My experience with 2014 SB 10m.
I have 6,8,10m 2014 switchblades. Before I owned 2011,'12,'13 switchblades. Also flew '12 SS RPMs10 and 12m. Tried my friends North evo 9m for a few min.
I think 2014 is the best year for the switchblades in terms of performance.
I had 2 hour sesh. on '14 10m kite and cab custom 140 twintip. I am 180lb ,5'6"" at the beginning of the sesh wind was avg 18 mph at the end wind was avg 25-27mph.
In 2014 switchblades the bar pressure is medium. Just like on 2013 and a bit lighter than on '11 and '12 year kites. But at the end of my sesh wind increased and bar pressure felt pretty heavy.
With the lower V in front lines, slightly shorter bridle, and one pulley per side kite felt more direct
in handling ,you can feel the kite better, where it is positioned in the window without looking at it. And i felt much less "sponginess" in the kite and faster response from my input. I think it is a great improvement over the previous year kites including 2013s.
Turning speed of '14 10m is much faster than on '11, '12. and I think the same as on 2013 kites. I didn't feel that '14 kite turns faster than '13 . I also felt that kite has a bit of a pivotal turning than arc turning when flying across the window.
All the switchblades that I flew from different years are very stable kites over the head. I have never had problems with them over flying or back stalling when flying in recommended wind range.
I haven' t had chance to test the low end of 2014 in lower wind range. I felt that 10m has way more power compare to 2013 10m. I think low end is the same as in 2011, '12 kites.
I laid '14 8m over the '12 8m to see what are the differences. 2014 is a little wider in the center of the wing, a bit shorter in length, and the wing tips are wider. Trailing edge curve is a little different also. Overall flat area of the kites the same.
2014 SB is a powerful kite! Feels like you behind a truck. If you looking to use SB with surfboard get 1 or 2 square meters sizes less, because SB generates too much power in turn. It will rip you of your board.
Boost and the hangtime is unreal !!! A was lit at the end of my sesh. I had kite set up in the middle knot on rear flying lines. With depower strap pulled in completely. I felt like I could jump to the moon.
And hang there forever. This is why I like the Switchblades!
SB has a huge wind range. Flew my 2012 SB 6m in 50mph winds with gusts to 60. While others were on 4.5m kites. So the wind range is good. Just don' t try this at home...
SB drifted really well , when I rode straight towards the kite.
I tried to ride at it when kite parked at 9 o'clock kite drifted great. I also have ' 13 Cab Drifter . I think SB drifts just as good as a Drifter.
Upwind and relaunch on 2014 is really good! Water relaunch is Much better on '14 than on 2011 and 12 kites. Those wide wing tips makes kite turn around much faster on it' s back ...
I am 100% satisfied with new SB. The new colors looks great! Stitching and construction is top notch. Double rip stop is a good improvement also.
One thing I didn' t like is how thin the rear flying lines on Overdrive bar are. If you doing a lot of kiteloops, back roll transitions these "skinny race" lines will fray and fail much sooner than the previous year lines.