walester wrote: ↑
Mon Jul 27, 2020 8:29 pm
I have had my 9M orbit out 7-8 times now and I am still not sure what I feel about it. Said another way, I haven't instantly loved it the way that I thought I would. It is flanked in my quiver with a 7M Pivot and a 12M Pivot, both of which I really love. The 12M Pivot is what I use mainly in the wind conditions I have at my local spot 16-22knots (i'm 95 kg). I have the 9M out on 22-30knot days and the 7M out on the rare days here where it blows more than 30 but it is otherwise used by my girlfriend who is always using one kite size down from me (she's 55kg). I will do some comparisons between the 2 kites, because that is what I am experiencing and that is what I know.
Barfeel: The Pivot is much heavier on the bar than the Orbit. I have been unable to fly the Orbit on the settings at the end of the wingtips because it makes the feel of the kite almost non-existent. I'm not actually sure how North has managed to design a kite that feels like nothing in your hands. If you have any kind of tennis elbow issues or tendonitis, the Orbit would be a great choice for you because you can make it very light. There are 2 setting on the wingtips and I have elected to move the setting when I fly it further up the wingtip so that I can increase the barfeel. This is the only way that I can feel it enough to know where it is above me when jumping, otherwise I have found it hard to tell unless I am flying it really really aggressively. For this reason I prefer the Pivot, it has a heavier feel and I never wonder where the kite is or what it is doing. This helps me in rolls, drags, lofty jumps.
Turning: The Orbit is a really fast kite. The 9M is way faster than our 7M Pivot. You can loop an Orbit in a really tight circle. This is similar to all other reviews of the kite you can find out there. If you want to learn how to loop this is really where the Orbit excels because it allows very tight, very forgiving loops that don't generate a ton of power when flown quickly. Similar to how it boosts too, it isn't as aggressive as a Pivot.
Boost: I have found that I haven't been able to work the orbit to get the same kind of boost that I get on the Pivots. The Pivot accelerates you upwards almost at an exponential rate until you hit the height of your jump. Again, there's a lot of trust when you're in the air on the Pivot as it always lets you know where it is. With the Orbit I have found that it goes up very smoothly, less aggressively than the Pivot. Once it is up you have to keep the kite moving either across the top of the window or in a loop otherwise it is really easy to frontstall it and have it drop you. The orbit is only happy to park at 12 for a brief moment before it wants to move again. So I have had a few poorly timed/executed jumps that end in a frontstall. For sure this wouldn't happen if your timing is on, but as somone with intermediate experience I have more incidents boosting the Orbit than I have on the Pivots.
Wind range: The Pivots win hands down here. The Orbit wants to be powered so it is best in the middle to upper end of its recommended wind range. My girlfriend will use our 9M in 16-22knots and at the lower end of that range it is really hard most times to get the Orbit out of the water. Somewhat expected for a 5-strut kite, but worth noting as we have less issues getting the pivot out of the water.
Bar: Hands down, North wins in this camp. I love the navigator bar so much that I have gotten rid of all other bars and am flying the Naish kites on them. Clean, simple, well built and the lines seem really durable.
Overall, I am still finding that I am less excited on the days that I am taking the Orbit out than on the days that I am taking a Pivot out. I feel like every day on the Orbit I spend half the session re-learning how the kite flies before I am getting the most out of it (at my skill level). My feeling is that the orbit is for an upper level intermediate to advanced rider. There are other eaiser kites if you're after something that mows the lawn and gives you a lofty boost or 2 on each reach.
I agree. The Orbit is quirky and takes a while to understand how it actually flies. I've been on it about 40hrs now and finally getting the feel of it. It's just aggressively fast, so you constantly need to pay attention to it. This is for the 9m and below anyway. 10m and above feel much more normal and easier. Looping the 9m I have to pay attention to make sure I don't overfly it, while the 10m just does it's thing without me needing to be involved - more like a normal kite.
Barfeel: The 10m has a bit more pressure / feel in it and has quite a bit more loft/float than the 9m.
Turning: Like you said, the 9m is crazy fast and looping on this kite is pretty epic. The 9m I have on the hard setting to try to slow it down a little, but it doesn't really help.
Boost: Yeah, you need to constantly fly it to prevent it from stalling itself. For the first 20hrs or so, I only landed about 30% of jumps, but 90% of loops before I figured out the kite needs to be moving at all times. The kite actually boosts huge, likely due to how fast you can send it. Your timing likely just needs a revamp.
Windrange: Agreed. Low end isn't the greatest. High end is amazing.
Bar: Just watch the centre depower line and keep it unraveled. Love the actual red/green standardization. But I seem to have rubbed off the bottom felt a bit where my thumb goes.
Agreed with your overall. It's not an easy kite to fly and I wouldn't recommend it to anyone unless they want to loop. The bigger sizes are a bit more docile and 'normal' feeling.