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I am curious how often ligher guys (140lbs ) can use a 5m at Waddell. During the recent outings I often have to depower my 7m Switch Method v1 quite a bit. Even when depowered, I can't go upwind as much I want to (I get dragged downwind with high gusts) and highspeed carving becomes almost impossible as the kite generates way too much thrust. By the way, I am riding a Litewave Quad 5'8''. So I am thinking that a smaller kite would work better. However, I don't want to get a 5m and then find out that it is useless most of the sessions.
On a related note. Is there a technique to maximize upwind on the surfboard? I would imagine that it would involve keeping the board somewhat flat, putting most of the weight towards the center, and then using the backfoot to point the board more upwind. I feel that when everything is right and the bar is not being yanked out of my hands, I can accomplish this. As soon as I start getting over powered, it becomes much more difficult to point the nose upwind and I start losing ground.
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Generally it should be easier to go upwind when overpowered.
Bring the kite down low to help you lever against the edge. Stomp your back foot and dig in the rail. The more overpowered you are the more your only option to slow down is to go hard upwind.
Whether you are overpowered or not the trick to going upwind is opening up your hips. Turn your body upwind - but make sure it's happening at your hips not your shoulders. Try to imagine twisting away from the pull of the kite. When you get it right the pull of the kite transfers down your back leg and onto the back of the board.
Sorry I can't help with advice for using a 5m kite. I weigh 215 my smallest kite is an 8m.
How do you like switch? I've got all cabs but the switches look intriguing.
I think kite size with the smaller kites is as much related to the manufacturer as it is the actual number on the wingtip. I weigh 165 lbs and spent the last 2 seasons at Waddell with an Airush Lithium 6m as my primary kite. With a 5'10" directional board, I could ride that 6m when everyone else was on 7's & 8's. Basically, for a 6m, the kites were able to generate a lot of power on their low end, so I could ride them in "lighter" winds - probably down to 20mph or so.
The smaller sized 2013 Lithiums seem to have a less low end power, so I've bumped up my small kite to a 7.
I'd recommend that you try a few other kites to get a feel for how smaller kites from different manufacturers work. If at Waddell, look for me on an Airush - I'd be happy to switch kites with you for a session.
I also have a 2009 Cab Crossbow. The switch is a very different kite and feels more like a C. It has a much more direct feel and seems to have less depower. Now that I have gotten more used to it, I prefer it more to the cab. The cab has quite a bit of delay before it starts turning and generating thrust. It does turn quick though.
Ah, so it is not just me. It feels like digging the rail on the board doesn't help with upwind, and trying to flatten it out to use the fins is tricky at best. Looks like some board sampling is in order.
I might take you up on that
Not sure on the Litewave, but in general, on a surfboard, best upwind performance comes from moving both feet up a ways and digging the rail in. When I'm OPd I move my front foot up to well ahead of the wide point of the board and move my back foot up to about the spot just in front of the tail pad, or on the LW, maybe 4-6" ahead of the fin cluster. Then turn your shoulders and hips in the direction of trave,l throw your shoulders back, and dig in the rail. I try to straighten out my body. No 'stink bug' stance. Use the strength of your skeletal structure to fight the pull of he kite. Front leg almost straight, and back knee bent a little. Lean back hard against the kite letting the center lines carry a lot of your weight. Then just grunt it out. I can usually overtake and out angle most other riders upwind by doing this.
On the other hand, the LW has a ton of flex. Maybe when super powered you are actually flexing it and creating huge rocker. That would slow it down. Maybe ask LW Dave about it.
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So is your front foot ahead of the front foot pad then? I put my front foot almost parallel to the rail and my toe is pretty close to the front pad. I place the back foot closer to the opposite side of the board to create a bit of torque in the board to push the nose upwind. The back foot is pretty close to the start of the rear foot pad as well. I find that if really dig in the rail and lean back, I can achieve some very high speed, but that doesn't help with going upwind.
I am 200lbs with a 6,8,11 quiver. You may not get tons of use out of a 5 but when is rocking you will be glad you had one in your quiver. I also find that the smaller the kite I am on, the easier it is to go upwind.
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