The lime light for the Ozone control bar was shone over the Flexifoil bar. A first impression with the bar was amazement and confusion. I was recommended this bar and I am glad I took up the advice. The control bar has been designed for use with the Ozone samurai as any other four-line kite. The 65cm version has been designed for kite 4m-7m. This article is primarily based upon the use with the Radsail 3m and the beamer 7m. I bought the bar from skymonster.com a very reputable company who I have dealt with several times. Upon delivery I could not wait to get it out and have a look at it. Being the first time to use a bar I was unsure how to set it up and what some of the features did.
What you read and see in the photos is what you get. The bar is built solid with an EVA foam grip; the bar has Line winders on each end of the bar which easily holds 25m of line (tested with Radsail line). The line winders also have a securing device which can be used to quickly adjust and keep the leader lines safely away from your hands while steering. The bar also has a main Harness loop with safety quick release. Added to this nice piece of kit is an Ozone Kite Killer. The bar also has a central pulley system to allow the brake lines to run freely during especially during aggressive steering. What is real clever is the one Handed reverse launch system. This allows the kite to recover and re-launch (with ease). It is very clever; just one pull quickly and easily flips the kite the right way up.
The first time I connected the control bar was to the Radsail 3m. The wind was fairly high 25mph-ish so the Beamer 7m stayed in the bag.
It handled beautifully. The turning was superb very fluid, breaking with the one pull system was nice the Radsail dropped out of the sky. With the reverse launch system, it handled beautifully, flipped around just like it should.
The second flight was on the second day, the wind was about 15mph just right for the beamer 7m. so I attached t o the beamer. Because of the slow turning of the beamer I was a little scared and pessimistic about this flight.
Ha Ha it flew amazingly. I could not believe it the beamer totally surprised me. Not once did it luff, not once did it do something that I did not what it to and not once did it fly overhead to much that it lost power. Since the turning was better than on handles I do not think I will need to adopt the cross over system.
The reverse launch system again worked magnificently. Controlling the beamer to the side of the window and holding it they while I walked up wind worked so well, his was something that was difficult with handles. This bar is soild.
A : Power linesB : Break linesC : Pulley system to equalise the breaking systemD : Yellow handle (pull this forward to release breaking system. Pull this backwards to activate the reverse launch.)E : Red handle (pull this back to activate the breaking system.)F : Main harness loop.G : Quick release fro the main harness loop. (Pull the red tab and you are free.)H : Kite killer (a must safety system.)I :Bungee cord to hold in excess line and winding system.
By : PastorJase
Not the newest of kites by a long way, but real strong and robust. I haven' never had a problem with my one, apart from the pink colour. Was purchased initially as my learner when stepping into bigger kites and still solves a problem when the find is too strong for anything else.
My 3.5 is used entirely as a buggy kite. Never used it even near water.
Not an outstanding kite any more, as it is actually quite old, but hours and hours of enjoyment as still to be dragged from it.
Launching is a real issue, with the way Peter has designed the non return valves on the leading edge. Due to the fact that I never use it on water, cutting the valves out of the leading edge has never concerned me and it has solved the issue really.
For those that might laugh at one of these still in use, this one has cost me two broken ribs and has knocked a guy out cold, from a buggy before. And yes we do actually know what we are doing. Strong winds you must pay attention to what it is doing.
Upwind is of course not optimal due to it's age, but again in the right wind, still plenty of hours of enjoyment left in the old girl.
If you can get one cheap and have a hole in your range at this size, then consider it. I have had plenty of fun times with mine. It also makes for a great beginner kite, if you are showing newbie's what HP Kiting is about. It will not scare them too much and is actually pretty tame. Next adventure with mine is 8-10 meter lines and playing around in car parks.
By : sparky21
F-One Shadow 7.0: (AKA STW 700 & STW 500)
This kite is advertised as a water relaunchable ram air foil kite for primary use as an entry level kitesurfing kite, & i've seen evidence that it was also used be kiteboarding schools. Even though this kite was produced nearly 6 years ago, I still have seen a number of them listed for sale on the web I thought someone might be interested in my experiences as a result of owning it.
I bought it off the internet about a year ago for $150 US, with the idea that it would be fun to play with on the snow and water since the price was right for a 7.0m kite.
Construction / Set-up :
The kite came in a pretty small backpack, so you need to fold the kite down well to get it to fit inside the bag. The kite is set up as a 3 line kite and is controlled with a bar in a 3 line configuration. (Two brake lines are connected to the center of the bar, with another line leading off the brake line to a wrist leash to kill the kite as needed.)
The bridle system on the kite consists of (4) rows of bridles equally spaced from the leading edge to the trailing edge on the underside of the kite. The kite's only similarity to the flysurfer kites is the fact that it is a closed cell foil with the entire leading edge sewn closed with the exception of (1) large intake located in the center of the leading edge. This intake is covered with a small mesh screen to keep sand and debris out, and just above it is a velcro opening used for deflation. Behind the mesh air intake is a "sock" of cloth that is designed to collapse & close the air intake when the kite is crashed in the water. This is to maintain the internal pressure, which allows the kite to then be reverse launched. Rigging is pretty easy, and is exacly the same as rigging any other 4 line kite for use with a bar in a three line configuration. Launching: This is where it gets interesting- Because it's a closed cell foil, you need to preinflate the kite in order for it to take it's proper shape prior to flight by holding all 8 bridles (4 attachment points for each half of the kite) pull it up in the air while shaking it back and fourth to let air in the various cells of the kite frim the middle to the ends.
This generally takes about 5 minutes depending on wind strength. Once the kite is inflated fully (and it does have to be well inflated for the wing to have enough shape to launch) you need to run back to the bar and launch the kite before it looses too much air. (In which case you need to start the inflation process all over.) I've found the kite cannot be lanuched well from anywhere except directly down wind. It's generally REALLY SLUGGISH until the kite gains altitude, and wind speed forces air deep into the far outer edges giving it a more rigid profile.
Once airborne, the kite is fairly slow, so manuvers need to be deliberate, and to even when the kite is fully inflated is generally pretty unresposive. If you are unfortunate enough to crash it in the water you need to imediately release the tension on the bar to prevent the kite from filling up with water.
Overall thoughts : I've seen other posts on the internet (none after 1999) from people who have had a much better experience with this thing than I have, but I've been flying foils for 3 years now, and still cannot seem to get the kite lines trimmed to get much in the way of performance out of it. To be perfectly honest, this kite flies like a big pig in the sky, and has left me more fustrated than pleased.
I have tried countless times (usually after i've forgotten how miserable my last outing with it was) to fine tune the bridle & trim, but have not had much success. Not long after buying this kite I bought a flexifoil blade and now this one is left to gather dust. I don't even want to sell it for fear that I would ruin someone's interest in this fantastic sport.
Here are some interesting links I have found on the kite courtesy of "xtremebigair": http://xtremebigair.com/kitesurfing/foneSTWsetup.htm http://www.xtremebigair.com/kitesurfing/ListProductReviewsKS.cfm?Product_ID=54
Here is an online users manual: http://xtremebigair.com/kitesurfing/FOneSTWManual.htm
Here's the (really old) F-One website: http://www.f-one-usa.com/
If anyone can share their experiences with the trim set-up that works for them, I would be curious to hear from you. Please post them as a comment to this review.
By : Nums