Subject: [harryproa] Re: Outleader kite
From: "Dave Culp" <>
Date: 6/18/2007, 3:42 PM

Hi Peter,

Happy to answer your questions here, as it is here that you ask them. First, sorry for not
jumping to your response sooner. Your post to KiteShip indicated you hadn't yet built the
boat. Further, you asked about 20-30 sq meter kites. KiteShip does not build kites in
these sizes, for a couple of reasons.

First, we are quite proud of being the only company in the world to master building and
flying very large kites for boats and ships. We are not interested in competing with the
high-production number, asian-built mass-produced kitesurf market. We recommend
users who want to experiment with small kites to use cast-off kitesurf kites; they are much
less expensive.

Second, the very small lines needed to fly small kites can be dangerous, in my opinion.
Worldwide injury figures show that line cuts aren't very common--the "cheese slicer"
vision some people have of kite lines are mostly imaginary, not realized. OTOH, the entire
kitesurfing industry is predicated on the flyer himself never touching his own lines--this
is in fact dangerous; "line burns" can be serious--sufficiently serious that small kite flyers
instantly "get" that they shouldn't hold their lines. This does not effect larger kites, such as
KiteShip sells, however.

Launching and recovering large kites (or even small ones) in deep water or offshore
requires the handling of lines (kitesurfers typically launch from the shore--or if in deep
water, with much difficulty--requiring strong swimming). If handling small kite lines is
dangerous, and offshore kiteboats require handling of lines, wouldn't you agree that
limiting our business to larger kites makes a certain amount of sense?

We get many queries about line handling. The simple answer is it is much like spinnaker
flying. The longer answer is to view the videos on our site (these are NOT streamed, but
downloaded--this is the simplest method of providing video content online. I'm sorry if
you had trouble; we have many thousands of visitors to the site, and many hundreds of
thousands of downloads without incident. I'm sorry you were one of the few.) The actual
gybing of a kite is effortless--you just fly the kite from one tack to the other. Lines on the
boat must be routed--or re-routed to avoid the forestay, which is the only impediment;
unstayed mass again are effortless. Gybing a proa is more or less the same as with the
sails--the kite needs to move from one side of the flying window to the other, while the
boat shunts and follows.

The longest answer (re: linehandling)--for those who are ready and able to purchase a
kite, is to approach one of our distributors and go for a sail. We enjoy demonstrating our
wares, and wowing new kite sailors.



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