Rider: Weight,Level (14th season)
Style: Freeriding, Surf
Weather: 18 to 23 knots
Satisfaction: 9/10 ( its not an edge lol!!)
Disclosure: Eppo team rider
Jason from Westoz asked for some feedback on this kite. So I got my mate Lee (10 plus years experience) and we took this kite today for a crack in those north wester weirdo winds. We both agreed on what we found, although that is to be expected as we have similar riding style, flat out!
First thing that comes to mind is this kite sits in a weird part of the kite spectrum. It does have a relatively flat profile (obviously not anywhere near as the edge of course) and yet it sits quite deep in the window when on the water. And yet...yes the power is definetly apparent, but somehow, Farq knows how this kite turns this power into forward upwind drive. Other kites that I have flown that sit this deep create power and grunt but this translates into downwind pull. Not so with this kite. It creates a powerful upwind drive. Nothing like the edge of course, but hey what other kite does?
Then it gets even weirder. A kite that sits this deep would normally take you downwind when boosting, great glide but the vertical dimension can be lost. Well Farq me if this kite actually goes vertical, goes big, and yet gives you decent hang time. As with most kites it needs correct redirection to land, but if done correctly soft as butter. ( not as soft as the edge of course....you guys are gonna hate me after this, sorry I will refrain from now on).
Now we were on a north wester so forget any ramps when riding natural foot as we both are. I didn't want to pull the trigger on my non preferred side as it is not my kite after all. Some discretion needed. Trying to build tension in the lines and release this energy with cross currents and no ramp is no easy feat. And yet up it went, long it went and soft it landed. By now I was seriously scratching my head. Here is a relatively high aspect kite that sits fairly deep in the window giving you immense power, nothing like the edg....oops, and yet behaves exactly as a high aspect kite should. It drives upwind and boosts like a mad machine.
I have kited with lee a fair bit and I would say he was getting as high or nearly as high as he does on his Wainmans and that was in the most ****ty conditions possible for this. I can only I imagine how big he would go out to sea using a ramp! He loads and pops really efficiently so was a shame not to see this.
Okay you still with me...so we have a relatively high aspect kite that's sits deep in the window and yet behaves like as a high aspect kite should..
Then hold onto your hats, because the next part may have the same effect beeblebrox had in hitch hikers guide to the universe when he was exposed to the universe for a few second....
We both agreed this is one of the best if not the best drifting kite we have ever used! Now work that one out your aeronautical bastards! By the second kite it was time for powered carnage, and I basically did whatever the Farq I wanted and could not drop this thing. At one stage heading right on a wave cranked right over on the toes for a heel side slash, and sent the kite way way to far. The kite was sitting well up and over the back of the wave, well and truly outside the window, well close to, and I thought oh sh1t, but it just drifted back into the mix and off I went trimming down the line.
So I thought stuff you kite, and I kept driving myself at speed under the kite, letting the bar basically go and nothing! This high aspect kite drifts....work that one out!!
Lee agreed it drifts better than his Wainmans, which we both rate as a very decent surf kite and a very decent all rounder. Not sure you'd want to bash out any wake style on this sucker though, which you can on the Wainmans if you so please, but in the surf, I think this kite has it pipped.
Some slight negatives. Well like most high aspect kites it has a very light bar pressure, now coming off the edges (actually went out on the 9m earlier when the wind was in the mid to high twenties), I had no concern with this, seems normal enough, but lee said he did find he needed to adjust from his lower aspect Wainmans. Another thing lee commented on was the kite was a tad slow to turn. Again flying edges I didn't really notice this was a problem, comparable to my 11m edge.
Lee also commented on if this turning slowness might affect its looping ability. Well on the last run I did a few down loops, forwards loops with some front and back roll transitions and I didn't find it an issue. Again lee is used to the more direct a very quick turning Wainmans.
Now there is that normal slight delay you get in turning and power delivery that comes with SLEs. You do need to adjust, well I did after riding the direct edges. But once you are familiar with this it isn't an issue. I must admit though when say looping the kite down the line, there was that occasional spongy delay then a fair spike of power as it drove around. Not unlike the VX actually but much more refined. Eventually I countered that as well, through using the depower correctly and edging harder at the right times.
Build brilliant. Bar great. Love the quick inflate system and I would say on first use it is superior to ozones. But hey minor crappy detailed they both work fine. Although embarrassingly I actually had to get lee's help to deflate it...ha ha ha. Thought sh1t dot leave yet mate got this inflated kite and I can't work out how to deflate it. What a dumb ass.
In summary this kite has its own space and seems to transcend some parts of the spectrum.
It is indeed a kite that drifts and boosts big. Didn't think one existed really, well one that drifts this well. Well it does.
You free riding gangnam stabber dog stylers you might wanna check this one out. Liquid Force have done an excellent job.
If I had the money I'd definetly have this sitting alongside my edges for those big wave days.
All the advantages of a high aspect kite without the issues.
Ps there aren't any really, you guys just have to ride harder and faster and stop being pussies. Lol.
Ps and plummet mate, I know you love ozones like I do, but I reckon this might just be the ticket to replace your C4.
Pss anyhow finished the long day on my brothers 11m edge and couldn't stop smiling. Great day. Tomoz Lks intense boys. Lock and load. Lets ride....corny I know, sorry.