Woodtli, the Swiss Flysurfer man had the ideal wind conditions shortly after receiving his first batch of Speed 4s. This is what he has to say about these babies:
Flysurfer Speed 4 - 8.0 & 10.0 review.
We had the chance to test the Speed 4 8.0 & 10.0 in super strong & gusty winds.
The conditions we normally not really have in Switzerland:
0° Celsius (ok, in winter it's even colder ;))
Snow. Average Wind: 25-33 kts
Really reduce Bridle system. Only A,B & Z - > simplified mixer. Just one pulley left on each side. There are fishing lines at the entry of the canopy (Rigid Foil Technology by GIN) which gives the kite a better profile and more "shape". No more Jet Flaps. The Airouttake is now in the middle. and is in the same color as the color shame of the kite. So even Fipi won't forget to close it ;)
The rest is in the high flysurfer quality as usual. We don't write about the Bar Inf. 2.0 as it is well known already. — at Yvonand Beach!
Just one word: Really NICE… ok that where 2 words ;)
Really direct and super smooth. Like a flysurfer. We had a really gusty day but the kite is a real gust eater.
It's the typical FS Feeling in the air. But with lots of more wind. — at Yvonand Beach!
Now we come to the really interesting Point: the Hangtime…
The Speed 3 was already called: the Flying Machine… but the Speed 4 just tops it. Sheet in the Bar… keep it there and up you go… and up, up, up…. and then you just fly….amazing.
Even standart landings without landing loops are super soft. Really nice hangtime. WE LOVE IT — at Yvonand Beach!
It turns really fast. We had the feeling that the turning & the speed was faster & higher then the Psycho 4 in the same size. The Landing Loops and Kiteloops just worked really well. I was surprised how well! GOOOOOOD Job there FS :) — at Yvonand Beach!
As mentioned before: Gust eater.
But also when you depower the kite it's still super stable.
We had the chance to test the Speed 4 8.0 & 10.0 in super strong & gusty winds. The conditions we normally not really have in switzerland:
0° Celsius (ok, in winter it's even colder ;))
Average Wind: 25-33 ktsEven at the beach when you land it, we normally have wing tip collapsing wight the Speed3's (cause the wind comes a bit over trees and there are wind rotors). Not with the Speed 4's at all. STABLE!
Now here comes the only concern so far:
The range is HUGE. But the 2/3 of the rope are enough to completly depower the kite. The last 1/3 is just nice to have.
So you have to get use to it, that you generate much more power/depower on shorter travel way of the bar. But ones this is mastered. You will love it. It feels strange for the first 5 minutes.
Then it's mastered and it works really perfect.
We came up with this: for starting and landing we use the full depower rope. As soon as we are on the water, we pull the stopper 1/3 down and have a perfect working system. This will be super for shorter kiters and also for kids and kite girls.
Fipi just dropped it ones. But as soon as he had his head out of the water… the kite was already in the air.
Fipi had to pull the safety as he got his 2 feet into the bar when he crashed really hard after a megaloop. So far so good. Almost no rest pull.
It really was not the day to test the lowed. But we did not reach the high end yet! The fat guy (me - 93 kgs naked) took the 8.0. The skinny Fipi ( 75kgs) took the 10.0. The badest Gust was 45 kts measured. NO PROBLEMO… not even had to pull the adjuster.
All in all:
We really had a lot of concerns about this kite. But after today we love it and won't change it ;)
I normally ride tubes when the wind is over 25kts. For safety reasons and because the tubes are just more rigid and stable in these conditions.
But the Speed 4 has totally showed us today that they work in higher winds. And not only 4 pros. There where some other testers that really liked the kite.
All in all: Flysurfer… well done!
You have made a goooooood successor to the psycho 4's. Now please keep up the fantastic work and bring us the Speed 4 in bigger sizes :)
— with Limacher André, Lennart van Schuilenburg, Philippe Woodo Woodtli, Ramon Schoenmaker, Michael Kaspar, Ernst Novak, Dylan van der Meij, Gunnar Biniasch, Armin Harich and Yusca Balogh.
