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  1. jcisbig

    HQ Beamer 3.6M

    Intro At the beginning of last summer (June 2004) I decided to buy a Prism Quantum stunt kite. Upon its arrival I was very surprised by it's 'moderate' pull, and enjoyed learning kite tricks and doing some mild scudding across packed sand on high wind days. In August one of my friends bought a Symphony 1.8 hoping to get more pull than my Quantum, and more scudding. The Symphony was fun, but I realized that I wanted (okay, needed) something more. I began to research different kites and looking for many qualities: a kite with decent build quality, a kite that pulled hard, a low-cost foil, four-line control, a kite that was easy to handle and not too complicated, and a size suitable for my first quad-line foil. After a month and a half of research, I had narrowed my search down to a Beamer 3.6 or a Beamer 5.0. I asked people online, and through email, about their opinions on which kite I should get. Explaining that I had not had any quad-line experience, weighed 150 pounds (68 Kg), and would be flying in mostly 10 to 15 mph winds, everyone encouraged me toward a 3.6 size, which is what I bought. I've had the kite for about 2 months now, and have flown a lot. Unpacking for the First Time The Backpack I was warned about a large zipper, so I was somewhat prepared. Upon seeing it though, it's huge! Wouldn't want it on my pants, but it looks cool on the backpack. The pack I got seemed to be of a decent quality. Some of the early backpacks apparently weren't well built, according to my research. This one was okay, the material on the shoulder straps is a bit thin, and seems weak at the stitching on the top of the shoulder straps to the pack. No rips or loose stictching yet though. The rest of the pack is nice, thick material, and large zippers. Plenty of room for your foil in the main compartment, no matter how sloppy you pack. The handles and lineset will fit nicely in the smaller zip compartment, and the instruction manual fits well in the huge zippered compartment. The Foil When the kite arrived, I was estatic. I hate waiting for new kites to come in the mail! I pulled out the kite, and the first thing that impressed me was the size. It's a large kite (for someone buying their first foil!), about 11 feet wide, and just under 4 feet tall. The entire front side (bridle side) is white, with the Beamer Logo on it, and the size of the kite. The backside of the kite is all yellow, and it has red cross-bracing between the cells, which are about 6 inches wide at the middle. The cross bracing is just red material, feels like a nylon fabric, not ripstop, and as you look at the cells, it attatches from the top corner of the cell to the bottom corner of the opposite side. The Bridle The second thing that impressed me was the bridle. There was a lot of bridle there! The brake lines extend out from the kite near 10 feet! The bridle is made of sleeved dyneema, and is of a good quality. You cannot adjust the bridle, except for the tension of the brake lines. Each line of the bridle is connected to the kite by a larkshead around a loop of cloth that is sewn down the lengh of the cell wall. The bridle feels solid, and does not feel like it will come free of the kite, or break, unless under an extreme load. There are 3 'stages' to the main bridle rigging. The first stage utilizes the thinnest line. Starting from one cell off the center of the kite 4 lines are connected to every other cell wall, the first line right at the top of the foil, and the last line a little more than a foot off the trailing edge of the foil. Every set of these 4 bridle lines are then larks-headed onto a slightly thicker bridle line, creating the 4 Bridle lines of the second stage. The third and final stage incorporates the thickest bridle line, in which the 4 lines from the second stage are joined into 1 line. These 3rd stages are what your power lines connect to. There are only 2 stages to the brake bridle. The first stage again uses thin bridle line, and a line is connected at the very bottom (trailing edge) of the foil to each cell wall. There are 8 lines in the first stage. These 8 lines are all larks headed to one line, which is where your brake lines are connected to. There are 5 knots on the brake lines for adjusting the tension of the brake lines. The Lineset The lineset includes 480 lb. test power lines, and 220 lb. test brake lines. They come figure 8 wrapped on a wooden winder (a bit thin, but sturdy enough for it's job), the power lines on one side of the winder, and the brake lines on the other side of the winder. Lines are good quality, and look strong. Both ends of the lines are sleeved, the power lines have red sleeving, and the brake lines have black sleeving. There is no color distinction between left or right. The Handles The handles appear to be aluminum, with a rubber grip covering the majority of the handle. There is a plastic cap on the bottom of the handles, and the rubber of the grip covers the top. The handles feel very solid, no load from a kite would in any way deform them. One handle has a thick red leader line for the power and brake lines, and the other handle has thick green leader lines for the power and brake lines. I use red for right, since they both start with 'r'. The power lines travel through the top of the handle, and have about 2 inches of leader out the back of the handles for attatching a harness strop to. This leaves about 1 1/2 inches above the line for your index finger. (Plenty of room, as I have flown with gloves on and have had enough room.) The brake leaders travel through the handles, with a loop out the back for staking your handles to the ground. Each leader has an overhand knot tied on the end, over which you can larkshead your flying lines. The handles don't come with kite killers, but you can easily make your own. Tie an extra knot in each brake leader about 1 inch behind the factory knot. Get about 3 feet of rope for each handle, and tie a knot just behind the knot you made in the brake leader. Then make wrist loops with a slip knot, being sure to make a stopper knot so that the rope can't tighten up enough to cut off circulation in your wrist. Test the kite killers at least once in light winds before flying in high winds. Overall Package Good build quality. Neat stitching on the foil and solid feel. The foil definitely looks and feels like it can take a beating (Friends have crashed it rather hard, in high winds, and no damage has been suffered in the least). Handles are solid, no worries about breaks. Lineset seems really tough, and is good quality. Backpack could be a little more sturdy and better quality, but for carrying your foil around it's not bad. Excellent value overall for money. The Maiden Flight I flew the foil in about 8 mph winds, the winds were rather steady, and on dry grass. The first thing that struck me was how solid the kite felt, and how controllable it was. I was able to make a straight-as-an-arrow pass 4 inches above the ground throughout the window, and I'd only been flying for 20 seconds! In the steady winds the kite didn't luff easily. I just kept it moving through the air and it was fine. Excellent first flight, felt great about my purchase. Other Flights I flew the kite a few more times that week, impressed with the pull, control, and maneuverability of the kite. I flew in a max wind of 13 mph. The kite started producing nice solid pull around 10 to 12 mph. Not enough to scud on grass, but enough pull to lean into! I flew on Thanksgiving Day, November 25, with a blanket of 1 inch of snow. The wind was blowing at a steady 8 or 9 mph, and I was easily able to do a 75 foot scud by doing figure eights in the power zone. I flew a few other times the following week. The snow had gone, so I was back on dry grass. I flew the kite in 15 to 23 mph, depending on the day, and the pull was mighty impressive. Flight was still predictible. Some luffing problems in choppy wind, but for the most part if the kite is moving, it won't luff. Also, about 20 mph you get noticable lift, which is enough for some very small jumps (I'm not very experienced with jumps though yet). The brake lines work well on the 3rd or 4th knot (at least in my winds), and the foil is easy to reverse and land. In higher winds, this is more of a chore, but in 15 mph or less, it's an easy feat. I flew the next weekend. The published max. wind for the 3.6 is 25 mph. I flew it in 35 mph. I could not physically bring the kite below 70 degrees without getting pulled forward, and I dared not bring it below 60, otherwise I would have been pulled headlong onto my face, and done a massive scud. Kite killers were a must. There was a lot of lift, and I got about a 5 foot air jump, not bad for a 3.6 that wasn't designed for lift! My longest flight that day was about 5 minutes cause my arms were dead. (My brother and friend were there, so we rotated turns) Last week I was on vacation in a place that had some snow, so I tried some snow kiting. I only had about 10 mph winds, but it was enough to get going on packed snow. I was able to fly a tiny bit upwind, and across the wind pretty well. My guess is that in 15 mph you would have no problem with snowkiting on packed snow, I'm not sure about deep powder though. Pretty much, I don't think that there is a max wind range for this kite. If you are physically able to fly it, it will fly. You will be hauled into the air, or pulled across the ground, before the lines break. Just start small, and work your way up. Overall Flight The kite is a solid, stable, predictable, and enjoyable foil to fly. It's primary use should be for pulling things, as the lift is not spectacular and hard to maintain once airborne while jumping. In 18 to 23 mph winds, this kite will pull pretty much anything you want it to with ease. Snowkiting can be done in 10 to 15 well. I should add a personal note. I've been flying kites for a little while now, and I don't have much power foil experience. I'm 17, and fit. I was told that the 3.6 would be more than enough power for me, and if I got anything bigger I wouldn't be able to learn how to fly as quick. Right now, having had the kite for only a month and a half, I feel that I easily could have handled the 5m Beamer. I wouldn't have taken the 5 out in 35 mph winds, but I think that I could have easily managed with a 5m. Strong Points of flight: Stable, easy to fly, lots of power, solid feel, quick turning, wind wind range. Weak Points of flight: Luffs in lighter winds if not moving, not a lot of lift (jumps are weak). Best Uses: Scudding, buggying, snowkiting, recreation. You can pretty much pull anything, you just won't get a lot of lift out of the kite. So if you want to get airs on a snowboard while snowkiting, look at an Ozone Frenzy, Blade III, or Guerrilla II. Packing The kite is easy to pack up, whichever method you use. The foil folds up nice, especially with one other person helping fold, and fits in the bag without a problem. The lines can be a bit more tricky, depending on how you like to pack up your kite. At first, I disconnected the lines from the kite and wound them up on the winder. This proved for a slow unpacking the next time I flew becuase I had to figure out which lines went where and whatnot. Then I left all the lines connected and wound the lines around the winder. This worked okay, but there were still some annoying twists in the lines. The method that I settled on, an the one I love to use, is probably the scariest craziest way for a kite owner to pack up his kite. I parapack now, and it works absolutely wonderfully! There is a section under the 'How To' here at racekites that outlines the proper way to do this. Now, unpacking takes 30 seconds, and after a 30 second check that everything is okay, I'm in the air! Between 1 and 2 mintues max, it's great! Overall Conclusion If you are a kiteflyer on a budget looking for a solidly built, quality kite, that flies well and delivers solid and powerful pull with not much lift, the Beamer is for you. It can be used by beginner and advanced pilots. I've had my 13 year old cousin use it in 20 mph winds and he had the time of his life, and I've had my 45 year old dad fly, and he just smiles. I'm impressed with the kite, and I like it a lot! I will use it for many traction activities. It is a great value for money, it is of good quality, it feels solid, and it flies well. Happy Flying to All! JCisBIG
  2. I have been jumping "badly" in my buggy for about a year and its starting to show as you can see in the pic the front wheel is skewed and the rear axle is bent slightly. I have decided to modify a second buggy in these areas in an attempt to stop the buggy getting damaged from bad/heavy landings. After doing some research into the different ways other people modified there buggies it became apparent that most people do there own thing. If you look at other buggies on the beach or in the forums this becomes obvious quite quickly. So it really is a bit of an open book as far as what is the right way to do this. This is the way I have chosen. Time will tell me if it's a good way or not. Before I continue a word of caution. One school of thought says you should never modify the buggy at all. The logic behind this is that if your buggy is being damaged due to impact it is absorbing forces that could potentially damage "you". Also by strengthening the buggy in various areas you might just cause the next weakest part to fail. Taking this into consideration I decided to continue any way as I am heavier than the average buggy jumper. I decided that I wanted a brace over the rear axle and to put strengtheners across the side rails. Rear Axle. I wanted to have a single brace over the total width of the axle. I made it using 38mm OD stainless 316 tubing. I wanted the contact points to be almost to the end of the original axle so that it gave me the strongest fixing and was therefore welded onto both threaded bosses. Some axles are supported further in from the ends on the tube wall. This can still allow the original axle to bend at the weld points. The tubes were purchased at a local steel merchant. I also bought a 90degree bend. Which I then cut onto two 45 degree sections to provide me with the equal bends either end. Before the tubes can be welded I needed to prep the tube ends so that there was a minimal gap for the welder to fill. This is quite straight forward around the bends where straight butts are all that are required. Not quite so easy around the area where the brace sits on the original axle. You have to allow for the removal of the material when you cut it to length. If you mess this up then the brace could end up to short. I used a hack saw, various round and half round files and a protractor to prep the joints. This is quite time consuming but the results are worth the work. I wanted to have the axle brace welded in a position where it would give the optimum support, but not be right behind my back when I landed. I decided to weld the brace with a 60 degree angle between the brace and the side rail connections. This would leave the brace leaning slightly back in the finished buggy. Side rail strengtheners. I took the basic idea from a document that Stupid Dave (Flexi Pro Rider) had of his trick buggy mods. Highly recommended if you can get hold of this as he also shows other potential mods. The strengthener consists of a bar and two posts that effectively tie the two side rails together. This should provide extra rigidity that will help to stop the front end twisting. The materials I used were from an old damaged Radsails buggy. I basically cut up the rear axle to provide me with parts that I needed. Again the forming of the tube ends is quite tricky here as you have to ensure that all the butts are good for welding. I found that using some electricians tape here was very helpful to keep things together. Once the joints were prepped I was ready for the welding. As I did not have any access to suitable welding gear (MIG or TIG) I needed to find someone who could help me out. A friend of a friend came to my rescue and I managed to get the job done for a few quid. I was lucky, but there are many small workshops that could have done the job for me. Price is usually quite high for welding though. Again here is where the prepping of the welds can save a lot of money as the welder can work quickly. Once back from the welders, the frame was stripped and welds polished off to give a nice clean finish. The weld form was left visible and not polished out as I want it for strength. A basic drill, polishing discs and polishing soap were used to achieve the required finish. Warning; do not press to hard when using the drill as it can burn the motor out. (I found out the hard way) I had a little help in this area from one of the buggy polishing maestros. Guess who? One of the problems with welding the side rails is the welding causes the frame to buckle as the weld is forming. This means that some force is required to get the side rails and rear axle back together. It also meant that the down tube is now very tight into the front clamp. The buggy is now effectively one piece as far as transporting to and from the beach it is concerned. Seat mods. The Flexifoil seat is designed to fit over the side rails before the buggy is assembled normally. This gives you a problem when the side rails have been welded. The seat will not fit because the front two loops are to narrow. In order to get the two parts to fit modification of the front loops is needed. I machine and then hand overstitched two lengths of webbing onto the loops this allowed me to fit a plastic buckle to each side of the seat. Now the seat can be fitted to the side rails. Do this before fitting the down tube. With the frame of the buggy assembled the seat buckles can be tightened. I wasn't sure about the plastic buckles at first but they do seem to holding up during use. If they prove to be a weak point they can be upgraded to steel or the strap could be stitched together. I have also made a single lap strap for my bug as I prefer this over the three belt system. With the addition of the barrows and a belly pan the buggy is ready to fly. Note: jumping buggies and using lap belts will hurt. Maybe sooner, maybe later. But it will happen. You have been warned.
  3. Pari

    Flysurfer Soul 12M

    I’m having a love affair- with my kite! I love Kitesurfing, but these days I want to go out for a session just so I can get on the Soul. I’ve been flying my Flysurfer Soul 12m since February 2019, getting lots of sessions on it and I have to say, I’m in love. Previous kites were always a nice piece of kit to get me on the water, I never really thought much about them once I was out there having fun and maybe that’s a good thing too. But when I’m out on the Soul I find myself looking up at it and saying “I love this kite “ or “ I f—-king love this kite” usually with a very big grin on my face. You get the picture! I love the Soul so much that I sold my Leading Edge Inflatable (or LEI). This review isn’t one of those technical accounts about flying characteristics etc, but rather an emotional one, anecdotal. It’s also aimed more at those who are curious about foil kites (I know most of you EK guys and gals are already dedicated foil kite flyers, so preaching to the choir...much), are thinking about buying a foil or are considering swapping over from a LEI to a foil. I landboard as well as Kitesurf and started flying the Speed 3s on land a few years ago, first one borrowed from a friend, then I bought my own used Speed 3 12m deluxe (awesome kite by the way). And as I work late and don’t get home till the sun is low, I started using my Speed to get those very quick sessions on the water when I had maybe a half hour, 45 minutes before dusk. The beauty about the using the Speed 3 was that that time of the day the wind often dies down, becoming light to the point that with my 11m Pivot I would probably say it’s not worth the 10 to 15 minutes to set it up just to have a mediocre 20 minutes out. But with the Speed 12m my attitude was ‘it only takes 5 minutes to be in the water so why not’, and often it was the right choice, had a great session and popped a few jumps to boot. Now the Soul has come into my life this is more so the case. The amount of sessions I get in that I would otherwise not have had on an 11, 12 or even 15 tube kite is ridiculous. It’s not just the convenience of quick setup but it’s knowing that the session is probably going to be worth it. I’m often the only one on the water at my local beach, or like today I’ll see the other kites go up for a while then give up because there’s not enough wind and I’m still out there having a blast. Another example- I’m at Shearwater on the Gold Coast and like a bunch of other kiters, I'm waiting for the weather to make up its mind. Then the wind eventually picks up enough for me and a guy on a 15m to put our kites up and go out, ( I’m first on the water of course, he has to blow up this enormous kite and lay out his lines etc). I’m jumping, staying up wind, practicing my back rolls (of which I’m still crap, but only started to feel confident to even try them because of the Soul, but that’s another story- I digress!), meanwhile the 15m is just about holding ground. A little while later there’s enough wind for the foil boarders to come out on their tubes kites, it was me on the Soul and the foilers way up wind. When the wind died off and the tubes started falling out of the sky I just came in from a satisfying session. Which brings me to the subject of relaunching a Flysurfer kite from the water. Now I know that I’ve been using LEI’s on the water a lot longer than foils so the odds are not fair, but I’ve never had any issues getting my Speed 3 and especially the Soul off the water. On the other hand, I have had many a time when my tube kite would not relaunch because it had deflated, inverted or just got twisted up and if the wind drops off it can be a no go. The Soul just wants to go up, to the point I usually don’t need to do much, which is what happened a few days ago. The kite went down after a messed up a back roll (again), quite near the shore line and waves so I was a little concerned. But by the time I got my bearings the kite was already flying back into the air, I hadn’t done anything. One session at Sherawater, I was messing around doing my back rolls, F--ked it up (yet again), dropped the kite into the water. Once upon a time I use to get nervous when this would happen when I first started to use the Speed on the water, but I have come to trust my Flysurfers to relaunch to the point that this particular time I just calmly lay back in the water and waited. I wasn’t in any hurry, I was just wanted to see if it would sort itself out. Well this time it wasn’t going to, it was on it’s leading edge and ‘fortune cookied’ (the wingtips where facing into the middle of the kite) so I thought I should probably do something. A few wiggles of the lines to straighten it out, pull on the back lines to back stall it into the air, let go of one line to flip it round and up it goes, no problem. The wind was getting light so I went in. On shore one of the other kiter says ‘you where (the Kite) in the water for quite a while’ (hinting at me being in trouble) to which I replied ‘I wasn’t’t worried, I was just waiting to see if it would ‘do it’s thing’. I guess most LEI kiters still believe foils kite are not as good as LEI’s to relaunch- I disagree, they are way better. Maybe one day I’ll get caught out and have to eat my words. I haven’t done a self rescue with a foil either so that’ll be interesting to see how that goes. One thing I particularly love about the Soul is how easy it is to fly and especially the jumps. Once you get use to the timing, it is a real pleasure. The feed back through the bar is great, which makes redirecting great big floaty jumps to those soft landings really easy- good for my arthritic knees. With the extra time you have in the air, that slowed down time gives me the confidence to try and learn back rolls, something I’ve never really felt I could do successfully before. Am still crap at them but am getting better. Another great reason I bought the Soul was because I wanted a one kite quiver that I could take traveling with me. I was heading to the UK and hoped to get some time on the water but also for future kiting holidays. It really held up for that purpose. The wind range on this kite is insane. The low end is like using a 15m or even 17m and I’ve been out in 25 knots and just starting to feel over powered but still having a good time. So the UK trip was a great testing ground and I got to experience calm low wind days when 12m LEI’s were coming in and me and a foil boarder on an 11m were the only ones out, to stormy gusty conditions where popping of waves and getting insane lift with the guys riding 9m LEIs was on the menu. I packed a 110 litre wheelie bag, which had my kite, harness, 5mm booties, 3:2 boiler wetsuit, my GoPro and line mount, and all my other personal stuff like clothes, electricals, wash bag etc. With a separate twin tip board bag it made 19kg booked in luggage and my small cabin back pack. So what are the down sides. - Well landing can be tricky. The backstall works fine to get it to the ground, but from there if it’s really powered up it can be a mission to keep it down. I had a session at Wellington, 25 knots plus and no one to catch it and land it for me. But it was all good. I just steered it to the edge of the window, steered it low and in front of me and pulled the chicken loop so it flagged out. Once I got to the kite via the safety line I had a little bit of sorting the bridle out but packed it away all ready to kite next time with no issues. So you do find ways to land it safely by your self. One thing I often use is a big yellow plastic tent peg I bought from Bunnings and keep in my kite bag. I backstall the kite, push the tent peg into hard packed sand, angled away from the kite for extra staying power, and loop the steering lines around the hook of the peg. Then it’s a quick run to the kite in case it rips the peg out, which if that does ever happen I just grab the nearest line and pull it in. This works pretty good most of the time. - I didn’t like the light bag it came with, and ended up buying a Speed bag from the Flysurfer website. Flysurfer are now including the Universal Kite Bag with the Soul. I would like to see something in between the Light bag and the old Speed bag, as the none catch zip is really good and the simplicity of the bag is also good. But the lack of a shoulder strap or some sort of storage makes it a real pain when transporting your kit from the car to the beach. I did a mod on my Light bag by using the webbing strap and shoulder pad off an old cool box. I picked open a little of the seams of the bag top and bottom and stitched the webbing in to make a shoulder strap. Works a charm as a light weight travel bag to put in with my luggage. But also when you’re walking to the beach with you kite board, harness, a bottle of water, the last thing you need to carry as well should be your kite. So Flysurfer take note, PUT A STRAP ON YOU LIGHT BAG and maybe a large pocket for other stuff like your keys, water bottle, rash vest etc. - People freak out about the bridles of foils, so I’ve heard at least. Yes they can get tangled, yes they get caught on stuff like twigs and plants, and yes it’s a pain. But that’s part of owning a foil and it does get less scary once you’ve get use to them. I found when the kite is new and the bridle and lines are stiff they get looped into themselves a lot more than when they have been used a while and get more floppy. When I’m setting up now usually all I have to do once the kite is laid out is lift the line and give them a bit of a shake to sort the bridles. If you can set up and land your kite away from debris it’ll make life easier too. - Most complaints about foils are the slower turning speeds. I like to freeride and for this the kite works great. Remember you are are effectively flying a kite with the power of a 15m LEI, which would also not turn as quick as a 12m/11m LEI. But if you need a fast nibble kite for say, waves then maybe get a Pivot or similar. The play off between fun, quick set up, speed, up wind ability, light wind use, massive wind range, huge hang time with soft landings against a quicker turning kite to me is a no brainer. I really can’t think of anything else that bothers me about this Kite and I can’t recommend it enough. One other huge advantage about it that I almost forgot to mention is the lack of bladders. I spent a load of money on repairs the previous couple of years before I switched to foils full time. Leaks and canopy repairs coasting hundreds of dollars. You may spend $3000 for a Soul but it’ll last years without the issue of deteriorating bladders and valves, will hold it’s resale value better than a LEI and probably won’t need any expensive repairs unless you are unlucky, because the canopy isn’t under the same kind of stresses that a rigid tube kite is under. (Amendment here: I recently got out on my 9m Naish Ride . I liked throwing it around, a quick little kite. But I realised why I love riding the Soul. I found the feeling of how the Naish flew very, for want of a better word, lumpy, were with the Soul it’s just so smooth. It was a bit of a gusty day but not that bad. The kite felt really rough through the bar, jerky, pulling all the time, just horrible. The thing is, I used to enjoy flying it before, never had and issue with how it flew but I’ve grown accustomed to that lovely ‘luxury’ characteristic of the Soul, like driving a Rolls Royce then getting into an old Ford. Another thing that kept annoying me was staying up wind. When I switched direction I kept expecting to just go up wind, but i had to work at it. Then I did a successful back roll and was so stoked I tried another one and ballsed it up yet again, doh, crashed the kite. When I launched it back up into the air the canopy ripped from leading edge to trailing edge. That’s it; I’m done with tube kites!) For me the Soul is a superior kite to anything I’ve every owned before and there’s no going back unless the designers of LEI’s come up with miraculous updates like self inflation, light as a feather, perfect bar pressure, materials and build that last, insane lift and float and the feeling of joy every time I ride it… Oh I love my Soul!
