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Concept Air Smart Wave 6.5 & 4.5 & 3

Posted: Fri Oct 28, 2016 1:26 pm
by LesFoilZ
Hi all,

Since A few years now (more or less when we understood that flysurfer was stopping the development of the psycho -- I had it in 4m, 6m, 8m and 10m DL and traveled in many places around the world with them), I, with other members of LesFoilz.com, have been looking for a foil kite dedicated to wave riding (just for information, I ride strapless and I paddle surf with the same boards). In 2012, after sending emails around to foil kite designers to convince them that it was a good idea (I am a bit stubborn and patient), I started to exchange with Benoît Tremblay from Concept Air and he proved to be a very friendly Quebec style kite magician who accepted to work on the idea. Here is the result of a few years of exchanges, prototypes and tests:

Concept Air Smart Wave 6.5 on LesFoilz.com

This is the first test fly of the new Concept Air Smart Wave 6.5 (in French but I can help if needed)
. More testing has to be done, but the first hour of testing in waves made me smile and I though I could start to share this (and the magician said it was ok for him too)...

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Re: Concept Air Smart Wave 6.5

Posted: Fri Oct 28, 2016 4:19 pm
by Regis-de-giens
Nice compact shape !
Just one kind word to you Steph : thanks to you I discovered the pulsion (from conceptair too), through your test on your surf with the 6.5m then 9m. Then I discovered the high design skills of its conceptor Benoit.
I have no doubt that this new wave dedicated kite has been patiently developed and with passion knowing Benoit.

Good life to the Wave !

Re: Concept Air Smart Wave 6.5

Posted: Sat Oct 29, 2016 2:42 am
by gl
I also have the 6.5 and 8.5 Smart Wave kites. I replaced my Flysurfer pulse kites with them. I liked the Flysurfer but love the Smart kites. Especially for strapless surfboards. The pull is very controlled and almost never pulls me off the boards. They just make everything seem easier. They handle the gusts much better and have huge depower. Launching and landing in the higher winds is much easier. The only thing I fine not as good is the upwind angle and a bit more bar pressure. Neither of these bother me and
I like everything else better. The kite also drifts well while turning towards it. I have the kites also in 4.5, 8.5 and 12.5 in open cell and they handle similarly but with easier launching and landing. I use them on snow and mountain board on the beach. Just great kites. I do prefer higher aspect kites in lighter winds.

Re: Concept Air Smart Wave 6.5

Posted: Sat Oct 29, 2016 5:56 am
by Regis-de-giens
What is the AR of the wave in 6.5 and in 12.5 ?

Re: Concept Air Smart Wave 6.5

Posted: Sat Oct 29, 2016 11:48 am
by LesFoilZ
gl wrote:I also have the 6.5 and 8.5 Smart Wave kites. I replaced my Flysurfer pulse kites with them. I liked the Flysurfer but love the Smart kites. Especially for strapless surfboards. The pull is very controlled and almost never pulls me off the boards. They just make everything seem easier. They handle the gusts much better and have huge depower. Launching and landing in the higher winds is much easier. The only thing I fine not as good is the upwind angle and a bit more bar pressure. Neither of these bother me and
I like everything else better. The kite also drifts well while turning towards it. I have the kites also in 4.5, 8.5 and 12.5 in open cell and they handle similarly but with easier launching and landing. I use them on snow and mountain board on the beach. Just great kites. I do prefer higher aspect kites in lighter winds.
The Smart Wave is an evolution of the previous closed cells smarts. I flied a lot the 4.5, 6.5 and 8.5 (ligh cloth) in waves and tried to give Benoît Tremblay regular feedbacks and sent the kite back and forth several times for modifications. Benoît then worked with Liquid Force for the Elite and started foiling and designed the Pulsion for the foil and on a foil (and for him). I bought the first Pulsion in 9m, 6m and 3.69m (he usually have the same sizes in Québec so that we can compare). The Pulsion is a very good kite but they are not like the Smarts: they pull more in the harness, they have a boost very useful for hydrofoil to get the foil flying, and very light bar pressure. This said, I like the 9m a lot, I found out that it is a fantastic kite for light wind sessions in wave (I am only 66kg) but I liked the smarts better in waves (strapless riding, the less I use the kite the better -- board choice is very important too). With the magic pulsion out, I had the feeling that Benoît could use his insights from the Pulsion to work on a new smart and I started emailing him ... a lot!! One day he sent me an email saying that my smart wave 6.5 was cut:

