After a season with the Spleene SPX II, it is certainly time to write a small review.
I kitesurf for over 10 years. My preferred and home region is the north of germany, especially Kiel. On vacation in the summer months I ride in the South of France and North of Spain, especially Leucate and the Bay of Rosas. The conditions in which I ride are therefore from light to strong winds, in varying resistance.
Currently I use the Spleen RS 38 and a door 59 at about 95 kg and I love to fly good performing Hangtime Kites ala Best Nemesis .
Last year I was out with the Spleene Qx and the SPX and discovered unexpectedly the freestylers for me. Therefore, in this test, I can compare the SPX II , with Best Nemesis, the Qx and the first model of the Spleene SPX .
Lowend : The SPX II starts much earlier than its predecessor. But the SPX II is still not one of the early gliders or light wind machines. Although it produces as soon as it is in the sky considerable downwind power, what invites you to perform loaded tricks, but you couldn’t go upwind.
This is mainly caused due to the low position in the wind window, the result is that the kite is producing power, but just still pulls no height.
I can’t provide you exactly knots information, but I would order the SPX II in the middle of all kites, for the matter light wind ability. Certainly not his best discipline, but I was in contrast to the "old" SPX pleasantly surprised. Switching from light wind wonders ala nemesis and Qx, especially the old SPX, really strain my nerves, because once the kite is in the air, you feel as if it’s working already, but it still doesn’t and mainly it pulls no height...
The lighter kiters ( about 65 -80kg ) who tested the kite , however, were very pleased with the light wind performance. Probably the requirements here between lighter and heavier riders are far apart.
High-end : Although you might expect that the SPX II with its deep position in the wind window produces incredible lateral forces, the SPX II pushes in high winds more and more to the edge of the wind window. While you should , especially while you are jumping in high winds, know what you are doing, but the SPX II remains, also completely depowered, very controllable.
I couldn’t yet, even in undesirable situations, push the kites to their limits and I also like to go out " unreasonable overpowered“.
Handling / flight characteristics / bar feeling :
The SPX II is incredibly agile and nimble at a tremendous flying speed. I was always of the opinion that the nemesis with their very thin Cuben Fiber leading edge were the NonPlusUltra in terms of airspeed , but I was disabused.
The kite rotates when you want , in very tight radii without “plating” (like Bow Kites do), clean around the tips.
Hooked and unhooked you always know , thanks to a good feedback on the bar, where the kite is located.
The SPX II compensates gusts very good and short wind holes can be overcome due to the high air velocity through sinusing. The depower works well all the way to the bar. Power can be metered well. The depower is relatively linear and of course dependent on the particular pressure point.
In light wind the SPX II have very low bar pressure and holding forces, which are getting higher with increasing winds. But also in the high range they are never uncomfortably high. I would say typical hybrid settled in midfield. I 'm used to fly kites with little to no holding forces and I get along well with the SPX II.
Overall, the SPX II has become a very agile, fast and stable kite with good feedback at the bar. The flight behavior is always predictable and straightforward for a freestyler .
It provides a balanced C-kite feeling, which, however, was "defused" by a lower bar pressure.
The jumping ability of the SPX II has surprised me the most. Who knows the Nemesis knows how high these kites take you and how well and long they carry you through air. Also the SPX II didn’t have to be afraid of a direct comparison.
The Nemesis jumps higher in low winds, but the stronger the wind will be, the jumping abilities approach. Already in middle winds, hooked jumps with a very long fly are possible, and in higher winds, it brings you to the „3rd floor ". These surprisingly good jumping qualities are one reason why my nemesis stay more often in the basement.
Where the SPX II clearly plays its strengths in the entire wind range, are unhooked or loaded jumps. As mentioned above the SPX produces by its low level in the wind window early enough pressure (even before one can properly pull height) to generate a lot of pop.
Moving the SPX II in his sweet spot, nothing is desired regarding New School tricks. It provides a very powerful release with subsequent harmonic pressure reduction in the jump.
At higher wind speeds the SPX II is not forgiving. Who shoots out here and did not know 100% what he is doing, is rewarded with the high airspeed and a "crisp" wipeout.
Kite loops are easy to jump due to the high rotational speed. Despite of, or perhaps because of the fast loop he developed significant lateral offset, which has initially brought me to my limits and often cared for one or the other very hard impact. For kiteloop beginners, there are certainly more appropriate kites without the C-kite typical downwind force.
Who is looking for a kite that offers very harmonious flying characteristics and good hooked jump potential, but who wouldn’t miss very good new-school abilities, is well advised with the SPX II. The only downer is the limited, hooked jumping ability in light wind and the requirement not to do any mistakes in higher winds.
Sure, in terms of bar- and steering forces, speed and fault tolerance, the kite would be tuneable through the second attachment point. However, I have flown it in any size only to the outermost attachment points. For me a kite cannot be agile enough.
The SPX II is very light processed and comes without large-scaled reinforcements, still stressed areas are doubled (Trailing Edge) and the critical points are specially sewed and reinforced.
The SPX II has lack of a Centrestrut like its predecessor, the remaining 4 Struts are supplied with pressure via Onepump or a "one-pump inflation system". The leading edge bent down slightly rounded at the tips, tapering at the end also. This piece is provided with a protection so that the lines doesn’t catch the tube.
The middle Struts are waiving this addition. Nevertheless, they are protected against the increased stress through thicker patches.
The struts are completely sewn to the leading edge and stabilized by Kevlar reinforcements. Anyone who wants to, can clamp the leading edge of the Struts.
New is the center valve, which is designed as a big dinghy valve. Here the air is quick in and out, you only have to pay attention that the valve remains free of sand. The large pump adapter is located next to the Valve so you can’t get rid of him. Protecting valve and adapter while the kite is in the air, there is a chic neoprene hat.
The bridle of the SPX II comes with two pulleys and a metal eyelet. A total of three deflections.
Regarding the workmanship, so SPX II is a stable, well-made kite. Similar to the old SPX it will be difficult to get damaged. Nevertheless, the kite belongs to the lighter ones and remains in very low wind still in the sky without falling down.
Overall the SPX II has surprised me. With the first SPX, I never got comfortable. Especially because it starts relatively late, although you always had the feeling that the wind would fit. The SPX II is not one of the absolute early gliders, but I also had great days with my door and the 12sm. These days I had been the only one on the water.
Through its C-kite flying experience, the SPX II is definitely suitable for all those who appreciate a direct and very agile kite. Here, the SPX II shows its strengths. It is absolutely new school / freestyle suitable and in more wind, it’s the absolute jumping machine (very important to me).
The SPX II is suitable for all those who want to ride new school / freestyle , freeride or wave . New school, with good pop and clean release is his best discipline. I would appreciate me as a as a predominant freerider and I am very satisfied with this kite. In addition, the SPX II should be safe and suitable, through its agility, for waves.
For beginners, I would recommend other kites , as errors , especially at higher wind, are punished hard through the SPX II.
If you still have questions, even to the bar or the RS Board, then you can write me on Facebook or here a PM.
Thus, English isn’t my first language, perhaps the review, in some parts, is a little bit unintelligible. But I hope everyone understands the key issues.
For german readers, there’s a version in german language on:http://forum.oase.com/showthread.php?t=140690