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220 lbs on 128cm in 18mph with the new Crossbow 9m

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220 lbs on 128cm in 18mph with the new Crossbow 9m

Postby gomarpyle » Wed Jul 13, 2005 7:58 am

I got a chance to ride the 9m crossbow today at 3rd Ave. Walking out, I saw the average kite was about a 13m. Had I rigged my own gear, I would have taken the R5 14m which I am sure would have been about right. Steve Gunn the local Cabrinha rep had the kite already rigged and ready to go. On the beach, it doesn't really stand out from other kites unless you really look close. In the air, it is a different story. It doesn't look like a normal kite with its wingtips cut off, and it doesn't really look like a foil. To be fair, I do not think that the Rapture and this kite look anything like each other in the air... One would never be mistaken for the other.....

anyhow, Steve told me I should bring my biggest board, the SS Glide, since the kite was only a 9m and I am a big guy at 220lbs. I brought it, but also brought along my 128 Jaime Med...just in case..

With the kite in the air at 12, I didn't really notice anthing unusual. It didn't pull very much at all, while up there which I associated to its small size. The kite from a riders perspective doesn't look all that different from a traditional kite.... yes different, but not as different as it looks from a non-rider's view.

Anyhow, I dove the kite and was impressed by its turning speed and the power it produced. It turned faster than my R5 10m, but slower than my Vegas 7m. The kite would turn on a dime..that is not with alot of forward movement.... It did not turn like a large foil I used to fly in which it seemed like the whole kite rotated.... It was a pivoty turn like I'd expect from a Fuel or RRD... In thinking back, one of my favorite things is in how resposive and controlled the turns were.

While turning quicker than my 10m R5, it produced far more power. I initially went out on the Glide expecting to be under powered, but quickly came in to my small 128cm board, which I then rode for about an hour. Moving the kite to get up to speed was easy, and then I could just park and ride. I didn't ride with the bar all the way pulled in, but with about 2" off full power. When needed I would pull in the last 2" and there would be more power there... when I felt a puff, I would gently push away the bar. When pushing the bar far away, the kite's power was minimal...but to be fair, not ZERO power... I had expected the kite to just fall out of the air with the bar pushed out, but that did not happen.. It would remain flying and then slowly pick a side and then trace the wind window until it hit the water. There was always some front tension on the lines, and I had PLENTY of time to spin the bar or adjust my harness or whatever before it would fall... I initially thought the kite would just fall right out of the sky... which it doesn't... it just floats with about as much pull as you would have when walking and inflated kite upside down.

On the 128cm board I was easily going upwind, even against a slight flood. I did not boost any really huge jumps today, but I had some good medium jumps. As everyone was saying, jumping is slightly different with this kite... I would agree... The jumps I did do had good hang time. Remember...everyone else is smaller than me, and were riding 13-14 m kites. My highest jump today was probably 10-15 ft. I can see myself going much higher with more wind.

Kiteloops were fine.... a little adjusting to do on the turning since it completed the loop before I had expected..

Unhooked was not a problem... did some raileys without any issue...

While trying to ride blind, I found it difficult to keep the kite powered... This is due to me being used to using a stopper knot on my Rhino's... This proto-kite had no stipper ball or over-ride ball... This proto also didn't have powerlock... which should be available on the retail version....

Bar pressure was not noticably different than my the Rhino's I am used to...In fact, it may have less bar pressure that the Vegas kites I have tried... I have read that some people make an issue of the bar pressure, but trust me, it is not anything unusual.... That being said, I'd like to have the option of a powerlock or microloop...

Relaunching was easy... basically steer it off the water.... One time I had the leading edge facing into the wind and had to pull one of the lines to get it to roll around to relaunch. While doing this the leading edge caught the wind and hot launched the kite. With this kite, not really a big deal as sheeting out takes most of the power out... even durring a hot launch... I can see someone getting launched if they decided to keep sheeting in...

After I brought the kite in, I threw up my R5 10m that my wife had been riding for a direct comparison. I had been spoiled by the Crossbow. The 10m felt sluggish and not able to generate much power... I took it out and barely made it back to the starting point. I could build speed by going downwind, and so did a downwinder to the lower launch... I could not jump more than 3-5 feet high... found it difficult to stay to weather, and realized I missed the quick turning of the Crossbow.. As I was coming in, I noticed that my R5 10m was getting close to hindenburging.... something the crossbow never threatened to do... Surely I was underpowered on the 10m Rhino....while the 9m Crossbow had given me adequate power.....

I would like to try the crossbow in higher winds to extract the better jumps... If Steve had a 12m available today, I would have taken that instead...

The very fact that I was able to ride today on a 9m is insane...on a 128cm board at that... When I came in, there was a guy coming in on a Rhino 16m.. Did I mention I weigh 220 lbs?

The bottom line is that the Crossbow is my new favorite kite... displacing the R12....

In case you are wondering, I am not sponsored by Cabrinha and currently own North, Slingshot, and Cabrinha kite gear. I love my North Boards and my new Slingshot Glide.. but there is a new kite in town that has me very excited for 2006.

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