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Perfect Learning/Advancing Kite? (repost to eliminate HUGE header)

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  • kiteboard@aol.com
    Day 131. 1/29/1. ~3.5 hrs. flt. time (all on 4.5 ARC). Somewhat less water time than that, due to walks of shame caused by light winds. My first day at Long
    Message 1 of 1 , Jan 30, 2001
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      Day 131. 1/29/1. ~3.5 hrs. flt. time (all on 4.5 ARC). Somewhat less water
      time than that, due to walks of shame caused by light winds.

      My first day at Long Beach, & my first day on the 4.5 ARC (projected, "630"
      size). Now I REALLY can't believe anybody ever rides at Cabrillo, since
      there's mega space at Long Beach & it's super-steady side ON-shore.

      The only ARC negative I experienced was stalling when oversheeting (to try
      not to fall over backwards in lulls). When I do this on a Naish it just
      pulls more & lifts me back up. I think I could get used to it, &/or it's
      likely a lot less problematic with sufficient wind (see below). I'll also
      have to test the overall range, & gust-handling (at Cabrillo), and
      waterlaunching [since it never luffed, AND was so easy to avoid hitting the
      water (due to extreme maneuverability) even when "working" it HARD, I never
      crashed it on the water, & was going to land intentionally, just to test it
      before packing up, but decided to keep it dry].

      The opposite of a Naish (AR3.5 or 5), the ARC is UNBELIEVABLY stable, in BOTH
      directions: the "hype" about impossible luffing is darn near true (I think I
      could get it to fold if I ran downwind really fast after flying past
      overhead), AND it naturally hovers at zenith (the Naish naturally tends to
      drop to one side or the other), in fact once I fell & was getting dragged
      upside down & backwards, thinking "now I'll get to try a waterlaunch" but
      when I came up it was hovering patiently overhead, just waiting for me to get
      the board back on my feet. It's absolutely comfortable to hover in just the
      trim loop without EVER looking at the kite, or even paying attention (you
      don't even need to "feel" where it is). I think it would be ideal for wake
      boarders: I took my high-top, sticky-zippered booties off (during a lull to
      practice skidding across the beach) & put them back on later, all while
      hovering while completely ignoring the kite. Several times while hovering
      no-handed, I helped others land or launch their Naishes. I could actually
      have walked to the truck, got out my lunch & eaten it, without landing the
      kite (if I hadn't already eaten on the way to the beach).

      PLUS, it's VERY maneuverable, takes VERY little effort to steer, AND seems
      faster through the window or across the edge of the window. Power seems
      about the same per projected area, at least in the low end (peak
      iwindsurf.com gust was 19mph<17 knots & peak average was 16mph<14knots).
      Maybe a tiny bit less, but since it takes SO much less force to steer, it was
      far less effort to "work" the kite. The only other rider staying upwind
      (actually a little bit more than me) was on a HUGE board & HUGE AR5 (relative
      to his size).

      Works fine on the same bar/lines I've been using on my AR5 (with a second
      knot tied 8" down the center leader), VERY easy to back it down & land
      straight downwind, but don't run towards it to slacken the lines, unless
      you're ready to quit, since it will invert & if relaunched will fly inside
      out & backwards (the only time I needed assistance).

      Bottom line so far* (compared to an AR5): about the same low-end
      power/projected area, & ease of launching/landing at the edge, easier
      (possible) to stall, but 10 times as easy to steer, hover, or relaunch from
      land (dead downwind).
      *overall range, gust-handling range, and relaunch untested yet.

      Mel
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