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  1. Like
    Northern Kites Australia reacted to jhn.holgate for a review, Born-Kite Longstar 2   
    If you lay the longstar 2 next to the longstar 1, the first thing you will notice is that they're two very different kites.  Aside from both being single skin and having lots of bridles, version 2 is a completely separate design.  Flies quite differently too. The V1 longstar took me a few hours to come to grips with.  If you've flown depower kites then V2 will be immediately familiar as soon as it's in the air. 

    Longstar v2 uses a series of ribs and stiff nylon lines to hold a round nose profile and the rest of the kite is held in place by lots of bridling.  A look through some of the photos will show how accurate the bridles are, resulting in a uniform and smooth profile. 

    You can buy the longstar. V2 with a bar or as a kite only.  I was supplied with kite and bar for the purpose of the review and it came in a compact nylon bag.  Being a single skin kite, it folds up very compact and you could easily fit several kites and a bar in a std kite bag. 
    The material feels quite light but of excellent quality and all stitching and seams are straight and accurate as have been all the kites from Born-kite that I've flown. 
    There's no denying that there's a lot of bridles on the longstar2 so it always pays to check for any hang ups and give them a good shake when laying out the kite.  The kite launches easily whether straight downwind or side launch.  It makes power pretty quick too and builds quickly with apparent wind.  This is a grunty kite.  I was able to buggy in 5 knots up and down the beach - admittedly, I had to work the kite so I think 6-7 knots would be your minimum park and ride wind speed for the 5.5m. 

    Letting the bar out to depower the kite results in a change in the AOA as well as a flattening of the nose-to-trailing-edge profile.  You can see the belly of the kite losing tension and becoming slack.  It doesn't actually get to the point of being 'flappy' unless you have the bar out and the cam cleat fully sheeted in - something I only did once just to see if I could get the kite to make some noise!  Depower range seemed perfectly adequate - whenever I was overpowered, a quick sheet out of the bar and the drama was over. 
    Here you can see what the kite looks like when depowered...

    Turn speed was a good compromise - not too quick or nervous and neither was it sluggish.  The kite is very stable even in gusty conditions.  In the air it feels quite 'sporty' and almost aggressive. It wants to be actively flown unlike, say, the NASA star 3 which is happy for you to sit back and cruise whilst almost ignoring the kite.   It also feels relatively 'high aspect' in the air - coming out of a turn for instance, you need to let the bar out a little to get the kite up to speed in the new direction.  Hold the bar in too much and the kite can 'choke' and begin to stall. 
    It is a very well behaved kite - over five or six hours of flying both static and bugging, only once did the kite end up on the ground unintended - and that was a complete lull  in the wind.  The nose folded over a couple times in light and gusty conditions but recovery was immediate with a tug on the bar.  Same if I wasn't paying attention and choked the kite - let the bar out and business immediately resumed as normal. 
    Upwind performance was good for this type of kite, you won't be catching a vapor but you'll get there. Downwind performance is very good as was top speed.  While flying in a cross onshore wind of around 14 knots, Trevor managed a 62kph on a downwind run with the Longstar2.  Bar pressure was light to moderate proving to be no dramas keeping the bar held in for long periods. 
    This is not a lifty kite which is good news for buggy pilots not wanting to get unintentionally lofted but perhaps bad news for land boarders wanting some freestyle.  
    Pull the brakes and the longstar 2 reverses out of the sky without fuss. Similarly reverse launch is fuss free.  But what I really like is the ability of the longstar2 to sit on its side at the edge of the window with the bar out and hands off.  It just slowly bobs up and down while you stretch your legs, eat, adjust harness, talk, take photos etc.  I also used this method to hand the kite over to Trevor and to land on a couple of occasions- I just dropped the chicken loop over a foot peg and walked over to the kite.  I know this is not unique to the longstar2 but it is extremely handy. 
    The kite has a front line safety - a simple push of the chicken loop sends the bar and lines up the line to the splice flagging out the kite on a single front line.  This brought the kite down without dramas and was easy enough to reset.  There is also now an option to get the kite with an FAS (front area safety) that causes the leading edge of the kite to 'scrunch' up when activated 
    Overall the kite impressed me greatly and was a pleasure to buggy with.  It was a well behaved, stable and versatile kite with excellent all round performance and I will certainly be saving my pennies to add a few to my quiver.  I can't see any reason it wouldn't also make a great first depower as an alternative to the usual suspects. 
    The bar supplied with the longstar2 had a comfy grip, a large opening for the power lines which did not bind when turning, a push away chicken loop, cam cleat adjuster on the power lines and the fifth line terminated next to the chicken loop in a ring which you attach your leash to.  It also has a double ball and ring setup for limiting bar travel or using to hold the bar in place. Both Trevor and myself found this just a little too stiff and complicated to use easily.  It is something I would try to improve or tweak if it was my bar but also not something I would lose sleep over or blow an extra hundred bucks on for a better bar.  Bar pressure is not such that it's a big issue, but it would be nice to have a simpler, easier to use system.  Each of the brake leaders joined the main lines via a stainless steel ring which provided a handy place to insert a kite stake when landing. 

