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Old 10-11-2013, 04:13 PM
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Default A Major New Kite From Cabrinha? (Shot with NEW Hero3+ Camera)





Winds have been light and I was able by some luck to fit in a quick session yesterday with my new 2014 Velocity VMG kite. You can read more about the Velocity on the Cabrinha website at http://www.cabrinhakites.com/kite/velocity.html . The Velocity is described as a highly efficient, lightweight racing kite. Well, Rick doesn't race, much, so what is he doing with one? Sometimes kites end up doing more than designers thought they might in the development phase. This is the case with the Velocity. I spoke at length with Damien LeRoy before and after getting the kite. Damo describes the Velocity as the "ultimate free riding, boosting kite" beyond any consideration as an excellent race kite. Kent Marinkovic of the Pryde Group said "It is my all-time favorite Cabrinha kite. It's not for everyone, but for super speed, light wind performance, and huge airs, it's perfect!!!." Oliver Butsch of Maui said, "Biggest air jumping kite ever produced by cabrinha.
Its a modern crossbow with very little barpressure. If you liked crossbows you will love this kite." Steve Gunn of Long Beach, CA said "been saying this for some time now...not only hugh jumping but hang time to boot! and loops sooooo smooth. Cabrinha's Race Kite; the Velocity is my everyday go to kite. Ultimate hooked in freeride/freestyle kite!" Ty Luckett of OBX said "I have a 9 m, that thing is so ridiculous. Yup huge wind range and mega jumps!"






The Velocity brackets Hillsboro Inlet Lighthouse


In developing the kite for the demands of racing other advantages have come out of the design. It is light, very stable with lots of thrust or lift for the demands of racing ... and free riding. Cabrinha has worked to reduce the weight in many ways in the kite from thinner battens, lines, lighter materials and a good deal more. I picked it up after the session and noticed it was significantly lighter than my 2013 Switchblade kite. There are no pulleys on the bridles either. The kite has a high aspect probably higher than any kite I have used in sometime. This comes out in the photo below. Despite that the kite flew easily in my first session, like a kite with smaller aspect ratio. Damo tells me the Velocity is not a good choice for a new kiter but for someone who has been riding for a while with good control and "kite sense" for a performance oriented kite. In reaching for higher efficiency the kite may be a little more demanding in control inputs. I only have one session on it and there is some truth to this but I don't think it is that demanding a kite really. I understand in lighter conditions you do need to sheet out a bit and let the kite "breath" in turns to maintain speed through the turn.



Dave Daniels with http://sfwindsports.com and https://www.facebook.com/sfwindsports, gives me a hand, again. Thanks Dave! Dave consistently turns out some amazing imagery from throughout SE Florida, posting them on his website and Facebook page. A great example appears below.



Dave Daniels took this nice shot of me ripping along upwind.



Heading out. This is the first time I mounted a GoPro on this particular kite. Given the high aspect ratio of the kite it often captures the kiter far below in the imagery whereas usually I am cropped out.
HERO3+ SHOT WITH MINIMAL PROCESSING

NB - This article is about two firsts, my session with the Velocity AND my first time taking the new GoPro Hero3+ kiting. The new camera is full of new features and capabilities. Some excellent ones in my book include the 30% longer battery time and improved white balancing. Most of the images in this post are from GoPros however I usually do a fair about of processing of images that I use in these write-ups. To allow folks a better idea of the image coming out of the camera I have labeled certain photos here with "HERO3+ SHOT WITH MINIMAL PROCESSING." This means nothing was done to alter color, contrast, sharpness, etc. with processing limited to adjusting size, orientation and putting © info on it.



Heading offshore. HERO3+ SHOT WITH MINIMAL PROCESSING



The remarkable control bar that only comes with the Velocity. This kite is not equipped with the normal Cabrinha IDS depowering system but flags the kite off of one line instead. It has an amazing 30 cm depowering throw resulting in exceptional trimming ability of the kite on the fly for variable wind conditions. Damo says the kite takes wind range into a whole new level. I had jam cleats way back in the day with old Airblast kites if memory serves. The cleats were awkward and not real reliable. Cabrinha has really dialed this system in with easy, rapid one-handed cleating and uncleating. I capture this process in the video below, it is impressively easy.





