I just recieved my third Eolo Radsail and the first 2006 Pro II. (My others are 145 two line kite and a 2005 Pro II 4.0m2.)
The 2.0 is one of two new sizes for the 2006 line up. The 7.0 is the other new size.
Things that are the same:
The backpack that the Pro models comes in seems to be identical to the 2005 models. Not super fancy but definitely functional and fairly roomy. Certainly adequate for the kite, any accessories, a jacket and lunch. Zippers look like they might give out if abused. Don't expect to be able to do extreme backpacking with this bag, but then this is really about the kite not the bag. 😄
Same brochures/flyers/stickers as last year. New DVD with flight school, step by step instructions for set up and take down, and the video from last year's DVD.
And finally despite Eolo marketing claims to the contrary the stitching looks like the same style, thread weight etc as the 2005 model, not that there's anything wrong with my 2005. Reinforcing on the ribs at the bridle points also appears to be the same. Quality seems good lines are straight, stitches even etc. No complaints, but no discernable gain either.
Lines are good dyneema (spectra) with well matched lengths left and right, although the brake lines seem too long for me. Just like on my 4.0 and the 5.0 I test flew straight out of the bag. They'll need to be shortened a couple inches to give comfortable braking for me.
Things that are new:
The size. The fact that the graphics are repeated on the top of the canopy as well as on the bottom, no more white top skin. Gives a nice look to the kite. The new sizes have, of course, new colours. The 2.0 being the usual white, black, grey of the Radsails Pro II but the accent is a nice blue colour with a greenish/teal tint. Very sharp.
The new handles are a welcome and significant improvement over the previous ones, with firm rubber covers with a good "no slip" surface that extends right over the power line end of the handles. Makes for nice holding. Weight is a little heavier, lines much more securely presented. These new handles look and feel "serious".
Hook up has been simplified a great deal. No need to guess for newbies which line goes where, they are both labelled and colour co-ordinated. Simply join the lines as labelled and laid out on the cardboard cards then rip out the holes to the edge of the card to remove once joined. Another note here, there's none of this Red-Right nonsense here, good boating practice has been followed with red on the port (left) lines. Something I noticed was carried through the whole Flight School DVD.
So how does the new kite fly? I've only done static flying with it so far, but it flies well. Its fast, much faster and responsive than the 4.0. And relative to its size I'd say faster even than the 145. Its responsiveness caught me off guard on my first flight in heavy gusty winds so my first turn became a loop. Add a little brake in the turn and it really snaps around. I'll have to wait to give it light wind testing. The 4.0 flies well even in light winds, it doesn't generate any real traction force, but by working the kite you can keep it aloft in winds that are barely discernable. Hopefully this will hold true for the 2.0, since it means that when its not windy enough to be moving you can still have fun with the kites flying static.
As for lift/pull its really hard to tell since I didn't have the 4.0 out for a side-by side comparison, but I'd say its somewhat "lifty-er" (is that a word?) than the 2005 4.0 I have. It certainly had no problem scudding me (86 kg) in winds gusting around 20-25 knots. It even nearly pulled me off my feet once.
Overall I'd say the improvements are incremental rather than radical, but only serve to make one of the best values in foil kiting even better.
Will update as further time and testing allow.
By : Rapt