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 Post subject: My Flysurfer Speed 3 19m experience as a light weight
PostPosted: Tue Oct 18, 2011 9:05 am 
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Joined: Wed Apr 29, 2009 1:01 am
Posts: 12
Location: California
Wind: ~12-16mph
Board: 5'7" quad surfboard
Style: strapless waves to flat water
Weight: 135-140lbs (62kg)
Length of time with kite: 1 year

Bought the Speed 3 19m deluxe for light wind from all the foil lover reviews. Setup is easy, but not really faster than setting up a 10m switchblade (leaving lines connected, more on the 10m later). Packing up is about the same because it's a pain to squeeze all the air out. Self landing when the wind picks up is hairy at best. This is a real issue when I don't have 300lbs to hold it down. Add the time for packing up a twisted kite after deploying the release and the "quick" setup/packdown isn't really an advantage. The kite is well engineered though, never had an issue with the bridles or inflation.

Light wind, it pulls like a train, and goes upwind...when there's enough wind. There's definitely pull, but it doesn't really go that well upwind in the really light stuff. It seems the kite doesn't sit forward enough in the window. You can depower it, but not too much where the triple depower feature kicks in. In ~10-13 mph wind, the kite just doesn't work with my surfboard (could probably do it on my old spleene session). At ~15-18mph and being a lightweight, there's not enough depower. So at 140lbs, either the kite falls out of the sky, or I'm overpowered.

Turning speed, didn't expect it to turn fast, and it doesn't. Waves? forget it. In the wind speeds where it's comfortable, turning speed is non-existent, especially while drifting. In <13mph, the kite needs work to stay in the air. It definitely floats more than a LEI, but so what? It's useless to stay in the air if there's no power to get you going. Back stalling isn't an issue as long as you fly it as you should and the mixer is tuned.

So what was my solution for light wind? Sold the 19m and got an Aguera race board + 10m Switchblade. It gets going in the same, if not less wind than the 19m + surfboard. The race board keeps going upwind until the kite falls out of the sky. Now, you could use a 19m + race board, but why bother when the 10m works at our weight. When the 10m falls out of the sky, the 19m will too. Edit: one other drawback of the turning speed on a race board is that you can't loop it in transitions (in very light wind). The race board can build amazing apparent wind where your kite will fall out of the sky in transitions. I've had times where my 10m Switchblade will stay in the air with several loops (race boards don't "slip" like TTs, it's like standing on land), but the 19m would just hover in the air for about 2min trying to turn around because the wind is so light. Sure it stays in the air, but sitting on your board waiting for your kite to turn around ain't exactly a blast.

That's my experience with light wind foils. Hopefully it helps others in the same weight class decide on their light wind quiver. I'm sure the Speed 3 19m works great for someone heavier as seen from all the reviews, but it didn't work out for me.


Last edited by hozo on Fri Oct 21, 2011 8:25 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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 Post subject: Re: My Flysurfer Speed 3 19m experience as a light weight
PostPosted: Tue Oct 18, 2011 11:15 am 
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Joined: Thu Feb 12, 2009 10:52 am
Posts: 276
Location: Norfolk, UK
Useful review.

I do have a S3 but went for the 15M as I found the 19M too slow. I am a heavier rider (100 kg / 220lb) so I like the pull and lift when it comes on. Not sure why you went with the 19M...would have thought you'd have gone for a 12 or 15...both turn a lot faster than the 19 and at your weight I don't think you'd have lost anything on the bottom end....you'd have also been able to ride it into higher winds (when it can get really fun). I kinda think the 12M is the most fun to fly.

On landing I try to avoid going to the release unless absolutely necessary...I don't like untangling kites of whatever kind. That said, in light wind (<15/16mph) I pull in the back lines and reverse land my 15 onto the beach then walk up the lines to the kite. In high(er) winds I try to get someone to catch a tip for me.

