New bag is great with center kite sock enlarged to hold more kites, plus the incorporation a a zipper down the side and mix of mesh/regular build nylon. Spars are a HUGE improvement with over size diameter tent pole type aluminum units with a bunge internal cord to hold it all together. Very nice.
The kite has the three rear access ports as the venom with additional rear strap adjustment in all three points. This allows for far more range adjustments. The internal straps are now all articulating between the middle cells as well.
Nice graphics and colors, with leaders that are way longer than necessary :0) Can use these on pretty much any bar.
First test flight was beach only i9n about 6mph with even the lei guys saying "that kite sure pivots around it's tip.
Gusty winds from 8 to 24 yesterday which later ramped up to 8 to 30. Started on the vortex 17. Very stable with a solid pull to get through the washing machine, well overhead surf (6 to 7 second period) that none of the lei guys could get through till the end of the day. This was do to the drop outs, etc that a heavyer kite just does not want to contend with in a lull with associated heavy swell current in the wind direction. Not as quick turning as the 16 Venom tet in the first go but still good pop and hang. Put it in the drink once and realuaunch was instantaneous with a quick tug on the center lines...Thank freaking $%$#&^ as it was in a big surf when I looped the kite into a wave. The much lower aspect than the Venom 16 with the super wide tips will make for an even better relaunch/beginner kite. I did not have a chance to go in and change the rear strap setting on the Vortex. Sufise to say it was impressive to hold that range as all three of the rear straps were fully tightened as we had no idea it was going to nuke. The 14 meter Vortex was in the car but the girlfriend did not know I was game to try that one at this point.
The 17 B is a much stiffer/faster/rangier kite than the bomba (PL beginner/intermediate/wave kite of old), it replaces. I would like it to be quicker turning still than I felt it to be yesterday but one session in crazy, gusty stuff certainly does not justify a complete test especially when there was not time to play with rear strap adjustments.. I might have really been stalling it with all three strap fully tightened. Also spent part of that session with an FST mod (two second rap of the front strap larksheaded around a the leading edge internal strap to see what all the fool with a perfectly good kite crew would think...errmmm...yeahh.. it makes a difference but that is for a different forum.. Flew it today for just a few minutes in the light stuff and passed the 14 and 17 vortex's on to Tom for school teaching and extensive testing as we head off to AU to fly the venom 2's,local vortex's/ sonics/cautions as well. The word from friends over seas who have tried the 14 Vortex, say it turns very well and is a lot of fun. Once again, much stiffer than the bomba of old with more grunt and far better turning/range.
At this juncture, I would say the 17 vortex would be a great begginer to intermediate kite for all and an advanced kite for cruisers who like a very smooth ride.. The Venom feels more grunty right out of the bag and a whipier turner in the 16 size. The vortex feels like it could be a fun unhooked kite. You can kite loop it by the way.. Just make sure a wave is not in the way....oooooooppss.. Vortex 2, Me one... Wish I had a chance to get that 14 out of the bag before tom got wind of them...More reports on the 14/17 vortex as well as the Venom 2's to come shortly.
HAVE FUN on whatever you ride.