I have always been on a budget with my kites, so have learned on single skin kites, however I had a friend that had a number of foils, So I had also sort of been through the learning experience behind the first model blade 3.2 and something called an Impact 2.2.
Anyways, having been wanten for a foil kite, I bought the firebee at a kiteshop, partially as an impulse buy, but also because it was such an excetional value. I paid $175.00 us for the kite. (dirt Cheap) The only thing that was kind of a bummer was it had no handles or lines with it, so i had to steal my C-quad handles and lines to get it in the air.
The rucksack for this is fairly flimsy, but it does the job, so I don't really have any complaints about it, it had ample space. It has one shoulder strap as opposed to the backpack style of the blades and other kites.
The construction was not super heavy duty, but at the same time not sloppy either, so it was of a moderately decent build, but not to Flexifoil or Ozone standards by any means. (get what you pay for) The material seems about average, standard rip stop nylon nothing fancy, but not of poor quality either. The bridles seem to be effieiciant enough, the only part of them I had a problem with was the long trailing heavy black chord (whichs appears to have a negative affect on stability in turns), though it seems to be minimal.
I initially flew it the day I got it on the beach, I was really impressed with it's performance, I was in about 8-10 mph winds and they were pretty steady, I got dragged around petty good I am not a light person, I weigh 215lbs (15.3 stone) It was fairly fast. I did discover that using the breaks when flying this kite seemed to help it's maneuverability.
I have since flown it in some areas with less than steady wind, and have had some mixed results, this kite really needs a steady wind day to really preform, I found that it tends to luff and fold a lot more when the wind is not good and steady. I was having some problems with it overflying the zenith and folding, I remedied that by bringing in the break lines on it. I have gotten some small jumps (2-3 foot) with it which I don't feel is too bad for a 3.0 kite attached to a 200+ person. I understand that this kite really benefits from something called power rings, but as I have no fellow kiters in the my area to go to the "power ring" thing is still baffling to me, however if they improve the performance further, I think this will be a great kite for the price.
This is a great kite if you have a low budget, it is somewhat tempermental, but I don't think you can get more pull/lift for you buck with this. Not so stable, so a little more difficult for beginner to learn on. But still would be a decent beginner kite. I have to aplaud Rhombus for creating such a great value.
Rucksack=Good storage, but not fancy
Performance=Needs tuning, lots of potential
Downside=No handles or lines, and chords on breaklines affect flight somewhat.
By : Skizzo