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The smart Wave is thinner than the previous closed cell smart, internal structure is different and there are now stiffeners all over the leading ledge (like the pulsion). My first test in 20 knots and 1/1.5m waves indicates that the smart wave behaves like the previous smarts : linear power with no boost, very good drift (more than the pulsion, I was flying it before the smart), no clear differences between uploop and downloop and the bar pressure I was looking for (I like bar pressure because I use it to "turn around my arm and not my hips" while surfing, ie I prefer to have the pull in my arm than in the harness). The main differences is that it has a better upwind (once one has used the pulsion in waves in light wind, it is difficult to go backwards) and it is more comfortable (the depower is huge on the smarts and tips have a better behavior on this one -- not that it matters for me but for others it may (in a nutshell, on the previous smarts, when the tips start to move too much it meant that you were overpowered and it was time to change size).

I still have a lot of testing to do and I will send Benoît my impressions (Benoît is more of a craftman of kites and he listens) but I was so happy to get this 6.5 out after many years of tests and discussions with Benoît that I wanted to share it. There are still things to check but there is now a foil kite designed for wave riding nearly on the market (and not a beginner kite that you could use for waves). We are on good tracks!

Stef

Re: Concept Air Smart Wave 6.5

Posted: Sat Oct 29, 2016 11:59 am
by LesFoilZ
@ Regis: thanks for your kind words.

I don't know exactly the ratio of the of the Smart Wave 6.5 but I recall (still I am not very sure) that the previous smarts are around 3 or less (the pulsion 6m is 4 and the 9m is 4.25 if I am correct). I don't think that there is a 12.5m out right now. There are two 6.5s (mine and one for him to compare with different bridles system) and maybe a 10.5 open cells for the winter season (his local market).

Stef

Re: Concept Air Smart Wave 6.5

Posted: Sat Oct 29, 2016 12:09 pm
by gl
Stef sorry I did not realize Ben had a new version of the Smart Wave out. Could you expand on how the tips handle differently when getting overpowered. On my version they tend to get to close together when very overpowered. Not a big problem and does not happen on my open cell smarts.

Re: Concept Air Smart Wave 6.5

Posted: Sat Oct 29, 2016 12:41 pm
by LesFoilZ
gl wrote:Stef sorry I did not realize Ben had a new version of the Smart Wave out.
No worries ... I just wanted to clarify :-)
gl wrote:Could you expand on how the tips handle differently when getting overpowered. On my version they tend to get to close together when very overpowered. Not a big problem and does not happen on my open cell smarts.
My understanding (but I am not a kite designer at all) is that the smarts fly more on the backlines than other foil kites and this coupled with a huge changing shape depower (depowered the smart is very arched) make the tips a bit slack and they flaps when really overpowered. As you said, it is not really a pb, as you said, because it means that you need to change size but more confort is always better. Benoît has changed the internal structure, modified the air intakes at the center and added the stiffeners. In 18-20 knots, gusts in the mid-twenties (I start to use a 4.5m at 23-25 knots -- 18-20n is the sweet spot for me with a 6.5), my impression was that the tips were less slacks even completely depowered at the zenith -- I had no issue at all of tip tucks during my flight. Ben has a special location where the wind is very turbulent + the pulsions have a superb stability and he dedicated a special attention to that issue. Flying the kite in (a lot) more wind even if it is not my windrange is on the to-do list but my first try was very good to that respect. At the very least, I know that I have my foil kite for wave riding :-) --with a 4.5 and a 2.5m that would be even better, I'll keep the pulsion 9m for the light winds. When I feel I have more power needed with the pulsion 9m I know that the 6.5 will be perfect. I think a 8.5 would be the equivalent of the 6.5 for heavier riders ... a bit like the Psycho 4 8m and the 6m.

Stef

Re: Concept Air Smart Wave 6.5

Posted: Sat Oct 29, 2016 12:53 pm
by Jzh_perth
That lesfoilz link in the first post doesn't seem to work for me. Anyone got any more information on this new kite ? Looks really interesting. I (we) ride strapless surfboards a lot here in Western Australia. I'd love to try one in person some time.

Re: Concept Air Smart Wave 6.5

Posted: Sat Oct 29, 2016 1:03 pm
by gl
Thanks for the reply Stef. The new version sounds like a improvement on an already nice kite. I would be very interested in hearing on how you like it in stronger gusty conditions once you have a chance, as that is what tend to kite in. I am about 82 kg. And use the 8.5 in the conditions you use the 6.5 in.