For those wanting to learn more about these 2 kites I had the opportunity to ride theme back to back twice yesterday.
Having used Eclipse kites for 2 years and now riding Slingshot RPM's, Dimitri was nice enough to send me a 6m Epic Renegade for testing so here is a brief summary.
First off all for those of you into freestyle/wake style etc this is a dedicated wave riders point of view !
On the beach : Both kites are very well built and look durable. Slingshot has a good reputation for making solid equipment, for Epic time will tell but construction and stitching looks similar with Best kites which I believe are made in the same factory. Finish and accessories are also very good on both kites, lets just say that the RPM looks (and is) more expensive.
Side by side and although they are both rated as 6m's the Renegade is bigger (more like a 7m) than both, the RPM 6m and also my old Eclipse Kima 6m.
In the air ( 18/22knots small waves, 5'8'' surfboard, 20m lines on both kite, 65kg rider) : First impression the Renegade is more powerful ( but it is bigger) and feels heavier (more bar pressure). Turns on the RPM are faster and the kite is nimbler which is great in waves but perhaps less good for freestylers.
Renegade needs a longer throw on the bar to de-power completely (I needed to stretch my arms all the way) whereas the Rpm's de-power throw is nice and short. Although for me this is an advantage, it also means that the RPM requires more finesse to fly efficiently.
Un-hooked riding, RPM is less likely to stall.
When flying across the window the RPM's power delivery is very smooth and linear (excellent when wave riding), whereas the Renegade has a surge making it better for boosting jumps.
All in all I would say that the Renegade is the most versatile ( better jumping/easier to ride) and should appeal to many riders looking for an all-round kite, whereas the RPM is more specialized (pure wave/wake style) and will excel in the hands of the more experienced riders.
Rorke wrote:Thanks for the comparison. This sort of stuff helps a lot.
Could you compare these kites to the Kima?
Unhooked? Side on waves? Position in the window? Drift? Bar pressure?
I have a 9m and 12m, so I'll have to assume the qualities are consistent throughout the sizes. Also, any comparisons to the '09 Nano would work.
I know Eclipse burned you, but you have always been level headed in regard to kites themselves. I have no opportunity to demo or vacation, so I appreciate your help.
Consider the 6m Renegade as a 7m Kima with perhaps a little less bar pressure. Nano 09 is a very different kite to the Kima and primarely targeted as entry level and good for teaching. Flys well in light wind, bar pressure is much higher than all the others, turning and flying speed is slower, upwind sailing not so good.
Nice review. I am currently in the market for a small wave kite. I ordered a 6m kima, however, good chance it might not be delivered. So, I need to choose between Slingy, Naish, Best, or Liquid Force. Prefer Slingy or Naish. Considering a 2010 Helix 7m, 2010 6m Cult, or ?m RPM. Have not heard to much positive on the Octane. My smallest kite currently is a 9m 2009 Helix. Anyone out there familiar with any of the fore mentioned kites. I weigh 195 lbs. and ride surfboards(straps & strapless). Coming from a surfing background, I prefer to use the power of the wave when ever possible. Thanks in advance.
If you liked the Kima you might want to consider the Wainman 7m Gypsy, it has similar 3 strut design with more tweaking options on the kite to suit your style and is a great surf kite. Plus the construction and quality on the wainmans are top notch.