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 Post subject: CONTRA BOW-12!! How Low can Go?
PostPosted: Sun Jun 11, 2006 5:59 pm 
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Joined: Mon Aug 12, 2002 1:00 am
Posts: 1775
Location: Miami @ 6" Flat Butter!
Background:
This is not a review but only conveying information what I have observed
with my light weight 130 lbs (60kg) as a veteran light wind flier.
I do suggest to test fly before you decide to buy it,
since my observation is based upon my experience
and combination with board and other variables,
especially if you’re heavier weight than I do.

Setting Up:
Getting the kite and ready to fly is straightforward.
Pumping up is now fast with the Sprint inflation system.
I had it pumped up no time with the help of an electric pre-inflator.

Wind Range:
First time below perfect conditions according Cab’s usable wind range,
was possible to ride yesterday from 7 to 9 knots on the NEW 12m Contra Bow!
Checked on my wind meter at 12:15 pm before launching.
I cruised and went upwind, I was surprised by this.
Have not had so much fun in light wind ever!
2 other average weight riders were out on the 14m
had to change to skin boards for just holding grounds.
I can proudly say it has at least 2 knots better low end than the 12m X-Bow
and about 1 knot better than 12m Switchblade.
Recently just got a custom 142 X 38 directional Speed Board and I’m amazed
by how much this has extended the low end so I can hum upwind at speed.
I can ride the 12m Contra Bow with my custom in 7 knots because it turns FAST,
and even below 10 knots can be looping and doing whatever I want.
Something like that makes you sit up and take notice.
After 45 minutes riding the wind gradually started building up to 20 knots.
So at 2:15 I decided quit because a muster squall was coming

Riding Performance:
The kite flies fast and have direct control and feels good in the air.
When the wind hits 11 knots then you really start to have fun.
But when get the kite moving the power is incredible.
I tried a few gentle pulls on the bar and the kite picked me up without too much fuss,
so all signs were looking good for trying the kite with the board.
Whatever the wind, the overriding impression is of effortless grunt,
because power is there all the time, its apparent that this is the kites forte.
Working the kite below 10 knots small jumps are possible,
the kite responding accurately to control inputs.
The kite seems to specialize in maximizing apparent wind.
Also flying further far forward in the window
than the 12m X-Bow or Switchblade,
edging upwind easily by letting the bar out.
Around 18 knots the skimming burst speed is fun by sheeting out
without loading all the force and keeping the speed is the key to stay upwind.
No troubles, no problems, all under control and not dangerous at all!
Loops on transitions are fun which are so easy,
now with little more pull than the X-Bow 12m.

Jumping and hangtime:
To say that these kites are lofty, is an understatement.
The lift is enormous even in relatively sedate winds,
big floaty jumps are easy and becomes second nature after dialed in.
Power delivery really is very linear, and the added resistance of the water
lets you to boost some very large airs.
Takeoff is not a sudden jerk, but very smooth and controlled.
Jumping height is about the same as the 12m X-Bow,
and in my opinion the hang time is impressive.

Turning:
Turning speed is better than the 12m Switchblade,
however given that its producing so much low end power,
the turning speed is pretty good.

Stability:
No back stall at all, even in light winds

Bar Pressure:
Personally I found the bar pressure is lighter than the 12m Switchblade
And a little lighter than the bridal modified 12m X-Bow.
It’s easy to feel where it is and the kites responses.

Launching and Landing:
In light winds is relatively easy and landing is equally as easy.
But little more care is required when trying
to land in breezy or gusty conditions IMO.

Conclusion:
No need much wind anymore, no need the heard effect anymore,
With the Contra Bow this is reality, light wind fun is not the dream anymore
with impressive upwind performance.
The Contra Bow does what it was originally marketed for.
Its really hard to find any bad points with these kites,
since it’s a 3rd generation and everything has been tweaked,
This kite is so quick and so easy to position there where is needed.
There is no need for a bigger kite if you're on the lighter side, less is more!
Enjoy yourself on a Contra Bow and be with the elements! :thumb:

DrLightWind


Attachments:
Crandon Wind.jpg
Crandon Wind.jpg [ 38.99 KIB | Viewed 3987 times ]


Last edited by DrLightWind on Thu Jun 22, 2006 12:07 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Jun 11, 2006 7:02 pm 
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Posts: 3327
Location: Malibu
130 lbs (60 kg) rider weight is an absolute low wind blessing. :thumb:


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Jun 11, 2006 8:15 pm 
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Joined: Fri Jul 22, 2005 2:07 pm
Posts: 46
I think I remember the same review from this guy about the Hellfish.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Jun 11, 2006 9:00 pm 
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Joined: Sat Jan 17, 2004 12:10 am
Posts: 1956
Location: A Best owner; ex F-One, SS, North, Cab owner
dizank wrote:
I think I remember the same review from this guy about the Hellfish.


