Packrafting & kitesurfing

Keep swimming when you should be rafting? Share or beg for tips and technique .
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Joined: Tue Feb 15, 2011 2:47 am
Location: Helsinki, Finland

Packrafting & kitesurfing

Post by undersound » Mon Feb 20, 2012 7:07 am

Has anyone tried to combine packrafting with kitesurfing? I have no experience of kitesurfing myself but I've long been wanting to try it. The downside is that surfing kites are very expensive (800€/$ < ), so buying one just to try out if it works is out of question.

But, I've understood that some people use trainer kites, which are smaller (and cheaper, ~100-200€/$), with skateboards. Most trainer kites seem to be usable only on land but there are some inflatable trainers (such as HQ Powerkites' Hydra) which might be useful with a packraft.

If not as thrilling as regular kitesurfing, wouldn't a LEI trainer kite make an useful sail to be used with a packraft?
2011 green Yak (open)
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Re: Packrafting & kitesurfing

Post by Kirkinbend » Fri Feb 24, 2012 7:51 am

Could be interesting but not very practical for transportation. You could only use the kite in a strictly downwind scenario as you do not have any edge to tack or even turn with the raft. Launching the kite would be difficult.... when kitesurfing you are stationary & submerged in the water for launching the kite, with a raft, you and the raft would be blowing toward your downed kite which brings me to the next point. If you are using a trainer kite and not a 4 or 5 line depowering kite you may not have control when the kite is going to launch out of the water, are you and your raft (that you are not paddling) facing in the right direction in all the wind when it launches, is the kite at the edge of the wind window and what to do with the extra power you are going to have when the wind gusts without a way to dump the power. Under perfect conditions (wind speed, direction, kite size, gusts, blah, blah, blah) it could work just fine for dragging you across the lake, other times it could be a little challenging to say the least.
With all that said.... Don`t let me talk you out of this, I have trainer kites and power kites and at some point will probably try this for fun, but if you do be safe......... life jacket... knife... video camera....ext.
Last edited by Kirkinbend on Tue Jun 25, 2013 9:39 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Packrafting & kitesurfing

Post by tchilds » Tue May 07, 2013 3:44 am

I've had good success with a 7m trainer kite. 4 line kites can run you perpendicular to the wind.

You will definitely want to attach a skeg and thigh straps.

Another trick we use in "non kite" areas is a small home made 2 line sled kite, maybe 3m^. The sled kite is nice for kite fishing and also works on open water in dead down wind runs.

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Re: Packrafting & kitesurfing

Post by LettyLocke » Thu Aug 22, 2013 10:10 pm

Keeping a non-kite version is always helpful.

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