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Flysurfer 12/10M Soul vs. Peak 4 8/11M

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fernmanus
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Flysurfer 12/10M Soul vs. Peak 4 8/11M

Postby fernmanus » Sat Feb 08, 2020 11:05 pm

I have used these kites quite a bit on the snow and I thought that I would post the differences to give other riders a better idea of the strengths and weaknesses of each kite. They are very different kites, but since you can use them for the same activity it is worth discussing.

Let's start with the Peak 4 8 and 11M kites. The setup of these kites takes less time than a Soul, the one caveat is that the Peak cannot be setup directly downwind in high wind (you can do that with the Soul). So, it is more difficult to find a crossed line or bridle tangle. It would not be a big deal if the Peak was not sensitive to a crossed line, but I have found that the Peak is very sensitive to a crossed line in strong winds and noticeable even in the lightest wind.

The Peak has more bar pressure than the Soul, but seems to have a little more grunt.

The Peak does not jump or glide nearly as well as the Soul, not surprising since the Soul has a better L/D than the Peak. A 10m Soul glides far better than the 11m Peak. Yes, it is possible to glide with the Peak, but you need a steeper hill to make it happen.

Both kites are quite stable (with the exception of a crossed line on the Peak)

The Peak has a better low-end than the Soul as the Peak is so light that it will fly in very little wind. So, if you are equipped with skis, you may be able to fly the Peak 11 when only other huge kites are in the air (Soul 18/20 or Chrono 18). You have to work the Peak much more than the big kites, but since it will fly in extremely light wind, it is just a matter of having well-waxed skis and looping the kite a lot. Compared to a static pull with the larger kites. That being said, it is much more fun to be flying a 21m Soul in light wind as the 11m Peak needs strong wind or a near cliff to glide in light wind.

The Soul has a much better high-end than the Peak. Yet it is more difficult to self-land than the Peak and in high wind will usually result in a bridle tangle on the downwind side of the kite in a self-landing (above 25 knots).

Jumps on the Soul are lofty with excellent glide. Gliding on the 12 and 10m Soul is easy in moderate to high winds. While you have to be near the top of the wind range or on a steep hill to get the large Peak 4's to glide.

I would put a newbie on a Peak rather than a Soul. The Peak is easier to relaunch and less likely to bowtie than the Soul.

Of course, last but not least the Soul relaunches easily on the water, while the Peak was not designed for water use, so the Soul is a true year-round kite while the Peak can be used on the water, you may get a swim if the kite goes down.

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Re: Flysurfer 12/10M Soul vs. Peak 4 8/11M

Postby tomtom » Sat Feb 08, 2020 11:17 pm

Agree with a lot and disagree with some. Just for perspective:

8m Peak in 25 knts. You are on wrong size. You dont want to be overpowered with peaks. No point. These are not jumping gliding kite. These are A to B kites. Here is where they shine. For gliding anything others than steep stuf they are shite ehmm wrong choice. If you are using them what they are for they are excelent.

You are comparing Defender with Lambo :)

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Re: Flysurfer 12/10M Soul vs. Peak 4 8/11M

Postby tomtom » Sat Feb 08, 2020 11:22 pm

Sorry if i sound that im mostly disagreee. I mostly agree. Point also was that properly sized peak are also easier to self manage than same wind properly sized Soul. All IMO.

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Re: Flysurfer 12/10M Soul vs. Peak 4 8/11M

Postby fernmanus » Sun Feb 09, 2020 6:15 am

Tomtom,

Well, I agree with you if you use the Peak 4 as it is intended it shines. The Peak 4 is not great for gliding, but I figured that not everyone is aware of that fact. It is like using a dedicated wave kite for big air, you will be in for a disappointment.

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Re: Flysurfer 12/10M Soul vs. Peak 4 8/11M

Postby tomtom » Sun Feb 09, 2020 9:23 am

Yea you are absolutely right! People should know.