  4. Test Report on the Peter Lynn UNIQ QUAD Single-skin power kite, 4.5m2 version on 2 handles/quad lines Just for something different, I tried a single-skin kite, this one an offering from the Peter Lynn stable. Photos courtesy of Peter Lynn Kitesports (On account of I was too lazy to photograph my own-same size, same colour) TEST LOCATION & CONDITIONS Inland NSW, on a large, open sports complex Temp 27ºC Wind E to NE, 1 to 12kts, mostly around 5-6 kts. Static flying only. No buggy or board COMPARISON KITES HQ Toxic 5m2 Zebra Z1 3.5M2 The kite is promoted by P/L as being compact, lightweight, relatively cheap, stable, easy to fly, crash-damage resistant, very manoeuvrable and very powerful for its size. It also comes in a 2-line version or a 3-line on a bar FIRST IMPRESSIONS The kite bag is VERY small, particularly for a 4.5m2. (It looks like something you’d use to take a bottle of champagne to a party) Everything necessary to rig and fly is supplied and packed into the well-made main bag; The kite itself Quad 18m x 200/100kg Dyneema pre-stretched, colour-coded lines and padded handles A soft drawstring cloth bag for the lines and handles 2 x P/L Kite-Killers (nice bit of kit) A plastic P/L anchor stake in a well-made fabric sheath. (Sand use only. It’s next to useless trying to shove it into grass or dirt. The HQ version is much more versatile) (You’ll have fun trying to stuff everything back into this bag after flying, although the kite certainly does wrap up into a very small bundle.) All stitching and line attachments are of the usual very high P/L standard. The main (200kg) and brake (100kg) lines look very similar in size, but fortunately are colour-coded and labelled. LEADING EDGE? As this is my first single-skin jobbie, I admit to having a few Senior’s moments trying to find the leading edge due to the absence of those lovely big holes that normally identify the LE. The kite plan form is a low-aspect design, which keeps the span quite short for the area. RIGGING This is quite conventional using the supplied line number matching and lark’s-head knots. IN FLIGHT As expected, the kite fills easily and lifts almost instantly. Once line tension is steady, the leading edge shape becomes apparent and the kite flies normally. Some early observations are; The kite is not particularly fast, compared to most double-skinned foils It is quite agile, allowing for the lower speed The wind window is somewhat smaller/narrower than double-skinned foils The kite won’t overshoot and collapse at the zenith because it doesn’t really get that close to it. Approaching the edges of it’s own wind window, it just slows and either stops or drifts back until it’s back in a sweet spot. Quite neat! (Note: I refer to the zenith as a point directly overhead the flyer) This 4.5m2 pulls very hard in gusts (10-12kts) and is happier when it’s kept moving. Pull is at least equal to the HQ Toxic 5.0m2 Tight turns are best made with just a light touch on one brake. Main line pulls produce a much slower, wide and smooth turn Backing down to the ground is very easy and controlled using the brakes Reverse launching was easy I tested turbulence behaviour by standing in the lee of a large light tower just upwind of my flying position and this caused the occasional tip tuck which easily un-tucked itself with a tug on the lines Overall, it was not quite as stable as the delightfully mild-mannered Zebra Z1 3.5m2 Pumping the lines to keep it up in between soft gusts had markedly less effect than with a double-skin foil The kite showed little or no lift at the zenith, due mostly to the slightly narrower wind window MEETING PL’s CLAIMS Now that I’ve flown the kite, I thought I might match up my experience with the claims P/L have made: Virtually indestructible Pretty much correct. You can dive it straight into the ground at any speed and it just crumples up briefly, then is ready for an easy reverse launch Incredible wind-range. Not sure about this claim. It seemed to behave much the same as any double-skin foil with regard to pull vs. wind speed variations Supremely easy to fly. Overstated a bit. It is easy to fly, but nothing to get too excited about Great performance, more pull per size than any comparable ram airfoil while needing much less wind. The kite did pull very hard in very light conditions, although truly objective testing would be needed to see if it really out-pulled an similar sized double-skinned device at the same wind speed A lift to drag ratio that is easily equivalent to modern foils, excellent handling and instant power. Yes. The kite certainly powered up very quickly in a gust No overflying, no collapsing or luffing, ever. Not quite, P/L. Any turbulence in very light conditions will induce mild tip folding, but it certainly didn’t want to overfly FINAL OBSERVATIONS Is it suitable for a beginner? Certainly, although there are perhaps better beginner options like the Skydog Power-Foil, Zebra Z1, HQ Beemer, etc.. Is it suitable as a static fun/workout kite? Absolutely! It does fly well, inland or coastal, where it’s lightness and the tiny Pack make it a must-carry anytime. Not too good for jumping Is it useful as a buggy engine? Yes. So long as you can live with losing some wind window width. It certainly pulls hard at lower angles and has very low lift at the zenith, which is safe. On a buggy trip, it’d be very easy to carry one as a compact, spare larger kite in case the wind drops
  5. .Joel

    Extreme Kites Reviews

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  6. I thought i might add this as i have done this little mod to my deck , and thought some others out there might be interested in the results . Having ridden and been very happy with a Scrub Silver Reef for over a year now , not to mention not wanting to part with another 200 quid for a lighter board , i decided to see what can be done with the silver reef as it stands . What can be taken off to reduce weight ? Pretty much everything except the deck , and you would be hard pressed to find lighter trucks (possibly this years new trucks ) I started with the tires , those 9 inch strikers may look cool but they weigh a ton and to me felt a little overkill for a kiteboard mostly used on grass or sand . the bigger tires also had an annoying habbit of when overpowered as opposed to powersliding, they would dig in and lift you onto the two toeside wheels , now this looks cool but isnt very much fun when overpowered and doing 20mph as the face plant is inevitable . so off with the 9 inchers and on with some brand new 8 inch Primo Alphas . (ps ATB hubs are in 2 parts DO NOT try and remove the tires they way you would with a bike , either you or your hub will give in before the tire does trust me !!) The new tires significantly lowered the deck and made it much less prone to "tipping up" and much easier to slide . the ride is bumpier and slower to start , but overall more stable and more lateral grip . the main issue being the tendancy to slide when overpowered as opposed to flipping you over the front of the board . (at least you land on your A$$ if you get it wrong as opposed to your face!) Not being content with the new tires , i ordered myself some adapter bearings and the lightweight Primo Hubs , and replaced the old scrub ones . The result was a much much lighter board , i havent weighed it , but i would say the hub and tire upgrade got rig of the best part of a KG of weight . The primo hubs allow you to inflate the tires to higher pressures too and fit the smaller tires much better , this translates to more speed due to the Harder tires . and finally just as a matter of preferance i took the old scrub freeflex bindings off and replaced them with Ground Industries roots bindings (the kidney bean shaped ones like the new flexi footstraps) this was initially just a matter of looks , but the bindings have proved their worth , they are infinately more adjustable than freeflex bindings , hold your feet tighter and provide more of a feeling of contact with the board. the extra support is noticeable instantly , they just seem to grip hard all the time . No more turning your toes up hwen edging hard , no more duck feet when jumping , if anything you will complain about not being able to get out of em . All in all for under £100 the board has been transformed , it doesnt compete with the trampas out there but definately ads more longevity and enjoyment to an already great board. By : Lofty
  7. As I'm relatively new to powerkites, and my main flying site is popular with kids, dogs, etc., I use kite killers whenever I fly (alongside other safety measures - mainly allowing a big margin for error). Having bought a 9m PKD Buster (review to follow, maybe), I decided to buy a new pair of killers, rather than keep swapping the pair from my Beamer between kites. The Spirit of Air killers cost me about £8.50, and basically consist of decent velcro straps and less-than-decent cords. I found the cords too short to connect at the ends of the Buster's brake line headers, so fitted them nearer the handles instead (on testing, that was still enough to take the power out of the kite). One cord was also thinner than the other - I don't know whether or not that's deliberate (maybe to prevent both cords breaking at the same time?). All went reasonably well until I came off my board in maybe 15mph wind (need to lean more!). I let go to stop the kite dragging me, and the right cord promptly broke. The left held, and the Buster came down with slightly tangled lines. Now, to be fair, I was using a big kite in fairly strong wind for the size, with the killers attached nearer the handles than would have been ideal, and the cord that stayed in one piece did what is was supposed to do. I'm still not impressed though - I'd expect safety equipment to be stronger. I still use these kite killers, but not as standard - I'm using the original straps (which are fine - no complaints with these), with elastic shock cord. This works very well - nice and strong, and stretches rather than tugging when used. So, would I recommend these? No. I've been able to make a good pair of kite killers out of them, but when a pair of Flexifoil killers can be had for barely more money, I'd say get those instead. If you do get them, I strongly recommend the shock cord modification. By : Ratbiker
  8. Like most people, i did not want to spend a lot on my first buggy, so decided to go for the radbuggy. looked at a lot of different reviews , and liked the fact that the back axle could be taken apart for easy storage and travel. Buggy arrived and set about building it. instructions were clear and easy to work out. i no time at all it was built nad i could not wait to try it out, but as with all new toys had to wait for the wind to come up. First time out the buggy was good . Had to adjust a few things to get comfortable in the buggy. i found for me i had to move the down tube a couple of times to get the right length. i found that the buggy is very stable and is good a speed, even when going sideways felt very safe and rarely tipped out. for someone new this built up a lot of confidence in my riding. The down side to all this is some parts of the buggy are not the best. i have had to fix the seat about 4 times now, as it just seems to come apart. has taken a lot of stitching. also the bearings were not packed not well, so these have also been cleaned and repacked with grease. Over all i feel this is a good buggy to have started out on. The problems that i have had are ownly small and can be fixed easily.
