nothing, totally reliable, unbreakable and far more responsive than the tiller type.
...and my rudder just unclips from the stern.

Don't know where you are, but I'm near Bournemouth if you want to try one.

Has anyone out there tried their power kites yet?

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Jim
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Re: Kites

Post by Jim » Wed Jul 30, 2003 5:33 pm

"Has anyone out there tried their power kites yet?"

Not yet...

I'm off to the beach in a bit with a couple of guys that have surfing kites and was wondering if I should blag a lift for my boat too?

My latest theory is to use a foil (the guys use LEIs) that can be water launched, on a bar with a safety system (brakes onto a third line), with possibly a harness (for the brake line) and almost certainly a kite killer attached to the boat forward of me. I would use my playboat and a set of hand paddles (I don't have any yet) which should allow me to hold the bar and paddle when necessary. When I dob in I need to let go and let the kite killer drop the kite for me - if it fails or I am entangled I'm dragged along upside down so a knife will be handy too! Then I need to handroll, with hand paddles that should be OK!

Anyway, I have to master some things and get some equipment before I'm ready to go for it, a relaunchable kite and bar and hand paddles at least! I could borrow an LEI on a bar to try it out but I know I will end up swimming quickly without hand paddles. Anyway, the wind is to light for the LEIs tonight :-(

JIM

pyranhadave
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Re: Kites

Post by pyranhadave » Fri Aug 01, 2003 9:57 pm

forget the kites and take a look at the Windrider rave I think it's called.Whitewater Consultancy were selling them in Camarthen. Some connection with Wavesport I believe.
Try Windrider.com :)

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Re: Windrider Rave

Post by pyranhadave » Fri Aug 01, 2003 10:13 pm

(Oh yes see your bank manager first!!)

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Jim
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Re: Windrider Rave

Post by Jim » Sat Aug 02, 2003 9:07 pm

No way!

I've sailed loads and I love it, but now I've started kiting I'm completely hooked - it is loads more fun!

Buggying yesterday with a 4.5m foil, I was going much faster than I've ever sailed, in fact I doubt if I could have kept up on my bike! Plus I can use a kite on the beach too!

JIM

spankerrobbie
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kite powered K2?

Post by spankerrobbie » Fri Aug 08, 2003 10:31 pm

www.darrellwong.com/html/...esurf.html



looks like these boys have cracked the nut with this, (4th picure)but you might have to get an outrigger (if that is possible). the kite could be stowed and used for a particular leg of the journey, if the wind is in the right direction. perhaps a few boats could be lashed together or even towed, and all get a ride.

im sure there's a minefield of saftey issues! :rollin

spankerrobbie



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Jim
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Re: kite powered K2?

Post by Jim » Mon Aug 11, 2003 11:32 pm

That's a proa and there are at least 3 people in it, one is actually halfway out on the outrigger for ballast!

Minefield of safety issues? What like the lines that will take your fingers off if you try and grab them under tension, the chance of the kite staying powered up after you capsize and dragging you a long way upside down and the chance of getting tangled in the lines whilst upside down? Seems dead safe to me :-)

JIM

doc
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Power kites

Post by doc » Sat Aug 23, 2003 7:21 am

I fly kites with a board strapped to my feet. I am also a fairly experienced paddler but feel that people completely underestimate the power of a kite. A good flyer can be hoisted out of the water for 7 seconds by his kite. In that time he could clear a 3 storey house and travel 100 yards downwind. When you are planning upwind you travel at about 15 to 20 knots. Downwind you can hit 30 knots.
It could work for a kayak BUT you would need an outrigger and a planning(not displacement) hull otherwise the wind/water speed differential would cause a lot of strain for the flyer

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Jim
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Re: Power kites

Post by Jim » Mon Aug 25, 2003 11:21 pm

You're right, people do underestimate power kites, but I've been buggying for a couple of months now and have been building up to bigger kites. I'm still not ready to try and fly a kitesurf kite, but my ideas are based aroung the foils I'm use to, and I'd be looking more in the buggy range of power than in the kitesurf range of power (kitesurfers fly with way more power than you could handle standing still).

I wouldn't be needing lift in the boat, it has buoyancy for that. And my plan was to use a planing playboat with rails I could dig in similarly to a board, the lack of fins might prove to be the downfall even then.

Still need a good few hours more in the buggy before I try on the water - especially as I haven't tried with a bar yet and it's going to make a huge difference to the steering!

I was up to 25mph in the buggy yesterday with a 4.5m foil (reaching) - gybing gets quite interesting at that speed and I need more practice.

I was sorry to hear another kitesurfer was killed last week, the reports aren't very detailed, but it seems he was hit by a gust down at Calshot and ended up smashing into a wall, whether he was surfing, dragging or airborne at the time is unclear.

I have a very good idea what I'm getting myself into, but I probably should mention - don't try this at home, especially whoever started the thread (Nigel?) and had hardly done any kiting!

JIM

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sub5rider
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Re: Power kites

Post by sub5rider » Tue Aug 26, 2003 2:14 pm

"especially whoever started the thread (Nigel?) and had hardly done any kiting!"

He hasn't, and he won't - in a boat at least. I've decided on a "V" sail and am currently toying with the design of a suitable removable mast "foot" for the rig to Onion's foredeck. If I can design something I'm happy with, durability & ergonomically - wise, the wife will be getting her sewing machine out. Be useful if I could get a dekko, or photo's of the imported one...

On another, very slighty related, topic. I'm going for the full size kites, aiming to be a sufficiently comptetant paraglider pilot to be able to fly in the Alps next summer. Thinks: "Will my sea-anchor be big enough to double as a reserve 'chute?"


Nigel, aka Sub5Rider, Onioneer

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