best 10s runs:
1: 40.413knots 74.846km/h [207.9m 10.000s]
2: 40.156knots 74.370km/h [206.6m 10.000s]
3: 39.990knots 74.061km/h [205.7m 10.000s]
4: 39.764knots 73.643km/h [204.6m 10.000s]
5: 39.377knots 72.926km/h [202.6m 10.000s]
average: 39.940knots 73.969km/h
best other runs:
max. speed: 42.104knots 77.976km/h
100m: 41.423 knots 76.716km/h [106.5m 5.000s]
250m: 39.991 knots 74.063km/h [267.4m 13.000s]
500m: 28.002 knots 51.861km/h [504.2m 35.000s]
Great morning session today. Headed down to Roa Island for 10.15am to get set up and catch the 1.30 high tide. Forecast was 32knots gusting 43knots but it hadn’t come through as strong and was from the NW instead of the WSW it had forecast. It was really between 12m and 9.5m weather but I was mind set to test the 8m Razor against the 7m Rise and 7m Prodigy.I was the only one to turn up and there were no windsurfers which was unusual for a Sunday. I set the 3 kites up and attached bar and lines to the Prodigy and Razor. No-one else turned up so it was a case of self launch with the rope and carabina around one of the car park poles, I hate a speed session with no-one around and the wind was cross off shore and if I ended up crashing out a long way down-wind I would be out of depth, this kind of makes you ride a little reserved.
Check list, 2x GT31 GPS units, Go Pro, impact vest, helmet etc, you know you’re ready when you start to look like Robocop. I decided to take the Razor out first so after a reluctant self launch from the pole it took a couple of minutes to get to my board with the Razor lofting me about 5 times, I think the wind decided to pick up and gust just as I attached to the chicken loop. I felt more comfortable in the water and the board on. One thing that was immediately apparent was the kite didn’t seem to like the gusty conditions but although I initially felt uncomfortable I was determined to see how it performed over at least a half hour session. After a bit of spotting a potential angle I set off on a first run and peaked just over 40 knots ! I would have preferred a bit more control as I felt I was just along for the ride. As the runs passed I started to get a feel for the Razor and worked out that in todays conditions of 26 ish gusting mid 40s I just had to go light on the bar and let the kite have the gusts rather than fight it and end up face down. Just over half an hour went by and I suddenly realised I had missed something of my checklist…… GLOVES, jeeze. All of a sudden it felt like my hands were on fire, time to head back to the van and change kites and add gloves.
It took 10 minutes of blowing and banging my hands before I stopped crying then it was gloves on and back on the water with the 7m Prodigy, I only had at most another 40 minutes before I lost the water on the speed spot. I felt more comfortable with the Prodigy as it didn’t seem to be lurching around in the window as much as the Razor which surprised me because the Razor has the mesh vents which I thought would help ease the gusts, problem is with the cloudy UK winter days like today it’s not easy to make a true judgement as the gusts just come and go at will, today there were 4 or 5 squalls and a hail storm within the 1.5 hour session. The Prodigy sat further back in the window than the Razor and the Rise so the angle of the speed runs went deeper in the window. The noticeable difference with the Prodigy was the way it got to terminal velocity compared to the Razor and the Rise. I would estimate from the first power stroke it delivered 80% of what it was going to give but with the Rise and Razor they probably gave 60% and slowly built power over about 100m then gave their all. All in all both kites today gave within 2 knots of each other for top speed and 10 second runs but with the Prodigy being kinder in the gusts and being 1m smaller I have to go with the Prodigy today. This could change from session to session and if the wind was less gusty and I was looking at 500m runs with room to run in then the Higher aspect kites could be the kites for that day.
I do believe the Prodigy is the all rounder and will suit most riders, the Razor and Rise would have been the kites for me a few years ago when I was doing the freestyle circuit and I think they will boost great for those who like it fast and high and possibly unhooked. Verdict is still out for me though as I have only had 1 session each on the Razor and Rise but quite a few on the Prodigy’s.
First time out of the bag for the fusion and freeride bars, I’m that imressed it’s best saved for another write up.
Great write up Gary.
Did you manage to get some speed runs in on the Rise? and how was it ?
I understand what you say about the Razor. She is an aggressive beast giving instant power. The down side is if it is gusty the gust develop instant power which I guess increases the risk of skid marks in the wetsuit at 40 knots.
The Prodigy is just so forgiving .It is as if it has shock absorbers built in . Just inspires confidence to let it rip.
I will give you a bell regarding how deep the kites sit and apparent wind . ( bit much for a forum)
Richard, yesterdays session was short and cold so testing more than 2 kites would have been difficult, my fingers had lost all feeling within half hour and I kept going for another hour, also having to self land and launch meant kite changes were difficult, I could have done with a kite caddy yesterday. Although I didn’t get onto the 7m Rise yesterdy I did ue the 9m Rise against the 9.5m Prodigy a couple of weeks ago and although the wind was light for speed riding on 9m ish kites I did draw a few conclusions but consider this was only a couple of hours riding between two kites so more time needed to draw more accurate conclusions.
I think meter for meter the Prodigy has more oohmph in land rover type pull so a lot of horsepower and pulls a fair way forward in the window. Now the Rise, although I feel has less horsepower or “torque” it will produce the same pull and slightly further forward in the window but only after a bit of diving to get to apparent wind producing speed then it is less work for me at the same speed due to not having to edge like a bitch to keep the board going forward rather than sideways. For me as a lightweight the Rise feels less work for the speed output although I am now quite used to holding down a lot more power than a year ago. Difficult to say at present but common sense tells me that if I am having to edge too hard I must be killing some forward speed? This may mean taking a longer run in to a 500m start gate but will be less effort down the run to keep an edge.
After waking up today with whiplash and burning muscles then remembering the impact vest that got ripped apart with a 38 knot wipeout I think yesterday could go down as one of my most successful speed sessions, the results put me 5th in the world for 2013 and 69th overall all time average session speeds on the GPS site. Anyone who is interested, this is the site http://www.gps-kitesurfing.com/default.aspx?mnu=rankings