I received my Crossbows (9/12m) last week and managed 2 full days sailing on them since then out of my busy schedule. Before i go any further let me say that i am a very experienced wave sailor (partly sponsored),run my own kiteschool, weight 63kg and use a dedicated 32cm wide asymetric wave board. It will be simpler for me to compare this new kite with the ones i use at present which are CO2's by Cabrinha also. The winds are pretty strong in my area and i use mostly 6.5, 8 and 10m sizes so i doubt weather i will ever really need the 12m Crossbow.
On both days the wind strength was 25/30k so i was a little hesitant about rigging the 9m for the first time in that kind of wind (i normally use a 6.5m) but with other kitesurfers pressing me to use it i rigged it anyway.At this point let me say that it is as easy to rig as any normal C type kite and that the bridle presents no problem at all. Once on the water and sailing along, the huge range of the kite is immediatly noticed. You can pick up us much speed as you like and stop almost instantly if you want. I went out later with my 6.5m fully powered and it did not depower as well. Hang time is better than CO2's and bar pressure if anything a bit heavier but hardly noticable. The kite does everything Cabrinha says it does.
Now to the critisisms. I like fast kites and i am use to using small ones all the time. In 25k Crossbow 9m de-powers better than CO2 6.5m but flys and turns at the speed of a 10m CO2 which might be great for some (secure feeling) but disturbing for me. Surelly the 7m Croosbow would have been a better match but it is not available yet so i am now looking forward to testing the 9m Croosbow against my 10m CO2 when there is less wind.I expect it to be at least as fast but with better low end otherwise i will be disapointed. Will get back to you soon...
Sailed the Crossbow 9m again today in less wind than last times and compared it to my 10m CO2. Wind strength was around 18/20k.
Let me say from the start that i prefered the Co2. Maybe it's because i am used to it , maybe i am old school but 4 things are fur shure.
_Although Crossbow makes tight turns it does them slower. No problem for kite loops but too slow for wave riding if you are used to moving the sail around.
_Power is close to the Co2 10m but not more, top end is like my 6.5...
_When sheeted in bar pressure is greater than CO2.
_Jumping and hangtime are excellent.
I Think this kite can make an excellent kite for schools due to is very safe side. You could teach say 2 persons of 45kg and 80kg at the same time and none will feel over powered or get drag and still be able to get the necessary power when needed.
For the more experienced i think it will suit a more quiet style of sailing.
windmaker wrote: _Although Crossbow makes tight turns it does them slower. No problem for kite loops but too slow for wave riding if you are used to moving the sail around.
I think this may be a problem with flatter kites. When the ends twist, flatter kites can turn quickly. This means point in a new direction, not move quickly though a turn. When you steer a normal LEI one side gains in area and the other loses area this causes the kite to track sideways quickly. This effect is less on the crossbow. To increase this a way would have to be found to bank the crossbow by shortening both lines on one side of the kite and lengthening them on the other using the control bar.