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 Post subject: Peter Lynn Swell wave kite 12 m first ride
PostPosted: Fri Dec 27, 2013 8:19 pm 
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Day after Xmas and at my door was a box with the new 12 m Peter Lynn Swell wave kite. I have been asking them for years to augment their water kite line with a powerful for size, quick turning, big range three strut surf oriented kite. They had been working on this design for a long time now.

Mother in law on way to airport with my wife and baby driving, so stepped on the gas peddle heading up the coast to a lightly thermaling point break. Only ordered the 12 to test without the new bar as this is the most used size locally and the new bars most significant change is to conform to the pull or push away style of safety most other manufacturers use. The old bar worked well. Used twenty meter lines on a long throw bar for this first quick test. Wind started in the 13 to 18 mph range and quickly decreased to the 0 to 15mph stuff that drops kites out of the air like stones. The swell is a light kite with very good balance and it never luffed in this hickup and gust wind session. Used stock settings on the deep (long center srut of the three) shaped kite. Build looked great and the kite looks powerful with its broader center profile. Sometimes kites like this flutter like mad and don't seem very solid. Not the case with this kite which held a very solid shape. Not super chubby like a certain W kite from HI but a cross between that and another wave kite that starts with R and ends with D. Wonder if they will make a 15m version?

Looping the kite and drifting down the line with the strapless surfboard felt very natural and the power/size to turning ratio was much better than expected. Knowing the local crowds weight, boards, kites, it became evident that this 12 was far more like a 13 in the power department. Fortunately it still snap turned like a smaller than 12 kite. Drift was good and the kite handled gusts well with easy modulation and power kill with depower motion.

The kite has a grunty feel but the bar pressure can easily be modulated to nada with the depower cleat or attachment point adjustment. Water start when down in light stuff in the surf was immediate. A rider forty pounds lighter and also on a surfboard and other 12 m brand wave kite was out there with me and a 17 fat lady rider. I was hucking the Swell around providing good apparent wind generation and smooth power production on kite looping.

At this point with nada wind, it became upwind wave cruising mostly, rather than the down the line stuff we prefer. The occasional down the line hits did not have the rear lines going totally slack or a plummeting kite as would be expected. Tossed the swell kite a very small amount to grab the board on a closing wave and was surprised by the good pop with a bit of sheeting in the crud conditions. Many pure wave kites are designed with no pop or float understandably. The kite develops very good speed through the window and in concert with the profile provides for surprising lift on demand. Did not spend time jumping it so can't comment on hang time, etc.

Just the first test but very happy with the session on the new ride. Paid for this kite out of pocket and though do sell PL products as well as a bunch of other brands can give an unbiased report on the gear its all the other jobs that pays the bills.

PL seem to have come up with a nice three strut wave kite that will also work for a heavier guy like me with good grunt, range and turning. I like a very efficient fish surfboard and total depower is needed as well as instant power up in our often gusty winds. Lots of nice three strut kites out there and look at all of them when giving advice to friends or dreaming about a new one for myself. The swell 12 m fortunately has grunt for us heavy guys while doing the other good stuff us wave heads demand. Now how do I talk my family into letting me keep this 12m and also getting a nine and a seven meter?
Oh Yeah, the bag looks great blah, blah, blah and the kites leading edge has a nice not to large or too small diameter. Instead of jamming pully, a very cool looking brass slider is used on the bridle. As per PL practice, the usual paraglider like extra sheets of stick on color coded sail repair cloth is included.
Happy New Year of great surf and wind for all.


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 Post subject: Re: Peter Lynn Swell wave kite 12 m first ride
PostPosted: Sat Dec 28, 2013 3:30 am 
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It might well be a good kite along with the other PL LEI's. But their prices are doing them no favors. Suggest to Vliegerop to lower their prices if they want to move volume. Or maybe they like selling the amount of kites they do per year? Image

If things don't change; you may have the only 12m Swell kite on the continent! A flooded and tough market to be in.

