Hey crowd!! Finally I had the chance to try the Ion2 kites that I have been sitting in the shop for a while. I was waiting for a decent day to take them out from the bag and into the air!!
Kite: Ion2 10.5 mt
Wind conditions 11-12 knots morning 11-14 afternoon
Instructor weight: 180LB
When I got that kite for one of my students I thought it was going to be running short of kite, but after talking to the Flexifoil people they recomemeded me to try that size, we we got the 10.5 and 12.5 Ions2
Anyway, we got to the beach and took the kite out from the bag, first thing we noticed was kite construction and were very happy to see how reinforced the kite is. It comes with the 4 line setting briddle and what you can see right away its the rubber bases where the pigtails come out, pretty solid not like other kites that seem like you are pulling the Dracron from the LE.
We rigged the kite on the LOW WIND attachments and took it to the sky. My first impression was the fast response and alomost none bar preasure. Also consider it was blowing kinda slow for that size kite. Well, when I had the kite at 1 I decided to pull my bar all the way in and WOW felt how lit up I was with the kite. I made sure the kite was tuned up right and landed it and handed it to my student that had been flying power kites and body dragging with no problems. When he got the kite he had no problems to fly and also we usually teach to the students to get the NEW kite in the water as first thing and learn how to water relaunch. We found it was a little harder to do so for him so I got the kite and played with it for a bit. It was more of a timing and feeling thing as the wind was light, so I found it a little hard to relaunch it on light winds, but I decided to put the 5th line on the 4 line setting as I had hear from Adam from AIR Co. We took the kite to the beach and add the 5th line, then back to the water and crashed it. At first we found out it was harder to crash the kite with the 5th line as the was just sitting on the edge of the window ready to relaunch. So I finally put the kite upside down with the LE in the water, pulled 5th line and red side of the bar and the kite flipped over right away and to the air with no problems at all.
We kept on the lesson and try the let go of the bar and discover the loose of power rigth away, I would say 90% depower from the kite.
Then we used the chicken loop release and the kite felt from the sky with CERO power and into the edge of the wind window, as we pull the 5ht line back to recover the bar the kite was getting ready to relaunch. We, then easily put the chicken loop back in position and get the kite relaunch, just NOTE as with any 5ht line kite, the kite will get really fast in the air and you have to be carefull of released yoru 5th line gentle and being carefull from getting any finger or yourself tangled on the line and also make sure the 5th line does not get locked ont he cleat of the kite, other wise it will look like a McDonald Shape kite.
After a couple hours of practicing exersises with my student I got him to do board starts, he did not have any problems keeping the kite at 11,12 or 1 depending the case and could get on the board posittion pretty easy. He got on the board with no problems and could control the kite pretty well. After the lesson was finished and he was taking a break he ask me if he would need to get a bigger kite, I told him to give me a minute and I got on the kite with the 145x40 Crazy Fly All around Series Board, It was already blowing 11-14 at the most and most people where on 17mt kites. Im a pretty heavy person and I thought I would push the limits on the kite and see if it pulled me. My surprise was that I had no problems at all getting on the board and rode for 10 minutes going up wind. After doing this I decided to move on my 137x39 Crazy Fly Pro Series and see how it would perform ont he kite, well I was riding with not a problem and even got to land a few backrolls with no problems. I finally told him he will need one kite and two boards to get all his quiver. I was really surprised with the kite performance.
Pros: very fast responsive kite, great construction, easy to inflate to rock hard with no effort, bar grip felt preety comfy, Letters to match at the briddle and the kite so there is not way you can mess with it.
Safety, super safe, there was a time we had to let go the kite as another kiter dropped his kite on us and the kite felt from the sky with no power and no spining at all and the student was very safe and calm.
Cons: Hard to relaunch on light wind on 4 line mode, but adding the 5th line to it solves the problem and most kites will find harder to water relaunch. Sheeting all the way in the bar makes the kite a little slower to repond but I have found that on most kites when flying them in light winds.
Packing the kite was really easy and had plenty of room on the bag.
Sheeting sistem, pull-pull, very easy to work out but a little far way from the rider, specially if you have short arms but nothing that can make you uncomfortable.
Well I think we will just have to wait for another windy day to get to try the 12.5!! If I had no problems with the 10.5 on 11-14knots Im sure the 12.5 will do the job with no questions. also will check it later on the 5 line mode of the kite that its suposed to give us more power!!
NOTE: I would not fly any kite or give lessons on winds under the 11knot range. Flying on those conditions are not fun and teaching can make your lesson frustrating. Rather going to the bars and drink some beer in Coconuts on the east, go diving, snorkeling or surfing!!!
Hope all its well with you guys and stay in touch if any questions.
Puro Mar Surf-Kite Co