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Switch Kites: are they any good?

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TomW
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Re: Switch Kites: are they any good?

Postby TomW » Sun Aug 05, 2012 6:52 pm

eree wrote:yeah, they are good if:
-you are under 80 kg
-and your spot is flat water
-and you are using the big board

other wise the build quality of the kite is good.

switch is notoriously obsessive with low profile wing. so they are slow to turn, hard on the bar and you are not going to get any low wind grunt there.
i have seen personally how 13m Element started to fold its wingtips in 6 or 7 m/sec when other brands 11m kite with same weight kiter did perfectly well.

plus the aftersale value is close to zero....



what ? I'm out on E 13 in 9-10 ms and it's rock solid. only issue is that I'm so over powered that I'm depowering and losing steering input control because back lines are so slack. 80 kg on strapless Slingy Celeritas..

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oldkiter
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Re: Switch Kites: are they any good?

Postby oldkiter » Wed Aug 08, 2012 1:39 am

Yes, 15m Element is good!

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KAWIKA
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Re: Switch Kites: are they any good?

Postby KAWIKA » Wed Aug 08, 2012 2:28 am

15 Element has saved my Florida summer can't wait to get this kite in waves with lightwinds :P http://youtu.be/x1NzTuQBHHM
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snorr
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Re: Switch Kites: are they any good?

Postby snorr » Thu Aug 09, 2012 2:01 pm

I've got about a year on my Switch quiver and there's certainly a lot I like about their products...a few things I don't like so much - but this is no different than any other brand...

First thing I'll say about the kites - they fly, they turn, they behave like well designed kites. Much like any other brands. I think that these days, most kites are pretty well designed and the differences among kites of similar shape/design are marginal at best. If I had no kite on a windy day and someone handed me a quiver, I would fly it and probably have a great time!

Method - I have the 9 m. It's personally my least favorite kite in the line (haven't flown the Combat). I find that the canopy flutters a bit which I find annoying. I don't mind the bar pressure. Others swear by the Method though.

Nitro - I have the 14 m. I love this kite when the conditions are right. I've been overpowered on it a few times and it's kind of scary. This kite has a lot of pull. Relaunch ability is this kites worst trait but this is not a problem when there is a decent puff of wind and apparently the Version 2 will have this sorted out.

Element - I have the 11 and 15m. I absolutely love this kite! A little less of the so-called "grunt" than the Nitro, but so stable and great wind range.

Bar is in my opinion the weakest link in the line - however, if you like simple then it might be up your alley. At the price though, I'm still loving it.

Find a Team Rider and try out some gear...

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Re: Switch Kites: are they any good?

Postby Johnny Rotten » Thu Aug 09, 2012 5:38 pm

snorr wrote:I've got about a year on my Switch quiver and there's certainly a lot I like about their products...a few things I don't like so much - but this is no different than any other brand...

Bar is in my opinion the weakest link in the line - however, if you like simple then it might be up your alley. At the price though, I'm still loving it.



Curious what you don`t like about the bar, and compaed to what brand. I actually bought parts from one, to replace one of my old bars, found it a rather shameless copy of the $500 north bar. But a little easier to replace the CL. I was blown away in a good way.

Low force safety release, that won`t jam with sand, flagging line through the bar doesn`t separate from the chickenloop when released.
Above the bar depower (keeps shit outta your face when unhooked) regulator with adustable reach, and stopper and front line swivel
Low Y,
Adjustable bar lengths,

Other than the shit grip (good grip but abrasive texture) I really thought it better than any other bars I`ve tried, though in fairness I haven`t bought a new bar since 2010.

Not a switch rider or rep, just curious what you like about other bars and who`s making good stuff worthy of checking out when I`m ready to get a new kite.

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Re: Switch Kites: are they any good?

Postby snorr » Thu Aug 09, 2012 7:20 pm

Maybe my comment about the bar reads a little harsh...if given the choice right now between a Switch bar at $275 and a North, Naish or other bar at $400-$500, I would choose still choose Switch.

