I've had my ear to the ground for this info for a while in preparation to buy a foil kite, and what I can figure out is that people who were on Chrono's and got R1's either ended up going back to their Chrono or heavily tuning their R1's. There are a lot of brand new R1's for sale on the used market...
F-One apparently does NOT have an adjustable mixer control, which may or may not be a big deal, but since this is version 1.1 of the kite on the market and most if not all of the people riding right now are sponsored or team riders, its longevity is yet to be proven. That's an important factor for us "regular guys" when making a major purchase like a brand new kite.
No idea about the new Elf.
For what it's worth, I'm going with a Flysurfer Sonic. They've been making durable foils for water for a while, the Sonic has been consistently competitive in course racing, and they have a tunable mixer so that you don't need to cut/splice bridles or ghetto rig the kite with shortening knots if it goes out of tune.
R1 is uber stable IMO. The Chrono 2 is a riot. Easy as heck to fly for a high AR wing and built with durability in mind over raw performance. The 9m is my favorite. The Sonic IMO falls in between the R1 and Chrono V2. Stable, fast and easy.
Hardwater Kiter wrote:R1 is uber stable IMO. The Chrono 2 is a riot. Easy as heck to fly for a high AR wing and built with durability in mind over raw performance. The 9m is my favorite. The Sonic IMO falls in between the R1 and Chrono V2. Stable, fast and easy.
any thoughts on what the windrange might be on the 9m chrono v2 with a hydrofoil?
I haven't gotten any feedback yet on the 9m with a foil. FWIW we just sold a 13m and on a foil in 10kts is really amazing from what our customer has indicated. And 10 kts is the bottom of the factory spec range for the 13m on a TT.
You're weight and flying ability are going to be substantial factors of course but I would hazard a guess based on what I've been told, the 9m would be a lot of fun in the 12kt range up to about 20kts+ with a foil. The 9m is pretty easy to throw around and you can get a lot of power out of it for a smallish kite.
As much as lower AR kites with considerably more sail on them.
I was at the St. Pete regatta this weekend and got some good feedback from the top riders on which kites work best.
Here's what I figured out:
R1 - total garbage, collapses for like no reason and has a tendency to bowtie-twist when collapsing, guaranteeing a swim home. Nobody was riding one out of 27 competitors, and those who had experience with the kite felt comfortable talking trash openly. Most of these guys who have experience with Chronos love them and some still ride them as their primary race kite, just think Ozone struck out with the R1.
Joker 5 - Great kite when tuned, requires a lot of love to keep it flying nicely; everyone I talked to said their kite needed to be tuned right out of the bag, didn't come "ready to fly" from the factory. I have an old Joker 5 that I just picked up and felt really good with it, but it needs some love and there has clearly been a compromise between durability and light weight materials in favor of weight savings. Amazingly balanced bar pressure between front and rear lines, VERY different feeling than an LEI where all your power comes from pulling in the rear lines. A high-end toy for gear heads who enjoy tinkering.
Sonic FR - by far the heaviest out of the bag due to stronger materials, but arguably just as fast upwind as any other kite on the course. Bridles are significantly heavier weight than the Joker and F-One, about comparable to a Chrono but more organized and easier. From what I can tell, the Sonic is the most "beginner friendly" of the high aspect depower foils available for racing. It also has really clean adjustment points for tuning. Heavy bar pressure.
Diablo - Fastest kite, very light weight, flies great out of the bag without any futzing around. Talking to the top riders, they think it's about even with the Sonic upwind, but has a slight edge downwind because it creates more straight line grunt towards the leeward mark. Folks were saying the kite has lots of front line pressure and very light bar pressure.
Total newbie to foil kites - Sonic
Experienced with foil kites looking to win races - Diablo
Land-base rider (snow/buggy) who can easily walk downwind and unfu*ck a twisted (overpriced) kite - R1
Fluent Russian speaker who wants to tinker with their gear all the time - Joker5
Nobody had a Joker 6, so some of the problems I highlighted with the 5 may be remedied in the new kite.
Really surprised to hear that about the R1. I have watched the road flysurfer has traveled and there is a lot of learning from paraglider to user friendly water foil.
I found the bar pressure on the Sonic very light. Also note with the mixer system on foils the bar pressure changes with setup. I think flysurfer chose a good compromise of performance and user friendliness.
You'll notice the other thread discussing the Diablo Line, that gives better grunt, low end and downwind. This can be adapted to any foil kite quite easily. Also note Paraavis has another system that probably works better.
To make it even more complex. My experience is the equipment under your feet is pretty important.
Tried the Flysurfer Sonic 18 with a big twin tip and the Speed4 would be better. With a hydrofoil I would go for the Sonic because it's total de-power and power control.
More Flysurfer Sonic reviews: http://www.kitefinder.com/en/kites/1453 ... ic-fr-2015
The Ozone Chrono had some tweaking between 2014 and 2015 series. Made the Chrono more stable and easier to ride & glide. The adjustments made the Chrono less playful, but accessible for a wider public. Watch more user reviews about the Ozone Chrono: http://www.kitefinder.com/en/kites/1359 ... er-reviews
I agree with stefarius. What you have on your feet is easily as important as what you have in the air.
My experiences with the R1 have been good so far. There is nothing in it that I have had an issues with yet. Maybe after some more substantial use things may arise and I'll be forced to tune out some issues but the R1's we have fly much like my Chrono 1's but much less labor intensive in general and a lot less tip curl in heavy steering or uber light winds.
In terms of an all round great kite that can do just about anything, I have to say the Chrono V.2 is probably the ticket for my tastes. Launches like an open cell, turns fast and has enough of the original's DNA to be a formidable race kite in the right hands.
The Chrono V1 is much more race worthy, as is probably the Sonic, but I think one could hold their own with the Chrono v.2. IMO