Help !This will be my first review, not just of a kite, but of anything, ever !
I haven't a clue, so please forgive me for all the spelling mistakes and for wasting the next 5 miniutes of your life.
Ok. The Libre Spirit 4.7m......Ummmm.
Cost me £ 490.00 from Barry at UFO (Powerkites).
Give raynes of Atmospherekites.com a call if you're interested.
Raynes will be well known to most of you I guess, as a member here.
If I had known, I'd rather had given the business to a fellow member.
I've been flying race kites now for over 10 years. I own kites from Libre and Ozone. As good as the Ozone races kites are, ( and thats an understatment ) the Libre has always somehow felt different. Silky smooth, powerful for their size and quiet. I say quiet and you probably think I've lost it, but I tend to judge a kite on how quiet it is. If its noisy then in my mind, it's not working effeciently. Flapping around in the wind isn't effecient, if you get what i mean !
Looking for a kite to take the place of another, the choice was simple.....another Libre Bora. It was in my search for this, that I stumbled across the Spirit.
Nobody knew anything much about this kite, as it was and still is, a fairly new player to the game.
Ok. So I take the leap of faith an fork out the monies and it's a lot of monies in anyone's book... kite only.
The Spirit comes in a cheap see through bag. An obvious off-cut from the kite material itself.
I smiled, I know this is a good sign. Libre don't make fancy man-bags for fashion concience kiters, they make kites for serious kiters and some of the very best.
The next evolution in Libre kites, may come in a used black bin liner.
Thats when you know you got something special.
I went for the orange and black colour. It's smart looking and the build quality is as you'd expect from Libra.
So, I take it down to my favourte place, Croydon Aerodrome, a quarter mile of flat cut grass. I unpack it and set it up in about 10-12mph winds. Now it's time to fly. Race kites are always tricky to fly. They need to be on the move constantly. Their natural home is in the stuff bag, not in the sky and this one had me thinking I'd lost my touch. I re-checked everything and tried again. It was like amater night.
I did that thing, where you make out the lines are tangled or something, you know what I'm talking about, right !
This time I give it plenty of pull and she managed to lift just a couple of feet off the ground and immediely turns on it's side and starts flying backwards and stalling. This is common with race kites, but it was even more pronouced with the Spirit.
Again, I smile. I know this is a good sign. It's totally unstable, like some advanced fighter jet that needs countless computers to keep it in the air.
I keep my eyes fixed on the kite while I climb ( fall ) into the buggy and dare get myself comfortable.
The Spirit is up now at 45 and moving. She starts to bite into the wind. The momentum is gradual, no sudden pull. I'm flying without a harness or killers, just hands on handles for direct feed back.
I try the downwind run first. I turn upwind without any effort thanks to the kite and circle 180 for the downwind carrying about 5-7mph.
Jesus Christ !! It pulls like a freight train. There's no let up. The speed just keeps building. I'm thinking in all directions, quietly panicing, trying to second guess what it's going to do next, but nothing, no drama. I wait for it to reach that point at which physics takes over and says, thats it, thats you're lot, but the speed keeps building. My baseball cap is starting to lift off my head. I quickly pull it down tight. The cricketers on the field in front of me, look at me worryingly ( if there is such a word ). I go as fast as I dare before swinging the kite behind me like a parashute behind a dragster, but the ultra high profile makes for a lousy brake.
That was truly insane. I soon realise that I'm going to need miles of unbroken beach for this thing to really show me what it's made of. Traveling downwind has it's limits. The faster you go, the more the kite tends to arc towards the wind-heading, until you're taken so far that you have no choice but to do the walk of shame back to base camp. The Spirit has almost eliminated that effect, travelling in an almost stright line up and down.
It's strange to see it and feel it, after years of flying with the other kites. It behave's unlike anything I've flown before. I really need to get to grips with this thing.
With the Spirit, you will have to teach yourself how to fly all over again.
I put the skill level of this kite at Advanced, not to make out ,I'm some sort of hero, just on the basis that it's hard to launch, even compared to other race kites.
It's quite possible that I'm doing something wrong or the lines need to be checked,
but once it's flying it's easy, easy in the turns and almost as fast upwind as it is down, without having to zig zag all the way home.
I would recommend the Libre Spirit to anyone who is into raw speed.
This is not a kite for jumps, ticks or sunday driving. It's a dragstar and it never stops building the speed.
It's like a 200mph bentley.
By : RedSkyHorizon