RagingGrandpa wrote: ↑Thu Oct 12, 2017 8:00 pmgwicke wrote: ↑Tue Nov 15, 2016 3:06 amJust got a 12m Aurora 2, also in the ultralight fabric. First impressions:
- Weight: 2.15kg
- The fabric is much stiffer and crispy. Basically the same as good quality silnylon spinnakers. Compared to the standard fabric, the ultralight fabric should stretch and distort a lot less under load. It will also take on less water. I would not be surprised if it was also stronger.
- The vents are covered in a much lighter and more open mesh than the relatively heavy and closed PVC mesh I have on my 8m regular Aurora 2. The new material is close to what Ozone uses. I cut large squares into the PVC on my other Aurora to improve inflation speed and pressure, so this is a nice improvement.
- Slick bridle, thin enough to minimize shrinkage.
- Bridle attachment loops switched from webbing to a more closed / non-woven material. Seems a bit stiffer, which could be good for weight distribution along the seam.
- No magnetic blow-out valves. This reduces weight, avoids the magnetic sand collection, and should make the kite hold air a bit longer, but also increases the risk of blowing a cell when crashing the kite hard.
Overall, to me the ultralight looks all-round higher quality. The fabric should perform better, and I expect it to have a longer useful life than the standard. If I were to get another 8m, I would consider getting that in ultralight fabric as well.
A word of caution on the Ultralight versions... I blew out my 15m's guts pretty badly in a nose-down crash on water. Many completely torn internal cell walls and straps. (No external tears, still held air, flew like a sloppy turd though.) This was during a downloop waterstart in light wind, which is really the only way to get going in <10kt conditions (Sector 54 'freerace' board). I fell towards the kite, slackening the lines and widening the loop, and bam.
Lesson to learn? It's not "don't loop"- the loop is required. "Don't fall"? Everyone falls... "Don't bother going out in 8kt"? But that's the magic of the big efficient foilkites: a delightful sensation of making your own wind. If every day blew 15kt I would have no need for it.
I couldn't help but wonder if the trailing-edge blowout valves on the 'standard' version would have saved it from tearing. But it's a conundrum, wondering if the 'standard' version can still do the apparent wind magic I love. Even if it's just a $475 kite, killing it in one crash is a real bummer. This may be the risk the name-brand race-kite users are accustomed to, but I had taken it for granted until now...
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