     


    Rings at end of brake leaders - a handy spot to drop the kite stake.

    Now I would much rather judge a kite on its own merits rather than compare it to another manufacturers product......having said that, the most asked question I've heard about the longstar2 is 'how does it compare to a Peak2'?  So, for a couple of hours, both Trevor and myself flew the 5.5m longstar2 and the 6m Peak2 swapping kites on a number of occasions.  Here's what we found.  The longstar2 was better downwind- faster and holding its shape better.  The Peak 2 went upwind a little easier with the longstar2 requiring more work and being a couple kph slower. The longstar2 feels more aggressive and sporty to fly, I also think it's a bit faster as I've flown the P2 a lot but never matched Trevor's 62kph that he did with the LS2.  Perhaps the P2 has a little more depower but this is at the expense of a fair bit of flapping and noise. The LS2's depower range never left us feeling like we wanted more.  The LS2 seemed a bit more stable and easier to handle on the ground. Turn speed was much the same.  I think the P2 may have an extra knot of grunt in the bottom end with the LS2 having a bit more 'go' and power in the top end.  The P2 clearly has a much better (and more expensive) bar and more bar pressure at speed. Shape-wise the LS2 holds a much more uniform profile.
    Is one kite 'better' than the other?  No, I honestly couldn't say that.  For me, they are both excellent buggy engines. They feel different to fly but both kites achieve the desired goal - aoxomoxoa!!  The LS2 represents excellent value for money (at least in Australian retail pricing) and as such certainly deserves your consideration.  Born-kite has produced a well rounded, versatile depower kite that should give the competition a run for the money.
    A big thanks to Trevor who helped me out over many hours on several occasions while we tested, posed and photographed the kites. 


  2. Like
    Northern Kites Australia reacted to socommk233 for a review, F-One Diablo 11M   
    Hey guys n gals.
    Here's a quick heads up on my latest purchase. 
    I'd been saving for some time with the intent of buying a competitive kite for the kite buggy racing. I bought it in time for the last race weekend of the series to see how it and I would hold up to the rest if the racers. I was impressed to say the least. 
    I'd already flown a 10m demo courtesy of ufo kite shop and I spent a whole day with it (got told off for kite hogging) then it spanked me good n proper, this was the "I have to have one" moment. On that weekend of the nobarriers event, I tried a few deposed kites. Aeros compi,  pkd inferno, ozone chrono to name a few. The diablo just seemed to have the punch and acceleration out of turns that the others lacked. 
    The  kite helped me secure a 0 point win overall in the open class. A 5th 6th 6th and 7th I believe (may be wrong) overall in the last 4 races, so you know the performance is there. 
    The quality is as you would expect...TOP OF THE LINE....and for the retail price you'd certainly hope so. 
    Bridles are super thin low drag. Speed system is a little more complicated with its turbo ring, making down wind a little easier than other kites. And the kite itself is super precisely manufactured. Deflation is via one velcro sock type arrangement which can be difficult. 
    In windy conditions the kite is folded in half and loosely rolled up. And when time and conditions allow (mostly at home indoors) I use a custom made concertina bag to store the kite in a way to protect the leading edge batons. 
    If your even tempted to buy one....just do it. You will not be disappointed.  
    However......... (isn't there always one)
    There appears to be a v2 on its way. No details but pics would suggest it's getting more cells, maybe lighter material and we know what that done to the r1v2 prices. 
    Fingers crossed for some good price second hand v1 diablos I say
     
