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
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
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.
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.
This is quite conventional using the supplied line number matching and lark’s-head knots.
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:
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
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
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
After a bunch of research (including reading all the reviews on RaceKites.com) I finally selected a Mountain Board to kite with. I purchased the MBS Comp 16 from an online retailer in the US.
It was delivered today.
My first impression is one of quality, detail in constructions, and that this board is substantial. I had never had the opportunity to actually see a board in person. They are large and pretty heavy! Although the board itself is smaller than a snowboard, the total package with trucks and wheels very closely resembles a snowboard. It feels like one, too. On first blush, it has the same ride and manners as my favorite snowboards. The Comp 16 is springy, yet very solid. The bindings are well designed and very comfortable. The deck is thicker than I expected, but feels lively and has plenty of "feel" to it. More in my detailed review...
Since the UPS man delivered it just today (a day early none the less), I obviously need to spend some "quality" time with it, but I already think I am falling in love!
The board is a wood core board with composite cap much like a snowboard, but upside down. I can say this not because I have read any marketing info on the board (which I have), but because I can actually see through the board in some of the holes drilled to adjust the bindings. I will get more into the bindings, next. The board has nice clean graphics involving a Raven (I love Ravens) and is blue. The construction looks to be top-shelf although if I lived in a ocean climate, I would probably spend a little time making sure all the holes for inserts and the binding are sealed. They are not currently.
I am excited to see how the board slides on rails and other "features". The cap on the bottom of the board has a glossy finish, but I wonder how hard it is and if it will be grabby. The top of the deck has two grip tape foot pads.
The bindings are metal and composite and have a very different design than my traditional skateboard trucks. They use dual coil springs with elastomer "egg" shocks inside the springs. I have the yellow egg shock. I guess the orange egg is stiffer. The tension in the spring adjustable via some bolts that protrude up through the deck. When you tighten them down, the bolt top moves down toward the surface of the deck. I have not adjusted the tension of the Matrix trucks and am waiting to get some time on the board before I do any adjustment or tweaking.
The axel of the Matrix trucks is a solid bar of metal that will allow for grinds. I am interested to see how the polymer base holds up. The range of motion of the trucks is less than on a traditional skateboard. I am interested to see how the board turns.
The bindings are a pretty simple affair, but seem to be well constructed. There are two (each) metal, L-shaped plates that serve as the attachment bases for the binding strap.The strap itself is comprised of plastic, rubber, and high density foam. There is a racheting mechanism that allows for pretty precise adjustment. I wonder how much I will adjust the bindings and whether the ease of adjustment will actually become a bother if I accidently change the setting after finding the perfect tension. The buckle itself seems to be better than my snowboard bindings. I am interested to see how it holds up.
The wheels and tires are polymer and rubber, respectively. I understand the tire has an inner tube. We will see how well they endure the goathead thorns that plague my bike tires. I better Slime the tires ASAP! The manual suggests a lower inflation pressure to keep speeds down. This concept seems less applicable to my intended use with a kite. The tread pattern is knobby with a center strip that is continuous. This makes the wheel suprisingly smooth and quiet on the hard surface of my garage floor.
I am impressed with the Comp 16. Having only seen photos and video of the board, I don't have much to compare it to in the mountainboard marketplace, but based on my 20 year experience with snowboards and skateboards, it seems to be well built utilizing technology I am familiar and comfortable with. The trucks are of a modified design compared to what I am used to, but appear to be well built. I am excited about my new acquisition and look forward to hundreds of hours of fun, ahead!
I will post updates to this review after I have some time on the board.
By : diablo943
New single skin kite from Ozone for 2019 called the "Explore". It will be available in 4, 6, 9 & 12m and looks to be aimed as direct competition to the FS Peak.
"The new Explore by Ozone has something to offer for everyone. Consistent pull through the wind window, instant de-power, minimal upward lift, relatively slow flying speed, and damage-resistant single surface design make the Explore an amazing kite for entry level and intermediate riders. Advanced riders can push the boundaries - tight and dynamic or slow lazy loops can navigate difficult terrain while excellent drift allows riding down slopes without worring about the kite. For experts the lightweight design means it can fly in very light wind, allowing you to work the low end efficiently without having to worry about keeping the kite in the sky. The proven Re-Ride System means you can land the kite quickly and safely."
I was thinking of getting the 12m Shaman 2 as a low wind engine but it looks like I'm going to have to wait a bit now.