A couple things about the Switch bar that I would improve:
- the "feel" as in the texture and density of the handle/finish
- the flag out handle - on releasing the primary safety as I had to do one time under duress, I couldn't make my way up the leash to the flag out loop
- Centre line hole in bar - at least I think that this might be the culprit for my centre lines wearing prematurely...and this is after applying candle wax generously to the centre lines as I do with new lines

I should also caveat these comments with this: any other bar, such as Ozone which I have the most experience with, I can easily produce a list of complaints and quibbles to rival the one above...just saying

Again for me, at the price, I would still buy another Switch bar any day

If you're anywhere near Toronto, Ontario, contact me and come try them out for yourself...

sheehyjo
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Re: Switch Kites: are they any good?

Postby sheehyjo » Fri Aug 10, 2012 1:00 am

snorr wrote:Bar is in my opinion the weakest link in the line - however, if you like simple then it might be up your alley. At the price though, I'm still loving it.


I have to admit that I kinda embarrassed to ask this question, but ... I'm used to Best bars with the above the bar depower straps. From the pics online, this looks to have one line that goes into that diamond shaped cleat? Is depowering just as easy as with the two depower strap system? How does it work (simply a cleat that grabs the line and you pull it in or let it out with tension from the kite and then let the cleat grab it again)?

I really like the idea of one bar that works for big and small kites. I just can't stomach spending $400+ on two different sized bars when they could have a similar system with just switching the attachment points to either the inside or outside of the bar.

Thanks.

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Re: Switch Kites: are they any good?

Postby pixelpedro » Fri Aug 10, 2012 1:45 am

sheehyjo wrote:Is depowering just as easy as with the two depower strap system?

Is cake, I came from a 2 straps above the bar as well, and I was a bit skeptical, but you pull, depowers, you pull down a bit and out, bam! back to powered, is quick and easy.

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Re: Switch Kites: are they any good?

Postby snorr » Fri Aug 10, 2012 4:16 am

Yeah totally, I love the clam cleat. Then again, switching over from ozone bars (foils) I'm used to that method for trimming the kite. There was only once where I saw it failed, when there was a dude who had been kiting in salt water and never rinsed after, the salt was all caked in the cleat and was basically seized. Took a while for him to dissolve all that crap.

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Re: Switch Kites: are they any good?

Postby esg » Fri Aug 10, 2012 11:00 am

I got a chance to demo a 7m Element yesterday. Winds were probably 25-35. I'm 210 pounds. So this is typical 7m conditions for me.

The build and quality of the kite and bar is not cheap or cheesy. It looked really good. Just as good as everything else I've seen or ridden. That is really cool. Considering the gear is half the price of everything else on the market.

The kite performs, I would say average. It flies fine. I jumped it, looped it, and put it through as much as I could in the 45 minutes I used it. It didn't do anything bad. I don't know what word I would use to describe it. Maybe "unrefined". I mean, it was the typical strong and gusty conditions where I kite(maybe a little gustier than usual). And the kite felt super jerky. It did not handle gusts well at all in my opinion. You couldn't just sheet-out to deal with the gusts. It just yanked you and you'd have to edge hard and bring your kite up to 11 or 12 to not get blasted downwind.

In my opinion, it just did not have enough depower. Whether it was the kite itself, or the amount of bar-throw on the center lines. You just could not depower enough when you needed it. For example, landing from big, lit-up jumps. Or doing turns. Bottom-turn type turns and off the lip( top turns). In all these scenerios, if the wind was strong, you couldn't depower enough for a smooth landing or turn. And you'd get totally pulled downind until you edged and brought the kite up.
I thought that maybe it would be better on a smaller 5m. But then I would have had no power during the lulls or enough power to boost a half-way decent jump.

Anyway, there are obviously guys ripping on this kite..just look at youtube or on their website. But that is my take on the kite for whatever it's worth.

I currently have a 09' Naish Cult and a 10' Best Bularroo. Which are both excellent all-around kites. And I'm ready for a new quiver. So I really wanted to like these kites. The prices are excellent and the build quality looks good. And from what I've heard. Their customer service is good.

I'll demo another Switch kite in a couple of years and hope that they're more of what I'm looking for then.

I hope Switch survives. These top-dog kite companies need to be challenged. They're prices are rediculous. Their quality doesn't appear to be any better(they've just been in the game longer in order to refine their designs). And coming out with next years gear just barely half way into this year is retarded and is more about fashion and sales than real improvement.

Good luck Switch!


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