     











  3. Like
    Northern Kites Australia reacted to socommk233 for a review, Pansh Aurora2 15M   
    The Aurora 1 was a little hit and miss for pretty much all that tried one. With work they would fly. But that's not what a customer expects to do no matter how cheap they are. 
    Pansh had then made the A15 and then gave the Aurora another go. 
    Now I was given a prototype Aurora 2 15m to work on with Pansh. Fly it. Tweek it and send videos and feedback. 
    I done this. And they responded with a v2 bridle set for the aurora 2. 
    Yay I though. They are finally listening. 
    Or were they?
    I flew it on the v1 bridle and found it worked great. It would launch. It would turn. It wod let you jump. And depower safely. However it seemed a bit sluggish. 
    So I made some adjustments using the metal line end pieces they use. Each can shorten a line about 50mm approx and using these made it fast and temporary but safe to keep in the lines. 
    I shortened the b line by 51mm and the brake lines by 102mm and tried again. 
    The kite would launch and inflate faster. It would sit depowered but with a "ready for action" kind of stance rather than a previously floppy slow responce before. Brake line shortening made it turn all the better too. 
    I flew it at the nobarriers event along side another that was on v2 bridles. V2 bridles would also fly but it looked awkward to launch. So when I had the chance I swapped mine over.
    I compared the bridles to see they had indeed shortened the lines I had, but not by the same measurements. And maybe some other lines too. 
    On launch the tips would rise and fold over to the centre. A more positive power on launch was needed as was a lot of pressure inflation. Then as it flew it seemed even less responsive and more prone to collapsing in on itself in low winds. I very quickly put my modified v1 bridles back on. 
    This gas made me wonder if Pansh are at all flying these kites themselves to see how they fly in the real world. Or relying on numbers given out by their design software. 
    Anyway. Don't let this put you off. With very simple tweeks this kite is now a favourite of mine. It's great low wind machine.  Upwind is very nice as is downwind. It turns fast enough but I'm finding it hard to keep off the ground in a rushed turn on 15m lines. 20m lines will be best. 
    The lift and float is predictable and addictive. It's the only kite that I enjoy jumping with. Set up with the bar trim so it doesn't back stall in the wind speed and your good to go. 
    The build quality is bloody brilliant. Not top if the line but your not paying top of the line either. 
    Large zip for deflation makes packing up a breeze. 
    Magnetic blow out actually works....I love it. 
    They have even put mesh over the intakes to help hold shape and aerodynamics. However it is a rubberised material and tends to pick up wet sand then get blown into the kite. 
    This kite is a push in the right direction. Pansh ARE listening to feedback (if not quite exact ) and the products are just getting better with each new kite. 
    I can not wait to see what us next ?
     





  4. Like
    Northern Kites Australia reacted to jhn.holgate for a review, Flysurfer Peak 2 6M   
    My hat is off to Flysurfer for putting the R&D into a kite that is quite different from anything else currently on the market.  And they've made a damn good versatile depower kite along the way.
    I'll be adding to this review as there are still a few things I've yet to try out on the kite and I need to also try it in some stronger winds.
    So part 'A' is based on 40km of buggying at home in the paddock in light and gusty conditions from 6 - 14 knots and 65km of buggying in 8 - 14 knots at 13th Beach.
    Now looking at those wind ranges (and having owned a 6m Ozone Access years ago) I would have thought that a 6m depower kite would only just be starting to get going at 14 knots.  Not so the Peak 2 6m.  Even in 10 - 12 knots I have had bags of power - even to the point of pulling a couple inches of trim in.  In fact, I've had enough power to pull me up and down the paddock at home and I'm sure the wind had dropped somewhere around the 6 knot mark - could have been 7, but geez, the 6m Peak 2 makes a lot of power in not much wind.  At 13th Beach there was just enough wind for some whitecaps to form, but there didn't feel to be much on the beach and I'm certain at times it dropped below 10 knots and I always had enough power to park 'n ride without having to work the kite.

