Legendary kite designer, Sylvain Peretti just released the all new 2017 Voyager line up, which is the 3rd edition of this kite.
The Voyager kites were designed as hydrofoil specific tubed and strutless kites. The most important change from the previous models is that the smaller sizes (3-5-7 and 9m2) got a center strut and two additional mini struts. The reason to modify the design was to increase the kite stability and performance for the smaller sizes, which operate in high winds and gusty conditions. The 12, and 15 stayed trutless. The leading edge diameter got reduced and the pulleys were removed for a more direct feel (it was retained on the 3m2 version, which is for extreme/hurricane conditions over 30knts of wind). In addition, the wingtips got square shaped compared to the previous year’s design. The addition of the struts gave the kite more robust look and significantly reduced the flutter, when the kite is depowered. One maybe inadvertent, however, much appreciated user friendly feature of the new struts is that it allows the kite resting on the beach even in very high winds. This may sound unimportant at first, however, if you already owned one you know the difficulty of keeping strutless kites grounded. The center strut forces the kite to the ground, even without putting sand on top. The overall weight has not changed much, the kite is still very nimble and maneuverable. This was achieved with a small diameter strut, which does not add significant weight to the overall construction. The kite is well built and reinforced at the areas of high impact, where wear and tear is expected.
The Voyager3 is very stable in the air with an “on/off” like behavior regarding the power output. By sheeting in the kite immediately powers up, sheeting out leads to total depower. This comes handy during hydrofoiling, when the excessive power can be totally dumped by pushing out the bar. The bar pressure is average. Turning/looping speed is excellent and the kite does not generate excessive pull during the loops. This is actually one of my favorite feature, since during kiteloop transitions the kite does not rip off the rider from the board. Drifting is another forte. By pushing out the bar the kite is going to float effortlessly and drifts with the rider. This also comes handy during downwind kiteloops, Re-launching is excellent: due to the small weight and shape of the kite. After hitting the water it flies back to the sky effortlessly. The adjustment points on the leading edge were kept. By using the different attachment points the kite can be fine-tuned for wave: high connection point, freeride: middle, and hydrofoil: low connection point. The wave setting gives a more direct, grunty feel and more power as needed for surfboards. The foil setting smoothens the kite, the power comes in smaller increments and this is much appreciated in overpowering conditions.
OK, so here is the surprise: there is only one (1) bar for all sizes: 3-15m!!! All sizes were harmonized, so they feel and behave the same way. First it seemed impossible, especially for the smaller sizes, however, after trying it does work. The new bar is functional, no nonsense with a race biased above the bar depower setup and under the bar un-spinning. The chickenloop and quick release is simple, works and safe.
Overall it is probably one of the top contender as a hydrofoil specific tubed kite. It is also a great value for the money or with other words one of the “best bang for the buck”. The kite does everything that is expected from a hydrofoil specific tube kite. It excels in freeride/freestyle and has a great potential as a wave riding machine due to its extraordinary drifting ability. It is well built and was designed by one of the most original kite designer.
You can find more info on this and Hydrofoil gear at: