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RaceKites

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  1. Went on my 2012 3 week Portugal kitesurf trip and had a new company in the world of kiteboard building going by the name of NAVIS post me out their signature freestyle board for demo. Being based in Sweden (and during their bank holiday period) I was pleased they went to the trouble. This board was very much worth the trouble. Built from a solid wood core (Paulownia wood from Slovenia) and Bio-Epoxy from the US this board is very environmentally friendly, as well as a dream to use. Weighing in at 2.55kg this is a pretty light board too, making smooth transitions on either tack pretty easy. The rails are sharp and progressive, but also not overly keen so not to cause easy toe side slams! The underbelly is a full Dual Concave for quick planning and stable high speeds. This is a strong characteristic in major high line boards such as the Nobile 2HD series and the F-One Freestyle boards, which retail at almost twice the price of the Foucan. The upwind ability of this board is pretty astounding! The company advertises the Foucan as an “Upwind Machine” and let’s face it, all the manufacturers do the same. This board however is just that. After a few hours on the water you just don’t have to ‘try’ to get back upwind it seems to automatically take you there, it’s as simple as that. The board is classed by the company as a ‘stiffy’, but when tested by our Dutch friends at the Alvor Lagoons in Portugal they suggested it has a softer feel compared to their Liquid Force Freestyle boards. Nose to nose they were right. Stiffer than a Shinn MonkII, softer than a Nobile 2HD gave nice soft landings for a heavyweight rider such as myself, so I was personally pleased with the flex response. I ended up buying the Foucan to add to my batch, if you see me riding it you could very easily fall in love with the Retro style, almost Bamboo, look of the deck, no fancy graphics here! My personal preference with the Foucan was the Nobile IFS PRO 2011 footpads and straps, because, and amazingly, your typical kitesurfer doesn’t have size 13 feet and weigh 280LB!! Who’d have known? Author : Mr.M
  2. Kites Tested 8,10,12,14 2011 RPM (2011-2012 remodelling, virtually none apart from GFX and very minor tweaks to bridle lengths) CSS Bar & Lines remain the same. The Slingshot RPM was introduced into the LEI line-up of Slingshot in 2009, to bring the out-and-out grunt of the Slingshot ‘C’ FUEL together with the water-relaunchability, safety and overall manageability of an SLE/Hybrid kite. It can be noticed quite easily the kite inherits the mandatory ‘square’ old-school LEI wingtips of the conventional ‘C’ kite but with a full leading edge bridle array of an SLE. Many have questioned whether the, somewhat elaborate, pulley bridle system is required, but the system has proven to produce amazing turn capability and responsiveness, and also helps to accentuate the de-power throw of the bar. New to the 2011/2012 versions of the RPM is the introduction of ‘Split Strut’ technology. This ‘Split Strut’ simply means the canopy of the kite attaches to one side of the strut, then continues at the other side. This gives the strut a balancing and strengthening attitude to the overall shape of the kites dynamic. Why the 2009/2010 RPM’s didn’t have this beats me, as the latter day Fuel & Diesel (circa 2003/4) were already sporting this technology and always has. All impact points of the kite and struts are re-enforced with webbing and from my knowledge there has never been an issue raised out of fault, or undue wear. There are a couple of adjustment points to the kite, being angle of attack and bar pressure kite/reaction setting. The angle of attack adjuster (x2) brings the flight of the RPM closer to a ‘C’ than a conventional SLE by releasing more of the leading-edge to the wind. This is great if you’re predominantly after a point & fire attitude, great for boost and waves, less friendly for beginners or surfers needing on/off power and pretty faultless water re-launch. Move the adjuster further toward the wing-tip, to give the kite more of a ‘C’ feeling, resulting in slightly less de-power, but more grunt. Other bridle options are Bar Pressure Points along the trailing edge of the wing tips. There are four of these, as you relocate the steering lines further away from the edge of the kite you will notice more bar pressure at the Bar End. Good for if you require more steering input. As a preference I like my setting midway, for me the best of both worlds. The kite overall is a joy to use, weather a seasoned Pro or a learner, it seems to cater to all as proven by Youri Zoon winning trophies world wide on the RPM, and also a kite I recommend to friends as a starter kite, of which there has only been reports of excellent progression. Arguably, a great all-rounder. Bar and line lengths (Inches & Meters) 8m 17x20 10m 20x25 12m 20x25 14m 23x27 Author : MrM
