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Kite stalling/not reacting after first down stroke

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Created by dewwy 3 months ago, 13 Aug 2018
dewwy
3 posts
13 Aug 2018 11:17PM
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Hey guys,

finished my lessons a month ago and i had around 4 session now with my own gear.
Got 12/9 RPM, 17" Bar, 140cm Vision.

I've no trouble whatsoever doing waterstarts and staying on the board afterwards, but what sometimes happens is that the kite seems to be stalling after the first downstroke.
So assuming i want to go to the left, first downstroke from about 1 or 2 to 9, by then im on the board and usually going downwind to get speed, what i would do now is sheet out and steer the kite upwards.
Sometimes the kite doesnt react at all, looks like its drifting with me, no matter how much i sheet out and steer the kite up, nothing happens. By the time it finally turns i'm usually already super slow and almost sinking, so i would go up to 12/1 again to get lifted up abit and do another downstroke, on occasion its enough to keep going, but as you can imagine i'll already be downwind like 100m or more by then.

Would appreciate any tips on how to keep that from happening.

Also aready checked the line length, they're all the same length.

cheers

cbulota
WA, 1170 posts
14 Aug 2018 3:23AM
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Hi dewwy

What you are experiencing is very common for beginners and in this case the problems/solutions are very easy to understand and fix. We can first look at kite skills, then board skills.

Kite skills:

The first problem is you are diving the kite too low. At 9 O'clock your kite would be touching the water or just about.

Solution: Dive the kite more aggressively with the bar further in and STOP the kite at 45' degrees (10:30 or 1:30). Most beginners who dive the kite to water start don't give the bar enough input to stop the dive and/or wait too long before stopping the dive. If you dive the kite loo low it takes too much time to steer it back up, therefore you lose a lot of momentum by the time it goes back up. You also typically have significantly less wind (and more wind turbulence) on the surface of the water as opposed to when you kite is at 45'.

Your second problem is you are sheeting out too far and/or too quickly when you want to stroke the kite back up. Going fast downwind towards your kite after your first power stroke will create some slack in your lines. If you sheet all the way out you will aggravate this problem. The goal is to regain tension in your lines and power in your kite as soon as possible after getting up.

Solution: Steer the kite back up earlier with the bar in (just not ALL the way in). When, and ONLY when the kite starts to move back up, sheet out a LITTLE bit, usually about half way does the job. Trying to steer the kite with the bar all the way out is simply never going to help.

Board skills:

Your third problem is you are most likely going too far downwind with your board and for too long. The more downwind you go towards your kite and the more time you spend going downwind before edging, the more you will lose power in your kite, create slack in your lines, lose momentum and sink.

Solution: avoid pointing the board too far downwind especially if the wind is strong. You only need to point your board more downwind when the wind is LIGHT and you have to dive the kite directly into the deepest part of the power zone.
Assuming you are well powered and the wind is strong, try pointing your board no further than 45' downwind.
As soon as you get up and you're standing up right (usually takes 1 to 2 seconds) you need to start edging immediately. Riding with your board flat will make you go further downwind and create more slack in your lines and you will lose speed.

Edging your board early and timing this edging with the second pull of the kite (first pull being your initial power stroke) is the key here. This is an effort which requires coordination and a lot of practice for some. It also helps to have a background in other board sports here.

As mentioned above, if you stop your kite earlier you will be able to have more tension in your lines and start edging your board earlier as well, making you lose less speed and be able to carry on riding.

If you still struggle after a while consider getting a 1H Lesson with radio helmet and video support. With the right advice and seeing your mistakes on camera, you can make incredible improvements in a very short amount of time.

Hope this helps

Christian - KiteBud

dewwy
3 posts
14 Aug 2018 4:46AM
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Hey Christian,

thanks first and foremost for the detailed explanation,
The tip of the kite was probably only a meter or so above the watersurface after the downstroke, at first i simply thought that i wasn't going downwind enough, because i was sinking so fast the few times it happened.
Totally makes sense tho that the kite won't steer when the lines are slacked.
Btw. had around 15/16knots that day and was on the 12m with 23m lines & im around 80kg.

I'll probably have to get used to not riding like i would ride at the cable, since i was literally just going downwind behind the kite trying to get enough speed.

We have around 17knots tomorrow, should be plenty to try the things you mentioned ;).

