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 Post subject: Re: Switchkites - Element?
PostPosted: Sun Feb 05, 2012 9:15 am 
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Bill,
With Felix Pivec and Marc Jacobs being your target audience and/or early testers and/or design input team members, it is no wonder the first batch of kite designs are as purpose specific as they are. These are a couple of guys who certainly are nowhere near the middle of any road as far as being anything close to mainstream! Felix's size/weight and style, and years on the water living and riding in his location, in his very "Felix" specific style, surfing strapless and unhooked almost exclusively, he sure is not typical. And Marc being a super powerful young freestyle competitor, with very, very specific needs, puts him in a bit of a different category than 99.9% of the kiting public as well.
If I were the COO of Switch kites, I'm not sure I would have done kite model development in the order they chose to. But I do understand that designers design what they are asked to come up with. I'm glad the Element is impressing your current crew.
Cheers!


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 Post subject: Re: Switchkites - Element?
PostPosted: Sun Feb 05, 2012 11:37 am 
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OnB;
We had to start somewhere and chose to start at the top. I've had the honor of designing kites for many outstanding riders including Lou and Flash and now Felix and Marc. The interesting thing about riders at their level is they inherently have very specific and ideal demands about where a kite sits and how it responds. We believe that embodying those traits from the start (which may push the limits and take a longer development) is worth the effort because ultimately a less experienced rider will naturally improve their performance more quickly. The Element is no different in this regard.
:thumb:

Oldnbroken wrote:
Bill,
With Felix Pivec and Marc Jacobs being your target audience and/or early testers and/or design input team members, it is no wonder the first batch of kite designs are as purpose specific as they are. These are a couple of guys who certainly are nowhere near the middle of any road as far as being anything close to mainstream! Felix's size/weight and style, and years on the water living and riding in his location, in his very "Felix" specific style, surfing strapless and unhooked almost exclusively, he sure is not typical. And Marc being a super powerful young freestyle competitor, with very, very specific needs, puts him in a bit of a different category than 99.9% of the kiting public as well.
If I were the COO of Switch kites, I'm not sure I would have done kite model development in the order they chose to. But I do understand that designers design what they are asked to come up with. I'm glad the Element is impressing your current crew.
Cheers!


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 Post subject: Re: Switchkites - Element?
PostPosted: Sun Feb 05, 2012 12:26 pm 
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Location: Sweden
Bill - I honestly must say that the Element sounds like the perfect kite for me if the statement of its trades are correct. I'm very close to pull the trigger on a 9 and a 13 (overlap??) to complement my 17 Blade Fat lady. Further I'm pretty shure the missus (60kg, weekend warrior) will like the low bar preasure and the 9 and 13 will be a perfect combo fer with our local conditions. She will certainly not be covered for high winds (>25 knots) but lucky me she does not like to kite in those winds so she can deal with the kids (10 months and 5 years) and I can have it all to myself :-)

we have no Switch kites on our beach but there is some buzzz, any chanse on a special prize for me then Bill :)

All the best.

/Urban.


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 Post subject: Re: Switchkites - Element?
PostPosted: Tue Feb 07, 2012 6:36 pm 
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Telekiter wrote:
Bill - I honestly must say that the Element sounds like the perfect kite for me if the statement of its trades are correct. I'm very close to pull the trigger on a 9 and a 13 (overlap??) to complement my 17 Blade Fat lady. Further I'm pretty shure the missus (60kg, weekend warrior) will like the low bar preasure and the 9 and 13 will be a perfect combo fer with our local conditions. She will certainly not be covered for high winds (>25 knots) but lucky me she does not like to kite in those winds so she can deal with the kids (10 months and 5 years) and I can have it all to myself :-)

we have no Switch kites on our beach but there is some buzzz, any chanse on a special prize for me then Bill :)

All the best.

/Urban.


Hi telekiter,
I have been following this post closely and it has been interesting
I think a forum should be used to receive or give information to further the sport giving riders information.


