I thought this might be of interest for those having an eye on the Epic Screamer 10LTD.
I received a few private mail asking to write comments when I wrote I would buy the Screamer, so here you go...
Kiter profile: 68Kg, kiting around 200 days per year. I don't go kiting unless the wind blows at least 20 knots.
I have this Screamer since 2.5 months, but because of an ear surgery I had to stay out of the water for almost a month during that time. I had approximately 15 sessions with the Screamer now.
I'm not into unhooked stuff anymore but only into jumping as high and as far as possible. Honestly- this is the kite made for it.
I was kiting 10m Switchblades for almost 5 years and thought nothing beats that kite in this category.
I kite 10m SBs in winds up to 35knots without problems.
Yesterday we had gusty 30 knots here and it is a bit more difficult to handle the Screamer in such conditions than the Switchblade.
The Screamer is a lot faster, the bar pressure is lighter and the power is...I don't know what to say...you edge, you pull and up you go like a rocket.
Every time I'm on the water, this clip comes into mind: http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=w45WlXJhZnE
(yeah, take your time and watch the clip first- a fantastic lap).
Comparing both kites- the SB is like a 300er Merc while the Screamer 10LTD is more like this highly tuned M3 with all driver's help devices switched off. You need to know what you are doing or you will hurt yourself. I still have a mark left on my back when my skin ground through the sand (or the other way 'round...haha). But you will be rewarded with a lot of fun and your adrenalin level will definitely be further up than with the SB.
The Screamer needs to be under power at all times or it will just fall out of the sky. But you will get quickly used to that. The SB was very slow and forgiving in this aspect.
The built quality is very good except that 2 bridle O-rings which eat through the bridle lines quickly. But the Epic owner assured that from May 2012 onwards all Screamers will have a slider there instead of that O-Ring. I'm glad companies are listening to their customer's feedback.
Regarding valves- Epic kites still have a two-valve system. I wish they would change it to the one-valve system Cabrinha and many other kite companies have.
The rubber of the handle bar is in my opinion a tad too soft compare to other handle bars. I have a few rips in there and I don't know where they are coming from (and no- I am not biting in there while I'm high up in the air...hehe). One mark was from the Allan key which was during the transport stuck onto the bar with sticky tape. But the second kite I purchased didn't have that key stuck onto the bar anymore (yes, after a few sessions I was so convinced and happy that I bought another Screamer 10LTD as my back-up). I wrote to the owner a review, made some comments and mentioned that Alan key issue too, so they might have listened.
It would be great to have a longer line distance between the chicken loop and the de/power straps. If arms are shorter, the stopper ball can be set to a more comfortable distance. With the Cabrinha system I have 15cm more to play with (and that's a lot). 45 centimeters of line doesn't cost much, so hopefully this might be taken into consideration for the future.
Re-launching the Screamer is fantastic. If you believe the SB's re-launch is good (and it is good!), then try re-launching the Screamer.
I mentioned the stopper ball; something I really missed on the SBs. Finally I can make the "dead man" now.
Resume- if you are into jumping and get a chance to try the Screamer 10LTD, go for it. I'm sure at least 90% of you will buy that "Beast" (that would be actually the right name for this kite, but unfortunately it was used by another brand already).