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 Post subject: 2 weeks in Fiji with Contra and Crossbow II
PostPosted: Wed Aug 16, 2006 9:07 am 
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Location: Melbourne, Oz
Just got back from 2 weeks in Fiji with lots of water time on a 12m Crossbow II and 14m Contra.

I had a ball on both kites in a wide range of wind conditions. I was quite amazed how different these kites feel and perform (from each other) when they look pretty similar from a distance and only 2m difference in size.

Initial thoughts are that the CB II has MUCH less bar pressure than CB 1, especially when it counts (light wind). The kite also seemed rock solid stable, light and felt like a smaller kite in every way when compared to a CB 1. The CB II turned quite a bit faster and generally felt more direct and snappy than CB 1. The CB II also seemed to fly faster than CB I. I used the CB 2 in wind ranging from probably 10 knots to 25 knots.

The Contra on the other hand pulled like a truck and felt very solid in the lighter trade wind days. The Contra was harder to get up wind with initially, but then I got it dialled. With both these kites the trick is to ride as depowered (arms extended) as you can until you feel board speed decrease and you loose power. This style of riding gets the kite working most efficently and makes it much easier to track upwind. Its a fine balance though, and some slower (more concave) boards may require some more pressure.

I had both kites on the beach and was swapping between them on a light wind day. I was walking back up the beach with the CB II and working the kite quite a bit, but the Contra was locked in and pulling quite hard. It definately lacks the light feeling and manouverability of the CB II, but I still managed some good height and smack down landings from big, slow kiteloops from the Contra.

I was skeptical of the Contra concept initially, but I think for people that live in areas with light (but fairly consistent) wind, this is as good a light wind kite as you will get. I have owned all manner of light wind kite, and the reality is you need a certain amount of wind to have fun kitesurfing. The difference between these kites is the amount of power available in light wind and the amount of work needed to get going. If I lived somewhere with light seabreezes or trade winds a Contra 14 would be great.

Of course I am hanging to see how the 9m CB II goes down at the speed strip at Sandy Point. From my impressions of the 12m it did feel like it flew faster and more cleanly than the CB 1 so the 9 should go well.

As for Fiji, I was on a family holiday with 14 month old son, so didn't get any surf action. But if any of you guys out there have kids, want to kitesurf while the wife gets pampered I can highly recommend any of the resorts around ther Manamucas and also Jean Michel Cousteau in Savusavu. This is a fairly luxurious resort so is not cheap, but the trade wind cranks past the point giving you a huge area of lagoon and flat water to kitesurf in.

If I was going back to Fiji with mates I'd go to Namotu for sure. I went past there on a dive and it looked like an awesome set-up with nice waves out the front.

DT


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Aug 16, 2006 9:57 am 
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Thanks for the info Vide.
Pete Cabrinha answered my question about a 10.5m Xbow2 to go with the 14 contra by saying the 12m xbow2 was a good quiver match to the 14 contra. Would you agree with that?


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Aug 16, 2006 10:08 am 
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Location: Melbourne, Oz
It all depends on where you live and your style of riding and local conditions. We get pretty strong wind in Melbourne so therefore I would find a 14 Contra and 12m CB II too close. And then there are lots of guys riding wakestyle who use 7m and 9m Bows when I am using a 12.

If you live in an area where the strongest wind you usually get is 25 knots, like big air and power but have lots of lighter days that are just too light for the 12 to be fun then the two kites could work. But I reckon 9 and 14 sounds much better. When overpowered on the 14 I am sure you could use a 9 and have a great time.

Thats just my personal view though...


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Aug 18, 2006 10:32 pm 
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vide wrote:
It all depends on where you live and your style of riding and local conditions. We get pretty strong wind in Melbourne so therefore I would find a 14 Contra and 12m CB II too close. And then there are lots of guys riding wakestyle who use 7m and 9m Bows when I am using a 12.

If you live in an area where the strongest wind you usually get is 25 knots, like big air and power but have lots of lighter days that are just too light for the 12 to be fun then the two kites could work. But I reckon 9 and 14 sounds much better. When overpowered on the 14 I am sure you could use a 9 and have a great time.

Thats just my personal view though...


Hey Vide, you changed the answer! I liked it better the first time!

Methinks Pete Cabrinha talks like a kiter with too much money.

I have the xbow1 9m which I think is the best pairing I can get at the moment. The switch2 10m needs a different bar setup but might suit some people. Maybe by copying the Naish method the contra bar could be used but the depower length looks much greater on the switch2.

I still think that a 10.5m xbow2 kite-only would be an easy choice for most people who have a 14 contra.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Aug 18, 2006 10:39 pm 
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Location: Melbourne, Oz
Well obviously there isn't a 10.5 Crossbow. I know lots of people that use the 9 in reasonably light wind. Its a sweet kite. But again it all depends on your riding style as to whether your 'choice' kite would be 7m, 9m, 12m. All of these kites can be used in 20 knots of wind but they all have a different feel and are good for different reasons.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Aug 18, 2006 11:19 pm 
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Location: team rider, Cyprus
vide

you''ll be shocked with the smaller xbows.

I tried a 9M in 20-25kn.
speed, speed, speed ! As fast as your board and knees can take!

Send the kite for a waterstart and

:out:

Can't wait for the winds to pick up to check the 7m :wink:


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Aug 20, 2006 2:26 am 
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Joined: Mon Oct 24, 2005 8:46 am
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Location: Perth, Western Australia
Hey guys i am tossing up between the nine and twelve cb2.

75 to 80kg. Don't know which way to go, maybe a little concerned that witht the nine i will spend too much time on the beach.

Can anyone commnet on actual usuable windranges?


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Aug 20, 2006 5:54 am 
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Location: Melbourne, Oz
You can easily get away with a 12 as a one kite quiver where I live. I use ther 12 80% of the time and the 9 20% of the time. 75% of the time I use the 9 I could be on the 12, but I love the light feel of the 9. 60% of the time I use the 12 I could also be on the 9, but I like riding fairly powered. I weigh 90kgs - but use a fairly big board. If you are thinking one kite quiver get the 12, unles where you live is consistently over about 18 knots in which case the 9 would be ideal.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Aug 20, 2006 6:30 am 
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Location: Perth, Western Australia
thanks s vide, as i am in perth and get a bit more wind than melbs, and i am lighter at 80kg i am heading towards the nine.
:thumb:


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Aug 20, 2006 9:47 am 
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Joined: Tue Oct 22, 2002 1:00 am
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Location: Melbourne, Oz
The 9m would be an AWESOME kite in perth in summer. If you are underpowered on lighter days just get a bigger flatter board?


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