Advantages and Disadvantages of C-kites

Advantages and Disadvantages of C-kites

The C- kite is considered as the original kite used for kiteboarding. Until today, it is the sole inflatable kite available on the market. It consists of square corners; it forms a deep C-shaped arc in the course of flying. Its lines which are attached at the four corners of the kite give its unique characteristic.

This type of kite has advantages and disadvantages.

Some of its advantages include a ‘direct’ feel when riding. C-kites constantly pull and put pressure on the rider enabling him to feel more attached with the kite. C-kites also turn faster than the bowkites and they tend to turn around a pivot instead of an arc which is the case for the bowkites. Whether this is an advantage or disadvantage can be discussed, but the fact that the c-kites turn faster make them easier and safer to loop and they do not generate as much power in the loops as the bowkites. Bowkites can’t be looped as quickly as the c-kites, the result is more power in the loop and at the same time more likely to crash in the water (since they need a bigger looping radius).
C-kites also offer more performance for their specific wind range. They can only fly well in their hardly specified wind range; thus, prepared to be fine-tuned for a precise range.

These are very specialized kites completing a higher performance kite. These kites are also great for unhooked riding; it means that the kite doesn’t need to be slipped in and out more often.
The shape of the C-kite also maximizes SLED boosting; thus, improving jumping performance.

C kites also have some disadvantages. First of its disadvantages include having a very specific wind range. It means that more kites are needed to cover all possible winds which can be very expensive. To cover all wind conditions, around three to five kites are needed. But even purchasing five of the cheapest kites is also expensive.

A smaller wind range also means that you will need to put together kites more frequently. It also involves water re-launch. To be able to re-launch, these kites need to be spanned onto their back and directed to the rim of the wind window. With the limited sheeting ability, C-Kites can be unsafe for beginners. It means that they can’t be de-powered just like bow kites.

To fly the kite, there should be more power to control it. It is very disadvantageous for beginners because they do not have enough experience.
C kites consist of safety releases; however, they don’t have the ability to plunk a lot of power by sheeting out.

Kites continue to evolve, so the pros and cons will keep on shifting. But one thing remains; these kites are outstanding performers. Not many kite manufacturers design pure c-kites nowadays. Most of them try to design kites that benefits of the advantages both from c-kites and bow-kites. These kites go under names such as Hybrid-C, Delta-kite, SLC-concept kites etc…
However, Slingshot still design pure c-kites to please a small but faithful band of kitesurfers have realized that c-kites is the only way to go! The Slingshot Fuel is also known as the c-kite’s c-kite!

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1 Comment Leave yours

  1. Steve #


    *Modern bridled kites (meaning hybrids since there’s not too many pure bows left) turn more quickly than C kites.
    *Bridled kites pivot, C-kites arc
    *Tighty pivoting loops create turbulent air over the canopy (aerofoil), which reduces the lift (pull).
    *Bridled kites don’t catch you, as often, on powerful kiteloops/megaloops because of the hard pull during the downward stroke. This puts to much force on the canopy and bridle, so the bridle does what it’s supposed to and lowers the angle of attack(AOA), the lines slack and you drop.
    Here’s a perfect example of Fuel vs Wainmann watch for the turning speeds, arc diameter, and then the AOA slack at 1:24.

    As far as wind range goes, it all depends on what you want to do. Sure you can take a 10m hybrid kite to 30+ knots, but you’ll need long arms, and good luck with a handle pass, or staying on your strapless surf. So guess what, you’ll need to add more kites to your bridled quiver too.

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