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 Post subject: Re: Airush Varial X
PostPosted: Sat Feb 09, 2013 12:09 am 
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Hi windtzu eppo here from our local forum. I'd email mike birt he knows his stuff about the Airush line.

Also he is right about the lithuim, you are a light fellow like me. The lithuim is indeed like putting a big truck engine in a small sports car. I'm 75kg and can get going on the 6m VX 20 knots up with efficient riding. But the beauty is you can take it beyond 30. I also had some lithiums and found what mike said to be true.

The lithuim won't be a bad choice given your current lithuim kites but I feel you will need to accept near the top twenties you will be getting very powered on the lithuim. The truck engine will be well and truly cranked up. If you are okay with that go the lithuim.

If you want to be comfortable having fun in the high twenties and even beyond then the VX or the wave. The wave might not have that low end you need though coming off a 9m lithuim. Also as Mike has said the VX really does suite us lighter guys as your lesser weight won't have it shoot forward in the window giving a more controllable consistent pull. The VX will also improve your kite flying skills well beyond the lithuim, it demands it. The lithuim is really a plug and play kite.

Mike has also maintained the 9m wave is the best size for this design, it loses some of its panache in the 6 and 12 m size.

Mike will advise best on this though.,.


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 Post subject: Re: Airush Varial X
PostPosted: Sat Feb 09, 2013 3:50 am 
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HI Eppo! I like to get a cross confirmation from different riders and what you both say makes sense - there's no magic bullet. I may have an opportunity to demo a Varial / Lithium this spring when Airush comes around > here in the states. We're experiencing a blizzard now 60 plus mph wind gusts (Boston area - Mass)...and our power is flickering off and on. Chat again soon.


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 Post subject: Re: Airush Varial X
PostPosted: Sat Feb 09, 2013 6:02 am 
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Yep exactly what I do.

But...from my experience when it comes to kites and indeed Airush take seriously what Mike Birt has to say. His knowledge of kites and the Airush line is the best I've come across and I scoured the globe for info. Can't speak more highly about this guys advice hey,


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 Post subject: Re: Airush Varial X
PostPosted: Sat Feb 09, 2013 11:33 am 
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I used to ride the One kite, another delta kite like the litium but have now moved to a quiver of Varial x's. Im very happy with the change. I like not having grunt all the time. When I want power, I just sign the kite once or twice and bear off a little downwind to get a little speed and BAM, I get power. It means I can control when I want grunt and when I don't. I havent flown anything else that makes me feel so much in control.


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 Post subject: Re: Airush Varial X
PostPosted: Sat Feb 09, 2013 1:20 pm 
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Agreed wild duke. You have control of the power it is not dictated by the kite. Very good point.


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 Post subject: Re: Airush Varial X
PostPosted: Sun Feb 10, 2013 2:24 pm 
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Nice points guys @ control vs power. Let me see if I have this correct. When it's time to break out a small kite (24 plus knots), power isn't really an issue is it. It's about control. Advantage Varial.

However, if for no other reason I want to take out the smallest kite possible (perhaps, surfing in the waves), then the "diesel" grunt of a small Lithium is the ticket. Advantage Lithium.

This is likely the experience I had when I demoed two kites back to back last summer in the same conditions >

North Rebel 9 m vs Lithium 9 m:

Lithium powered up right away with minimal effort but was a little more physical to cruise on (in the gusts).

Since both kites closer to the bottom of a 9 meter's wind range, the Rebel need a more sining to get going but was almost effortless in a straight line and smoother in the gusts.

The lithium got going easily, was more fun by staying better powered in the transitions. If the wind ticked up toward the end both kites wind range the Rebel would have certainly been more desirable.

I believe I've got it. Most kites have their "sweet spot." It all depends were you're at and where you want to go in your progression, and what you are doing with it (surf, freestyle, etc). I can relate to your car analogies > Lithium more like an suv and the varial perhaps like sports car. When things are going more slowly, the suv is a good call and when you need more off and on control with "higher speeds" the sports car is it. Ha!

