I can do Ryu’s Hurricane Kick with fair proficiency, and I’m getting better at Chun-Li’s Whirlwind Kick, but most of the time when I do execute the move, I either end of getting slapped out of the air or just avoided. Other times, I’ll land a good hit or two, but then as soon as my move is finished, they’ll hit me back for just as much damage. It seems like these moves have a pretty high risk factor. Are they only meant to be done as part of combos or when the opponent is not able to respond, or is there another trick to the timing?
Ryu’s Hurricane Kick is meant to end combos and to go over fireballs. Use the light version if you’re going to throw it out to beat fireballs as it’s harder to punish. EX version is invincible and beats out most people attacking you as you’re standing up. Chun-Li’s regular Spinning Bird Kick is worthless to just throw out, you want to use it to end combos only. EX SBK has some utility similar to Ryu’s EX Hurricane Kick (invincible reversal against people attacking you on wakeup), but it’s really easy for your opponent to bait and punish.
Is this SF4? Only time you want to do Chun-Li’s Spinning Bird Kick (non-EX) is if you’re sure that it will K.O. somebody.
If you’re referring to SF4, hurricane kicks are mostly used to either end combos and leave you close to your opponent at the end of the combo, go over certain projectiles, or used to build meter and gain ground on your opponent. You don’t want to be doing them randomly. Generally, all of Ryu’s special moves are quite good, but they all carry some level of risk involved with using them if you don’t do them at the right time and right space.