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Darren Tibbey

Depowers

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1 hour ago, Darren Tibbey said:

If someone had never flown a depower and want to give one a go. Where would you start?

You're already flying fixed bridle race kites, so once you get your head around a depower it won't be long before you want one that's fast.  Good depowers to start with are kites like HQ Montana/Apex, Ozone Access/Summit/Frenzy, Peter Lynn Leopard/Lynx/Phantom/Phantom2, Flysurfer Peak/Pulse/PsychoIV/Speed2/4/5, Eolo Evo2, etc. 

 

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Around the 8m mark in size(for a foil, ARC's, use a bigger one, say 10m).

Not too big and should be good to learn on in 7-8 knots, and usable in a buggy upto 15 or so knots.

Look for a good second hand one, then use it and abuse it. Crash it, bash it, and then get your hands on what others are flying, and see which one you then like. 

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I have a few of the ozone access kites. A 4m, 6m, 10m they are a few years old now... 4-5 yrs maybe 

the 10 and the 6 are very friendly easy to fly kites. Gives me plenty of range from 6 knots to 20 knots easily. Not the fastest, but that's the trade off for stability. The 4m  in my opinion is a dog, they seem to have tried to make it a little quicker from previous models, it will not fly well under half depower, and due to the entanglement of the bridle if caught in a luff it can roll into a death spiral, this has happened a number of times to me, so I would NOT recommend it. Previous or maybe even post models may be better, but try before you buy with that size. The others are good.

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Don't start with an arc (unless you have an experienced arc flier to teach you). It will only frustrate you and make you hate depowers.  There are so many nicer and easier depower kites out there start on. 

Where abouts are you located?

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I've had the Apex II's - good dependable kites and I thought they were better value than the Ozone Access which was not quite as grunty but probably had a bit better depower in the top end.  I have a 2010 4m Access XT and it's a wonderful zippy little kite that I've had no problems with.  I had a 2014 Frenzy 5m and hated and promptly sold it.  Best depowers I've tried yet are the Peak 2's.  Enormous low end grunt for the size, easy to manage, weird but effective depower and easily as fast as the Access.  My old 6m Access used to need at least 12 knots to be able to park it in the window, by comparison, the 6m Peak 2 will park in about 7 - 8 knots.  After flying the peak's, I wouldn't bother with the Apex or Access unless I wanted the extra lift (not that the Apex is lifty anyway).  I should have the LongStar 2 shortly which will hopefully turn out to be a worthy contender.

The speed of the new closed cell foils is certainly impressive - R1's/Sonic/Diablo but their prices are beyond anything I'm ever likely to pay for a kite.

And then there's the LEI's.  I've never flown one but I've often watched Rob Lukin disappear into the distance with one many times - they seem to have a huge wind range but require a certain technique to land and launch.

I guess the question then becomes:  what do you want out of your kites that your current kites aren't doing for you?

Apart from that, I'd go with Nigel's advice of a good s/h one - fly the snot out of it and try as many others as you can.

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Not really sure what i want in a kite. Im happy with the bora's but everyone raves about these depowers. Will be getting a 9mtr cross kite sonic after Christmas as the largest kite i have is a 5 mtr. And l agree some of the new depowers are really Really expensive. In saying that you get what you pay for. So for a start will look at getting a second hand depower kite to try. 6 to 8 maybe like Nigel says. Was really impressed with the phantom that Nigel was flying but will probably start with more of a bridle type of kite with depower.

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6 hours ago, Darren Tibbey said:

They are good for their age. Once l off loaded the young fella i was keeping up mostly with Nigel. Either that or he was going slow for my sake.

Well I didn't want to leave you too far behind, in case you got into trouble, as your a bit green after 15 years of no kiting. ;)

The Bora's are good, nothing wrong with them, I'd invest in a new buggy.

A nice V-Max would be far better than the wash board seated PL.

Have a sit in @jhn.holgate's buggy one day, far better than the old tech in a PL Comp.

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8 hours ago, Darren Tibbey said:

So for a start will look at getting a second hand depower kite to try. 6 to 8 maybe like Nigel says.

I have an old 7.0M Ozone Frenzy depower you're welcome to borrow for a few months, give you an opportunity to see if you like depowers and also get you past the learning stage on them.  Use it and just drop it back when you're done :good: 

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IMO depowers are more affordable than fixed bridle generally speaking.  Sure you can buy one fixed bridle affordably but you'll need 4 or 5 minimum.  Then you become picky and seek out specific fixed bridles and that gets expensive as well.  You can have 1 or 2 decent depowers and be kiting 90% percent of the usable wind. Fixed bridles are great kites but it's only a myth that they are more affordable IMO

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42 minutes ago, ssayre said:

IMO depowers are more affordable than fixed bridle generally speaking.

I would like to see some real numbers on that, feel free to throw in some comparative quivers of fixed bridles vs depowers.  
Lets start with 2.0M, 3.5M, 5.0M, 8.5M as the rough quiver of fixed bridles to cover all wind ranges.  

Beginner fixed bridles, vs beginner depowers.  
Performance fixed bridles, vs performance depowers.

Fire away some depower models and sizes to run against that fixed bridle quiver.  
I'm interested to see where we end up with this comparison :good: 

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I can only base my opinion on my own experiences so obviously mileage will vary greatly depending on types of kites.  For example, my peak 6m covers the range of roughly 3m-6.5m fixed bridles.  A used peak 6m (in my area) goes from $375-$500 depending on model and condition.  You would be hard pressed to acquire a fixed bridle quiver to cover the same range for that amount of money.  If you run the numbers using new kites the gap is even wider with the a new peak at $1,000 and say 3-4 new fixed bridles at roughly $400 each.  Even beginner fixed bridles.

