Kitesurf is a sport that involves aerodynamics and shape behavior. Let’s see how.
Kitesurfing is one of the fastest growing sports. Kitesurf manufacturers have been competing with each other to offer more innovative products and better product options. Kitesurfing has become so popular that it can be difficult for beginners to pick the right one.
Even the most skilled riders may end up with the wrong kite for their chosen discipline or riding style.
Let’s simplify the impact of different shapes on power kite behavior so that we can make smart and rational choices when choosing our kitesurfing gear.
These are the three most important parameters that influence a kite’s performance.
- The arch shape
- The bridle system
- The aspect ratio.
ARCH SHAPE / BRIDLE SYSTEM
There are many arch shapes available, including flat arch (also known as C-kites) and steep arch (also called C-kites). Flat-arched kites were sometimes called Bow kitses at the time of their introduction. This was due to the curving shape of the leading and trailing edges, making them appear bow-shaped from the viewpoint of the rider.
We also have Delta-shaped kites. The trailing edge is made straight to give it a Greek Delta letter look.
We need to remember that the arch shape of the kite determines how much uplift is generated and how stable the kite remains in the lateral directions.
We can see that the smaller component of wind action is used to lift the kite, while the larger component that pushes sideways becomes important in arch shapes with steeper angles. This plays a greater role in lateral stability.
This can result in greater power in flat kites and better side stability, steering responsiveness, and drifting control with more C-shape kitses.
The bridle system is another aspect of the arch shape. The structure of this bridle system depends on how the kite is shaped. A kite that is flatter will need more support at the leading edge to keep it from bending in the middle.
A C-shape Kite can fly without a bridle system. It just needs to have the lines attached at its tips. Modern C-shape kites have a minor bridle system, or a fifth line as an emergency system (purple elements in image below), but also as a structural element.
Other than shape stability, bridle system have an important effect on kite behavior. They can increase the angle of attack against the wind by increasing the length.
This post was written by Aaron McClearnon, Owner of Elite Watersports. At Elite Watersports, We strive to provide exceptional service and genuine interactions with those interested in the Core XR7 kiteboarding kite. We hold dear our passion for being out on the water and maintain this as our foundation for all business practices.