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  #21  
Old 02-03-2010, 11:00 AM
Unimog Bob Unimog Bob is offline
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I know you are responding mainly to Kent, Whitey, but just want to say "I hear ya", it's why I pointed out that racing vs. free ride is different.

I honestly think that most kites are pretty darn good these days and that we are knit picking over stuff (to a large extent). If you guys rode the crap that Jay, Kent and even I did (slightly after them) around ten years ago, you would get what I am trying to say.

In a nutshell, I am advising Gary not to stress over the kite (just get whatever within reason), but also make sure to buy a "race board" for ME to demo. (even if he doesn't want one).

Visuals might help.
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  #22  
Old 02-03-2010, 11:58 AM
kent kent is offline
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Yep, i agree with all of you guys. This was a great thread and it's nice to see so much interest in light air kites. I really want to hop on a Silver Arrow when I can to check it out. I have heard great things about this kite.

Regarding the good light wind boards, for just riding around the new generation of course boards are probably not ideal as they generally need to be ridden flat. I actually ride the exact same board as Alex has in the video which was shot in La Ventana. This is actually going to be the new Cabrinha race board.

If you are looking for a good light wind directional, any twin fin race board from the last 2 years will work fine. While the North board wasn't competitive around the race course, it was easy to ride and worked well in light wind. The NJS from last year is good too. Both of these boards ride well on edge and are fun for reaching. You may not have to go as wide as race boards though.

I'd guess that a flat rocker board of 17-19 inches in width will be great. I personally like quads for the control, but twins in light wind are great. I've even seen some surf style fish boards work nicely.

If you really want to push it, the Alex board is really amazing! it's hard in the legs, but kills it upwind, reaching, and down wind. At the La Ventana event we were course racing on 7's - 9's and the water was very choppy. Adam Koch, also racing on an Alex board hit 36 knots off the wind with a set up very similar to mine. It's funny to think that we are using the same set up in 6-7 mph! I actually like the feel of these boards, but they are not much for jumping, etc.
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  #23  
Old 02-03-2010, 03:16 PM
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Steve-O Steve-O is offline
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Not only have the kites come along way, but so has this forum. It is nice to read a very constructive thread with lots of good input and a respect for each others opinions and viewpoints. Just like bad kites are a thing of the past, I hope that unproductive threads are in the past as well.
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  #24  
Old 02-04-2010, 06:11 AM
Unimog Bob Unimog Bob is offline
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Thanks Kent for the info on boards. Sorry I so blatantly changed the direction of this thread, btw.
Yikes... I still have a couple more questions.

If I got one of his boards, I would be riding in it in sub 13 most likely and trying to race the windsurfers out at the beach. I wouldn't even want to jump it, so no worries on that one.

If you had to guess (in per cent) what is the speed/ability/difficulty-in-riding difference b/n a 2 year old production North board and one of Alex's new boards? I know in racing 2% could mean the diff b/n win/lose. But, for a guy like me, who cares about 2% (?) is my take.
Or is it night and day difference?
Also, Is riding an Alex board really tough because you have to ride it flat?
Is the difficulty level of riding it a deal breaker? Or am I assuming it's harder than it is?

Thanks again, I appreciate your inputs. It'll be cool to see Cabby have that board as a board offered in a line up. I could be wrong, but I think once people (at least 30 year old plussers) start getting a taste of race boards, many might want one for light days and to cruise. I personally would put my money into one way before I put into into a monster kite. I come from a sailing/windsurfing background and just love sailing around though. :mrgreen:
Also, I got to ride the new S-Quad 5'9" out at Cocoa and really liked it.

In terms of success on a forum, I think rational/respectful discussions are only possible when people aren't trying real hard to sell stuff or push an agenda.

Last edited by Unimog Bob; 02-04-2010 at 06:28 AM.
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  #25  
Old 02-04-2010, 09:18 AM
kent kent is offline
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Good question. Actually, I'd rather compare the Alex board to the NJS board that Sean Farley used to wind the worlds last year. The North board was really never competitive on the course, but is still a fine light wind board. This is probably proved by the fact that North's top racer used the NJS board at the worlds.

Just 2 weeks ago i had the chance to race with Farley, Damo, Richman, etc. in La Ventana. It was a great test and total eye opener. Farley came with the same board from last years' worlds. This would clearly be the benchmark as he was unstoppable at the event last year. Damo, Shawn, Adam, and myself had a variety of Alex boards.

I must say that I haven't kited much and was really just racing to see if i should take it up again. I was surprised to see my performance up wind against a guy like Farley, who is a total professional. I'd guess that my speed was similar, but that my angle was crushing (nearly 2 to 3 degrees better). He of course still beat me as i fell on many tacks and my performance down wind was nearly embarrassing. But, Farley was clearly better than Damo last year and this year I'd say that they weren't really racing on the same course. Damo's speed was amazing and his angle probably a degree better than mine. I think that clearly Damo and I had the best angle up wind at this event and that I'd guess that the Alex board was no less than 3 degrees better upwind from the NJS and probably close off the wind. Farley is known to always be fast down wind so it's tough to tell. Shawn Richman was also on the Alex board and fly's down wind better than anyone minus his little brother, so i know that this board works off the breeze too. Adam Koch hit 36 knots in a puff on a very wide Alex board with huge fins!

