I had the opportunity to fly the Peak 2 for the first time today. Last year, one of my specific requests was a kite larger than a 9m. Sure, I would love to see a size larger than the 12, but I have to say that the 12 is going to please a lot of riders (I still think a 16 would be sweet for the lightest of days).
The surface was 4 - 6" of new with a soft base underneath. I rode a 179 3BB board. The wind was in the mid-teens with gusts in the upper teens. I weigh 170 LBS. I buy my own gear and I do not own a shop nor am I affliated with any brand.
The new Infinity light bar has some nice upgrades over last year's bar. A cleated depower has been added (that works great) and a stopper ball. My first gripe is that the bar appears to be substantially heavier than last year's model, ( I have not thrown it on a scale yet). Second, the ball on the depower is pretty small for gloved fingers, my guess is that the designer was flying this kite in warm weather. However, that is easily remedied by buying a larger ball at a marine products store.
Setup and take down are crazy fast. Think less than 10 minutes for BOTH setup and takedown. I could probably do it even faster if I was not walking in a foot of snow. No pre-inflation is necessary. Throw out the kite put a little snow on the trailing edge, unwind lines, connect safety and hook-in, pull center lines and you are riding. The kite performs beautifully. The most significant improvement for me is the decrease in bar pressure. The kite also flutters less and I quickly discovered that if the wind is fairly constant that you can pull the stopper ball down and eliminate almost all of the wing-tip flutter. Of course, that is not an option on a gusty day. Jumping was also greatly improved. I was not powered up enough to jump high, but it was good for some 10' high boosts. I tried a little gliding and I was able to do some low level glides.
You may ask how it compares to other kites. It definitely does not have the low-end grunt of the Speed 4 Lotus 18 or 21, doe not match the 15 for that matter. Power is more similar to the 12m Speed 4 Lotus (similar to a 14 or 15m LEI) or a 12m Ozone Chrono. However, it is not going to give you the boost and hangtime of those kites. The advantage of the Peak 2 is super fast setup and takedown, light weight, and small pack size. This is a kite for an alpine tour or perhaps, when your time is very limited. Take down is insanely fast. Drop to the safety and the kite just sits there in a clump. Plus, I think like the Peak 1, it is going to be great for beginners.
Flysurfer delivered on the Peak 2. It is not just a Peak 1 with some new graphics and a fancy bar. They took a great design, refined and improved it.