  3. This review will be biased towards myself, being a heavyweight rider at 20st so may not reflect what others may find. Generally the composite and design overviews wont be, that much. Prices : Nobile 2HD £599 4kg Complete Shinn Monk2 £549 3kg Complete The board build designs are completely different. The 2HD has a Dual Concave underbelly enabling early and super fast glide. Plus with a flat progression rocker and being as stiff plank you can put oodles of weight (or pressure if you will) into the foot-straps and the board will retain it’s shape. This can, however, lead to harder landings, or it would if the deck didn’t have anti vibration technology built in, which it has. Although the 2HD is a very very stiff board, due to the 3D moulding the tips are more flexible enabling easier pop and more manageable re-entries. The Monk2 had a core design based mainly in Alabasia wood which gives more or less equal flex throughout the length. Compared to the 2HD the Monk2 is as pliable as a wizards sleeve! This is great if an easy more forgiving ride is what you’re after. As said above, big doods are not necessarily after an easy ride as from launching onto the sea you’re already demanding huge forces from a board, that at its uppermost is designed for someone 6 stones lighter. To manually stand and flex the board by hand, very little force has to be put to the Monk2 to make the whole body flex, the 2HD is like trying to flex a kitchen worktop. Here you can see a comparison of each boards ‘Sidecut’, where the Shinn has a more rounded heel edge, this would give a more snappy turning characteristic. The 2HD being straighter means I can put huge amounts of heel edge in without driving the board too far upwind and stalling the kite and/or board. The foot-straps are a large factor to the overall weight of the 2HD, they’re quite heavy which has positives and negatives. On the positive side having a slightly heavier overall board (slightly heavier 1kg complete with strap) becomes apparent if you’re laid out in the sea and ready to get your feet in the straps. I found with the lighter Monk2, and having feet like a hippos head, with the straps as wide as they’d go I couldn’t force my feet in easily enough for hasty starts, as I pushed my feet in, the board would move away. Sometimes I even had to start with my feet hardly in the straps at all. Once moving though (unless lack of strapage had removed you from the board all-together) you can intercourse your feet back into the straps pretty easy. The straps/pads of the Shinn are the comfiest I’ve ever tried, I even have a spare pare of these ‘slippers’ as they’re known, sat as spares for previous other non Shinn boards. The lower deck pad is constructed from what they’re calling ‘memory foam’, very soft sponge that after a few hours of use settles in pliability to fit any riders foot shape. Would this mean you could then only sell the board on to someone with size 13 feet? Dunno! The 2HD straps & pads are HUGE and a lot harder in comparison. I find that with the 2HD IFS Pro pad my feet slip in there like a rat up a drain pipe! Also because they’re slightly looser I can rotate my feet pretty freely so I can have my back foot more 90 degrees when really tying to push upwind…. which is nice. The foot pad of the 2HD is no way as comfortable as the Shinns, no way hose! The Shinn beds are like Diabetic slippers, I’d say the 2HD’s are twice as stiff, and don’t mould to your foot shape. I might actually try the pads of the boards swapped just for the hoot. Last note on these pads, for big-foots, which ever foot is facing forward I like to slightly point that foot into that direction. There is more padding on the outer area of the 2HD IFS than the Shinn Slipper which I can feel, making my small toe and outer tarsal feel better protected, apposed to the Shinn where it feels my outer foot is pushing against hard plastic strapping. The fins are pretty identical on both boards (don’t forget these boards are fro the same factory in Poland where Nobile boards enhanced with the technology of Mark Shinns mind were designed) and both boards have the G55 style layout. These give excellent traction and also allow good drifting when required for redirection. The rocker line (curve of the board) initially is quite similar in both boards, but it’s also apparently what happens to this rocker line under load. The flatter the board the better it will keep an edge. Owing to the flex of the Monk2 the Rocker is easily flattened out when under load or landing a jump, causing the land to be pretty soft but with me a tendency to lose a lot of speed. The 2HD would be hard to straighten to straiten out with a wrecking ball but does produce stable landings though after a few hours the knees and hips can suffer. To sum up, for a hard core slammin’ ride go for the Nobile 2HD. For a relaxed, easy going, chilled, blowing kisses at the babes type adventure, go for the Shinn Monk2 Author : Mr.M