So, i totally love riding course boards even for fun. i enjoy the jibes, tacking, and being able to ride nearly anytime i go to the beach. we have a large group of Formula windsurfers here in Miami, may of which are top level. I'm betting that in winds below 12 knots that I should be winning around the marks this weekend.

In short, i think that you would like a course board. they are hard to get the hang of to start, but with the right fins (less lift), they can be easy to control. An older North twin fin, last year's NJS, or even the new Alex board are all great. I bought the board from Alex because my main interest is racing and i think he has the stuff right now. we will find out in less than 4 weeks at the first cup race in Mexico. I sure hope more people get into this as i can see the days of the tudor mistral race tour coming back to FL.
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  #26  
Old 02-04-2010, 10:30 AM
Unimog Bob Unimog Bob is offline
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Thanks for the thoughtful response.

I am not (at the moment) so interested in racing, as much as enjoying the ride.
Sounds like a course board could bring some more fun to kiting at sub 13.
But who knows, if course racing came to St. Pete, I might become interested. I am doubtful that I would ever do well, but beating my own times is what my personality is all about, so I would most likely enjoy racing at an "friendly" level.
I know I would definitely enjoy course racing more than a downwind deal.
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  #27  
Old 02-04-2010, 10:59 AM
kent kent is offline
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I forgot to mention what i like best about boards like these... i ride in the bay quite a bit and this board allows be to kite in areas that you would normally never kite in. I can ride up wind to stilltsville, over to Soldier Key, Boca Chita, Elliot, etc. 10 minutes of riding up wind will put you in places that it would take 20-30 minutes to get to on a twin tip. I must also say that with the very good rocker on my board that riding down wind is a fantastic way to end a great day of riding.

I agree that a 13 is probably as big as you need to go on one of these. It's kind of interesting that you can nearly float on the board from brief periods of time with out wind in your kite. I'd assume that the board must have 60 liters of volume.
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  #28  
Old 02-04-2010, 11:03 AM
Unimog Bob Unimog Bob is offline
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Interesting that you say that, and I am glad you did.
I am most interested in a board like this for "sight seeing" in sub 13 knots, treating my rig more like a sailboat. Most sailboats don't go out for 2 hours and cover the same tack 200 times.

When I go sightseeing, I love to cover a huge area (3 or more miles upwind if possible, and probably an area 10 miles square) and just check stuff out for up to 2 hours. Few things are more fun (for me anyway, Masters in marine ecology) than freaking out some fish or dolphins that never saw ya' coming
I wouldn't ride sub 13 back and forth in the same spot.
So the more freedom (higher pointing upwind) the better.

Good to hear what you said in that regard.

Thanks again, Kent.
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  #29  
Old 07-13-2010, 09:55 PM
tross tross is offline
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Default @Kent just got a 2010 CB 16

I've been riding an old 2005 CB 16 with a monsterdoor in light wind and can hang on to ~20kts when I have to. I've gone straight from it to my 9m SB. I had to replace it and I went with the new 2010 CB 16.

A couple weeks ago I went out in really light wind and could not even water relaunch it. I struggled and tried everything I could think of. I tried reverse launching, I tried getting it to flip on its back, I tried holding the lines as high as I could reach but I couldn't get it to get off the surface of the water.

I tried it again this past Saturday http://kiteboard.ning.com/profiles/b...little-session and had a blast when it was in the air - even when I had to work it a bit. But man, when it drops, it's a biyatch to get out of the water again. I had to dig my door into the water to get some more resistance. Eventually I got it to flip over by moving to one side and quickly back the other way. It rotated up and then fell on the trailing edge which put it perfectly positioned for a hotlaunch. It worked, but man what a chore.

In light air, I need to have the best relaunch possible. I heard the 2011 CB is going to correct this, but I haven't found anything on the web to support this. I'm contemplating bringing the kite back and getting an old contra 17. If only my old CB 16 could just hold on a few more years.

Kent - is it true that the 2011 CB 16 is redesigned to improve the water relaunch? Are there any tricks to make it easier to get the damn thing back in the sky?

thanks in advance
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  #30  
Old 07-14-2010, 01:17 PM
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Erick Erick is offline
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Getting back to the LIGHT wind kite topic yet another way to impact your riding in LIGHT winds days besides types of kites, boards, line lenght, etc. (and I don't mean to be sarcastic in any way) is to get LIGHTER! I remember when I lost 15 pounds. Holly cow! that made a difference in my kite size selection. another incentive to lose weight for summer
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