Yesterday was a rare butter smooth 23 knot thermal wind. I finally had a chance to push this 14m Diablo to its limits. It ended up throwing me around like I was a little flying squirrel!
Once you dial in the sweet spot on this kite, so that you have plenty of power for jumping and just enough depower for slashing the shorebreak, then the magic begins to happen! I had the lines set on the front middle pigtail and on the longest knots. The rear lines went to the slow setting. (It still turns on super quick when you put a lot of input into the bar) I ended up pulling in the depower strap about 70%, so I could have shortened the front lines by one knot. Just a small redirection of the kite as you carve upwind and hit the lip of a waist high chop is all it takes to be lifted like you are on a rail gun 30 feet up! Get ready to stay up there awhile, you need to do at least one move to stay stable. It felt like I was traveling at least the length of my lines every time I jumped! I still don't understand how a kite like this, one that can turn on a dime, can track so smoothly and reliably while boosting.
Its really blowing my mind. This kite is also very fast. It punches hard all the way to the edge. I tried to see how fast I could go with this thing and its more than my board can handle for long reaches when I let it run free. But when you hit the afterburner just before a power stroke, holy crap, its just amazing how much traction this thing can generate.
Add to this the ability to throw the kite dead center down wind while carving a wave and have it wait for your input without running off on you, minimal traction. How can this be possible? I still can't quite get my mind around it, but my body is totally digging it.
A 21m and 14m Diablo for winds to 25+, and a 9m One for the storm winds. This will be my quiver. Three kites instead of 6. I am so looking forward to the 21 and the bow. They are going to change the way I ride the same way this 14 is tranforming me into an airtime, slash monster, speed demon. Diablo is a good name for it.