I live in San Diego and regularly kitesurf at the Silver Strand where the wind conditions average about 10 mph. I weigh 180 pounds and use a 179 cm Litewave Dave as my board. The Silver Strand is on the ocean side of the Pacific Ocean and the surf can range from 3 feet to about 7 feet.
I have a Cabrinha 23.5 lei, a 15 m2 and a 19m2 slingshot lei. Of all the kites i own, I prefer the Speed 17. The speed has just as much power as the 23.5 Cabrinha and the turning speed is faster on the softest 2 steering positions. Prior to trying the Speed, I had modified my Cabrinha into a 5 line kite using the bar from my 19m2 Slingshot. My primary motivation for using the fifth line was to aid in relaunch and secondarily to assist in self landings. Launching still required help. Self launches with a big kite in light winds is fairly difficult.
However, self launches with Speed 17 is easily done by launching directly down wind in the power zone. The kite takes off with only half the usual power as kite continues to fill with air. It doesn't attain full power in 10-12 mph winds until directly overhead for about 5 seconds. I place the kite downwind and put a handfull of sand on the trailing edge in about 7 places and shake out the bridle lines to insure no tangles and seaweed passengers.
I untangle the line by walking toward the bars rather than walking from the bars toward the kite as I normally do with the leis. When I get to the bar I usually have to twist the bar a few times to get the lines untwisted. If necessary, I can easily slip off the center lines and reconnect if the bar has rolled so as to have the center lines wrapped around the steering lines.
The key to avoiding tangles is to pack the kite with the bar near the center of the kite but two feet below the trailing edge with the red lines off to the left and the green lines to the right and the kite and the bridles laid out horizontally in front of you on top of the kite. I then fold one wingtip over the other wingtip and roll the two wingtips with the bridles safely sandwiched inside toward the center. When I get the kite fully rolled up, the dirty sandy bar and some of the pully lines are available for easy washing when I get back to my house. The kite is now about 6 feet vertical with leading edge away from you x 1 feet wide with trailing edge at feet and kitebar with small amount of lines right underfoot. I then fold the kite from the leading edge down towards the trailing edge twice, in order to fit into backpack and wrap with a strap. The bar is easily washed as it is not buried in the middle of the kite.
The 23.5 m2 Cabrinha has about the same power as the Speed 17. The Cabrinha turns faster than the speed when the speed is on hard steering and slower when the speed is on the second knot from max soft steering. Also, when the Speed is tuned correctly (additional 4 inches added to the back lines), the kite will turn faster when sheeted in and slower when sheeted out. If the kite is backstalled by sheeting in too far (usually a problem when kite is used as delivered with the center lines that are 4 inches too long after third use of kite and stretching of lines and bridle has taken place) sheeting out slightly may be necessary for optimum turning speed.
Since, the wind is usually about 10 mph, I have modified my Speed by adding 10 meter lines and putting the steering on max soft steering. With the extra line length, the Speed is a little less responsive to turning pressure, so the maximum soft steering feels the same on longer lines as the second knot did with the standard setup. In addition, the four 10 meter lines that I added were not exactly the same length. Two of the lines were about 4 inches shorter. The shorter lines, I attached to the center lines and the longer lines to the steering lines. This fixed a problem that I noticed has also been experienced by other Speed owners. By the third use, The sweet spot of maximum power with the kite as delivered is almost fully sheeted our with the yellow line pulled almost all the way in. The answer is to shorten the center lines (with big problems with adjusting the emergency depower lines) or easily adding 4 inches onto the back lines. I suggest adding 4 inches onto the back lines.
With the additional line length, I now am the first one on the water and the last one off. The extra line length gives a larger power window. The disadvantage is that timing for jumps is more difficult since in non overpowered conditions, the kite takes longer to swing overhead from the edge of the window 30-45 degree off the horizon position. If the wind is 13+mph, the kite is higher in the window and jumping is a lot easier to time and the lift is amazing.
Also, with longer lines turning is slower so the kite must be moved to the maximum soft steering position. Also, a big board is required because turning at the edge of the wind window requires slightly more bouyancy to keep on plain for a slightly longer turn. If I time the jumps correctly with the extra power off the ramps produced by the surf, I can get higher and longer jumps than anyone else on the beach. The Caution 20 is the only lei kite that delivers the same class of jumping power, but the people on these kites have about 2 years more experience than I do and weight about 20 pounds less and they still don't get the same lift.