The two ends of the scale are price point kites(that sell on the merits of price) or known, quality without a doubt, kites that one can trust to be a good kite. The bigger established brands(North, Naish, Slingshot, Cabrinha). No one would have any doubts to the quality or if the kite was going to "work for them" or not. No one would have reservations spending money on the big brands. All the other 20 or 30 brands are stuck in the middle until either they offer something new, unique or different, or undercut the rest on price.

If I have 30 different brands of a similar model kite to choose from; it would seem one would choose either based on price; or the other end of the scale(established brand). It's tough to be stuck in the middle.

Ideas:

A cheap, small "highwind" kite. One doesn't exist.

A long while back; I bought a new closeout 2010 SS Key 7m complete for $400. Seems like there would be a market for a good cheap kite for those rare highwind days?(or maybe not!?)

A cheap large, lightwind only kite. Consider it's going to be used in the lightest of wind. If it's made light; it should be cheap if it's only ripstop nylon and no Kevlar?

Sling Shot has mentioned making kites in the USA. CrazyFly has mentioned on their website making kites in Slovakia.

Shipping costs from China and high factory production costs might make it worth doing some math on. Lots of places do kite repair? Make complete kites too?

Or get one of the 5 China factories to build kites at a lower cost?


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 Post subject: Re: Peter Lynn Swell wave kite 12 m first ride
PostPosted: Sun Dec 29, 2013 8:08 pm 
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Good points rtz. PL was one of the first kite brands and always kept prices reasonable through the years. I think the prices are below the top selling brands you had mentioned. This was true in the past for actual retail price allowed. Sure hope it continues to drop.
Prices keep the average kid out of the sport and hopefully streamlining in construction can drop prices down. Remember collecting change to get my first surfboard as a kid. If mom or dad is not into the kite sport these days, good luck. The rumor that the sport is just too expensive probably keeps the kids out without them ever checking to see if reality matches the rumor on the used kite market. Was up at a mellow point break yesterday with my family and noted the unbelievable number of kids with SUP soft boards. Costco like kite prices would be cool but lack of a huge marketable kiter base to sell to and local restraints on kiting inhibits the market. Hope it does not really turn into an old guy sport as indicated by another thread on this forum.

Anyways, the new Swell is a really fun wave kite and it will sell for a reasonable amount if we can have any say.
The bars and lines add heaps to the cost of kites. Now there should be a marking system on bars that has a certain code that would let one know it conforms to depower/ chicken loop throw requirements of other kites so somebody could have a bar and several different kites, rather than throw down an extra four hundred bucks for another bar and lines. Lots of us have old converted bars that work very well for a large number of different brand kites. Maybe have a simple color dot that references the type of throw and type of depower system as in a leash to one line or the typical shorten the front line method of depower. Then most kites should be able to sell for a grand or below kite only you would think.


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 Post subject: Re: Peter Lynn Swell wave kite 12 m first ride
PostPosted: Sun Dec 29, 2013 8:13 pm 
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7m complete for $400. Seems like there would be a market for a good cheap kite for those rare highwind days?
High Wind days: With a 7m you won't go wave riding at 40 knots or more (Currently very frequent wind speed on North Sea shores)
We consider a 7m wave kite as the most used and in most case the largest we need.


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 Post subject: Re: Peter Lynn Swell wave kite 12 m first ride
PostPosted: Sun Dec 29, 2013 11:46 pm 
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7 m the largest kite in quiver for wave sailing? Wow, I've had dreams like this. You are one lucky guy. For a 195 average weight local guy, a 12 m and all to often in winter a 15 m kite is used just to get on the water and into some waves in the super light stuff. Turning, a huge wind range and great depower is needed for our light winter and very strong and gusty spring winds. So many wave kites seem to be designed around the ultimate strong and relatively smooth trade wind sort of conditions. Wave kites tend to work best for the light weight guys in our lighter winds. Most heavier guys end up going for the likes of an RRD obsession/ PL escape/Ocean Rodeo Rise, Naish or any number of flatter large projected kites but pay a little penalty in turning and drift ability for pure wave use in the compromise. Not talking pure side off wave sailing conditions at most spots, so you have to be able to really huck a kite around.