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Re: Flysurfer 12/10M Soul vs. Peak 4 8/11M

Postby kitexpert » Sun Feb 09, 2020 5:57 pm

Peak lacks the smoothness of a normal (foil) kite. There is a threshold to power/depower and when you have to depower it flaps and bar vibrates. Maybe you can get used to it but for me it feels a bit nasty. It really is true Peaks shouldn't be used at the high end, they are not very pleasant kites there.

When you need to power it up bar becomes quite heavy. However you can and you need to do it because Peaks resist so well back stalling and you use much smaller kite than usual. Stability is second to none, I don't know if it is even possible to collapse Peak and to make it drop from the sky. In general I'd say usability in snow is excellent with Peak, it is very easy to take down and to relaunch again. Active flying doesn't help a lot if at all, Peaks are more like park-and-ride kites.

If wind is not high and I know kite is properly packed i don't worry about the lines (with foil kites), I just unpack and pull it up and go.

Boosting is not impossible with a Peak but it is quite lame, it just don't want to do it, however Peak 4 is better in that respect compared to earlier versions. Highish aspect foil kite like Soul is of course from the other end of the spectrum, a boosting machine.

Both are very good kites but Peak is much more limited, Soul is good or excellent in almost everything.

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Re: Flysurfer 12/10M Soul vs. Peak 4 8/11M

Postby tomtom » Sun Feb 09, 2020 8:04 pm

I even dont know where i should start do disagree. For going uphill in sketchy mountain condition looping your way up to the ridge and then pack kite in storm wind. It is quite common snowkiting scenario. To even consider using soul for this is INSANE. Do you ever snowkite in some slopes? Peaks are the best mountain kites ever and you call them limited. Soul is borderline unusable kite for anything turbulent and gusty and they are exelellent for anything?

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Re: Flysurfer 12/10M Soul vs. Peak 4 8/11M

Postby Matteo V » Sun Feb 09, 2020 8:25 pm

tomtom wrote:
Sun Feb 09, 2020 8:04 pm
I even dont know where i should start do disagree. For going uphill in sketchy mountain condition looping your way up to the ridge and then pack kite in storm wind. It is quite common snowkiting scenario. To even consider using soul for this is INSANE. Do you ever snowkite in some slopes? Peaks are the best mountain kites ever and you call them limited. Soul is borderline unusable kite for anything turbulent and gusty and they are exelellent for anything?
Honestly, my ideal kite for the mountains has lift. Lift is needed to get you out of holes, up cornices, and other vertical features. Often times when climbing the leeward side of a hill, lift is essential to getting you up higher so that you can access more wind.

This is where I always thought the peak 1 2 3 was somewhat inadequate. Kites like the soul or even the slow lumbering speed series were much better suited to high angle kiting.

It definitely takes more kite control and advanced skills to use more advanced kites on Terrain safely. So maybe a soul on high angle isn't the best idea for beginners. But for maximum capabilities and use of gnarly terrain, high performance kite delivers.....high performance!

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Re: Flysurfer 12/10M Soul vs. Peak 4 8/11M

Postby fernmanus » Mon Feb 10, 2020 5:58 am

Matteo,

The mountain kiting that Tomtom is describing is different “mountain” kiting than we do at Skyline. The Peak excels in conditions where you are looking at a serious elevation change (500 to 1500 meters) where the wind speed can double. You need a kite in these type of conditions that you can loop like crazy and then depower completely. I have to agree that the Soul and almost every other kite is not designed for this task. It is a niche form of kiting that we don’t get to enjoy as often in the US because we don’t have as much terrain above tree-line as they enjoy in Europe.

By contrast we are climbing small hills and flying or riding down. I agree for this type of riding, the Peak is more limited. Hence the reason that you always see flying a Soul.

See you soon!

Kenny

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Re: Flysurfer 12/10M Soul vs. Peak 4 8/11M

Postby Janus » Mon Feb 10, 2020 10:56 am

@ Matteo, I can't imagin using a kite for climbing the lee side of a hill.. you're hiking I asume?


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