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Question for the strapless pros

 
Post new topic   Reply to topic    Northwest Kiteboarding -> Gorge / Portland / Oregon Coast
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Marcus O

Since 30 May 2018
55 Posts

 



PostThu Aug 20, 20 8:20 am    Question for the strapless pros Reply with quote

Does a dedicated wave kite like the Neo or Drifter have any benefit over a freeride kite like the Pivot or North Reach? I know it will for DTL wave riding but what about flat/choppy spots with swell like the gorge or La Ventana? I’m currently flying Pivots and am wondering if I should stick with what I’ve got or try a wave kite when the time comes to replace my quiver?

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west

Since 09 Oct 2008
122 Posts
Lake Michigan
Stoked



PostThu Aug 20, 20 11:15 am     Reply with quote

Seems like you answered your own questions...

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west

Since 09 Oct 2008
122 Posts
Lake Michigan
Stoked



PostThu Aug 20, 20 11:19 am     Reply with quote

Yes the wave kites are designed for wave riding, whereas the free ride kites, well yes...should you try out other kites while deciding what fits your style and conditions, yes...always a good thing to check out your options! Good luck in the search for the perfect fit, it’s out there!

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ldhr

Since 21 Jul 2009
1301 Posts
Hood River
XTreme Poster



PostThu Aug 20, 20 12:04 pm     Reply with quote

For riding a surfboard in the gorge - I want a kite that does a few things well.
Most often I do long upwinders and then ride swell downwind.
Where I launch and where I ride, when I start and when I finish..... there could be 5-10 mph difference in wind strength.

1. Kite must have good wind range.
2. Kite must go upwind well.
3. Kite must drift well when riding swell.
4. Kite must be fast handling and reactive to bar input.

I have ridden wave kites for the past 7 years.
First I rode Neo's and then SST's.
The kites are very similar but the Neo goes upwind much better. Like 10 degrees angle of attack better. This is huge if you're going up to the Hatchery every day.
The SST is bombproof construction.

My wife and many friends ride Drifters. It's a great kite, user friendly, a bit slower than the other 2 and middle of the pack going upwind.

Currently I ride Slingshot Ghost which is similar to the SST but only one strut. I'm loving it for foil and swell riding.

I'm not a strapless pro - I rode strapless for 3 years but went back to strapped.
My kite requirements didn't change - strapped or not.

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Bargeslayer

Since 08 Jul 2012
96 Posts

 



PostThu Aug 20, 20 12:34 pm     Reply with quote

*Also not a strapless pro but have been riding strapless for many years

I find that good upwind ability and responsiveness when depowered is a must both in the gorge and at the coast. Was riding RPMs for a long time when I split my riding between boots/surfboards. As I have gotten older, I switched to SSTs as most of my riding now is foil/surfboards. Was very happy with both kites. Bombproof construction as others have described. Trying multiple kites is always a good plan.

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earthsurfer526

Since 11 Jan 2009
50 Posts
Hood River, OR
 



PostThu Aug 20, 20 2:07 pm     Reply with quote

I ride strapless 90% of the time (strapless semi-pro). I have ridded numerous wave and freeride kites over the years and prefer the three strut all around freeride kite over any wave kite. For strapless riding in the gorge and coast I like a kite that can do everything well and a few things excellent (such as looping, direct control, and drifting). I find that most wave kites just surf well and fall short in all the other areas. I am currently riding the Reach and love it but before that I rode the Pivot, which is also an amazing kite. Both the pivot and the reach perform great on all levels. The main difference between the two kites is that the pivot is better on the high end and the reach in better on the low end. Both kites loop exceptionally well, which is essential for strapless tricks and surfing. I would suggest keeping your pivots (the 9m and the 6m pivots are the best balanced out of the range), as they are one of the best kites around for strapless. Hope this helps.
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Marcus O

Since 30 May 2018
55 Posts

 



PostThu Aug 20, 20 6:25 pm     Reply with quote

earthsurfer526 wrote:
I ride strapless 90% of the time (strapless semi-pro). I have ridded numerous wave and freeride kites over the years and prefer the three strut all around freeride kite over any wave kite. For strapless riding in the gorge and coast I like a kite that can do everything well and a few things excellent (such as looping, direct control, and drifting). I find that most wave kites just surf well and fall short in all the other areas. I am currently riding the Reach and love it but before that I rode the Pivot, which is also an amazing kite. Both the pivot and the reach perform great on all levels. The main difference between the two kites is that the pivot is better on the high end and the reach in better on the low end. Both kites loop exceptionally well, which is essential for strapless tricks and surfing. I would suggest keeping your pivots (the 9m and the 6m pivots are the best balanced out of the range), as they are one of the best kites around for strapless. Hope this helps.


