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    Flexifoil Blade IV 8.5M

    Upon receiving my Blade 4 8.5m, I opened the box to find a well constructed storage bag. I quickly unsnapped the latches on the back of the bag to find the zipper so I could access the kite! I soon found the zippers for the bag wouldn't be under those flaps, but instead each flap contains a zippered storage compartment. I didn't bother too much with the study of those in thrill of getting to the kite. I closed the flaps and latched them back together and found the zippers I had somehow missed when pulling it out of the box. I opened the zippers and found my Blade 4 8.5m Rasta kite to be nicely packed with a securing strap around just the kite. I pulled it out in awe and rushed to get some handles and lines off of another kite.

    I ran outside and started unfolding the kite for its maiden voyage and quickly giving a glance to all the features. I didn't inspect it too closely before the first flight because I was looking forward to the flight. I did notice some of the bigger features of the kite though. Some of the ones that stood out to me were the mesh covering over the inlets of the cells. I really like this feature as it will help keep out larger debris. I also noticed that the velcro tabs to hold the bridles during storage released on one side. Prior to the Blade, the kites I had flown having these tabs had them sewn on both sides forcing me to fish the bridles through before securing them. I also noticed the bridles were real crisp and took note of the cross bridles and gave a quick glimpse to the AAA adjustments.

    By this time, I was tired of looking at the kite on the ground and knew it was destined to be in the sky, and who am I to deny it that pleasure? So with winds gusting to 12mph and steady around 7 to 10mph, I connected the lines and walked them out. I gave a good pull to the power lines and up she went, and shortly after up I went as well! I must say I weigh in at around 205 pounds and stand 6 feet tall. I was shocked that it pulled me up effortlessly. Just as smoothly as I went up, I was set back down during a small gust.

    The biggest concern I had when I bought it was the turning speed of it. I must say that with the cross bridle settings, I'm very pleased with the Blade's ability to adapt to the preference of the fliers turning speed. It's not as quick as a 4m or 5m, but it is by no means sluggish about turning, even with no brake input. If the turn is initiated with some brake input also, it will turn dead on a wingtip.

    I also had the chance that same evening to pull it out in some lower winds blowing around 3 to 5 steady. With the winds being lower, I adjusted the AAA to the low wind setting. It took a little jog backwards, but once it was in the air it continued to fly with very little active movement by me (no more jogging backwards). It didn't pull as hard as in the earlier winds, but it did still let me know it was attached to the lines.

    Overall, I'm very happy with my purchase. It will serve well in the light wind days as well as moderate wind days. It is currently my favorite kite and will be hard to knock from that position by any kite. I'm setting out now to save up for the 6.5m Blade 4 so the fun will continue if I find myself in winds a little to much for the 8.5m...

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