We finally had a day of wind, and I’ve been able to have a propper session on the one what follows are my impressions. I’ve been kitesurfing for 6 years, fairly competent, but not much for tricks, I’m 150lbs soaking wet after lunch, and the wind on this particular day was about 14-17 knots.
-Turning: I have done no mods to the set up other than to take off the line extensions. I didn’t find that the kite turns particularly slow while powered, but while overhead at 12:00 in a turn it does slow, and then accelerate as the power comes back on. Not necessarily a problem, but requires a little change in technique. The kite turns a lot like a Peter Lynn Phantom. I’ve flown friends several times and it reminds me a lot of that feel,..not bad, but different than a “c” for sure.
-Lift: What would have been 1/4 second little hops off waves were 2 second very floaty jumps. Not necessarily much higher, but MUCH more time in the air. With other jumps where I “sent ” the kite, I went much higher, and stayed in the air MUCH longer than with a regular “c” kite. I can’t quanitfy this, but it was major difference. Sheeting in or out can really effect the time spent in the air as well.
-Power: OK, unless you ride in one type of condition, this is not going to be your one kite quiver. I’ll be pretty set with my Bronco 14 and 12m One , Surf Board, and Outlaw. The kite pulls well at around 15 knots, but I couldn’t make much upwind in what I would estimate to be 12 or less.
The kite seems to react well to speed, and I may have to hang up the good ol Outlaw in favor of a board with less rocker for those lighter wind days.
-Re-Launce: No problem re-launching. Wouldn’t have crashed it except that I got in behind a cliff in an unusual wind direction, and the kite dropped out of the air in turbulent rotor (any kite would have) Luckily it didn’t roll around the bridles, and relaunch was pretty much imediate.
-Launch: Tried without sucess to self launch with the spin the kite around on the ground approach, and ended up dragging it into the water on the front lines and launching from there. (need to find a better solution!)
-Bar Pressure: Fine. I was always fully powered on the trim, was out for 2 1/2 hours, and never felt tired. I suspect with a little trim on, there would be even less pressure. I never felt any of the on / off power I’ve heard people complain of with bows the power change by moving the bar in and out was imediate, but smooth. This kite eats up gusts!!!
Overall: This kite is going to be great in the 16-29? knot range, and I expect some monster jumps, but will just have to work on the timeing of longer jumps, and turning. Build is of course exceptional, bar is fantastic.
FYI I’m a OR importer, but beleive in honest evaluations of equipment.
If it doesn’t blow it sucks!
Nice review. We’ve been very impressed with the 12’s performance this summer - had some great sessions. Even with the kites ability to go up to some good wind range it’s the bottom end of it’s range that I find remarkable. I even had Jim out on it one day when he didn’t have quite enough wind to get going on his old Phantom 18.
i had a chance to put the new bridle mod on the 16 last weekend and it made a world of difference - I remember we talked about the 16’s when you made your last visit up to Kitchener. I’ve made up the mod to put on the 12 but haven’t put it on yet because I’ve been having good outings with it as it was.