Hey... can't you read? The HF was a bonafide 'review'... this is only 'personal observations'

DrLightWind wrote:
Background:
This is not a review but only conveying information what I have observed...


But more to the point... I don't know how anyone could actually test 'lightwind' Saturday in SoFL! It was up and down so much... you could not possibly know what the wind was! Hell if you were lucky... you happened to rig that small kite when it spiked to 30s... nirvana if you caught it... otherwise another shitty weekend... shoulda been in the keys!


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Jun 12, 2006 1:31 am 
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Location: Miami @ 6" Flat Butter!
FredBGG wrote:
130 lbs (60 kg) rider weight is an absolute low wind blessing. :thumb:

Thanks, you right about that.
vietkiter wrote:
But more to the point... I don't know how anyone could actually test 'lightwind' Saturday in SoFL! It was up and down so much... you could not possibly know what the wind was! Hell if you were lucky... you happened to rig that small kite when it spiked to 30s... nirvana if you caught it... otherwise another shitty weekend... shoulda been in the keys!

Absolutely I was lucky,
but not today since the wind was only 6 to 7 gusting to 8 MPH in most of my 2 hrs riding.
I was between 3:30 till 5:30 PM and you can see it at Crandon reading.
At least I know how low it can be used in lighter winds range.
In about 6 knots (7mph) which is the threshold of the 12m Contra Bow,
has the ability to hold ground by generating the power through speed.
That means in minimal conditions you need to sine the kite
to generate the power and keep your board speed up.
What is notable an 11m low aspect Brand and a 17m Co2
had problem launching and flying the kite and no riding.
The riders were on the heavier side for sure but t's hard to believe
the 12m Contra has more power than the 17m Co2.
Anybody has any comment on that? :?:
Below 6 knots I can’t ride but it still flies in the sky
and probably around 5 knots lulls slowly lands on the water. :bye:

DrLightWind


Attachments:
Crandon Wind.jpg
Crandon Wind.jpg [ 46.5 KIB | Viewed 3630 times ]


Last edited by DrLightWind on Mon Jun 12, 2006 4:20 am, edited 1 time in total.
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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Jun 12, 2006 4:10 am 
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Joined: Thu Apr 01, 2004 6:23 am
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Location: The United Mistakes of America
FredBGG wrote:
130 lbs (60 kg) rider weight is an absolute low wind blessing. :thumb:


Maybe if we ate him, we could hold our Speed 17's in 25kts?


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Jun 12, 2006 11:29 am 
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Joined: Wed Oct 16, 2002 1:00 am
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Location: Dublin, Ireland
sorry i skipped the review, i also remember this guy and his hellfish review


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Jun 12, 2006 12:13 pm 
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Dr,
Which of the 3 12m kites relaunches in the lightest wind, or is there no clear difference?


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Jun 12, 2006 10:16 pm 
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Joined: Mon Aug 12, 2002 1:00 am
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Location: Miami @ 6" Flat Butter!
ronnie wrote:
Dr,
Which of the 3 12m kites relaunches in the lightest wind, or is there no clear difference?

In my opinion in lightest wind the Contra Bow relaunches faster,
since I did a lot of that with it yesterday compared to the others.
2nd the Switchblade,
3rd the X-Bow.
Once there is enough wind like 10 knots there isn't much difference,
but I think the Switchblade will be #1.

DrLW


PS. I know a lot of you are skeptical about my observations
and it doesn't make any sense you can be powered in such a light wind.
But if any of you would do some research how important rider's weight is,
or watch a skilled light rider on the same Brand and size than you'll know what I know.
Also I'm not begging to anyone to prove my points who saw me
unless if they wanted to of their own!
Finally light wind riding is here and fun without any effort, that's the bottom line!
:out:


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Jun 13, 2006 4:36 am 
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Joined: Mon Oct 17, 2005 3:09 am
Posts: 65
Hi there

I weigh 55kg so your review is interesting to me as I should be able to get out in about the same wind as you :D

What board did you have my biggest is a 132

I currently ahve a 9m Crossbow which I can use from about 16 knots (18 is when it is fun) and a 12m Crossbow that I can use from 12 ish and put down when there is enough for the 9m as it is more fun.

Would you give up the 12m Crossbow for a 12m Contra-Bow?


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