Twin skins, LEI’s, Bow kites, Depower, C Kites etc which one? questions



  • Carlos Fandango – Twin skins, LEI’s, Bow kites, Depower, C Kites etc, for someone starting to move away from fixed bridles/handles, this can become a mine field, can we have explained what the difference between these different kites, how easy they are to launch and land and what advantages are one over the other?….and out of them all what ones would you choose? (experienced flyers of these kites only need to answer)
  • Kevin van Gorp – The question is. What are u going to do with them?
  • Carlos Fandango – The answer is buggy, all disciplines
  • Kevin van Gorp – Don’t think you should be looking for tube kites. Way to fragile. So bowkites C kite SLE falls away. Look for a nice flysurfer most versatile kite fore all disciplined or maybe the elf kite if you can afford it.
  • Phil Revill – I think you have to progress through them all, so depower open cell foil would be my suggested starting point for anyone, as they’re most like FB.  Then, I went onto LEIs, which have very different characteristics, but the low end (non-collapsing nature) and the total depower give them some better characteristics.  Some draw backs too, solo launching and landing take practice, but once nailed, no harder/sketchy than depower foil.  Then finally, I’ve swapped my Zephyr for a 15m S3, which is a different kettle of fish altogether.  I find solo landing in higher winds sketchy, and low wind bridle tangles a pain – but I’ve only flown it 5 times. In short, they are all different, with different + and -, but all take a bit of getting used to.
  • Kevin van Gorp – Flysurfer is closed cell. Acces or frenzy is open cell.
  • Carlos Fandango – Phil Revill Well….if you have the time, a thorough explanation would be good. Kevin van Gorp please explain why a flysurfer would be the best option to go for….and I have no idea what an elf kite is so again, please guys more info
  • Kevin van Gorp – Flysurfer is closed cell. So it’s possible to use them on the water as well (Al disciplines like you asked). Ozone acces and frenzy are open cell so only possible on land and snow. But all these kites are not built for speed. If you want a speedy depower kite you should look for an elf kite. Elfkite is an Russian kite manufacture that makes kites for hi speed snow kite races. These Russians win everything in snow kite course racing. My guess it it will be ideal in a buggy. Especially for long trips. Elfkites have over 80 cells so it will take a while till its fully powerd.
  • Libre has the radical also a speedy depower kite
  • Bobby Muse – I’ve settled in on HQ Montanas and PL Phantom IIs.  I find no weaknesses in the combination.  Finally not looking at what my next kite acquisition will be.
  • Brian Holgate – Well if we are talking about speed, There is a question whether the twinskin or LEI would be faster. Bobby Muse and I will find out in March. As for Launching and landing in high wind: Twinskins are a little hairy in high winds. LEI’s present a much safer way of launching and landing your kite. Since you launch your kite on the edge of the window and the shape is already there. The question now is Top Speed of the kite. Which has less drag…LEI or Twinskins? Soon we will know!
  • Cresus Archipelago – not wishing to pour cold water on a splendid upcoming racing event – the drags for each of these systems should be known by the manufacturers.
  • Bobby Muse – Brian and I will not really be racing each other, only trying to find the limits of the equipment.  We will both be cheering and encouraging each other.  I too am eager to see what might be possible.  Imagine video of 2 buggies running with and/or passing each other at over 60 mph!  I intend this year to take advantage of many opportunities to get data on kites, winds, and speed.  It will be fun to compare the Vapor, Phantom II, and small LEIs in the high speed arena.
  • Brian Holgate – Yes, drag is known by the manufacturers. However depending on the aplication things change. As Bobby stated we will not be racing. Only testing equipment to see what thier maximum potential is.
  • Cresus Archipelago – Well good luck with that Brian – sounds like you’re going to have a great time.
  • Phil Revill – The only other thoughts I had on this, were bar pressure and leading edge collapse (on LEI).  Us short distance/not always full power freestylers don’t have to keep the bar in all the time, so you long distance ful-power guys might struggle there, fatigue, I mean.  Some LEIs have a depower stop to lock the bar “in”.  The other thought was that some of my smaller LEIs have quite a thin LE, so they need quite a bit of pressure to make sure it doesn’t collapse when being wanged hard.  Again, for freestyle you can stop wanging it and go pump up, but for a balls out speed run like Brian is talking about…  Maybe a slight downwind change in course?
  • Stephen Webb – I’m looking forward to reading the experiences of Brian and Bobby. Flying different styles of kites on the same day will provide an interesting set of opinions. Any chance you can put an old PL C-Quad in the mix? I think they were way ahead of their time, but lost out due to to the problem of folding up on you, if you went to close to the edge. I really liked mine:)
  • Bobby Muse – Stephen the only thing better than comparing equipment head to head, is sharing the results and talking about it!  I’ve never flown a c-quad and don’t have access to one, but I’d be leary of a kite that tends to fold up too close to the edge.  Not a happy moment over 60 mph.