  4. Interesting solution Rich, I'm very tempted by the latest gopro... Thank you for sharing.
  5. I have tried several HD video cameras and settled on the GoPro HD Hero, being a robust, reliable and waterproof camera. I have experimented with a few different mounts but settled on a home grown design which works great for me and is pretty cheap! The setup consists of a stainless steel Munsen type bossed pipe clip (the item number on eBay UK is 110839368621) which cost me £6.77 with free postage, and a 200 mm length of stainless steel M10 threaded rod (the item number for this on eBay UK is 251044768989) and this cost £3.59, again with free postage. This is the mount partially assembled (there are still a couple of bits to add) This is the pipe clamp – the part that clamps onto the back axle of the buggy. I’ll make a small plate of stainless which will be bolted between the 2 nylocks and will have a stainless M6 bolt fastened to it which will fit into the tripod mounting on the GoPro housing. The bolt can be repositioned to the desired position quite easily. I made one of these from galvanised steel before, but it didn’t really do too well as I rather like going into the sea and the galvanisation didn’t! One more stainless nut is required to “lock” the rod onto the Munsen ring and voila! Some time later: So here’s the finished product ready to use with GoPro mount attached: Article by : r1ch-g
  6. I got my Ozone Access SB (Spreader Bar) Harness as a Christmas present last year. Before the harness I could only manage about two hours and I would have to give up. After 4 Months of buggying without a harness I swear my arms were both a couple of centimeters longer than when I started kiting! Mark's arms had grown longer since he started kiting! The harness is designed like a rock climbing harness, with ergonomically designed leg straps to prevent it riding up. It has loads of padding in the legs and back-straps and the spreader is attached to the leg straps to prevent it tilting. Its is made from tough, but light-weight nylon and comes with a spliced Amsteel back leash line or cargo attachment for towing (designed for snow kiting). This harness has completely changed the way I buggy, I did try a few different types before opting for the Ozone. It is comfortable, particularly when sat in the buggy and doesn't shift or ride up. It took me a few times to get the positioning right, ensuring that the back strap is low enough and tight enough. Once strapped in properly I hardly notice it is there. Holding the power has now become a piece of cake, especially on those hard work up-wind runs, when I felt that both arms were going to be removed! The harness allows my body to take the strain and still allows me to feel in touch with what the kite is doing - I have even felt confident enough to fly one and sometimes no-handed! Overall - the harness is extremely well made (like all ozone products seem to be), it is very comfortable to wear for long periods and does what it is supposed to do well. I am not particularly small around the waist but do have to have the harness almost on it's tightest. The only thing I have considered changing is maybe loose the spreader bar hook and buy a Peter Lynn Prodigy 360 spreader - but that will have to wait. The harness works well in my buggy and is comfortable to wear sat down, it has given me the confidence and ability to keep pushing my speed, get rid of the kite killers and buggy longer and harder - and it all comes in a nice bag. [youtube width=600" height="344] Author : Mark Crook - Mark's BLOG can be found here : http://baldiviskitebuggy.blogspot.com.au/
  7. I have owned my Peter Lynn Competition XR+ for nearly 6 months now and have been lucky enough to get out with it in varying conditions regularly so have had a good opportunity to put it through its paces… I looked into various options when hunting for a bug, including getting one shipped from the UK – the choice in Australia and my budget limited me to as what I could get. Eventually, after much research, opted for the comp XR+ – ordered it online to be shipped to Perth from Brisbane. Delivery was set to take a week to ten days. I arrived at the depot, docket in hand, filled with anticipation that I would be collecting a large box– the bloke took the docket and wandered off into the piles of boxes saying he had seen it when it came in yesterday. After a few minutes he came back over carrying just the wheels! I explained that I thought there should be more, back he went and