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User reviews of high wind kites

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Postby Guest » Thu Aug 15, 2002 5:04 pm

There seems to be plenty of user experiences of larger kites, ie 12m flat size and above but nothing recent I can find on user experiences with smaller kites, ie 10m flat size and below.

There are specific user issues with smaller kites I have experienced such as massive and fast power surges coupled with equally large losses of power as the smaller kites buzz around the sky like a blowfly on a string in gusty winds.

What I'd like to know is about other peoples experiences with small kites, especially the more recent kites such as the Naish X2 8m & 10m, the North Toro in similar sizes and Airush Lift 7.4m. Any other kites you have opinions on would be valuable too. Issues I'd like to hear about would be ease of use, how wide is the wind range and any other general performance opinions.

Here on Australia's East coast it looks like we are going to have a great summer with the El Nino weather pattern becoming established now. That means quite a few days are going to have winds in the 25 to 30 knot range and possibly higher. I'm a kitesurf retailer as well as a keen user but have not had the conditions to try any of the new small kites yet. I would appreciate this info so I can better advise my customers, and for my own use, the various qualities of the small kites on the market at the moment.

Have fun and thanks, Dave (Dr Surf Australia)

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Postby Dwight » Thu Aug 15, 2002 6:39 pm

My friend is a sponsored Airush team member. He rides the Lift kites with pulley bar and no chicken loop, yet he still prefers 2 line in nuclear wind. He bought a Virus for such winds.

I think when North said they would not make the Rhino 2 smaller than 10m that sort of answered the question about how well the 8m X2 might work. The Rhino is targeted at the X2 market.

It sounds like North wants us to buy the Toro for nuclear wind.

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Postby cglazier » Thu Aug 15, 2002 7:38 pm

I don't understand. My smallest kite (7.5m) is my least favorite because it darts around too quickly. And of course I fly it in higher winds which are often gusty too. At least I have a chcken loop to help me.

But you are saying that a lower aspect kite with 2 lines (no chicken loop) might be better. Please explain how this works in high winds.

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Postby Dwight » Thu Aug 15, 2002 8:38 pm

The low aspect small high wind kites, when flown in 2 line mode, are slow and sluggish compared to 4 line kites. I personally hate the sluggish soft feel of 2 line. 4 line is snappy and precise in steering when compared to 2 line. Because 2 line kites are low aspect and have worse L/D, they are incapable of swooping across the sky at insane speed, or doubling your apparent wind speed. This reduces the chance of an ass whooping. I’m speaking in general terms. There are exceptions to everything.

I prefer to hold onto a bigger 4 line kite, and then go do something else when I can’t hold on anymore. I think that is the trend this sport is moving towards.

The chicken loop has no relevance to my point. I never should have mentioned that.

P.S. don't let this mislead you into thinking a 2 line kite is the high wind answer to your problems. High wind kiting is still dangerous and not much fun, even with a 2 line kite. Unless you do it every day.

<font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: Dwight on 2002-08-15 21:42 ]</font>

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Postby Alf » Thu Aug 15, 2002 10:24 pm

Well, I have recently bought Takoon Skoops (6.5, 8.5 and 12.5). I have used the 6.5 twice now in 7/8 Bft winds. I still don't have a 50 cm bar, so I used a 65 cm bar. The kite is really fast with this big a bar, but it is not un-doable.

The first time was in 6-7 meter waves (I was scare like hell, but I've never had such an adrenaline rush) I was washed by a wave twice that day, and could keep control over the kite. So I am very _very_ happy with the 6.5 Skoop.


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Postby Sake » Fri Aug 16, 2002 12:27 am

I had a North Rhino9.3 for about 4 months. But I did not really have fun with the Rhino9.3. Only in a small windrange when every kite is fun.
I even thought that when the wind blows harder >25knots kitesurfing is no fun.

Man, I was wrong. FYI Instead of the Rhino9.3(2 kitequiver 16 + 9.3 Rhino), I now have a AB2002 11.8+8.4 and a Toro8 (3 kitequiver)

To me the difference between the Rhino9.3 and Toro8 is immense. I really have fun now when the wind blows harder >25knots. I even started singing while kitesurfing :wink:
So I can fully understand the reason why North does not make the Rhino2003 smaller then 10m and advises the Toro(Dutch importer allready says this about the Rhino2002)

So what's the difference?! Of course difficult to explain, but I'll try:
The Toro8 is as fast as the Rhino9.3 but not as nervous. No strange behaviour. The power is more constant. It handles the gusts and still does not loose a lot of power in the lulls. Also even more stabil. And better depower. The lift is the same or even better, I just need a little bit more wind in comparison to the Rhino9.3.
It feels like flying my AB2002 8.4(my favorite) but at higher windspeeds.
So like flying your favorite 11-12m kite nicely powered up, only the kite is 4m smaller because actually the wind blows harder :wink:

Looking at other posts I see more and more kiters have noticed the same thing. Like in this post: ... threaded=1
>> So in smaller sizes, this will be my kite until someone launches something
even better. In bigger sizes, though, nobody will stop me from riding the

<font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: Sake on 2002-08-16 01:40 ]</font>


Postby Guest » Sat Aug 17, 2002 10:27 am

Thanks Sake. That's the sort of info I was looking for. If anyone else has further info on high wind kite usage please post.

It seems that there are not many people using small kites in high winds compared to those wanting info on the best performing kites for light winds.

Am I to believe that the northern hemisphere hasn't had a lot of high winds this summer? Or do people stay on shore in high winds or windsurf or ... have sex instead?

Have fun, Dave (Dr Surf Australia)

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Postby Colona » Sat Aug 17, 2002 5:16 pm


Here in Egypt we have used Aero 6, 8 and 10 as well as X2 8 and 10 a lot throughout the summer. I was out on X2 8 yesterday and 10 today and they work great. Put the back lines on the forward attachment point to slow it down a bit. Thanks to the X2's position far to the edge of the window it can be sheeted out by edgeing quite easy when the gusts hit.


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Postby Guest » Sun Aug 18, 2002 3:40 am

I have an Airblast 6.3 that I use in winds over 20 knots. The most important thing, as with any size kite, is how steady the wind is. The power is very twitchy in the lighter area of the wind range, but as it gets stronger (over 25 knots) the kite locks in better & it is possible to use the fantastic depower range of the kite to good effect. I think small kites are similar to small sails in windsurfing: small sails tend to have an on/off feel, but if the wind is very strong & STEADY there is nothing cooler.

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Postby SteveM » Sun Aug 18, 2002 5:27 am

Could you please give your wind ranges on the kites you mentioned.

My wind range on the X2 14 is 12 to 23 knots, and my friends can take the X2 10 to about 25 knots they hold the X2 14 to about 23 knots). Are they sissy's ?? I am thinking of getting, a X2 8 for 18 to 30 knots. Is this realistic.


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