This forum is for new kiters/beginners to share info and experiences and to get answers to kiting questions. All questions are valid. Please provide proper answers (no sarcasm/joke replies, etc.) as we'd like to avoid any confusion or misinformation.
le noun wrote:you see, I agree with that, but I'm still wondering about what my quiver of Bandit 6 will be this month... 7/9/11/14? 7/9/12? My money kite is 11. I'm 180lbs always on tiny TT (134). I'd say I'm using the 11 70% of the time. But the 9/11 combo have the tendency to overlap each other around 20/22mph. i don't wanna switch to a 6/8/11. I barely use the 7 so going smaller doesn't even make sense to me. So I think I'm gonna go 7/9/12 this year, just because nowadays kite got such a great range, even if the 11 used to be my money kite, a 12/9 should help me to cover more wind 95% of the time. I usually don't have fun going out on a 14 (if it's that light that I need a 14, why even bother?) and the 7 is for "survivor days at OB".
Well based on that I would say plan around the 11. Can you get away with just 11-8? 11-9-7 may have some overlap, but it seems like an ideal 3 kite combo. Overlap is not a bad thing, more perfect sessions (but also more )
9-12 is a good combo. I am switching from the 9-12 I started with to a 7-10-13. Folsom wind is gusty typically in the season so get a kite that can handle it well. I have a mixed quiver of OR Rises and North Fuse/Rebel - they work well in those conditions. I have not flown a Cabrinha.
+1 on adding another board. It takes less time to switch boards when the wind drops down or picks up. That is frequent at Folsom.
I will also second (third? fouth?) the advice to get a 9M kite for your second. I am 155lb and ride a 2012 12M Switch and a 2010 9M Convert - will likely add a 7M for coastal shenanigans.
Also, I've seen it mentioned elsewhere on the forum that there is a log-scale with kite power/sensitivity i.e. You can space out your bigger kites higher in the range (2M+/-) but for smaller kites you want to go down to shorter increments (1M+/-). -> 12M/10M/8M/7M or
IMHO, the money zone is 12, 11,10, and 9. Especially for a beginner, kites within that range will cover you for your first few seasons at Alameda, 3rd, and Sherman Island. My advice is to get a larger and smaller one from that range, no more than +/- 2 M2 apart. Choose the exact combo on if you are a bigger guy (12/10) or smaller (11/9), while also considering your board size (bigger boards need smaller kites) and how strong your kites are (some pull harder than others).
Any smaller kite means that you are planning on going out in upper 20s wind conditions. This can be scarier for a beginner, so wait until your confidence has built before you do this. But buying a smaller kite will probably be your next step, probably an 8 or a 7.
Any bigger means that you are trying to go out in very light wind. This is generally a lot less fun. Only make this investment after you've learned your skills in a higher wind place (like 3rd/Sherman I), and decided that you are really convinced that you want to kite in low winds all the time (for instance, if you live in Alameda).
As for myself, I'm 185 pounds, ride an 11/9/7, use a huge 151 TT. I'm on the 11 about 60% of the time, the 9 about 35% of the time, and the 7 about 5% of the time.
I used to wish that I had a huge (14?) kite so I could practice at Alameda... but I never bought one, and now that I only go to higher wind sites, I never want for a larger kite. I've realized that the payoff on huge kites is minimal, unless there's no other site with higher wind that you can easily get to.
First is don't cheap out. As a beginner, you will find it useful having more kites rather than trying to get by with two. As an experienced rider, I have 3 (and it buys me a massive wind range). I understand kiting is a large commitment initially, but you will soon stop worrying about that!
Having said that, I would also recommend beginners buy used kites. If you do this, remember my first piece of advice - don't cheap out! Get a kite from a well respected brand (e.g. North, Cabrinha or Slingshot) from a recent year. You will be able to find something for ~ 300 a kite, which is a very cheap way to get started. The reasons I think it is worthwhile buying used as a beginner: you have no idea what kind of kite you will like. And the number one reason... as a beginner you will be harder on your kites than an experienced rider and will wear them out faster. Once you know what you want, then it would be worth spending the money.
I am 190# and my first few seasons I did ok with 2010 11.5 and 9.5 Kahoonas on a 136tt. The 9.5 would top out at 26 or so though and after that it was a bucking bronco, yanking me all to hell and no fun at all. I demoed a lot of kites and different sizes and settled on a 12m RRD Obsession as my "money kite", and then got 10m and 8m bandits to close out the quiver. The 10m is smooth up to about 30 and the 8 can take me to 40. If I find a great deal on a used 6m I'll take it but other than that 12-10-8 is going to be pretty close to ideal for me. As an aside I found that I really like fast turning kites with low bar pressure, and these types of kites also seem to have much better high end than the deeper delta shapes so I can top them out more without getting opverpowered. The kahoonas were just brutal at their higher wind ranges!