Big help guys :)


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 Post subject: Re: Airush Varial X
PostPosted: Sun Feb 10, 2013 3:15 pm 
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I can see the analogy regarding the Lithium vs the Viral. I moved from c4s to the lithiums this year, and although the c4 is not the viral is still bridled c shape and requires one to fly the kite aggressively to get the most out of it. What I find is that that the Lithium is far better for me in just about all aspects, to be honest this kite really surprised me in how fun it was, jumps well (doesn’t take you up as fast, but much more float on the way down), smooth, brainless relaunch, don’t need to work the kite non stop, hey I even kite loop it better (probably because I’m not a hard core freestyle, pussy loops are more my thing). My only real negative is I can’t get use to the lack of power when transitioning vs the c4.

But to the point on heavy breeze. Again totally surprised how well the lithium eats up gusts, yes it sits back in the window, but you ease the bar and all is usually good. If I hit a real gust then I edge too and force the kite forward and the kite then has virtually no power. With my C4 I could use the bar, but edging was key, but it was hard work and kite would pull hard on the harness, also I was always worried about my back taking too much of the load. My 7m c4 was kinda of a cool kite but it was so fast it was scary, and I found in really windy and puffy condition it was a handful. The other week we had a solid 27 knots, gusting into the 40 knots range, and of course I had just sold my 7m c4, so smallest kite was and 8m lithium. BTW, it’s winter here so I was snow kiting. I already made it to the side when I realized the 8m too much kite for the conditions, but I went out anyways. The 8m lithium was actually pretty good, gobble up the crazy puff for the most part, but I hit a massive gust which had to be past 40 knots and the kite completely lost its shape, almost like folding in half and started to fall back in the window. However, it recovered very quickly, and I immediately called it a day. So the point here is that I feel the Lithium really performs quite well in a lot of wind (except for the collaping which I admit is a concern but I believe a right size lithium would have been fine), and I have not noticed any darting, but then again I was being extremely careful when manoeuvring the kite that day.

BTW, I like the lithium so much I will order up a smaller Lithium for those extreme days


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 Post subject: Re: Airush Varial X
PostPosted: Sun Feb 10, 2013 3:59 pm 
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Nicor thanks for sharing. I've never had my 9 m Lithium way out of its upper wind range the way you had your 8 so I haven't experienced the folding part. Is this what's referred to "jellyfishing"?

I was told that pumping up the Lithium past the recommended 6.5 psi to 8 to 10 more will help. I pump mine to 8 with out too much effort, although I can't imagine trying to force 10 into it. Yikes, I'd have to jump on the handle to get that much pressure lol. I wonder what effect over the long run higher pressure has on the seams? Oh well, it's about performance in the present moment.

I can relate to you experience of the Lithium's gust eating ability. It reminds me of days of sailing or windsurfing...just sheet out the power and though the kite luffs away, it's very stable and under control - nice. Eppo, might say it's like backing off power on a diesel > the grunt comes off instantly but under control. ;)

My experience with the "darting" is most likely born out of my relative inexperience and control > when I become separated from my board in higher winds (practicing a transition, etc.) and setting up to water start on the board in deep water, while the kite is overhead @ 12 it tends to want to move in one direction...when I correct it, sometimes it requires a bit more vigor to bring it back to center, it will overshoot and go from let's say 11 to 1 pulling me off my line while trying to get my feet in the straps. It can be exhausting and results in a body drag or two back to the board. The Cabrinha's that I had were more sedate at 12:00, but they didn't relaunch as well (can be a pain when you occasionally drop the kite in the water - Lithiums up and going so much better) and slower (Switchblades) to turn > compromise, compromise. I also understand that a smaller kite will move around more as the winds become stronger.

This being said, I realize that it's not ideal or even advisable to have my kite directly overhead, especially in higher winds. I'm working on striking a compromise between lowering the kite and getting into the straps a little sooner. Actually, I'm finding riding strapless in someways easier in terms of mounting the board and doing it more quickly.

I'd like to hear about you experience with your smaller Lithium.

All of you have great points and it's time to demo the different kites when the opportunity arrises.