I've got nothing but love for the Pivot. In fact I think you may have sold my wife a couple of 2019's last year? When I started flying the Pivot I was on a TT but am mostly riding strapless now. I've never ridden a wave kite before and I see lots Neo's, SST's and Drifters out there so I wasn't sure if I was missing out on some sort of unicorn magic. Probably best to just demo what I can get my hands on and see how I like it. Looping, responsiveness and drift are important to me. Just wasn't sure if an even better drifting kite would be noticeable in places like the gorge. Thanks for the info!

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a.benjamin76

Since 27 Jul 2017
68 Posts

 



PostFri Aug 21, 20 10:16 am    Strapless Riding Reply with quote

I think it depends on the type of riding you'll be doing. I ran into a similar process when deciding what type of kite I really wanted for strapless riding. I tried both wave kites (SS SST, OR Roam, Peter Lynn Swell) and freestyle kites (SS Rally, Core XR, OR Prodigy) and came to the conclusion that I liked freestyle kites more for the conditions and type of riding that I do most often. The wave low aspect kites are great at drifting, excellent depower, and reactive steering but not so great at jumping. The freestyle, mid to high aspect kites are much better at jumping and are ok at drifting (not great). I haven't noticed a big difference in upwind ability. If you plan on riding a blunt nose, practicing small board off transitions, aerials, pop shove its, etc, the freestyle kites give you a bit extra float and can generate power a bit quicker after a landing. If you plan on using a more classic shape directional, doing big downwinders, the coast, or just want to cruise up an down swell, then I'd recommend a wave kite.

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shred_da_gorge

Since 12 Nov 2008
945 Posts

Opinionated



PostFri Aug 21, 20 3:03 pm     Reply with quote

I switched from Rebels to Pivots because I started riding surfboards, and will start my foiling journey with them. Had to play with the 'muscle' setting on the wingtips as well as line lengths (I use North bars), but now they're dialed. I ride strapped and strapless but don't do tricks (can't teach an old dog ;), but am riding bigger and bigger swell and they do what I want. I also have a Neo but it's 11m and I'd rethink my light-wind kite strategy for maybe a Boxer instead - been on 8m and 6m Neos and they're money (but not luring me away from my beloved Pivots).

I have a quiver of three Pivtos and recently two started leaking, one really bad. Keep your eye on the one-way fill valve and top cap that screw in. There is a rubber flap in the top cap and an o-ring on the one-way. Turns out all my Pivots leak there, likely due to the wear of me tightening them and flattening those gaskets over time.

Solution: Airtime has replacements for $10, and you can easily just swap those rubbers in and hold onto the plastic housings for posterity. Slightly off topic, I know, but hopefully it helps if you come in with floppier Pivots than you went out on.

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Marcus O

Since 30 May 2018
55 Posts

 



PostFri Aug 21, 20 4:37 pm    Re: Strapless Riding Reply with quote

a.benjamin76 wrote:
If you plan on riding a blunt nose, practicing small board off transitions, aerials, pop shove its, etc, the freestyle kites give you a bit extra float and can generate power a bit quicker after a landing. If you plan on using a more classic shape directional, doing big downwinders, the coast, or just want to cruise up an down swell, then I'd recommend a wave kite.


I just started riding a blunt nose (FW Evo) after learning on a more classic shape. I want to start trying some aerial moves so it sounds like I should probably just stick with what I’ve got. Thanks for all the input!

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Marcus O

Since 30 May 2018
55 Posts

 



PostFri Aug 21, 20 5:15 pm     Reply with quote

shred_da_gorge wrote:
I have a quiver of three Pivtos and recently two started leaking, one really bad. Keep your eye on the one-way fill valve and top cap that screw in. There is a rubber flap in the top cap and an o-ring on the one-way. Turns out all my Pivots leak there, likely due to the wear of me tightening them and flattening those gaskets over time.

Solution: Airtime has replacements for $10, and you can easily just swap those rubbers in and hold onto the plastic housings for posterity. Slightly off topic, I know, but hopefully it helps if you come in with floppier Pivots than you went out on.


