Bow Kites = Beginners C kites = Advanced

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Bow Kites = Beginners C kites = Advanced

Postby bobbyboom » Sun Jan 07, 2007 11:15 am

Bow VS. C kites?
I've read and talked to a lot of people about Bow kites and it seems like the general consensus is that Bow's are more of a beginner kite as they are more "safe" due to the "total" depower, they turn from the center so they are a bit slower for loops, relaunch easier for the beginner folks, and allow you to have a 2 kite quiver.

C kites seem to still be the kite of choice for more advanced riders; turning from the tips = faster, etc. Most people in the PKRA seemed to be riding C kites this year with the exception of the Best kites and Cabrinha riders.

Question 1:
I'd love to hear your take on this as it seems bows are here to stay but I'm a big C kite fan and would hate to see them "phased out." I love my 5th line!


On another note: The Hybrid
I was able to test out the North Rebel when I was in Costa Rica which is a hybrid of the Bow and C kite (no bridals.. YEAH!). My regular kite of choice is the Vegas 06. I found the Rebel to handle almost identically to the Vegas in terms of turning speed and overall feel. What I liked about the Rebel was the massive "linear" depower. I liked the linear depower over the "cut out" depower I've felt on the Cabrinha bows. The water relaunch on the Rebel was easy and the hang time was noticiably more than the Vegas as I rode them back-to-back in the same wind conditions.

Question 2:
I was curious if anyone thinks the bow kites inhibit riders from progressing as I'm considering going with the Rebel in 07. Thanks.

-Bobby
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Postby josha » Sun Jan 07, 2007 2:56 pm

Hmm, Bobby, I seem to remember that your first couple experiences with a bow kite ended up as near death experiences... :)

It seems to me that a lot of the safety points are more marketing talk than truth, and that the only completely depowered kite is one with tension only on the 5th line (like when you pull the safety).

Did you try diving the Rebel to get power? When I flew one, I felt like I was able to dive the Vegas more into the power zone and pump it harder than the Rebel. I also felt that when I crashed and was under water, I could feel perfectly where the Vegas was flying but not as well where the Rebel was (both on an 06 bar).

I could be wrong--that's just my impression. But I plan on buying a Vegas 07 shortly and not a Rebel.

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Postby bobbyboom » Sun Jan 07, 2007 5:09 pm

Oh, no, you are totally right. I think the "total depower" is a bit of a marketing campaign, and the bridals are dangerous like CRAZY! I also had the problem of asking for advice when I had my bow from folks who told me my saftey would work the same on my bow as it did on their 5th line kites and this is not the case. It's different systems for different kites. I did learn the hard way. :cry:

Personally I'm NOT a big bow fan, but the Rebel doesn't feel like a bow. It feels like a Vegas. I did ride the Rebel just as hard as my Vegas and thought it felt similar. Yes, I crashed and went under water but I feel pretty confident to feel where my kite is even upon bailing (expcept for those 'accidental' kite loops, ouch!). Both the Vegas and Rebel seemed to respond similarly. Josh, the 06 Vegas has a TON more depower than the 05's which is why it may have acted similar to the Rebel.

In Kiteworld Magazine this month there is an interview with Ken Winners (North Kite Designer) and he explains that the Rebel is pretty similar to the vegas in flight but has more hang time, more range and jumps slightly different "relying less on 'sending the kite' and more on sheeting in on the bar." However, I sent the Rebel just like the Vegas and had big jumps just like on the Vegas. Oh and as far as "diving into the power zone" i felt they were similar but in Ken's article he says you have to dive he Rebel less and simply Sheet in or out for more power. I didn't get to experience this as I rode it just like my Vegas.

Overall I'm simply looking for what people feel about the limitations of Bows over C's, if any in their opinion.

-Bobby
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Postby Bulldog » Sun Jan 07, 2007 5:45 pm

ZGur did a really comprehensive review of the Rebel on this website just a few months back. He's always flown Vegas', so he's coming from exactly the same place as you. I'd say all you need to do is read what he wrote.

Asking a general question about bow vs. C is pretty unproductive, otherwise. Bow folks think 5th lines are deathtraps while C people think the same about bridles. Yaddayadda.

My question is why bother switching kites if you love your 06 Vegas'?
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Postby bobbyboom » Sun Jan 07, 2007 5:59 pm

Thanks for the tip Bulldog, I'll do a search for this.

I'm not looking to stir up the poop as you may think. I'm simply looking to see if there are limitations to riding bow kites? It's really for my own knowledge and understanding. I know a lot of people who ride C's and folks who ride Bows, but I don't know many people that do tricks with bows so I was wondering if the limitations of a bow are a consideration for someone looking to progress in the sport or not? I don't care "which is better" simply what are the limitations, if any?

I heard a lot from folks that once you start jumping and doing tricks that you a bow kite will "limit your progression," but then I've seen guys on Bows kick major butt, (loops and unhooked) so is this simply a myth? Did I just answer my own question? :) I'm curious as to why I've heard so much about the limitations of bows and now no one is fessing up. Hmmm? Maybe I was dreaming or something?

-Bobby
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Postby windhorny » Sun Jan 07, 2007 6:14 pm

I will say the main thing I miss about a c kite is its stability. Bows rock fore and aft in the gusts as to a c kite jelly fishing. In gusty conditions it sucks to be on a bow even if you arent over powered it is no fun. I think the bows turn just as fast but more on the axis of the wingtip, and therefore less power in a turn-which i like to perform my girly kiteloops. Of course there are kites like the xbow2 which are designed to produce more power in the turns but to me that is a pro feature me or my knees awill never be interested in. Not having bridal and pulleys is very nice. In short, what attracts me to the bow is the ability to be lazy. I get low end in the lulls and can sheet out a lot of gust. The Vegas is such a smooth kite and to my surprise dumps almost as much as my bow does. I wish my kite had the bar pressure, stability, smoothness and jumping characteristics as the Vegas. But I will always be lazy and as long as there is a one pump kite that can fly me from 8-25 mph, I am happy. What I am really interested in trying out is North's R7 , the Hyper type and when it comes out the Turbo Diesel 2.
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Postby bobbyboom » Sun Jan 07, 2007 6:20 pm

Thanks Windhorny, that makes a lot of sense. I was able to find Zgur's post on the Rebel here Rebel Review For anyone who wants to read it.

It confirms my thoughts about it riding similar to the Vegas. I too have bad knees from years of pounding in other sports, so the "Softness" is appealing.

That's so cool you can go out in 8mph! Wow.

-Bobby
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Postby panzerfaust » Sun Jan 07, 2007 6:59 pm

Not too sure about the bow comparison but I can tell you that there is a significant power delivery difference between my 06 Vegas and my 06 Rhinos. This is important to me because I really like how powerful kiteloops feel. Now, the vegas turns super fast and you get a nice lateral pull. On the other hand, the rhino will yank your limbs out of sockets and give you a nice spanking if you mess up but the feeling is so much more exhilarating.

I personally don't think that flying a bow will hinder your progression, that just sounds silly. It's just a different feel you get while riding.
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Postby windhorny » Sun Jan 07, 2007 9:17 pm

And to add, I am on my Glid whne its 8mph. But that was my point, 1 kite 2 boards and you are covered for a nice 20mph range. It will be interesting to see how much "they" can make a bow/hybrid handle like a C.
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Postby elli » Tue Jan 09, 2007 12:28 am

Go to kite forum and do a search. Then try Foil vs LEI, directional vs twintip, Best vs Cabrinha, surfboard vs kiteboard, waves vs butter :)
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