I mentioned in previous posts, I like all of the kites I tried, but one, like my experience with the Lithium in light to medium winds, felt like a shoe with a perfect fit. "Ahh, this is it", I thought. This is what I'll look for in my demo experience with a high wind kite.

The blizzard is over and it's going to be in the 40's this week and breezy...nice and cozy in my drysuit. It's almost spring here! Well, sort of almost.


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 Post subject: Re: Airush Varial X
PostPosted: Mon Feb 11, 2013 10:19 am 
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Sorry - been away from this thread for a few days.. Perhaps I can add a little..
windtzu wrote:
I seems that at my progressing skill level and the usual gusty winds I'd encounter when I step down from my 9 m Lithium, perhaps the 6 or 7 meter Lithium is a better choice verses the Varial. This just came to mind. I've read recommendations about the Airush Wave 6 m being another option (is it too fast I wonder vs something like the Lithium in the same size range).

Again I would say this comes down to weight, The lithium is better for the heavier riders, the varial better for the lighter, but I would say that the Lithium can be more solid in the hand when overpowered than the Varial, so if you on the back foot (nervous from time to time) the Lithium may feel more trusting in the hands (it looses steering input progressively as it reaches maximum depower) apart for a little surging in the gusts. For confident lightweights who start throwing kites around in higher winds the handling of the Varial X will shine through, wether depowered or not.

windtzu wrote:
I read that the Wave 9 m is an excellent "freeride" kite as well. I believe you may have expressed this somewhere in the forums. My only question is whether the 6 m Wave isn't too much of a jump stepping down from the 9 m Lithium. I understand the Lithiums have a bit more power size for size and the Wave is little better on the top end.

The Wave 6 is a fantastic wave kite for strong winds - but where the 9 is a fantastic wave kite AND a fantastic freeriude kite too, the 6m wave is more of a dedicated wave kite. It's very fast to turn, and has a lot of speed, in terms of forward pace, sits back in the window when needed but produces relatively little power for a 6.. perfect for waveriding, perhaps a little too fast and gutless for freeride..

windtzu wrote:
So the bottom line; I understand their's no best choice, but a better choice and your recommendation >

Criteria:

Stepping down from a 9 m Lithium / riding both tt and waveboards/ riding primarily in ocean swell (I enjoy swell riding), chop, and experiencing small to med waves about 1 out of 4 times I get out.

At my 72 kg weight / starting in winds let's say @ 24 knots on up to a sane and reasonable max wind given my skill level as I time goes on / riding a TT Dundee (your recommendation - thanks and loving it) and an Airush Cypher 5'6 strapless. I found a used 011 5'6 Compact that I may consider for a high wind board, but I don't want to digress > so much gear so many questions. lol.

I narrowed my choices: the Lithium 6 m, the 7m, or the Wave 6 m?


I would say 6m Varial X!
Though there is no hard and fast rule, everyone's style is different, but dropping from a 9m Lithium, at 72kg, physics and my experience would say something like a 6m VX. 6/7m Lithium will be steady and trusted, but you will have a little surging if gusty, and limited efficiency and steering ability.. But not everyone wants this in 6m weather!

WildDuke wrote:
I used to ride the One kite, another delta kite like the litium but have now moved to a quiver of Varial x's. Im very happy with the change. I like not having grunt all the time. When I want power, I just sign the kite once or twice and bear off a little downwind to get a little speed and BAM, I get power. It means I can control when I want grunt and when I don't. I havent flown anything else that makes me feel so much in control.


There you go...
No torque at a standstill but the power is there - you have to get some boardspeed going, then the power comes. When you get it all working the amount of power and speed the VX can store is extremely impressive. Unlike the Razor (which is the VX's sister kite) the VX will take big sudden gusts while the Razor will pull you off the rail, but for some the Razor is the pinnacle of kite performance IF your conditions allow. That said, it takes hard work to push your riding to a good enough standard to make the Razor look better than a VX or lithium in your hands..

windtzu wrote:
Nice points guys @ control vs power. Let me see if I have this correct. When it's time to break out a small kite (24 plus knots), power isn't really an issue is it. It's about control. Advantage Varial.