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 Post subject: Re: Switchkites - Element?
PostPosted: Tue Feb 07, 2012 8:32 pm 
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Hansen Aerosports wrote:
Hi Eree:
I've enjoyed reading your posts. Previously, I've posted all the Switch specs here and more recently, the chordwise profile. Following is a 3D CAD design drawing of the Nitro along with a pic of a proto being tested by one of our development riders who is a 193cm and 115kg Honolulu policeman. I do not see the lowest canopy profile in the industry, perfectly flat water or a sub 80kg tester. Do you?
Attachment:
Nitro 3D CAD.jpg

Attachment:
N12-ProtoSean1a.jpg

Cheers! :thumb:

hi HA
i work in the aftersales for living. and believe me, i had a lot of temptation to say to the customer that he/she is the main reason of the our company product's failure. but i didn't.
because i believe first, the product must be fool proof, and second, you must be honest to the client when you make business to him.

i'm glad the Honolulu policeman likes the kite, but i'm talking from my point of view. i have 14sqm gaasra jekyll which has much better low end for me than N16R.
and i tested spleen Q 12sqm which fishpoled my heavy body out of the water with 20kn, as with N12 i barely can compete with 80kg guys on other brands 9 and 8sqm on 24kn. again, what use i have with good upwind when i can't reach the speed enough for it in the choppy water? i guess for that i need slow speed grunt from the smaller kite with higher wing profile? ok, spleen Q was a bit of extreme and they don't make it any more. i tested some more kites and i'm sure even the speed oriented varial or edge have higher wing profile and better low end grunt than the nitros.
i think obsession with just the excellent upwind quality benefits only the very limited kiter's circle, namely lite-weight riders.
i think switch should make this information honestly available to the general public.

believe me, i like switch'es quality very much, but somehow somewhere you have narrowed your target group drasticly.


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 Post subject: Re: Switchkites - Element?
PostPosted: Tue Feb 07, 2012 8:42 pm 
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Felix,

Awesome video orientation! I found that really helpful seeing rider and kite, answers a lot of questions for me just seeing more vivid interaction between kite and riders. Thank you for that. This was the video orientation I have been waiting to see. For me it makes the decision to buy much more informed. :thumb:

1 more month for California winds to become favorable!!!!!


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 Post subject: Re: Switchkites - Element?
PostPosted: Tue Feb 07, 2012 9:49 pm 
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Hi Eree:
Glad you like the quality of the kites. We have worked hard on it.
Switch has a very active forum (I believe you have posted there) and a very active facebook page with thousands of likes and posts to insure the customer is heard and questions are answered quickly, honestly and openly. The fact that all the kites have excellent upwind ability is considered a plus (by nearly everyone) because returning to your launching point, getting back to the line-up or back upwind after tricks is important. Switch makes 4 lines of kites for a wide variety of users - many of them heavyweights - and is extremely honest in pointing out that upwind ability is a key criteria. Kites with grunty, raw, tractor-like wakeboat pull may satisfy a few riders but, IMHO, are one dimensional and have limited appeal. I agree with you that Switch does not offer this style of kite. I don't agree that the Nitro does not work for heavyweights because I have personally watched riders bigger than you rip on them. But, this is an Element review discussion...
Cheers! :thumb: :thumb: :thumb:


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 Post subject: Re: Switchkites - Element?
PostPosted: Wed Feb 08, 2012 7:05 pm 
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eree wrote:
screwfootsc wrote:
Element 11M Review...
My new favorite kite. I am so stoked with this kite I first must say. I had a few solid sessions on this kite. Some key features:
1. Soars upwind...
2. Punchy, solid low end (15-18 mph for 200+ lb guy->me)
3. Turns quick in the surf
4. Super light bar pressure, nothing like the method or nitro
5. Super easy relaunch
6. extremely stable even in punchy gusty winds
This kite performed very well for me in the surf. It is very smooth through the turns and cranks a lot of power. One push out on the bar will kill this kite, which makes it very safe. I dropped it in the water once as it was light inside...it quickly relaunched without any issue, and rolled properly on its side as it should. Almost like a bow...that easy.
I would recommend this kite to any surf kiter and even those freestyle riders who love to boost. I love my nitros and the method, but as of right now, this kite might be surpassing them...Nitro for low end grunt in light wind plagued areas...element for the 15+ days if you want a multi-purpose kite. That's it! It just works insane!
As felix says above, don't get fixated on the number on the kite, this 11M is a good central kite. I have a 14M Nitro, 11M Element, 9M element soon, and my 7 M method. Thinking of switching to a Element quiver! GET SOME!
As always, the kites are built as good or better than ANY kite on the market. THe bags are also improved tremendously with super duty zippers...Switch keeps amazing me at their dedication. No BS, just straight solid equipment....Cheers

i'm ok with the moderate advertizing, but i hate lies.
it is just two options: you are lying or you consider everyone who read it stupid.

there is no such thing with the nitros as low end grunt! its canopy profile is probably lowest in industry.
in fact, i think switch has to add the disclaimer about the windrange with every kite sold. it certainly has to explain the conditions for which it designed: perfectly flat water and rider's weight under 80kg.
i live in the northern europe. i'm 185cm tall, 107kg. everywhere i go - city streets, mall or beach i see guys sized like me or bigger. under the 80kg are mostly women and teenagers.
if switch makes kites for the liteweight riders only it has to warn about it publicly on its website!