In 'general' I think the low wind usefulness of a kite is interesting and if it can get a rider out 10/15% more often then it is a good thing. However, I like the overall usefulness more. For me, the 15M is a lift machine that gives me nice, soft, easy landings. As an old bloke that is a good thing. Like all these things it is all about trying different combinations and using what works for each rider. Viva la difference...as it were... :D


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 Post subject: Re: My Flysurfer Speed 3 19m experience as a light weight
PostPosted: Tue Oct 18, 2011 12:15 pm 
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Joined: Tue Feb 06, 2007 5:50 pm
Posts: 353
Wow! What ever possessed you to get a 19M at your weight? It's no wonder you couldn't enjoy it.

I fly the 12M Speed 3 Serial, and I love it! By far the best kite I've ever owned in 8 years of kiting.

I usually get going good at about 12 mph and I weigh 210 lbs. I use the Litewave Wing, 151(old style).

My next kite will be the 21M for the really light stuff.

I also own a Speed 2 15M Serial, that I get going OK at about 7/8ish mph.


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 Post subject: Re: My Flysurfer Speed 3 19m experience as a light weight
PostPosted: Tue Oct 18, 2011 1:26 pm 
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Joined: Mon Aug 12, 2002 1:00 am
Posts: 1754
Location: Miami @ 6" Flat Butter!
Quote:
So what was my solution for light wind? Sold the 19m and got an Aguera race board + 10m Switchblade. It gets going in the same, if not less wind than the 19m + surfboard. The race board keeps going upwind until the kite falls out of the sky. Now, you could use a 19m + race board, but why bother when the 10m works at our weight. When the 10m falls out of the sky, the 19m will too.

That's my experience with light wind foils. Hopefully it helps others in the same weight class decide on their light wind quiver. I'm sure the Speed 3 19m works great for someone heavier as seen from all the reviews, but it didn't work out for me.
This review is valuable, thanks :thumb:
I don't really care for a raceboard to reinvent a 20 years old discipline of Pole Boarding on a refrigerator door with killer swords
and killing your leg in half an hour :evil:
But I'm even less than you're and my solution was the 21m "Cable Park" :lol:
I'm only 130 lbs (60 Kg) and use it successfully since April from 8 to 15 mph winds
and never get skunked :nono:

DrLW


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 Post subject: Re: My Flysurfer Speed 3 19m experience as a light weight
PostPosted: Tue Oct 18, 2011 1:52 pm 
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Joined: Fri Jan 09, 2009 4:49 am
Posts: 3615
Location: Japan
Interesting, thanks for posting :thumb: glad someone else is enjoying the post-ride enforced time-out while the kite deflates :lol:
How's the race-board in the waves?

hozo wrote:
the kite falls out of the sky

Something is wrong there - bad state of tune? Lines stretched? I've seen a little Asian guy ride a TT from what the wind meter said was 6 knots ...


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 Post subject: Re: My Flysurfer Speed 3 19m experience as a light weight
PostPosted: Tue Oct 18, 2011 3:23 pm 
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Joined: Sun Jan 14, 2007 8:53 pm
Posts: 323
Location: Miami, FL
at your weight and that kind of wind why would you would need/want more than a 10M or 12M? Especially a 10M switchblade which is a powerful kite and similar size to most other 11/12M and with a 5'7" surfboard. Anyway at least you had the guts to try it and review so props for that. At 190lbs I can easily ride an 08 Waroo 11M on a 135x42cm TT in that wind. I've let some real lightweights ride my Speed 3 21 here and they were having a ball, do I think they should buy one? probably not.


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 Post subject: Re: My Flysurfer Speed 3 19m experience as a light weight
PostPosted: Fri Oct 21, 2011 1:59 am 
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Joined: Wed Apr 29, 2009 1:01 am
Posts: 12
Location: California
Glad the review's helpful to someone. I went for the 19m because my previous combo of 12m Switchblade III + Spleene Session already had me going in very light wind. I was usually the last guy out except for one raceboarder. But I wanted moar! So I went for the biggest Flysurfer out at the time. The Spleene easily goes upwind better than my surfboard (has a bit of tail rocker). However, I sold all my twintips because I just like the surfboard better.

Yea, at 220lb, that's quite a bit more leverage to hold it down on landing. I had no problem backstalling it in light wind. It was when the wind picked up just enough. And usually, when I have the 19m out, everyone's left.

My MPH numbers are probably not exact, I'm going off of what I remember from charts after sessions. I wouldn't compare it to wind in different areas. It's really just for reference within this review.

