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Kite 2012

Kitesurfing News Year 2012-2016!

Archive for the ‘News’ Category

Rapace kites

Posted by kite2012 On May - 26 - 2012

Ever heard about Rapace? Or have you ever seen a Rapace kite? No?, Well, the probability is quite small since Rapace just recently entered the kite manufacturing market. Currently they only have resellers in Canada, France, Italy, Slovenia and the Netherlands. They are actually looking for resellers, so if you want to sell kites, now is your chance!

Rapace produce kites both for snowkiting and kitesurfing. They also produce boards, harnesses, so Rapace pretty much cover the whole spectra. However, their range of products is still small, but I assume that it will grow larger with time.

The one and only kitesurfing kite that is for sale on the market is the Rapace RW1. It’s a 9m hybride kite. Let’s take a deeper look into it. Note that this information is taken right from the Rapace official site (www.rapace-kiteboarding.fr), so the drawbacks with this kite, if any… are of course not stated ;)

The RW1 is easy to use. No oddities or special features, therefor suitable for beginners.
It comes with a one pump system so you don’t have to worry about being the last one that enters the water.
The RW1 is very stable, yet lively and responsive.
The shape of the RW1 allows for a huge lift for those who love long flights when attached to the harness.
The large depower allows you to ride in a wide wind range.

Technical details:

* One pump
* Bar with double stoppers
* Security system + trim piece
* Reinforced fabric on LE and struts
* 25 meter lines
* Non-return ball in the valve on the leading edge
* Quick and easy trim over the bar
* Teijin fabrics
* Reinforcements struts

Shape:

* Hybrid
* 5 struts
* 4 lines
* double pullies
* Freestyle/freeride

 

 

Nothing new really. All kites manufactured today are more or less constructed in the same way with one pump, teijin fabrics, reinforcements etc…

However, what I find interesting with this kite is the price! You can buy this Rapace RW1 kite for as low as $815 or 650 € including bar, pump, bag! The url to the online shop is www.rapace-shop.fr

Finally, here is a video that shows that it’s fully possible to perform well with this kite in the water!

When is it time to leave the water?

Posted by kite2012 On May - 23 - 2012

Under your kiteboarding lesson you probably learned that it´s important to keep an eye on the sky to see if there are any weird cloud formations going on such as dark clouds or cumulonimbus clouds. Rain fronts are usually easy to spot in time to manage to go back on land and bring down your kite before the front is over you. Or you can of course stay in the water and get prepared for an insane jumping session, just don’t lose your board since it can be difficult to recover it in very strong wind. Sometimes rain fronts come and go frequently and you can often see if it´s a big front or a smaller front. The size of the front determines how long you can expect the temporary strong wind to last. Landing a kite in strong gusty wind can be very dangerous, so it´s better to stay in the water and let the front pass than landing the kite while the wind is at its peak. If the whole horizont is dark and cloudy, then you might consider to get back on land after all even if you’re a skilled kiter, since you cannot estimate for how long the bad weather will last. There are however some occasions where you really shouldn’t stay in the water to prolong your kite session. One of these occasions is if the sky looks like this:

What you see here is a Shelf cloud which is a type of an Arcus cloud. This cloud could be seen in Hatteras yesterday the 22nd of May and I doubt that any kiteboarders decided to take a session during the time.

A shelf cloud is a horizontal wedge shaped cloud that rush forward along the ground. The shelf cloud is in turn connected to the base of a parent cloud, usually a thunderstorm i.e. a big cumulonimbus cloud, but it can be attached to other convective cloud types as well. The leading edge of the shelf cloud gets its characteristic shape due to the cold sinking air coming from the storm cloud behind it. This downdraft spreads out across the land as the leading edge is heading towards you. With this leading edge comes a strong gust front.

The storm cloud behind the shelf cloud might be very high (1,5 miles up to 14 miles) with strong upwinds. These upwinds are caused when the warm air in the middle of the cloud rushes upwards through the cloud. The cumulonimbus cloud often show up with its characteristic appearance of an anvil. The anvil consists of a veil of ice crystals in the upper part of the cloud, just at the bottom of the tropopause. The upwinds that reach this level is relatively colder than the tropopause, hence the moist air is diffusing laterally. This cold air in turn creates downdraft on the outside of the cloud. The rain and hail in these downdraft bring a lot of air that smashes towards the ground where it is being pushed forward in front of the cloud. This is the strong cold gust that we feel just before a bad weather cloud is coming in. The upwinds in the cumulonimbus clouds can be as strong as 20-30 m/s. They are therefore extremely dangerous to kiteboarders. In other words it´s not a good idea to be out kiteboarding either if you see a shelf cloud or a cumulonimbus cloud. There is a high risk that you get lofted, which happened to the guy from the unbelievable “Top Hat video”.

