Post subject: Ocean Rodeo Flite 2 17m - Independent Review
Posted: Tue Apr 01, 2014 6:01 pm
Joined: Mon Nov 07, 2005 12:44 pm Posts: 27 Location: UK
I am an intermediate kiter with over 8 years riding behind me. I have no brand associations.
I live land-locked in the UK and can’t always get out on the water wind the winds are howling. As a result I usually have to accept conditions as and when I get time off to ride. More often the not, this ends up being a trip to the coast when there are marginal winds. For many years I owned a Best Taboo 15m which served me well on those light-wind days. I’ve been looking for a suitable replacement for some time. After having read some positive things about the Ocean Rodeo Flite 2, I got hold of one and can review as below.
A few stats first. I’m 75 kilos, ride both twintip and directional surfboards in a mix of sea conditions. In light wind I just cruise about and I’m looking for light bar pressure, good lift and good response from bar input to stay out on the water as long as I can.
My kite arrived just before a trip to Barbados but I did not get the opportunity to use it there as we had consistent 18 to 25 knots every day. More recently, I took a long weekend in Tarifa where we got 10-18 knots most days. The Flite was used every day.
I've read a few critical comments on build quality but after a thorough check through every part of the canopy and frame I think this kite is perfectly OK and in line with all Ocean Rodeo (OR) product. Light wind kites don’t take the same beatings as smaller ones and OR have definitely worked hard at keeping the weight down. Yes, that might mean a few re-enforcement extras are not there but as I said above, you’re not really using it in harsh conditions.
The overall weight is real surprise for a 17m wing. Just 3 struts and air pressure holds the shape perfectly well. Bag is a nice size and could easily hold 2 off 17m kites if well packed!
I fly my kite on a 52 inch F-one bar and 25m lines. OR give you 3 inch pigtails for the rear lines and with these on, the kite was perfectly tuned with no back-stall. Sits very sweetly at the apex with no flutter, deformity or signs of uneven air pressure. It looks so aerodynamically correct. The bar pressure is nice and light but you can easily feel where the kite is even on my shorter-than-some bar. I’ve flown a friend’s Zephyr many times but don’t like how the kite feels heavy at the bar and on your harness but that may be more an issue of my weight than the kite. The Flite 2 definitely feels way more comfortable to me as was proved by a solid 3 hours on the water without feeling too worked.
Out on the wet stuff I was really impressed. The steering response was nice and positive and there was no delay in movement after bar input. You don’t have to keep picking up the leading edge with sine-ing the kite – just park it and it’s very comfortable at 3 or 9 sitting nicely forward in the window. Consequently, upwind performance was noticeably better than any other large kite I have flown.
Feeling a little more wind pressure, it was time to get airborne and this kite gives you loads of lift even if your timing is slightly out. Get the timing spot on and you get huge, easy, floaty airs with time to pick out your landings. Really nice for long dangle spins and grabs if that’s your thing!
Drop it in the water and the re-launch is an absolute breeze. Quite simply the easiest 17m re-launch I've experienced even when you want to get back in the air quick if mucking about in waves! The Taboo I had before was quite temperamental to get off the water and the Flite 2 is childsplay in comparison.
All in all this may not be a state-of-the-art, high-tech 2014 kite but it ticks every box for me and if you want a light-wind option I recommend you get yourself a demo. Mine is for keeps!
What is the size of your board? In the video you can watch that you lose ground. To get going on a 17 mts kite in 12 knots and 75 kg it isn't too much impressive to me. By the way what did you say about your Spanish friends?
82kg, the flight flies in about 5 knots but could not get going on a Nobile skimboard until it gets to 7-8 knots, at 12 knots, i dropped the skim and took tne Clash 136x40cm. Nthe kite is comfy but trimmedvquiteva bit up until 20 knots. At 15knots I can be riding my 10m, so with the skim, I really just get off 2knots earlier with the 17m than with my 12m. So I returned the 17m as I don't think I will use it much.
Built 10/10 Relauch 10/10 Bar feedback 10/10 Turning speed 8/10 Jumping 8/10, not fun to send it Depower 9/10 Packing size 8/10 (still pretty big) Weight (10/10, 3,7kg on my scale)
I had the opportunity to test the q/r system a few days ago after inverting my kite I was using the new above the bar depower.....I could not get the kite to roll over. Luckily i was near my truck and in shallow water. I it took me ten minutes to drag it 100 yards. The kite was sitting on the leading edge in the launch position pulling like a mule. When the 11 mile an hour gusts came i lost ground. If i was in deep water i would have ended up on the opposite side of the river. After getting back to the truck, and sorting the lines out, I popped the q/r 3 different times and the result was always the same. ALWAYS leading edge down "pretty much launch position" PULLING Hard..... Especially for 8-12mph So, I called OR and talked to a gentleman who advised me to swim or walk towards the kite. Really??? So This must happen often? Well, I did what he said and swam towards the kite.... It took me roughly 10 seconds and 20 yards of swimming to get the kite to roll over. Yikes !!Will higher winds amplify this problem?
What if a couldn't swim??? Bruised or broken ribs??? what if i get knocked out of wind?Leg cramp??? Will i have to release the leash for a leg cramp?? How is the direct depower??? more like indirect depower. Please let me know if i'm being a pussy about all this. I am used to my north rebel 5th line instant depower, so that might be the issue. I've sent three more emails regarding this matter and no reply.
My wife did take very shitty video with her i phone, along with pictures. I will try to post them soon. I'm technologically retarded so bear with me. I just signed up with kite forum today, mainly due to the lack of correspondence from ocean rodeo and where i bought the kite.
Will all that i have stated, the kite is exceptional in the air. A real joy to fly.
Last edited by Do-it on Thu Jun 19, 2014 11:38 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Please let me know if i'm being a pussy about all this. I've sent three more emails regarding this matter and no reply
Pretty sure you are the customer who contacted us yesterday and to whom we responded with a couple suggestions and a request for you to - if possible - send us a video of the kite not fully rolling over.
However, because you've decided to post this publicly instead of responding to our suggestions I'll provide my feedback in the same way...
1) It is possible that by inverting your kite the lines were tangled but I doubt it. More likely, you simply needed to walk down wind with the kite to allow it to roll over, the same as if you were drifting in the water, conscious or not. By digging your heels in, the kite won't be able to roll over fully.
2) It is also possible this is a defective kite, hence our request for some quick measurements on the bridle as well as - if possible - a video. I doubt this too though as we take QC very seriously
3) In your particular situation you unfortunately wasted a lot of energy when you could have simply used the Oh Sh!t handles on either side of the bar to flag the kite off one line. Remember, when using these handles you must be released from the chicken loop and preferably remove your leash from the leash line and attach it to the metal ring at the base of the Oh Sh!t handle. You can then begin to gather your lines as you work towards the kite in order to either swim or (in your situation) walk the kite back to the beach.
Best of luck, glad you liked the kite!
To the OP - thanks so much for the great review!
~ John Z OR
BTW - Here's a video showing the Direct Depower in action
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