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ARC - Not that impressed

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  • Farnsworth, Kenny
    I tried the new ARC 460 today kite skiing. I was surprised how long it took to inflate. I held it up to the wind at 45 degrees in a C Shape. I could have
    Message 1 of 4 , Feb 10, 2001
      I tried the new ARC 460 today kite skiing. I was surprised how long it took
      to inflate. I held it up to the wind at 45 degrees in a C Shape. I could
      have easily have inflated my 7.5 in less time. The wind was blowing 12 - 14
      gusting to 20. The wind was nasty and somewhat turbulent. Another guy was
      flying a 2 line 5.0 and he had to take it down because he just couldn't
      handle the gusts. I think this was a good test because I often face lousy
      wind because I live inland.

      Mel described the ARC as having automatic gust control. This is true, the
      kite loves to fly past the edge of the window in a gust, but it does not
      luff (well, it did luff one time). Instead it tends to stall during lulls.
      I could easily keep the kite in the air during most lulls. This is a good
      feature if you are flying in moderately gusty conditions, but in extremely
      gusty conditions the kite kept losing power during lulls and then zooming to
      the edge of the window during gusts. Basically, the kite zooms around a lot
      in gusty conditions. By comparision an AR-5 will "pulse" in gusty
      conditions. In similar conditions using an AR5 I would just park the kite
      near the edge of the window and use the trim loop to go upwind. The ARC
      wanted to overfly the window when I tried to do the same thing. This was my
      first time out, so maybe I just haven't figured out how to manage this kite
      in super gusty conditions. Of course, most kites I have tried have failed
      this test. 4 line AR-5's and the Wipika 16M have been the best kites for
      these type of conditions.

      Kenny
    • kiteboard@aol.com
      In a message dated 2/10/01 3:15:36 PM Pacific Standard Time, kenny@rhodesbread.com writes:
      Message 2 of 4 , Feb 10, 2001
        In a message dated 2/10/01 3:15:36 PM Pacific Standard Time,
        kenny@... writes:

        << I tried the new ARC 460 today kite skiing. I was surprised how long it
        took
        to inflate. I held it up to the wind at 45 degrees in a C Shape. I could
        have easily have inflated my 7.5 in less time. >>

        I found the same thing, without any TE flap PRE-preinflation. I think
        opening the TE Velcro first (while unwinding the lines) allows it to inflate
        enough to separate the skins enough to allow air in faster through the LE
        vents later. The last time I flew mine (crappy wind so I didn't bother
        reporting) I did a downwind launch, by putting LOTS* of sand on the tips of
        the TE, & then allowing it to fly once it was only about half-full. This
        happened by accident, because I was really waiting for it to inflate more,
        but one tip burst free of the huge pile of sand, so I just pulled the other
        one off too & up it went, still fully controllable.
        * nearly twice what I normally put on only one tip of my AR5

        << Mel described the ARC as having automatic gust control. ... This is a good
        feature if you are flying in moderately gusty conditions, but in extremely
        gusty conditions the kite kept losing power during lulls and then zooming to
        the edge of the window during gusts. >>

        I get the same impression, although I find the "zooming forward" to be much
        easier to edge against than an AR5. So easy in fact that most of the time I
        overcompensate. I think it will be a good kite for steady, moderately gusty,
        & even very gusty conditions, but maybe not QUITE* as good as an AR5 at
        handling INSANELY gusty conditions. I'm hoping that our typically very gusty
        local conditions will be within its "automatic" range, because I really like
        the lack of pump, small transport size, & downwind landing ability.
        *even once we get as used to it as we already are to our AR5s

        << In similar conditions using an AR5 I would just park the kite
        near the edge of the window and use the trim loop... >>

        Me too

        << This was my
        first time out, so maybe I just haven't figured out how to manage this kite
        in super gusty conditions. Of course, most kites I have tried have failed
        this test. 4 line AR-5's and the Wipika 16M have been the best kites for
        these type of conditions. >>

        It was only my second day on the 4.5 ("630 size") that was ridiculously gusty
        too. I got the impression that it was so gusty I'd have even been pushing
        the limits of an AR5. I'm going to "have" to ride it some more before making
        any real conclusions.

        Mel
      • kennyfarnsworth@cs.com
        Mel, Thank you for the inflation tip. I have a 8.4 and a 11.2 on order (winds tend to be light here). I figure that I may need to buy a device to inflate the
        Message 3 of 4 , Feb 11, 2001
          Mel,

          Thank you for the inflation tip. I have a 8.4 and a 11.2 on order (winds
          tend to be light here). I figure that I may need to buy a device to inflate
          the kites in light winds.

          I am not going to give up on the ARC yet. I would really like to have a
          couple of these kites when I travel. My full quiver of kites (5.0, 7.5, 9.5,
          15.5) is a real pain to haul around.

          Kenny

          << I found the same thing, without any TE flap PRE-preinflation. I think
          opening the TE Velcro first (while unwinding the lines) allows it to inflate
          enough to separate the skins enough to allow air in faster through the LE
          vents later. The last time I flew mine (crappy wind so I didn't bother
          reporting) I did a downwind launch, by putting LOTS* of sand on the tips of
          the TE, & then allowing it to fly once it was only about half-full. This
          happened by accident, because I was really waiting for it to inflate more,
          but one tip burst free of the huge pile of sand, so I just pulled the other
          one off too & up it went, still fully controllable.
          * nearly twice what I normally put on only one tip of my AR5 >>
        • kiteboard@aol.com
          In a message dated 2/11/01 7:54:15 AM Pacific Standard Time, kennyfarnsworth@cs.com writes:
          Message 4 of 4 , Feb 11, 2001
            In a message dated 2/11/01 7:54:15 AM Pacific Standard Time,
            kennyfarnsworth@... writes:

            << I am not going to give up on the ARC yet. I would really like to have a
            couple of these kites when I travel. My full quiver of kites (5.0, 7.5,
            9.5,
            15.5) is a real pain to haul around. >>

            I'm not giving up yet either (especially since I haven't found any reason
            to!). However, for traveling purposes I think ARCs would be about equal to
            inflatables. Deflating all bladders, inflatables take no more space, & from
            my experience so far (somewhat limited, but I WAS out in 12-24mph) I get the
            feeling ARCs don't have any MORE wind range than AR5s (or AirBlasts, or
            Cabrinhas, etc). Maybe equal, but that would mean an equal number of kites
            to cover the same wind range, & therefore the same "pain to haul around",
            don't you think?

            Vladimel
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