  9. Pansh Sprint 2.3m to 5m Background The Pansh Sprint has been a long time in development but it has been worth the wait. I've been involved with the Sprint since the early prototypes and charted the effort that has gone into refining the profile, features and materials used in the production of the kite. The production version is available in a whole range of sizes from 1.9m up to 12.5m. Only a couple of sizes are missing from the range at the time of writing. I have the 5m, 4m, 3.3m and 2.3m. Now that I have had a chance to fly them all I feel that the time is right to make some comments about them and how they perform not just as individual kites but as a quiver when various sizes are combined. My feeling is that the Sprint is aimed at people who want to go fast or are starting out racing and cannot justify the expense of a new quiver of the more expensive race kites. The Sprint is well priced for this market. The big question is..... Is it competitive with the other race kites old and new? You'll have to read on for my conclusion. Construction. The construction of Pansh kites has improved in leaps and bounds since the early days of the Blaze. The Sprint shows significant improvements with straight stitching and strong reinforcement where it is needed. The material in the smaller kites I have is strong and durable. Water absorption is no worse than any other kites I have owned. If you really want waterproof kites then the only proper solution at present is Seal'n Glide, in my opinion.... or one of those single skin blow up thingies. In the picture to the left you can see the extra reinforcement in the cells and the tabs stitched all the way down the profiles for extra strength. You'll not be pulling these out in a hurry! At the wing tips you can see in the picture on the right the extra reinforcement running between the tabs. On the picture of the wing tip you can also see ribs (like diamond shapes) running down the length of the kite. There are 3 rows of ribs which make the kite, once in the air, a very ridged wing. The AirLink doesn't have any ribs and doesn't hold it's shape nearly as well as the Sprint does. The Sprint has a large number of cells relative to it's length when compared with a kite without such high performance aspirations. These, when combined with the ribs, I feel really do assist the Sprint to maintain a good aerodynamic profile in flight. As the number of open vents on the Sprint is limited the cross-venting between the cells is very important. Inspecting the cross-vent holes I can see that they have been cut very cleanly without any overcuts that might weaken the construction. Dirt outs have been moved inboard one cell because the end cell is hardly a cell at all it is so small. This means that the larger opening is more useful for getting sand out. There is no tab to help keep it open, but I use a small plastic tube slipped into the dirtout. This is much more effective than the extended flaps on some of the other kites I own. The bridle material is thinner at the tips and stronger where it is needed in the middle of the kite. It is not a firewire bridle, but then the cost of the kites could not support such advanced material. The bridle has not stretched appreciably on my kites, and I have been flying them hard for quite a while before writing this review. Bridle Adjusters We were very keen early on to get some adjustment built into the bridle of the Sprint so that we could fiddle with and tune the kite to our flying requirements. Pansh responded by producing a bridle arrangement that allowed infinite adjustment to the Angle of Attack of the kite, not just in one place, but across the entire wing. Adjustments are made by releasing the tension in a Prussic knot and sliding the bridle line, which is in a loop between the A nd C rows through the knot before tightening it up again. This effectively lengths one row while shortening the other and so tilts the kite. Three sets of adjustors means that the angle of attack can be varied from the middle to the tip to suit the fliers requirement. In reality this can be a bit fiddly on the beach with cold, wet, sandy fingers, but for a twiddler like me it's well worth it! There was some concern that the Prussic knot might slip in flight. Not a chance! We've not been able to make a single one slip. Indeed, when it was reverse engineered back to a simple larks head knot it still refused to slip during flight! The larks head was far quicker to make adjustments with on the beach with the aforementioned numb digits. I realise this might be a bit technical for most flyers and the majority will leave them well alone. However, just knowing they are there and you can have a play with them if you like, I feel, adds to the versatility of the kite. One of the testing team decided he really liked to have them setup for huge lift and loves the float!! This is an extreme, no where near the factory setup for speed and minimum lift, but shows what is possible. I tried to get pictures, but they just looked like knotted string. If I do get some worthwhile I'll add them in later. In Flight When you launch the Sprint you very quickly realise that this indeed a race kite. The tips can be a little slow to inflate, but that allows for a more gradual increase in the power when launching.... or after you've fluffed a turn and the Sprint is opening again in the middle of the power window! The Sprint is a very high aspect ratio kite. Very long and thin. It's like flying a ribbon. Does it fly fast?... Yes. I was surprised how fast when compared to the other kites in the Pansh range and to other race kites I own and have access to. Does it turn quickly? ... Yes. Brake turns are very fast and efficient. Does it go upwind well? ... Absolutely! I have other race kites and the 4m Sprint pointed higher and traveled faster than the 3.9m *mumble mumble* I was flying. Sufficient to say, I was not getting my kite back from my mate flying the Sprint that day. Is it stable? ... Compared to other race kites, Yes. Compared to non race kites, No. Race kites require skills to keep them in shape and performing well. They do like to head out of the window and tie themselves in knots if your not paying attention. The Sprint seems to be less prone to that than some other race kites I've flown. Has it got a turbo? ... You mean, if I put some brake on does it accelerate? ... Yes. The Sprint does respond with a power boost if you use the brakes. The Sprint also has the "apparent wind effect" that you sometimes hear about. Once flying at a certain speed and you think your at the limit the Sprint kicks and some more power comes in.and your away again even faster! When choosing which Sprint to fly I choose the size bigger than I would with any other kite. Much of the grunt has been transformed into speed in the design of the kite. This is not a problem, and possibly accounts partly for why is it so good upwind. There is much more sail area to catch the wind. If you use the adjustors you can put all the grunt back in, but then you'll also have some lift to contend with. The Sprint in factory setting has some lift, but this is a component of the speed of flight rather than dynamic lift at the zenith as you have with lifty kites like the Pansh Ace, HQ Crossfire or the Flexi Blade. When you do stuff up a turn, because you do sometimes....well I do anyway, 9 out of 10 times the Sprint can be shaken out and the collapse recovered before it hits the ground. The tips will tuck and fold over occasionally in a turn, but a quick shake and your away. This is probably more to do with my flying skills than the kite because this is becoming less and less frequent the more I fly. Competitive? Some will be wanting to know if the Sprint can compete on the race circuit. It is competing, and in it's first showings it's doing pretty well. I watched the 10.2m Sprint doing very well against the field of fliers at the Hoylake 24Hour Challenge. In the PKA races it is improving all the time as the Pansh Race Team get used to it and how to get the most from it. It is certainly more competitive than the older generations of race kite. As a Quiver There are a large number kites in Sprint range, the question is, do you need them all? I've found that with the limited quiver I have the size graduation is sensible. There is not too much overlap between the sizes. The sweet spots, in terms of wind speed do not overlap. If you skip a size, I think you will find that there will be a range of wind speed where your overpowered on one and under powered on the other. This is the place the missing kite would sit. I have a 2.3m and a 3.3m. and there is a definite gap of optimum usability where the 2.8m would sit. I can't give precise wind speed ranges for each kite because it depends on too many factors. Conclusion I think you get the idea that I like this kite. I would sell all my other kites for a quiver of these! Now some will say I'm bias and some would say I get them for free anyway, well that's not quite true. I have bought a number of my Pansh kites including the Sprint. Am I bias? I'm trying to be as objective as I can in this review. As I said at the top of the review my feeling is that the Sprint is aimed at people who want to go fast or are starting out racing and cannot justify the expense of a new quiver of the more expensive race kites. I believe the Sprint more than covers this ground. Some would say that for the cost you would be better with a second hand set of an older generation race kite. I don't agree with that. Although the price may be similar I hold that the Sprint is better in terms of performance and value. Pansh have said that they want this to be the best race kite in the air full stop. I don't think it is quite there yet. The bridle could be uprated and the material used to make the main sail could be improved by making it lighter without compromising strength. That would, of course, increase the cost of the kite. Having said that. I think they have produced the best race kite in terms of value to performance. I've yet to fly anything larger than the 5m Sprint, but observing the 10.2m and hearing that the 12.5m is made from an ultra light material from the Pansh Race Team it all sounds very promising. The Sprints are now my "go to" kites when I'm buggying, even the 2m Pansh Legend I got at Christmas will be taking a back seat to the 2.3m Sprint. Come the winter I'll probably be chasing a 1.9m Sprint.as well. Objectively as I can, the Sprints do everything I want them to do. They are fast, competative, relatively stable and very adjustable.
  10. It was a toss up between the Standard Speed III 19m and the Lotus Speed IV 18m. The Speed III is no longer in production so the die was cast and the Lotus Speed certainly did not disappoint. You can watch the video below. This review is written with the background experience of my other kites, FlySurfer Speed IV 8m, FlySurfer Psycho IV 10m and FlySurfer Speed III 12m (all standard cloth). There was a bit of a delay between when the kite arrived from Briskites and my first fly, having to wait for a light wind day. After unpacking the kite for the first time, was amazed how small the FlySurfer team managed to pack the kite down to. The kite certainly look a major portion of my hall way to unravel. The new Lotus cloth is very slippery and light. The kite bag has plenty of room to stow away the wing, especially when out in the field when you don't have the time to squeeze the very last bit of air out of the kite. First day was a landboard session at Truganina Park. Launching was a breeze as with all FlySurfer kites. Wind speed was some where around 5 knots to start off with. Steering was perfect, no dead spots if the bar was let out too much. Next session was at Altona in the early morning to get some very light wind action in before the wind picked up more -- wanted to take it easy at first to become familiar with the kite. The wind was cross shore with a massive 3.5 knots. With a few paces back the kite launched, I was amazed. Note quite enough to kite surf yet. The wind then picked up to 5 knots, time to give kite surfing a go with my uni-directional Underground Kipuna, one big swoop and away I went. Looping the kite on the tacks was the go to keep the power going. Lots of big grins. Not enough wind to tack upwind though with this board and wind speed. A few weeks later another morning light wind session, this time the wind was a bit stronger, 8 to 10 knots. I was a bit apprehensive as the wind predictions, were for 15 knots, but pushed ahead, keeping in mind, if I get lofted keep the kite above my head, ease out the bar slowly to land. Well the 18m kite turned out to be the gentle giant, plenty of depower, very smooth power control, no hint of being out of control when the gusts hit. Alternated between my uni-directional Kipuna and my bi-directional finless plank. Mind you my plank is a skinny long board usually reserved for 18 knot plus days, but excelled with the 18m Lotus Speed IV. Boosting with this kite is a dream, such a long hang time with excellent control while you are up there. I was impressed with the turning speed. This is my local kiting stomping ground so know it well, I was able to take upwind tacks much closer to the wind compared to my other FlySurfers especially with the plank. In the mean time my son Zachary was filming the action with either our handy cam or from the wing cam on his FPV R/C aeroplane. Shots from the Wingcam were when the wind was stronger when I flew with the 12m Speed, so the 18m action from the wing cam will have to wait for another day. My son Zac has a big grin as well, he gets to fly my 12m Speed on the light wind days when I fly the 18m. Landing the giant is just as easy as landing my 12m, but pack up time is a bit longer, takes a bit of time to push the air out as I roll it up, a small price to pay for the performance boost. The 18m allows you to go out on light wind days with super flat water conditions and stable winds, Elprimo time! FlySurfer said they want "every day to be a great kiting day", well they certainly achieved that goal for light wind days with the 18m Lotus Speed IV -- well done FlySurfer. A well engineered piece of kit. Enjoy the video.
