I have been demoing a ton of kites recently and checked out the different companies at the recent Pismo Expo. I have flown, Liquid Force Sessions, Liquid Force Havocs (2010), Liquid Force Envy, Best Kahoona 2010, Best Nemesis NXG, Best Waroo, Caution Zombie 2010, GK Sonic 2010, Nobile 555 2010, Liquid Force Menace, Naish Cult, Epic Screamer, and the Epic Renegade. Through testing all of these I have found what I definitely don't like and the characteristics that make a great kite. I have been eager to test the Epic kites after hearing all the talk and checking out their quality at the expo
I was the first to try out the brand new 9m Epic Renegade that xtremebigair got for demos. (Thanks Kinsley!)
- • Kite: Well I thoroughly examined Epic's quality at the recent expo (http://www.kiteforum.com/viewtopic.php?f=1&t=2363440&hilit=pismo), and they are top notch. There are only a few companies out there putting forth the effort to produce durable products and Epic is one of them.
• Bag: Interesting bag that seems to work well. Its not your typical stuff in the kite bag. Its more like a clean suitcase for your kite. I really liked it at a glance. However, I would love to see some nice Epic graphics covering it. Im young and that kind of thing stands out to me.
• Bar: Well if you like above the bar depower and a clean system, this is a perfect bar for you. It doesn't get better than this. The below the bar swivel works well. It isn't a necessity but nice to have and very few companies have some sort of swivel. Most swivels don't work, but Epic's below the bar swivel is always there working when you want to use it. The bar's construction is refined and appears very durable. I liked all the bar's features: the beefy pretty floats, the bar foam, the durable O'shit handles, the bar ends, the simple QR, the ease of use on the depower system, and the "adjustable" bar width for your smaller kites. My only complaint would be the red plastic piece of the SDR QR. It is plasticy. I would like to see it in the future, made out of a different more refined plastic softer to the touch. The stopper! I liked this thing. Too many stoppers I have been using arent that easy to use and dont seem to work that great. The Epic stopper is my favorite by far.
- My weight: 175lbs
Board: 133 Liquid Force Recoil
Beach Conditions: Typical California coast with onshore winds and waves.
The Bar in Flight:
Well this bar looks great and dandy on the beach, but what about when you take in in the water? This bar rocks! The depower and swivel are easy to use on the go. The bar pressure was in the medium range. The input was direct and immediate. The amount of throw on the bar is just the right amount and fluid. You can pretty much ride sheeted out or in. Just sheet in when you want some boost or speed. My arm position was natural and right where it should be. The Center lines were nice and thin and the bar slid over them really easily. Everything about this bar makes sense and is easy use. The kite was always where you wanted it to be and always went where you wanted it to go. The bar input was great overall with no complaints.
Wind Conditions: 18-22mph
This kite doesn't need apparent wind to get you riding. It planes really easily and gets you going pronto. It pivots in the air smoothly and gets through the wind window cleanly. You can drop it low. Bring it to 12. Do whatever you want with it and it is predictable and stable. For only having 3 struts it has extremely little canopy flutter and stays completely rigid in the air. No jellyfishing through gusts or anything like that. It is consistently powerful. I caught some tiny waves with it and I liked that I could just drop it down, sheet out, and ride the wave. But I could also play with the kite while I rode on the wave. In other words, the kite still functions with some slack in the lines. Big plus! The Renegade never hindenburged or back stalled at all. The few times I expected it to after a hard crash I looked up and it was chillin at 12! I was kinda blown away by this. My kites would have been falling out of the air after giving them that much slack. The hangtime on the kite was pretty good too. It wasn't extreme but that is not what this kite is for (Check out the Screamer for hang time). It had very fluid and smooth jumps.
Who is this kite for?
This kite is for a variety of people:
[list=]• The discerning rider looking for a quality company.
• The beginner looking for a kite that will help them progress and will continue to impress them as they become an intermediate rider.
• The general kiter. This is the kite that fills the gap between SLE and the Delta kites. It has the advantages of both with no sacrifices.
• The waverider wanting a kite that will never fall out of the sky and doesn't mind chillin out while the pilot shreds on a wave.
• The progessive rider looking for a kite that gets them planing early and is consistent throughout the window so they can work on their handlepasses and kite loops.
• The everyday rider. This kite would be great for the kiter using one kite daily because of its good range. I didn't even come close to hitting the top or bottom end.
At a Glance Report Card
- Inflation system: Excellent and quality built
Control Bar: All around best simple system out there.
Control Bar Materials: This bar will last a long long time.
Safety System: Push up standard release with center flag line. Perfect!
Bridle: Small and clean. Well built with beefy bridle pads.
Stability: The most stable kite I have flown!
Power: Excellent and consistent through the wind window.
Turning: Good pivoty motion. Predictable.
Pop: It has it just like any other kite. Not over the top but a consistent good pull.
Bar Pressure: Medium bar pressure, a bit on the heavy side. Good rider feedback.
Depower: Love it. Good system, easy to use, right amount of bar throw.
Relaunch: Never crashed it even though I myself crashed a dozen times.
Durability: Build quality is top notch.
Kite Bag: Fun bag with unique shape! (needs more pretty graphics like the kites )
Epic came out strong! Most kites need refinement after the first production but this kite is better than the generation 2/3 kites I have flown from other companies. Epic did it right and released a competitive quality product from the get go.
Please don't refrain from posting your questions and comments.
Here's a video of my first run with the Renegade. Not the greatest shots but should give you a feel for how the kite performs.
The Epic Renegade!