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 Post subject: Skoop2 14.5 by Peter Frank
PostPosted: Wed Mar 12, 2003 1:09 am 
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And what a day 14°C in the winther, perfect.

I was out with the 14.5 m2.

First impressions:

Build quality is like the Wook - thoroughly and good details, but nothing exceptional either.
Stronger than the 2002 Skoops.
And the outer struts are a bit thicker than last year - which is really good, and will prevent any tip folding.
Contra vents in the outer strut only - this is good.
And velcro locks sewn direct to the struts.
Hint: Remove the velcro at the outer strut from the valve "top".
This way it is very easy to close the valve, without letting air out.
Two vents in the front bladder.

The Dream Bar supplied has got a plastic tube on the depower - and it works....
Because the carbon center piece with a metal hole is very narrow, and the hole a nice diameter - the plastic moves freely without sticking.
Great - on the Airblasts we always cut the plastic tube away instantly, because it made the depower move very badly, on all types of bars.
It comes fully assembled with lines and safety and everything setup from the factory - and the front/rear lines are polarized so there is no risk of setup mistakes or anything.
Works excellent.

The bar comes in a zipper bag - very convinient for storing, without line mess.
Only problem is, that because the fixed trapetze loop has been stored inside the bag from the start - it tends to hang a little angled, and a bit difficult to catch....
I'll put the line into the bag in another way the next time, to avoid this.

There is a fine front line safety leash, which attaches via a plastic buckle to the spreader bar, so you can have it inside the fixed loop.
It fits perfectly on all std. bars.

Well, regarding flight characteristics.

It is (luckily) still an "Airblast" type kite with more low end, and with even more depower range than the Skoops from 2002.
Turns a notch faster, and feels very direct (2002's a bit smooth/soft).
The most impressive fact though, was the jumping.
Huge lift when going up - you could definitely feel an improvement.

The best thing is, that even when you don't really plane or have any speed (feel stuck in too light wind) - then if you set up for a jump - YOU GET HIGH IN THE AIR !
Don't know how they have done this - but believe me, it is awesome to jump in subplaning conditions, where normally nothing would have happened.

Direct kite, good depower, insane takeoffs in jumps - excellent height.

Too early to say anything about the low end, as it was very gusty today - and difficult to compare to the other kites around.
But we were two out with Skoop2 14.5m2, and we had the same impressions.

I prefer a long bar myself - the supplied is 55cm - enough for this size of kite.
But I am used to using 65cm on kites bigger than 12 or 13 m2 - so I took my own 65 bar again - so I did not change my "normal" feel for the kite.
It is only a matter of getting used to of course - som likes small bars, other want long ones.
The 9m2 Skoop2 is supplied with a 47 cm bar, which fits for this size.

And then the kite worked even better for me (because I am used to this bar length) - takeoffs from almost a dead stop without moving forward

And when fully loaded speeding away with bar sheeted fully out - you got insane jumps when taking off and pulling the bar in.
Wow !
Tried it with a small 140cm wakestyle board, and a bigger 175cm TT also.
Both boards were lifted good in all jumps, more than usually.

In short again, my impressions: Very direct and agile, good depower, and more extreme lift in jumps (better acceleration and power in takeoffs - you feel like a "rocket man").

I have no idea of the low end and relaunch capabilities yet.
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Peter Frank
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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Mar 12, 2003 9:22 am 
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Continued from the "2003 Skoop2 first day out !" thread...

Takoon low end !

We have been a lot of kiters out all day, testing the Skoop2 14.5m2 for the second day in a row.

And when the wind finally died, and we thought it was "the end" - the most amazing thing was, that the bottom end is incredible:

Image

A very small board (Lord of Hellfire), and not a white cap anywhere !

No problem going upwind, and jumping height was still insane.

An Airblast would have "died" totally in these conditions.

Even when the wind died so you could not plane when sining the kite, you could still jump...

This is too good to be true (pinching myself in my arm) - but we have not been able to find ANY bad things about this kites flying and handling at all :thumb:

No rocket struts and super hidden seams and other "pop" features no.
But a good decent construction - and definitely a new trendsetter regarding flight characteristics !

Heres a close up, for those of you who have not seen the kite:

Notice the segmented leading edge. The kite is rocksteady, even with a soft pumped front bladder.

Image


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Apr 22, 2003 4:08 pm 
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Additional info, now we've used the Skoop2's a LOT :

The low end of this kite, comes from the acceleration and speed (AND turning speed) it has.
It is not a low end grunty kite - more like the 2002 Skoops, but way faster jumping/accelerating (less drag).

If you are out in really gusty and choppy conditions, and are heavy especially - they will jellyfish in some conditions, now and then.

The segmented LE gives it okay stiffness, but not 100% (now we've tested it under ALL conditions).
Thats the price for a high AR super accelerating kite.

The biggest one, the Skoop2 17m2 has quickly become everyones favorite kite, because compared to the 2002 which were a bit of a "dog" compared - it turns so well, and accelerates to give you low end jumping power and extreme "pop".

Even the real heavy guys who liked the 2002 17m2 (it did only work for heavier guys IMO), says that the 2003 feels like an 11.5m2 in handling !!!
Of course they are exaggerating so it is not truly so - but anyway, the bottom line is, that it works so good for heavy AND light riders, the 17m2 Skoop2 :thumb:

We have seen no problems with colours changing, and the material does not wrinkle as heavy, as "normal" material kites do when flapping on the beach, or rolled up carelessly.

Some kites "hum" when turned, others dont say no nothing...
Its just the way it is.

We have had/seen all 5 standard colour combinations here, and the kind of "new" ones (the two with yellow) are really cool:

Image

One note here: The Red/White seems to come in two slightly different red colours - one which is full red, and another which is a bit lighter or has an orange glow.
Not shown in these colour combinations.

Some liked the old "shitty" coloured brown (I did not, as you can understand...), but the good news is, that the 2003 is not brown and red, but "Gold" and Red coloured. Looks good.
But colours are a personal thing, so I wont talk more about this issue - but mention it, as many who reads this, might be about to buy a Skoop2 kite.

All colours are just a notch faded on the bottom side of the kite, and very sharp/bright on the top side.

Simply an observation/information...


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Jul 01, 2003 4:40 pm 
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Location: Vermont, USA
Great information. I now have the 11, 14, and 17. The low end on the 17 has me really surpised. Excellent. I Sailed Airblasts for a couple of years and think these Takoons are a real joy. Very stable. I like the bar setups. Well thought through. These kites definately send you.

Gary


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