  11. Well, i purchased my cirrus pro just yesterday and was amazed how well built the kite was for the price very good quality materials and an "Ok" set of instructions, the bag it came in i must say was a bit ugly and not very attractive. But it does its job and thats good enough for me, i took it out for the first time and it was fairly windy with roughly around 15 mph winds, it was very gusty and maybe not the ideal test flight weather for a brand new kite but ow well. It was easy enough to set up and was ready to used within a few minutes of tying the lines on, when i first launched the kite the amount of pull from it was amazing i really hadn't expected that much power from it. It must've dragged me 10 ft across the grass before i started to slow to a halt. as i only weight 11 stone after a few minutes of getting used to the feel of the kite i decided to bring it a little lower and do a few power carves. I bought in across the wind window and then pulled a hard left and it soared up and ripped me right off my feet and according to my dad i was 6-10 ft height but with quite a hard landing which i can tell you hurt! My dad weighing 18 stone demanded to have a go and he thought he could handle it but also he went over and was being dragged along by the kite so i defiantly recommend getting some kite killers as in high wind days this kite is a real beast! I continued getting massive air and the wind picked up even more so i was forced to pack it away as it was nearly 30 mph by the time we packed away. Overall this is a great kite but not recommended for the smaller flyers as the lift is immense when you get a decent gust of wind. well built and an awesome look in the sky , great adrenaline inducing power kite! Buy a cirrus pro.
  12. I am moslty into downhill mountainboarding. I had two other boards other then this but the Pro 6 has been the best board so far. I am only 14 so it is a perfect free stlye board for me because of its reduced spin weight (its shorter so it is easyer to spin) I have used it with a kite twice is it is a very good board for this I did not buy this board compleat but it it mostly how it is supposed to be other then i have regular matrix trucks on it rather then the lighter versions The Deck: The deck is a power lamnit deck, very stiff and you get a lot of pop out of it. Bindings: The F3 Bindings are very good compared to any other bindings i have ridin in, they hold your feet in but they are also easy to bail out of if needed, the ractch strp is very nice and it is very easy to adjust Trucks: Like i said i have the regulat matrix trucks but they arnt any different other then that they are heavier They are very good and absorb a lot compared to skate trucks, also they are a lot harder to get speed wobble Very nice turning (depends how tight u adjust them) Hubs: The allumin hubs are very very nice, i only have these because i cracked my plastic ones, they add a little weight but are a lot stronger and just look nicer The Board All around: It is a very good board, has a lot of pop and is short so easy to spin. It is good for freestlye or kiting but for younger riders could be used for almost anything It is great with a kite also you can keep a edge goign cross wind withoout lossing blance and it is easy to turn upwind if you want to All in all it is a very good board that is made for kiting but can be used for anything u want i used mine for down hill for a year be for even useing a kite with it (also i had 2 small of a kite for the wind conditions and never got it up) but i got to use it in outer banks NC and got a few good runs in, it gose well in hard packed sand but u have to be goign pretty good to go in softer sand, do not try 2 ride it in soft sand, it has skinny wheeles and u stop almost insatly and with a kite that isnt the funnest thing in the world. By : mntboardr893
  13. RaceKites

    Flexifoil Viper

    Described by Flexifoil as "a new range of traction kites designed primarily for traction and competition kite buggying...for the serious buggier...great upwind performance", and more supprisingly as "the ultimate buggy kite". Described by almost everyone else as "past it". Ok, to start with, lets get a few things straight here. The Viper is not a competition level traction kite. It is not for the serious buggier [Flexi, would you please define your definition of "serious"...?] It does not have great upwind performance and mostly it is not and never will be, the ultimate buggy kite. OK, now I've got over that... is everyone sitting comfortably? Yes? lets begin... Flexifoil were looking to replace its ageing SkyTiger range of traction kites. The poor old Tigers, had been around for quite a while, had been getting a little tired, and unfortunately had lost whatever impact they had on the race scene a long time ago. These poor old Tigers had to cash in their retirement plan and head down to London Zoo, put on their slippers, get out their pipes, and live out their remaining years in comfort with three good meals of wilderbeast a day. That's not to say the Tigers are a bad kite, just that technology has moved on, quite a long way on actually... So, in an attempt to rplace his Tigers, Mr Flexifoil and his minions approached Peter Mirkovic [designer of the Predators] and asked if they could buy the licence to the very first predator, the mark 1. These, Peter happily sold with a big smile on his face, and Flexifoil have a new kite, Peter has a stack of cash, everyone is happy. Problem is, when they were looking for the Tiger's replacement, they didn't want a damn good modern kite, Flexi wanted something that outperformed the SkyTiger in the buggy [not especially hard], but not something that would be better than their flagship, the Blade. And this is where the problems start, because the Blade is not a good buggy kite, its an allrounder. So, let me just clarify this, the Viper is a mark 1 Predator that has been fiddled with slightly. OK ? Good. When the original mk1 Predator first came onto the traction scene, it was a great kite, and won just about every race that it entered. It completely walked all over the competition, and Peter knew he was onto a winner. After a while, other manufacturers developed kites that performed as good as, or better than the mk1, so the mk2 Predator was born and they started winning again. The Predator is now at mk3. The Viper is two generations behind, so lets not try and fool ourselves into believing Flexi's advertising hype. The Viper is not the ultimate buggy kite, nor is it designed for the serious buggier. A mk3 Predator can be described as being designed for the serious buggier. The most interesting thing you notice on first seeing the Viper is its shape. Most, if not all modern traction kites are bielliptic, while the Viper is rectangular (remember this is an old design.) and its construction looks to be uncomplicated. Made from Chikara ripstop, it has a slight taper on the trailing edge, the bridle material is unsleeved dyneema and on the final cell on each side of the kite, there is a section of chikara which flaps in the wind and annoys the hell out of everyone else on the beach. Over all, the build is up to the excellent quality that you would expect from Flexi. g When in flight the kite has a slight curvature, and quite unsurprisingly looks remarkably like the mk1 Predator. It flies and turns quite slowly and gives a steady tug but feels quite heavy. You quickly get the feeling that this kite is not trying to catch you out and make you look like an amateur. A slight touch on the brakes brings in that extra bit of power the mk1 was always famous for. Many people have described the Viper as being diesel powered and this is just what it is like. This kite is definitely a good choice for novice and junior buggy pilots who are just starting out or looking to upgrade their skill level. Or for the guy that is only around on a Sunday, when the weather is nice and spends all day pottering up and down the beach getting in everyone's way. If this type of flier were to buy a high performance race kite, they would just hurt themselves - start with easy kites and work your way up. And I'm not going to recommend it to buggiers who are moving on to the next level, because if they know what they are talking about, they would just laugh at me. Unfortunately, there is no way I can say go out and buy one for several reasons. I'm going to say this again, just so you understand. The Viper is not a high performance traction kite. It is not designed for competition kite buggying. It is not aimed at the serious buggier. It does not have great upwind performance and it is not the ultimate buggy kite. Don't believe a word Flexi tell you. Its all advertising crap.If you are thinking about getting one of these, bear in mind you are buying a copy of the old mk1 Pred. And, at the prices Flexi charge, you could get maybe two or three second hand mk1 Preds for the same price as a single Viper, this will allow you to buggy in a much wider wind range and have 3 times the fun.When you look at the price of Flexi's Viper when compared to the blade, there is very little in it. As I mentioned before, the Blade is not a buggy kite by any means. It is an alrounder. But it will let you buggy and mountainboard, skud, jump etc... Most importantly, if you buy a Viper, people on the beach will point and laugh at you. [including the little old ladies walking their blue-rinsed poodles.] Overall: Ok, for you people that can remember, what Flexi are actually doing, is akin to Compaq getting a ZX Spectrum, putting it into a new shinny box and telling everyone its the best computer available. And charging the same for it as the lastest technology. It just ain't going to happen. Don't be fooled. By : racekites
  14. Well, when I first heard of Pansh, this cheap kite company from China, that sold dirt cheap kites I imagined them to be like some paper bag kites you see on Ebay.I had help set a cheap n nasty kite at the local flying site, someone was trying to work out ,...and it was terrible !, when I flew it , it was like it was on elastic bands,and the kite looked like it was going to fall in pieces. So thats what my pre-conceived ideas were based on ...another cheap and nasty kite. Don't know why I swapped my Liquid Force Flight 9.5 LEI for them ,but I did, a 3mtr and a 4.5mtr ,still crispy ,like new. In fact these were the kites that Trucknut had previously given a review on .The Liquid Force wasn't going to get the use that it deserved, and these little babies would probably get a lot more, as I fly at inland parks, kite-landboarding. The Legend is a low aspect kite more suited for buggying, but I had a BladeII 4.9 and a Mac Bego 600 for big airs so these Pansh kites were for times when I wanted a change ,just to go cruising. Well ,the kites came in a white ripstop stuff sack ,...oh well ,thats a bit of cost saved there I thought. Got the kite out and realised this wasn't like the throw-away kite I had helped set up at the field.It seemed a better quality .Got the kite laid out and lines undone and staked through the brake loops. Lines were not the usual type they gave the impression that they were twisted nylon cord, sleeved on the ends. Handles were alloy with a rubber covering halfway down.Where the brake leaders came out of the handles ,the hole was a bit rough and I thought that it might wear away the brake leaders.(the 4.5 had a plastic sleeve to stop that ) Flying. The wind was hitting a gusty 20-28mph ... .and the kite flew smoothly . I was well impressed.It had some pull as well, boneless360 had some fast runs on his board with it ,till it caught him 'off guard and lofted him a bit.This Legend had more power than the Beamer 3.6m I had a go on later. No over flying at the top and flew right to the edges of the window before it began to collapse a bit, but as it was a smallish kite it turned quickly and recovered well. The pigtail ends of the bridles had a big knot that they got caught on a couple of times, but that could be sorted with a bit of 'meditape'. Ive heard that some setting up was required to the Blaze before it would fly nice, but the Legend "flew straight from the bag". All in all, i'm quite impressed with it. Amazed how they can make this good kite for so little money. The 4.5 was the same ,but slightly slower with more pull.I was boarding with it for the last part of the day and thoroughly enjoyed the experience this kite gave.Jumps were manageable, but not many, but I wasn't out to do jumps with it, I had my 4.9 BladeII for that.Saying that though, we got a few jumps with it doing static flying, remember this is a low aspect kite not made for jumping, and normally it wouldn't, but the winds were gusty and strong. I like the Legends and would recommend them.