    Please ignore the brake strap in the photo - I added it because I'm used to having one and being able to drop it around a rear wheel to secure the kite.
    The Peak 2 launches easily with a tug on the two front lines.  It responds to steering input reasonably direct and quickly.  It won't spin on a wing tip but I can loop it back under itself easily from halfway up the window.  It's not sluggish nor is it twitchy - a pretty good balance methinks.  It's quite stable too....I was able to ride and enjoy the view and use the camera without having to worry about what the kite was doing.  When stopped, it was easy to keep in the one spot and seemed quite stable.  In motion, it has a good range of depower - let the bar out and the power drops off rapidly.  It's a little lifty - in 13 knots or so I can fly it above my head, pull the bar in and leave the ground - not a huge amount, but I get the feeling if you threw it hard in a bit more wind you could probably do some small jumps on the landboard.
    It's reasonably fast - I topped out at a little over 50kph and like I say, that was probably 14 or 15 knots at the absolute most.  Upwind is good, I was along side Mick with his Century II and later, Libre Bora - I felt I could match his upwind ability when we turned a fair bit into the wind at the end of 13th Beach.  

    I was always a little concerned with the 'flapping' of the Peak 1, but there's no problem with the Peak 2.  With 3 inches of trim pulled in and probably 3 inches of bar out, the kite stayed quite taught and performed well - and silently.  There was a little bit of 'flutter' at the corners of the trailing edge (which I also notice when I turn the kite hard).  Let the bar out anymore and yes, the edges do start getting flappy as the power really dies off, but honestly, it's a non issue.  I don't think I'd like to fly it heavily depowered and 'flapping' in 20 knots for any length of time - grab the 4m instead!

    I've only had the Peak 2 luff on a couple of occasions but recover was fast and easy.  Reverse launch is no problemo.  I haven't noticed any tendency to overfly the window.
    There is quite a bit of pressure on the bar as the wind/apparent wind builds but Flysurfer have their magic stopper ball that you can slide down the line to hold the bar wherever you want it.  Bloody genius!  The ball holds tightly against the bar but will easily move if you put your fingers on it.  You can also use it to limit the amount of bar throw if you want.
    The chicken loop and top hat release are top quality and there is a swivel in there somewhere - any twists in the line below the bar can easily be taken out just by pulling the bar down to the top hat release - and voila, the twists disappear.
    The bar is very nice, with a wide double opening for the main power lines with no binding whatsoever.  There is a fifth line safety you can hook a leash to which will flag out the kite on one of the front lines.  I've yet to try this out.

    I feel Flysurfer have created a depower kite which is very friendly and easy to use, has good speed, excellent depower and good upwind ability and if you want grunt, this kite delivers.  I've read it has a good following in the snow kiting scene and I think it makes an excellent buggy engine.  I can't think of any reason it wouldn't make a good landboard engine too.  All this at a pretty good price point it has to be said.
    It's certainly different to look at and I do not claim to understand how on earth it all works like it does.  It's not the sleekest or most aerodynamic kite I've ever seen.  I refer to the 6m as the 'Cheeseburger wrapper' - a term of affection, I assure you as I am very impressed with it.
    I think Flysurfer have got this one right.
     
    Stay tuned for some more thoughts over the next couple of months...
     
     

  5. Like
    Northern Kites Australia reacted to .Joel for a review, Flysurfer Speed5 12M   
    It’s rare you fly a newer generation of a kite and find that the changes after years of evolution can still be so significant.  The Flysurfer Speed 5 returns to its original DNA, it is the kite that should of been released after the Speed 3.