With the Speed 17, I can self land the kite without help. I direct the kite towards the edge of the wind window. When the kite is close to the sand, I grab the blue emergency depower line which pulls the trailing lines and collapses the kite with the leading edge up. I then immmediately grab the steering line closest upwind, and run upwind with pressure only on this steering line as I reel it in and get closer to the kite's leading wing. The kite may tumble a litle bit downwind and even roll as this happens. Makes sure that no spectators are downwind when self landing. If the kite tumbles, detangling the bridles can be a 30 minute project if seaweed and brambles get caught in the lines. Nonetheless, after the first two times self landing by pulling the emergency blue line connected to the steering lines, I had no fear of losing control over the kite.
Another advantage; I have overflown the kite a number of times through jumping. My Cabrinha would have tumbled out of the sky and perhaps even inverted. The speed will float in the air with slack lines and with a minimum amount of direction and end up back in position within the wind window after 3-4 seconds of powerlessness. The weight of the bridles keep the kite from deforming or tumbling. This is a big advantage when jumping a half mile off shore.
One disadvantage of the kite: If you are an expert who doesn't drop the kite into the surf, this kite rocks. If you drop it into the surf and it rolls around in the sand, you might as well pack it up. You have a water logged mess that weighs a ton and requires at least 30 minutes to untangle the bridle lines. All the lei users are busy laughing at you on the beach. I have done this twice in about 12 sessions. Washing the kite in the garage when you get it home and letting it dry now becomes a necessity. If you don't drop it in the water, I don't even bother to wash anything other than the bar and lines which I have conveniently available and unburied in the kite. I have relaunched this kite when dropped into the water by pulling on the back steering lines and flying it backwards off the water. This works great in non surf conditions and with 10mph plus winds.
With the advantages of easier self launch, self landing, huge power in a smaller, faster turning package and the useability in otherwise marginal conditions, the Speed 17 with the modifications mentioned above, is the ultimate light wind machine. Having developed some skill with other kites that are easily relaunched, I prefer to use the Speed 17 whenever the wind speed is below 15 mph. The performance is simply not matched by anything else I've seen on my beach.
By : SilverStrandMan
Well I am sorry it has taken me this long to write a review of the Pulse. I have had the Pulse pretty much since they were first released in this county after pre-ordering a 7m 2 months before release. I then ordered a 13m and had to wait another 2 months while the orders before mine cleared, wow this is a popular kite!
I wish I could say I would be writing this review if the weather was windy but it would be a lie!
I purchased both my kites from Sven at Oceonside.co.uk I have always found his help in-valuable when dealing with my other FS kites and always like to return the favor by buying my new gear through him.
I originally ordered a 7m Pulse to replace my devil of a Pyscho2 7m, I always found it too much for me in high winds and I wanted something more sedate. After a few flights I enjoyed the lack of hassle when re-launching and it's friendly nature so I decided to order a 13m to replace my Speed 10m, little did I know it would be 2 months before I saw her!
Flysurfer kites have always been more powerful than there LEI equivalents, the Speed was the pinnacle of this development. The pulse is a step down however still maintains the tradition; The 7m is the equivalent of a 7m to a 10.5m LEI where as the 13m is the equivalent of a 13 to 19.5m lei.
The Pulse was designed to be the successor to the Extacy, although a successful kite; many people found the larger size slightly lacking in power and performance. Both the Extacy and Pulse were designed as beginner to intermediate or wave riding kites. However the pulse has a trick up its sleeve, the pulse has a new bridle system which allows for bow like de-power (high de-power).
The Pulse colour schemes change in each size which is helpful as it gives an indication as to what other people are flying, these are:
* 5m - Blue
* 7m - Red
* 10m – Yellow / Orange (due to high demand yellow fabric ran out)
* 13m - Blue
The graphics on the pulse remind me a lot of the old style kites and is a welcome return, the simple design looks excellent.
The pulse also come as standard like all Flysurfer kites with a 6 month free repair, this offer always puts me at ease because it means any damage I manage to cause to the kite will be reparable. This to me shows that Flysurfer believe in their products!
Flysurfer bags have always been a good design for those of you which don't know they are designed to accommodate 2 average sized kites and a board or two on the outside. I can easily fit a Pulse 7 and 13m + 4.9m Blade in the bag with a Flydoor on the outside (it is getting heavy at this point). To get this mass of kit in the bag, the bags have an expanded front which zips closed; this zip is prevented from damaging kites by a flap of material. The bag also has meshed areas to allow air to get to the kites. Personally I would rather the bags didn't have this as they only seem to manage to dump sand around the house and get me in trouble!
