Rider: 66kg intermediate/advanced
Style: Freestyle/Powered/Boooooosting on a TT (UG Steeze 137 w/ straps)
Build Quality: 9.5/10
Disclosure: Addicted to kiting!
To start, I had high expectations of this kite, whilst being skeptical of all the online hype this kite has procured through basic biased online advertising, seeing is believing. And there are plenty of videos out there. Needless to say, summing up this review in 5 words, I was not let down.
About me first, I have been kiting for around 5 months starting end of October last year, in that time I have no doubt spent 5/7 days a week on the water through all conditions. I have kited on a LOT of kites in this time including full C's to bows, my main quiver consisting of F-One Bandit 3's and personally own Naish, Cabrinha, North and F-One kites, as well as this one, and have demoed quite a few others. This review may shed light on my limited experience in this sport, but take it with a grain of salt, I'm always open to demo this kite to anyone in the area.
Having had this kite out on four separate occasions testing both the bottom and upper end wind range, and I'm happy to state the low end was 14 knots and the upper end, I wasn't quite getting tea-bagged in 35 knot gusts. This kite really starts to get fun around the 18 knot mark and still easily enjoyable in the upper end of the 20's.
Epic Screamer LTD
A quick 10 meter kite freestyle/powered moves orientated. Grasps a lot of its designs from the full C in Epic's range (the judge) with its batons and shape. The bridals remind me of Ozone C4's, this kite falls in the Hybrid catagory. It comes only in one colour BLACK w/ white writing and a gold logo.
The reinforcement on this kite is great, much better then any kite I have seen (definitely haven't seen them all though!) Dimitri is definitely a forerunner and advocate of providing the community with what they want, not just what the pro's are going to enjoy.
The bar is basic, although has everything you need. It comes with two options, 45-55cm depending on where you run the lines. The depower system is a two tab depower system similar to Cabrinha's. Standard Push away quick release as well as an under the bar center line swivel is also present. Chicken loop is good nice and strong as is the donkeydick. What I did notice about the bar was that the chicken loop has a limited amount of swing on one axis, which I thought was a great addition.
This kite/bar combo has medium bar pressure (although stated as light, in comparison to say Naish kites this kite is a much heavier feel).
HOW IT FLYS
The main focus of this design is clear as soon as you send this kite, it is designed to BOOST! And boy does it do that, in comparison to say a 2011 North Rebel, this kite has twice the hang time and being such an quick kite it rockets you up there. If you don't like jumping this is not the kite for you. Actually had trouble jumping on this kite first few times as I had to learn about flying the kite from left to right overhead on the way down so as to successfully land the maneuver.
This kite is designed for powered freestyle, and although not very good at unhooking, I did unhook for a basic raley at around 20 knots, the usual basic trimming applies on this kite to ensure it doesn't back-stall, but all in all felt good. Haven't had an opportunity, or flat water to try any other moves (sbend/tantrum) yet. Same with looping, can't comment definitively, although finding moves like hooked f16's and basic pussy kiteloops a lot easier then all my other kites seems like a more constant pull through the last 3/4 of the loop.
It is a high aspect kite so sits forward in the window and can shoot up wind when powered, on the low end of the wind range this kite doesn't pull you up wind like many freeride orientated kites but is still good. And this kite generates lots of its power through its speed, more comparable to 8's and 9's then most 10's out there.
Stability of this kite is great! Although in the upper end of the wind range this kite can be quite dangerous, in the kites description it states that, it generates wind directly into power and I thought this was quite apt. On the occasion that I had it out it was a solid 25 knot day with gusts coming through at 30-35 and I found that the kite was jellyfishing quite a bit in these stronger gusts. This kite is designed to be pumped to around 11 PSI and without an electronic pump I was not able to attain this pressure (more likely closer to , this may have attributed to the performance of this kite in gusts.
As with all modern design kites this kite relaunches easily.
This is a goto kite for absolutely anything, because it is so quick it is great for the surf (not experienced here just quoting what I have been told). As well as being a great freeride kite. BUT this kite is designed for going large either boosting or powered moves. This kite has a wakestyle option which slows the kite down (untested). It is a great build and a pleasure to fly.
Wouldn't recommend learning on this kite as it does tend to be less forgiving in the gusts and you definitely have to be on the ball in the upper end of its wind range. This kite is designed for experienced/advanced riders, and myself not falling in this catagory has proven a steep, yet enjoyable learning curve.
I find myself waking up in the morning with an ear to ear grin on my face thinking about the possibilities of taking the kite out in the afternoon. This kite will not disappoint.