Hugh2 wrote: ↑
Sat Apr 24, 2021 3:49 pm
My buddy had bought a North Rhino 12m as well and so my next outing was on that. Yikes, that kite just wanted to kill me. It either launched me into inadvertent aerials with wicked body slams, or it tried to drag me underwater. I had to release it completely a couple of times and recover it from bushes. I bought it from him and took it around the world in 2006, sadly sans board, so all I could do was body drag. Fun times, Tarifa, Cape Town, western and eastern Australia, Hawaii, and S California.
I was sticking with ram air kite at that time, the Rhea from Advance. Almost no depower, flexible end bar to act on the brakes, whatever the bar position, always willing to get that extra performance I should theoretically expect...It never came
I remember clearly a day, when I was struggling with my 10 meters, then went to my 7 meters, then back to my 10, never ever confortable with the wind strength, either not enough or too much.
In the same time, a friend rode his new 16m North Rhino, the yellow and gray one, and was at ease the whole time! I turned away from ram air kite that day, and never came back.
My first inflatable kite was a beautiful cab black tip, 16 projected square meters. I could feel the improvement, but because of the high aspect ratio, and low structure rigidity, had a hard time to get reliable impulse at launch.
Tried a Rhino: oh my. So much better than every other kite I had put my hand on. Real depower (30% maybe?), but power was so reliable. Only trade off: bar was so stiff, that arm soreness was difficult to avoid.
My first North kite was a Rhino 4, 16m2. Fell in love in the very first minute of ride. Best kite in the world, IMHO, at that time.
Kept it with its smaller brothers until late in the 2010’s, until all valves started to fail (it took more than 8 years to reach that point).
So glad we have access now to the kites we can buy today, but I would say it was the same every year since my beginning! Since it was possible to ride upwind, handle the gust one way or another, jump, have I been happy with kites, and very rarely had the feeling to risk my life, apart from small size kites in high wind.
By the way, the OP kite looks like new, I wouldn’t mind trying a few tacks with it, juste for the sake of it