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DETAILED PHOTOS - RECON, early impressions from Puerto Rico

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RickI
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DETAILED PHOTOS - RECON, early impressions from Puerto Rico

Postby RickI » Sun Jul 27, 2003 1:08 am

I am down at Paul Menta's kiteboarding operation, THE KITEHOUSE, in La Paguera, Puerto Rico enjoying WIND, for a change. You can read about the operation at:

http://www.kste.net/margarita.htm

The riding and conditions are great. More about the kiteboarding with lots of photos, wind, connection and area appear at:

phpbb/viewtopic.php?t=2296133

I wanted to toss out some early impressions about Cabrinha's RECON kite system. Paul set me up with a 17 m CO2 RECON setup with 18 to 22 kts on a 2003 Lightwave Designs 158 cm TT this afternoon. I weigh about 185 lbs. . After a while the wind shifted and dropped down to around 13-17 kts with a rare change in weather conditions. Paul at 170 lbs. was on a 14 m CO2 RECON and a LWD 136 cm TT. The chop was less than 4 inches.

I was a bit overpowered initially with the wind at or a bit above 22 kts. but managed to work back upwind and stayed near the primary riding area for the duration after that. One thing that hit me right away about the kite is that it has very POSITIVE control. That is it was very stable particularly right after launch on the edge of the window with minimal control input. The kite provides nice lift, floaty jumps and adequate speed despite the larger size. Paul and I were tossing off some nice jumps with our respective rigouts.

I first tried the relaunching feature of the RECON system. The kite was lying leading edge down on the water and straight downwind. I tried this in a very light wind area in the wind shadow of the mangrove cay that Paul nick named "The Elevator!" He gave it that name for the excellent bump and extended glide you can grab from the slipstream off the mangroves upwind. Paul gave me a few pointers, basically:

1. Decide which way you want to launch the kite, to the left or right.

2. Make sure the red lines are on the left, just as you would have them from normal flight with the kite aloft.

3. If you want to relaunch to the right, pull the ball on the LEFT or red leader. If you want to reluanch to the left, then pull the ball on the RIGHT or black leader.

Image
4. By pull, you merely reach forward, grab the ball and pull it back to your side and wait. If it is really light, reach forward and grab the end of the leader.

Image
5. The kite will soon lift up on one side, then stand perpendicular to the water. At this point merely slowly release the ball and the kite pivots and flys up.

Image

A beginner "warm" launch.

I was able to do this on my second try. If you are a bit more careful on easing the ball out, it is easy to guide the kite to the edge of the wind window to avoid a "warm" or even a "hot" launch. I was amazed at how easy it was to do. I have to confess that I never was able to sucessfully relaunch any of my Airblasts using the relaunch bridle. Must have impaired relaunch genes or something. Anyway this system makes it reliably simple.

The second thing that I tried was activating the emergency kite safety release. This was even easier:

Image
1. First I parked the kite at the zenith (miles of open water to shore downwind) and fully powered the kite up for the test. The winds were about 18 kts. aloft at this point, which is a fair amount for a 17 m kite.

Image
2. I just reached up and pulled down on the orange depower ball just above the bar.

Image
The kite IMMEDIATELY depowered, folded up like some messy laundry and glided straight downwind.

Image
Power killed and falling down ...

Another very surprising thing for me was the LACK OF POWER once the kite was depowered. The kite had FAR less pull than my 17 m 2003 Blacktip or 16 m Airblast when those kites are depowered by using the kite leash. It doesn't seem obvious that it would have such a light pull by looking at the depowered kite, but TRYING IT tells the story.

Another very nice aspect is that the kite hit the water and stayed there. My other kites will continue to fly even once depowered if the wind is high enough, making me have to walk up to the kite hand over hand on one line. Not my favorite activity but in the future, no more!

We even reconnected the emergency safety release, in shallow water with a fairly good wind blowing. This is less easy and for advanced riders only. There is to be a modification detail available that will make this reconnection process much more simplistic and for less experienced riders. The thing to remember is that the RECON emergency safety release, is for EMERGENCIES! That is to say, it is a kill switch and simple relaunching is normally not an easy option with any system today.

