MY LW-KITE FOR FOIL & TWINTIP
WEIGHT & SIZES
LIGHT - EFFICIENT - AGILE
The fact that a light kite always flies better than a heavy kite is basically nothing new and is widely known. For a long time not much attention was paid to this, because the kites were unnecessarily overdesigned in order to optimize for freestyle and for the best possible high-quality look. My new kite Nerio does NOT follow this goal either. My kite covers its range of use perfectly and that is mainly in light winds with the twin tip or with the hydrofoil. First and foremost the kite must be particularly light. For use on the twin tip and jumps in the lower wind range it still has to be stable. Why the Nerio’s weight is still so little I explain below.
The special efficiency of the Nerio is the high performance for the use on the hydrofoil as well as twintip and the particularly large wind range. I don't want to keep going back to shore and pumping up kites just because the wind has just picked up or dropped. On the foil you are quickly overpowered and with the twin tip you also appreciate a kite with large depower and sovereign flight characteristics. On the other hand the lowest wind range requires a powerful kite to generate the necessary pull on the bar so that the jumps don't become hops. But not only the pure wind range is important to me. My kite must also have a linear power build-up and be totally easy to relaunch even in very low wind. I would also like to kite such a high aspect ratio kite like the Nerio with the same 52cm bar as the Maverick II.
Even a kite that already has a lot of power in the lower wind range shouldn't be sluggish. For me it was very important that a high aspect ratio kite like this is extremely agile, but doesn't flap and doesn't move too much on its own. I do not want to be limited by the kite at my riding style which could happen with a lame and sluggish kite. From my point of view an agile kite is also a clear advantage when hydrofoiling, because I can react so much faster, because when foiling you often have very little tension on the lines and a sluggish kite is only a hindrance. The shape, construction and bridle system of the Nerio have therefore been developed with this in mind right from the very first prototype.
"The primary goal when developing the Nerio was to be able to kite with a tube kite as early as possible and not have the feeling of riding a big kite. The 13m Nerio has the power of a conventional 16m kite"
I have designed the Nerio specifically for use with hydrofoils and twintips in the lower wind range. You can see this from its high aspect ratio shape and the sweep. This high aspect ratio allows for high planing and upwind performance. Thanks to a powerful profile and a slim front tube the kite is stable at the edge of the wind window even in very little wind. The individual details such as the profile, the twist and the skin tension only create a good kite when the entire shape is matching each other.
A kite that is agile, powerful and has an easy handling even in strong wind at the same time must have a perfect working profile. Since the range of use of the Nerio's is clearly defined, just like the Maverick II, the only option for me was a profile where the air flow immediately is clean after depowering the kite. This creates a constant pull on the bar and not the uncomfortable ON / OFF performance which is for me much too jerky on many kites.
The Nerio has a profile specially optimized for the lower wind range for a good groundpull and still offers an easy handling in the upper wind range. Adjusting the profile of the Nerio was therefore quite complex. I have benefited from the experience of the Maverick I & II kites as well as from many years of working as a kite designer.
Every kite needs a stabilizer at the wingtips. In this way it stabilizes itself and in this position it is decisively fixed how the kite flies in very tight turns and at the very edge of the wind window. Unfortunately performance and handling are too often given away here. In the prototype phase of the Nerio I therefore tried out wingtips with straight and rounded outlines very intensively. The version that is now finally used in the serial kites is a good mix of performance, bar feel and easy relaunch behavior. You always know where the kite is in the wind window without looking. A very important aspect for use on the hydrofoil especially in the lowest wind range.
My kites should always be light, even very light. No-Strutter are very light, but mostly have a small wind range. They work very well low down, but as soon as the wind picks up you have to change kites because the handling then becomes disastrous. Single-Strutter can do that better, but I am still missing the support of the profile at the wingtip when forcing the kite into very tight turns. On the other hand, developing a classic three-strutter would have taken me away from the goal of developing a very light kite with the Nerio. That's why I've modified the two struts near the wingtip to micro-struts with extremely thin diameters and call this 1 plus 2. This design is almost as light as a single-strutter, but the kite turns way better and in the high end wind range it has more control, because the profile is better stabilized. The concept works just as effectively on the Nerio as it does on the Maverick.
