I have spent a heap of time out on the kite this week in winds ranging from around 15 to 30 knots. It took a good couple of sessions to really get it dialed and I was fairly skeptical up until then but now I donÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t think I could go back to the m80Ã¢â‚¬â„¢s (which I have spent a heap of time on) although I still have a lot to learn on this kite.
I would say itÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s most similar to the Cab switchblade but more consistent in its power delivery. I have spent a lot of time on 8 and 11m Sonics and find the assault far more suited to my style of riding, I personally was never really overly impressed with the sonics although I know many guys who are.
I have found it supper easy to ride with my buggered back (problems with disks in my lumber back which make edging hard a nightmare) once I learned not to fight the kite, you need to learn to ride more upright with speed rather than against the kite like you do with c kites.
Its supper easy to jump and itÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s made me enjoy sent jumps when I hadnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t really bothered much before. I have definitely jumped a lot higher on it than I ever have on any other kite so IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢m not sure why people say that bow kites are harder to jump as high? The key to jumping it is to start with the kite really high and only send it a little while sheeting in hard. The jumps around 30 knots are incredible and IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢m still comfortable in that much wind with boots. (I usually find the 9m M80 is a handful in this much wind).
As far as wake style I have been able to start riding aggressively again after taking a break because of my back, so I defiantly feel a lot safer on the kite far safer than I ever did using a 5th line which I rarely used because of the hassle of it which I missed a pass or dropped the bar. I do think the 5th line system is useful but far from perfect, generally I would prefer to be on a suicide unless extremely overpowered.
The way the kite pops is a little different. I find it pulls much harder downwind once you pop a little more like a boat but still seems to sit where you want it and not surge around the window. The speed of the kite also makes everything feel far smoother and more powerful and lets you ride much faster unright.
The simplicity of the bar is really nice which is something I have found let down the other bow kites. I have been flying the 12 on the 51 but am sure it would be fine on a 43.
For me I donÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t see the need for a kite bigger than a 12, I cant wait to get onto the 9 and I think even smaller would be nice around a 7?
Overall IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢m far more stoked than I thought I would be, IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢m able to ride again with my back and do things I was never able to which is making it far easy to progress. I still need to spend a bit more time to get it completely dialedÃ¢â‚¬Â¦
Last edited by smurfo on Mon Feb 13, 2006 1:53 am, edited 1 time in total.
I have now spent a reasonable amount of time on both the 12m and 9m assaults and now feel I have got them fairly well dialled. The 9m becomes fun at about 17-18 knots where it is perfect for powered riding although it is definitely possible to ride it in less than this but I have not had a need to yet. It is at about this speed that I find the 12m becomes too much of a handful to be focusing on unhooking as it generates far to solid a downwind pull, obviously you can ride in a lot more wind that this extremely comfortably but if you are unhooking you will start getting that Ã¢â‚¬Å“oh shit IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢m going to die feeling.
Unhooking in general is slightly different to your average c kite and does take some adjusting to become comfortable doing it. As you are able to ride a lot more upright with speed you will be able to do everything faster and with more power but still comfortably because of the depower potential of the kite. As you build board speed and then unhook the kite will be at the edge of the window it will then drift slightly more downwind of you, this is when you should pop. You will have far more speed and therefore power and also be thrown almost completely downwind towards the kite rather than further across the wind, far more similar to the pull created by a boat. I have found that this more extreme downwind pull makes it easier to catch up to the kite and create slack in the lines making it easier to pass the bar while still maintaining a good feeling for what the kite is doing.
Obviously the 9m turns tighter and faster than the 12 but not so fast that it becomes twitchy and unpredictable. The 12, flies well on either the 43cm or 51cm bar I personally prefer to be on the 43. The 9 could comfortably be flown on a bar smaller than 43cm for those who like the feel of a smaller bar. I am very impressed with the feel and simplicity of the bar, there is nothing unnecessary to get in the way and several leash options, The stoper system has been faultless so far although I have not used it a huge amount as I have been riding a suicide type set up and have wanted the %100 depower most of the time.
As far as inverting and relaunching. I have never had to think much about it as the kites just about do everything for you, and I have been doping them allot, IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢m yet to get into a situation where I have had to swim or even worry about getting the kite back up I would be doping them on average of 10-15 times a session.
I have inverted the 12m once when I was mucking around seeing if I could get it to do so with a less than hard leading edge. All I had to do then was sheet the kite out and it had reverted its self in about 10 seconds, not a big deal at all, something, which is easy enough to make happen on all the bow kites I have flown, and easy enough to amend.
I personally prefer to be riding the 9m as soon as there is enough wind to ride comfortably as I find the pull slightly mellower and precise compared to the 12 in the winds discussed but I have always preferred to be riding the smallest kite possible. For anyone under 75kg the 9 would be a great one kite quiver and the 12 for anyone over although itÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s nice to have bothÃ¢â‚¬Â¦ Up until now I have not been a huge fan of bow kites in general after flying them all bar the waroo, while some are very similar, others couldnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t be more different. Now that I have adjusted my riding to the assault it would be hard to convince me to change back.