well, yesterday was my first day kitesnowboarding, ever, and i just happened to swing a deal where i got to borrow a couple flysurfer kites for the day.
the wind started off around 12km/h and later in the day picked up to around 25km/h.
i started off by flying the Extacy on the ground for a few minutes just to get a feel for the kite. after about 2 minutes i was strapped in and heading crosswind. the Extacy is an extremely forgiving kite with superb wake/freestyle potential. the depower wasn't too touchy once you had the trim set correctly (wouldnt overfly/stall, even in such light wind). i had gotten the feel of the kite, which will pull you anywhere you want to go even in such little wind, as long as you keep it about 30 degrees up and have it moving until you get up to speed, then with the combination of your board speed and the kite speed it's smooth sailing ahead. after about twenty mintutes the wind was probably where it was just when i started, about 15km/h. and i had a craving for a bit more power.
'friend came over and handed me his pshcho2, 13.5m and let me have a go on that. the depower was a bit more touchy, again i believe this had smomething with the small amount of wind. if you had it all the way out and resting against the trim it would hover about 3 feet off the ground, no problem though, i'd just give a tug on the depower strap and the kite would come to life and get moving quite nicely. with this kite in 15km/h of wind i was able to be moving at quite some speed (between 30 and 40km/h, had a GPS on me) and upwind was effortless, though im sure its the same with a lot of kites on the snow. the turning was a lot quicker and the vertical pull was very great.
now, i wasn't quite able to test the jumping of the kite as this was my first time ever out on the snow, but i have a Voodoo 10m to test out for the next week or so, and i'll be sure to write a review up on that.
the safety system on the kites is amazingly handy, and does its job very well. drop the bar and the rotor leash engages, causing the trailing edge to pull ahead of the leading edge and the tips to fold in, letting the come come straight downwind very smoothly and ready for relaunch once your ready. i was sitting in the snow and wondered just how well the QR chickenloop worked so i dove the kite through the window and proceded to get lifted a couple feet up and about 10 downwind, so i pulled the QR and the kites power instantaneously died and dropped right downwind. i kinda smiled to myself as i was facedown in the snow, thinking "damn, that's nice".
setup was extremely quick and easy, just unroll the kite, set your board on the trailing edge of the kite, unroll lines, plant safety leash on something solid (groundsteak, car's trailer hitch) and by the time thats all done, your kite is inflated and all that's left to do is go back to the kite, grab your board, hook into the CL and then head off. i've got nothing against LEI's, but yesterday in sub 20*C i think having to pump bladders would have been a real downer on my day.
all in all, these kites were amazing to learn on and had extremely useful features for the snow-goer. any questions, PM me or post in this review.