This last month has not been exactly stellar wind, but because we have a Source kite from F-one we have been well satisfied. Its certainly proved the Source kites slogan "kite everyday"... that we wanted to. And we have been checking out a few different spots and different wind directions. For example West winds normally mean NO kiting. But with the Source kite we were having a ball as shown in the pics. Wind was 2-12 knots, common conditons, perfect for Source, crap for anything else. Even in the big lulls we just stood or sat on the board and waited, and if the wind never came back we could paddle home without getting wet. Ours and others pre-conceptions were challenged, And yes it was definitely worth it.
The next day we were very pleased to have a "ginuea pig" to experiment on, Adam from Caloundra. Adam had never handled a steerable kite of any description, although he is an accomplished surfer. In a typical 5-10 knot breeze we headed for the local lake which is not famous for clean wind so a genuine proving ground for the Source. After quickly inflating Source 15m and RED Air 10' we decided to halve the line length, a very easy and quick operation as its obviously designed to be. Then paddled out onto the lake with lines wound on the bar. Unwinding and launching with only 2 short lines was simple, and as anticipated the Source was rock steady in the swirly air.
I did a quick test run to demonstrate then without any instruction whatsoever sat Adam on the board and handed him the bar. No harness, no helmet and no dummy run. To cut to the chase, it worked brilliantly. Of course both he and the kite got wet, and there was a fair few questions, but he came away stoked after actually standing and gliding with the kite within minutes. The kite relaunched easily every time with minimal yelling and gesturing, and was perfectly docile exactly as intended. We did learn a few things, like run through the safety (letting go), how to recover the bar, and where / when to stop. And that the 12knot wind limit printed on the 15m is worth noting. During the session the wind filled in so 15m kite with no depower and no harness got silly. To wrap it up both Adam and kite returned to the shore safely, smiles all round all fired up to do it again asap.
We dont condone handing randoms kites, but sub 10 knots in the name of science, or a bit of fun anyway... Some of the main questions we get about SUP kite is will this experience appeal even without the dramatic power and planing of normal kiteboarding. Also is it a stepping stone to normal kiting or a completely different sport ? Firstly yes the experience is appealing to many, and its still flying a kite and gliding on a board but you won't see it side by side with normal kiting because the conditions, locations and vibe are different. Thats a great thing. We can see why some believe that potentially this new sport could even be bigger than "normal" kiteboarding eventually. As for being a stepping stone that remains to be seen. The saying that comes to mind "you got to learn to crawl before you learn to ..."
RED AIRS RULE
Another exciting discovery was that RED Air inflatable boards work excellent for supkiting compared to rigids. The RED flexi thrusters were way easier to control, the big round rails way more forgiving, and it seemed the rocker deflects like a snowboard under load ! as you edge you can control slip almost instinctively just like sideslipping a snowboard. Try it and you will see what we mean. And of course the Reds are a lot safer, more durable and more fun. Not too mention totally rad.
Source is fun when paddling and normal kites are not. Newbies can learn safely and with bugger all instruction without interfering with normal kiting. Red Airs are the perfect board for Source sup kiting. Experience it before you comment.