  15. HQ Symphony 1.8, 2.2, and 2.7 sport foils. I got these kites in fall of '07, and I write this review in mar 08, so I've had a bit of time with them. I see I am still unable to write a short review. Sorry, y'all. I've tried to make it easy to read, at least. I'm about 155 lbs, 40 yrs old, and fly lots on beaches with very little room to fly, so all static up to this point. I've got too many kites, about 6 of which I fly a lot: the 2.2 and 2.7 symphonies, the 2 & 3 m china special legends, and the 5m china ace. I'll have an 8m soon, just in time for summer light winds! I originally got these HQ kites to help get me kiting, but had some problems with delivery and got some pansh kites instead, so by the time I got these I was well past the sport kite stage and well into the scudding and learning to jump stage with my lovely red chinese 5m. But these HQ symphonies have become regular flies. They are very controllable, so i often fly them when my beach is too crowded (often: I live in Hong Kong) or too small (high tide) to fly my bigger 4-line kites. They are strong, and can haul around my 100' (kite!) tail in just a little more wind than it takes to get them up. They all have the capacity to generate significant power in strong winds (about 15 / 20 / 25 mph for the 2.7, 2.2, and 1.8 respectively). And they're guest-friendly. They all have a white upper surface and a rainbow motif on the lower surface, making them lovely kites to fly, the colors all rich and full of light. They are all a longish AR for their 2-line status and their size, ranging from 3 or so from the smaller kite to the biggest at nearly 3.5 AR. Each size has its own design: it isn't simply scaled up or down for each size. The size refers to the width of the kite, not its area. My 2.7 is 268cm by 78 cm, for example, with A, B, and C rows tied to the canopy at every other cell. 20 cells in all, the outermost three on each side without vents, a number of round holes in each rib, maximum wing thickness at the root (middle of the kite) of 11 cm. All the canopy attachment ribbons are stitched into the ribs. The leading edge vent is nice and narrow -- 4 cm at the thickest, and so it can take a few pumps on the lines to fully inflate the kite when taking off in light winds. My 2.2 is 220 cm by 70 cm, with A, B, and C rows (except for the tips A&C only there) attached to the canopy at the tip and first cells, then at every other cell until the root cell, which has canopy attachments on each side of it. 15 cells in all. And this kite has a double cross over, not just a single like the 2.7. The leading edge vent is narrow, but stitched into a length-ways linked diamond shape, with the outer two cells closed. All canopy attachments are sewn through into the ribs. The maximum thickness at the root is also 11 cm -- the 2.7 is shade thicker on a recheck, but the 2.2 is nearly as thick. I gave the 1.8 to my nieces for Xmas, and so it isn't here on my floor exposed to the mercy of my tape measure. I remember it had the same level of construction, a crossover bridle of some kind, and had an edge of performance. My nieces are 70 and 80 lbs, and it was too much kite for them in 30+ mph winds! They were barely able to handle a radsail 145! The bridles are good: strong, lean, and short, with a nice angle of attack that allows full use of the wind window, yet a minimum of overflying, but still has plenty of power: a nice balance. The 2.7 has two extra crossover lines, which extend from each power leader up across the root of the kite to link to the canopy right above the other power leader, making an extra X in the bridle between the power leaders. The 2.2 has four extra crossover lines, and is even more stable in tight turns. These two kites don't bow-tie, they can fly some very tight semi-collapsed turns with one power line completely slack (and so fast you don't know which way the kite will be heading as it comes out of the loop), and they are marginally easier to recover from crashes than a two-line split bridle set-up (altho recovery here like with all two lines is still largely a matter of luck, you're just lucky more often! :}) I fly them a lot with long tails. The 2.7 has pulled a hundred-foot tail loaded with thirty lightsticks in winds of BF 3-4 with no troubles. Sure looks cool at night, like a twitchy dragon looping in the sky. The 2.7 sometimes goes up in gusty offshore wind on 40 m lines to put it up above a 20m high wind shadow caused by trees at my beach. It gets me scudding in BF5 and starts lofting me in BF 6 going on 7. With an onshore breeze it gets me scudding in BF 4, but usually with a onshore breeze I'm flying a bigger 4-line and working on my jumps by then. A past poster on the 2.7 commented on the kite's surprising and rather unpredictable power when deep in the zone in decent winds. I'd have to agree. It accelerates and adds to its own apparent windspeed in the power zone, despite its mostly good manners at the edge of the window. So when it gets powered up in smooth strong wind it can definitely pull hard, and then accelerate (unpredictably to a 6-mo newbie like me -- you race kite guys probably know what this is about) and pull harder, and then with more wind and higher in the window possibly lift, but you would need long lines and reflexes like a fruit fly to pull reliable jumps out of this thing, imho, and I know I'd be thinking whiplash if not about putting on my helmet. I don't have the skill to fly this thing reliably when it's pulling me around, moving fast, and busy moving faster as long as i keep it in power (mind you, we're talking 20 mph gusting to thirty and this is in the gusts. In 10 mph its a bit of nice light yoga with the odd wonky-wind distraction). I haven't pushed this kite's limits, it's pushed mine. The 2.2 is quite a bit tamer, but I had it up in gusty BF 4-5 with a bunch of grade six kids, and about twenty of them had a go, but none of them could hold it in a loop in the power zone. (I was standing behind them, guiding them when needed with my hands on their elbows, and wearing modified kite killers that allow me to take a step back and take control of the kite... kids pick up kites fast!) And my two-line stunt kite buddy was just about to pin those stalled-out 360 maneouvers (axle spins?) with it when the wind died, so it has a bit of stunt potential. Not surprising with its double crossover lines. and the 1.8 you've already heard about. All the kites are precise in their handling. The bridles are short and have no stretch (unlike pansh, for example -- I recently checked my 5m and the total stretch from 10 lbs to 150 on one power leader was nearly 10 cm!) and the lines are pre stretched. The only similar kite I have in precision of feel is my 1.7 flexi sting flown without the brake lines and brake bridle in two-line mode. The HQ's are an 8/10 on my quality of control scale. with the flexi sting a 9.5/10 and the pansh 5 ace about 6/10, and a nasty cheapo 2-line at 4/10. The flexi sting is the highest quality kite I have flown, and so it's my benchmark. So they all have a degree of performance lacking in many two-line kites. Yet: had gusty light winds today (BF 2-3) and my 2.2 and 2.7 got two more people hooked on the sport (likely... we'll see... hee hee look at me i'm a wind junkie) despite shifting power zones and wind windows. So they are all also good all-around performers, and good kites for guests in marginal conditions. I often keep one ready to go on the beach when I am flying the bigger 4 line kites, and pick it up to loosen up when my arms get pumped from flying without a harness. And of course they're my first choices for a guest kite. And they pack down small. The 2.7 can go down to the size of two large paperbacks, and the 2.2 down to the size of two normal ones, with webbing handles and an extra set of lines. They go with me anywhere I travel, my 5m china special being #3 to come along. The HQ symphony range is a high-quality range of 2-line power kites suitable for beginners, yet offering an extra edge of stunt-kite performance and high-wind pull that will keep them in one's quiver, and not just as "guest" kites. They are small enough to be safe in most winds, but can also deliver thrills with decent performance in strong winds. If you are considering getting into kiting, and have the coin to consider an intermediate step on the way to that 3 or 4 meter 4-line that really gets you into power kiting, do consider these: they have lasting value. the 2.2 is the pick of the range, in my humble opinion, as folks say the B IV 6.5 is the pick of of the flexi blade range. It's the best all-around stunt / sport / intro 2-line foil. the 2.7 is the same, but with bite: it's significantly less safe than the 2.2. I mod my kites, and I'll likely have a go at my 2.7 soon, with an eye to adding two more crossover lines, swapping out the chunky (4mm?!? on a 2 sq m kite?1?) power leaders, and a go at seeing how it flies with a brake bridle in 4-line mode, though I've got no idea how that will work out. "BF" above refers to Beaufort wind force. cheers, erikw
  16. Ive been flying Flexifoil for the last few years and I fancied a change. Risky when your forking out a lot of money. Ozone was my first port of call as the build quality on these kites are the best. After reading a few reviews on the Haka and the Cult I decided on opting for the Cult due to the write ups saying they were a little more user friendly. The kite comes in a good size bag which makes a change from the Flexifoil bags where you have to get the kite down to a postage stamp size to get it back in the bag. In fact there is enough room to fit a bottle of stella, packet of Jaffa Cakes and a copy of Fiesta I mean Power kite. The build quality of the kite is superb as expected. The whole package just oozes quality. The Bridles on the kite have been reduced to minimise drag and makes the whole set up lighter so it can fly in low winds without any trouble. On windier days it has a terrific turn rate for such a big kite and has no trouble going up wind. I've flown it about 11 times now and very rarely has it luffed the stability is incredible, in fact I don't know of another kite that could match it for stability. I wouldn't recommend this size of kite for the lighter person however if your more of the chubby rounded cheeky sort of chap this is the kite for you. It has some serious pulling power and produces really good floaty jumps. It doesn't rip you of the ground like Blades but with a bit of work you do take off and at this point as most of you know once your up their you'll want to come down to earth with a gentle bump rather than a spine cracking thump. Well this kite does that so it gives you the confidence to go that little bit higher. The 6.5 has 24 Cells and is made of High tenacity Ozone 40d Nylon and has Eurocord SK75 Dyneema Bridle Lines. The main lines are pre stretched Dyneema Flying lines 200kg and Brake lines are 100 kg all of which are colour coded and numbered so if you get it wrong you need a slap. It comes with Quad handles with Kite killers a good user manual more stickers than you can shake a stick at and a key ring. Some of the online stores offer a few other things but nothing to get to excited about. So conclusion do i recommend this kite. Well hell yeah its a damn fine kite. Was their any down sides? Not really but if I was going to be picky I would say ditch the strop cos it gets in the bloody way but thats a personal thing. I find the Kite killers a bit of a pain to put on the wrists compared with Flexifoil as they don't thread through a loop and I find it difficult to get them tight enough but you can get around it and last of all I found the brake lines to long. I like tightish break lines so i know when I put them on their is no delay but again this can be solved easily enough with another knot. So all in all spot on Ozone well done for making such a good kite. By : windzup
  17. Back to the classics again. I have done a review of a single stacker some while ago but have added two more to the combination.The stackers come with 75 kg lines which are fine for a single kite use but being a bit tight decided to fly two on the original lines.This worked surprisingly well but i had the thought of snapped lines and broken spars in the back of my mind. With this i bought a set of 200Kg 30 meter flexi lines which are the coloured dyneema variety.If you wish to stack them you will also need to purchase the flexifoil stacking kit (approx £4.00) for each kite). Friends had said just cut equal lengths of dyneema and tie them accordingly however being new to stacking i wasn''t taking any chances so purchased two sets.These come complete with instructions which also doubles as a sizing guide and are rated for 135Kg.They are also coloured a fairly bright yellow which is useful if laying down on the grass.You simply tie the knot at the indicated length and then tie another knot immediately behind the first.You then attach the next stacking line to original line between the two knots prior to attaching the original to the kite.The sleeves the kites come are very useful for weighting down the kites as you connect them,but you would be very unlucky if they took off prior to you getting to the handles. THE LAUNCH Yes it is possible to get them in the air yourself but you need a good flat field or beach and the ability to run backwards for about 10 meters and need a completely different technique to four line flying.You are trying to float them off the ground.Once the first one has shown some inclination to lift off the others follow like a magic carpet although it is not a procudure to rush.Much easier is to have a friend who will hold the leading kite above their head and then let it go.My son who is eleven helped on my first attempt and got caught in the lines and vowed never to help me again. When they are airborn it becomes immediately apparent if you have your stacking lines of equal length.It is vital to ensure they are as equal as possible or you could see one turn sharply into another and make the stack very unstable resulting on a potentially expensive crash.Providing you have everything right the kites fly in formation.The beauty of having three stacker 6's is that they cover the current powerkite range 2x stackers= 1 Proteam 8 and 3xStacker roughly equate to a Super 10. Plus if its blowing too hard for the stack you have three separate stackers for you and a couple of mates to use.I acknowledge they are a bit fiddly to set up but nothing compared to trying to detangle a 4 line mess.I own several 4 liners which are a different beast altogether but it is possible to fly the stack very quickly but you just don't have the facility to apply the brake,other than flying it out of the window. Visually they create a memorable sight and of course you can always stack more if you want more power,just keep in mind the breaking strain of your main and stacking lines. The only other thing you need is padded handles,these are not standard with Stacker 6's but there are several brands out there,but ensure they have a metal ring not plastic as these kites can generate a fair amount of pull. These kites may be old but Flexi keeps making them and they are all about fun,scudding and just having a good time. Everyone at some time should try a stack if albeit briefly.
