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3021Swim-in or not?

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  • Hung Vu
    Apr 1, 2002
      People frequently ask me how many times I had to swim in with my kites
      (due to not being able to relaunch them). Here are some "approximated"

      Wipika Classic 3.5: None
      Wipika Classic 5.0: 1 or 2 times (wind dropped, bridle tangled and
      being inexperienced)
      Wipika Classic 8.5: 1 or 2 times (wind dropped, bridle tangled and
      being inexperienced)
      All of my opened cell foils (EX's 6.0, XXXL and EX's 12.5): 50% each
      time I crashed the kite (less with handles and more with bars)
      New Wave 4.9 (a closed cell foil): None
      AR5 5.5: None
      AR5 11.5: Twice. The first time was in very cold water when I could not
      swim fast enough to flip the kite over. The second time was when I had
      2 center leader lines instead of 1.

      Some other kites that I used either briefly or for 1 or 2 days:

      ARC 630: Once (we were trying to figure out how to relaunch the Arc; we
      waited too long and the water got in the kite)
      Jojo Rage 4.0, 6.0 (closed cell foils): None
      C-Quads: Almost 100% of each time I crashed the kite

      For all practical purposes, except for the C-Quads and the opened cell
      foils, all other kites should be fine for kitesurfing when it comes to
      water relaunching (a few swims in hot weather are great - just watch out
      for very cold water)...

      P.S., The higher numbers for Wipika Classics 5.0 and 8.5 are probably
      due mainly to my inexperience in the early days (therefore going out in
      lighter winds and taking too long to relaunch causing the bridle to

      P.P.S., The lower numbers for closed cell foils are probably due to the
      fact that I don't use them as frequent as inflatables for kitesurfing.

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