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small board-BIG KITE vs. BIG BOARD-small kite

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Created by ac17 2 months ago, 25 Nov 2020
ac17
QLD, 40 posts
25 Nov 2020 10:34AM
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Hi all,

When I got into kiting it was all about having the smallest board and the biggest kite. That way you can hold down a lot more wind.
eg, Toby (unhooked / AirStyle) is 7ft and rides an 18m Dyno with a 128cm board...

However, I am noticing an increasing trend to upsize your board and to ride a smaller kite.

Logically I am thinking that this would mean you can fly in lighter wind (?), you bar pressure might be lesser than a larger kite (?), and you can go faster on the bigger board which makes up for having a smaller kite at jump initiation (?) and you probably have a greater top end because you would have a bigger 'break' in the water against a smaller kite which can obviously handle higher wind (?)

But I am yet to try this combination...

Can anyone who has made this shift please comment on the benefits of the latter?

weebitbreezy
495 posts
25 Nov 2020 8:40PM
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Bigger boards in higher winds can be super exhausting on the legs to try and resist against the rail (e.g. only use a board thats way to fat with boots) so you are going to have less top end so get that fallacy out of your head.

Big kite vs small kite probably comes down to your progression level and direction. Beginners often like small kites because they are faster and easier to correct steering or sheeting errors. Intermediates often like slower kites because they punish you less when dialling in the rotations and then experienced kiters often like faster kites because of fast loops. Then add in wakestyle/surf/hooked freestyle and preferences change again. It just ain't as simple as one method is better than another and you can get different answers from the same person at the same spot depending on whether the tide is in or out sometimes (flat water vs chop might result in wakestyle session vs hydrofoil session)

I have bigger boards personally because its cheaper to buy a second board than another big kite. Plus its easier to swap a board than to land a kite, pump up another and launch it again.

The downside is that bigger boards are often heavy/flat/less fun and are more difficult to disguise from a spouse who doesn't want you wasting all that spare cash that could be spent on the house.

SaveTheWhales
WA, 1793 posts
27 Nov 2020 9:20AM
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You can go 1cm on board size Width to have a "bigger" area under the board versus length...
That board will cover more light med & higher wind ranges.
Obviously it would be a second board for it's variables with a smaller faster kite, and keeping your smaller favourite high wind board for strong storm weather.

If you need instant acceleration over a very short distance like KOA guys - youll need that extra quick planning area.

cauncy
WA, 8075 posts
27 Nov 2020 8:04PM
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A small kite won't generate the lift to do anything fun with a clumsy big arse board underneath you

wishy
WA, 1470 posts
28 Nov 2020 5:45AM
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I would say get both boards. Even if you borrow the money.Two tips last so long, you really aren't going to look back in 5 years and say. Gee I'm glad I saved $800 and rode the wrong board all that time.

Sandfoot
VIC, 498 posts
28 Nov 2020 12:29PM
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I moved from 136 to 141 and use 8m in plus 25 knots , 9m in 15 to 25, 11m in 12-20 ish

Mainly kite gusty port phillip bay winds. Vic

Plenty of longer used boards around now

The combo works really well- better upwind with the longer board, wider wind range.

Kamikuza
QLD, 5815 posts
28 Nov 2020 12:32PM
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Select to expand quote
ac17 said..
Hi all,

When I got into kiting it was all about having the smallest board and the biggest kite. That way you can hold down a lot more wind.
eg, Toby (unhooked / AirStyle) is 7ft and rides an 18m Dyno with a 128cm board...

However, I am noticing an increasing trend to upsize your board and to ride a smaller kite.

Logically I am thinking that this would mean you can fly in lighter wind (?), you bar pressure might be lesser than a larger kite (?), and you can go faster on the bigger board which makes up for having a smaller kite at jump initiation (?) and you probably have a greater top end because you would have a bigger 'break' in the water against a smaller kite which can obviously handle higher wind (?)

But I am yet to try this combination...

Can anyone who has made this shift please comment on the benefits of the latter?



Toby's not 7ft but he is 90-something kg, and he only rides up to a certain wind level. He's made very specific choices with his gear, which includes IIRC long lines and the smallest bar possible to slow the kite down as much as possible.

Bigger kite = more bar pressure, more float in a jump, less top end.

Sure you can get going in lighter wind but you're not going to boost 10m air's in 10 knots, no matter how big your kite or TT is ...

I've had boards from 128 to 170, and kites up to 21m. These days, I don't get on the TT unless it's ~20 knots, I won't use a kite bigger than 12m and although my TT is 142, I think I'll go back to 138 ... if I ever buy another one.

Gateman
QLD, 398 posts
30 Nov 2020 8:19PM
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Select to expand quote
ac17 said..
Hi all,

When I got into kiting it was all about having the smallest board and the biggest kite. That way you can hold down a lot more wind.
eg, Toby (unhooked / AirStyle) is 7ft and rides an 18m Dyno with a 128cm board...

However, I am noticing an increasing trend to upsize your board and to ride a smaller kite.

Logically I am thinking that this would mean you can fly in lighter wind (?), you bar pressure might be lesser than a larger kite (?), and you can go faster on the bigger board which makes up for having a smaller kite at jump initiation (?) and you probably have a greater top end because you would have a bigger 'break' in the water against a smaller kite which can obviously handle higher wind (?)

But I am yet to try this combination...

Can anyone who has made this shift please comment on the benefits of the latter?