Overall the quality of the bags is very high, I recently moved out of my uni house and used my spare pulse bag to carry my lecture notes when I got home I weighed it with a fish scale and found it weighed over 20kgs. These bags are made to last!!
Bar and Lines
The bar area on the pulse has gone through quite a significant redesign. The bar itself is carbon wrapped in colour coded neoprene and is very similar to older generation Flysurfers.
The difference comes in the leader lines and safety, gone is the blue leash line, what you now get is a 5th line which when pulled folds the kite in half where it floats down with very little pull, ready for re-launch. You also get 'Oh Sh*t Handles' these handles can also be used as a safety however, when used in high wind can cause the LCLs at the kite to break. The 'Oh Sh*t Handles' are however, excellent at flagging the kite out at the end of a session. The trimmer has also massively increased in size to cope with the longer de-power line, full de-power is available through the bar travel the trimmer is only there for unhooked moves, I often find it use full though to change trimmer setting in low wind to prevent over sheeting.
The line lengths which come as standard are 21m, this is changeable in increments of 3m from 21 down to 0m. This is excellent for both wave riding and changing wind conditions and further increases the wind range of the kite.
Forces on the bar are also changeable through the WAC line. This line allows the steering forces to be changed from hard to soft in increments of 6 steps this allows the kite to be modified to anyone preferences my personal preference is full soft on the 13m and standard for the 7m.
Another thing you will notice is that French safety standards have started being introduced. On the chicken loop there are weight recommendations for the safe usage of the kite, this is due to the safety being designed to rupture if put through excessive load.
On my Speed I once had the safety clip release when landing the kite this sent the kite flying down the beach; since then I have never used the standard leash instead I have modified the clip with a climbing Crab, as a runaway kite is a very dangerous thing. The pull the pulse generates when on safety is minimal though so I find it hard to believe the clip would open however using the crab removes any chance of the buckle not clipping together (due to sand or something else) and also allows me to use the leash as a suicide leash in the future.
First thing you will notice about the canopy is the low aspect ratio and the thickness of the canopy. This low aspect ratio and thickness gives the kite incredible grunt and allows very quick, tight turning.
Another point worthy of notice is the design of the new deflation zip. The normal FS design is to have one or two small zips on the leading edge; the pulse has a massive zip on the upper surface. This new zip is a big improvement when packing away. The speed of pack up at the end of a session is now even quicker; just to rub it in to the LEI riders when it starts raining
Construction of the canopy like all flysurfer is second to none; the quality of stitching and fabric is something other company's should take notice of. When the deflation zip is open the complexity of the internal structure of the kite shows that a lot of craftsmanship has gone into each kite.
As with previous flysurfers Jetflaps are still present although it is obvious again slight modification have been carried out on them. There are two inlet valves present on the leading edge and 4 over pressure valves.
Jetflaps are a clever patented design by flysurfer. It is common knowledge in aerodynamics that the stall is simply the airflow separating from the wing. During a back stall (occurs through sheeting in too far, or over flying) the stall begins at the trailing edge, jetflaps work like blown flaps on an aircraft, as the stall begins and flow starts to separate, air is blown through the jetflaps conditioning the flow on the trailing part of the wing and equalizing the pressure. All this allows for; higher angles of attack to be reached before back stall begins and a more stable kite.
What Flysurfer say:
"The JetFlap optimizes and stabilizes the current around the wing. In the high angle-of-incidence range, there is no flow separation thanks to the JetFlap"
Setting up a flysurfer is a real strong point of these kites, the 5th line can sometimes complicate things if you not careful when packing away but overall it's a doddle. When I first started using flysurfers I had some difficulty with tangles however, once you have the method for packing away sorted it's no longer a problem. Set up and packing away takes around 2 mins.
Launching and Landing
There are two methods of launching the Pulse both require either a weight or sand and a small amount of pre-inflation, because of the low aspect ratio the pulse inflates very quickly even though it only has two vents on the leading edge.
Hot Launch, is launching directly downwind of you this is only suitable for very low winds (sub 10knots). The second option is side launching where a weight is placed on the kite's upwind wingtip with the lines at about 45 degrees to the wind direction, a quick tug and up the kite goes no drags no fuss.
