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 Post subject: Flysurfer SPEED 17m Review
PostPosted: Wed Jul 27, 2005 5:09 am 
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Note: I added 4m to the lineset - even with the bridles I think the total length is still somewhere near 28m.

Day One:

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.


Launching/inflating:
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. :P 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.


Turning setup:
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.


Upwind:
Extremely impressive 8) - 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.

Speed:
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.

Windrange:
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... :o 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.

Jumps:
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.



Miscellaneous stuff:
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. :D


Attachments:
26July2004.gif
26July2004.gif [ 19.87 KIB | Viewed 5521 times ]


Last edited by Tom183 on Mon Aug 01, 2005 1:31 am, edited 1 time in total.
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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Jul 27, 2005 6:10 am 
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Location: A Best owner; ex F-One, SS, North, Cab owner
Tom,

1) Were you riding LEIs before and decided to switch to foils? What about now... when would you prefer one or the other?

2) This whole knot adjustment thing... is this something you can do on the fly... or do you have to land your kite first?

3) PS... this whole pre inflation thing... I almost forgot I used to use an F-one Alpina... and remember at times it took a while to pre inflate... how long did it take you?

vk


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 Post subject: Re: Flysurfer SPEED 17m Review
PostPosted: Wed Jul 27, 2005 6:32 am 
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Joined: Mon Feb 16, 2004 10:40 pm
Posts: 181
Location: Sao Paulo - Brasil
Tom183 wrote:
Launching/inflating:
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. :P 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 imagine that this is your first FS, so you will get the technique to side launch.
You don’t need to open the zipper. You just have to wait the kite to inflate with the bar pulled in, and than walk to the side and launch.

Tom183 wrote:
Jumps:
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.


Different technique. You have to send it more up then back. But like the launch, you’ll get it.


Regards

Pedro Ferraz :thumb:


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Jul 27, 2005 7:32 am 
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You will get more range on the soft steering settings. You will see the more you fly it, the easier it gets to not backstall.

EDIT: Also problably better to fly it on stock lines first, the gusts will be easier to deal with so you would not get overpowered so easily. Response will be better, maybe easier to jump.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Jul 27, 2005 10:02 am 
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vietkiter wrote:
Tom,

1) Were you riding LEIs before and decided to switch to foils? What about now... when would you prefer one or the other?

2) This whole knot adjustment thing... is this something you can do on the fly... or do you have to land your kite first?

3) PS... this whole pre inflation thing... I almost forgot I used to use an F-one Alpina... and remember at times it took a while to pre inflate... how long did it take you?

vk


2) You need to land it, unless you have some really long arms like ms Incredible that can reach the kite.

3) Would be nice to hear about the 17m, I can say that the 7m takes me all of 5 seconds to inflate when I launch straight downwind.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Jul 27, 2005 2:31 pm 
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Quote:
2) This whole knot adjustment thing... is this something you can do on the fly... or do you have to land your kite first?


the knots are under the bridles, so you have to land the kite to move them.
"this whole thing" gives you the option to tune the kite according to your riding style, preferences and wind conditions. It takes about 30 sec. to do it.

Quote:
3) PS... this whole pre inflation thing... I almost forgot I used to use an F-one Alpina... and remember at times it took a while to pre inflate... how long did it take you?


powerzone start = no pre inflation. Lay out the lines and start.
window edge start = about 30 sec ? For full inflation (very difficult/dangerous spot) maybe 1 minute ?


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Jul 27, 2005 2:36 pm 
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@Tom183

thanks for the review :thumb:
I'm sure this is only the beginning ! 8)

ciao
dario

P.S. I also had my first sessions on my new 13 last we... :D


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Jul 27, 2005 2:55 pm 
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Tom, there is a pocket in the bottom of the kitebag (for this very reason)where you can tuck in the board-holder when you don't use it. It is just below of where the holder is sewn into the bag. So just fold the holder and tuck it in there. :thumb:

I've just got my 17... so far the weather has been crap so I haven't been able to try it. Although if it is anything like my Speed 10 I'm probably going to like it quite a lot.