this time came back with a box – which was a lot smaller than I expected! The completed bug is definitely much more than the sum of its parts, it goes together easily and looks great. The wheels all have two sets of cartridge style bearings and run as smooth as anything and keep on spinning. The headstock also has twin bearings. The side rails are now 32mm to provide extra strength and all joints are reinforced, the down tube is adjustable for length and is fitted to the side rails with a four-bolt clamp. The seat is sturdy and features drainage holes; it can be adjusted for height by using the webbing straps and feels pretty comfy and supportive with a decent amount of padding. The true test will be when flying rather than just sat in the lounge! The back axle is attached/removed with two bolts for transport or storage and at 40mm is thicker than on previous comp buggies, it can also be swapped for the extra wide axle for greater stability. The Comp XR+ comes with the standard size wheels, but the front fork is designed so that it can also take the midi wheel; change the front fork and you can add a set of Bigfoot’s. The Comp XR+ comes with the new curved HD foot pegs and these are now bolted on, rather than the clips on the older models. This has eliminated a common complaint of a rattle. I was also supplied with grip tape for the pegs and have now made some foot straps. All hardware is stainless steel, including the nuts and bolts; the bearings are cartridge style, for durability and also ease of replacement. So should be able to take sand and salt in its stride. With the solid construction, quality hardware and upgrade-ability, this should be a bug that keeps on giving and provide a great ride for years to come… The buggy goes into the back of my car with a single car seat down and the rear axle removed (two bolts). When I arrive at Lake Walyungup it takes about 3 minutes to reassemble it. Then lift it through the gate that only opens about 50cm (to stop motorbikes tearing up the lake) and pulled it on to the lake. Lake Walyungup is a salt lake, part of Rockingham Lakes Regional Park; it is made up off gypsum and limestone. Some areas are flooded and marshy at the end of winter but it is otherwise dry. The lake has large very flat areas and is used by model aircraft and land yachts, but also has some rougher rocky bits and clumps of sea-rush and a few small shrubby trees. I regularly fly here as it has clean winds from every direction. This is my first experience of a kite buggy, so I have nothing to compare it with, but I have to say I do like my PL bug. In the process of learning to kite buggy I have taken it from the nice smooth areas of the salt lake and headed “off-road” across the rocky rougher areas, around, over and through the sea-rush (which is damn spiky!). Even on the standard wheels it has gone over/through everything I have asked of it! As my skills have progressed and my speed increased this buggy has allowed me to continue to push my limits and capabilities. I can continue to hold the power on the stronger wind days and push my speed. The ride is smooth and the buggy runs without and rattles or wobbles. The buggy feels stable and solid and even under power I have never had any issues (maybe because of my low centre of gravity!) and have adjusted the seat position and down tube to make it easier to slide. I find the seat and position comfortable and there is some flexibility with the adjustable down tube and seat position. I find the seat supportive and it holds me in place when the kite is powered up. I can fly for a couple of hours, without any discomfort, and usually only stop for food and water so that I can keep going longer. The buggy gets stored in my garage propped against the wall and held with a bungy – thankfully doesn’t take up to much room so we can still get both cars, all the bikes and other stuff in without any hassle. I was never going to be able to afford a custom built buggy or a fancy race job, I wasn’t even sure how I would go with buggying, so the comp XR+ was an ideal starting point for me. If I feel the need I can get the wider rear axle, stick some bigger wheels on it, but at present the only upgrade I have added is a belly-pan and a GPS holder! In my opinion it is well made, solid, goes well and a great place to start. Author : Mark Crook - Mark's BLOG can be found here : http://baldiviskitebuggy.blogspot.com.au/
  8. RaceKites

    Peter Lynn Core 3M

    Great review Mark, these look like interesting kites !!