Massive cumulonimbus clouds can, if the conditions are right, transform into supercells. Supercells can be described as cumulonimbus clouds with strong rotating updrafts. The rotation occurs when the updrafts are combined with wind shear. The wind shear make the air turn into a huge vertical spiral inside the cloud that is being bended upwards thanks to the updrafts.

    
If you face a supercell when kiteboarding then you better not just head toward the beach asap, but packing down your stuff and get the hell out of there!

The most well-designed kite on the market!

Posted by kite2012 On May - 20 - 2012

Which kite is the most well-designed kite on the market? I find it hard to answer that question. Is it the Slingshot RPM, Cabrinha Crossbow, BWS Noise? I´ve been an owner of several different kites and I can’t say that I´ve been fully satisfied with any of them, there has always been something in the construction and the design that has been bothering me. The center-line and depower strap on Slingshot’s control bar system sucks in my opinion, not only do these “ropes” wear easily but giving me blisters between my fingers. The lines that Cabrinha provide are crap, after a season they are at least 1 inch longer. The control bars that came with my Royal Kites proved to be fairly easy to crack (I’ve managed to crack 2 Royal control bars!)
Just recently I noticed that the donkey dick on my new “smartbar” for my Airush Varial X 2012 was broken. A bar that have been used about 5 times!
What I´m trying to say here is that it obviously is hard to design a kite that last!
I understand that the manufacturers do what they can to cut the costs, for instance by using cheap materials. Not saying that cheap materials necessarily must be of poor quality, but I assume that it´s more likely to find crappy materials in China fabric than in NASA’s development centre. So I find it natural that the kites from different kite manufacturers have “weak” and “strong” parts in their kites depending on whom they have chosen as for their suppliers.
This brings us to another rather difficult question, which kite brand that has the best suppliers? Best in terms of supplying quality parts.
I guess that it could be possible to tell which kites that are more likely to last if we had information about their suppliers, but I don’t, and it would require a thorough research to unearth that information…
I wish someone out there could give me solid proofs that showed me black on white which kite that is made of the highest quality materials. Or to put it in another way, I´d like to know which kite to buy to get as much kite as possible per dollar.
Until that day I assume that I´ll have to live in uncertainty and rely on what I read on kite forums and what I see in kite promos :P

Finally, if for some reason bothered to read all this, then you might as well take a look at this promo for Gin Guru. My old picture of Gin kites is that they are just another newcomer located in Switzerland that tries to take their share of the pie in the kite selling market. But lately I´ve read lots of positive words about this kite. Perhaps is Gin making the best kites on the market? Who the hell knows… Anyway, I like their new promo. I bet they manage to get some new followers thanks to this short clip, you should not undervalue the effect of good marketing! :)


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KTA China Pingtan 2012

Posted by kite2012 On May - 19 - 2012

They finally got some wind in Pingtan! Here is a bit of freestyle action from the mens and female single competition as well as some racing competition. As you can see they ride a lot of Ozone kites, I guess Ozone has done some serious marketing in Asia :)

The guy standing to the right in this picture is Ken from Boracay. He runs a kite center on bulabong beach, “Kite Academics” or something like that. Anyway, he is a friendly guy that you usually find on the beach or in one of bars in the evenings.
Don’t know his place in this KTA tournament… he doesn’t seem to look to enthusiastic some reason…

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Dr. Tuba – kite repair kit

Posted by kite2012 On May - 7 - 2012

Many of us have probably heard of Dr. Tuba (www.drtuba.eu), the site you visit when you had a major blow out on your bladder. Dr. Tuba for sell great kite repairing stuff, such as patches in different sizes, glue, dacron, flying lines etc. Dr. Tuba has a new promo video for the complete (ultimate) repair kit.

Looks good, doesn’t it!? The only problem I find with Dr. Tuba is the price… This complete repair kit cost 69,90€. You might as well by a whole new bladder for this price. And is Dr. Tuba the only place where you can by kite repair stuff? No, you can by adhesives, kite lines, glue etc. at many different places to a much better price. For instance Thermoplastic Polyurethane Film (adhesive patches) can be bought at www.3m.com and www.polyprod.com. In fact the patches from Dr. Tuba is made by 3m. Kite lines can be bought in your local sail shop or online on several sites, such as www.alibaba.com. Polyurethane (PU) glues can also be bought everywhere. Www.excelglue.com is just a example.
Another option to buying kite repair stuff from shops is to simply use the kite forums. Post a thread and let people know that your´re looking for some patches, kite lines or whatever you need. You´re more likely get bunch of replies from people that gladly will give away their excess for free. I recently talked with a kite school that threw away hundreds of meters with kite lines since it was just laying there collecting dust.