  18. seattle airgear winddance 3 13.1 sq m / 14.1 sq ft pull = speed = flying! what else can i say about this kite that already hasn't been said? Seattle Airgear will be closing soon (due to retirement), and is offering a significant discount on their kites (only the Winddance 3 size is available). when i heard about this, i visited their website and started researching their product. upon reading the convuluted website, 2 things become exceptionally clear. 1. the website was designed by an engineer (too much data, no clear organization) i should know, i grew up in a family of engineers 2, the proprietors have an axe to grind with the current state of kite culture. i felt that as a "non-flying" individual, that i was part of the problem. perhaps this direct assault on the vendors attributed to the lack of market penetration? anyhow, to return to the kite review... after flying the kite in a variety of wind conditions, the winddance 3 shows it personality as an easy kite to fly, as long as you do not try to fly it like a stunt kite. if you do, the kite will find ways to get tangled up in the bridle, and sink slowly to the ground, where recovery is usually only possible in moderate (8+ mph) winds. speaking of the bridle, SAG claims that their bridle system allows for the kite to fly like an airplane wing and thus will turn "exceptionally" well. i cannot agree with this claim, as i feel that my .80 sq m wasp can do it all better while using a control bar, and is handicapped with 1/2 the bridle missing. perhaps i will compare it with a speedfoil or RM design kite of similar size. the website has numberous videos that show the kites flying quick loops around each other. i have not had that experience. i find that due to it's size, the kite is slower than advertised. i'm still trying to figure out how to adjust the bridles to adjust for the wind, but remember that the instruction manual was written by an engineer, so there's alot of flipping back and forth between pages SAG also recommends the use of ergonomic handles to fly, vs the straps. i say don't believe the hype. i find that the only benefit of handles is the added heft in the hand while flying the kite. straps seem to work just fine, as long as they're held by your finger. if you try wrapping the straps around your wrist, it becomes more difficult to express your control motions to the kite. however, i still like this kite, the attention to details (stitching, bridle setup, coloring, etc) are pretty well thought out. i will still keep this kite in my bag, and use it to teach friends and observers with. because it has such a large wind window, fewer breakable parts, and the ability to de-tune the kite in high wind days. By : oeioei
  19. I thought I'd see what all the fuss is about...So, after a failed delivery, I shot up the airport and collected my new Turbo bar... Got home, unpacked it and wasn't suprised to find what looks like a regular Ozone depower bar...Exact same megatron chicken loop and virtually indestructible Beal loop line, Amsteel leaders with 3 of the usual Ronstan stainless pulleys, and nice non-slip rubber grip zones with 2 safety releases.... If you're thinking that 115 quid's a lot of money to part company with when it comes to a fixed bridle control bar, maybe it is, but if you get your mitts on one you'll soon see why. It's a top quality piece of kit. Off to the beach we go... Guess what? No beach, just brine! Gotta have a fly on our new bars...Turbulent 12 mph winds rolling over the sand dunes across the road,(I ordered one for my mate at the same time, and we were both keen to have a go!), Sonic hooked up his 3.5 Blurr and I flew my 4m Flow...We got set up, hooked in and launched...I can only say that I've not seen my Flow fly as fast and precise on handles before today...When Ozone say "Supercharge your fixed bridle kite" they mean it!!! I'm finding it hard to believe the difference the Turbo bar makes...In low winds on handles the 4m Flow can be a bit of a slouch, taking it's time to travel across the window...Not on the bar though,It's like having a new kite all over again!!! Soooo much quicker and more responsive with what seems like heaps more pulling power... Setting up? Easy if you know what you're doing...Our bars came with no instructions whatsoever, so maybe not so newbie friendly, which I'd count as probably the only negative thing I can say about this bar...But all that needs to be done is larks head the brake lines to the 2 outer knots and hook up the power lines to the 2 inner knots. I found that I needed to add a couple of knots on the brake leaders to take up some of the slack in the lines and reduce some of the parasitic drag, but that was the only adjustment required. There are also 2 adjustable webbing straps incorporated, and these are for adjusting bar pressure. Operation is pretty much the same as any other bar, except that when you want to apply the brakes you need to pull the bar towards you, bar out = full power , which is the reverse of a regular depower bar. Would I recommend the Turbo bar?... HELL YEAH!!!!!! I've never been a fan of control bars but this thing is THE mutt's nuts!!!! Turns out we both said at exactly the same time " I don't think I'm gonna be using handles again! *** UPDATE *** Where to start? Sonic and I have been flying our fixed bridles on Turbo bars for the past 2 weekends...That includes all my Flows, my 4m Samurai and my 3m Beamer...Sonic's had his 4.7m Rage and 2.5m and 3.5m Blurrs out in all kinds of winds...No doubt there, the Turbo bar's versatile... I hasten to add, that I made a boo-boo in my first review...My apologies...Launch the kite with the bar out and it'll fly like it would on handles,just faster...Needs a bit of trial and error to get it set up right, but when you do...Bum headed towards buggy-ville..."Pull the bar in once you've got the kite parked" said I..."That puts the brakes on" said Sonic..."Not when you're moving" Said I...And there's no doubt there either...Pull on the bar in against a good apparent wind and off you go...Faster than I've ever been on my fixed bridles flying with handles anyways, Sonic says the same to boot......I got nigh on 32 mph working my 2m Flow in 20 mph winds and I'm now very much looking forward to some late 20's ... Can't say much more really...Awesome...Money well wasted IMHO... By : Nobby in Jersey
  20. I have been buggying and landboarding for a few years now and decided to upgrade my old second hand Prolimit harness to a new one and after spending many hours trawling though various websites i decided a Dakine Storm would be the ideal choice. I came to my decision atfer working out the pros and cons of many different harnesses and the fact it met two criteria, one I liked the look of it and two, it was inside my merger budget!!!! But before I parted with my hard earnt cash and went to one of the websites I had been to, I wanted to try one on so the other day I took a trip down to the new Surface 2 Air Sports shop (www.s2as.com) at Hythe Kent. The shop has a wide range of harnesses and other kiting equipment. The guy (sorry I cant remember his name) behind the counter was absolutly top class, his knowledge was great and his willingness to help was amazing nothing was too much trouble for him. We worked out that I needed a large (34"-36") but there wasn't one out in the shop so the guy when out the searching for one and found one. He spoke about the harness explaining about the features but not putting on the hard sell. The built quality is very good as you would expect from Dakine and I cant fault the design as when I put it on it felt very comfortable even before I had adjusted the straps. The harness features the Powerbelt system, adjustable hook height, 8 point load dispersion system, stainless steel leash attachment rings, grab handle, ultra comfortable leg strap, power clip buckle system. The harness gives you a low centre of gravity but as I have just said the hook position can be adjusted to suit your individual flying style. There is loads of padding and the various straps mean you can adjust it to suit you and not have the blood cut off to your more delicate areas!!!!! I made up my mind there and then to get the harness from S2AS and the guy offered me a great deal which was a lot better than what I could get with the websites, so it made my trip to the coast very worthwhile. I also got a spreader bar and pad at the same time and I will review them at a later date. In conclusion I am very happy with my harness and would say if you get the chance to go the one of the S2AS shops go as they are great guys to deal with. By : argo229
  21. I got my Ozone Access SB (Spreader Bar) Harness as a Christmas present last year. Before the harness I could only manage about two hours and I would have to give up. After 4 Months of buggying without a harness I swear my arms were both a couple of centimeters longer than when I started kiting! Mark's arms had grown longer since he started kiting! The harness is designed like a rock climbing harness, with ergonomically designed leg straps to prevent it riding up. It has loads of padding in the legs and back-straps and the spreader is attached to the leg straps to prevent it tilting. Its is made from tough, but light-weight nylon and comes with a spliced Amsteel back leash line or cargo attachment for towing (designed for snow kiting). This harness has completely changed the way I buggy, I did try a few different types before opting for the Ozone. It is comfortable, particularly when sat in the buggy and doesn't shift or ride up. It took me a few times to get the positioning right, ensuring that the back strap is low enough and tight enough. Once strapped in properly I hardly notice it is there. Holding the power has now become a piece of cake, especially on those hard work up-wind runs, when I felt that both arms were going to be removed! The harness allows my body to take the strain and still allows me to feel in touch with what the kite is doing - I have even felt confident enough to fly one and sometimes no-handed! Overall - the harness is extremely well made (like all ozone products seem to be), it is very comfortable to wear for long periods and does what it is supposed to do well. I am not particularly small around the waist but do have to have the harness almost on it's tightest. The only thing I have considered changing is maybe loose the spreader bar hook and buy a Peter Lynn Prodigy 360 spreader - but that will have to wait. The harness works well in my buggy and is comfortable to wear sat down, it has given me the confidence and ability to keep pushing my speed, get rid of the kite killers and buggy longer and harder - and it all comes in a nice bag. [youtube width=600" height="344] Author : Mark Crook - Mark's BLOG can be found here : http://baldiviskitebuggy.blogspot.com.au/