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 Post subject: Re: Peter Lynn Swell wave kite 12 m first ride
PostPosted: Tue Dec 31, 2013 3:03 pm 
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I seem to recall that you also had the 11 and 13 escapes? can you give us a comparison please :D Especially against the 13 escape.

No chance to demo here. I have the Escape in 7m, planning to get 2 bigger sizes, but the PL sizing (7,9,11,13) making things difficult. will probably get a 9m, but the 11 is probably to small for light wind days and the13 is moving into big slow kite territory. 12 Swell might be the ticket.


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 Post subject: Re: Peter Lynn Swell wave kite 12 m first ride
PostPosted: Tue Dec 31, 2013 8:23 pm 
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Hi Waterlogged.
Yeah the 13 escape was a good light wind kite that still moved but had big range. It was flatter with much different turning dynamics. It was good for a semi flat kite. The 12 Swell (only used once in above mentioned conditions so far) has a good snappy turn feel. Thinking more like a 13 in power. Don't have the 13 escape anymore to do a back to back but think the 12 swell is close in bottom end. Think flatter and higher aspect on the escape. The swell feels like a wave kite which is something for a 12 m that basically is working bigger in grunt. They talked the kites providing about a meter bigger grunt and think the panel layout for projected might legitimize that statement. Really need to use it more and adjust to max turning, wave settings. The 13 escape had a huge top end as well and a great all around kite. Will get back on this thread when I get more time on the kite. Saw someone in another thread mention hating wave kites with grunt. You can kill the grunt in this kite or grab it in turns. I personally need that to use a smaller kite and a larger surf board for efficiency. It is absolutely necessary if you have holy or inconsistent, not trade winds plus on shore conditions often times. Controllable power is key and so far this kite seems to have that.


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 Post subject: Re: Peter Lynn Swell wave kite 12 m first ride
PostPosted: Tue Dec 31, 2013 9:22 pm 
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Thanks MonkeyAir, the last 12m I had was a Blade Vertigo 2011, mid AR delta, turned fast but to grunty, just couldn't shut off the power, got ragged around in wind that my old 13m ozone sport 2 could take easily. Before that a 2009 Wainman Boss - seemed underpowered for a 12, and quite front heavy.
How delta like is the Swell? Loving the smoothness and impressive depower of the escape, don't think I would want to go back to that all or nothing delta feel.
Looking forwards to reading future reports :D


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 Post subject: Re: Peter Lynn Swell wave kite 12 m first ride
PostPosted: Wed Jan 01, 2014 7:58 am 
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Hi Waterlogged.
Yep the escapes have been my primary wave kites alongside a couple of other brands in production form for the last two years and prior to that for three years as an escape proto. Very good all around with total depower that just rocked for strapless wave stuff. Surprisingly smooth in super gusty stuff. Was able to hold the 11 comfortably in very strong winds prior to going to an old six m Kima. Have owned and tried a heap of other delta kites and know there is something special for everyone and one guys jewel is another guys dog. Think they will get a good cross over with this kite. Check out the reviews/ vid from Ced on their web site. It's high wind Africa stuff in surf, etc. Most kites work pretty well in high winds but this is some crazy high and gusty stuff they were flying in. 40 Knot crud apparently with huge gusts etc. Never do trust hype and though a fan of the brand in the past only got this one and not the 7 and 9 yet. Heaps of good wave riders around here and they will call BS the second they try it if not truly a good kite for their style. Will try to get some non bulimic types like myself to test it and comment on it .

The Swell does not look ultra delta as it has the squared off tips rather than the radical rake to a point like some. Think this aids in turning as well. The leading edge has plenty of sweep posteriorly to enable immediate relaunch. Steered it into the drink in front of a wave in a total wind drop out and had it up in seconds with just a puff of wind. Very reassuring but once again, only have one day on the kite.


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 Post subject: Re: Peter Lynn Swell wave kite 12 m first ride
PostPosted: Wed Jan 01, 2014 7:50 pm 
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I watched a newbie demo a 12m swell today and while he was out the wind came up to about 25 knots and he just kept going. He probably weighs about 70kg. Looked pretty comfortable out there. Will try and test that kite in the waves while it is here.
Ced


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