Got one more question, when i have enough speed i have no problems to keep going and the few transitions i tried so far seemed to work pretty good aswell. Only thing that bothers me quite a bit is how much ground i lose.
The people i talked to at my spot told me to sheet out, lean backwards and open my hip in whatever direction im going.
Is there a general rule as to how much one needs to sheet out to get the kite to the edge of the wind window? Probably depends how the kite is trimmed aswell, right?


cheers

Gilly3
QLD, 694 posts
14 Aug 2018 9:30AM
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Love ya work Christian....another very articulated response

One more thing to add....don't know how old those RPM's are, but if they are a bit older maybe some line tuning is in order?

To answer your last question dewwy, it's a common noob thing to do the walk of shame to get back upwind....

It will eventually click and u will get that locked in feeling where u are edging hard with kite in the correct position staying upwind effortlessly

Good luck and good winds

dewwy
3 posts
15 Aug 2018 3:44AM
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Select to expand quote
Gilly3 said..
One more thing to add....don't know how old those RPM's are, but if they are a bit older maybe some line tuning is in order?


Its all 2018 gear, should be fine ;).

Actually was able to try the things you mentioned christian!
Took a few tries to get the timing down, but the problem i had was pretty much solved by steering the kite up earlier. Never realised that it would need a pretty hard impulse to stop the kite diving all the way down. Might just be the fact that my bar is pretty short and the rpms aren't the fastest to turn compared to the core kites i initially learned on.
Also started to edge lightly after the first downstroke and was riding nicely after the second one, didn't lose that much ground aswell!

thanks guys!

Chris_M
1647 posts
19 Aug 2018 12:37PM
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+1 for Christians response, legend!

high as a kite
SA, 1278 posts
4 Sep 2018 1:04PM
Thumbs Up

Select to expand quote
cbulota said..
Hi dewwy

What you are experiencing is very common for beginners and in this case the problems/solutions are very easy to understand and fix. We can first look at kite skills, then board skills.

Kite skills:

The first problem is you are diving the kite too low. At 9 O'clock your kite would be touching the water or just about.

Solution: Dive the kite more aggressively with the bar further in and STOP the kite at 45' degrees (10:30 or 1:30). Most beginners who dive the kite to water start don't give the bar enough input to stop the dive and/or wait too long before stopping the dive. If you dive the kite loo low it takes too much time to steer it back up, therefore you lose a lot of momentum by the time it goes back up. You also typically have significantly less wind (and more wind turbulence) on the surface of the water as opposed to when you kite is at 45'.

Your second problem is you are sheeting out too far and/or too quickly when you want to stroke the kite back up. Going fast downwind towards your kite after your first power stroke will create some slack in your lines. If you sheet all the way out you will aggravate this problem. The goal is to regain tension in your lines and power in your kite as soon as possible after getting up.

Solution: Steer the kite back up earlier with the bar in (just not ALL the way in). When, and ONLY when the kite starts to move back up, sheet out a LITTLE bit, usually about half way does the job. Trying to steer the kite with the bar all the way out is simply never going to help.

Board skills:

Your third problem is you are most likely going too far downwind with your board and for too long. The more downwind you go towards your kite and the more time you spend going downwind before edging, the more you will lose power in your kite, create slack in your lines, lose momentum and sink.

Solution: avoid pointing the board too far downwind especially if the wind is strong. You only need to point your board more downwind when the wind is LIGHT and you have to dive the kite directly into the deepest part of the power zone.
Assuming you are well powered and the wind is strong, try pointing your board no further than 45' downwind.
As soon as you get up and you're standing up right (usually takes 1 to 2 seconds) you need to start edging immediately. Riding with your board flat will make you go further downwind and create more slack in your lines and you will lose speed.

Edging your board early and timing this edging with the second pull of the kite (first pull being your initial power stroke) is the key here. This is an effort which requires coordination and a lot of practice for some. It also helps to have a background in other board sports here.

As mentioned above, if you stop your kite earlier you will be able to have more tension in your lines and start edging your board earlier as well, making you lose less speed and be able to carry on riding.

If you still struggle after a while consider getting a 1H Lesson with radio helmet and video support. With the right advice and seeing your mistakes on camera, you can make incredible improvements in a very short amount of time.

Hope this helps

Christian - KiteBud


Agree 100%
I know I went through the same thing back in the day.

Another thing that might be happening is your actually diving the kite to close to the edge of the wind window.
Dive the kite a tad down wind and following Christian instructions.



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