had the opportunity to get some shots of my friend john riding the new flite in pretty light winds on saturday at the event site in hood river.
during his session I watched kiters on 10m all the way up to 14m sizes. even a guy on a 9m with a foil. the flite ended up being last one on the water
anyhow some shots of the new flite in action
Stringy, Great photos of the Flite 17 flying “in the hood”.
Thanks for all the great posts & photos over the years…you are definitely a master of Kiteboarding Stoke !!
You have a lot of experience kiteboarding in the Puget Sound area, and everywhere else in the Pacific Northwest.
Do you think that for a guy about 5’11” weighing 195 Lbs in total with gear, the Flite 17 would be better than the Flite 14.5 for the light wind days at JI in Everett ??
Michael (aka RebelRyder)
I don’t kite Jetty, but I would vote going with the 17m over the 14.5m. Especially if you already have a 12m in the Quiver. I’m only 145 lbs so I go with an 8/10/14.5 setup. My free opinion, worth what you paid for it
Ned - OR
Thanks Ned for the advice…even if it is free, it is still appreciated.
I also was able to talk to the rider in the photos that Stringy posted, and I’m most interested in the Flite 17 as my go to kite for for light wind days.
And if able to swing it earlier in the season, potentially I could be the first (or one of only a few) riders rigging & flying the Flite 17 at our local summer sessions kiteboarding beach (Jetty Island in Everett, WA).
Good stuff Michael. You can talk to Urban Surf in Seattle, one of their customers already has the 14.5m Flite, but I don’t know of anyone else for certain with a Flite in the area, let alone the coveted 17m
After a crazy 10 m session today the wind died so I put up the 17. The wind continued to die leaving me swimming for a bit. When a puff of wind came back I finally got to try relaunching the 17. Given there is at least some wind, the 17 does relaunch pretty easy. It rolls up on edge and holds it shape well. I have seen some big kites that collapse when on edge, of course they could have been pumped a little soft and I tend to pump my kites rock hard.
I had to relaunch 2 or 3 times before getting back to shore and am happy with its relaunch abilities. It seems to have the same relaunch characteristics as my 12 razor when its in wind that is considered light for my 12.
And as I told you today it does well when the wind picks up. I had been hesitant to put it up when wind was just a bit too light for my 12 thinking the 17 would be uncontrollable. But I think with its upper range I am not concerned the 12-17 gap is to big. I have been on the 17 when 9s and 10’s are flying. Granted the 9s and 10s were slogging and lighter riders but still making it work. Now I am a bigger guy at 210 so need a bit more kite.
I was hesitant to get a kite as big as the 17 seeing how other big kites appears to be floppy and hard to launch let alone relaunch. However I have flown my 17 now 4 or 5 times and am happy with it and don’t regret getting the 17 instead of the 14.5.
If you are getting a light wind kite might as well go big and score that session. And surprisingly I can pump in my my back room with 8 ft ceilings. I usually pump my wet kites inside my house to dry out. My 15 M barely fit and almost touched the ceiling, so I didn’t think I would be able to pump the 17 inside to dry out. But I have my 17 pumped and drying right now.
Thanks So Much Ned and John,
It’s a bit late on the reply, but it was a good summer of kiting with the 2014 Flite 17 in the Puget Sound of Washington state.
Stringy’s phantastic fotos helped, and I also talking to a friend of his who was flying the “OR Flite 17m in the hood”, along with the reviews here on the forum helped me decide to get the 17m. I appreciate the good service on Ned’s replies, and my experiences are on-target with John’s input.
I am extremely stoked with the The Flite. It flies like a 13-14m kite and is quite nimble to turn, yet is able to get me out when nearly everyone else is parked on the beach. Here in the central Puget Sound we mainly have thermal-powered sessions, and the wind can be barely blowing up to 20+ mph. Definitely not as strong as the Gorge, or Squamish, so the bigger Flite was definitely the best choice (for me).
When the wind was light (10-11 mph), I could ride with my skim board or on a big Door TT, and usually only one other guy on a new Fat Lady was also able to ride.
Just as John mentions, the range is awesome for such a big kite. I was flying it several times in 18+ winds and had it de-powered a bunch, but felt in control flying it. My next kite down is also a 12m, so 17-18 mph wind would be a little too light for me on the 12, and the new Flite 17 was able to cover the whole range above the 12m. And the construction is high quality—nothing amiss at all and it looks nearly brand new after 25-30 days using it this summer. The bar is designed and built well too, and is simple enough but very functional—which is a great thing from an engineering/design point of view.
Just wanted to add to this thread some insight on the 2014 Flite 17 after having flown it throughout the summer.