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Flysurfer Speed Lotus 18m first impressions.

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FredBGG
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Flysurfer Speed Lotus 18m first impressions.

Postby FredBGG » Mon Oct 20, 2014 5:16 pm

The wind was very low when I first went out. It even took a while to inflate the kite.

It was 6 to 8 mph when I first went out.

Yea I know it's not a very good idea to get familiar with a new kite at the very bottom end of the wind range :oops:

Also a Flysurfer needs to be bedded in (sort of like running in a new engine) when new to tighten up all the bridle etc...... so at first the kite did not feel like a flysurfer should.

I set the kite as hard as I could a few times in the light wind and loading it up helped it bed in. This bedded in the kite more and it came alive.

First thing I found was that even in terrible lulls further from the beach the Lotus material kite just stayed in the air even without me doing anything in particular. Even off the board and letting my body not make resistance in the water the kite just stayed up there.

At all times I could stay up wind even in the lulls where I was barely moving. As soon as the wind picked up to an average of 10-11 mph I could gain a lot of ground. The kite goes upwind really well and really with not effort. It almost seems like it's natural way to fly is an upwind direction even in light wind 10-11mph

I tried the kite a little in the waves. For a huge kite it turns well, but you can't trow it back and forth like a 10m LEI and chase the kite down the line.
Waves were infrequent and it was a shore break... with rocks and houses so I only dabbled a bit with the waves.

So up the line (riding the wave upwind) the kite has good depower and floats well at about 2 o'clock. Any higher and the kite would give me too much lift to drop down the face freely enough.

Down the line is a bit more tricky. The real problem being that on a nice sized wave you will go down the face faster than the wind if the wind is 10-11 mph. So it means you need to cut back harder to get tension back in the lines. However I found that the Lotus 18m would hover well with rather slack lines, but I would have to cut back upwind for a beat to tension the lines and steer the kite.

I think with a little more practice this could be a viable 10-12 mph kite for waves. In particular I can see it being really fun on a big glassy south swell... significantly better than my Speed 3 19 was, even though the Speed 3 got me some epic glassy south swells.

LAnding and putting away the kite was comical..... The fabric is so light that when the wind turned around as I was packing the kite it totally wrapped around me and by that time it was dark........looked really silly..... :oops:

this kite is ultra light.

Oh and one last thing. The back pack is great. Nice and large making it really easy to just plonk the 18m kite in it.
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FredBGG
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Re: Flysurfer Speed Lotus 18m first impressions.

Postby FredBGG » Mon Oct 20, 2014 5:16 pm

Had a second session with the Speed.
This time at a better spot for waves.

At first the wind was on the light side 10-12 mph (12 on the outside and less in the waves), but I still decided to take out my small Naish 5'4" surfboard with straps. This board really needs a kite with grunt or has to be ridden when on the overpowered side.

No problem in 10-12mph.

So up the line riding the wave upwind it worked quite well and was quite easy.
I'd just follow a wave from quite far out and get myself in the right spot and carve the wave up the line or just enjoy riding down the glassy face.
What worked was to depower the kite as the face builded and keep the kite far forward and a bit high. When I was done with the wave face I would edge hard against the kite to turn it a bit quicker and then pivot quick with the board diving the kite to keep it deeper in the wind window. With the kite deep I would accelerate out of the surf and jump nice and high off the incoming surf.

Down the line. Well in such low wind this was really tricky. The problem is that the wave can push you faster than the wind... so there is just no way any kite can drift faster than the wind.
Here's what sort of worked.
Follow a wave and get in the right position. Send the kite back just a bit and then as I dropped down the face I flew the kite across the wind window. I did stomp on the back of the board to keep board speed down a bit and stay on the face rather than swoop down and off the wave.
As soon as I had too much board speed I would carve a slightly upwind bottom turn, edge hard and turn the kite to go back out.

I think with a little more practice this should be fun for those light days with smooth waves.

The Speed Lotus 18m is remarkably stable and forgiving. Even over ran the kite on a few waves. I just sheeted all the way in and the kite would drift/fall back into the wind window.... even if at first the leading edge pointed down a bit. Still not the sort of stuff to do in surf with surfers near by.

dwaynej
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Re: Flysurfer Speed Lotus 18m first impressions.

Postby dwaynej » Mon Oct 20, 2014 5:50 pm

Nice feedback! I tried the Speed 4 18M a month ago and found it considerable fun. Lots of low end power with light bar pressure. Beautiful kites and now I am a huge foil kite fan.

