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Review: Storm-Voyager 3 (tested: 3, 5, 7 and 9m2)

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Laszlo Karai
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Local Beach: Miami Beach, 25th Street
Favorite Beaches: Miami Beach, 25 th Street, 76th Street, 1st Street,
Style: hydrofoil, strapless surf
Gear: Levitaz, Taaroa, AlpineFoil, Liquid Force, Core, F-one, Kitech, Storm kitesurfing
Brand Affiliation: Owner of Kite-Hydrofoil Miami, Inc.

Review: Storm-Voyager 3 (tested: 3, 5, 7 and 9m2)

Postby Laszlo Karai » Tue Mar 28, 2017 10:05 am

Legendary kite designer, Sylvain Peretti just released the all new 2017 Voyager line up, which is the 3rd edition of this kite.
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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 flight:
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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.

Bar:

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.

Conclusion:
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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:
www.kitehydrofoilmiami.com

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Starsky
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Re: Review: Storm-Voyager 3 (tested: 3, 5, 7 and 9m2)

Postby Starsky » Tue Mar 28, 2017 11:27 am

Single strut with two mini struts....... PFFFFFfft

Looks like three pretty full length struts to me.

So that leaves only Clouds and Gong.

faklord
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Re: Review: Storm-Voyager 3 (tested: 3, 5, 7 and 9m2)

Postby faklord » Tue Mar 28, 2017 2:19 pm

Starsky wrote:
Tue Mar 28, 2017 11:27 am
Single strut with two mini struts....... PFFFFFfft

Looks like three pretty full length struts to me.

So that leaves only Clouds and Gong.
The bigger sizes (12m & 15m) are strutless and this is where, in my opinion, you have the main advantage. The reduced weight giving Improved turning speed, drift and reverse re-launch in light winds. These characteristics aren't an issue with the smaller sizes in stronger winds. So, it seems a solid design philosophy to just have struts on the smaller sizes?

12m strutless
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Starsky
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Re: Review: Storm-Voyager 3 (tested: 3, 5, 7 and 9m2)

Postby Starsky » Tue Mar 28, 2017 3:22 pm

Yeah maybe. But the smaller clouds have loads of fans. All the praise I've read about Gong kites are for the small sizes.

Obviously structure helps top end range. A cloud rider would tell you to size down. I guess it depends on what your after. A kite you can lean back against, or super nimble dexterity in a kite.

Even one strut makes for a massive change in how the kite behaves. That ability to sheet out and let the fabric luff the kite to a near instant stop is one of the unique characteristics of strutless kites.

Bletti
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Re: Review: Storm-Voyager 3 (tested: 3, 5, 7 and 9m2)

Postby Bletti » Tue Mar 28, 2017 7:08 pm

Can you please weigh the voyage 2 and 3 in a couple sizes so we can get a better idea of the difference rather than just saying its small?

faklord
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Re: Review: Storm-Voyager 3 (tested: 3, 5, 7 and 9m2)

Postby faklord » Tue Mar 28, 2017 8:43 pm

Bletti wrote:
Tue Mar 28, 2017 7:08 pm
Can you please weigh the voyage 2 and 3 in a couple sizes so we can get a better idea of the difference rather than just saying its small?
Just weighed the storm 12m v3 at 2.66kg. Kite only and in a lightweight ripstop bag. Kite is probably not bone dry but it's not wet either. By comparison a Fone Bandit 12m weighed in at 3.52kg. Only got one Storm.

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downunder
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Re: Review: Storm-Voyager 3 (tested: 3, 5, 7 and 9m2)

Postby downunder » Wed Mar 29, 2017 3:18 am

Laszlo Karai wrote:
Tue Mar 28, 2017 10:05 am
.
.
(it was retained on the 3m2 version, which is for extreme/hurricane conditions over 30knts of wind).
.
.
Ha, ha, this is the extreme/hurricane conlditions, not the merely 30kn:

Image

airsurfer
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Re: Review: Storm-Voyager 3 (tested: 3, 5, 7 and 9m2)

Postby airsurfer » Wed Mar 29, 2017 4:29 am

The kites look great. How's the deepwater relaunch for the 12m and 15m in light winds please post a video if possible.

How's the the bar pressure on the top end od the 12 and 15m ?

stevez
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Re: Review: Storm-Voyager 3 (tested: 3, 5, 7 and 9m2)

Postby stevez » Wed Mar 29, 2017 6:15 am

Starsky wrote:
Tue Mar 28, 2017 3:22 pm
Yeah maybe. But the smaller clouds have loads of fans. All the praise I've read about Gong kites are for the small sizes.

Obviously structure helps top end range. A cloud rider would tell you to size down. I guess it depends on what your after. A kite you can lean back against, or super nimble dexterity in a kite.

Even one strut makes for a massive change in how the kite behaves. That ability to sheet out and let the fabric luff the kite to a near instant stop is one of the unique characteristics of strutless kites.
Totally agree. The Cloud completely validates the concept of strutless small kites. There doesn't seem to be any disadvantages to not having any struts on the smaller clouds. I don't understand why they would want to move back into a crowded pack with a single/three? strutted offering.

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Re: Review: Storm-Voyager 3 (tested: 3, 5, 7 and 9m2)

Postby faklord » Wed Mar 29, 2017 10:30 am

airsurfer wrote:
Wed Mar 29, 2017 4:29 am
The kites look great. How's the deepwater relaunch for the 12m and 15m in light winds please post a video if possible.

How's the the bar pressure on the top end od the 12 and 15m ?
Can't personally comment on relaunch but in http://kiteforum.com/viewtopic.php?f=19 ... dt#p965065 Wielandt says "If the Storm Voyager drops and have to be relaunched it a pice of cake to get up again" & "The Storm get going in next to no wind and as I mentioned before is very very easy to relaunch. For some reason, also easier than the Gong's". Sounds like he has quite a bit of experience with these, so might be worth getting in touch.

Bar pressure on the 12m I would class as medium to light. However i did notice if the kite was low and i wanted to turn, coinciding with a gust, it took a bit of a tug on the back hand to get the kite to climb - this behaviour is also mentioned by Sombra in this topic http://kiteforum.com/viewtopic.php?f=19 ... 45#p965045


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