Anyone used the 14.5 Flite in the surf? Low end sounds good but how’s the drift? The design shape suggests that it wouldn’t drift as well as the original Flite, which I have. How’s the turning speed compared to the 15 Flite? I can see it doing better in lulls because of the very significant weight loss. Thanks for any feedback, real close to pulling the trigger on this one!
I haven’t got my hands on the 14.5 BUT the design is the same as the 17 & based on the PRODIGY. https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=q1xJT9wFmto Experienced local kiters here have duplicated RAZORS for the PRODIGY for surf sessions.
Well our season has been off to an agonizingly slow start, but it’s finally begun. I’ve only had a few sessions on the new flites, but here are the first impressions.
Conditions are light seabreeze (steady 4-12 knots) with minimal waves.
-The kites stay pinned in the sky in virtually no wind. The 17m was flying in 4 knots.
-Noticeably lighter construction than last years flites.
-Both sizes turn fast in light wind. The lighter weight probably helps along with a totally different design
-I got out riding on the raceboard in 7/8 knots with the 17m. As the wind picked up to 10-12knots I switched to the 14.5m because the 17 was totally depowered and more than needed. The new Flites build apparent wind much much better than last year’s flites. It makes sense, the new ones are higher aspect kites. The faster you go, the faster you go…
-Never really got to try and boost the big jumps- lack of wind, damn it. Lack of waves too.
First impressions are pretty good
Had my first session on the 14.5 . 10-17 knots was enough to cruise upwind on the baby (130cm) MAKO . A perfect overlap to my 10 RAZOR . It turns fairly quickly for a large kite & it doesn’t feel like a huge mass overhead. http://www.bigwavedave.ca/gallery/displayimage.php?album=23&pid=18489#top_display_media http://bigwavedave.ca/phpBB2/viewtopic.php?t=7213
I was told the 17’s are all sold out! Looked on iKitesurf classifieds and I found a ” new” 17 for sale. Bought it and used it the first day I had it on a rare light wind Gorge day. No white caps, didn’t know if it would even fly. My friend launched me and to my surprise it popped up and stayed up with almost no pressure on the kite. Instant grin! Took off and motored up wind in less than 10 mph on the 165 Mako King. Looped it a bunch and just grinned again, so fast for a huge kite! It is really amazing! Wind picked up a bit to white capping and I started jumping. Felt like going up on an elevator then flying a hang glider. So fun! I got this kite for light days kitesurfing at the coast so wanted to check the drift. Started charging straight at the kite and she just stayed in the air with very nice drift. Can’t wait to ride some almost glassy waves with this light wind machine! And then snowkiting in almost no wind! If you haven’t tried this kite you are missing out on a whole new aspect of kiting. Never thought I’d like such a big kite, simply amazing! Great job OR!
Ok, I’m thinking of switching from my 12m Cypher to a 14.5m Flite. It will fit in with my 10m Razor and 8m Razor. I pretty much hop on the 10m at 16 knots, and we have a good number of days in that 12 - 16 range.
My questions are to compare the 12m Razor vs. 14.5m Flite:
How’s the boost? Is it more of a slower, more hangtime boost more like the Cypher in comparsion to the yank of the 12m Razor?
Unhooking - I like practicing new stuff when the wind is low, how is the Flite compared to Cypher and Razor?
Really, I’m not looking to ride at 10 knots, unless there’s waves. The main reason for the Flite is to squeeze a better session out of the n low wind days (12 - 14 knots, etc) and then boost my arse off around 16 knots before I switch to a 10m.
I think that you will be surprised at how fast and light the 14.5m and 17m Flites feel. To me they both feel faster and lighter than my 2010 12m kite from Brand X.
Depending on your weight, you may want to consider the 17m instead of the 14.5m. If you’re over 180lbs, I would suggest going right to the 17.
I think that the Flite will be a welcomed upgrade for your quiver.
I’m stuck on trying to compare the 12m Razor to either size of Flite. They’re quite different. In a nutshell the Flite would have much better low and the Razor a better upper end.
The Flites jump well and have fun hangtime.
As with all our products, the Flites come with our 30 Day Satisfaction Guarantee. So if you’re not completely stoked, we will accept it back through the dealer that you purchased it from.
I finally got my light wind wave session at the Oregon coast! After a couple of 5 mile downwinders riding dozens of almost glassy faced waves I’m hear to tell you that the 17m Flite DELIVERS! There were no white caps and as my 3 buddies sat on the beach (12m kites) I launch and started grinning again! I couldn’t believe I was planning out as the water was almost glass. The first 5’ wave jacks up and down the line I go. That big kite just sat there while I concentrated on surfing the wave, not flying the kite! If I needed some assist I just pulled in the bar and zoomed around the next section. As the wind came up a little it was even easier to park the kite and surf the waves. So Todd was right on the money with his description of the drift, fast turning and power of this “session saver”! After finishing the first downwinder I got a ride back up the beach, 5 miles, and my buddies were still sitting there! Yup, I pumped up and did it again! This kite is a blast to fly and definitely works very well as a light wind weapon in the surf. As all surfers know, less wind means better formed surf. The waves I rode that day were the best shaped waves I’ve ever kitesurfed!
Thanks for posting your thoughts Pete.
I just returned from Surf Expo in Orlando, FL, and boy was the love for the Flite ever being shared by our dealers! Lot’s of new dealers coming by too to see this kite.
Feel free to keep sharing as you get more time on this kite.
This was a very good thread for me. I had watched the XL Kites review videos, and then wandered this way, way back in May. The good vibes I was feeling in the posts here for the 2014 Flites sent me to get one of my own. I’m a competent intermediate kiter and this kite has allowed me to progress in jumping and boosting over my previous generation ‘light-wind’ kite. The other kite ‘pulled like a tractor’, which was good to get me up when the wind was puffing at 10-11 mph, however the Flite has a solid pull without feeling over-powered. Much more enjoyable to fly and very dependable in delivery. It got me riding about 7-8 days more over what I think I would have been able to ride with my old setup (out of about 25 outings this past summer ). And more than a few grins from the fun-factor of flying it…glad for the reviews early enough (in the season) to help get me onboard.