Intermediate (2 years)
86kg / 190lbs
Underground FLX 132x39
16-22 knots of cross-onshore wind
Flat water with well-spaced kickers rolling in (Hayling Island, UK)
Very neat and tidy, super robust looking, and given that I put it down pretty hard on the stoney beach a couple of times (see comments on depower below) there was no evidence of any damage afterwards.
It has the shock strip to protect most of the kite should a tear appear (i.e. it won't run the width of the kite), and OR has been smart enough to put the LE seam away from the contact surface.
Bar & lines:
I love the fact that the bar, with it's EZ stopper, will depower fully when you drop it on the leash while unhooked even with the stopper engaged (as long as the leash is connected to the depower, rather than the chicken loop). The lines are the higher strength variety, with extensions for the larger 12m kite that can be removed to use the same bar with the 8m kite (guess what I'm getting next!).
Now, when we arrived at the beach, I was sure I'd only get a chance to ride the 12m for a short while before switching to my 8m Sonic (as the wind was predicted to increase), but I managed to ride the 12m for the entire 3 hour session while my mate, who weighs the same as me, was nicely powered on his 8m Sonic on the same size board. So, I thought, either this kite doesn't have that much power, or it just depowers really well. I didn't feel overpowered at all, and I think it might have been due to the amount of depower I had on - so much so that twice, I dropped it while on the beach because I gave it virtually no back line tension (which is what I'm used to with the Sonics). Anyway, all this proved is that the kite depowers really well, and that I had a lot more grunt to take advantage of in the future. On the water, the kite stayed in the air even when I pendulumed under it and plopped into the water, thereby taking all tension out of the lines. It never pull me off my edge, even in the gusts. BTW the depower adjustment is the pull-toward-yourself below-the-bar type, which is why the full depower on the leash works.
I had the kite on the factory setting for the line connection points, which was the slower turning setting - I thought I'd get used to it before getting spanked on the faster setting. The kite reacted quickly, even on the slow setting, and there was little to no delay in the kite reacting after steering input. Next time I'm out I'll try it on the fast setting, which will reduce the already comfortable but informative bar pressure slightly. One thing I really enjoyed (and one of the reasons I chose this kite) was the kite's grunt to get you going from near stand-still. This helped when I switched to toe-side and had to wait for the swell to catch up. I simply stalled my board, then powered up again when the wave arrived - awesome power control! Oh, and I haven't been able to pop as well with other kites before - I was even tweaking my board with tons of time to prepare for the landing.
Well, they don't call it the Rise for nothing! I took it easy to start with, but managed some lofty and floaty jumps. I didn't send the kite too quickly, but it still lifted me off the water rapidly. The bar lets you know where the kite is at all times, so redirecting at the right time is easy.
I didn't get a chance to unhook as the spot was quite busy and I didn't want to chance anything going wrong on my first outing with the kite... next time!
I'm very happy with the kite - and why shouldn't I be, I paid good money for it! Seriously, even my mate wants to buy one after trying it out. I think this will be the kite on which I finally nail my backloop kiteloops, which I started doing on my 14m Sonic, but in lighter winds I always landed before the kite finished looping.
Please sir, can I have some MORE?!?!?!?!