Ya, I have gotten some more time on the kite. Not enough time to say what the expected wind range would be yet, but I can tell what we have experienced thus far.
Today, winds were blowing 7-10 knots. I personally feel like I would be very well powered on this kite in 10 or 11, but I only weigh about 170 pounds. I also feel like people like to hear what others say and think too rather than all of it come from me....so todays rider of the kite was Jayson Orkins of St Petersburg Florida. Jayson has been kiteboarding for a couple of years, he's a pretty well accomplished rider, and he was the winner of the Big Air portiion of the Masters Trials contest last year in Islamorada....for what that's worth.
Jayson tells me that this is hands down the most powerful and grunty kite he has ever flown. When I asked him what he had flown to compare it to, his reply was "it's got way more grunt than Marks 25m Naish kite" of some sort if my memory serves....and he said it was no contest. He's pretty amazed at how well this big kite turns too. He started out with a bit of griping about my having it rigged with a 20 inch bar...his impression was that this bar would be totally insufficient, and especially in light winds. Needless to say, his attitude towards the bar size was totally reversed when he came back in on the kite.
He was able to stay upwind, he was throwing some small jumps, loops and transitions....in under 10 knots. The board he was riding wasn't exactly a lightwind master either...he was riding my SS Drake.
Jayson was stoked. He said he had never gotten to kiteboard on water that was so flat either, he compared it to butter. The reason the water was so smooth was because it didn't really have any amount of wind hitting it since it was blowing so light. This water was not sheltered from the wind in aany way either, their just was no wind! He quoted "the kite pulls so much harder than my old AB that was bigger than a house, but steers better than my 16m Slingshot! and it's 21meters bro!"
I tried taking some picture of him riding and jumping in the light winds, with the water easily showing no signs of wind, but my camera failed again. It went bad last time I had it out, and last night I formatted the card in it and tried it out and thought it was working. Well, today I shot Jayson on the kite and when I checked them out, they were plain white images again...with the subject being just barely visible in the pic. It works great in low light with a flash, but not outside..this is why I thought I had it working last night. Taking it to the shop tomorrow for repairs, but in the mean time I am going to get some video of it in action in the next day or so for ya's cuz I know that seeing it is better proof than just hearing it from me.
My impressions of the kite are about the same. It's the stongest LEI I have ever played with. I can't believe how responsive this big kite is.....this is I think one of the keys to being able to ride a kite in light winds...first you have to be able to control the big kite in light winds. Because it is so controllable, it gives jumping on big kites a whole new meaning to me. I'm more used to the huge kites that turn not so well. So this kite is a delight.
We're gonna keep riding it, I'm going to keep getting input on it from different good riders that try it, and I will continue posting it here as long as thriis interest. I am also going to start filming it too so that you guys can all see it for yourself with your own eyes.
Anyone who is in the Tampa bay area, coming to the bay area, or making plans to come, feel free to give me a shout and we'll get ya hooked up to try this kite out for yourself.
YO PROTOS from Boston. Ya, that's right, I'm down in florida. And yes, it was prolly only 50 degrees out, but understand that once you become acclimated to living in the warm, 50 is pretty fu*&ing cold out! I know, I know...I sound like a whimp. But come on. I had no wetsuit with me, it was in the 50's and the watertemp was 58. Compared to Boston or some other places, this may sound warm, but I would have froze my ballz off had I gone out in it not dressed for it. I AM A WHIMP FOR THE COLD! No denial in that what-so-ever! That's one of the reasons I live in FL. I feel for you bro for living in that cold ass shit. But hey, as long as you are happy, I can be happy for you, but I can't imagine living back in that cold again. I spent my share of time in VA, stomping through a few nice blizzards, and...well...NOT AGAIN! Not me. No way...no how
Thanks for the shout out tho! You doing any snowkiting up there? Or ice kiting? Or are you a whimp for the cold too?