BTW, when you have the kite on the soft-steering you will have to be a bit more careful when jumping etc. since it is easier to stall the kite (should work exactly the same way as on the 10). Then you won't get as much height and also you will drop down too fast. But with some time on the kite I'm sure you will get the feel for it. :bye:


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Jul 27, 2005 3:28 pm 
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vietkiter wrote:
Tom,

1) Were you riding LEIs before and decided to switch to foils? What about now... when would you prefer one or the other?

2) This whole knot adjustment thing... is this something you can do on the fly... or do you have to land your kite first?

3) PS... this whole pre inflation thing... I almost forgot I used to use an F-one Alpina... and remember at times it took a while to pre inflate... how long did it take you?

vk


1) Yeah, I've been using LEI's exclusively on the water before this, although for land kiting I had been using fixed-power open-cell foils (i.e.: Flexifoil Blade/Bullet, Ozone Razor/Little Devil). I'll be posting a "Contra 23.5m vs SPEED 17m" thread soon to highlight some of the differences.

Generally speaking, I would say the SPEED flys like a very high-aspect LEI, but not exactly the same. It's a bit more prone to backstall, especially on certain settings, but also delivers more when you're powered up for a jump and pull the bar all the way in. Turning speed is like a large LEI (how large again depends on the settings) - even on the slow setting I started with, I don't think it was much worse than the Contra 23.5m, if at all. On the fast setting it was definitely better, more like an 18m LEI. The compromise setting was more like a 20m LEI - but for a kite with the power of a 25m+, that's pretty good.

2) Can't do on the fly - have to land the kite (knots are up near the bridle).

3) Yeah, for my first launch I didn't inflate enough, forgot to undo the zippers (this opens some additional vents to speed things up, just have to remember to zip up again before heading out on the water), and didn't launch with the kite close enough to the power zone. The kite had trouble getting up on end and I had to walk upwind to get a better angle. Bottom line is the fastest way to inflate the kite is to have it launch it near the power zone - this isn't nearly as dangerous as it sounds, as the kite doesn't have much power until the profile fills out. As noted earlier, there's a very cool sensation as the kite fills up and powers up. If you wanted to play it safe, then instead of launching near the power zone, stand upwind and pull the kite up on the sanded wingtip and let it inflate, then as it inflates move gradually downwind - then when it's fully inflated do a side launch. In higher winds, it should inflate faster, and the small sizes should also be quicker to fill up.

After I had the wet, dirty kite back onshore, I decided to get it back in the air to fly it dry - wind was light enough (6mph avg) that I just stood straight upwind, pumped the center lines a few times to help it inflate, then walked/pulled backwards a bit to get it airborne. With the bar all the way out and the wind so light, I really didn't get much of a drag from it, it just got more and more powerful as it went up. Pretty sure I could have gone landboarding with it at this point, but I don't think it would have got me going on the water even with my light-wind board - I considered trying it but wasn't in the mood for another swim if another 0mph lull came along...


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Jul 27, 2005 3:36 pm 
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Cortex wrote:
Tom, there is a pocket in the bottom of the kitebag (for this very reason)where you can tuck in the board-holder when you don't use it. It is just below of where the holder is sewn into the bag. So just fold the holder and tuck it in there. :thumb:

I've just got my 17... so far the weather has been crap so I haven't been able to try it. Although if it is anything like my Speed 10 I'm probably going to like it quite a lot.

BTW, when you have the kite on the soft-steering you will have to be a bit more careful when jumping etc. since it is easier to stall the kite (should work exactly the same way as on the 10). Then you won't get as much height and also you will drop down too fast. But with some time on the kite I'm sure you will get the feel for it. :bye:


Thanks for the tips - what you describe about stalling the kite is probably exactly what was happening on soft-steering. Maybe I should shorten the depowerline? I tried pulling in the depower strap even more to try to prevent the stall, but didn't seem to help...


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