Conclusion

Dr. Tuba have the stuff you need to repair your kite, but the one that is on a limited budget or the one that simply doesn’t want to pay exorbitant amounts for things that in fact can be purchased considerably cheaper have lots of better alternatives.

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The Kite Show

Posted by kite2012 On May - 5 - 2012

Episode six of the kite show brings us 40 minutes of kite action! We´ll see and interview with Aaron Hadlow who’s back after his injury that put him out of order for nine months. We’ll also meet the Best designers Peter Stiewe and Jordi Modolell to find out more about their awesome jobs. Further Andre Phillip explains why the movie Island Time became such a success featuring Sam Light where he starts his back mobe instructional series beginning with the back roll and back-to-toe. Ruben Lenten talks about the highlights of the Len10 Mega Loop Challenge in Cape Town and Aaron Hadlow interviews the winner Lewis Crathern.

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Kai Lenny – Episode 3

Posted by kite2012 On May - 3 - 2012

Kai Lenny is a guy that probably spend more time in the water than on land… he masters kitesurfing, SUP, wavesurfing and windsurfing. Red Bull is currently running a series with Kai Lenny “Positively Kai”. Stay tuned for coming episodes :)

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Kiteboarding in the Olympics 2016

Posted by kite2012 On April - 23 - 2012

The International Sailing Federation (ISAF) has decided to add ten kiteboarding events for the 2016 Olympic Sailing Competition. The confirmation was held in 2011 at the ISAF Mid-Year Meeting in St Petersburg, Russia.
Göran Petersson, the ISAF President, advocated for kiteboarding for more than three hours before the ten events were decided. More than 50 Submissions were received for consideration and we can be pleased to anounce that 10 of them were selected. All events are within racing, so we can forget freestyle and old school this time.

The ten events selected by the ISAF Council for the 2016 Olympic Sailing Competition are:

Men’s Board and/or Kiteboard – evaluation
Women’s Board and/or Kiteboard – evaluation
Men’s One Person Dinghy – Laser
Women’s One Person Dinghy – Laser Radial
Men’s 2nd One Person Dinghy – Finn
Men’s Skiff – 49er
Women’s Skiff – Evaluation
Men’s Two Person Dinghy – 470
Women’s Two Person Dinghy – 470
Mixed Two Person Multihull – Evaluation

Some people are already training for the Olympics 2016, such as Annabel van Westerop as seen here in this video:


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The Future of Kitesurfing?

Posted by kite2012 On April - 13 - 2012

Imagine if there were small mobile islands out in the open water, so that you simply could kitesurf wherever you wanted! That´s probably the thought behind this idea, but I doubt that this ever will be reality…


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With A Kite – The Evolution of True Boarding

Posted by kite2012 On April - 12 - 2012

A very interesting project is going on just as you read this. A guy named Adam Boozer is about to make a documentary about kiteboarding. We´ve seen tons of kitesurfing videos from different brand and riders. Cool videos with sick action, nice scenary featuring people that lives the kiteboarding lifestyle.

But what´s missing is a film that shows how advanced kiteboarding is today and how extremely hard the core of top pro riders work to make kiteboarding as extreme as it is today. And where has kitboarding have to go next to be accepted by the mainstream? This is what Adam’s documentary will focus on or as Sam Brandson says in the teaser below “We need an epic, Billabong Odyssey style doc that puts kiteboarding on the map.”

For further information about this project check out Kickstarter – With a Kite

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GIN Kites

Posted by kite2012 On February - 8 - 2012

GIN Kiteboarding is a Swiss company that produced kites since 2005. Designer Robert Graham, who is responsible for kite development has worked with GIN Gliders in the late 80’s. GIN is positioning itself as a brand with a focus on quality, function and long-term applicable innovations that create added value in kite surfing experience. You can tell by the kites, control bars and even bags.

At the end of January, I tested a late prototype of ZULU III 11m2 and an old 12m2 Nasca II and both of them feel very nice to play with and they are of good quality and with details of high quality. I also tested the snowkites ESKIMO INUIT 8m2 and 10m2, and these feel good, very responsive and makes a convincing impression regarding the quality and detail work.

Some more info on GIN Kite Board products:

Tubekites:

ZULU III
The ZULU 3 is the thrid version of the Zulu kite. A well balanced shape that comes from the precise construction of all parts of the kite. The Zulu III has a great stability with C-kite performances.