  22. I have owned my Peter Lynn Competition XR+ for nearly 6 months now and have been lucky enough to get out with it in varying conditions regularly so have had a good opportunity to put it through its paces… I looked into various options when hunting for a bug, including getting one shipped from the UK – the choice in Australia and my budget limited me to as what I could get. Eventually, after much research, opted for the comp XR+ – ordered it online to be shipped to Perth from Brisbane. Delivery was set to take a week to ten days. I arrived at the depot, docket in hand, filled with anticipation that I would be collecting a large box– the bloke took the docket and wandered off into the piles of boxes saying he had seen it when it came in yesterday. After a few minutes he came back over carrying just the wheels! I explained that I thought there should be more, back he went and this time came back with a box – which was a lot smaller than I expected! The completed bug is definitely much more than the sum of its parts, it goes together easily and looks great. The wheels all have two sets of cartridge style bearings and run as smooth as anything and keep on spinning. The headstock also has twin bearings. The side rails are now 32mm to provide extra strength and all joints are reinforced, the down tube is adjustable for length and is fitted to the side rails with a four-bolt clamp. The seat is sturdy and features drainage holes; it can be adjusted for height by using the webbing straps and feels pretty comfy and supportive with a decent amount of padding. The true test will be when flying rather than just sat in the lounge! The back axle is attached/removed with two bolts for transport or storage and at 40mm is thicker than on previous comp buggies, it can also be swapped for the extra wide axle for greater stability. The Comp XR+ comes with the standard size wheels, but the front fork is designed so that it can also take the midi wheel; change the front fork and you can add a set of Bigfoot’s. The Comp XR+ comes with the new curved HD foot pegs and these are now bolted on, rather than the clips on the older models. This has eliminated a common complaint of a rattle. I was also supplied with grip tape for the pegs and have now made some foot straps. All hardware is stainless steel, including the nuts and bolts; the bearings are cartridge style, for durability and also ease of replacement. So should be able to take sand and salt in its stride. With the solid construction, quality hardware and upgrade-ability, this should be a bug that keeps on giving and provide a great ride for years to come… The buggy goes into the back of my car with a single car seat down and the rear axle removed (two bolts). When I arrive at Lake Walyungup it takes about 3 minutes to reassemble it. Then lift it through the gate that only opens about 50cm (to stop motorbikes tearing up the lake) and pulled it on to the lake. Lake Walyungup is a salt lake, part of Rockingham Lakes Regional Park; it is made up off gypsum and limestone. Some areas are flooded and marshy at the end of winter but it is otherwise dry. The lake has large very flat areas and is used by model aircraft and land yachts, but also has some rougher rocky bits and clumps of sea-rush and a few small shrubby trees. I regularly fly here as it has clean winds from every direction. This is my first experience of a kite buggy, so I have nothing to compare it with, but I have to say I do like my PL bug. In the process of learning to kite buggy I have taken it from the nice smooth areas of the salt lake and headed “off-road” across the rocky rougher areas, around, over and through the sea-rush (which is damn spiky!). Even on the standard wheels it has gone over/through everything I have asked of it! As my skills have progressed and my speed increased this buggy has allowed me to continue to push my limits and capabilities. I can continue to hold the power on the stronger wind days and push my speed. The ride is smooth and the buggy runs without and rattles or wobbles. The buggy feels stable and solid and even under power I have never had any issues (maybe because of my low centre of gravity!) and have adjusted the seat position and down tube to make it easier to slide. I find the seat and position comfortable and there is some flexibility with the adjustable down tube and seat position. I find the seat supportive and it holds me in place when the kite is powered up. I can fly for a couple of hours, without any discomfort, and usually only stop for food and water so that I can keep going longer. The buggy gets stored in my garage propped against the wall and held with a bungy – thankfully doesn’t take up to much room so we can still get both cars, all the bikes and other stuff in without any hassle. I was never going to be able to afford a custom built buggy or a fancy race job, I wasn’t even sure how I would go with buggying, so the comp XR+ was an ideal starting point for me. If I feel the need I can get the wider rear axle, stick some bigger wheels on it, but at present the only upgrade I have added is a belly-pan and a GPS holder! In my opinion it is well made, solid, goes well and a great place to start. Author : Mark Crook - Mark's BLOG can be found here : http://baldiviskitebuggy.blogspot.com.au/
  23. Feyd

    Peter Lynn Charger

    I've had a few sessions with the new Chargers and wanted that I would share my impressions so far. It's a little early for me to give a really detailed report but I wanted to at least give a basic overview. I'm not going to cover the bar or the bag right now. I'll just say the bar is great so far. Better than the '07 and the bag is... well it's a bag and we're not flying the bags. (Nice bag tho) My impressions in a nutshell.... Build quality is excellent. Super stable. Auto zeniths as good if not better than the Venom 2. Seems to sit foward/centered in the power zone. Dead smooth. The Scorpion and Synergy seemed to give up some stability in favor of faster turn rate. Swallows gusts as well as any Arc I've flown. Faster turn rate. Faster than anything I've ever seen from Peter Lynn. 15m turns like a 12m Syn or a 10m Venom. This is with a long bar, working it but it does it regardless. The 10m turns (no joke) as fast as a 3m Frenzy 2005. Again with a long bar. Allows you not only to sine but to do figure 8's (again, no joke) to build speed and power in light winds. A short bar would probably be a bit safer in general to avoid sudden mistakes. Lift. A lot more lift. Scary lift if you aren't careful. If you don't time the jump right or don't throw the kite back enough to launch you won't see the extra lift. If you time it right you'll orbit. I'm not a jumper so I need to learn. Low wind performance. The Charger has the best low end of any Peter Lynn to date. It's much better in general and with the faster turn rate you can really build apparent wind. Depower. UNBELIEVABLE DEPOWER! I almost forgot! Between the amount of depower and the stopper ball on the bar you can really fine tune the throw and power levels. I'm not sure but the amount of depower may be reliant on the Navigator bar. I'll fly them on one of my '07 bars and see how that goes. I'm a snowkiter. For my application this is starting to look like the kite I've been waiting for. I've been flying Arcs for a while now and the Charger resolves any short comings I felt Arcs have had in the past. How it is in a buggy or on water I don't know. That's it in a nutshell. I cover it the test sessions in more detail on my blog www.hardwaterkiter.blogspot.com. I also go into the bar a little bit.
  24. rawair

    HQ Apex 7.5M

    HQ Apex 7.5M blue/white/black First impressions The kite comes in a sturdy rucksack (Day-Glo orange), with a few clips and attachment points on the bag to add extras, it also has an expandable/zipped opening to make packing the kite away easier. The rucksack is large and there's is plenty of room for extras if you desire, if you crap at packing you can still get it in. 1st Launch When we were ready and wind around 8mph we gave it is 1st launch. The kite powered to the zenith with ease and gave a nice reassuring tug on the harness. The winds were light and on a day when the winds are stronger I would recommend launching at the edge of the window until you get used to it. Airborne Once in the air and with calm winds we wound it back and forth across the window to see how responsive in low winds it would be. Providing there is enough wind in the sail the kite turns nicely but not too rapid. On sharp turns the kite held its shape well and we had no problems with wing tuck. At a later date (next day) the wind speed had improved although there were some strong gust (22mph) it was generally around 12 mph and this gave us the chance to feel the kite a bit more. Having finally got my nuts sorted so the harness was not crippling me I generally played around and had no problems getting some reasonable air 3-5' considering I currently weigh in at 14+ stone I thought this was good for a kite that is not marketed as having great lift but more of a traction kite. For someone new to the de-power kites then this is a great entry level kite. This kite will give you loads of found, is extremely easy to control on the bar, turns well and is responsive. As stated it will get going in very little wind and has a good wind range. So far I have flown the kite winds from 8mph up to winds gusting 25mph. certainly do not take this kite out in more than 15mph for their first go and definitely would advise not to go alone either. It is has great power for a 7.5m. Landing Not much to say - it's very easy! You can spend a little time making a nice landing so you can easily re-launch or just pull on a connector between the two brake lines to back stall the kite or pull on the red safety toggle the kite will loose power and descend back to the ground. Remember when the kite is on the ground attach the break/safety lines to a stake. Reverse launching is quite easy but a bit of practice to get a smooth rotation without crass into the ground maybe required. I enjoyed this kite, I have flown a few de-power and quad line kites and this has been one of my favourite starter de-power kites (if you can have such a thing as a starter de-power kite). If you want a kite for boarding or buggying then this will do the job, you will also be surprised at the fun you can have with it. If you want to have a go then let me know and I will see if I can get hold of another 7.5M for a week or two, I have a 10m here still in its packaging. By : rawair
  25. Alright, I had to add another voice into the conversation because of all of the helpful advice I've received here on racekites.com I'm a beginner into the sport, and based out of the US, so there aren't many local kite stores I can stroll into and get help from. I have owned and flown a Prism Stylus p.2 for about a year now, and having enjoyed that I wanted something bigger with more thrill. There have been many reviews here which describe how the Pansh kite arrives. In about 6 business days, in a plain brown box, with no instructions and no kite killers. That's my experience as well. Being new to the sport with no one to help me, I would have been utterly lost if it weren't for the excellent tutorials located here: http://www.coastalwindsports.com/TutorialMenu.Html and on racekites.com. You need these instructions to put the kite together on the first run. I also purchased my kite killers from Costal Wind Sports and was very happy with the service. The flying characteristics are actually pretty good on this cheap kite, and with a few hours practice I could get it to do flips and turn on a dime just like my stylus p.2. Let me sum up my experience this way: 1. If you are brand new to this sport, and only want to pursue recreational flying (read: no buggy, board, or other apparatus), you do NOT need to buy a bigger kite than a 3.0M kite to start with. I'm 6'1" and weigh 175lbs, and the 3.0M provides plenty of pull to drag me across a soccer field. 2. If you are just getting into the sport and want to have fun, you do NOT need to look anywhere else but to a Pansh kite. I was ready to drop $300+ on a Flexifoil, HQ, etc., but I am in no way convinced that it would fly any better or be worth it to a beginnger. Let me put it this way - you could buy a Pansh, fly it for awhile, buy a bigger Pansh, fly it for awhile and then buy another Pansh and complete your set for the same price as buying ONE beginner kite from HQ or Flexifoil. The Pansh kites are well built enough for beginners and you need to look no further. In mild winds, I was able to have a great time. My wife flew it and so did my 13 year old sister-in-law. Everyone had a great time being dragged around and the wind wasn't blowing more than 10MPH at any given time, usually it was less than 7MPH. You just have to keep this kite moving...it doesn't like to be parked in the air for very long in any one spot. I did experience some instability with the ktie initially, but then I moved one of the brake lines out an inch or so and my problem was solved. The brakes are otherwise very responsive and effective, and I can't wait to fly this thing some more. To conclude, if you have any apprehension about buying the kite with the worst name choice for kites, do not fear. These well-made kites are a blast to fly and you shouldn't buy any other to begin the sport.
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