Were they all there really?
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"And your black and white stripes [to Marty the Zebra]? They cancel each other out! You're nothing!"
Alex the Lion
The Madagascar gallery deserves some commenting.
The story behind the pictures will be posted here within a week.
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"Minds are like parachutes. They only function when they are open."
Here is the promised part 3 of the Apostate's review, which should now be titled: "A foil reviewed by an ex-LEI rider: more unexpected benefits".
A foil reviewed by an (ex-)LEI rider.
Well, I'm writing this to clear some things up. Firstly, some foils, or in particular the Flysurfer Speed3 21m DELUXE is (or are) GREAT for wake style! I mean think about it. A super solid, stable, forgiving powerhouse that can rip you off the water comfortably in anywhere from 7-16 knots! I weigh about 77 kg and I ride a 134 Nobile NHP, which has loads of rocker and is NOT a light wind board. The 21m soaks up the gusts better than any LEI kite I've ever ridden and I've ridden quite a few.
After kiting for over 9 years and managing one of the biggest schools in Australia. I got to demo ALL the gear, but never a Flysurfer. I was a Naish Australia Promotional rider and was happy on my Torches. After leaving Melbourne for Phuket, Thailand and getting so frustrated with those perfect 10 knot days that are useless on a LEI. I tried one. I'm telling you now, they will get you more time on the water than you thought possible. If you are open minded and ride it for long enough to give it a fair go, you will like it. There is nothing else out there that can compare in that wind range.
It's not just that, they are really FUN! Think about it, That's what most kiters dream of, there perfect day, a day where you're always powered up, able to control your board speed just by edging and always having enough power to really throw down, hooked-in or un-hooked. But you still have loads of de-power and are always comfortable. It just makes the wind seem smoother! I challenge any one to take one out for an hour and not come back with a big smile on your face.
Some people could argue that there is too much bar pressure when your un-hooked, not in my opinion. Maybe a little more than my 14m Torch but very relative to its bigger size. But wake style or most "new school" kiting styles are inspired by Wake Boarding and Cable Park riding anyways. And if anybody has been Wake Boarding or been to the Cable Park they would know that there is more bar pressure than most kiters can handle. Example: if you can do a back roll on a kite, doing one behind a boat is at least 3 times as hard and painful if not landed.
Not just that but take out a skim board and you'll have hours of fun! You can un-hook it and just keep doing flat 3's. The kite just keeps floating with you. Or super easy to practice your old school board offs.
Basically I think the only reason people would NOT like a kite that's loads of fun, even in under 10 knots, re-launches easily, is an up wind machine, has great boost and is great for wake style/new school is that they have not tried one. I love kiting; I mean I really love it. And I love sharing it with people. If I can be out on the water having a blast almost everyday, then I want people to know about this.
Get ready for the revolution!
A LEI Apostate
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"If you're going to panic, panic constructively"
One of the best post ever on kiteforum.
Don't Panic, by Chillbay.
Posted: Tue Sep 27, 2011 4:42 pm
As an enthusiastic kiter I thought I'd share an experience I had about 25 years ago whilst windsurfing. So a little off topic (windsurfing) but it has relevance even in Kiteboarding. This was before safety releases, harness knives back in the day.
Once upon a time: I was riding a short board, ill-fitting foot straps, hooked in and I was flying. I was following this boat and thought I'd use the wake to help me launch. I thought I was competent, I could jump, carve gybe, duck gybe and so on. So I thought I was in a safe place.
I always respected the ocean, nearly drowned when I was 12 and it's never left me.
Back to the story, I was following the boat and launched off the wake, as I left the water I was hit by a very strong gust, still hooked in the gust ripped the sail out of my hands and I along with board and sail spun in the air. I landed in the water face down with the sail laying on top of me, it all happened so quick I had little time to take a breath.
I remember it now, I'm under the water, looking up at the sun through the window in my sail but below the water, I tried to claw my way to the side of the sail so I could get my head out of the water but couldn't because I was still hooked in, I couldn't unhook because somehow my harness line was twisted round the hook and it was under strain.
