Note: I added 4m to the lineset - even with the bridles I think the total length is still somewhere near 28m.
Wind Chart is attached below.
I started around 2:15PM, rode until that crater around 6:15PM (guess what happened then?)
Spent 5min on my light-wind board before switching to my small board (Naish TT Sol 135 x 39.5).
My Weight: 93kg/205lbs (that's about 14 1/2 stone for you brits)
Depower strap pulled in most of the way most of the time.
In light wind, it needs good inflation for a side launch - I had to launch more downwind and pump it a bit until it had enough shape to fly controllably, then there was this really cool sensation as the kite inflated the rest of the way and got more and more powerful.
Basically, self-launching was pretty easy, no sudden power surge or anything - would have been easier if I had remembered to open the zipper vents for pre-inflation. For REALLY light wind I did a straight downwind launch by pulling in the center lines to inflate the kite enough to get off the ground, then pushed the bar out and felt that slow "power-up" thing as it ascended.
I started with the turning set one knot toward "hard steering". More than enough feedback on the bar, felt like a lot of power even when parked overhead, basically no backstall. Turning was quite slow when starting and when the bar was pushed out all the way, but I liked the jumps (could have been the wind speed).
Later on I switched it to one knot toward "soft steering". MAJOR difference. Much faster turning - probably something near an 18m LEI - feedback on the bar was still fine, didn't feel like as much power, some backstall when the bar was pulled in and when turning hard. Jumps sucked on this setting for some reason, no vertical and no hangtime.
Not too long after that I put it back on the factory setting - seems to be the best compromise, at least for now. Turning speed was probably around a 20m LEI (not bad considering the power output), backstall wasn't an issue except when turning extremely hard and pulling in the bar. Unfortunately not a lot of time on this setting to test jumps.
Regardless of the setting, turning speed was slower on the light end, especially at the edge with the bar pushed out - when the lines were loaded up (like during a jump), turning speed was just fine. Found myself over-redirecting the kite sometimes as a result.
- normally it's a fair amount of work to get upwind with my small board, but it was no problem at all today. On long tacks I could go WAY upwind, or do some jumps and recover any lost ground before heading back. I even tacked back and forth in a small area and could do a jump each time.
Well, yeah, the name hints at that. Very fast, not quite as impressive as the upwind but still pretty impressive. Very comfortable at speed, probably because the kite sits so far forward and there's not much downwind pull.
When the wind was 16mph gusting to 19mph, I was basically maxed out in the gusts. Kite got away from me a few times, accellerating to infinity (and beyond) until I skittered to a stop. So I would say that, for me, the top end is 17mph avg with gusts 19mph. Depower strap had a little bit left, but the back lines were already slack with the bar all the way out.
Bottom end? Don't know for sure yet as I wasn't using my light-wind board...
I think I felt the dips at 3PM and 4:15PM, and noticed things were dropping off at 5:45PM - but I was still going on my small board and getting upwind although it was more of a struggle.
As noted above, with the knot toward "hard steering", the kite was a little slow sending back in the window, but I liked the jumps - after popping and pulling in the bar, the kite just holds you up for a very long time. Need more time on the center setting before I can judge that, on the "soft steering" it was easier to send the kite but the hangtime felt like crap today.
Does it fly in 0mph? No... The lull at 6:15PM was like hitting a wall, the wind just shut off completely - maybe helium would help...
Swimming with the kite wasn't that big a deal, but I would say it isn't as easy as with an LEI. It's not fun either way, so if you're riding way offshore, get boat support (LEI or foil).
Untangling wasn't bad, the kite wasn't inverted or twisted or anything, so just lay it flat and pull the lines out and shake a bit. Seaweed in the bridles sucks though.
Draining the kite was fairly easy, just lift up in the center and work your way to the tip and wait for it to drain, then do the other tip. I think there was more water on the kite than in it, even after the swim.
Bad news: the pulleys did not like the sand they got dragged through - I'm going to have to clean them out to get them working smoothly again.
I like the bag, the "board pocket" lets me carry both boards on my back. There's a hidden compartment to tuck it away when not needed.
Self-landing on the leash is cake, the kite pulls a wee bit on the way down but lands square on the trailing edge and sits there. In light winds you don't even need the leash, just ease the kite down and then use a back line to hold it there.
Bridle tangles? No. Even after the crash, all I had to do was flatten out the kite and shake the bridles a bit.
Anything I missed, any questions, post and I will do my best to answer. Hoping for a Day Two as soon as possible.