Flysurfer ram air lovers keep spreading misinformation about the light wind performance of their kites. Inflatables are better than ram airs in light winds because:
1) Excessive drag (bridles, lack of internal rigidity), compromising the Lift/Drag ratio
2) VERY slow turning
3) Inertia. The Speed 2 19 contains over 11kg of air in its pockets, compared to about 3kg in the largest inflatables.
4) Wind dropouts and gear failure
--EVERYONE experiences a few gear failures (eg broken lines) and COMPLETE wind dropouts every year. You're usually safe with an inflatable. It can be used to "self-rescue" or you can swim in with the kite. If things go REALLY bad, you can just use the inflatable structure to support your weight.
--ALL ram airs become hopelessly waterlogged after 45 minutes - unlaunchable and certainly unable to support your body weight.
-- The following is an example of "diraklib's" experience with ram airs in wind dropouts: "the SA-19 is huge and can whack you silly if you let it get down wind of you in a low wind launch. It is downright scary - be ready with the QR at all times if not up and riding!!! I can't say I agree with claims that you can ride the SA-19 in anything lower than a steady 8 knots. I made a personal choice to not ride the SA-19 any more. It went down twice in lulls and managed to bow-tie on the way down - there was no way to relaunch. I was not as lucky as others that self rescued. My kite was full of water by the time I dragged my very tired and frustrated a$$ to shore. It sounds simple, "wrap the lines around the bar, fold the kite in half, roll it up on your board and paddle in"... noooo... there are lines everywhere under water that wrap around your feet as you are trying to manipulate the kite. You just pray that a gust won't pop the kite up and slice of an appendage. The kite ... is just too scary when it goes down. My attitude now is - if my LEI won't fly, I shouldn't be on the water. Anyone interested in a slightly used SA2-19m??? Cheap???"
For the full admission, checkout the following link: viewtopic.php?f=1&t=2360979&start=40
5) 8 KNOT LIMIT
-- Despite what ram lovers tell you, you won't really have fun on any kite (ram air OR inflatable) unless the wind is over about 8 knots. This is the starting point for BOTH ram airs and inflatables, but because of the reasons I've outlined above, inflatables are vastly superior. And this is just the starting point. You won't really be having fun until it hits about 10 knots on an inflatable OR a ram air.
- Ram lovers are prone to exaggeration and just plain misinformation about light winds, eg see the following thread: Ram airs jump 8m in 8 knots ("The future is bright, the future is foil") https://www.kiteforum.com/viewtopic.php
6) Objective Testing
-- A variety of kites were tested in light wind conditions in San Diego a few years ago viewtopic.php?f=1&t=2319439&hilit=ram+airs+crash+in+san+diego . Despite the ridiculous over-hyped claims from Flysurfer reps like Ted Bautista, Flysurfer ram air kites crashed and burned. The overall consensus was that Flysurfer ram air kites are ok in light wind, but they turn VERY SLOWLY. The overall impression was that there are much better inflatables. It's interesting that a lot of the ram air guys who were excited about this showdown were remarkably SILENT afterwards, in particular, Ted Bautista, the U.S. rep for Flysurfer. His alpha-male chest-beating rants in the lead up to this showdown almost defied belief.
For an example of the LIES that ram lovers tell about their kites, checkout viewtopic.php?f=1&t=2350141&p=539227#p539227
7: BRIDLE TANGLES & FAILURES
Bridle tangles are disturbingly common with ram airs. Check this thread viewtopic.php?f=1&t=2354115&start=30
In particular, note the statement by "schmoe" that goes: "A bridle tangle on flysurfer can mean that you do not go out... For me I had many lost hours where the wind is cranking because of the bridles. I rather inflate 5 tubes and know that the setup time is exactly 10 minutes, no more no less, than have setup time that is 70% 5 minutes and 30% an hour. And now with one pump, the setup time of a tube is less, so it is not an advantage of the foil anymore."
Ram air bridle tangles can be very dangerous. A lot of riders have reported how their ram airs caught seaweed in their bridles, causing their kites to wineglass and spin out of control.
Bridle breakages occur surprisingly frequently with ram airs. They can be expensive (US $500 plus) (eg see the thread titled "Flysurfer Warrior Exploding:" phpbb/viewtopic.php?t=4612 ) .
-- While it is always a gamble if your kite gets caught by a wave after dropping it in light winds, at least you've got a fighting chance if it is an inflatable. If it is a ram air, it's all over.
Ignore the lies. Ignore the exaggerations. Flysurfer ram air kites are aerodynamically inferior compared to inflatables in light winds