The numbers would be different when you consider the high end race depowers/fixed bridles but probably not a lot especially since used r1's are going for $1,000 these days.

Then factor in the overall ease of use and less kite switching and it swings more in favor of depower.  Again, there are so many different models and price ranges that one could always look at this topic through the lenses of a different perspective.

You also have the whole used LEI market that is vast.  I've not used one but if I could utilize them even half as much as Rob and Redsky uses them then that would also be a comparatively very affordable way to go.

I'm not knocking fixed bridle at all.  They are fun to fly and have a totally unique feel compared to depower.  But I still think it's an old wive's tale that they are more affordable in the overall scheme of things.  Let's face it, if a guy is really into kiting and fixed bridles, than he'll probably end up with 7-10 kites.  It's just how it works.  I know several kiters that only have 2-3 depowers that have been kiting a long time.

 

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well ive just moved from Vapors to Diablos, Replaced 11 kites with 3 that cover pretty much the same wind range. The vapors maybe covered a little higher range as they went to a 2.3 and the smallest diablo is an 8, but at the top end i think the 15 diablo covers the lower end better than my 13.4 vapor did.

Cost wise if you buy carefully there is almost no difference in buying each set on the second hand market atm but with the water boys changing kit so often i think the depower second hand market will become quite competitive with its pricing.

one point is with only 3 kites you dont need to replace as many sets of lines etc 

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36 minutes ago, ssayre said:

What the heck @.Joel, I thought we were headed for a spirited debate about my opinion on depowers. You let me off the hook easy this time. 

I think your opinion is wrong, I just needed more time to crap on it :D  Better? 

 

20 hours ago, ssayre said:

I can only base my opinion on my own experiences so obviously mileage will vary greatly depending on types of kites.  For example, my peak 6m covers the range of roughly 3m-6.5m fixed bridles.  

6M Peak is nowhere near for example the power my 6.5M Blade IV used to produce let alone a race kite.

 

20 hours ago, ssayre said:

If you run the numbers using new kites the gap is even wider with the a new peak at $1,000 and say 3-4 new fixed bridles at roughly $400 each.  Even beginner fixed bridles.

There is no way a single peak will comfortably run the wind range of 4 fixed bridles.

2.0M, 3.5M, 5.0M, 8.5M.
That's everything from 8 knots to 25 knots, and covered comfortably.
Second hand I can build that quiver for less than $500.

 

20 hours ago, ssayre said:

Let's face it, if a guy is really into kiting and fixed bridles, than he'll probably end up with 7-10 kites.  It's just how it works.  

WTF?  Show me any beginner or intermediate quiver that even offers 10 kites in the range?  
Stop snorting the white powder, evidently it's not talcum :P 

 

20 hours ago, ssayre said:

I know several kiters that only have 2-3 depowers that have been kiting a long time.

I think 3 depowers is the magic number to covering most wind ranges.  
Anything less than that, you're really going to find yourself at some point either grovelling for power or holding on for dear life.

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13 hours ago, Darren Tibbey said:

Why did you replace your vapors?

Vapors were replaced as I wanted quicker kites, in 99% of conditions the diablos are faster, and round a buggy race course that's even more true 

I replaced my vapors over time so I got to know the overlaps with my new depowers.

the overlap of the depower kites is massive and it what gives them a big advantage over fixed bridle.

The 15 covers the usable range of the 16.1, 13.4, 11.2 and poss the 9.8 vapor.

the 11m covers 9.8, 7.8, 6.5, 5.4 and poss 4.5

the 8 covers 5.4, 4.5, 3.8, 3.2, 2.7

never quite got to the top end of the 8m yet and it's bloody mental flying a kite that big in big winds, once in the buggy it's easy but launching and landing is a bit of a bum clincher !!! 

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Finally @.Joel, I had hoped you would be back to shoot holes in my theory.  So what serious kiters that use all fix bridles have less than 7?  Can't be many, you know they generally have their main quiver and usually a few supplemental kites for various conditions or type of flying.

I used a peak only as an example, but nice try ignoring my other example of LEI's.  I've also owned a 13m venom.  A 2-3 arc quiver would be very affordable and has plenty of performance.  And this is skipping over the whole used dp open cell foil market entirely.

I'll give another example.  One 12-13m arc and you would be kiting at least 50-60% (and that's being conservative) of usable wind conditions.  They go anywhere from $250-350 on the used market.  You might get lucky and be able to find 2 fb for around the same.

Either way, my recommendation is to buy and fly fixed bridle if that's what you prefer, but I don't see it as being less expensive.  I would agree that it's an economical way to buy one 3-4m kite to dip your toe in the water to see if you like kiting.  In the long haul, any savings is insignificant at best.

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40 minutes ago, ssayre said:

Finally @.Joel, I had hoped you would be back to shoot holes in my theory.  So what serious kiters that use all fix bridles have less than 7?  Can't be many, you know they generally have their main quiver and usually a few supplemental kites for various conditions or type of flying.

You're making it too easy :P  For 3 years I kited with a 1.5, 3.0, 4.5, 7.0 and unless there was sub 6 knots I was moving all the way to 30+.  Kiters don't need more than 4 fixed bridles to cover their wind range, and people have been flying comfortably on 4 fixed bridles for over a decade.  Hell some whole quivers only ever came in 4 sizes.  You can tell the people that have too many kite sizes, they're always fluffing around swapping kites :upyours: 

Once you get in to racing, and you want to compete at the edge, it doesn't matter fixed bridle or depower you're going to want a quiver.

 

 

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Aerospara compi is a great depower closed cell foil kite for just about every kite sport.  if you want less speed go lower aspect. you  want more speed go for a race kite like a diablo, r1 or sonic

Most are quite easy to fly if your foil kite flying is good in the first place. that said, some can have their own characteristics like wingtip folding instability.

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