However, if for no other reason I want to take out the smallest kite possible (perhaps, surfing in the waves), then the "diesel" grunt of a small Lithium is the ticket. Advantage Lithium.

I believe I've got it. Most kites have their "sweet spot." It all depends were you're at and where you want to go in your progression, and what you are doing with it (surf, freestyle, etc). I can relate to your car analogies > Lithium more like an suv and the varial perhaps like sports car. When things are going more slowly, the suv is a good call and when you need more off and on control with "higher speeds" the sports car is it.


That is very true, sweet spot is a VERY important thing. We have in the VX a sweet spot more for lightweights and/or for consistent higher speeds/winds, and a lithium more for heavyweights or lighter winds. What is interesting is finding a kite in the middle that can do both... for medium weights.. that sits back when you don't pull on it hard (delivering power and grunt), and moves forward when you do (maintains handling and efficiency). Add onto this extra depower of a hybrid and razor style forward turn handling, and you start to see a lot of potential... That is why I really suggest anyone in the 75-90kg range goes and tries a 9m Airush Wave. In my eyes it's exactly this, a holy grail, It's the best of both worlds. There are places for the other kites, and both are superior at the extremes of what they do, but the 9m Wave is an SUV and a sports car in one; the sweet spot is HUGE. Jumps well when powered too.
there is a test from kiteworld on this thread page - and a lot of airush info from the UK here;
http://www.kiteforum.com/viewtopic.php?f=1&t=2373260&start=40
Have a read of the wave test - it's an exceptional piece of kit for those undecided between the Lithium and the VX camp.

nicor wrote:
but I hit a massive gust which had to be past 40 knots and the kite completely lost its shape, almost like folding in half and started to fall back in the window. However, it recovered very quickly, and I immediately called it a day. So the point here is that I feel the Lithium really performs quite well in a lot of wind (except for the collaping which I admit is a concern but I believe a right size lithium would have been fine), and I have not noticed any darting, but then again I was being extremely careful when manoeuvring the kite that day.

This can happen to all kites - these days the kites have almost total depower, so when it gets stupidly windy you take more and more power (or forward drive) out of the kite, but the drag the kite does not change. So what happens when you take so much drive from the kite that the drag is greater than the drive? It starts to misbehave! Like a missfire it coughs and flaps and generally freaks out until it's shape is restored by enough drive to make it fly. For heavier riders this happens later than lighter as they have more weight to keep the kite driving forwards..
BUT I have to say...
Depower is a privilege, not a right, as in the old days we didn't have any - and many riders these days think that when the kite is fully depwered, that's the top end... Not so. The top end is when the kite stops turning as well, and the efficiency reduces, which is normally half way through the depower. An overpowered kite that is regularly tapping into over half it's physical de-power is a hinderance to your session. It's won't turn, climb or handle any way near as well as the next size down, so if your kite does this, it's a sign you should have changed down 10-15 knots before!! It's also dangerous to push your kites this far, so be careful... They sheet out like that far for safety reasons, not so a big kite ca be used in unfeasibly large amounts of wind - I should also say that snow kiting has very cold dense wind - quite possibly twice the power of wind in Egypt for example... so 40k of -5 wind is SO much more than 40k or 40 degree hot dry egypt wind..

sorry for the length of post, but thought it relevant!


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 Post subject: Re: Airush Varial X
PostPosted: Mon Feb 11, 2013 3:37 pm 
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WildDuke wrote:
I used to ride the One kite, another delta kite like the litium but have now moved to a quiver of Varial x's. Im very happy with the change. I like not having grunt all the time. When I want power, I just sign the kite once or twice and bear off a little downwind to get a little speed and BAM, I get power. It means I can control when I want grunt and when I don't. I havent flown anything else that makes me feel so much in control.


That is a very good description of the VX. I used a 10m VX quite a bit in the fall and was very impressed with the kite. I found it really responded to rider input more so than just parking it.
I'm a heavyweight rider (95kg). No issues with power in the appropriate wind range. Several times I used it with a Sector V2 52 when TT's were on 12's and up. Very smooth power when you want it.
You really can go wrong with a Varial X or Lithium.


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