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Switchblade v flite 12m

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Switchblade v flite 12m

Postby windeze » Wed Nov 30, 2022 6:47 am

For years I've flown switchblades but the low weight and turning speed of the Or flights has caught my attention.
I'm looking at the HL rather than the full alula.
Has anyone made this change and if so could they comment on it.
I am a bit confused as the switchblades are grunty powerful how much will I gain at the lowend if I change to a flight?
I'm 73 kg. And an average twintip rider.

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Re: Switchblade v flite 12m

Postby leeuwen » Wed Nov 30, 2022 8:12 am

Disclaimer: did not fly switchblade or flight but do have experience with XR, Full aluula and HL kites

For regular twintip I don't think it will make a huge difference in when you can go out.
Twintip needs enough static pull to keep going that you only really get with adding more m2.
e.g. you probably still will need 13-14 knots be able to stay upwind.
Off course the flight will the be quicker kite of the two especially in the low end but once you "park" the kite in the wind window to ride in a direction it doesn't magically add more power.
Maybe it will provide a little more power when you sinus the kite continuously, especially during the up-stroke, but I don't think anyone likes to be out in conditions where you need to sinus the kite all the time to keep going.

Story is very different on a hydrofoil where the Flite will be at a huge advantage in every possible way.

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Re: Switchblade v flite 12m

Postby Young » Wed Nov 30, 2022 9:14 am

Old TT lawnmower here. I have an older 9m switchblade (just upgraded with a 10m ocean rodeo hl crave) and I have also been flying an ocean rodeo 12m flite for 3 years(which replaced an old 7 strut 11m cab crossbow pig of a kite). This may not be quite the comparison you are looking for but I think the 12m OR flite would be faster, lighter and gruntier than a comparable swichblade, just based on my experiences with my old 9m SB. An hl or aluula kite would be even better. The 12m flite is the best big kite I have had, but take that with a grain of salt since I keep my kites a long time and have pretty basic performance needs (Im 70 yrs). Keep in mind the new flites are 5 strut 'big air' kites, I think. My new 10m hl crave is a step up from my old switchblade: lighter, faster, better low end and comparable top end. The old switchblade was getting a bit stretched out, I think, after 6 years as my goto: Great durable kite, no repairs.

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Re: Switchblade v flite 12m

Postby nothing2seehere » Wed Nov 30, 2022 11:14 am

My experience (dacron flite) was that the low end switch from a 10 Rebel to 10m Flite was not an big noticeable change in low end. I also had a 12m Flite and min twin tip was realistically about 15knots - or roughly the same as any other 12m. At the end of the day - a 12m is a 12m.

What did improve was that its a relatively high aspect kite that drifts well. So hangtime was as good as the rebel but the kite would actually drift. With my 12m Flite and an Ocean Rodeo Jester, I could ride down to about 10-11 knots and still do little jumps. The kite loves a bit of apparent wind and a fast board like the Duke or Jester is a good match for low end.

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Re: Switchblade v flite 12m

Postby Greenturtle » Wed Nov 30, 2022 4:05 pm

As others mentioned you won’t gain much difference in static pull but that isn’t the whole story. The flite will redirect snappier with much less lag time compared to many other kites for a very intuitive riding experience, and also fly faster forward through the window, providing more-power-faster when you move the kite around. The flite can loop very tightly and reliably for a big kite, building a lot of confidence to throw loops into your tricks or downwinders.
The agility of the flite just allows greater freedom for me at least, for what you can do on the board. You can actually surf pretty well with a flite because it turns snappy for repositioning and is light so drifts ”ok” for a higher aspect shape.

In short if I was offered a choice at both it would be flite all day long without any hesitation.

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Re: Switchblade v flite 12m

Postby Cab Driver » Wed Nov 30, 2022 6:55 pm

If you are looking for low end, the Contra 13m is probably the better option. In the high end, the Switchblade 12 is better. Contra is lighter and faster in light winds, but still has really nice lift in mid range. I'm not sure what year Switchblade you have, but this kite undergoes constant evolution so if it's more than a couple years old, a new model Switchblade will perform better. Feel free to PM me with any questions.

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