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I was looking to hear some views on foil kites from those who have experience on them as to how they measure up to their lei counterparts. Obviously use and performance in the water. Relaunch and how? Reverse? Depower? Relative size vs power when compared to lei? Ability for kite to stay "afloat" in light wind in a static position. Takes on chronos, flysurfers. Im just another curious mind, thinking about experimenting with these kites in the future. Love em ? Hate em? Feedback is always appreciated
Try before you buy. No experience with Ozone Chronos but I would like to try one. Regarding Flysurfers, before sle's came out they had some advantages. They perform similar to sles in terms of power, & ability to stay "afloat", but turn slower and relaunch is not as reliable. The hang time is quite nice when at the upper part of their wind range. The power is more spikey in the smaller sizes compared to sles. My main complaint with Flysurfers is keeping the bridle in tune as lines on pulleys shrink and the B/C/Z bridle will shrink relative to the A bridle. I like kites with direct steering and prefer kites with no pulleys nor bridles for low maintenance. I feel that Flysurfers are expensive and depreciate quickly if you hold on to them too long. I was attracted to Flysurfers for beaches where I was getting a lot of leading edge punctures, particularly in the larger sizes.
5 or so years ago i was living on the east coast and just had a one kite quiver (15m flysurfer speed 3 deluxe). it rarely blew heavily usually around 10 knots and the wind rarely blew above 20 or so knots. The depower, i thought, was great. i could be up on a landboard having a decent time in 5 knots, and be in the water having a great time when it was blowing 20 knots.
The hangtime was incredible, the lift is much slower than most leis i've tried, and the comedown
is very slow (which i really like for land - easier on the knees). relaunching in the water is no problem, similar to an lei, i just wouldn't want it crashing on decent sized waves.
Since moving to the bay, I bought leis for the water and just use my foil for land. dealing with the complicated bridles are a huge pain. since there are usually so many people out here, it's just not worth dealing with someones kite accidentally hitting yours, or dealing with untagngling a bridle. i also wouldn't ever like to self rescue on the thing. self launching is easier than most leis, but self landing usually deals with flagging the kite out - which can lead to tangles.
Ideally, i think it's a good kite for landkiting/snowkiting or kiteboarding if you have a long wide beach.
I started kiteboarding with Flysurfers since I transitioned from land to water. I sold off all but kept the 19M SA2 the longest. It was definitely a session saver as I could be the first one out on a low wind day or mid day lull on a TT with the big kite. Self launch and relaunch on the water can be done but you need to have the technique dialed in. On launch you have to make sure all the bridles are straight and without snags. I would pre inflate the 19m with a rigged pc fan to have more control of the kite on side launch since I didn't have a nice sandy beach with room to hot launch. On the water you do a reverse launch by pulling both back lines, let it get high enough to do a 180 and let one line go to pivot it.
It was fun but for low wind you can get away with less kite and a race board and not have to deal with the foil kite quirkiness. I now have a 13M edge for my biggest kite and a surf board. I can't go out in as low wind but don't mind.
If you are interested in trying one out get a used one on powerkiteforum.com. You can try it out and sell it back there. They are all about foils since it is mainly a land based crowd. I have a feeling there will be a bunch of Chronos for sale next spring as racers buy them and realize they don't have time or care to learn the quirks.
In addition to the checking out the Ozone Cronos (Johnny Heineken), the Elf kites get better reviews than flysurfer kites. Adam Koch is riding Elf kites.
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