 

 

 

 

 

 

GURU

Guru is Gin’s new kite that will be released in March 2012. This kite will come in the following sizes, 4, 6, 8, 10, 12 and 14.
A small promo video:

Nasca II

Nasca II is one of previous models from Gin that isn’t manufactured anymore. It is a 5 line kite with smooth and comfortable handling, it has speed and constant traction. It´s a fast turning kite!

For more info about Gin Kites, check out Gin Kiteboarding

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How to make your kite last longer

Posted by kite2012 On February - 7 - 2012

How to make your kite last longer

I wish that I could have read these tips right when I started my kitesurfing career, so that I wouldn’t have had to learn them all myself by wasting my own kites. Anyway, I still think it doesn’t hurt to get reminded about how to treat your kites for maximum endurance even though you´re an experienced rider. Feel free to add more tips!

So here are my 10 top tips for anyone who wants to keep his beloved kite happy and in good condition for a looong time!

 

 

1.    Sand. Sand is every kite’s worst enemy. Before packing together your kite, make sure to remove all or at least as much as possible of the sand from the kite. Sand wears out materials, increases the risk of occurrence of holes and tears up the canopy and other fabric material

2.    Do not pack down a wet kite. To wash your kite is not always necessary (but certainly not wrong). But if you wash your after each session, make sure it dries properly before packing it down. To pack down a wet kite is usually not a problem as long as you pack it up again shortly after. Beware though that it doesn’t take many days for a wet kite to get discolored (some kites are more sensible than other to discoloration) and in the long run start mold and smell bad.

3.    Rig and pump the kite as close to the water as possible. By walking with an inflated kite over a long distance you increase the risk of scratching your kite on the ground and the lines might get stuck in branches, stones, bushes etc.

4.    The Pump. When packing down your pump, get in the habit to remove the hose. By constantly letting the hose stay connected to the pump you´ll quickly end up having bendings and after a while even holes in the hose.

5.    The control bar and the lines. Keep your lines free from knots and always wash your bar in fresh water if you´ve been kiting in salt water. A knot on a line decrease its strength by more than 50%, which increases the risk that you snap it when you least want it to happen. The reason to why you should wash the control bar (and the lines) in fresh water is because salt water breakes down the lines over time.

6.    Avoid launching the kite yourself. Launching a kite by letting it “walk” along the ground wears it more than necessary. If you do a self-launch, use a “dogbone” or walk out in the water and launch the kite from there.

7.    Avoid twisting the bladder. Make sure that the kite is flat and completely rolled out before you start pumping it. To let the kite “roll up” by itself when you pump, you might if you´re unlucky, twist the bladder inside the tube. Also, do not stick the nozzle of the pump to deep in the valve since this can stretch out the valve opening.

8.    Use your kitebag. Always pack down your kite in its bag when you´re about to transport it. Do not just throw it into the trunk on your car where board fins and other sharp objects easily can make cuts your kite.

9.    Beware for waves. If you’ve dropped your kite in the water where it gets awash with waves, let it go. This is of course nothing you want to do if not absolutely necessary, but be aware that big breaking waves can stretch out the canopy or even rip your kite apart.

10.    Sun and wind. Do not leave your kite to flutter in the wind and do not leave it in the sun longer than necessary. Too much sun makes the material brittle and the colors get bleached. Letting the canopy fluttering in the wind will wear the canopy in the long run.

11.    If you notice that a line, pigtail, bridle, chicken loop or whatever is getting a bit worn out, replace it! To snap a line or break a bridle out in the sea can lead to much worse damage on your kite as it might start looping and only God knows where deathloops will end.

ruined kite

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Some of these points may be difficult to follow to the letter. This is however not the idea, but by keeping these small tips in mind you will hopefully be able to keep your kite in a better condition and prevent it to get exposed to unnecessary wear.

Happy kiting!

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Sensi Graves Bikinis

Posted by kite2012 On February - 4 - 2012

Sensi Graves is a full time kiteboarder that constantly was looking for a swimsuit that could perform on the same high level as she do in the water, but nowhere could she find a swimsuit or bikini that hold things in place yet sexy and comfortable. After countless of slip-ups and tops lost in the water she decided to design her own suit with the functionality and that is required if you kiteboard while still remanining a sensual and chick look. The result was Sensi Bikinis!

Sensi’s collection of swimsuits and bikinis are feminine, strong, supportive and comes in a design that goes well along with the fun and action that kiteboarding can be associated with.

Sensi’s bikins are made to make things stay in place so that you can concentrate on the kiteboarding rather than constantly pulling down your bikini bottom peace over your caudal half or adjusting the bra.

Sensi’s bikinis are actually so nice that you don’t really have to be a kitesurfer to look sexy in them! Here is a small selection of Sensi’s collection.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sensis full collection of bikins can be found at www.sensibikinis.com

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