Small kite for downwind starts



Nice idea, been thinking the sail might be cool.
I imagine main positive is that you can run a smaller board, as wind like that I can’t imagine you’d struggle to paddle up

Wondered if a sail would work but I think kite better.

I’ve been thinking about this for a while, a single skin snow kite packs down super small and I think you could fly it off of a paddle shaft. Could be a great solution to foil out to get to the better bumps or even upwind/downwind runs. Stoked to see someone actually trying it out

already done by Gunnar 4y ago

Kite bar and harness not quite the same appeal! Think that is called kitefoiling (on small lines?)

I was thinking of flying off the bridles, no lines or bar

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That could be enabling for those of us that don’t have land accessible downwind runs. Vancouver BC gets great windswell but only access point is at it’s terminus. A small airfoil kite would let you use a tiny foil board and could reel the kite in and stuff into a waist belt once your up and gliding downwind. Pull it out and zip back upwind, like what Casey is doing with the wing deflate but probably way more efficient.

Some of these videos are using simple 2 line trainer kites. These are very cheap ($100 or so), simple and don’t require a harness. That said it would take quite a bit of wind to get you up on one!

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Yes, most of the trainer kites are in the 1.5 - 3M range. It looks like what Sam is using is a custom item but haven’t been able to get any more info. Appears to be single surface which makes it super compact collapsed. Like the way he just slides his hand up the bridles to collapse it. Both Ozone and Flysurfer make single surface trainers but are too small (I think). Ozone’s website says there’s a 2.5M 'Go V1" trainer but nobody seems to sell it. I have an old 5M double surface trainer but it’s still pretty big collapsed and probably too big anyway, depends on the wind I guess.

Gunnar’s literally kite foiling upwind to supfoil back. Don’t think Sam’s rig is going upwind much which is fine by me. I think a wing is less of an inconvenience on the downwind than a backpack full of wet nylon would be.

Looks to be very similar to the Slingshot trainer kite that I have, aside from the shortened lines and lack of a control bar (and graphics). I think they come in 2 and 3m and if you get it looping it can give some solid grunt. Packs down to almost nothing without the bar although it can be annoying to launch when its waterlogged.

I’d give it a shot sometime, although its my kids’ toy, so I’m reluctant to modify it!

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I think I saw in the comments that he made it himself, I wonder if he must have tried a trainer first to go through the effort to then make one. I’d imagine the issue with a trainer is that it is designed to move through the air with a bit more speed, some more apparent wind where as in the clip it looks far more parachute like and probably a bit more grunty rather than fast.

Keen to see if this leads to something but my impression would be that it takes a fair while to get to the point where you’d beat a paddle, but it’s a cool idea and I like where it could lead


Yup, looking at the trailing edge of Sam’s kite, there’s a ton of brake permanently set. The average trainer would likely require the same, set just above stall speed. More parachute, less kite like.

Like the whole idea but maybe not for the Gorge, better in the ocean or places where runs can be longer to make the whole shuttle thing worth the time. Seeing more people winging upwind carrying a paddle than ever.

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I wonder if this could work.—nasa-star-4—kite-only-.html

Is he collapsing it by pulling a line on the trailing edge?

Looks like that center yellow depower line pulls on the leading edge.
Says it can be flown ‘at the bar’ so don’t see why it wouldn’t work. Packs up pretty small.

Was that a helicopter rescue at the end of the Kerstin snowkiting video? Nobody was wearing helmets :thinking:

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I wasn’t sure about the chopper either. Pretty left field marketing if it was a rescue.

I’ve been thinking about doing this 2 i’ve gone as far as buying a prism mentor 3.5 water relaunchable - Mentor 3.5 – Prism Kites and i’ve started working on a reel bar so i can run longer lines then reel the kite in, i figure once your up and riding downwind towards the kite there should be less line tension and i can reel it in.


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The prism looks like a super nice kite. Assuming you’re planning to go upwind with it which is commendable, whatever it takes to eliminate car shuttling.

Would it be possible to do this but as a SUP paddle? You’d need a way to wrap the line and the kite itself around the bar/paddle without it being in the way of your grip, but then you’d really have the best of both worlds.

Looks like v2 of this kite. I think there are a few interesting aspects here.

Appeal for SUP foilers - you can use a smaller board instead of a big downwind board. This to me is pretty compelling as the massive downwind board I have is a complete tank once up and riding. Also you can go upwind, which has obvious appeals with the deflate downwinder (deflating and carrying a wet wing that cannot be re-inflated is a bit much hassle).

Appeal for wingers is that you can put that in your pocket once up and riding and don’t have the frustration of running over your wing in zero apparent wind.

I suspect it will work best in strong 20-25kn winds. I know this because yesterday I took out an old dinghy spinnaker and had a go, and in 15kn it almost got me going, but not quite. 15kn is very doable for downwind, and any windier and you’d not struggle to get up and going.

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There is video from the gorge here.

Increasingly looks like this could be a thing. I wonder how many brands are watching this and quietly testing their own version.

Comments say he is on a 2.8m.

What kind of board were you using with the spinnaker?

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