For our first test of the 2013 13m Frenzy we went to Angle Mountain since we wanted to try it with some terrain and on an actual ridge top. Wayne and I took turns testing it out and snapping a few pictures.
We wanted to get some time under this kite since we have some multi-day adventures lined up and the Frenzy and Summit fit the bill.
First off packing the kite on our sleds was easier since there’s no pump and hose to be careful with. Usually I’m careful not to crush my tube kite for the plastic valves in the cold. I always top load and don’t stack gear on my tube kite. With the Frenzy, I didn’t even have to think about it. Also, you’ll be interested to know that it comes with the best bag in the business. It’s better than most avy packs I’ve seen.
Immediately we were stoked on the ease of launch like usual. Throw some snow on the trailing edge and ride away as you unroll the lines. Once they’re rolled out you give a slight tug to let the air inflate the cells, check your lines, pull the front lines and ride away.
We’ve flown all sorts of foils, and one of my favorite kites was the 2005 Frenzy that was my first full size kite. My loyal 2006 Frenzy still sits strong in my quiver as a utility kite that’s trustworthy and will not die.
The first thing I noticed about flying the 2013 Frenzy was that at the bottom of a turn the outside wingtip held its shape better than ever, as well as through turbulence, I hear that that problem has been fixed every year, but this time it actually seems to be. Angle Mountain has many wind shadows you can push through and is a great place to test that quality of a kite.
It’s undoubtedly powerful and we were in overpowered conditions a number of times. It handles great at the high end, I did wish that the bar throw was a few inches further. I’d rather have more throw than have to keep trimming. There’s some advantaged to the short throw, like edging in deep powder you can relax and ride with the bar against the stopper. Or if you’re smaller you can easily reach the bar after spinning it. Wayne and I are both relatively tall with long arms.
Unhooked the kite fly’s so nice and light and resists back stalling like a C kite. The unusual characteristic of foils to fly up remains the same on this kite. It’s not necessarily a problem, but since the tube kite falls and the foil rises you have to get used to it. Often we kept 2 hands on the bar to actually fly the kite downwards as we descended a hill making turns, or hoping off little drops.
The loop is strong and constant. Makes the Frenzy a nice climber, just pin the bar in a full turn and kick back. The tube kite often shoots through the power zone from side to side stalling on the edge where you’ll flat spin the turn. You cannot however turn the kite (13m) sharp enough with the bar to stall turn or flat spin the kite. I found myself grabbing the outside line to miss some trees here and there. Unhooked loop tricks are very powerful. My first unhooked loop sent me like a banshee, but then I veered off and let the kite rotate back further and it was controllable. You’re standard hooked loops with rolls worked nice with a bit of practice timing the pull.
We tested the safety and it works perfect. Climbing to the bar and relaunching sometimes leads to a flyable line tangle as does most flagging.
Landing is easy, if you’re overpowered, just ride down wind and pull the break strap. Keep the kite level flying it in reverse till it lands. Loop the break around your ski or board and go get it. It holds its shape very well while backstalling and resting on the break.
Up close the construction is perfect like all Ozone Kites, from the stitching to the new Ronstan pulleys all look great.
Great review and photos. I'm stoked that everybody is loving the new kites. The reviews from my customers has been all positive as well. I still haven't had a session on the new kites yet. They are selling before I get the chance. I have another summit on the way so I am hopeful I get a session on it soon. The season looks like its in full swing for you guys. I am looking forward to more photos and videos. Keep up the good work Jackson kiters.
By the way. I will have all the Ozone foils available at the 10 annual Montana Snowkite Rodeo for your demo enjoyment. Come on out February 16-18th and get your fill. Check the website for the details.
we have some multi-day adventures lined up and the Frenzy and Summit fit the bill.
I assume you're talking skin to the goods and kite cross country when possible? I'd assume also you'd be pulling pulks to get enough gear out to the B/C areas? So - have you figured out how to pull a pulk under kite power on a snowboard? I have ideas but wonder if they match what you're conjuring up? Similar goals,and skis make it simpler but I'm thinking solid alum. poles hitched front & rear of the harness instead of side-side?
Maybe some of our Norwegian/Swedish/Greenland/AK brethren could share what they've used.
I usually ski for multiday adventures although I do have a split board. Snowboarding and kiting with a heavy mountaineering pack can be rediculious.
I have the Mountain Hardware BMG pack, and fit 2 days of winter camping and kiting stuff into that guy pretty easy. Even a tent and my own stove. I usually choose one kite based on the forecast. I fit everything inside the pack, but the shovel and Probe. Those new down filled sleeping pads really get small and that helps. I just topload the kite for easy access.
I use a pack instead of a pulk because we spend time skinning steeps and long sidehills. When you think about it, if you don't take a rope and crampons you're at about the same place as any mountaineer, and kiting with a pack like that isn't too bad but my thighs do get burning after a while. For true distance on flats, a pulk would be the way. We're just in more technical terrain situations too often.