Caution Spitfire 2013 – 10m
Well, it's really hard to get luckier than being able to get onto the water for a superb session the very next day after the 1st shipment of 2013 kites arrive, but, as I was able to get out there for a good 2 ½ hours in today's SW, I can give you some early feedback on how the new kites compare to the 2012 model Spitfire.
When I 1st went out, the wind was around 18-20kt SW and on my later session it had dropped down to around 15kt.
Initially, I had the kite rigged on the middle knot on the rear pigtail, and for the second session in the lighter winds I powered it up fully (1st knot).
The surf was small (4ft) and I used a strapped directional board the entire time.
I'll get into the finer details a little further on, but to try and summarise my overall impressions upfront, I would say that there are two things that really stood out for me in the way that the new Spitfire handles:
The 1st one is that it is just incredibly smooth. I know that that sounds kind of cheesy, but really, the best way to describe it is smooth!
Smooth across the window, smooth power through the turns, smooth lift in the jumps and smooth sheeting feel on the bar.
The 2nd is the jumping ability. The earlier Spitfires are no slouch in this area, but it takes some time to dial in the technique to get the best result out of them.
This new Spitfire makes jumping super easy and there is loads of lift available and super nice float to put you down gently again . I really can't wait for the next decent NE to set some personal new altitude records.
In addition to the above mentioned stand-out aspects, I found the Spitfire to have retained the incredible stability in the air and unsurpassed downwind drift when on a wave that has given the Spitfire a reputation as one of the best wave riding kites out there.
The kite turns pretty quickly. I would say that the new 10m turns a little quicker than the previous 9m that it replaces.
The power delivery through the turns is predictable and the kite does not pull you off your edge in powered up bottom turns on the wave face. Even at 20kt with the kite pretty powered up I was able to crank it through various bottom turns and never once did I feel out of control.
The 2012 Spitfires have a little “kick” through the last part of the turn and the new version has smoothed this out to a more consistent and even power delivery.
Caution have always produced kites that rocket upwind and the new Spitfire is no exception. The change is that it now all happens with less physical effort than before and I tacked quite far upwind (1km) with absolute ease while looking for some bigger sets.
Normally a trek like that would take some physical effort but I definitely found that it was easier to achieve the same upwind goal.
The handling while wave riding is superb and I would expect no less from a kite with Caution branding on it.
It's hard to convey the kites ability in this department without babbling in all sorts of superlatives, so just believe me when I say that it is one of the leading designs for this aspect of kiting, bar none.
Whether you're using the kites power to crank you through the turns or hanging it out to dry while you surf the sets, it will drift, turn, power up or down and keep you in absolute control at all times.
I will update this feedback later as I get to spend more time on the 10m (& others) in a wider range of conditions at the lighter and stronger ends of it's wind range.
At this point I feel that the 2013 Spitfire definitely has some advantages to offer, and these traits should especially please twintip freestyle rider who are looking for a good jumping and all-round kite.
The super smooth and predictable control and power delivery also make it even easier for beginner to intermediate kites to progress and as all of the excellent wave riding characteristics of the earlier models have been retained it's hard to find a reason not to upgrade.
The 2013 bar has a few tweaks to it. The new bar is nicely tapered and slightly narrower diameter than previous and I it feels very comfy in hand.
There are also some new finger indentations that seem to work quite nicely.
The rest of the bar/line setup is pretty much the same as previous except that the overall appearance and quality of the various components seem to have improved nicely.
Overall: Good job Caution!