Oh yes I had that happen to one of my Pivots last season. Fortunately I wasn't even to the WS bridge before I noticed the kite was starting to jellyfish on me. Never happened since so I’m not sure what the cause was? It was a 2017 so it could have been related to the flap in the valve you’re referring to or maybe some sand was stuck in the threading where the valve screws in? I really like the new bladder system with the SUP valve. It eliminates some of the issues with the octopus system and is a super quick inflate/deflate. My wife is still flying the pre-SUP valve Pivots so it's good to know that the rubber flap can be easily replaced.

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blancoh2o

Since 15 Mar 2005
1132 Posts
Oregon
Phishy



PostFri Aug 21, 20 8:19 pm     Reply with quote

Why not get the best of both worlds and ride an Ozone Enduro?
The name says it all.
In the free ride setting it jumps huge for amazing strapless air freestyle tricks and in the surf setting it drifts almost as well as the Reo.
Don’t take my word for it though.
Watch Cynbad Brown who rips strapless and her favorite kite is the Enduro.

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flightmac

Since 14 Nov 2017
35 Posts

 



PostSat Aug 22, 20 9:45 am     Reply with quote

Just stopping in to say Pivots are the sexiest kites out right now. Best overall kite I’ve ever ridden. Does everything you need and, IMO, has made me a much better kiter with its ability to loop so smoothly.

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Marcus O

Since 30 May 2018
55 Posts

 



PostSun Aug 23, 20 8:24 am     Reply with quote

flightmac wrote:
Just stopping in to say Pivots are the sexiest kites out right now. Best overall kite I’ve ever ridden. Does everything you need and, IMO, has made me a much better kiter with its ability to loop so smoothly.


Haha I feel like the topic has gone from "should I be using a wave kite" to "the Pivot is the best damn kite ever!" It's true though, the loops are like butter and very predictable. I rarely feel like I'm going to get yanked off my feet and if I do it's my own damn fault Laughing

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a.benjamin76

Since 27 Jul 2017
68 Posts

 



PostSun Aug 23, 20 8:45 am     Reply with quote

Marcus O wrote:
flightmac wrote:
Just stopping in to say Pivots are the sexiest kites out right now. Best overall kite I’ve ever ridden. Does everything you need and, IMO, has made me a much better kiter with its ability to loop so smoothly.


Haha I feel like the topic has gone from "should I be using a wave kite" to "the Pivot is the best damn kite ever!" It's true though, the loops are like butter and very predictable. I rarely feel like I'm going to get yanked off my feet and if I do it's my own damn fault Laughing


Where's the fun if your kite can't rip your tits off on a poorly timed powered loop?! 😈.

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Slappysan

Since 13 Jun 2012
276 Posts

Obsessed



PostThu Aug 27, 20 11:51 am    Re: Question for the strapless pros Reply with quote

I'm a big fan of single strut kites for on-shore strapless conditions, you get very good upwind performance which you need because you are constantly going upwind then riding downwind. Then due to the luffing created at the tips by only having a single strut you get great drift downwind.

I recently picked up a Drifter and I'm not sure it's the kite for me. Bar pressure is heavy and upwind is mediocre on the on-shore setting. It's much better on the off-shore setting but the reality is 90% of the time I'm riding in on-shore conditions.

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flightmac

Since 14 Nov 2017
35 Posts

 



PostFri Aug 28, 20 12:46 am     Reply with quote

Marcus O wrote:
It's true though, the loops are like butter and very predictable. I rarely feel like I'm going to get yanked off my feet and if I do it's my own damn fault Laughing


So true!!! I felt so much more in control when I went from looping RPMs to looping Pivots. And it’s crazy bc RPMs are really fun kites, I was shocked at how the Pivot performed!

I came into this summer with a bunch of RPMs, and I thought that was the kite I’d be riding for years to come. But now that I live in HR and kite almost daily, I progressed a lot this summer. I never thought I’d have the balls to pull a proper powered kite loop but I found the balls in July to start doing them, and now I’m really dialing in some
big ones consistently.

As I got more obsessed, I demo’ed the Reedin Super Model (shout out to Dougs!) and that is one heck of a great kite to get loop progression on. I love that kite. Once I started looping my 7m Pivot, I literally couldn’t get the same feeling with my RPMs. In a matter of weeks I offloaded nearly all my kites to get a Pivot setup. Best thing I ever did because they match my riding style perfectly. Still like what the RPM can do, but it simply doesn’t compare to the Pivot for predictable, big, lofty kite loops. It’s also an amazing all around kite that anyone can ride from day 1!

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