Mossy 757 wrote: ↑
Tue Jan 08, 2019 2:41 pm
I'm not kidding at all when I say get a used R1V2. I know we had some conversation in the R1V3 thread, but hear me out...
I learned how to kite on a 2013 12m Cabrinha Switchblade. No complaints with that kite other than it has a narrow wind range because of its weight (5 struts, beefy beginner friendly construction).
I sold that and got a Naish Pivot 12m, also a great kite but when I got into hydrofoiling it was totally useless because of the lack of depower and its weight relative to the wind range where I wanted to use it.
I then picked up a brand new 9m Cabrinha Velocity, which I still have and love to use in really high wind conditions (because foil kites SUCK to handle in high winds, bridles tangle, pulleys get looped over themselves, etc.)
I've also had 2 Elf 15m kites, one Joker 5 and a Joker 7. The Joker 5 was heavily used and porous, made it hard to power up and it instantly sank as soon as it touched the water. The Joker 7 is...a handful.
I now have a Sonic2 11m and an R1V2 15m (brand new) as my two foil kites, in addition to the Velocity. Out of the 3, I'd say the R1V2 is the most enjoyable to fly. I turns just a tiny bit slower than the 11m Sonic2 and has a LOT more hang time (also felt like it went higher with less technique, but that's a totally unscientific statement). It's as easy to fly at the edge of the window as an inflatable, and if you know how to handle a foil kite, even really screwing stuff up is pretty recoverable so long as you're not massively underpowered. I've flown the Sonic2 15m for a little bit and for sure it's an easy kite to fly with stable behavior, but it's nowhere near the performance category of the R1V2 and is heavier, which makes a difference for the lightest sessions.
I know it sounds crazy to recommend one of the top race kites given you explicitly said you don't want one, but compared to the Sonic2, I think you'll be impressed by its performance and behavior, and it's not in a "razor's edge" kind of way you might expect with race equipment, its greatest attribute is its ease of use and good behavior in the air.
A lot of people also stand behind the Soul, but I have a friend who has ridden exclusively Flysurfer foil kites for the last 5 years and has flown almost every size of every kite they've made; he has decided to hang onto his 15m and 18m Speed5's because he claims they turn faster and redirect better than the large sizes of the Soul. His 12m and below are Souls, his 15/18 are Speed5. In that sense, I wouldn't go pick up a Speed5 because it's likely you'll pay about the same as you'd pay for a lightly used R1V2 in 15m or 17m sizes given that the racers with money are now unloading their V2's for cheap to get the V3's. The availability of quality large kites on the used market to me is a selling point for the R1V2 versus the Speed5.
I have no exposure to kites like the Pulsion or Pansh, but given that I've never met anyone in person who used one I'm inclined to ignore them pending their appearance on hydrofoil race results...