we received our Demo 12m Nano , and despite having little wind i have managed to get it out on the water just once so far in 8-10 knots . I had my 07 16m Thruster with me which would have given me a 1/2 decent session but thought i would do the work first , and test out the 12m nano 08.
The first thing that is noticeable is the build. Thick ripstop is glued and triple stitched in the sail , and fold over stitching techniques to the Leading edge and wear areas. the struts are attached to the sail using a mark cloth and not direclyt to the sail as is the leading edge. This is gonna reduce canopy stretch and make the kite make the kite stronger when being battered in waves. These things are nothing to be jumping about though , as most kites now use these tried and tested methods to hold them together. However ... there where noticeable additions that i liked. First of all the valves where snug fitting and very soft. They seem highly unlikely to split or crack (as i have seen cheaper valves do). The one pump system can be isolated (nothing new but a good to see) , and it can also be detached if preferred. a huge dump valve make the kite easy to deflate , and the stopper ball in the LE makes pumping up hard easy.
Rather than using sleeved 2mm racing line through the pullys , The Nano uses a 3mm Rope which is gonna last a lot longer than the racing line. (I should know , as our repair shop seems to get endless kites needing bridal replacements done on 2mm Racing line). The scuff guards and bridal attachment points are all embossed with eclipse logos , which is very nicely done , and although it is no biggy , it certainly adds to the high quality attention to detail throughout this kite , and marks a signifigant change in last years build. Although the 07's where well put together , using all the recomended techiniques , i felt that some of the smaller details let them down. It seems the guys at eclipse have also taken note of this to, and the attention to all the little things on th 08 is excellent. I was testing it along side another 08 kite, and personally thought that the nano was superior in build quality.
Personally i still think the bag is below average and does not reflect the quality and attention to detail of the kite. It's okay and functional , and as good as many out there , but i don't think aluminium zips last long on beaches and it tends to catch on the netting.
Once up i immediatly noticed how rock steady the kite was in the air. Even in the light 8-10 knots there was no effort needed to keep the kite flying. I used my 135 x 47 Dimitri pro board , and was able to get up and hold a line , but getting up wind was a challeng in the lulls. I found the kite to be much slower than the 07 thruster 12m (what 12m isn't slower though) , and would have expected this to be a downside and reduce the low end, but not so. at 73kg , not too many kites would have me out in 8-9knots , and the nano was one of them. It is very very grunty. I tried a few a few rotations and found that the it was very easy to tell exactly where the kite was even when going for a 720 in light winds , you gotta spin really hard to land it , but i still knew where the kite was every time. I only landed one though before sinking. I tried a few kiteloops in the light winds to get a feel for the kite when going through the window. Althoguh the wind was light the kite turned smoothly and and gave a steady pull , rather than a hard yank. I'll try this again in 20knots, and know for sure though , if i land it...
The kite is also being passed around our team riders , all of whom are much better than myself and as soon as we have some feedback from these guys , i will post it up.
And before i get called for being biased , the demo kite was sent to us to help us decide if we want to stock eclipse this year. We do this with every brand we stock, as a good kite or board in 2007 does not always mean the same in 2008. And when you gotta buy 40 or 50 of them , you need to be sure of the product. Its hard enough deciding on a kite or quiver to buy for yourself , so we like to do a lot of testing.
Finally from testing the nano so far we have found
Superior build quality and fine attention to details.
Very grunty and great low end .
Smooth power , and smooth turns
great feed back at the bar , but not too light( used the 07 50cm bar)
let down a touch by an average bag.