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Old 12th August 2011, 12:40 AM   #51
Ken
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Yesterday, I was reminded of a comparison that is made between the two sports and that is light wind sailing/kiting. I was out on an 11.0 and my F160 in 3-14 knot winds (in the summer, we are desperate for wind). Formula was fine, but some slogging.

NO kiters were out, since the wind blows 10-14 knots for 8 minutes and then settles to 3-6 knots for 8 minutes, etc. They don't like to swim with their rigs when the holes set in, which can last for much longer than 8 minutes at times.

I have read that kites are better in light winds, but even in steady winds, they have no advantage over a formula boards in equal 8 knot winds, and if the wind dies, they are toast, while formula slogs or pumps to shore.
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Old 12th August 2011, 04:54 PM   #52
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Wink the strengths of kiting and the very real limitations.

Winters in Canada is a boon to kiters, and a curse to the windsurfers. Winter has swelled kiting numbers but summer seems to put many off why
1. water depth
2. wind direction
3. open area to launch

windsurfing has no such limitations.

Kiting and learning to kite in the winter is never easier as the water is now "hard".Simply strap on skiis and snowboards that they would use at the ski hill and use small easy to handle kites to get going.

The KEY thing here is that no matter what DIRECTION the WIND is in, a walk out into a frozen lake covered with soft snow makes for the perfect wind angle every time and the lake surface an easy place to launch the kite.
For this reason alone kiting has skyrocketed here.

BUT ... the opposite happens in the spring and summer, NOW one cannot walk out into the middle of a lake to take advantage of the wind in any direction or the large expanse of the frozen lake surface for an easy launch.

Many who learned to kite on frosen lakes now have very limited options. Kiters seem to only kite in one particular spot here , that offers a large launching area and shallow water way out , also that is when the wind blows in a narrow range of wind directions.
Even then in offshore, and onshore winds and the kiters thin way out. While offshore winds here offer some of the best highspeed windsurfing to be had.

I have been asked advice by many people if they should take up kiting, I am not against kiting , but I always inquire where they want to do it ,
I tell them theres the ONE spot in our location to kite , no others , if they want to go there all the time fine its a great spot for kiting.
BUT If they say their cottage or vacation home on an inland lake i invariably say its not for them. Knowing full well the wind would have to be prefect sideshore , the water shallow and a large area to launch is needed.
And invariably this would always be the case with people on the hundreds of lakes in the forests of Ontario.

Kick down the centreboard of a windsurfer and sail out past that point of land in any wind direction in any lake more then 3 feet deep , not so for kiters.

and that is the strength that cannot be underestemated of windsurfing ,
anywhere ,
anytime,
in virtually any wind direction or strength. I have a cottage and i would never give up windsurfing because of this.

Jeff E of the GWN

starboard stype 104/ evo 94/ formula 155 / F-2 lightning WC Edition ( the board that does it all)
and a few other older ones.
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Old 9th October 2011, 06:24 AM   #53
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Winters in Canada is a boon to kiters, and a curse to the windsurfers. Winter has swelled kiting numbers but summer seems to put many off why
1. water depth
2. wind direction
3. open area to launch

windsurfing has no such limitations.

Kiting and learning to kite in the winter is never easier as the water is now "hard".Simply strap on skiis and snowboards that they would use at the ski hill and use small easy to handle kites to get going.

The KEY thing here is that no matter what DIRECTION the WIND is in, a walk out into a frozen lake covered with soft snow makes for the perfect wind angle every time and the lake surface an easy place to launch the kite.
For this reason alone kiting has skyrocketed here.

BUT ... the opposite happens in the spring and summer, NOW one cannot walk out into the middle of a lake to take advantage of the wind in any direction or the large expanse of the frozen lake surface for an easy launch.

Many who learned to kite on frosen lakes now have very limited options. Kiters seem to only kite in one particular spot here , that offers a large launching area and shallow water way out , also that is when the wind blows in a narrow range of wind directions.
Even then in offshore, and onshore winds and the kiters thin way out. While offshore winds here offer some of the best highspeed windsurfing to be had.

I have been asked advice by many people if they should take up kiting, I am not against kiting , but I always inquire where they want to do it ,
I tell them theres the ONE spot in our location to kite , no others , if they want to go there all the time fine its a great spot for kiting.
BUT If they say their cottage or vacation home on an inland lake i invariably say its not for them. Knowing full well the wind would have to be prefect sideshore , the water shallow and a large area to launch is needed.
And invariably this would always be the case with people on the hundreds of lakes in the forests of Ontario.

Kick down the centreboard of a windsurfer and sail out past that point of land in any wind direction in any lake more then 3 feet deep , not so for kiters.

and that is the strength that cannot be underestemated of windsurfing ,
anywhere ,
anytime,
in virtually any wind direction or strength. I have a cottage and i would never give up windsurfing because of this.

