Last Friday I had the opportunity to test the new Spleene kite "Q" in 12m, and I like to share my first impressions with you.
I'm 42 years old, 83kg, I'm kiting since 2000, 15-25 kite sessions a year, my favourite: WAVES!!
My quiver at the moment: 12m Switchblade '06 (which I adored until last Friday), 9m Waroo '07 and 7m Waroo '06.
The spot was Maasvlakte (Dutch coast), wind SSO, 4 Bft. (some gusts might have been 5 Bft.).
My boards: A "woody" copy of the '08 RIP Max
and the '07 RIP 34 from Spleene.
I didn’t use the original IQ-bar (those where all reserved for the shops at that time). Mine was self-made:
Length: 45cm (original IQ-bar: 52cm)
Depower range: 37cm (original IQ-bar: 43cm)
The shorter length wasn't much of a problem. A longer depower range would be a problem for my poor spine/back.
OK, kite unpacked, lines connected (very simple, 'piece of cake) kite pumped up (my first one pump kite - nice), kite airborne - first impression:
WOW - that thing turns faster than my 9m Waroo!! In spite of the short bar!
On the water I felt that much at home right away that my very first jump was a rotation (although it was my first kite session since Oct. '08!). Usually I need some "warm up kiting" in advance - but that wasn't necessary at all - the "Q" immediately felt like a part of me.
Extremely low holding and steering forces - a 180° turn out of full force ahead can be steered with one hand only. The water was flat like a table that Friday - what a pity - that kite must be a blast in WAVES!!! Even when you're moving towards the kite (e.g. at a bottom turn), it still reacts and turns sensitively. That's ABSOLUTELY impossible with by 12m Switchblade '06 - OK, meanwhile anyone knows that the SB1 is no "turning-machine" - but in that situation the Q also turned better than my small Waroos! Very impressive!!
OK - no waves - so, I was forced to turn to my "second best" discipline: Jumping. Now, THAT used to be the Switchblade's thing originally (other than turning speed), but also in jumping the Q outperformed the Switchblade. Several times I "over rotated" because the kite had fired me much higher than my old kite would have done it in the same conditions - awesome!!
The "directly available" depower of my Switchblade might be a little higher, but that's definitely due to the too short depower range (37 cm) of my self-made bar. With 43cm (realized with my bar's adjuster) the Q can literally be "switched off". Furthermore the depower effect appears to be better distributed resp. more analogue compared to my Switchblade or my Waroos. That means every centimetre of depower has a clearer and more sensible effect on the kite than on my other kites. Now, if that appears a little "incomprehensible" to one of you guys, that's surely my fault / my lacking English - just send me a PM and I'll try to formulate it in a different way.
After 4 hours of kiting, at 4:00 pm the wind dropped ('must have been some union member
). Normally I'm tired after 4 hours of kiting, but on Friday I had the impression I could kite 4 more hours without any problem. It's extremely relaxing to fly the Q!
Result: I got an awesome new kite!!
Rainer (not the one from Spleene)