Smaller kites more sensitive to gusts?
Posted: 07 November 2010 08:55 PM   [ Ignore ]
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**Let me preface this by saying I love my 2 Rise kites (8m & 14m, both 2010) and the intention of this post is not to say anything bad about the Rise- this is a question about kite sizes in general. Is a smaller kite more sensitive to wind gusts?  Is aspect ratio a factor? Please read my story and post your comments.  Thanks!

Had the 8m 2010 Rise out today in the ocean in super gusty conditions.  25mph avg., 32+ on the gusts and lulls were way low.  I flew the kite for a bit but it just started to feel dangerous- a lull would hit and the kite would start to stall and slide back in the window, then a huge gust follows and keeps ripping me off the water.

wave 4-5ft, sideshore wind and good bit of current (spot is on broad open beach on atlantic ocean.

I decided to pack it up when a super-lull made the kite drop out the sky like a stone, then a big gust caught it fully in the powerzone and slammed me good- it was uncontrollable.

As I packed it up a few other riders showed up at the beach-  pumping up kites 2-4 meters bigger than mine.  I thought they were nuts and considered warning them about what I had experienced.  They looked sufficiently lit, but didn’t have any problems keeping the kite up and they took off downwind.  I had talked earlier about going downwind with them, and they seemed to have no trouble, so I rigged again and put my kite back up.  Got a few tacs but was getting jerked around bad, kite eventually dropped like a rock out of the sky.  No fun swimming in with 4ft. swells rolling the kite up. 

I’m wondering if their bigger kites were less affected by the gustiness? possibly because they could ride the kite higher in the window and less sheeted, whereas I was flying the 8 at very aggressive angles and had the full canopy facing the wind most of the time. 

Any comments or tips are greatly appreciated, always trying to improve my kiting!!
 

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Posted: 08 November 2010 08:09 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
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Hi VBKite, welcome to the crew and thanks for posting this.
I don’t think this is OK, it sounds like you’re working the bar too hard causing the kite to stall. Looking at your quiver, 14 and 8m, it may very well be that you have to try to scale down bar input relative to what you do with the 14m more precisely. Sheeting in isn’t always the answer to a lull, smaller sizes in general like to be flown, i.e. try to make sinus shaped curves.
I have had the 7m 2010 out in really big gusty 40kn+ winds without being uncomfortable for a moment.

Other than that, sometimes the line deflectors (elastic bands at the tip of the struts) are sewn in too tight causing this kind of behavior. Not sure if 2010 is affected by this though. John Z can you say something about this?
cheers,
El Rudo

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Posted: 08 November 2010 05:14 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
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Have had that type of behavior on a diff brand but also in 8m.  Thought it was the kite but after long enough in the condition I figured out that most of it was me.  Basically, on big kites everything takes longer, so you pull the trigger well before you hit the ramp, you plan ahead in your transitions, you sheet in and kinda wait a sec for the power etc.  If your really used to your 14 you can get a really strange disconnect when jumping to a much much smaller and faster kite, particularly in challenging conditions where it is hard to focus on any one thing for very long.  With the small kite it was basically a problem with oversheeting and not really feeling it.  It takes a lot longer for the 14 to stall, add that your in much higher wind speeds so the power difference is magnified and it gets tough to learn the feel of that 8 at first.  The kite ends up surging a lot and you feel it cause by the time you realize what has happened and you ease off the bar, the kite is right in the meat of the power zone.  It would take your 14 another few seconds to stall that bad and your on it way before it falls back into such a powered position, so much less yank.  Makes sense to me that this might happen with a 14/8 quiver cause the speed difference is so large.  Once I got a little lighter on the bar and depowered at the strap a touch so I didn’t oversheet the kite those gusty conditions were much more manageable.  It’s tough to actually have a ton of fun in truly gusty wind, but once you get the speed and stall threshold of your kite down it gets a lot easier.

How often do you get out on the 8?  If your not on it much, your experience makes total sense.

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Posted: 08 November 2010 09:53 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
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I’ve had similar issues with my 8/10m Rises.  They wouldn’t drop but were always twitchy in gusty conditions.  I’m fairly certain it was me (the kiter) and trying to find that sweet spot (which can be hard in gusty conditions).  I just could never really get them dialed in.  My 14m flys like a dream though.

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Posted: 08 November 2010 10:23 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]
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El Rudo - 08 November 2010 08:09 AM

sometimes the line deflectors (elastic bands at the tip of the struts) are sewn in too tight causing this kind of behavior. Not sure if 2010 is affected by this though.

you are right the 2010’s are NOT affected by this.  the 2009’s were the last year they put the line deflectors on all of the struts.  cheers,

-wade.