Jeff E of the GWN

starboard stype 104/ evo 94/ formula 155 / F-2 lightning WC Edition ( the board that does it all)
and a few other older ones.
I windsurfed for 3 years and was just able to do planing carve jibes at a low percent (maybe 5-10%) . Although I could do regular carve jibes. I switched to kiting this year because I was on a windsurfing vacation, but the wind was in the 16mph range and the 6m sails for rent were too small. Kiting turned out to be harder to learn in the first 10 hours, but easier in the next 10 hours.

What I would say is the gear in kitesurfing is just easier to deal with. 2 kites and one board are all you need for just about all wind ranges from 10 knots to about 25 knots. With windsurfing I was always trying to figure out what truck I would buy to fit all my gear. Putting boards on the car in high winds was always a pain. Kiting gear is cheaper because you need so much less.

I had sails from 4m to 9 meters which meant 3 masts, 3 boards, 3 booms and 7 sails. I hated rigging the 9 meter because the gear was so heavy so I rarely went out in 15 knot winds, I usually had to wait for 18 knots. Water starting a 9m sail was never really pleasant. Even if you have a huge kite (say 16-21m) the kite feels light because it pulls up as well as forward. So here is what I would say are the pros and cons:

kitesurfing pros over windsurfing
1) less gear = less expensive
2) smaller gear = easier to pack, more people can fit, dont need a trailer, truck etc.
3) more linear learning curve - it is still hard to learn, but you can do jumps and rolls, spins etc that would take 10 years and be incredibly dangerous to try on a windsurf board. With windsurfing you spend a lot of time learning to carve jibe and most people never learn to jump or loop. That learning process can be very painful. With kitesurfing you can use surfboards and do the same kinds of carve jibes.
4) able to get that third dimension
5) for most common wind conditions 12-20 knots, kiting uses gear that is much more pleasant to use
6) kiting is very social because it is easier to launch with someone helping
7) rigging is so much easier and faster, windsurfing would typically take about 25 minutes to rig up and kite surfing would take about 10-15 minutes. Most of the time is spent double checking lines are not crossed
8) twin tip kiteboards are virtually indestructible vs the noses Ive cracked on windsurf boards
9) good workout, legs and abs. Workout the arms if you kite unhooked, can kite for longer (maybe 2-3x?) before getting tired means more time on water. I kited for 3 hours today and am somewhat tired
10) kites have much larger wind ranges which means you rarely have to go back and rerig
11) can sail in shallow water, dont need a weed fine if there is algae

kitesurfing similar to windsurfing
1) wind pulling you on the water, high speed
2) just as easy to go upwind on a kite, you just need the right size/kind board


windsurfing over kitesurfing
1) if you are just going to blast around, overall it is safer (but not necessarily by a lot)
2) when the wind dies you can still limp in vs having to swim in
3) I have found that in the same wind Im generally faster than the run of the mill kitesurfers on a windsurf board
4) windsurfing gear is more simple, if you dont rig it exactly right it isnt a big deal. If you have a loop in one of your lines when you launch your kite it can power up and crash in a bad way.
5) because of the big board and possibility to sail even in 1-5 knots it is much safer to go far off shore.. With a twin tip kite board you can never go further than you can swim.
6) windsurfing sails last longer. A hole in a sail is not a big deal, a pin hole in a kite will ruin your day
7) easy to self launch and sail by yourself
8) much better workout - upper and lower body
9) kites need to be replaced about every 3 years of heavy use
10) if there is algae you dont have to worry about algae completely fouling up your lines
11) never really have to worry about losing your board. Definitely possible to lose a kitesurfing board

Overall I like kiting mainly because the gear is smaller, the garage isnt full, going kiting doesnt require massive effort to load up gear. Im able to own a truck with a smaller bed. I find that the fun is about the same although in the winds I sail - 12-20 knots the windsurfing equipment was very unpleasant to rig up and carry to the water. With kitesurfing I have done the walk of shame many times, with windsurfing I was always able to sail back when the wind died.

I find myself staying close to shore kiting, where with a windsurf board I would go a mile or two out.

For those who say kiting is just an activity, you are completely wrong. If you kite hard you will be exhausted after a few hours. Jumps take a lot of abdominal strength and if you use high bar pressure or kite unhooked you will work your forearms just like with windsurfing.
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Old 9th October 2011, 05:44 PM   #54
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Great comparisons of the differences between kiting and windsurfing. My only disagreement is the time spent rigging. It takes me less than 12 minutes to rig my 11 meter sail for my formula board and be on the water. With a 5 meter wave sail and wave board I can be sailing in 6-7 minutes.
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Old 10th October 2011, 01:13 PM   #55
davide
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ken View Post
I have read that kites are better in light winds, but even in steady winds, they have no advantage over a formula boards in equal 8 knot winds, and if the wind dies, they are toast, while formula slogs or pumps to shore.
I think this is one of those phantasies that originated somehow around kiting. Sure, if the biggest sail is a 5.2 and windsurfers all seat on the beach when it blows 15 because "there is not enough wind", then a 12 m2 kite would look like a better light wind toy. Otherwise, as you mention, the physics are very simple: Kites do not float, and windsurfers (Formula, Raceboards, Longboards with dagger boards, Serenity, large slalom) can cover the 2-15 knots range way better. SUP of course go down to zero.

