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Old 7th April 2009, 10:40 AM   #1
k.lauman
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Join Date: Nov 2008
Posts: 27
Default who killed the wing sail?

What happened to double camber wingsail development in windsurfing? Every time I see an independent developer or enthusiast develop a working soft wingsail, they seem to disappear without a trace in a year or two.

Obviously most of these projects are self financed.

But still, were is BIG WINDSURFING when it comes to buying up these good designs?

Camber induced sails have always had very good aerodynamics, but if you're an aero purist then you have to believe in a double surface technology and it's potential to make small powerhouse sails and turn gusty holey winds into plane-able days.

I tried snowkiting this winter for the first time on a lake. (Dedicated ice boarder). The smallest kite they had was a 4m FOIL designed for land only. Everyone was using 7m-8m inflatable water kites. Another guy carved in to the launch area with a foil kite. He had a somewhat tangible fear in his eyes.
As a lightweight, i'd probably be using a 5m Windsurf sail on snow in the 15 knots filtering over the bay, so I said "ok, ill try the 4."
The lesson guy launched the kite for me.
"Woa, it's pulling like a 7m, you'll probably be able to jump with this."
Maybe i''ve bitten off more than I could chew, I thought, but gave it a try anyway.
After a few uncontrolled face plants and body drags downwind and some tedious slow riding upwind I decided I'd mastered the kite's 3rd line release system and exceeded my endurance for another sesh as a kite noob.
The thing was a 4m powerhouse. It wasnt just more powerful than an equivalent ws sail, it was like a force of nature, an example of what a true wing shape can do.

I don't expect that windsurfers would be able to ride 4m on 7m day, but with a true wing who knows what's possible? Who wouldn't want to rig small with a wingsail?
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