So I got my 12m SOF-X tornado, I wanted the UFO but apparently they donÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t have any in stock yet ? So IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢m on a waiting list. Just thought I would tell the forum what I think so far of this kite.
I own 2004 Best and Flexifoil kites so I figured its time for an upgrade, I was planning to stick with flexi but the thought of spending about 3k on a quiver doesnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t really appeal to me. I couldnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t resist the SOF-X prices and with the no risk warranty I figured I would try something different.
I paid $580 with shipping for the kite complete with bar lines and a big pump and bag. I ordered by phone and got my kite in a little over a week. I weigh about 200lbs and ride a 130cm LF drop. I have been riding for about 4 years.
Basically the same as any other kite I own. All the seems are double stitched, the LE and struts are standard Dacron material and the canopy is polyester rip-stop with some sort of silicone coating. Kite has reinforcements on the trailing edge, LE and wing tips. All the struts and LE are segmented. The kite has a one pump system which works the same as the slingshot system, pumps up fast and hard. Comes standard with a 5th line set up and a little pocket by the LE to put it in if you donÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t want to use it. The kite has the typical power and turning adjustment points on the wing tips. The struts and LE are very small compared to my former kites, I would think you would need to use a 5th line. Overall I give construction an A-/B+ better than some but not as good as North or Flexifoil but basically on par with Best and others.
I only rode this kite once last Friday. 55F weather with about 18- 22 knots of wind on the LI south shore bay. Water is about 40F. No waves just flat water with some chop.
Kite has a good overall feel. Big de-power for a C kite. Very fast turning with light bar pressure felt like a 9m. I wasnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t going crazy with any tricks because the water 40f but from what I can tell hang time is very good. Up wind ability was great . DidnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t get much of a chance to test the low end. Kite is very predictable nothing really to get used to, just does what you want it to do. I rode the kite with the 5th line SOF-X bar which is a very nice bar it has a swivel on top of the chicken loop, and the 5th line leash attachment is in easy reach for re-launch or sheeting on the fly. Bar came with bar floats, similar look and feel to the new Naish bars good light weight carbon construction. Overall I am impressed the Tornado is a great all round kite at a great price. I would recommend it and I would buy another one, but I still want to try the RRD wave2 first.