Got the kites friday so Saturday I headed up to Lake Isabella as the
forcast at the coast was not good.
Wind was good untill I got there and then with a "Gust from Hell"
the wind turned and started comming from the
west. When that happens it becomes messy and way too dangerous.
You get patches of 40mph and patches with almost no wind....
So.... we headed off to the Motocross track
Sunday the forecast was good at the coast so after taking my son to another
Dirt bike track in the morning I headed to the beach.
When we got to the beach it was blowing 12 to 25mph and GUSTY. Strong
chop and a nice swell coming in... swell size was irregular, but with some
nice big juicy ones coming in.
Hardly the type of conditions to try new kites.
So that's exactly what I did.
First out was the Pulse 2 6m..... cutest little thing.
Fast as hell, but very managable at the same time.
I was below it's ideal windrange, but in the sustained 25mph gusts it was a
blast. I think I will only be taking this kite out when it's 30mph or more.
The bar pressure on the Pulse2 6m is practically non existent I could easily
fly the kite zig-zaging it in the waves with one hand.
Despite the gusts and some shiftiness the kite was nice and solid in the air.
At first I had a bumpy time in the gusts. This is because the bar pressure
is so light that I was not responding to the feedback in the bar when the
gusts hit. It was also real choppy so it was harder for me to feel bar feedback.
Due to the lulls I was not staying upwind, but it was such a blast in the
waves. Very fast turning, but also stable and reliable turning. For such a
fast turning kite I was expecting it to be nervous when as far as steering
Time to get the 8m out. By then it was gusting 12 to 30 mph.
I was better powered up than with the 6m. Kite still turns really fast.
Instant turning response. In the waves it was great. I could put the kite just where
I needed it or just let it sit in the top of the wind window and just ride the wave.
This worked when pointing each way on the wave. Also when riding straight downwind.
Best of all even if a bad lull hit the kite was still responsive and even if I parked the kite I
would not have any problems. Bar pressure is really light on the 8m too. Easy to fly and
steer with one hand. The 8m jumped nicely too. Great for instant jumps to get out of
trouble in the whitewater when getting out past the surf. Great pop, not quite the float of the Psycho 3 10m,
but nice gentle landings thanks to fast turning. Pretty easy to do a
cheeky little kite loop on landing.
I was having a lot of fun in the waves, but having a bit of a hard time regaining ground
after riding several waves downwind. I think this was in part because of my weight, the
board (Rip138) and getting used to the light bar pressure in such bumpy water and wind conditions.
Next up I put up the Pulse 2 12m. At that point the wind was about 12 to 25mph averaging 18mph.
At first I was disappointed as it felt significantly bigger than the 8m.
The surf had gotten a bit bigger and the tide had come in so the waves were also a bit
naughtier. At first it seemed slow turning, but when I cranked the bar a bit more it came aliveâ€¦.maybe the kite needed to bed in a bit too.
Anyway I did not do too well on the first couple of waves.
The first one went like thisâ€¦.
I was riding out straight at itâ€¦I wanted to get right under it and turn quickly depowering
So I could drift up the face and then power up out of the wave.
I guess I was spoiled by the 8mâ€¦. well the wave eat meâ€¦. But the kite just stayed up in
Next wave I was riding towards the beach and dropped into the wave going towards the
upwind sideâ€¦.. I carved hard turning downwind to smack the lip. The kite ended up to
far to edge of the window and I could not get it back quick enoughâ€¦.. the wave almost
had me for dinner. I was feeling a bit disappointed with the 12m compared to
the 8m and 6m.
For a bit I backed off and just rode around to get a feel for the kite and also cut in and out
of the whitewater.
After a while I dropped back into the waves and things really clicked!
I just had to get a feel for the amount of bar input I had to give the 12m and the timing.
Turned out that the 12m turns greatâ€¦. I just needed to turn the bar more aggressively and anticipate things just a little.
In the end I was riding the waves better with the 12m than
with the 8m and 6m. Even though the whitewater had become far more chaotic
than earlier in the day due to the tide coming in the Pulse 12m made things seem easy.
Super stable and responsive enough to give a burst of power when I needed it and depower just when I needed it.
A few times I would carve towards a face and turn only once I was on the face as it started to
break. I would carve back quick straight downwind and as I turned the kite hard and Iâ€™d think
â€œcrapâ€¦ is the kite going to get around in timeâ€¦â€ as I would come out of the wave the kite
would be diving down just where I need it, deep in the window and ready for me to turn it back
and carve again.
It was like wave riding had just gotten easier for me.
I also did a few jumps with the 12m.
I got the Pulse 2s mainly for wave riding so I was more focused on the waves, but the 12m jumps really nicely. Great quick pop and float,
just have to be carefull about pulling in too much on the bar.
Redirects nicely too.
Well first of all keep in mind that Iâ€™ve only ridden these kites for about one
and a half hours each.
Also the conditions were far from ideal to test new kites and Iâ€™m still learning to ride waves
But I can certainly say thisâ€¦if you want a kite thatâ€™s great in the waves go for
the Pulse 2.
If you are flying Psychos or Speeds donâ€™t expect to just grab a Pulse 2
and ride it the same way.
Itâ€™s a very different kite. The really low bar pressure takes a bit of getting used to,
especially if itâ€™s gusty and choppy. You donâ€™t feel the gust in the bar the same way
you feel it on the other kites so you have to be more refined with how you use the bar.
However itâ€™s great that after riding 3 new kites in gusty choppy conditions my hands
and arms were not sore at all!
Proâ€™s and cons based on my first impression of the kites
Fast turning speed. A friend who saw me said that the 6m and 8m turned
so fast the looked like trainer kites
Amazing quick relaunch.
Great constructionâ€¦ nice coated fabric that repels water
Easy to fly (except getting used to the light bar pressure)
Instant jumps with easy redirection.
Smooth looping (have not tried jumps with kite loop yet with these)
Backstallableâ€¦ yes thatâ€™s a pro in my book.
The Pulse 2 is really a new different kite.
Flysurferâ€™s true wave riding kite.
Not quite as high performance as the Psycho3 as far as riding speed, jumps and power.
Upwind riding not as fast as the Speeds or Psychos, though Iâ€™m pretty sure Iâ€™ll do
better as I get used to the light bar pressure.
Backstallability while being a pro is a bit tricky to get used to with such low bar pressure,
especially when going upwind in chop and gusty / lully (new word for wind with lulls) wind.
Things still to try:
Need to try the Pulses with directional boards... Zone and bigger surfboard.
So far all the riding was with the Rip 138
Here's a bit of video.... keep in mind that the video is from the very first few minutes on the 6m (blue) and 8m Red ... sorry about the quality... just a quick peek of the kites and shot on a still camera's video function.