Here in the San Francisco Bay Area, we are at the very end of our regular season, but we were lucky enough to have decent winds on hand for a visit from Will at Windwing. He came through town on a trip with a final destination of Baja, Mexico and brought some of the new Rapture2's with him and many of us got to try them out at one of our local beaches.
For more info and initial user impressions of the new kites, check it out here:
Got in another session on the 12 Rap2 in better winds and was able to gather more experiences with this kite so far:
Today I was able to fly the Rap2 12m in good winds at Berkeley and was impressed with the kites power and performance. A couple of previous, short sessions were fun and alluded to good things but not ground-breaking as we had somewhat light wind, the kite I have is a 12m.
Today's wind was better and we were out on anything between 12's and 16's for a solid hour at Pt. Emery. The kite? All around a solid performer where simplicity rules. The kite sits far enough forward in the window to provide nice upwind sailing and has a light, even and nimble feel to it. The flying is very smooth and stable, the canopy is rock solid and shows virtually no deflection or distortion when in flight, turning and sheeting in and out and providing rapid changes in AOA.
Jumping is very good - not quite as big as the Outrage, but the Outrage is a unique kite. Jumping comparisons are harder for me to make as I'm used to the Outrages which are simply huge jumping kites but the Rap2 did very well, better than last years Rap, likely due to its increased aspect ratio. Maximum gains is altitude and hangtime can be had through subtle flying of kite while airborne rather than a simple 'send the kite and hang on' although that works too.
The Rap2 also showed signs of being an excellent candidate for waves as well as powered up carving of some of the swell by the restaurant kept the kite steady and stationary in the window without falling back or jumping forward - just parked and powered, but depower is as much as you want it to be - sheet out the 4-line CC bar and you kill the power. Having 4 lines while still having as much depower as you'd want or need is nice and relaunch is easy via the traditional method or reverse relaunch.
Turning is fast, but not hyper and smooth. A kite like the Outrage tends to start a turn and accelerate in speed and increase in power, carving sky, while turning but the Rap2 doesn't provide as blunt a sense of power but rather delivers it smoothly throughout the turn.
So far so good and my only regret is that the kite arrived so late in the season, but it will hopefully see plenty of storm action this winter where the smoothness, stability and depower will be welcome while still giving up the goods and not skimping on power and performance.