The kite only takes a few second to fully inflate once launched and during this time the pull of the kite is significantly reduced, a small amount of pre-inflation before launch helps the kite fill up a lot quicker and gives a bit more control.
Landing is a bit of an interesting point with the pulse there are a few options;
* The best method is to have an assistant to grab the kite for you and lay the kite on the ground this keeps the lines in good order and is the safest method.
* In low wind it is possible to back stall the kite to the ground this is not good idea in higher wind due to the low aspect ratio which means the kite has a great deal of rest pull.
* The final method and the only viable method for landing on your own in high wind is to use the FDS. The FDS system puts the kite to the center line which folds the kite like a taco and leaves the kite with very little pull even in high wind. The biggest downside to this system is it can take some time for the kite to come down, the best way to get the kite on the ground quickly is to move towards the kite, removing tension n the line. The FDS leaves the lines with many twists in them however; the kite is still re-launchable from this state.
The kites have only really been used for surfing; so far I have clocked 80 to 100hrs on the water with them but have not really used them on land with exception of two short sessions. I have also leant them out to a few friends who fly bows for them to try and also so I could get a fly of some of the new SLEs / Hybrids!
The kites are not the fastest through the air however; they make up for this lack of speed in grunt. People who have flown them have been impressed by there grunt and surprised by how they are still good in low wind.
My two kite quiver (of a 7m and 13m) gets me out from about 9 knots up to 36knots which is more or less spot on what flysurfer give, at 36knots (40mph) I tend to stop for my own safety as I am not yet at a level where I feel safe at those winds speeds. The 13m goes from 9knots and is fun at about 12knots I can hold it to 26knots but switch at about 22knots as the 7m is well powered.
Upwind is excellent on both kites, when combined with a flydoor getting upwind is a piece of cake and is sometimes done without even realizing it. I do however; have a lot more fun on my misfit.
A major aim in the design and development of the pulse was to improve turning speed from previous kites. I feel that they have achieved this goal, the 7m turns very quickly and the 13m turns quickly for its size. Their low aspect ratios allow both kites to turn well within a wingspan this makes the 13m; a kite which I felt may be too large to be a great kite. Care has to be taken in light wind when steering the kite as it is possible to kill the power of the kite though over steering.
When comparing the turning of a foil another important element to take into consideration is the size for size power for example a 13m Pulse develops the equivalent power of an 18 to 19m LEI and turns a fair bit quicker!
The De-power of the Pulse was one of the main selling points and something which was pushed very hard by flysurfer's marketing department, it was also something which personally made the pulse a viable alternative to the Speed and the Pyscho2. The de-power on the pulse is more than on any other flysurfer, sheeting the bar fully out gives a huge reduction in power this was demonstrated in a flysurfer video by someone holding the chicken loop with their little finger!
It is important to remember that there is a limit to the amount of de-power the Pulse has, just like all other SLEs, Bows and Hybrids; it is not an on off magic switch! With the bar out there will always be some pull, this pull increases as the wind speed increases. Therefore passing the kite through the power zone in moderate to high winds will still result in a body dragging but it won't be as bad as a normal foil.
What the Pulse offers is a massive amount of de-power, when the bar is fully sheeted out. It offers a safety net when trying new tricks which allows you progress a lot quicker.
Another difference worthy of notice when comparing the Pulse with current SLEs and bows is how the de-power on the pulse is linear. This allows sheeting out during gusts to be more accurately to a point where gusts are no longer felt and makes tricks a lot easier.
The Pulse is the most stable Flysurfer I have ever flown, in shifting lumpy winds there is no kite I would rather go out with. The low aspect ratio combined with the high number of cells with increased internal pressure makes this kite a very rigid structure.
When a bad gust hits the kite will move foreword however due to the low aspect ratio this is limited and the large de-power range allows the power to be lost with a small movement of the bar, when the gust subsides the kite will just drift back looking at the canopy show little to no affect on the kite shape.
When riding it is very rare that gusts are even noticed, overall this makes the pulse an even more friendly kite.
This kite is not targeted at advanced riders, therefore when I purchased the kite I did not expect it to be a jumping machine. The Pulse does however jump…. and jumps well; the additional de-power provides a massive wind range which makes these kites one of the best jumping kites I have owned combine this with the kites low aspect ratio gives tremendous pop, enough to rival a lot of LEIs this makes carving upwind and popping of the water very fun and makes the kite a great wake style kite. In terms of height achieved in a jump, this kite can't compare with the Speed however, in my opinion these kites jump better than the Pyscho2.