How's the race-board in the waves? Ha. I don't plan to find out. If you like jibing a train...

DrLightWind wrote:
I don't really care for a raceboard to reinvent a 20 years old discipline of Pole Boarding on a refrigerator door with killer swords
and killing your leg in half an hour :evil:

Heh, I miss Pole Boarding, so the feeling of fins is warm and fuzzy to me. And it doesn't really kill your legs, pretty comfortable actually. Go full speed while the local shortboard windsurfers are on the beach. Formula does look fun though, but too lazy to learn and carry the giant rig and board. I went for the 19m also because of your reviews DrLightWind. But I think the difference in our experience is that your winds are probably more stable at the low end. The winds here are usually dying or gusty at the low end.

"the kite falls out of the sky" "Something is wrong there - bad state of tune? Lines stretched?"
Mixer tuned and lines fine as far as I can tell. All other infatos are down. There's another 19m that flies/drops in the same wind as me. I sure can't get it going in 6 knots on my surfboard, so maybe there's something wrong with it or your guy has more mad skills.


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 Post subject: Re: My Flysurfer Speed 3 19m experience as a light weight
PostPosted: Fri Oct 21, 2011 7:50 am 
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Joined: Fri Jan 09, 2009 4:49 am
Posts: 3615
Location: Japan
Gusty won't help, especially if you're new to foils ...

hozo wrote:
Mixer tuned and lines fine as far as I can tell. All other infatos are down. There's another 19m that flies/drops in the same wind as me. I sure can't get it going in 6 knots on my surfboard, so maybe there's something wrong with it or your guy has more mad skills.

He wasn't riding so easily - struggled to get on a plane but once he did he was off racing! The kite flew just fine though ... when the wind dropped to 3 knots he had to pay attention to it but it stayed in the air ... maybe you're mis-estimating the wind ;)

Find with the backstall landing that about half-way down the window you have to hurry it on down to the ground - if you linger, it starts pulling ...


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 Post subject: Re: My Flysurfer Speed 3 19m experience as a light weight
PostPosted: Fri Apr 20, 2012 3:27 pm 
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Joined: Mon Oct 17, 2011 9:54 am
Posts: 275
Location: Como Lake - Italy
I had one session only on a 19 and I frankly did not like it. Slow, very slow, boring slow. But it was staying in the air in 6-konts-6, not one more and I could easily stay upwind in about 7/8 knots with a Flydoor XL. Relaunching in very ligth wind was difficult for me but I think you have to get used to, very different from inflatos.
Eventually, I decided not to buy the 19 and I bought a Core Riot XR 17 LW. I find it much more simple to use and it really has lots of power and depower. I can ride with my Nobile Flying Carpet from 8 knots and stay upwind effortlessly. Also, till about 16 knots no problem. At 18 I really want to go home, but at that point I'm confortable with my 11.
Relaunch very easy in 8/10 knots, not so easy below 8. At 6/7 is not so shure you're going to get you kite ariborne again, have to fight a lot and hope for a gust.


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 Post subject: Re: My Flysurfer Speed 3 19m experience as a light weight
PostPosted: Fri Apr 20, 2012 9:25 pm 
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Joined: Sat Aug 29, 2009 11:25 pm
Posts: 2472
Location: The Naki
This review tells me you did not learn how to fly the flysurfer properly before you sold it. Set up and pack up is considerably faster once you have a few techniques sorted. I went through the frustration phase for about a month and almost sold my speed 3 before i sorted it.

If you know how to fly them properly they do not fall out of the sky. I landboard successfully in 3-4 knots no collapsing.

You fly them quite differently to an lei. If you fly them like an lei you will get the experience you just discribe.

In saying that the speed 3 is not a wave kite. its most likely the worst wave kite on the planet. it does not do down wind very well at all and when the wind starts to build it has huge entrained power you can't simply shut off. It also doesn't like chop in light wind. slows the board speed down and thus the aparent wind which is how it creates power.. on flat water you can get some insane light wind action. you get sweet upwind angles. massive glides in jumps. but if you expect to surf down the line on a speed 3 forget it.


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