Last edited by davide; 12th October 2011 at 11:19 PM.
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Old 12th October 2011, 08:20 PM   #56
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Unhappy Most important difference !

Is the fact that Kiteboarding can kill the kiteboarder himself or endanger other people .
Windsurfing is much safer !
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Old 16th October 2011, 04:11 PM   #57
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Wink kiting factors

Kiting is a great sport more people do it here then windsurf.
BUT theres one thing ive noticed ,
kiting is very limited, by
1. wind direction, offshore being the worst, can be done but can be an issue especially with a breakdown situation.
2 deep water ,again issue with breakdowns, A foot deep lake all the better!
3. small rigging areas are a problem as are trees and other obstacles like "people".
4 lack of wind, in light winds it just cannot be done.

The worse any of these 4 things become the more problematic it seems kiting can be . BUT , if the wind is adequate, the direction right, the water shallow and kite launching area wide , and there are no breakdowns,( which is rare) then kiting can be "the bomb"
.
But take a longboard windsurfer , say one of these new crossover jobs that you can standup on as well. And you are like me 90 kgs, and you have 2 sails and 8.6 and a 6.0.
All the issues above are non issues and become "so what?"s
1. The wind is offshore at the launch, and the best wind is around a point 200 yards away, it blowing like stink, so what?......., sail to it, when done use the daggerboard to get back.( some SUP crossovers can be railed to windward to a good extent sans daggerboard)
2. the wind is very light to nonexistant, so what? I can still sail (or SUP paddle if it really dead).
3.the rigging area is surronded by trees and is a small area, so what?.
4 the water is deep, and i have broken down so what? i can self rescue back.( and i can rescure the kiter LOL)


The fact is one can go to any body of water at any time in any wind direction and unless it only a foot deep slew, you can go windsurf ( or do SUP with this board) .

One exception to the above is they can kite in a foot deep water!! , but again they have to be able to launch.
One thing to note, most if not all other sailing craft , like Dingies or beach catamarans might not be able to launch either.
You do not need ten different boards, oh its nice, but not needed.
One floater "longboard" and two sails or even just one medium sized sail and anything other then nuclear winds can be sailed.

Jeff E of the GWN
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Old 17th October 2011, 08:51 PM   #58
nakaniko
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The fact thet Kite is easier to be carried is nowaday a big advantage; and so also the fact we windsurfers we need 5 sails instead of 2 or 3.
But when someone tells me "oh kitesurfing" I wanna try", I simply make him reflect on some things. A lot of these thing are being told here, something is very important and I've never tounght about since now, so thanks.
But the most important thing is imho to make people reflect that the most wonderful thing of windsurfing is that it has all the advantages of a surfing sport AND of a nautical sport, all in a simple and almost easy to carry quiver. I mean, kiting is ten times simpler to carry, but it is NOT a nautical sport, it's like snowboarding on the water, and you have all the problems that comes from not having a "small boat" under your foot. And the sea is the sea, it's not a joke, I well know it being born and still living in a water-town like Venice (IT); so I won't dare to go really INTO the sea, not as they do 100 mt off the beach, with a little piece of wood that cannot hold my weight.
So when someone tells me what a lot of stuff you carry for windsurfing, I simply make him think at what I should have to carry for the smallest sailing boat like a laser, and how much more time I'd have to spend to unload from car and prepare it.With 2 or three boards I can sail and even suf in the sea from 3 to 35 knots, not far from being on a smaill sailing boat and not far from the surfing sensations of a smallest surf or kite board. Yes when I derig my sail I could be tempted looking at the simple way the kiters the fold their wings and put in their small cars, but I simply remind me how was the work with my old venetian sailing boat... And in Denmark I dared to go out rigging UNDER the trees and sailing INSIDE a port in the middle of a group of sailing boats; impossible to do with kite.
Yes more phisical, I agree, after 2 days of waves and Bora (NE) I was KO; but I won't give up for sure until my doctor will order me.
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Old 17th October 2011, 11:28 PM   #59
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A few months ago a young local went to the Philippines for a kite school camp. During a lesson he was thrown against the shore and had his back and legs completely broken. For many weeks we were afraid that he would never walk again. Now he is doing much better and works in our surfshop, but still walks very slowly. He is a very nice guy, 22 years old, with immense spirit and I must admire him. However I'm secretly relieved that my kids have chosen other sports.
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Old 25th October 2011, 08:04 PM   #60
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It seems impossible but right last friday I arrived on Cortellazzo (VE - IT) beach just to see some kiters running for help and one in the ground with a dislocated knee. I asked him how it happened and he replied that he wasn't jumping, he only was unlucky because one foot slipped out of the strap and the other remained in, and board suddely turned.
So I kept thinking that the kite board is not far from a snowboard (my beloved winter sport); but nowaday it's almost impossible in snowboarding thas such an accident can happen, as you have both feet strongly fixed to the board. In kitesurfing it seems you have to go deep in the straps more than us windsurfers, and in fact the kite straps are large and thick; but the feet aren't locked, so the danger of problems at the legs is always high...
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