Goannaman wrote:I have a total beginner question about what kite to buy. I'll be looking to purchase my own gear soon (first water lesson planned for Saturday). I'm strongly leaning towards Epic because of the commitment to customer service that seems pretty apparent here, since all the major brands seem about equal in quality. I'm kind of fat at 90k, hoping to be dropping some soon, 80k being a realistic target.
I live in Orlando, FL, Cocoa is my closest beach, with the Tampa area being just a bit further. I'm leaning towards the Renegade 11. I'm making a few assumptions here:
1) The wind ranges for each kite might be wider for a beginner only working on water starts, learning to stay up wind, and transitions (I'm not sure on this, I'm assuming the wind ranges for each kite assume an 80k rider boosting etc.).
2)I have a wider wind range with the 11, a TT and a surfboard, than with the 13, a TT and a surfboard (9-25 vs. 8-20).
3) Eventually I'd like to add an infinity for light wind days, along with a 9 or 7 for heavier days (when my skills are up to it), and it seems like there is too much overlap between the infinity and 13 to be really worth it to me.
Please let me know what you think, and correct any misconceptions I may have.
Well, I can vouch for the customer service, having bought from Dimitri in the past. He is always willing to work with customers in finding the right kite for their style of riding and he stands behind his product. I have not dealt with many other brands in the past, but it seems to me that the bigger the company is, and the more available it is, the less personalized the service, and the less they stand behind their product.
As far as a produt recommendation, I would start with a Renegade 11 or 13. I would lean a little towards the 13 because of your weight and the ratio of windy days to light in Florida. It would suck to drive 2 hours to Tampa and not be able to have a session at all because the forecast was a little lighter than the forecast led you to believe. The Renegade is very stable, which is good for learning and generally getting out and enjoying yourself faster.
Once you learn your style and have had the chance to ride in all conditions, you might want to demo a Screamer if you are leaning towards spending more time in the air. I have a 12m and have just ordered a 14m, and this kite is all about giant floating boosts. As kite desing and choice is all about give and take, the Screamer makes up for in boost what it gives up in stability, which makes it not as good a kite to learn on, but rather a kite to choose when you are experienced.
As a side note, I am not affiliated with Epic kites or any other kite company, but I am a believer because I have gotten nothing less than stellar personal service from Dimitri, and his products are always exactly what I have been led to expect them to be.