Finally got my hands on the new Eclipse Thruster 12 and 8 meter kites last month and have had a few sessions on the 12 already so thought I would give you my thoughts.
First of all I am a very good friend of the Co-owner of the company and am pleased to be on the Eclipse Team. That said I am also able to ride what I like and would ONLY ride a kite and board that I am 100% happy with.
First up and out of the bag the 2008 Eclipse kites just reek of quality. The build is un-matched in my opinion at the moment and the attention to detail is amazing, I have never seen a kite better reinforced and put together. Flexifoil would be the closest I have seen this year.
The bar is again very well thought out and the colour coding, safety systems and especially the idiot proof quick release chicken loop is amazing. This thing could be released, eyes closed, upside down being dragged backwards at 20 kts underwater and it actually can be re-engaged one handed whilst in the water being knocked about in the waves, Iâ€™ve done it.
Anyways kite once blown up is very stable with good pressure through out the one pump system. Each valve can be isolated if required and the one pump system disengaged, canâ€™t imagine why but the choice is there.
In the air the kite is very stable and does not move without rider input. The 12 is very quick and steady through the air and responds well to the medium to light bar pressure.
On the water the kite seems to be very powerful for a 12 and easily depowered and powered up from the strap which you can actually reach easily. Sending the kite quick and back to about 12 or 1 gives a huge amount of lift even for my 85 kgâ€™s the boost is amazing. Hangtime was also VERY impressive and I now know why Dimitri can complete multi tricks on every jump, I now have no excuse !!!
The Thruster is rock solid and super stable and up to now seems to have a huge range 12 ish kts to 25kts , its early days but looks very promising indeed. The 8 mtr top end should be 35 and more I guess, time will tell.
Overall a wonderful 12 mtr all round kite that will work well in waves and on the flat. The build is amazing and the reinforced LE has the finest protection I have seen on any kite.
But as I said I am a team rider, check out the photoâ€™s and try one very soon.