Flite 14.5 and 17m - reviews
Posted: 23 January 2014 05:39 PM   [ Ignore ]
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I have been lucky enough to have many sessions on these kites and I am so pumped that they are now on the market and people are getting them in their hands.

XL Kites in Fort Walden Beach, Florida, recently put the Flites up against 4 other light wind kites that they sell in their store.

You can read their review and watch the testing video here:
http://www.kiteforum.com/viewtopic.php?f=1&t=2383535


If you have not watched our intro video, with Ross Harrington, to this kite, please have a look here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q1xJT9wFmto&feature=c4-overview&list=UUQvsO4qr-S6CmslPvSJFcHA.

Looking forward to more reviews as you have a chance to have fun in light wind too.

Cheers,
Todd

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Posted: 24 January 2014 03:39 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
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All positive stuff. I see the new freestyle bar features in the video from XL Kites?

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andy

Dorset UK

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Posted: 24 January 2014 07:29 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
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Yes, that is the new Freestyle bar.  It is a clean and simple to operate above the bar system for those who prefer above the bar to the below the bar systems.

This new bar uses a clamcleat with shock cord build into the trim line to reduce the chance of the trim line wrapping around your bar when depowered. 

Compared to the previous Freestyle bar, we have increased the throw and have added a stopper ball for those looking for this on their bar.

Look for this bar to be available in March, 2014.  XL Kites has them available now. 

- Todd

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Posted: 06 March 2014 06:18 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
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Hello Folks,

I have friends who use their old (2010-2011) Rise 14m in pretty light stuff on rather large TT.  I own a skim and a ‘‘small’’ TT.  I was wondering if the Flite 14.5 was pretty equivalent to the Rise 14m in wind range (top and lowed)?

Also between the 14.5 and the 17m… I kind of hate anything larger than 15m as they tend to be sluggish, and top way too fast.  I live in a gusty area where 12 knots really means 5 to 20 knots… 10 to 15 knot gusts are not rare but you just cannot always rig for the gusts as the hole are way to deep and big to keep you going.

So what is your take on the 17m top end for a 180lbs free rider who enjoys basic hooked in freestyle stuff (transitions, back-from rolls, etc).  My first choice would be 14.5 as my favorite size is 10m so I could have 14.5, 10 and 7m quiver.  perfect for traveling in the islands but my 138x40 might not get going in 10 knots+ with that. I also own a 12m so 17-12 overlaps nicely .  but for traveling I prefer to carry the 10m than the 12m and I am not too sure about 17-10m… that is why having a idea of the 17m might help.

Thanks

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Posted: 06 March 2014 07:51 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]
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Hi Flipper,

Previous to flying the new Flites, I been out on many brands and many styles of 14-17.5m kites.  All were large and gave you that “pulls like a truck” feeling.  Technically I was out there kiting but in general I needed a very large board to push back against the power of the kite otherwise I would be going downwind.  Big kites would get you out there but the fun factor was simply not always there.  Eventually if it was not windy enough for the 12 or less I would question going out.

After you get a chance to fly the new Flites, I think that you will find that the fun of smaller kites can be found in these two sizes.  They do not feel sluggish at all and are not a challenging kite to fly or keep in the sky during lulls.  They will give you a ton of grunt in your initial power stroke but will then go up wind very well.  In my experience they handle the gusts very well but I have not experienced the 17m when REALLY over powered, only the 14.5m.  It was still fun and I felt like I could do some sweet Toby Airstyle.

Without a doubt, the 17m will have a better bottom end and will get you through the lulls better than the 14.5m.  It sounds like you were leaning towards the 14.5m, and I would tend to agree with you as long as you are willing to give up a little of your bottom end.  I would also consider adding an Origin or a true light wind board to your quiver to really help you on the lower end of the range.

Is there a dealer close to you that would be willing to bring in a demo of each size?

-Todd

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Posted: 07 March 2014 08:27 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]
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Hello Todd,

The local dealer does not have the 14,5 but they lent me a 17 for my trip in the islands.  Unfortunately it will be the 2013 bar but hey… Free kite.  I ordered the 17, I own a skim but hope to be riding my small board in 10-12.  The forecasts are not that good for that week so it will be my chance to test it in sub 10 up to close to 20 knots.  Opted for the 17 as the 14.5 will overlap too much with my 12m which has an incredible lowend.  If I feel that the 17m cannot be held a few knots above 15, I might change the order for a 14.5. I will write my findings here.

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