So, those are some early impressions. I will upload photos showing various components of the above sequences once I can process them. The main things that hit me about the kite was the ease of relaunching off of the water and the very effective depowering that occurs with the emergency safety release. So, rather than puzzle over these things why not give it a try first person and form your own impressions. I understand that there are a ton of on the road demos planned all over. Chances are that the local demo clinic will be advertised online or at your local shop, so if you are curious about this new technology, check it out. Thanks to Rondi for taking the photos! Normally, I hold the camera or a kite but never both, yet!
Last edited by RickI on Thu Aug 07, 2003 1:40 pm, edited 24 times in total.

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slingshotucf
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Postby slingshotucf » Sun Jul 27, 2003 1:44 am

Check out this link for some pics of Paul's set up.

http://www.gameforge.com/gallery/PuertoRico?&page=1

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windshreder
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Postby windshreder » Sun Jul 27, 2003 3:46 am

slingshotucf wrote:Check out this link for some pics of Paul's set up.

http://www.gameforge.com/gallery/PuertoRico?&page=1
Is that Bernhard's site and pictures?

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slingshotucf
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Postby slingshotucf » Sun Jul 27, 2003 6:39 am

I'm not sure who's site it is. My friend sent me the link to show me what type of conditions it was. If Bernhard was there a few weeks ago then it might be.

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Postby Wolfgang » Sun Jul 27, 2003 12:28 pm

Sounds amazing, Rick. What about freedom of movement with that set up?

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RickI
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Postby RickI » Sun Jul 27, 2003 3:08 pm

I have been flying higher aspect, 2003 Blacktips in the last six months or so. Between the lower aspect and wing redesign, it strikes me that the RECON CO2 really allows a lot of positive control with minimal control input. These are my impressions, your may differ but I was impressed by many of the kite and RECON design features. The wind is blowing, so ... we're going! Catch you folks tonight!
Last edited by RickI on Wed Jul 30, 2003 12:11 am, edited 1 time in total.

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RickI
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Postby RickI » Mon Jul 28, 2003 1:29 pm

I went out with the 14 m CO2 RECON yesterday. The wind was a bit fresher in the morning than on the previous day, at about 22 to 25 kts. The wind was shifting around a bit under the influence of two tropical systems passing over the area.

The 14 m handled well too, I even did a kite loop, by accident of course! Some dogs and riders are only good for one trick, Jump Spot, Jump! I tried to practice using the relaunch feature of the RECON system. Unfortunately, fortunately (?), despite many attempts to dump it leading edge down, it pretty much auto relaunched rapidly each time. I was able to leave it on the water by finally dumping it in the wind shadow of the mangrove cay. The relaunch feature worked easily again as with the 17 m kite.

After riding for several hours I must have become careless and accidently released the emergency kite depower system. I think I must have grabbed both the trim strap and the release ball and whoops! The wind was about 22 kts. and the kite was fairly high. It still wadded up like a clump of laundry and dropped with virtually no load on the lines. Reloading the release system was a bit beyond my early skills with the system given the strong wind and current in the cut that I was sweeping down into. Fortunately, Paul has a pickup boat at the ready at all times. My first rescue in a few years, the shame!

Last morning out today, then flying home to Florida. Have taken lots of shots and will post some more stuff on the nice launch area.

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Postby Foxi » Mon Jul 28, 2003 4:56 pm

Hi Rick,

did you only fly C02s or could you compare to recon-ized Nitros as well ?
I´m really wondering what to opt for ? Any idea about the grunt of a CO2 20 ? As you know Rhino 20 is the benchmark and 2003 BT wasn´t that close, unfortunately ..

aloha

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Postby MKM » Mon Jul 28, 2003 6:28 pm

You are correct regarding the grunt of the 03 BT20. Actually the CO2 for 03 was very good. For 04, there is no doubt that the CO2 20 will be one of the top kites (IMO better than BT 04). Independant from the Recon system, this kite has been totally super charged. The CE has been moved farther forward and the kite flys closer to the wind. Super grunty, but still fast. It will be a contenter for the light wind kiting. There are kites that are larger, but given the stability, speed, and relaunch of this kite it shoud be one to take a look at.

Kent

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RickI
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Postby RickI » Tue Jul 29, 2003 3:34 pm

I just included some photos of the RECON in the original posting. Some of the steps of relaunching and EMERGENCY Depowering are shown. Paul had the CO2 RECONS but didn't have the Nitro, so I can't comment on those kites.


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