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Octane - is it really that good?

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Hugh Jarse
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Octane - is it really that good?

Postby Hugh Jarse » Thu Oct 20, 2005 5:53 am

Got a 12 and 16 Octane, but so far have been a bit unhappy with the low end performance. Overall, they are great kites for jumping, riding upwind etc. when compared with the Fuels, and top end range. But they seem to be a few knots behind most other kites of a similar size when it comes to low end.

So far I have experimented with all different trim options, connection points and have not been able to improve it. You can ride these kites in a great top end range, and they jump well when super powered. However, on the 16 this is around 20 knots plus (have held it up to almost 25) and for the 12m it can be ridden up to around 30 knots (maybe a knot or two more at which it becomes a bit scary). Below 15 knots, I am struggling to stay upwind with the 16, and need a solid 20 knots to really ride my 12.

On my old Rhino's, the 16 would get me going at around 12 knots, and about 15 to 17 I would start having a great time on the 12. Having a huge topend range is great, but in 20 knots I have much more fun on a smaller faster 12 metre than on a 16. I am all for kites with a good high wind ability, but my impressions so far of these kites is that it comes at the expense of the low end abilities.

For bigger riders who would rather be powered, maybe they should look at other kites (ie Fuels).

Also, it is a pity the 5th line safety system is not a fully spinning one like other 5th line kites (was also unaware of this until after I purchased them).

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Postby Arataki » Thu Oct 20, 2005 6:06 am

Try laying your 12 out on another 12m (in our case we did it with a 12m Naish). The Octane was at least 2m (if not slightly more) smaller.

One rider here compares the 12m to his 9m 05 Fuel for low end, but much better for high wind range. He rides it from 20 to 30 knots quite happily. As long as you know what you are buying at the start. Sounds like you may have the equivalent of a 10/14 quiver if you are comparing to the Rhino's that you used to ride.

Perhaps companies should get their sizing more standardised as well.

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Postby alguaro » Thu Oct 20, 2005 7:13 am

I demoed the 12M Octane and loved it, but agree that it has poor low-end. I think they are a size off, so if you want a 12M, get a 14M, etc.

It's all about marketing and product differenciation. This is SS's "high end" kite that is supposed to have incredible high end range. How do you give a kite more range...? Take a 10M and call it a 12M (and charge a 12M price on top of it).

This is why it is so important to demo a kite before you buy, just so you know what you are getting into.

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Postby Homer » Thu Oct 20, 2005 8:01 am

The kite feels very similar to a Rhino5 in a lot of aspects including speed, feel, upwind and jumping ability. Finally Slingshot have brought out a real performance product. Only lacking a little bit of grunt.

However, claiming it has unbelievable wind range by calling a 9 or 10 a 12m is a bit misleading and will lead to some unhappy customers. I have also seen a 12 struggle in 15 to 17 knots, and agree it should really be called a 10.

So don't get a bigger one expecting low wind performance. Try them before you buy as they will not be everyones kite of choice.

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Postby jasevinda » Thu Oct 20, 2005 8:52 am

How much do you guys weigh? As I was thinking the low end on my 12m Octane is way better than my 05 11m Fuel. Way way better!

I am 64kg and like small kites that fly fast so i can work them and get board speed up.

I find them great so far I havent even been close to the top end yet but am pleased so far.

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Postby Homer » Thu Oct 20, 2005 10:53 am

Try riders who are in the 85 - 90 kg (200lb) range. Bet they don't all tell you the low end is that good.

The 11 Fuel was a lot better for low end than the 12 Octane. Lay them both out on the ground and see what I mean.

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Postby panchito » Thu Oct 20, 2005 11:08 am

well because the 05 11 was really a 11.6 kite so people was expecting the Octane 12 would be something like a 13....but is not, the 12 is a 11,5...on top of my Diesel 13 the Octane was far way smaller.....

So nothing is perfect.??? well I would not buy now a Diesel any more......that kite is comparing to the Octane like a truck, heavy bar. slow turning, poor depower, small range, quickly overpowered.....

So you need 1-2 knots more to get going.....but you have 15 more knots to enjoy the what is better ??? question of taste.....for surre

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Postby GraemeF » Thu Oct 20, 2005 11:20 am

I've posted this elsewhere.

This is a very technical kite, and sold as such to experienced riders looking for one thing, BIG AIR, and speed.

The canopy is attached to the very front of the leading edge, it assists in the kites ability to vary attack angles, but when laid out, it also looks smaller than a conventional kite with its canopy attached to the back of the leading edge.

Grunt, allround performance - go for the Fuel, its also a tad more hi AR this year.

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Postby Trigger » Thu Oct 20, 2005 11:44 am

What is all the hype about the top end of this kite? Sure it has a much better high wind capability than the normal Slingshot, but I have seen a few other 12m kites being held in just as much wind. It also jumps high, but I have also seen many other kites jump just as well.

At the end of the day it is just another kite. Just a change to see Slingshot aiming at the big boosting performance end of the market for a change. With the usual hype that comes with this brand.

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Postby Noah » Thu Oct 20, 2005 12:27 pm

You still get a similar wind range out of the kite compared to other kites. When I rode the 12 Octane, you needed a bit over 15 knots to stay upwind, and it got scary around the 30 mark or just over.

At the end of the day, you can then ride this kite (for me) in a 15 knot range between say 17 and 32. I used to ride a R4 12 in a 15 knot range, and then a Naish Torch 12 in the same. However, the Torch and maybe the North got me going a bit earlier, but I also got blown off the water a bit earlier. Make sense?

Maybe the hype comes as there is a bit more range on these than the Fuels (they are more manageable in strong winds where the Fuels were more a wrestle). As for the 12 Octane having a way better low end than a similar size Fuel, I have ridden them both and definantly not true.

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