I need to make the trip over to Malibu... I spend all my time between RAT Beach, Cabrillo, and Belmont Shore!

FredBGG
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Re: Flysurfer Speed Lotus 18m first impressions.

Postby FredBGG » Mon Oct 20, 2014 6:38 pm

Cool thing about yesterday is that the wind forecast was for very little wind.
But... later in the day the wind picked up and so did the swell.
If I had not had the Lotus 18m I would not have gone to the beach.
So in the end I had two great sessions.
First session with the Speed Lotus 18m in low wind and glassy waters.
Then when the wind picked up I quickly packed up the Speed and went upto another beach, and had a second great 1 1/2 hour session on my Naish Ride 12m at a world class spot all by my self..... the wind just came up too late for most people to make the drive.

So having an ultra low wind kite can get you some suprise higher wind sessions :thumb:
Last edited by FredBGG on Tue Oct 21, 2014 3:35 am, edited 1 time in total.

FredBGG
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Re: Flysurfer Speed Lotus 18m first impressions.

Postby FredBGG » Mon Oct 20, 2014 6:40 pm

dwaynej wrote:
I need to make the trip over to Malibu... I spend all my time between RAT Beach, Cabrillo, and Belmont Shore!
It's a long drive with traffic and this time of the year the wind is a bit hit or miss.
Also the life guards often do not let kiters out till they leave or the beach is really empty as far as regular beach goers goes.
Last edited by FredBGG on Tue Oct 21, 2014 3:36 am, edited 1 time in total.

FredBGG
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Re: Flysurfer Speed Lotus 18m first impressions.

Postby FredBGG » Mon Oct 20, 2014 6:44 pm

dwaynej wrote:Nice feedback! I tried the Speed 4 18M a month ago and found it considerable fun. Lots of low end power with light bar pressure. Beautiful kites and now I am a huge foil kite fan.

I need to make the trip over to Malibu... I spend all my time between RAT Beach, Cabrillo, and Belmont Shore!
Let me know if you head up here. I sent you an email .....

dwaynej
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Re: Flysurfer Speed Lotus 18m first impressions.

Postby dwaynej » Mon Oct 20, 2014 6:47 pm

FredBGG wrote:
dwaynej wrote:Nice feedback! I tried the Speed 4 18M a month ago and found it considerable fun. Lots of low end power with light bar pressure. Beautiful kites and now I am a huge foil kite fan.

I need to make the trip over to Malibu... I spend all my time between RAT Beach, Cabrillo, and Belmont Shore!
Let me know if you head up here. I sent you an email .....
Thanks Fred!

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Peter_Frank
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Re: Flysurfer Speed Lotus 18m first impressions.

Postby Peter_Frank » Mon Oct 20, 2014 7:37 pm

Could you shoot and share some video next time with the 18m2 Fred ?
Just put a(ny) cam up in the kite or lines if you dont have a missus or friend who can shoot a few minutes in the waves, no need to edit - just to see what you mean, as words can not tell what you are talking about IMO.

Curious to see what waveriding with an 18m2 in that wind looks like, as we dont see that here...

Really interesting :D

8) Peter

FredBGG
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Re: Flysurfer Speed Lotus 18m first impressions.

Postby FredBGG » Mon Oct 20, 2014 8:35 pm

Peter_Frank wrote:Could you shoot and share some video next time with the 18m2 Fred ?
Just put a(ny) cam up in the kite or lines if you dont have a missus or friend who can shoot a few minutes in the waves, no need to edit - just to see what you mean, as words can not tell what you are talking about IMO.

Curious to see what waveriding with an 18m2 in that wind looks like, as we dont see that here...

Really interesting :D

8) Peter

Not putting a camera up in the kite or lines in that light wind and waves.
Also form the kite or lines it's sort of hard to see what the waves are doing.

I'll try to get some footage from the beach...

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Re: Flysurfer Speed Lotus 18m first impressions.

Postby 14ToeSide » Mon Oct 20, 2014 10:19 pm

Fred,

I've had the same experiences w my Speed 4 Lotus 21. It's Extrememly stable when the wind is Ultra light. I ride only in the Ocean and will try to get some Vid riding some waves. Usually on my Sweet Potato!!

I have owned many a Speeds and this is the BEST EVER!! Just SAYIN!!! :anon: :anon: :cash: :cash: :happybirthday: :happybirthday: :housewife: :housewife: :kiff: :kiff: :party1: :tv:

14


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