Helium 3 Kite Foiling Review

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JeromeD
Posts: 59
Joined: Thu Mar 01, 2012 6:05 pm

Thu May 10, 2018 3:08 pm

I now have 1 kite foiling session on 7m (15-25mph winds), 5 on the 9m (10-20 mph) and 2 on the 12m (10-15 mph) Helium v3’s, enough to form an opinion.

The only real negative I have for these kites is they are not Hindenburg proof. Most causes of falling out of the sky were operator error, specifically overrunning the kite during a gybe. But I had one Hindenburg on the 12 when I experienced a major wind lull. Having said that, they are relatively Hindenburg proof if you pay attention to the kite.

I’m very impressed with how stable the kites are, in particular how they scale up as the wind picks up. I was out was out on the 12m when everybody was on their “big” foil kites, usually around 10m. As the wind picked up, they all started switching down to 8’s and 6’s but I was able to continue kiting on the 12 without feeling overpowered.

These kites allowed me to finally dump my strutless kites (brand names withheld to protect the guilty) that were (for me) hard to relaunch, hard to control in gusts, and hard to fly one handed. Frankly those kites had been holding back my progression. I just love the way the Helium v3’s have stable flight, respond to steering input even on slack lines, and can be flown one handed.

There is a trade-off between the weight and beefiness of construction that I’m willing to live with to get the low end wind performance I’m looking for.

Switch has a winner in these kites and I’ve been talking them up to other kite foilers.
Switch Element v6 5m
Switch Helium v3 7m, 9m, 12m
Jerome D
hongchew
Posts: 17
Joined: Sun Jan 24, 2016 3:21 pm

Thu May 10, 2018 5:57 pm

JeromeD wrote:I now have 1 kite foiling session on 7m (15-25mph winds), 5 on the 9m (10-20 mph) and 2 on the 12m (10-15 mph) Helium v3’s, enough to form an opinion.

The only real negative I have for these kites is they are not Hindenburg proof. Most causes of falling out of the sky were operator error, specifically overrunning the kite during a gybe. But I had one Hindenburg on the 12 when I experienced a major wind lull. Having said that, they are relatively Hindenburg proof if you pay attention to the kite.

I’m very impressed with how stable the kites are, in particular how they scale up as the wind picks up. I was out was out on the 12m when everybody was on their “big” foil kites, usually around 10m. As the wind picked up, they all started switching down to 8’s and 6’s but I was able to continue kiting on the 12 without feeling overpowered.

These kites allowed me to finally dump my strutless kites (brand names withheld to protect the guilty) that were (for me) hard to relaunch, hard to control in gusts, and hard to fly one handed. Frankly those kites had been holding back my progression. I just love the way the Helium v3’s have stable flight, respond to steering input even on slack lines, and can be flown one handed.

There is a trade-off between the weight and beefiness of construction that I’m willing to live with to get the low end wind performance I’m looking for.

Switch has a winner in these kites and I’ve been talking them up to other kite foilers.
Hi JeromeD, what about the low end of H3 12m compared to the strutless? How many knots would you say you lose?

My 13.4m strutless allows me to start foiling from 8kts, so I'm curious to find out the equivalent H3 that will allow me the same low end. As with you, I hate relaunching the strutless at the absolute low end because it'll fill with water so easily and become an anchor that won't even drift.
JeromeD
Posts: 59
Joined: Thu Mar 01, 2012 6:05 pm

Thu May 10, 2018 6:41 pm

hongchew wrote:[

Hi JeromeD, what about the low end of H3 12m compared to the strutless? How many knots would you say you lose?

My 13.4m strutless allows me to start foiling from 8kts, so I'm curious to find out the equivalent H3 that will allow me the same low end. As with you, I hate relaunching the strutless at the absolute low end because it'll fill with water so easily and become an anchor that won't even drift.
I would say the low end is not as good as a strutless as they are still out foiling on 8's and 10's when I have to come in on my 12m Helium v3. I weigh about 165 lbs. I would say I give up about 2 knots on the low end. However I gladly sacrifice that for relaunchability and handling. I once spent 20 minutes trying to get a strutless to relaunch.
Switch Element v6 5m
Switch Helium v3 7m, 9m, 12m
Jerome D
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