Ocean Rodeo Flite 17m 2014 Light Wind Review
For 2014 Ocean Rodeo have created a combination of their previous Flite kites mixed with the more powerful Prodigy kites in their range to create an ultra-lightweight, light wind kite.
The Flite has 3 struts but they claim that it is just as lightweight as competitors’ ‘no strut’ kites in the range. They achieve this by using a much thinner material for their struts and leading edge that is between 20% and 30% lighter than their other kites. They argue that less pressure needed in the kite combined with stronger scuff pads along the leading edge means that it is just as durable and strong, if not more so than other products.
The kite has a one-pump system for faster inflation but, as with all of these big kites, it is quite a work out to get it fully inflated!
The Flite’s top bragging rights are its quick turning speed for its size, smooth power delivery, fantastic wind range and great relaunch. These certainly aren’t comments we would be making about a 17m kite a few years ago. Even when the wind picks up a bit, you don’t need arms of steel to control the bar pressure, allowing you to carry on enjoying your session. It is a really fun kite to fly, very responsive and lively and you never feel like – as was the case yesteryear – it is going to just give up on you and take a dive at any point.
We had the OR bar with the below the bar depower which tended to clutter things up and was stiff to use. The QR only releases the tension of the kite onto both of the power lines and not just one, meaning the kite has large roll over bridles to try and achieve the same “almost” full depower when activated. This does make re-setting the bar and re-launching the kite after releasing it very simple.
The Flite wasn’t setting the world on fire with its graphics, but there are a few colourways to choose from and the subtleness seems to compliment the stealth-like qualities of the Flite.
You can’t argue that Ocean Rodeo have got something right. Everyone who tested the Flite agreed you are able to forget it’s a large kite and enjoy your session like any other. The days of slow, sketchy light wind kites, that when you crash it, is game over is luckily now a thing of the past. There’s no doubt that adding the Flite to your quiver will definitely increase your time on the water over those summer days.
Light wind test 2014. Andy Gratwick.