I was so stoked on this kite that I had to write my thoughts here. So excited in fact that I can't believe people are riding other kites!
Here you go:
I had a really good session today. The wind was average 40kmh, low 28, high 52. Gusty. Nano 9, 2009.
Set up was super fast. This is a three strut kite (one pump or single strut inflation) but it seemed a lot fast than I expected.
Self launch... couldn't have been easier... and if felt safer than other kites I've done this with. I set up lines up wind, rotated kite to the edge of the window and off I went.
As soon as I get the kite up, I notice that it has balls. I had to pull the depower line in the cleat (again, which was easy). But in doing so I noticed that it shortens the throw in the bar. I noticed this when the gusts picked up. It's harder to turn off because the throw isn't there. That being said, the kite eats gusts with the little throw that is there. For beginners, this might be a tad intimidating until you get used to it. For the intermediate riders, it feels perfect.
Power: My habit is to dive from 12-1 or 2 and back up. I never seem to dive hard enough and deep enough on my first stroke. The amazing was is that the kite didn't care. It got me up (148 board) and on plane with not a lot of movement. I stroked it a few times but I love the way it gets me up, powered and riding quick. Pull the bar in and you can really feel the difference. Riding with one hand was easy - bar pressure is good. You can feel where the kite is, but it didn't tire me. You can feel the difference in power with sheeting. It has grunt.
Going upwind seemed to be pretty easy, even during the gusts that want to pull you downwind. During transitions, the kite has a good drift. It will fall back as you ride towards it, but then steer out of it well, with proper power.
Stability: UNREAL. Seriously. I've either flown some really shitty kites, or this thing rocks. I came in to get an assisted landing and even though the wind was up and down, the kite didn't move. I could brush your hair with it. I've never had that before. Other kites were so on and off that they were unstable and I'd either overshoot the catcher, slam it into them or have it roll back.
Relaunch: Again... if I didn't try it, I wouldn't believe it. Slam, it pops up. It has the easiest relaunch out of any 4 or 5 line kite I've tried. When the kite is in the water, if you need to wait and collect yourself, pull lightly on one outside line and it will sit on one wingtip until you pull it off the water. Because of the stability noted above, it sits really well. Deep water, shallow, no prob, it was just as easy. This is something that people of all levels will love. It's almost my single biggest kite preference. No easy relaunch - I don't want it.
Turn: It's on the fast factory setting, and I think it's perfect for me. I usually tend to dive the kite and realize that I haven't counter steered quickly enough (when sining aggressively), one wing tip hits the water and crash. With the Nano... when I realize this, the tight turning makes it miss the water every time. The kite accounts for the riders small mistakes. I'd like to try it on the slower setting to see the difference, but I liked it on the fast setting.
Lift: It was great lift and I found myself a little higher than I realized a few times. I usually like to just cruise around but jumping is so easy on this babe. It's forgiving for sure. A few times I didn't pull the kite back hard enough and I was starting to swing around. But the kite just sat deeper in the window waiting for me to land and then dive the kite again to get going.
In short, I really believe this is the best kite ever. I absolutely love it. One word to really describe it is - "easy". It's forgiving but doesn't effect performance.
Mixed with the new 2009 Morph bar, it's the perfect mix. The bar feels comfortable. Using the depower line and cleat was effective. Self launch and landings were easy. The biggest feature on the bar, I think, is the chicken loop release and the kill switch. The release at the bar works by pulling the rad tab. Doing so releases the bar from the harness, and engages the kill switch which is effectively a small 5th line. The kite will rest on the front lines and from there you can either self rescue, or re-assemble the release and ride. Putting the release together in the water, with cold hands was a breeze.
Can't wait to ride it again. Next weekend.
if you have the chance to demo the Nano in your area, you will not regret spending the time. Usually when we fly a new kite, it takes a bit to get used to. The Nano was comfortable as soon as it left the ground.