well we had a big big dry spell, no wind for ages, worst in years, its over now and I have been enjoying the Rhino 20.
First of all, the Rhino 06 is faster than any other 20 I've flow, and I admit its not many but for a 20 its very fast, especially with the narrow bar. If I put a longer bar on, it would turn super fast. I found the kite would travel across the window faster too, so combined faster kite and faster turning, translated to better jumps. I don't think I have them dialled yet but I feel I have better hang time, and as a consequence my timing is out on spinning style jumps.
I haven't sailed my Naish X4 20 and the Rhino 06 20's back to back yet but the differences are big enough to know for sure, better hang time, better upwind on the Rhino, and streets ahead on the Rhino 04 20m, and light years ahead of a Wipika 20 '03 model not sure, I've got a Gaastra Phonix 25, the only thing it has on the Rhino is its hang time can be longer but no where near as high, with the extra height on the Rhino, it evens out so the 25 and the 20 are similar, if the Phonix went higher than ofcourse the hang is longer.
Today I had a good run, I'd say in the middle of its range, no depower and I found I went upwind better than I normally would. In fact I didn't have to push hard on the rail like I normally did, which ment I could ease off and sail more upright and therefore less stress on the legs and knees, if I had too, really push hard I could go higher and the kite let me. With this easing off, I could sail faster and therefore jump higer. A few times I went into a back spin and found myself still in the air 1 or 1.5m too high and ended up over rotating, now I have to get used to slowing down the spinns.
The big payoff for me now is that in light winds, I used the micro hook and stay on the plane, infact a little while ago, the wind dropped, but I maintained my ground but was using the micro hook more (not used to it yet but learning) with 10 12 foot jumps. When I stopped, I took a look at the wind and realised it was lighter than I would normally sail, some of my friends looked at the wind and left again thinking it was too light, they were right but I found myself very surprised at how I actually kept going. Basically, what I'm getting at is the bottom end is better than I expected and better than anyother kite I've tried.
The cam battens are doing there job, the kite feels very stable even in way too less wind than I should be even trying to sail. I couldn't put my finger on why the kite was so stable until I could see compaired to others flying and no ripples or fluttering while idling at the zenith, where as the others where wobbling alittle. I reckon it was overall stability and the cams where a good contribution.
One complaint I have and that is with the bar, and to be fair its only people like me that it affects. I'm 6'5" with big hands, when I hold onto the bar, I seem to spred my hands abit, so my thumb touch the chicken loop, with my little finger touches the bar ends. When I go for a big jump or need to pull hard for a quick turn, the bar ends rub on my little fingers, and if I pull really hard and the leading hand slips, the little finger really pushes hard on the bar ends, I never had that on my Naish bars, from the X4 20, 16 and 12 (I don't count my sons 5.5 AR5, I only use that when I'm teaching him). This is a minor thing and I think unique to me, maybe someone else know what I'm saying. I would like to try with a wider bar and see what happens.
This kite is fast turing, easy to turn but luckily not too fast so accidential bar input doesn't cause trouble, I found the Wipika Matrix much easier to turn but it did have a wider bar, the Naish X4 is much harder to turn and the Rhino 04 way too slow, but easy enough. For me, I don't mind alittle pressure on my arms, and there maybe easier turning kites out there but if its too easy you can over steer and stuff up your tricks.
One more thing I found, if I pulled the bar fully on, and used the micro bar, the kite flared alittle but not enough to kill the power or speed of the kite, this is great as all the other kites I have tried would stall and slow down, infact as you only pull the bar because you need that little extra power and it delivers, with the Naish and others the kite would slow down, I found the Rhino would fall back alittle but still pull upwind, I love this as you would tend to do this in light wind.
If I work out more on the kite I will post more, I've had afew brews so I may not have come across to elequently (shit I'm hopeless at spelling) this time.
Conclusion is its a great kite and I love it so far. Thanks Ken Winner for a good product.
Cheers for now,