kite buying tips - land & water use?

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kite buying tips - land & water use?

Postby jamesjoyce » Tue Jan 22, 2013 2:21 pm

Hey Kiters -

thanks for all the advice you all have built up over the years!

i am new to kiting and pretty much hooked at this point.
i'm looking to get a kite/harness setup that i could use for both land (ATB) and water
i've had a few conversations w/ shops & other riders i know without making much headway... without knowing a whole lot, a lot of kites look similar to me so i'm a little uncertain.

i weigh 180lbs and would probably do 50/50 land/water riding.

does anyone have experience w/ closed cell foils (e.g. hydra neo/matrixx) v inflatables?

thanks!
jj
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Re: kite buying tips - land & water use?

Postby Bob » Tue Jan 22, 2013 10:35 pm

Hi JJ,

I may have talked with you via email already and here's some honest advice. It's going to be hard to find a kite that works really well for both. Land riding should be done mostly with a foil especially when starting out. Years ago, I used to be intrigued by foils for water and winter riding on snow, but most everyone who used to ride foils, has switched back to inflatables or stayed there. I've ridden some of the best Ozone and Flysurfer foils that cost over $2800 and really wanted to like these kites, but I much prefer high performance, high depower inflatables.

In my opinion, modern inflatables are much better in gusty winds, have more depower (generally), are more predictable while jumping, have better feel, are faster turning and if wave riding, it's not even a choice....foils can collapse and buckle and get lines messed up around the kite and it's then a swim in.

It's going to be hard finding a lot of info on landboarding (very few kite dealers carry boards) due to very little demand for it generally. I talk to a lot of people weekly about gear, lessons, etc. and have only had 2 people ask any questions about landboarding in 4 - 5 years.

If you want to do it, find a used board somewhere and you could use a inflatable on land if the land has smooth mowed grass. There are some videos of top lanboard riders using inflatables and these guys are doing some insane tricks, but they hardly crash their kites and / or are riding in really nice fields.

I hope this helps and let me know if I can answer any other questions.

Bob
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Re: kite buying tips - land & water use?

Postby jamesjoyce » Wed Jan 23, 2013 11:00 am

hey bob-

super helpful!
thanks!
i already threw down for the board and have been having a great time with it... now i am looking for a larger kite to be able to ride with more power, etc.

you're right that there arent a lot of places to landboard, i just happen to live pretty close to a massive mowed grass field that is really under used outside of the summer time.
i was hoping that someone would say that the closed cell inflatable (e.g. HQ neo or matrixx) are just as awesome as promised (i.e. the best of both worlds) but i cant really seem to find a lot of opinions on it. one kite shop told me that they're not as fond of them as they're not as responsive as LEI, less depower, and get heavier if they get wet, which seems like it would defeat the purpose...

anyway - now i guess i'm in the market for a medium size (8-10m2) inflatable with good durability.
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Re: kite buying tips - land & water use?

Postby Bryce FLK » Wed Jan 23, 2013 12:16 pm

I would say start bigger for your size an 11-13 meter would be a good frist kite (for water or snow not sure about land). I am 165-170 and get the most use out of my 12m. I prefer riding my smaller kites, but if your buying one kite to start I would buy bigger to give you more opportunities on the water. Anyone agree?
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Re: kite buying tips - land & water use?

Postby Bob » Wed Jan 23, 2013 2:14 pm

JJ,

Glad to help and cool to see you're already riding. What are you using now on land? I agree with Bryce with respect to sizing of water kites. Most riders start out with somewhere around a 11m or 12m given a 175 lb rider if you are a beginner. This kite starts out as your light to medium wind kite, but as you get better, it will become your medium wind kite and from there, you can pick up a light wind or strong wind kite to fill gaps.

Are you looking for something now on land? If so, a good 8m or 9m would actually be wise. I do have a few that would work out well and a few demos.

If you don't find anything listed on the link below, feel free to use me as a sounding board on other gear. I have no problem giving honest advice if I don't have something to offer.

http://mb.kiteridersllc.com/viewtopic.php?f=3&t=2346

8m RPM demo or 9m Z both by Slingshot are great options.

Hope this helps,

Bob
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Re: kite buying tips - land & water use?

Postby jamesjoyce » Wed Jan 23, 2013 4:03 pm

you guys are great - i really appreciate it

i am 180lbs and i have been using a 3.5m2 trainer kite for propulsion ... but only getting moving in moderate-heavy winds (15+ on grass). if it's less windy than that, i really cant get moving on grass. there is one park near here (northerly island) with a nice path parallel to the wide open space for lighter wind riding and one beach (63rd) with minimal traffic, but i've blown 2 tires on the shelly beach already, so i was hoping that with a larger kite i could keep riding on the grass with lighter winds

for the short term, i'd probably ride more often on land since it takes a bit less setup and travel for me (i live on the south side of chicago) and i've already got the board

my brother is a similar weight as me and lives in seattle (where i'll be moving in a few months) and recommends a 9-11 for land (light wind)/water(strong wind) as well as a bigger one (14-16) for both land and water - his experience has been that seattle isnt a super windy location.

i was thinking i'd get started now with something in a smaller size (9?) to use on land and as i got better, i'd graduate to a bigger kite for water (12-14?) and build a quiver that way.

bob- i looked at the link you sent - i imagine that there's some difference between brands that i wouldnt know about at my stage. how would you advise me there? i need everything (harness, kite, lines, bag, leash, stake, etc) and was hoping to keep the first buy under $1000...
also, i was hoping to make it up to madison for a lesson, but the car crapped itself this week so unless GF wants to head up with me (ie let me take her car), i'll have to wait.
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Re: kite buying tips - land & water use?

Postby Bob » Wed Jan 23, 2013 9:21 pm

James,

Sounds like you're getting good advice also from your brother. Of the kites I have the new Slingshot Z in 9m would be my recommendation and later on pick up an 11m or 13m.

Your 3.5 m is close to having the similar low end pull and power of a 6m Slingshot Z, so then the 9m would be a perfect gap.

Regarding harnesses, I also have choices between top of the line Mystic and a few others that would work well.

You;ll be just a little over $1000, but you are also getting a brand new kite.

Bob
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Re: kite buying tips - land & water use?

Postby jamesjoyce » Fri Jan 25, 2013 10:58 pm

thx bob -
i'll have to pm/email you with some ones i was looking at

how's your wind looking this weekend?
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Re: kite buying tips - land & water use?

Postby V » Mon Jan 28, 2013 10:37 am

Yea I'd agree at 180lbs 13m first then a 9m. You can get two boards a big learner board (145 cm?) then a 130cm for higher winds or expert riding. the 145 starter will be a good lighter wind day on either kite when you want just a little more wind but don't have it.

That should cover 90% of riding days for you in spring and fall (9m will be very helpful in high wind days which are common).
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