The 7m Jumps very well at the upper end of the wind range, the speed at which the kite can be sent allows for massive jumps, it is important to pay attention the first few times when directing the 7m as it is very easy to over re-direct.
The 13m jumps well for its size as well which surprised me due to its size. The hang time which is available with this kite is silly. This kite is a great kite to learn to jump with due to the kite being more sedate when redirecting it also allows a lot of time to spot your landings. Overall the kite allows for a slower pace during jumps and a better learning platform.
Long term quality
I have decided to add this section as I have had a few problems with my Pulses. Both my pulses are from relatively early manufacturing batches and as such some of these problems have been fixed in following batches.
A few days after receiving my 13m Pulse a problem emerged on foilzone. 2 Pulses had suffered blown cells with rips beginning at the blow out valve and propagating downwards through the whole cell. I rarely check the inside of the kite however, after these reports I checked all my blowout valves; from this I found one end of the stitching on one valve had come apart, only a very thin line of stitching on the cell was preventing the rip propagating down the cell. I quickly rang the UK distributor (Sven @ Oceanside) who's response and service was second to non! He offered to re-stich the kite himself he also explained how I could do it myself. I chose to do it on my own as I didn't want to be without a kite. This has made a valve which now appears stronger than any of the other valves. I also finished all the other valves stitching top and bottom on both the 7m and the13m to prevent this happening again. A lot of feedback was given on this problem on Foilzone,com and Armin the lead designer for Flysurfer gave us his assurance that all future kites would have the blowout valve stitching checked.
Another niggle I have had with my pulse is how the deflation zip which is plastic coated metal has begun to rust, it is not obvious however, some orange discoloring has occurred. This is my no means a major problem and I doubt will ever become a major issue.
Overall I am very impressed with the quality of the kite, the repair kit provided with the kite is second to none they even included spare bridle parts! I am yet to see a company who has the same customer support which flysurfer has both in terms of after service care and quality of product.
Overall I am happy with my kites both these have by far exceeded my expectations. The Pulse is the perfect kite for anyone who is not an advanced or competition rider. They will suite anyone getting into the sport and anyone simply looking to progress, without having there ass handed to them all the time.
Every Flysurfer is an advance on the previous design, the pulse however, was a jump from the Speed in both turning speed and de-power.
All I can say is Flysurfer is showing that they can easily keep up with tube kite design and advance foil kite development. Well done Armin and Team!
Author : HippyMchop
Bought from Celtic Kites cardiff as suitable for water use.The design is innovative being self inflating thro, a central intake vent once the kite once is inflated it retains it,s profile for as long as it is required.To deflate land and anchor as a normal foil open 4 velcrow outlets on the trailing edge and pack away. The build and material quality is excellent it looks and feels a quality kite.It is sold as kite only(suits me I prefer my own choice of lines) in a super size back pack(3 kite job) Tenerife here I come! Medano Tenerife 18th.dec.04.
offshore wind steady 12m.p.h. Lifted me out of the water like a rocket leaving shorts behind,ditched kite retrieved shorts(and modesty) and relaunched kite off water then proceeded to do some serious body dragging(next time a shorty or a nudist beach) if you want arest just drop it on the water!The handles restricted me to the shallows I,ll try a bar next time but what a fun machine and it works.
Pentyrch S.Wales 24th.Dec.04.
Set up a 3.0L.D and Vampir3.0(both lovely kites) the splash outpulled both and as the wind picked up was easier to land due to it,s profile to ground zero. Reverse launch was easy the kite was positive in the air and done all I wanted it to do,it has amore solid feel than the others.
Aberavon S.Wales 4th Jan 05.
It made my P.L. buggy go like a bat out of hell i have never thrown a kite into neutral so much or scrubbed off speed so much.That solid feel is very noticeable on 3 wheels I,m getting to like this kite!
The kite requires getting used to it delivers more power than a standard foil in it,s class it looks distinctive in the air (closed flying edge) and nice graphics.I find conditions permitting I fly this one as often as possible,Due to it,s strong pull not a begginers kite. once you get the hang of it WOW!! Can,t wait for my next trip to Tenerife. Can,t wait to try a bigger size!
It,s cool kite,
regards banjoplucker alias silver surfer.
By : banjoplucker