  9. RaceKites

    Ozone Flow 5m

    I have had my 5m Ozone Flow about a month now and have flown it about 5 or 6 times, so here are my impressions – I had it delivered to work, so spent some time in the office rummaging through the bag, instructions and warranty form, stickers, key ring (bottle opener) now on keys, handles with strop and kite killers attached and the lines on a winder. Very impressed with the colour of the kite – I have a thing about red. Put it back in the bag, got it out again had a feel and a smell, put it away again – can I go home yet? The first week after it was delivered it rained and rained, most West Aussies were happy, as it was the end of a very dry spell, but me I moped around and looked longingly at my red Ozone rucksack in the corner of the bedroom. I did manage to get outside in between rain and attach the lines and handles and packed it away ready to fly as soon as conditions were right. I had an Ozone Samurai in a previous life and like the Sammi I was very impressed with the Flow, from the little Velcro tabs to secure the bridal when packing away, the Velcro sand outs at the tips, and the mesh covered air intakes and not a stray or loose thread anywhere. The handles and kite killers were as I remembered them, comfy and familiar. Packing the kite was a doddle, I like to para-pack – have spent many an hour watching my wife untangle the twists and tangles in the lines and bridle when I have wound the lines! This way I just stake the brake lines walk down wind with the lines trailing out the bag, unpack the kite and I am ready to fly. The bag is plenty big enough and holds everything I needed from keys, phone drinks and chocolate. First flight – took it to the footie oval a minutes walk from home, not the ideal location as lots of trees surrounding the area, but had to grab the opportunity in between showers. The wind was pretty light so thought I would give it a go. As you have probably guessed not the best first flight but still left me wanting more. The wind was pretty gusty over/through the trees so the kite would go from powered-up to gently drifting to the ground and the wind direction was also un-predictable. But when it did power-up, out came the grin, and it did exactly as is says on the tin – smooth and predictable, definitely need more. Then from nowhere somebody turned on the tap and it was like standing under a shower! Packed up as best I could and ran home – then laid the kite over the car in the garage to dry it out! The next few opportunities I got to fly I took it to Lake Walyungup (part of Rockingham Lakes regional parks), which is a salt lake, big open space and nice clean winds. Slight problem with my original stake as it wouldn’t hold in the ground – but was soon resolved with a corkscrew style stake with a carabineer. Quick to un-pack, and sat ready to fly fully inflated, slightly bouncing on the brake lines. I new this was going to better. Kite killers on, let off the brakes and woohoo, started to put it through some figure eights gradually going wider across the wind window. Adding some brake into the turns, and keeping it in the power-zone. This kites power delivery is smooth, I could predict where/when the power was going to kick in – and it is quick but doesn’t snatch; it just accelerates quickly through the zone and pulls hard. With the brake I could turn it practically in its own length and it held its shape and control at the edge of the window and it was a big window. Pump it across and then up and it does develop some lift, again no nasty surprises, so started to do some small jumps. Started to get a sweat on and beginning to hurt, so applied the brakes and put it down where I wanted and again it just sat there primed, gently bobbing wanting to go again – it is a nice looking kite. I remember the Samurai whistling more as it flew, the Flow is quieter – but I know Ozone have reduced the bridle size and have put in internal cross bracing to help maintain the shape. The more I have flown this kite the more I love it and push it; I have taken it out in increasingly strong winds and enjoyed every minute. That smooth (but quick) acceleration and power delivery never fails to thrill and increases the grin factor and that degree of predictability enhances the experience, rather than scares like some kites can. But it can bite – last time I was out, having a great session, getting pulled around, trying some jumps and continuing to push it harder. I got hit by a couple of stronger gusts and it did snatch the kite from me – thankfully I have stuck with the kite killers, so the kite landed safely. Great opportunity to attempt my reverse launch though, and it is easily turned over and re-launched. The control is impressive, I can place the kite exactly where I want it, maybe centimetres off the ground, turning hard and fast or powering up through the window and you have that sense of where it is and what it is doing without having to watch it all the time – kite proprioception! Would love to try it with a buggy, but that will have to wait! I would definitely recommend this kite, smooth and predictable doesn’t mean boring, it means you don’t have to change your undies after flying it! It is quick, powerful and controllable and allows you to keep pushing the kite and your limits. Ozone’s exceptional build quality and value make the 5m Flow a great kite. I wanted a kite that would keep pushing me, my limits and I could continue to have fun with, not something that was going to scare the crap out of me then beat me to a pulp – the Flow ticks all those boxes. Author : Mark Crook - Mark's BLOG can be found here : http://baldiviskitebuggy.blogspot.com.au/