Here is a short clip of riding with the Velocity.





I mentioned the battens are a lot thinner on this kite. In pumping it up, I noticed the leading edge became quite hard before the battens stiffened up a lot. I asked if the battens needed to be rock hard? Speaking with Damo, no not necessarily. Damo said that you could also clamp off the battens and bleed off some of the leading edge pressure to reduce it, if you wanted the battens a bit stiffer.




I'm going to have to get used to seeing myself in these images. HERO3+ SHOT WITH MINIMAL PROCESSING



Checking out the Whistle Buoy off the channel at the 90 ft. contour.




A crop shot passing by the inlet. Winds were about 12 to 15 mph sometimes a bit higher out of the NNE most of the time. This means I am riding pretty much upwind to make the lighthouse from the launching area. I was impressed by how well the kite pointed upwind. Usually, with lighter wind out of this direction I take out my larger twin tip (150 x 48 cm larger!) to be able to navigate point to point more reliably and rapidly. Today, I decided, I see how I do on my preferred lighter, moderate to high wind board. The choice worked out surprisingly well, with the board ripping upwind nicely. I was at the lighthouse in several tacks in no time.




The reef south of the inlet can be exposed in places at low tide. Also it has lots of rock to carve you up given a chance. It does look nice in photos however particularly at high tide!




The kite has more bar pressure than I had in last years Switchblade but not unduly so. The way it powers up is interesting, it is less "hard" or perhaps more "elastic." It just kind of eases on instead of building a lot of hard firm bar pressure.



Ripping hard with that nice clean control bar.




This kite is stable or when you put it someplace it usually stays there, for a while anyway. Case in point, when I kite, I frequently shoot images. So, I may be placing the kite or helmet-mounted camera for a certain framing and as such it can be easy to slide the kite into the water at times when close, whoops. I noticed with the Velocity, even though I was running fast with the kite low to the water if I eased up on bar pressure or meticulous control it didn't immediately fall off or descend into the water. Also, when I came in to land, I pulled all the way in on the trim line. Usually in lighter winds the kite dives to the ground immediately or soon after. The Velocity continued to fly stably with no indication of diving which is unusual.
HERO3+ SHOT WITH MINIMAL PROCESSING




Working around the inlet, dangers here so have a care.
HERO3+ SHOT WITH MINIMAL PROCESSING




HERO3+ SHOT WITH MINIMAL PROCESSING



HERO3+ SHOT WITH MINIMAL PROCESSING




So, those are some early impressions of the 2014 Velocity in a lighter wind session. It is a smooth, stable, powerful kite even in lighter winds, that points close to the wind and a good deal more. I am really looking forward to taking this thing out in some stronger stuff and checking out the excellent boosting qualities. Until then, good winds!


.
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Last edited by RickI; 10-12-2013 at 02:21 PM.
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Old 10-11-2013, 09:07 PM
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Default Upwind in a flash

First off, thanks Rick for the plug and the kind words.
Secondly, when Rick mentioned he went up wind quiickly he didn't exaggerate. He reached higher than anyone I saw that day. Pretty good for a first time using the kite!
Thirdly, as usual Rick, your photos are terrific.
How was the bar pressure? How hard was it getting to the depower line? In a heavier breeze will it be flagged out and hard to reach?
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Old 10-12-2013, 07:51 AM
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You are most welcome Dave, they are well deserved! Thank you for all the assisted launches, landings and great shots. I did like the way it pointed, it makes getting to the lighthouse easier. There was lots of light which always helps image quality. Still, I miss shooting at sunset which should change with the time change soon. The bar pressure was greater than last year's Switchblade which was quite light. I would still say the Velocity bar pressure if relatively light based on my one go with it so far. I have found it to be less of an issue in higher winds, less holding the bar in. I would be interested to compare bar pressure in stronger winds. No, I found reaching the depowering line fairly easy and was impressed by how reliably it engaged and disengaged. This used to be a major pain in the butt years back with early kites. I would assume grabbing the depower line in high wind wouldn't be difficult based on comments from Damo but have yet to try it myself. Rob Douglas and he were using this same system in the speed races in France in very high winds with good performance. He commented that the smaller line diameters made a huge difference in high wind.
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Old 10-12-2013, 12:21 PM
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Damien LeRoy is putting on a Cabrinha kite demo in Juno/Jupiter tomorrow:




More info at www.jupiterkiteboarding.com
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Last edited by RickI; 10-12-2013 at 02:34 PM.
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Old 10-13-2013, 09:32 PM
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I made it out for a second session tonight close to sunset. The wind was light again, around 12 to 15 mph and dropping near the end after sunset. Some shots follow.




A still shot, shortly after I got off the beach.




A screen grab from video after sunset. I am still playing around with trimming the kite, in light winds as it happens. Usually I wouldn't bother with my short board in these winds but so far so good. This time I attached to the middle pigtail and thought about landing to shift it to the one closest to the kite. Damo was saying he attaches to the outermost knot with good performance. Aside from an incredible skill advantage he is also about 40 lbs. lighter than me! In stronger winds I will try trimming that way and see how I do. Yesterday I did realize some fairly clean added power by attaching to the knots closest to the kite. His concern, a valid one, is oversheeting causing the kite to fly mushy. Sometimes you can correct a bit for this with the trim strap.




A still shot of the day winding down




The sun is down but the colors are really coming out. Another video frame grab.




A still shot of picking up the board after losing an edge. This kite can really load on the speed and power when you are edging even in lighter wind in building gusts. I just dropped a back fin as you can see making this sort of thing easier to have happen.




A frame grab from video about 40 minutes after sunset. I was surprised to see a useable image at this point. Lucked out with a nice colorful sunset.

Hope to get out there for some good wind in the 20 kt. + range, when it is served up of course. Fall winds have been a bit light lately. Good winds ...


.
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Last edited by RickI; 10-14-2013 at 08:35 AM.
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Old 10-14-2013, 10:15 PM
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Some more Hero 3 and Hero3+ images with a good deal of processing from my first session with the Velocity ...



Ready to mount up and head out upwind to the light



Overflying the north jetty, It is nice to see some blue water out there.



Looking down from on high



Solar flare at the lighthouse. This shot was probably taken shortly before the photo above this one.



Tearing down for the day


.
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Last edited by RickI; 10-15-2013 at 09:26 AM.
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Old 10-15-2013, 09:05 AM
thebestkite thebestkite is offline
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Hello Rick,

was at the Sunday Funday in Jupiter/Juno Beach, and I have to say the Velocity is a great kite for the South Florida kiter.
In all aspects a winner and certainly on my christmas wishlist.

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Old 10-15-2013, 09:18 AM
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Glad to hear it Eric! Looks like the wind turned on a bit earlier up that way and stronger too than in these parts. Hope you get your wish list from Santa!
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Old 10-22-2013, 10:03 PM
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I got out for a late session today in some unforecast wind minutes before sunset. The wind was around 14 kts. powering the 13 m up well even enough for a few jumps.









I wanted to catch the process of solo landing totally or "Stage 2" depowering the kite. This is done in emergencies or at time of landing by simply pushing the Stage 2 Quick Release outward (the red thing just above the chicken loop).


http://www.cabrinhakites.com


and here's the video ... I was quite impressed with the ease of the process. Check it out below.




It has been about seven years since I totally depowered traditional "C-kites" in this fashion. Only in that case they would often spin or fly up with more power than evident in this landing. I need to try some of the old landing techniques and see if they fit with this new technology.


Good winds!

.
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Last edited by RickI; 10-22-2013 at 10:27 PM.
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