Stopped at kitebeach yesterday while running an important errand to check on bud's home repair of old 14M Contra since there was no wind in the forecast. About 2:30 a miracle happened:
1. somebody flipped the wind switch and a 15-20 kts sideshore out of the south came up with flat water (2 ft or less for Jupiter), and later, a half hour of 20-25 kts.
2. Damien shows up with new 10M and his 12M Switchblade IDS and in his usual cheerful and friendly style offers us to try it out after he does a short "session".
After rubbing our eyes and pinching our arms to make sure we don't wake up from a dream, we proceed to pump up the old Contra while Damien rigs the 12 and heads for the water. We watch in awe as he throws down effortless basic stuff (for him), double handle passes landing to blind, etc., and seems to just float over the water doing stuff we've never seen before.
The old Contra is ready to launch. I predict to my bud that his stitching will most likely blow out, while keeping an eye out for Damien to bring in his kite. The Contra launches and not only blows out the repair panel, but also one on the opposite side. Great stuff. Damien comes in laughing at the blown out contra and actually gives me his 12M to try out for "a couple of minutes". Trying to keep my beginners ear-to-ear grin from showing I hook in and right away discover this is no ordinary Switchblade. Damien's personal kite is modified for his riding style. Besides no safety line, there is also no donkey-dick so I'm praying that I don't accidentally unhook and crash the kite.
Now, as a beginner, I'm really comfortable with my 08 9m and 12m Rebels, and naturally apprehensive about trying out a new kite. Amazingly, I'm completely at home with this kite. Right away feels great, responsive, smooth, and predictable. Not as fast and direct as the Rebel, to be expected since it has pulleys and a bridle, but really, really nice. Tried some small jumps, and this kite pulls! Got way more air than I ever got on the 12 Rebel, and has nice loft and soft landing. Now the grin is getting bigger. Eventually the inevitable happens, and we go unhooked. Instead of the expected terror, the kite handles beautifully. Small turn downwind brings total power under control, hook back in and head for the beach, it's already been 10 minutes and people are standing in line, arms crossed waiting their turn. Overall, great kite. We know what a pro can do with it:
but it is also great for beginners and will definitely improve riding style (unless it was the energy from being Damien's personal kite).
Wind is now at 20-25 kts. Jeremy from Jupiter Kiteboarding is out on the 10M Switchblade and is boosting huge even with his trim 200 lbs. He finally comes in and I get a shot at the 10M. This is a more conventional setup, at least has a donkey-dick so don't have to worry about unhooking. Wow! Even better than the 12M! Kite rocks, again, fast, smooth and jumps huge with long loft and soft landing. Much smoother that the 9M Rebel, maybe because flys more forward in the window.
Well that was fun. I still like my Rebels and will continue to fly them, but I can see putting a 10M Switchblade IDS on the Xmas list (although forgetting the important errand wasn't so funny to the wives).
Thanks Damien for a great session!