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 Post subject: Review Eclipse Thruster 16.0 2007
PostPosted: Thu Sep 06, 2007 6:04 pm 
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Joined: Tue Feb 11, 2003 6:49 pm
Posts: 5
Review for Eclipse Thruster 2007 16.0

Times tested: No Comment
Range: 12kn to 21kn

Good: quick turning
speed through window
familiar feel

Bad: Sore back after pumping (same for all big kites)
Getting used to EZlock

Review: I'm 95kg and fly a FS Speed17 as my lightwind kite with a Caution Hustla 135x46 board.
Been riding since 2001.

A few weeks ago I flew a friend's Thruster 14 right after flying my Speed17 in ~12kts.
I took the 14 and was amazed at how quick it turned, how fast through the window it was and how well it could be worked to generate power.
I could build board speed and jump with it where the Speed was handling like a slow but grunty dog.
The 14's bar was lighter and I got more pop and height than with the Speed.
This short experience with the 14 had me wondering if the Thruster 16 might be a suitable replacement for my Speed17.

This past weekend I got a chance to set up and demo the Thruster 16 in Hatteras.
After park & play at Kite Point for about an hour in side-off ~12kt winds, Dimitri let me take it for a 2+ hour, 9+ mile downwinder during which the wind built to a reported 20mph with 25mph gusts.

The short story is I do believe I will be replacing my Speed17 with the Thruster16!

The 16 started for me no problem in the holey, lightish side-off winds at Kite Point.
Upwind and jumping with decent height no problem once I got used to its quickness: I was sending it too far back and overcorrecting bringing it back forward.

Off on the downwinder I immediately felt at home on the Thruster, even as the wind strengthened through the high teens.
It boosted huge whenever I wanted, and with the EZlock I could easily adjust the power and cruise.
When we got to the end (Washout/G-spot), I landed the Thruster and took a friend's Waroo 14 out.
The Thruster was rock solid compared to the Waroo and Contras I flew that weekend.
I have never flown a kite that is so quick turning and fast through the window that feels so stable.
It stayed right where I put it without twitching and wandering.

I crashed it in both light and strong wind and it came up quickly every time.
I also drift launched it off the KP beach no problem.

The only thing I would change would be the EZlock. I am used to the 2 line adjustable stopper like the Waroo or Slingshot, but I imagine I would get comfy with the EZlock given time.

I am looking forward to seeing the 2008 Eclipses. Better performance and better bar/safety system...
I don't know if I should buy a 2007 or wait for the 2008!?

Definitely take one for a ride if you get a chance !!

Rider Profile

Weight (kg): 91-100
Ability: Advanced
Style: All
Preferred Water: All
Preferred Power: Good
Preferred Kite Size: 12.0
Most Used Kite Size: 17.0
Preferred Board Style:
Preferred Board Size: 131-140
Brand Affiliation: Normal Customer
Similar gear used: Waroo14, Contra17, Venom16, Speed17

For pictures and more reviews click here

 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Sep 06, 2007 10:00 pm 
Medium Poster

Joined: Tue Sep 28, 2004 2:02 pm
Posts: 171
Location: uk
I got to fly my new 16 Thruster last week for the first time, winds from 6kn-24kn, and I would agree with most of your views.

The kite is much faster than my 15Ion at turning and through the window (my main reason for the change) and has a better bottom end and is much easier to keep in the air in lulls as its much lighter.

As to the jumping I have not gone as high as I did on the Ion but this could be technique as with the Ion you just pull the bar and up you go!! ...the thruster does not have this same lift by just pulling the bar.

The other thing I noticed was the thruster had quite a bit less depower using the bar travel...both could depower well though if the strap was pulled...this caught me out a couple of times when sailing near the beach (cross onshore wind) and letting the bar out only to find the kite still pulling!!

Overall the kite feels like a 12m kite in flying/turning speed and is fun to use....just need to polish up my jumping technique!

The bar seems nice, but not sure if the ez stopper is of much use for UK gusty winds and am definitely going to add a short safety line up to the swivel as per Ion as I find this a great safety option for normal winds, much better than clip to the chicken loop.


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