    When the Speed was originally released over a decade ago it was an evolutionary step, does anyone still remember that goofy video with Armin pushing a team rider off the boat to water launch? ( https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D2PCJsKf3Jo ).  The Speed was at the forefront of development, then came the Speed2 and it maintained that DNA of light wind and large float.  The Speed3 then came along, and it was the largest evolutionary step that the Speed had taken, it had all the low wind ability however with the Triple Depower the kite nearly doubled its usable wind range and made the top-end all the more usable resulting in a huge boosting and highly floaty kite.  Then the Speed4 released, and for the first time I felt that they had mixed far too much of the DNA from the old Psycho IV in there, it was an amazingly versatile kite but it didn’t feel the same as the old Speed series.  They went back towards the Speed’s original DNA with the Lotus, however even then there was still room to move.  After a session on the Speed5, you can just feel that the pure DNA of the Flysurfer Speed series is back.  The kite performs at the bottom end, remains versatile and usable for such a high-aspect kite at the top end, and feels completely refined all over.  Most of all the kite brings back the feeling of fun to flying as it’s incredibly forgiving.
    Laying the kite out on the beach pre-flight I was amazed at the vibrancy of the colour of the 12M even though it was a completely overcast day at the start.  The kite looked incredible, I always thought the Speed3 Deluxe colour scheme was nice however the purple of the 12M and the slightly more detailed and intricate graphics look brilliant.  The demo I was flying came with the Flysurfer Airstyle Infinity 3.0 bar, which is the green and black series bar.  The bar has had again some small refinements to it regarding the chicken loop, however apart from colour scheme for the most part it’s very similar to the Infinity 2.0 bar.
    Pre-Inflating and launching the kite was a breeze, sanded one wingtip and slowly pulled the opposing edge up off the sand as it pre-inflated.  Eventually with enough air inside it slipped out from the sand and took off.  Once in the sky again it looked increidble, however it also looked higher aspect than the Speed3 whilst still seeming to retain a somewhat similar overall canopy shape.  One thing that is clearly evident is that there’s no more crinkling across the front of the canopy, and whilst it’s slightly thicker between the top and bottom skins compared to a Sonic-FR it certainly has been reduced in thickness compared to the previous Flysurfer Speed kites making it feel like a faster wing flying forwards.
    The wind was fairly light, starting off on about 9 to 12 knots and I took off with the kite in the GT-Race Rapide++ buggy.  All I could say is WOW, the kite felt solid from the start even in the light wind however it didn’t feel like a truck.  Once in the buggy and moving the power the kite was producing just continued to increase until I scooted over 70km/h in incredibly light winds.  The longer I held my line the more the kite continued to increase in speed.
    Dumping the power was incredibly easy, however I noticed when slowing down rapidly and really dropping the power out of the kite it remained incredibly stable and responsive.  There were no surprises or shocks, it just behaved as I had the buggy slide sideways slowing the kite down preparing to turn.  During this I noticed the vastly increased amount of depower on the kite compared to the previous versions I had flown.  However the one point that I really noticed was the increase in turning speed, I was no longer going for the leader ends on a tight turn the bar was more than sufficient to get it to snap around 180 degrees when required.
    The depower range on the kite is far smoother on the bottom 3/4 of the bar throw, however release the bar to the very top 1/4 of the bar throw and you dump nearly all the power out of the kite.  If you’re used to still having power there at the end of the bar throw it’s a quick fix, just use the stopped by sliding it down to your desired length on the bar.  The bar pressure also felt a bit lighter than previous generations, I still don’t classify the Speed as a “light” bar pressure kite however I’m of the opinion less pressure the better allowing for longer kiting sessions and more aggressive handling in higher winds that typically increase the bar pressure.

    During flight in the buggy at speed the kite felt consistently solid, and for such a high aspect kite it continued to feel incredibly stable.  One are the Speed 5 significantly excels over both previous models and kites such as the Sonic-FR is its stability, being slightly lower aspect and holding a bit more air in the kite just brings on a completely new level of stability.  After a short period of time you become so trusting of the kite you pay less and less attention to it and more to your surroundings and where you’re kiting.  The kite not only points incredibly high upwind, however downwind compared to previous Speed models it’s again significantly improved.  Going downwind didn’t feel anywhere near as challenging as on previous models, some where you would need to loop it back over your shoulder to keep it back in the window from time to time.  This allowed me to surprisingly park and ride downwind.  
    Everything you do with the kite, how it responds, how it feels through the bar, how it behave in flight, it all just feels incredibly well refined over previous versions.  There’s literally no single feature of the kite that I can say is a complete standout improvement area as so many areas of the whole kite have been so well refined that it’s the sum of all these improvements that makes the Speed 5 in my opinion the greatest evolutionary update to the Flysurfer Speed series of kites since the Speed 3.
    If you’re currently flying older Speeds, get your hands on a demo, it’ll be that familiar feeling you’re used to, just that the more you fly it the more you’ll notice how much of a step forward in performance  the kite is whilst being incredibly stable, fun and trusting.
    This kite was provided for demo by James at @specialist_kiteboarding for as long as required until I felt comfortable having flown it long enough to write a review.  Overall both flying the kite and the process of arranging a demo from James was a great, pressure-free experience.  If you’re interested in a Flysurfer Speed 5 get in contact with Specialist Kiteboarding.
  6. Like
    Northern Kites Australia reacted to .Joel for a review, Pansh A15   
    Pansh’s latest closed cell depower foil is called the A15, this is a multi-sport kite aimed at Land, Water and Snow Kiting.  Originally the Pansh A15 was released as a 15M kite, it’s now available as a 9M, 12M and 18M and additionally in custom colours.  This review is focused on the A15 15M in Standard Colours.


