I was lucky enough to try out the 9.5m Prodigy on tues. I have to say I was a little skeptical seeing as it is marketed as an easy to fly kite and I am more into the high performance end of things.
Out of the bag, first thing I noticed was the wicked design! This kite looks great! The new bag is pretty spiffy too. The next thing was the large sturdy looking leading edge. Looks like it would survive a crash or 2 into the Cook st cliff!
Pumped up and got out there and right off the bat surprised with the amount of power. Looked pretty light and onshore out there(18- 20kn way out), but I was cranking up wind no problem! The kite is not quick and zippy like a Razor, but more smooth and steady. Turns are a bit slower to initiate, but once it starts it rips through them. This feature will be great for beginner and intermediate kiters that have trouble with the kite drifting around the window as they are concentrating on other things. Bar pressure is a little bit heavier than a Razor, but steady throughout the range. I was riding full till and I sheeted the bar all the way in just to see what would happen. Kite drifted slightly back in the window, then stopped. I kept going upwind with minimal loss of speed. Great feature for those bar squeezing noobs. I bombed over to Ross bay to join all the other kiters and try out my first jump. WOW!!! Can you say hang time
Very nice relaunch too! Didn't even touch the bar, kite just rolled over and sat at the edge of the window. Ate it on the first few jumps as it jumps very differently than a Razor, but some nice buttery smooth lofty landing once I had it figured out. Water was flat and wind was steady so I tried unhooking her. This thing rocks unhooked
The kite just sat there with a nice steady pull. Usually I am doing all I can to keep the kite in the air after a landing(unhooked riding not quite my forte) but the Prodigy just hung out around 1030 while I fumbled with the bar and chicken loop trying to hook back in. Bombed back over to the launch as the wind was dying and noticed the bottom end on the kite. I played around for about half an hour before I realized there were only 2 kites left out of the 20+ when I started Decided to try a few kiteloops for shits and giggles, but again surprisingly landed a few! Once it starts to loop... it goes around fast with a lot of loft on the landing Even stomped a big F-16 and Kiteloop Railie
Final thoughts on the Prodigy. Pleasantly surprised on all fronts. The OR boys have been talking a lot about the kite but it never really sparked my interest. After riding it has grabbed my attention! For me I will be stoked to try teaching with this kite and think I would take her out for a ride on the lighter days or when I am wanting to try some handle crashes
In big winds or big surf I am going to stick with my trusty Razor
Get out and try one! I'm sure you will Love it