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Posted: 08 November 2010 11:00 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]
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wadoepotatoe - 08 November 2010 10:23 PM
El Rudo - 08 November 2010 08:09 AM

sometimes the line deflectors (elastic bands at the tip of the struts) are sewn in too tight causing this kind of behavior. Not sure if 2010 is affected by this though.

you are right the 2010’s are NOT affected by this.  the 2009’s were the last year they put the line deflectors on all of the struts.  cheers,

-wade.

Cheers Wade, I had the same thought. You can find the original post I put up about those line defectors here.

The issue with those defectors were that they were sewn too tightly and scooped the trailing edge of the kite. This caused exactly the type of behaviour you describe and - I’ve experienced it 1st hand - was the most damn confusing situation when flying the kite as you’d swear everything was good but the kite felt under powered and then would suddenly back up and drop out of the sky.

Be sure to remove the deflectors completely, they really never did much good anyway. Just leave the 2 - one on each side - on the outside wing tip strut ends.

JZ

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Posted: 09 November 2010 05:38 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 6 ]
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Thanks everyone for your replies.  I noticed a couple of people kept talking about the jump from a 14M kite to an 8M…..
I do have an 11M, I just didn’t list it because it’s not an Ocean Rodeo. 

I’m pretty confident in my kite flying, but after reading all the responses I definitely think there might have been things going on with the kite I just couldn’t feel and react to quickly and smoothly enough- I hardly spend any time on kites this small, so lack of experience on smaller rigs may very well be the issue. 

I’ve attached a picture of me taken during this session, just so you can get a feel for the conditions.

Thanks again for the responses and anyone with more to add please post your replies.

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Posted: 09 November 2010 06:36 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 7 ]
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VB - please be sure to check to see if the issue is in fact the line deflectors, as explained in the post both Wade and I made. I would be surprised if this was not to blame.

I ride almost exclusively small kites, 10m is my biggest, and can tell you the Rise is incredibly stable kite. It does have a large sheeting range that can lead to stalls at lower speeds (but which also allows for more total power once apparent wind speed is developed) but what you describe is much more akin to the line deflector issues than any type of “normal” or “expected’ degree of back stalling, even in the gusts you describe… that photo looks to me like some of my absolute favourite riding conditions!

JZ

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Posted: 09 November 2010 07:49 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 8 ]
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johnz - 09 November 2010 06:36 PM

VB - please be sure to check to see if the issue is in fact the line deflectors, as explained in the post both Wade and I made. I would be surprised if this was not to blame.

JZ

John - Thank you for the advice, I will have to unroll the kite and look for these deflectors and make sure they are stretched.  Is it correct that if I have a 2010 this is something that won’t affect my kite?

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Posted: 09 November 2010 09:10 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 9 ]
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Shoot - yes, of course - they were not included on kites after 2008, I am sorry. I should have read these posts more carefully.

Please try flying your 8m again in more stable winds and let me know how it performs. It is - of course - possible that the winds were at fault that day though what you describe does sound like something else is affecting your kite, especially if it is a 2010.

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Posted: 09 November 2010 11:43 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 10 ]
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VBKite.com - 07 November 2010 08:55 PM

32+ on the gusts and lulls were way low.  - a lull would hit and the kite would start to stall and slide back in the window, then a huge gust follows and keeps ripping me off the water.

Think that pretty much explains it.  The small rises are super stable and the 2010’s just soak up gusts without being twitchy.  I am super comfortable on my 8m and would probably experience the same thing in those conditions….kite stalling lulls with 32+ gusts sounds kind of miserable.

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Posted: 10 November 2010 04:42 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 11 ]
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Agree, winds were super challenging-  some of the said stalls occurred when I was standing on the beach rather than riding.  I did see 3 other kiters not having the same troubles, they were on bigger kites.  Maybe they were rigged for the lulls and I was rigged for the gusts? 

I definitely need to do some more “field testing” :).  I really believe in the kite though- love the rise!

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Posted: 10 November 2010 11:37 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 12 ]
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great strong MAko conditions!

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Posted: 24 December 2010 05:43 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 13 ]
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UPDATE:  I think my troubles were due to being excessively depowered.  This is the smallest kite I’ve ever ridden, so when I first started to use it I was a little shy about stronger winds and had the depower trim pulled in a bit too much.  This made the kite hard to control.

I’ve logged a few more sessions on the 2010 Rise 8m and they’ve been some of my best sessions to date.  Just avoid depowering too much from the trim cleat as on this kite, like every other, your steering lines will eventually be too slack to steer well.  Even in blustery wind the 8m flies great a bit depowered, on its stock settings or powered up on the 2nd knot. Thanks OR!

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Posted: 24 December 2010 04:10 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 14 ]
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i had simmular feelings with my 6m in gusty 40 + kts conditions with wrong stopper position.
I almost never need to pull the depower rope on my rises, put your stopper at the max depower spot so you do not “over” depower when sheeting out.
Regards
Arjan

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