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skippertom

CR:X

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interesting - i hadn't seen that

 

NP already owns Cabrinha - probably one of the largest kite manufacturers.., but i guess for the OD race concept they decided to use the NP brand.

 

I wonder if they are thinking it's a contender for a possible olympic kite racing class...

 

certainly the brand will be very familiar to the people at world sailing

 

it's a bit low-tech though.., but maybe that's better

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I kind of like the idea of being able to get into foiling gradually. They sell the board and straps for about $600, then I could add the foil and shims for about $800.

 

I already have a good 7m kite, if I did get into their one design events, would I need to use their 7m?

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sure - if they are sailing an OD event, you will have to use the OD gear...

 

i would guess it will be run like the RS-X class

 

there is open kite racing if you want that...

 

but speaking of getting into foiling gradually - have you seen the new Slingshot foils?

 

They have them for kiteboards.., and will soon have them for windsurfers. Not only are they pretty cheap, but they also have a system of 3 graduated "mast" heights that attach to the foils, allowing you to learn to foil at lower heights.

 

http://www.slingshotsports.com/Home/Foil

 

complete foils for <$1000

 

scroll down to see the masts.

 

i am ordering the windsurf foil, with the graduated masts

 

https://www.facebook.com/slingshotfoil/videos/320841381652256/

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There will be CR:X kits chartered at Buzzards Bay Regatta in August for like $50 for 3 days and a OD class...foil one day and twin tip the other, with a free racing clinic on the Friday.

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The CRX is not super hi tech, but it certainly opens to door to a variety of wind conditions and is fun to race. I really enjoy racing foils, and have a very good Spotz2. I'm not into the RAM kites as i often drift launch and ride well out into the bay. I must say the CRX is noticeably slower than my custom foil, but extremely easy to ride. I guess that it really comes down to the fact that I don't have enough time to test open class equipment as I used to, and none of the best foils are available to people a bit lower on the list like me. Therefore, unless you are at the top, it seems a waste of $$$ to travel to large events when you are 1-2 degrees off the angle, and 1-2 knots slower at best. Interestingly, its seems that several of the top open racers are now carrying more than one complete set of RAM kites. This simply takes it to another level.

 

If you like to be competitive, want to save some money, and don't mind racing at slightly slower speeds (14-15 upwind, 22-24 downwind), then maybe OD CRX is for you. I certainly don't think that this is exactly what I'd want to see in the Olympics, but it certainly is a great feeder class to more open class racing. I really felt like I was racing on the CRX, as the speeds and angles were quite close. This type of racing brought it back to board handling skills, and thinking, rather than simply speed sailing around little yellow marks. It's not going to be for everyone, but it was fun as hell.

 

The other cool thing is that the kites cross over perfectly for recreational riding on TT and / or waves. I'd still race both classes if I could afford to do it, and be competitive, but I'm not sure it's possible. In truth, I'd suggest that the best racers will still win in either class, I just think that CRX, like any OD class, will bring the fleet a bit close together, and allow new racers a chance at tuning up their game against the top riders.

 

I want to disclose that I have a relationship to the Pryde Group. This being said, I really enjoy racing, and this option allows me a chance to win some windward legs again... at least for a short time!

 

PS... The new windsurfing hydrofoil gear was awesome to watch in Miami this weekend. I'm going to give that a shot also! Antoine Albeau was impressive. I had a chance to line up with him to tune upwind. He was on a 7.8 and the NP RSFlight windsurfing foil, with me on a Spotz2 and a CRX 7 meter. I was fully powered and riding comfortable. Upwind, we were very close. I'd guess that we were within 1/4 knot of speed, and .5 degrees of angle (of course open class kite foils would have had him by 3-4 knots up, and 5-6 knots down, with what I assume would have been 3-4 degrees of angle each way). His tacks were better than mine, but we would have rounded upwind within a very close distance. Downwind, we held about the same speed, with my kite riding 2-4 degrees lower. He had a GPS on and said we were doing 16-17 knots upwind. I didn't catch the speed down wind, but probably around 25 -27 knots. He was about 25% faster than the other windsurf foil guys from the West Coast (Steve S., and Jesper V.). A2 was finishing the races in about 7-9 minutes (2 laps), and the others at around 11 minutes. Pretty cool to watch.

 

Kent

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Thanks for the review

 

I think that World sailing and the IOC have the same concerns as you - they won't want the kiting medals (assuming there are some...) decided mostly by who has access to the best foils..., as that will always be someone from one of about half a dozen, or fewer, countries where sailing and kite racing in particular are well developed.

 

One of the great things about windsurfing is that the medals have been won by sailors from countries that hardly ever win medals - It is still the case that the only gold medal won by Israel was in windsurfing

 

I have heard that the NP windsurf foil is unavailable at the retail level, and that it will remain that way for some time...

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Actually, Antoine was riding the production RS Flight this weekend in Miami. He also had the custom F4, and we had the first RSX Convertible composite foil as well.

 

It's the Aluminum RS Flight and the RSOne Convertible foils that are later. The composites are mainly coming by air and will be hitting local markets around the 1st week in June. Interestingly, the production RS Flight was faster than the custom version according to Antoine Albeau. It was many due to the stiffness of the strut according to him. He also had similar comments about the RSX Convertible foil (french made), however I'd bet that Antoine goes 230 lbs before lunch, so i don't think it's a knock on the foils, but rather that he falls well outside the idea weight for them.

 

Regarding the kite technology for racing, I must say that after racing at most of the traditional Olympic Class racing venues around the world, I really don't feel that RAMs are a viable option for most. Drift launching, offshore winds, visibility, cost, etc. are all factors that weigh toward LEI. I fully understand the performance differences, and appreciate the angles and speeds that RAM's offer, however I guess that if we are talking about one design, the performance differences really don't matter to me as much. This being said, I do think that it's important that the kite class that makes it to the Olympics can hit 16-18 plus upwind, and over 27 down wind. This keeps things pretty exciting, and will hold the attention of younger and recreational riders in the class. In any case, it's clear that foiling options of all types are starting to come down to mortal pricing.

 

Kent

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i tried to put in an order for one of the NP RS Flight aluminum foils and was told not to bother...it would be a long wait.

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it's true that the Alu RS is not likely to ship until late June or early July. it's a bummer as tons of us are wanting to give them a go! i guess that the good part is that they aren't letting them go prematurely. i can say that the CRX strut is very nice, so i hope that the same holds true for the RS Flight!

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