The bias toward inflatables is probably due in large part
to a few things. Since LEIs are already in the majority there
is no doubt an "image" thing that keeps many riders away from
the less popular ram-airs. LEI domination also fuels itself by ensuring that training is, in most areas, only available on
LEIs. And there is also a perception among some riders that
having a big inflatable tube out there on the ocean makes for
a better chance of rescue or self-rescue if the kite goes down
and can't relaunch.
I can't speak definitively about LEIs as I am PLK rider and
own only one LEI--a 20m Yarga that I won in a competition and
have not yet ridden on water. I won't claim better performance
on my PLKs in good conditions (mabe the Venoms will close that perceived gap) but from experience I am often first out and
last in at my local site when conditions are marginal and my
Arcs will stay aloft when almost all the LEIs around me are
on the water due to gustiness or lulls in the wind.
It is true that a downed LEI will sit on the water until the
wind is relaunchable but PLKs will a) generally relaunch very
quickly and easily when down and b) go down so rarely in the
hands of an experienced user that their "floatability" is
realy not an issue. And in any case on calm water I once had
a S-Arc 1120 down in a 45 minute lull and still relaunched
it when the wind came up. Had to drain a bit of water before
it would fly right but it did eventually get me up and riding
instead of swimming.
The easy self-launch and landing of PLKs makes also them ideal
for solo sessions (which I seem do quite often)
I started on standard Arcs four or five years ago and stuck
with PLKs throughout. I will probably trade my Guerillas
for Venoms this year.
--- In email@example.com, "Marina Kitto" <kitto2@b...> wrote:
> Hi all
> I'm looking to buy my first kite, for kitesurfing. I'm 52 years old and like the look of twinskin/ram air kites, for example Peter Lynn Bomba. 90% of the kites flown in my area are inflatables. Why is this? What's wrong with twinskins? Am I missing something vital in the reading/research I've been doing before I buy my first kite?
> I seem to read that twinskins are more robust, easy to fly for beginners. If this is the case, why aren't there more of them?
> Looking forward to your helpful advice....
> [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]