Here you go man a review I just wrote after trying these two exact boards back to back this weekend. Serendipity.
A raptor Pro LTD, A Laluz, a Zephyr and a cold northerly! Righto a day where mad dogs and Englishman, plus kiting desperadoes were out. Damn it was cold for Aussies in 3/2 wetsuits. Been on the crazy fly's carbon carnation the raptor pro LTD in the 136 by 41 quite a bit (my bro owns one now) but this was my first chance to try the 132 version against my Laluz 2013, 132.
So clicked my heels together and chanted 'there's no place like home, there's no place like home and presto I was back on my 10m edge. Ahh... First session was 930 ish to 11ish, 14 to 17, peaking at 18 to 20, then dropping to only 13 to 15. Not a great deal of swell and the northerly was not only bloody freezing, but the water was a choppy washing machine. So I tacked up 400m or so to where some small waves and some flat sections were interdispersed within the water on choppy crack, and warmed up on the Laluz. Read my recent review, nothing new to report, except the ability to pop and carve is getting better every time. It grips like a homeless hobo onto his wine bottle. Comfortable enough even on my dastardly medial minisus injury.
Considering finding a decent platform was like trying to find a 15 yr old virgin in rockingham, doesn't take much time to dial in a load, throw, pop and boost. Nice. Two tacks small tacks (yeh the race in the edge is very handy sometimes) swapped it out for the raptor. Well that's not entirely true. Had to call my bro in who had not tightened his pad screws properly and had pulled his foot straps out, so he was on the the bloody 132. His first comment was "hey that's easier to control the power of my edge in 20 knots"....that's as far as his analytical skills go re kite gear goes I'm afraid.
So repeat. First thing I noticed, a more comfortable ride. You can see those ultra thing carbon tips vibrating in harmony, add in the double concave to separate the water underfoot and yeh a more comfortable freeride oceanic feel. Now the 132 is considerably more stiffer than the 136 (900 versus 600 whatever the fuzz that means, but as a scaler quantity you can get the drift). Also less grippy that the laluz, can slide it out a little better. A much lighter board (I know lighter than a laluz, Christ how light do you want to get!) so easier to throw around. As a one board oceanic freeride option (for a rider 75 to 80, or 85 like my bro, but you would have to suck it up, grows some balls and fly an 11m edge...just joking of course), this would be a great option. But with a greater rocker angle at the end compared to the laluz (the laluz seems to have a more progressive rocker, while the raptor stays quite flat until it curves up at the tips more and in the end the raptor tips sit higher), rounder tips and a double concave versus a single, you have to lose something. There is always a compromise on every board. The laluz is still much easier to load, pop and boost. Don't get me wrong the stiffness of the raptor in the 132 makes a great board for freeride boost, (much better than others I have talked about before..not mentioning any names here), the laluz seems to be in a class of its own or from what I've ridden before. Also the raptor does have a tendency to lose power during the turns, but this can be mitigated somewhat once you understand it (My bro did mentioned this god bless him). The laluz plains more easily, can point it higher and it maintains good speed through the turns, well good for a TT, nothing beats the mako for this, apart from a SB. So with one handeth giveth, with the other it taketh.
The laluz would really suite someone like myself who has a multiple board quiver and specifically want s a board with exquisite pop potential and yet comfortable for the average joe. The raptor would be an ideal one board freeride option, or someone who really is searching for comfort with a great degree of popability, but not in the same class as the laluz for this characteristic. Enter
the Zephyr....(dramatic music)... took kids to the shops ( my definition of hell, but missus needed a break) got back out from 3 to 430pm, starting at 11 to 13, but then just hovering at 10 to 11. (Personally I think it started 11 to 13 but then sat at more like 11 to 14, until the last 20 minutes 10 to 13), but that's what the charts say? Cauncy said a while back that he now gets excited about 15 knots now. Well I get that now, although I still get excited at 11 (lighter than that fatso). Tell ya why though, the zephyr is probably the best kite for what it does, that I have ever come across. I just can t describe how perfect this kite is for developing enough apparent wind, yet with static grunt when you need and such stability and yet boost ability. And quick enough to do all you need in the soft hooked in freestyle arena...and indeed the unhooked, but I'm no pro and with a dicky knee this door is well and truly closed now.
But there was another beautiful addition. I recently just purchased a crazy fly cruiser pro, 145 by 44. The carbon model. While this could have its own review ('oh god please no I hear you say' okay fair enough), I got this untried, just a gamble. Been through the whole gambit of light wind boards, choptops, skims, sectors, Big SBs, you name it, hated them...except the skim I suppose. Skim is great for a directional dude, but I'm a TT man through and through. Anyhow in the winds mentioned, I did the upwind tack and played around...all with power on tap. That's the diff. Some dudes were out, just getting by, but I was lit and throwing down all I could muster given the knee and my personal limitations re kiting. Even got on a few waves. Bro was on his 11m edge for a bit, when others had gone in, too light and with the voodoo of the edge, even he was cranking upwind on it. He wants one. Feels hell small underfoot, light, grips, was popping really vertical, even With the pull of the 17m zephyr and decent on a wave. Stuff all rocker, but they have built in a fair amount of flex throughout the centre that not only gives it a smooth ride, the body weight creates its own rocker, enough even in those crappy choppy northerly driven waters. Bloody beautiful light wind option, recommend you give it a crack. I had one of my most enjoyable light wind kites in 13 years today, actually the most enjoyable and that was in dick in arse conditions. Just stoked and slowly thawing out... Would love to get on the raptor and laluz on flat water, but I reckon Jason from Westoz might want his carbon crazy fly incarnation back, they are not cheap...but worth it! Hope this helps crew.