The flight of birds has always fascinated me especially their agility. They achieve this by twisting their wings completely. No bird has rigid wings like an airplane. Every aircraft designer would dream of realizing a stable and simple torsion wing instead of being limited only on flaps at the end of the wing. A kite with a stiff fronttube is almost similar to a rigid wing. Such a kite cannot really be influenced by the kiter in its flight and turning performance as a pull at the bar usually affects only at the wingtip. The Nerio, on the other hand, can twist as a whole because it has a fairly thin leading edge. It therefore turns much tighter and it is even more important that the air flow is permanently clean to the kite due to the twisting of the surface. You notice this immediately because the feeling at the bar remains constant even with really tight turns. For me this is an indispensable quality on the foil.
In order to stabilize the Nerio's quite thin front tube a very well working bridle is necessary.. I have only used a pulley in one position exactly where the bridle has to move to achieve a very efficient depower effect and to keep the depower throw on the bar as short as possible. If you push the bar completely away from your body the kite is completely without power which always gives me a very safe feeling. The remaining points are fixed to create a very direct bar feeling and to enable the relaunch even at very low winds. Since the Nerio has a high aspect ratio shape I added an additional point so that the leading edge is also well stabilized in the upper wind range. My bridle is assembled with lightweight flying lines rather than thick and heavy bridle lines. This creates less air resistance and also contributes to the low weight of the kite.
The requirement to build a light kite for the use on the foil, which at the same time is stable enough for the use on the twin tip, requires a rethinking of the construction. However for me it was clear from the beginning that I will not use rocket technology with hocus-pocus materials where the kiter as a customer should perform the final test. That's why I use the extremely robust Ripstop from Contender on my kite which has excellent stretch and tear resistance. It's light enough but really stable. From the same company comes the Dacron for the leading edge and the struts. Both materials are woven and finished in Germany and Switzerland. A one-pump-system and a large IN/ OUT-valve are standard today. But why is the Nerio kite so light?
A light kite needs a light kite bag. That's why I chose the same bag for the Nerio as for the Maverick. With only 135 gr this bag is really light and fits well for traveling. It is simple, functional and nevertheless solid. No needless details and just the focus on the essentials. A bag how I have always wanted to have. The two side lines close the opening at the top of the bag and also serve as a shoulder strap. Because the Nerio kite and the bag are so light no padding is needed here.
"There are many kites that have a good groundpull, but my new kite in particular has to be very good in the turns too so that I can have a lot of fun on the hydrofoil and the twin tip."
To have lots of fun on the Hydrofoil my kite not only has to be lightweight, good to relaunch and have a good performance, but also covers a really large wind range. In addition to that I expect a very predictable bar feeling. If you ride a jibe with the hydrofoil towards the kite there is usually only very little tension on the flying lines due to the little existing drag of the foil. Then you realize very quickly how well a kite is designed for this range of use. The Nerio enables me to venture into wind ranges that were otherwise only reserved for foil kites (ram air kites). Due to its high aspect ratio it has an outstanding upwind performance which is a lot of fun with the foil.
Twintip cruising in the lower wind range is much more fun to me with the very light and agile Nerio than with the big kites of previous years. With my 77kg I can go out with a 145x46cm twintip in 7-8 knots of wind with the 13 Nerio. With so little wind my LW kite has to provide good lift for jumps on the twin tip, be able to be quickly steered backwards and not generate too much drag so that I can generate the maximum pull upwards. Unfortunately many kites that have a good lift are flying far too deep in the wind window and therefore have deficits when taking off. The high flight speed of the Nerio generates the desired lift very early on. When it comes to bar feeling I like it direct, but without a lot of effort. It has to feel light and playful so that I can fully concentrate on the take-off. I don't want to have to constantly look up at the kite to make sure where it's going or already has a backstall. I appreciate this direct bar feeling with the Nerio especially in very gusty conditions.
A kite that has a bad relaunch is definitely a fun killer on the foil and on days with particularly little wind you are happy if even a small breeze is enough to get the kite back into the sky. The Nerio starts directly and deep in the wind window without having to move annoyingly long to the edge of the wind window. The video on the left was recorded in about 6 - 7 kn wind. You can see the relaunch technique well. The narrow wingtips and the front tube which is somewhat thicker in this area as well as the outer struts enable the kite to be released from the water quickly and easily. All you have to do is to pull a steering line. The special bridle supports this with the fixed points and together with the wingtips it creates enough lift so that the kite turns as you wish. The reverse launch by pulling on both steering lines also works with the Nerio.