Eree,

Have you flown the nitros? You seem to be solely focused on data a company puts out. Any data from any company is null unless you actually fly the gear and test it. I am not sure where you are coming from on that issue. These kites are not made just for flat water which seems to be the label you are giving them. I am not sure on the KG conversion (80KG=175 lbs), but I am 215 lbs and the 14 Nitro is more than enough power for me. Mind you yes I ride a surfboard, but I think a lot of this discussion comes down to kite skills and where you stand with knowing how to fly a kite. I am one big guy, much bigger than the average rider. So your claim that Switch only makes kites for liteweight riders is not true. The ranges listed are acceptable. If you are going to believe every data point a company points out before riding the gear, then that is your option.

The 16 Nitro is a race kite and not really a turn and burn surf kite. In fact, none of the nitros are...But for low end grunt because I live in a LIGHT wind area, I choose the Nitro for my light wind weapon which works out great. I have made it work in the surf just fine with tuning and understanding how the kite turns and works. Adapt any kite for your needs is my motto. If you can fly any kite and make it work...you are a solid kiter. Also, conditions play a huge part in this, dense air vs. thin air, elevations, etc. The list can go on and on! This is really a moot point.

Why people are looking for a raw power tractor pulling kite, I don't know. Folks, there comes a point where it is just not worth riding and the kite, any kite, does not perform well. We need a certain wind speed to be efficient, it is not hard to understand. I have flown many of kites, sizes and tested low end grunt on many models. If you want me to list my resume of kites I have flown, we can be here all day, but in the end it comes down to user error and knowledge of flying a kite properly to maximizing its potential.

Oldnbroken,

I understand where you are coming from on my reviews of the kites. Because I do ride the Switch kites, yes I do have a preference, no lies there. Let's put it this way, every kite has it's own purpose. The element was not in my hands a year or so ago, so I had to no idea of it's capabilities. I started off with a Method and Nitro and loved the kites for different purposes. I thought the method rocked in the surf because of its tight turning and stationary placement in the window when cracking lips. The Nitro was awesome because it allowed me to have a low end grunt which is what I needed for my specific area I live. I blended both kites for certain conditions. I can honestly make any kite work for me, but I try to explain the pros and cons of all the kites I ride for the below average, average, and above average joe blow rider out there.

I tried the Element before most had a chance to...and was excited to see if there was a kite out there that blended a lot of the characteristics of the method and nitro together. There was talk of bar pressure being way to high on the methods. Now you have a kite to try that doesn't come close to the bar pressure of the method, even the nitro (which is not as high as the method). Every kite is a personal preference. It is ok for each rider have a change in heart as time goes on right? I like each kite for a specific reason, but at the same time I try to always make the current gear work for my riding style, which is pretty much strictly surf. Some riders may not like a certain kite for one reason or another.

The Element can't really be compared to the Nitro or Method because it is a completely different feel. The only way you will know is if you try for yourself. Its a fun kite, different, and will open a lot of doors. More improvements always being worked on from the Switch boys. This is just the beginning.

Enjoy!


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 Post subject: Re: Switchkites - Element?
PostPosted: Thu Feb 09, 2012 8:48 am 
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Grant,
I agree with your thoughts, test driving a new kite can be awesome and a pain in the neck at the same time, because it often brings changes.
Just when you think you are all settled in with your kites, somebody puts something new in your hands that you love and you find yourself having to find a way to wedge it into your quiver! Not really a bad problem to have though. :)


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 Post subject: Re: Switchkites - Element?
PostPosted: Thu Feb 09, 2012 7:13 pm 
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I flew my Nitro 14 for the first time on snow (more like ice) last weekend. I was thoroughly impressed with its power, stability and turning speed in sub 10 knot winds. I have always flown foils on land and though I still will in the backcountry, my switch kites might just become my go-to kites on the frozen lakes (let's pray for some snowfall).

That said, even with the instructional video on Switch's website on launching the Nitro in low wind conditions...I am still struggling. Seems more of an art and skill than a science. Then again, the windspeed was at times as low as 5 knots...

This weekend snow is in the forecast and my new 11m Element is awaiting me at the Post Office as we speak!


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