I think the answer to this original question is going to be different for every kiter ant the conditions they kite in:

Generally speaking, larger boards are slower in the water and more difficult to hold a good edge when over powered. However, smaller kites accelerate faster and can build more tension in the lines by their faster speed creating more upwards boost off the water as long as you can hold that edge. Smaller kites might get you that boost but will need better kite control, heli loops etc to maintain the same hang time and flight time and much more active flying to give you the same soft landings. I am sure I jump higher when I'm perfectly powered or slightly under powered than when I'm over powered but then again, that's relative to the board I'm riding. To this day I think the highest jumps I've done are when flying the smaller kites, to give context: In 18knots I'd ride the Cab Ace (136x39.5) on the 10m but the Crazy Fly (136x40) on the 12m because it is much more power hungry due to the heavy rocket. Still think I jump higher on the 10m but don't have a Woo to prove it. It's going to come down to experiments, experience, personal preference/ability and local conditions.
Just my 2c worth ......
Shaun

ADS
WA, 365 posts
10 Dec 2020 9:50PM
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I remember this same question here about 17 years ago. Physics don't change.

eddiemorgs
NT, 379 posts
11 Dec 2020 10:08AM
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Select to expand quote
Gateman said..

ac17 said..
Hi all,

When I got into kiting it was all about having the smallest board and the biggest kite. That way you can hold down a lot more wind.
eg, Toby (unhooked / AirStyle) is 7ft and rides an 18m Dyno with a 128cm board...

However, I am noticing an increasing trend to upsize your board and to ride a smaller kite.

Logically I am thinking that this would mean you can fly in lighter wind (?), you bar pressure might be lesser than a larger kite (?), and you can go faster on the bigger board which makes up for having a smaller kite at jump initiation (?) and you probably have a greater top end because you would have a bigger 'break' in the water against a smaller kite which can obviously handle higher wind (?)

But I am yet to try this combination...

Can anyone who has made this shift please comment on the benefits of the latter?



I think the answer to this original question is going to be different for every kiter ant the conditions they kite in:

Generally speaking, larger boards are slower in the water and more difficult to hold a good edge when over powered. However, smaller kites accelerate faster and can build more tension in the lines by their faster speed creating more upwards boost off the water as long as you can hold that edge. Smaller kites might get you that boost but will need better kite control, heli loops etc to maintain the same hang time and flight time and much more active flying to give you the same soft landings. I am sure I jump higher when I'm perfectly powered or slightly under powered than when I'm over powered but then again, that's relative to the board I'm riding. To this day I think the highest jumps I've done are when flying the smaller kites, to give context: In 18knots I'd ride the Cab Ace (136x39.5) on the 10m but the Crazy Fly (136x40) on the 12m because it is much more power hungry due to the heavy rocket. Still think I jump higher on the 10m but don't have a Woo to prove it. It's going to come down to experiments, experience, personal preference/ability and local conditions.
Just my 2c worth ......
Shaun


Agree with this

Its not the same for everyone obviously ... some like to kite powered , some don't , depends on what your thing is ... waves , tricks hangtime and your location etc etc .

And then there is a cross over point between the larger kite being slower will not generate enough speed to get some apparent wind going and you the cant rely on its pure bottom end to get you through lighter air where a smaller kite might due to an abiltiy to fly it quicker
Eg a 12 as opposed to a 14 . If its a 12 as opposed to a 17 .. thats different i guess but different ball game

This is where the bigger board comes in ... the 12 might work better in this case , and will be more fun .

Over the years of windsurfing in heavy southern winds with a strong downwind sweep most opted for a bigger more floaty board to avoid bogging through the break and a smaller wave sail to suit the ride in on waves .

In Darwin , we kite in light 12-15 a fair bit and its common to use a bigger board with an otherwise smaller kite in waves and foiling .. tt riders tend to use a larger kite than they would if down south , and I would think a larger board

Personally , I prefer not being fully powered up on the kite all the time, especially in waves I prefer a little leeway ... using a smaller kite and use boards which will get me through lulls to cover it . Its not always perfect though .

Plummet
4768 posts
12 Dec 2020 1:21AM
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I guess there is a bell curve for optimal sizing for each person depending on that persons physical size and riding style.

In general terms you can hold more edge/power an a smaller board. But that smaller board is more limited in lumpy conditions. Adding size and also rocker makes for a smoother ride, go faster and better ability to load and pop in rougher conditions. Also increase size and rocker make it easier to landing monster jumps.

So.... teny, tiny board may only be usefull in the butter flat estuary.

Look at king of the air boards. Those guys are using bigger boards, with more rocker to get monster air in the more lumpy conditions of capetown waves. If a tiny board was the way, they would be using them...... They are not. Thats because its very hard to get speed and controllably load and pop in a mcdonalds tray, even harder to landing.

Personally i'm a big board intermerdiate kite guy. But I am blazing my mutant in the waves, boost and wave ride. So I want wave ridability which only happens on a big board. But I also want to boost...... so I hunt that magic place of powered enough for boosting and still be able to slash a wave on the way back.

My board is 145x45. I'm running 10m to 25 knots 8m to 35 knots. 6m to 40 knots and 4m to 50 knots.

Side note, Board shape also has a big impact. More tapered at the tips the bigger you can go while still being able to hold an edge. Width has a bigger impact compared to length regarding the ability to hold power. Increasing length has a bigger impact on smoothness and the ability to land monster jumps.



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"small board-BIG KITE vs. BIG BOARD-small kite" started by ac17