     
    Kite Bag
    Pansh supplies two bags with this kite, the original Grey & White bag is what it comes shipped in.  The Blue kite bag is for after you’ve opened the kite and flown it, due to its increased size makes packing the kite away a much easier task.  I quite like the simplicity of these Pansh bags, and people travelling with their kite gear will love them as they’re super light but add that layer between your kite and other gear in your travel bag.  


     
    Profile
    The profile of the kite is a Mid-High Aspect Closed Cell with a curved trailing edge adding slightly more depth to the profile ending in squared/straight wingtips.  The total cell count for the 15M is 33, once inflated the kite is quite thick between the top and lower skin holding a large volume of air.  Once in flight there is quite a pronounced arc from wingtip to wingtip.



     
    Bridle
    Pansh’s bridle work has improved dramatically over the years, the A15 is their next step in moving forward with some new additional features.  First of all the bridle itself is fully sewn and sleeved, reducing knots and tangles when laying it out. The tabs on the A15 are re-enforced by distributing the tab inside the kite to spread the load point.  Between the tab and the bridle are their new “bridle knots” which are identical to Flysurfer’s LCL’s (Little Connection Lines).  These are generally a lower-spec dyneema of around 30kg to 45kg each so that if you snag your kite or overload part of it on an object they will break away before tearing the tabs out of the kite’s sail.  Their pulleys seem adequate, however their new UHMWPE braided lines through the pulleys is a little on the thin side.  I have no doubt the load of the line is adequate however the reduction in line diameter may lead to the line wearing a rut in to the pulley much quicker.  A slightly thicker line would distribute the load over more area reducing pulley wear. The line connectors on our test kite came with metal rings, however Pansh have updated this and are now using “ELC’s” or more commonly known to those familiar with Flysurfer kites “Easy Line Connectors.”






     
    Sail Features
    The gaphics of the sail itself look stunning in the sky, it’s a really nice pattern.  Pansh also offer a range of alternative custom colour examples, or you can choose your own combination of colours.  Presently this is free for Bronze members and above, otherwise there’s an additional fee for standard memberships.  

    It’s beyond the sail colours that things get rather interesting, the kite itself has 5 vent intakes and utilises Pansh’s new “DAIS” system which is their “Dual-way Alternate Inflation System.”  The concept behind this is to split the air intake to two, an upper and lower intake on the same position of the kite.  As a kite changes angle of attack the angle of the air intake changes, by splitting the air intake to an upper and lower they change the pressure of the air being fed in to the sail via the air intake.  It’s effectively like driving with your car window down and sticking your hand out, as you change the angle of your hand you feel more or less pressure push against you. In its very basic form it’s the same concept they’re applying to the air intake.  


    Pansh have now included a velcro opening in the middle of the trailing edge which is used for “drainage and dirt-outs” to allow sand and water to escape the middle of the kite.  They then have the standard dirt-outs on the wingtips of the kite for drainage and dirt.  Now interestingly to the left and right of the middle dirt-out there are two “blow-off” valves, or as I prefer to call them “blow-out” valves.  These are magnetic and sewn in to the trailing edge and do add some weight to the trailing edge.  One thing I did notice in flight that the centre of the trailing edge was never uniform and smooth like the rest of the trailing edge.  The “blow-out” valves seemed to induce a slight deformity, overall personally I don’t like the design and positioning of the “blow off” valves.



    Moving away from the centre of the trailing edge and looking at all the cells along the trailing edge there’s another improvement, and not done with the acronyms yet it’s called “DCTE” or “Double Cell Trailing Edge.”  They’ve take the full cell width, and split it directly in the middle sewing in an additional piece of material giving the trailing edge twice as many cells as the leading edge.  The result being in the air with exception to where the blow-off valves are located the rest of the trailing edge looks like on of the most uniform and cleanest trailing edges i’ve seen on a closed-cell kite.  It seems to hold its trailing edge shape incredibly well.

