Posts Tagged ‘strapless’

While kiteboarding already has a huge lightwind advantage over sports like windsurfing, everyone always wants to get the most riding time possible.  For most kiteboarders on a standard setup (12m Kite &140cm board for 175lb rider) rideable wind begins at about 15 mph.  This amount of wind is apparent because whitecaps become easily seen and prevalent on the water around 15 mph.  With this same setup jumping and powered riding will begin at around 17 mph.

2013 Cabrinha Crossbow LW Kiteboard Kite and Cabrinha Stylus kiteboard

2013 Cabrinha Crossbow LW Kiteboard Kite and Cabrinha Stylus kiteboard

One of the best things you can do to improve your lightwind riding is to become a better kite flyer.  Accomplished kite flyers can lose as much as 3 mph of wind and still be riding because they keep the kite moving in the power zone.  A good way to become a better kite flyer is simply flying in light-winds.  You can learn more in an hour of flying your kite in sub 12 winds than all your previous experience combined.  It is much more difficult to fly the kite in these winds and it is necessary to keep the kite moving.
Remember to pull in for more power when turning, then let the bar out to allow the kite to become more aerodynamic and rise in the sky.

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NathanP-sq-250The week leading up to the first major storm of winter saw great anticipation of amazing conditions from those of us that favor the strongest winds with the largest waves. Tucker and I were on it – monitoring the weather throughout the week and especially the day before. We made the call the night before, planning on riding right when everything would be at its peak. The forecast called for gale force winds with 20′ significant wave heights – prime.

On Friday, I was woken up by my house shaking from the winds. Given the 20-degree temps outside and knowing the water would be in the sub-50 range, I began to shy away from the idea of heading out on such a nasty day. We made a call around noon to back off on riding, only to make a go of it around 4. Tucker and I headed for the beach with a 2013 Switchblade 7 and a 2012 Nomad 7, expecting winds in the mid-30kt range. We were very wrong.

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Watch this….You will be glad.

John John is pretty much the hottest thing in surfing since the thruster and everyone knows it.  Even so this exceeds all expectations.

The Best Surfer in the world with some of the best surf photograpers.  Great Edit!  Do you want a Gopro for christmas or what?

Does this look nice or what?  Keahi makes everything look so easy.

Pedro shows how he is so good in the waves.  Kite or not, he can ride a wave.

 

Kitesurfing is becoming vastly popular in the world of kiteboarding.  Using your kite to ride waves is no new idea but there are a growing number of riders who are focusing on this style of riding.  Many riders are choosing to ride strapless boards not unlike a normal surfboard.  There are a few distinct differences between kitesurfboards, hand made surfboards, and production surfboards that make them unique.

The typical hand-made surfboard is either PU or EPS foam core often stringered with a hardwood. PU or Polyurethane foam is a crispy, easy to shape foam that can be glassed with either Polyester resin or Epoxy.  PU/Polyester construction has been frowned upon recently because of its carcinogens and environmental impact.It provides a light, responsive, and affordable board.  EPS or Expanded Polystyrene is made of air filled foam beads. This type of foam can consist of up to 92% air.  EPS Foam board must be glassed and repaired with either Epoxy resin or Vinyl Ester resin.  Polyester resin will eat EPS foam like acid due to its Methyl ethyl ketone peroxide (MEKP) catalyst.  Eps is more difficult and expensive to work with, but is fast becoming the prefered method of board building.  Surfboarder/Kiteboarder favorite shaper William “Stretch” Riedel has been using eps epoxy construction for over 30 years.
The glassing schedule on this style of board is designed for a lightweight, reflexive response, and are easily repairable.  While they are the standard for performance riding while surfing, they are easily heel dented or broken under heavy stress.
Many kitesurfers prefer the feel of this type of board, especially those who ride the wave without much kite power.  Brands Such as Cabrinha Kites are now catering to this kind of board by offering PU models in their most popular boards such as the Cabrinha Skillet PU.

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