  10. Tide Planning Application for Iphone/Ipad/Ipod - £2.99 / Free version with limited functionality Good Bits: Handy sliders allow you to set the tide height for your favorite beach and see exactly when you can board or buggy.Extended tidal information for France. Bad Bits: Most information available for free elsewhere, just not as convenient.You might have to purchase additional licenses to see UK extended tide times. I bought this app when planning a buggying trip to France, as I was unable to find tide times for France for dates more than a few days ahead. In the UK, you can easily find all this info for free although not all in one convenient place. Windguru will give you the times for a month or so in advance (in local time as opposed to GMT), but only shows the graph for the current day or so. The BBC weather site will let you see any date with the graph, but the times are in GMT which must be translated to local time in different ways at different times of the year. That’s too hard for my little brain. Even though it cost a few quid, this app does everything better than all the free stuff, and has some handy tools that make it really easy to tell when a beach is usable for buggying or boarding. You can specify in the options whether you would like the time listed in GMT or matching you device’s time settings. First, you look at a Google-like map to pick the tide station closest to your beach. There was a wide selection for England and France as you can see from this screenshot. Each of those little white dots can be picked and saved as a favorite. The next step is to pick a date, as the screenshot shows. You might also notice that the app seems to be asking for more money to enable looking at tides more than a week away. I’m not sure what’s up with that, I’ve already paid for it. That limitation doesn’t exist for France, you can look up any date. Then you get your tide chart, as shown below. You can see the tides for the whole day as well as sunrise and sunset. There is also a bar you can drag, that I have put at 6 meters representing the level that the beach is exposed at Greatstone. The red bits are the times that the tide is below the bar and the beach is exposed, but not necessarily dry. The little sailboat icon can be dragged along the sine wave and shows you the exact time. In the above picture, I’ve put it exactly where the water reaches 6 meters, so I can see that it will happen at 11:35. That should mean that I can buggy until 11:35, probably a little less as the water will come up fast! You can also see a textual view like this: I did notice the application is missing coefficients, which would be nice to have for Les Hemmes. Author : Jim O’Hara
  11. RaceKites

    PKD Brooza MKIII

    Thanks Rich, that's a nice review !!
  12. My first impressions of the Hornet was that of a quality kite. From the back pack, lines,handles,kite killers,ground stake and sheath, and the kite itself. The bridles look strong and of quality make, and the kite looks well made, and as its a kite made for beginners to the more experienced, I could see it is strong enough to take some battering from a newbie. I have the 2,3,4, 6 and 8m Hornets and love em, Ive been powerkiting for 10 years now, started back in 2000, and have tried lots of different kites over the years for boarding and buggying. At the age of 50 I'm not doing as much freestyle as i used to, so out with the lifty kites and in with the steady kites. The Hornets fit the bill, and I enjoy them in gusty parks in the buggy and on the board and love them in the buggy on a big empty beach. Like the info says, they penetrate the window right to the edge without any luffing and so in the buggy you are not fighting it to pull you down wind but just enjoy the pull to the edge and beyond, you end up nearly going at right angles to the wind as they can get you well up wind no problem. If my son didn't want his 5m ”Flame” Pansh Blaze kite, I would have the 5m Hornet as well, but for the time being, he lets me use his kite. These kites suit the beginner to the more experienced flyer.Throw them around with confidence, they wont fight back but will still be there waiting for more. Author : Simon Rushworth ( moroni-10 )
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