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 Post subject: 12m Switchblade comparison to my old 13 Fuel 05'.
PostPosted: Sun Jan 01, 2006 7:05 am 
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Joined: Mon Jan 24, 2005 7:50 am
Posts: 142
Location: Melbourne
First of all, i'm not a very good rider. I can just stay upwind and do crappy ass jumps, so this review is geared from a beginner-intermediate rider that used to own a 13m Fuel 05'.

My first impression with the SB is that it's an incredibly stable kite. It simply doesn't fall outof the sky even if you run at it on the beach with it at neutral. I've tested it in extremely light winds and in strong gusty conditions -- two scenarios where my Fuel would be a real struggle to keep from hindenburging (it hated gusts followed by lulls...)

It feels very similar to the Fuel at the bar, despite the pulleys. I know, i know, people will say "What! That's impossible! Imposter!!", but my honest opinion is i couldn't tell much of a difference between the two in terms of turning response and feedback. As for barpressure, i never had a chance to fly the Crossbow so i can't give a direct comparison, but compared to the 13m Fuel i'd argue it's lighter. In fact barpressure was the last thing i was concerned with while i was out kiting; it just didn't cross my mind as troublesome with this kite.

Before i bought this kite, i read alot of reviews claiming it is a slow turning truck, but it's realy not the case. It turned just as fast as my Fuel did (mind you i had that stupid metal ring on the 05' Slingy Bar to prevent knuckle chaffing which kinda made turning more of an effort than it should have been) if not, faster. However the SB definately isn't as grunty as the Fuel was, but that may be simply due to the controllable power.

The lowest i could still maintain upwind with the 12m SB is 15knots on a Slingshot 137x40 (sx) and i weigh 85kg. I've held the kite till 25knots and haven't had a chance to try any more, but i'm not sure i'd want to tho. Even tho it may be possible due to it's good depower abilities, it's not as fun as having the right sized kite for that range anyway, and you start flicking on "survival mode" rather than "enjoyment mode". It's lowend is simlar to the 13m Fuel, however it is more stable at light winds. It's high-end is clearly higher than the Fuel, but as i said earlier, it's only something you'd use if you were already out there and the wind picked up rather than actually rigging it when it's already strong.

Self-launch and self-land is awesome on these bow kites! I don't see why there is so much discussion about techniques to launch. You simply walk perpendicular to the wind, take about 3 big steps further upwind. Pull on rear-back line and it slides into a normal leading edge down, downwind, position, where u tug on the rear line some more and it hotlaunches (just sheet out and no problem). Self land is slightly more tricky... you sit it on it's side and quickly run upwind whilstl pulling the top-front line, getting it to fall on it's leading edge pointing into the wind.

The override technology is definately a great feature which i spent some time playing with. You can push the bar all the way to the end of the center line, and the kite depowers greatly, but still sits in the sky (it starts slowly decending after about 4 seconds), allowing you to simply retrieve the bar and regain power. The kite's stability is simply amazing :thumb:
I HATE the stopper ball tho, it is impossible to click over the sleeve. Me and my dad both tried together to push it on, but it's way too tight. Even if we could miraculously get it on, i'd have some serious worries as to whether it would come back off once the bar is dropped. So i've simply been riding without the stopper ball clicked in. (Again, no bar pressure issues).

Overall, it's a realy fun kite to fly, very forgiving, and an easy transition to go to from a C-kite as it is very similar with all the added benefits of a bow-kite. Don't ask me about wakestyle, huge boosting and surfstyle because i can't do either, but it's feel is similar to a Fuel, so i don't think anyone can complain about it's wake and surf capabilities. :thumb:


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 Post subject: Re: 12m Switchblade comparison to my old 13 Fuel 05'.
PostPosted: Sun Jan 01, 2006 10:39 am 
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Joined: Fri Oct 21, 2005 11:35 am
Posts: 1695
Dookz wrote:
....
I HATE the stopper ball tho, it is impossible to click over the sleeve. Me and my dad both tried together to push it on, but it's way too tight. Even if we could miraculously get it on, i'd have some serious worries as to whether it would come back off once the bar is dropped. So i've simply been riding without the stopper ball clicked in. (Again, no bar pressure issues).

...


Get yourself a bigger plastic ball from a yacht shop and put it on over the top of the Cabrinha ball. It doesn't have to fit perfectly, it just has to be big enough that you can grab it with your hand.


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