Okay, gamechanger....Today I borrowed Dr Surfs Peak in a 5 metre. Earlier I had been on the Hyperlink 12 and it was 8 to 10 knots. Well powered up and did my usual "Upwinder" in these light winds. I like doing this as the water is so smooth and on the downwind reach there is no sound, just smooth and quiet water to blast down with. However, long reaches of 6 to 10 kilometres gets a tad tedious for me, I prefer to carve around more, gybe, switch stance to mix it up and not fatigue the body.
Soooo, I come in and swap out for the 5 Peak and I fly it for 30 seconds on the beach, feels good, so I head out. Now Dr Surf is 20 kilos lighter than me. I am on a Paipo with the Spitfire xlw wings. And I get up and riding. Straight away. Powered nicely, upwind nicely, and then down the beach for some tiny swell riding straight down wind. Nice tight little loops, (though I did stall the power a few times in my loops, but generally was able to get bursts of speed whenever I dialed in the tap. I suspect I could have this wired in one more session). This was sensational. It was 8 knots, with the odd puff of 10 max, and I am zipping around like nobodies business on a 5 meter kite. And a nimble one at that. All I can say it I have to rethink my strategy now on single skin kites. This is truly a revelation.
Now I don't foil on a big surf wing, and the xlw wings don't pump, but they carve like mofo's. If you ride a surf wing and isn't power hungry there would be times you never knew the kite existed in front of you. If you have not had a chance to try such a small kite in lighter winds, I suspect you would be quite surprised how small you can go with efficient foiling techniques. Damn.....
I wanted to try one before I read that........I REALLY want to try one now!
I really like The OK Kiteboarder. Here's his take.
Thought i would share this here. Since the most common question i get asked when coming in with a peak is "but how often doesn't it relaunce?". Usually answered that i only go as far out as im willing to swim and it's never been a issue (since it relaunches easily if there is tension in the lines.).
Well it had the ultimate relaunch test today, kite was 100% completely submerged.
Was having a great time with the 4m this arvo. When the connection to my harness gave away (safety line doesn't get used with my peaks, they dont go very far in anycase when released.). The kite landed about 100m away, blowing at least 20 knots. A few minutes later when i swam to the kite it was fully submerged. Considered packing up and swimming to shore, but was curious to try resetting it in the water for a relaunch.
So pulled it up, lifted the leading edge above the water and arranged it to catch some wind. Made some mistakes the first 2 tries, but on the third try it relaunches beautifully and was able to continue foiling like normal.
So if everything goes wrong and you miss the oppertunity for the easy relaunce, all is not lost. I would recommend trying this tecnique, swimming to the kite and arranging it for a water relaunch. Might help prevent a long swim. Glad i had some time to test the option today, might come in handy in the future.
Can you give more details about swimming to kite and relaunching. What is going on with your lines while you are doing this?
FWIW my relaunch success rate is about 50%.
I just reconnected the bar to my harness (Carbon bar that floats, so it was easy to find). Then swam around the lines to the kite, approaching it from the side. Sitting on the board, lifted the far end wingtip above the surface. As the wind catches the leading edge, more of the leading edge lifts out and fills with air. Then lift the centre, then the closest wingtip. It just sits there once it has some air in it.
It was easiest to lay the kite out with its top surface on the water, leading edge facing up, with the bottom opening of the leading edge facing upwind (Trailing edge facing upwind).
Then just swim back upwind (around the lines) until the lines start to tension. And there you go it relaunches.
The first 2 attempts only failed because I did not properly lay the whole leading edge above the water. If the wind only catches one half it gets twisted around.
Was very happy with the whole episode. The peak is very easy to handle in the water. An inflatable would have only stopped at the beach if the main lines snapped, which would've left me with long swim, but the peak just sat there in the water, while i took a short swim to get to it.
Went down to the beach this afternoon and could only get 6-9 knots on my wind meter on the shore. No-one else out so I was tossing up whether to even bother rigging up. The wind was supposed to be a bit stronger, though not a lot more, but at least a seabreeze is steady.
Decided to rig the 5m Peak4 rather than the 10m Soul. Turned to be the best decision, even though the wind only occasionally gusted up a knot or two more, I had plenty of power at all times. A friend turned up and rigged his 17m Zephyr and a large TT board and managed just to stay upwind. Meanwhile I could rip upwind, foil some small swell downwind with a drifting kite and repeat. A fair bit of weed was annoying but every time I stopped and removed the weed, just one flick of the kite had me back up on the foil. Really loving this kite in light wind
Checked the wind strength again when I came in and it was 8-10 knots. I would assume there was a bit more wind further out but I had plenty of power even at the shorebreak.
If someone had told me even a year ago that my light wind kite would would only be 5m and my strong wind kite 3m I would have called bullsh!t. But now, the Peak4 Kool Aid has changed that. The rest of the quiver has seen very little use lately...
How much do the peak 4s run for?