My compliments on an interesting and informative set of reviews -- very well done!
Could you comment a little more on how the kites acted at the 20 mph end of your test wind range -- particularly the extent to which they depowered using bar trim (your reviews emphasized how well they went to the edge of the window when edging). I admit I'm particularly interested in that info for the Flite, but any comments appreicated. Thanks!
I really wasn't using the trim much at all, and I usually don't. Understand that I started back when we were all riding 2 lines, so I just learned to edge hard. Even when I converted to 4 line, I retied the trim line to make it so the kite was at maximum power with the bar out. This made it so I didn't have to pull the bar in. The only way to depower the kite was with the depower strap. I rode this way for 12 years. SO, I tend to not use the depower as much as I just edge HARD.
Now, for the last 1 1/2 years, I've been instructing and therefore using kites set up like a NORMAL person.
I have extensive amounts of time on Switchblades, Turbines, Velocitys, XR2s, Contras, Crossbows and Wainmans. My take on the kites when they were REALLY powered up:
The XR3 19m and the Turbine definitely needed to be controlled a little more carefully. They were pulling pretty damn hard and could start pulling me downwind/sitting deeper in the window with a lack of attention. Of those two, the XR3 was a little easier to jump vertically when fully powered like that. Unless you really mind your technique, the Turbine tends to pull you off the water before it gets to zenith, resulting in a low jump that covers a long distance.
The Contra was the slightly smoother of the two when compared with the Flite in that high wind. They were both really fun and I prefered the speed of the Flite when I was lit. I got a little better hangtime on the Contra, but that may be because I'm very used to Crossbows and I found it somewhat similar. I think the Flite may win once I get more time to get it dialed in, but only time will tell. I can say this, though...I was out on the Flite when others were riding their 12's. I got hit by a 30mph gust and discovered that that is definitely TOO MUCH for the Flite 17.
Those on the beach got a kick out of seeing me get WORKED. Fortunately, it was only momentary. Check out the Ikitesurf graph for that day. You can see the gust when it happened. Also, the sensor is at an inland airport and regularly reads 3-5 mph low.
Destin Wind Archive - 1/15/2014 Next Day >>
I hope this helps. Feel free to ask anything else. As we stated before, we are average joes, just like you. We just happen to be lucky enough to get to do this for a living.
If you think of something else you'd like to know, don't hesitate to ask.