Many of you may have seen the pictures and promo videos for the flysurfer peak, but there really isnt any reviews out there. I picked one up thru hardwater kiting (Awesome guys, super helpful!) and have logged 4 hours on it so far.
Being a single skin kite this thing packs up really small and weighs practicaly nothing.
Day one, wind 1-6knots, surface ice, hard pack and slush.
Wind range. Its no suprise that I was able to fly her in less wind than I could feel. In light wind like this your not going to get much power but magically you will be able to move. In these light winds this kite has a good amount of static pull.. Where most kites will lack power without a certain about of apparent wind this kite just keeps pulling. Real impressive.
Speed. In this light wind the kite was very stable and had decent power thru kiteloops. Sineing the kite was easy, this kite turns smooth and quick.
Depower. This kite showed a very binary depower, on or off. In the light wind unhooked mode it was too easy to luff the kite, so I set it to touring mode and the kite flew better. In retrospect I should have unhooked and flown the kite around using the light wind setting, I bet that would have been the best way to fly in the light light wind ala trainer style.
Bar. The bar is very simple and light with no depower strap. The chicken loop is nice, safety release is very good, just a simple clean setup. The only hang up i have is you cant turn the kite and depower at the same time. This is a really silly design, oval the hole for cripes sake.
Window position. The peak doesnt sit to deep in the window much to my suprise. It actually pulls up wind really well, I was shocked that with how little wind and power i had upwind progress was very good. It's really quite impressive given the amount of steady static pull. It doesn't make any sense but it pulls like its deep in the window when it's sitting forward enough to happily pull you upwind.
Boosting. Way to light and underpowered.
Day 2, wind 10-20knots, with occasional gusts to 30, surface condition, 6-24" of heavy powder
Wind range. Flysurfer states the max wind range of this kite is 15 knots. I'm 175 lbs and use a snow board.. I can honestly say that I would have no problems with steady 20 knot winds maybe more. In light snow cover conditions or on ice 15 knots may be an accurate max but today 15 knots was where things started to get fun.
Speed. This kite turns really well. Its just a touch slower than my 12m blade trigger. Kite loops to climb snow banks are quick, precise and powerful. Even fully depowered this kite turns very responsively.
Depower. We had some pretty heavy gusts, this thing really just ate them up. All the luffing and flexing you see in the videos does happen, but it only happens if your fully sheeted out or make a sudden aoa adjustment. Normal smooth depower motions luff the kite for a second then it stops, really strange. All the luffing and flexing doesnt make any pulsation in the bar, really just looks wierd. The depower was very smooth and linear thru the sheeting range today, much better than when the wind was light.
Bar. Today the small bar hole wasn't an issue. My guess is that the front lines had enough tension to over come the friction. I did test the qr today. The kite instantly flagged and sat quiet even thru shifting gusts. Reloading the qr was super simple even with it packed full of snow, lines were as they should be. Really simple and clean. With the gusty conditions I was able to get a good feel for the bar pressure. Gusts pulled the bar pretty hard and increased bar pressure a ton. I wouldn't say that the bar pressure is really heavy, but it is heavier than any foil I have even flown. I would say its about the same as a pre 2014 of envy, on the heavy side but not going to fatigue you.
Window position. Even when really powered I was able to go upwind no problem. Im quite impressed, I thought with the squareish shape of these kites would lead to a deep sitting position that would be a pain to get upwind with. Hill climbs were easy even without looping, but looping makes it so much more fun
Boosting. Today there was plently of wind for boosting. It took me a while to figure out how to boost with this thing, the trick being to just send it super hard and loading up las hard as possible. When boosting it's really quite soft, easy landings even if you don't redirect quite right. If your newer to kiting and don't know how to properly boost it's not going to happen with this kite, but if you know your timing and know how to load up you will be rewarded with some really buttery smooth gliding type boosts.
Overall impression. This is a love it or hate it kite. Its quirky and looks strange, but it gets the job done. I can say honestly that it feels really wierd to fly it, but its not bad wierd. Its kinda one of those things that what you see confuses you.. What you see and what you feel are not in any way related. Im impressed.. I had the feeling that this thing was going to be deep in the window pulling like a truck with on and off depower and no boostability, but I was wrong on every account. I really wish that they made these in a 12m, that would be a real light wind weapon. If you can demo one try it, you might be suprised too.
I definitely would buy again.