I ride inland lakes as well, conditions are gusty crappy during the south winds most of the year and super duper shittty during the north cold fronts in winter because they are storms basically.
I agree with the three strut medium aspect kite theory here. Most companies make their "easy" kite this way. Some of the early three strut delta grunt buckets were not great but most of them have been tweaked to be more moderate aspect now.
I don't get excited about bow kites anymore but that's just personal preference, some turn really slow, a few have a lot of bar pressure, but they can be safe, but boring.
Don't agree about higher aspect five strut SLE kites, they can provide lots of range but some (not all) can be finicky in shit wind, they fly at the edge of the wind window and tend to shoot forward in gusts and then drop back in lulls (yanky then stall-ey), great for upwind and the best for big boost and float, but not usually a kite that sits nicely when it's really gusty.
Here are a few that get my vote of confidence:
I enjoyed the Wainman Rabbit kites, they are safe in a gusty environment, they sheet out really well with not much bar throw, not known for big boost/float because of the low aspect ratio, but they do everything else pretty great.
Blade Triggers are suuuuper smooth in gusty conditions, they turn nice and fast, somewhat pivotal turns from about halfway between center strut and wingtip, so not a powerhouse in the turns, and they boost and float really well for a medium aspect kite.
Recently tested an Epic Renegade 11M kite, easy to sheet out in gusts, sat in the right place in the window all the time, boost and float was really great like the Triggers. Fast turns from the wingtip so more dynamic powerful turns than Trigger. Renegades are designed for waves first and all around performance second, but I really like what the kite did in gusty flatwater conditions.
Last edited by L0KI
on Thu Jan 19, 2012 5:39 pm, edited 1 time in total.