FireBee 4.0 This being my first kite I can't really make comparisons between it and other kites. So this review will be from a newbie's point of view.
The kite arrived in a very nicely made (if a bit thin) backpack with the front panel being the same colour as the main panel of the kite. On opening the pack I found a very neatly packed and well made kite, also in the bag there was a set of ozone lines and handles that where thrown in by the shop (kitedynamic.co.uk).
The instruction where a little limited, but did show the basics of setting up and how to tie the knots. It also had very basic flying instructions and a nice wind chart on the last page. I choose a very calm day to set-up as I didn't fancy having to fight the kite on the first day out. Set-up took all of 5 min, I took a step back and there it was my new kite sitting up ready to go.
First time out :
The wind had picked up a little since starting to set-up (to about 10mph). So after walking back to the handles, picking them up and giving a little tug I was flying. Now this kite requires you to work it to get it to the zenith but you can get it there easy enough with just a few zigzags. In its default configuration it doesn't like to stay there.
This kite flies well and the more it moves the better it gets, very soon after getting it airborne I was scudding around the field. The next few times out where in pretty much the same winds and spent many hours learning how to fly. One of these days the wind was nearly nonexistent and a help full guy came up and gave me some tips on tuning the kite and soon I was one of the few people to get there kite up that day at woolacombe.
Fifth Day out :
This day was a lack of judgment on my part, I had waited all day at work wanting to go out and fly the wind had been prefect all day and it had been driving me mad. I finally got down to the beach and had it set up and the wind picked up big style (25mph with 35+ gusts) thought I'd try it any way, this was a big mistake in my newness to it all I pulled the kite up straight through the centre of the window very fast. This sent me flying through the air about 10+ foot up and well over 30 meters along the beach right into the sea wall. Had to call it a day and packed up very shakily.
Power rings :
I thought I'd give these ago as I've read all the hype that claim these improve how the kite flies. So I pop down to the local DIY store and get hold of 1m of line and a couple of curtain rings. Now the kite holds a much better shape on the ground and now happily goes to the zenith with much less work and will stay there till its needed, it has made the power stronger and cleaner and has also enlarged the flying window. The shape of the kite while in the air is much nicer and it seems to luff less often.
This is a great budget kite and instead of just sitting there like most of the kites that are classed as learner kites this one forces you to learn how to fly. It's well made and looks great. It is reasonably powerful as it can drag my 20st around and even provide some great jumps. Most of the luffing and wingtip collapse seems to be cured by adding powerrings.
Power / Pound : 10/10
Build quality 8/10
By : BlackDragon