First of all, let me say that the Hellfish is the real deal. It is hands down the best kite I've ever ridden. I got to ride the 11m, 13m & 20m Hellfish BEFORE the hype started. I'm not biased, but I am friends with the guys from Best, that's how I got the opportunity to ride these kites. For the record, I own 2 airush kites a 14 and 18, an 11m Yarga, a Cabrinha board, and 2 Best boards a 131 drive and a 133 float.
Shannon & Alex invited me down to Islamorada to test the kites the week before the press release went out. It was the same weekend that Gabe Brown, the editor of Kiteboarding Magazine was there riding for the story that's coming out in the June/July issue.
Honestly, as I am a beginner/intermediate rider, I was terrified of these kites at first. All the talk among the guys about "super high performance", power, etc, etc got me thinking that maybe these things are too much for me. So I actually sat out most of the first afternoon/evening.
The 13m Hellfish
After watching all the guys ride all three kites, the 11, 13 & 20, at the same time (which was unbelievable) in light wind most of the day, I decided to give the 13m a go. The wind was 10-12mph and I was riding the float 133 and I had PLENTY of power. I could jump and go up wind easy. the kite was super fast and responsive but it flies different then other kites. The wind was lite but I found that if I let the kite alone and not moved it up and down it generated more power the longer you just let it sit there. Really cool.
Then I rode it again on saturday in stronger winds like 12-18 and i was totally powered doing big jumps. This thing felt like a much smaller kite but the hangtime was like a much bigger kite and the responsiveness was great no lag, you pull it goes like no other kite ive ever flown.
The 11m Hellfish
I flew the 11 hellfish on the saturday morning of the test in 12-18mph and i was powered. I weigh 180lbs. The thing is so fast and responsive it felt like the 8m Nemesis I tried in Dahab, Egypt a few weeks ago. Jumping ability was amazing but the hangtime was even more. In 12-18 it feels like your jumping on a 9m in 25mph and it hangs like a 16 in 18mph. Everything they say about this kite is true. It is better in all aspects.
The 20m Hellfish
The 13 & 11 are amazing, hands down the best kites I've ever flown, but the 20 in my opinion is in a league of it's own. I flew it on friday afternoon in 10-12 and I was lit up. I was doing big jumps that felt like I was on a 15m in 18-20mph and the hang time was not to be believed. I just stayed up there. It totally threw my timing off and I kept wiping on landings - awesome! I live in Miami and we get 10-12 all summer long. This kite opens up 50-100 more days a year to ride.
After my session on the 20, I put up my airrush 14 because I was so powered on the 20. I couldn't even plane and the kite felt like a tank. The 20 is way faster then the airrush 14. It's really amazing - changes the sport and opens up a whole new relm. A lot of kite companies are in deep trouble, there's nothing that comes close to competing with these kites.