    Just in case you thought there weren’t enough openings, there’s also a huge zipper on the back of the kite which for packing up is excellent.  I found it was easier to pack this kite tightly than my other closed cells due to the size and position of the zipper all the air flowed out as you rolled it up.

    The kite is internally built really well, with folded and sewn edges where usually they would be hot-knife cut and fray over time.  However they continually use some material to re-enforce parts of their kite, I'm not sure what it is however I've seen it before on the Pansh AceII in "gold."  On the A15 it's frequent in White.



     
    Finally now that we’ve gone through a glossary of new acronyms that Pansh has introduced with this kite we move to its spectacular flying characteristics.  
    Low Winds
    I initially setup the lines and took it out in about 4 to 5 knots of wind, it was a slight morning breeze where I saw the opportunity to setup the kite in light wind in anticipation of the afternoon breeze coming through.  After setting up the lines I had the kite directly down wind of me, gave a few tugs on the front lines to pop up the leading edge and the kite started to inflate slowly.  At about 30% inflation I gave another pull and got the kite just off the ground, it then started to climb slowly as I walked backwards and after about 10meters of walking and swooping the kite left to right it was inflated.  The kite sat at 12 o’clock in the window and was stable, moved it to the left and right of the window and again stable at the edges.  I didn’t do much more however I could feel it was quite grunty.
    Moderate Winds
    Over the rest of the trip we had decent afternoon winds so on the beach in about 10 knots of wind I setup the kite, giving the kite a tug it immediately took off and started to inflate.  With less than half the kite inflated I had ample control to bring the kite up and move it around instantly fully inflating it.  Immediately I could feel the kite had noticeably more power than in the morning, however with more wind it seemed even more stable.  It literally sat in the window like it was anchored to that position whether that was above me or to the edges of the window.
    In the Kite Buggy I had a straw hat on as I didn’t imagine I’d be doing much in the way of speed with this kite.  However once I was moving and the apparent wind kicked in it instantly delivered an incredible amount of power for its size.  It literally sat at the edge of the window and just pulled like a tractor, there was no stalling, no falling backwards and jumping forwards, it just pulled consistently.  Soon I realised on the slightly down-wind run as the wind increased slightly I was moving over 50km/h and thinking to myself “excellent choice on the straw hat for protection.”  On the downwind run I never felt it a struggle to keep the kite in the window.  
    Going back up wind with the kite it pointed well and again continued to haul me back up the beach.  As the afternoon went on the wind did shift and blow more down the beach, this meant working the kite more and at the very end required me to tack a few times back up the beach.  It didn’t have the upwind reach of a full race kite such as the Peter Lynn Vapor, however I didn’t feel at any point it offered less upwind reach than my old Speed3.  Overall it was consistent both in upwind and downwind performance.  
    The kite is incredibly grunty and pushing hard against the kite didn’t invoke it to surge to the edge of the window then stall, it literally just steadily kept hauling the buggy.
    Turning however on the A15 is not as quick as the Speed3, there’s certainly a noticeable initial delay in initiating the turn before it starts to increase in responsiveness.  I also feel that my old Speed 3 had a greater range of depower on the bar throw, whilst the A15 offers an exceptional amount of depower I feel the old Speed 3 and especially the Speed 4 offered far more depower on the bar throw before requiring you to adjust the trim strap.





    Conclusion
    Overall I am very impressed with the build quality and flight of the kite.  I think this is by far Pansh’s best built kite to date offering a lot of new features inspired by other manufacturers and also offering a number of new features inspired by their own research, design and implementation.  Pansh is clearly looking at the competition now and raising the standard of their kites to fit in amongst them.  In flight I felt I could trust the kite completely, it was stable, well behaved and predictable.  There was plenty of power when I wanted it and ample depower.  The kite itself not only represents great value for money, however removing the price point that attracts many people to Pansh I can confidently say even with a higher price tag it would still represent a great purchase.  It’s not only a kite that makes people’s first entry to closed cell kites a great choice, for those with much older closed cell kites that are starting to deteriorate it offers a good update path.  In a word, impressed.
     
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