My feet had gone through the straps and the board floating upside down and I couldn't get my feet out because every time I tried the board would just move towards me. At this point my body was twisted as you can see, I thought I was going to die right there.
I don't know why but everything just stopped, for some reason, I stopped panicking, only then I started to think straight. Instead of struggling I just stopped, I guess I didn't have long left, perhaps it's some form of realisation I don't know. But only then was I able to think clear.
I relaxed, put my hands on my harness hook and worked out what was what, I got clear of that, once I was unhooked I could get my hands to the board and push the board off my legs, I twisted and got to the side of the sail and my head came out of the water, for the first time in what felt like an eternity I took the biggest breath I had ever taken. I still remember to this day looking through the window of my sail seeing the blue sky and thinking it was going to be the last thing I'd ever see.
So really this taught me a hard lesson, no matter how good you think you are, you can still die. It never kept me off the water though, I enjoy windsurfing, Kiteboarding, can't get enough of it. So you want as many safety devices as you can get, sometimes it just comes down to you, you still have to operate them. When you think you are in big trouble you are going to panic, so go through it in you mind, if this happens if that happens, chances are it will if your doing it long enough.
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The 21m Deluxe.
Now I had high expectation for this kite and I have to say it definitely delivered. Setting up on about a 4-6 knot day I was excited to try the low end of the kite. 5-6 knots is definitely enough to ride, else I'd be having a great time on my skim board. As the manager of a large kite school I am always looking for new ways to get out there in low winds. But i find the FS in a league of its own.
I was soooo happy to find out that the 21m is GREAT for un-hooking. great steady pull, easy relaunch and really smooth almost C kite feel. As well as boosting and cruising in light winds like no other. It felt very nice and not as slow as I thought. It's just unaffected by gusts and lulls!
2 days later and the wind is a steady 15-20 knots and the 21 m was the only kite I had. Would have been better on a small kite but definitely found that I could comfortably ride in that wind range. Even my 55Kg girlfriend had no problem holding down the 21m in that wind!
The only other rider out there was on a hybrid RRD 12m, going from under to overpowered the whole time. While both of us had a great ride on the giant 21m!
I would just like to say I used to ride LEI kites for years and had no reason to change other than I wanted to get more time on the water. I also thought they where a bit 'kooky' or 'goofy' but after trying the new FS I was impressed by their performance. I'm not going to ride an inferior kite just because it looks 'Cool'!
Since trying them, going back to a LEI would be hard. The ability to soak up gusts, stability and up wind power is hard to beat, not to mention no pump and quick set up/pack down.
The only experience I had had before this with foils was a few years ago and not a good one. But i think that you can not really comment unless you go try a new FS.
P.s. I can also post lots of links to videos showing difficult relaunch and bridle problems with LEI kites. Don't be a hater; here is one thought!
The Serial Apostate
The Apostate's review is quite in agreement with this one:
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"Prejudice, not being founded on reason, cannot be removed by argument"
As far as foil kites are concerned, prejudice can be removed by field experience of open minded riders, as the following review of various sized Flysurfer kites demonstrates. Lance of Kite Republic recently moved to Thailand known for light winds prevalence, compared to his native Australia. Since he didn't want the wind conditions cut his number of days on the water, and having heard of the reputation Flysurfer kites as the dominators of light winds, he naturally wanted to check for himself if their fame was deserved. Two or three days of tests in conditions varying from 5 to 30 knots convinced him not only they were unquestionably the best low wind kites on the planet, but to his utter surprise also fantastic and safe kites in nuking conditions. Many urban legends about ram air were busted in the process.
PS: in the meanwhile Lance has "flown" the Speed3 Deluxe 21; there will soon be an addition to this review.
Having been kiting for about 9 years now and working in the industry for about 7, I thought I had flown all there was to fly. After trying everything out there, I was happily riding Torch�s 7,10 & 14 meters. I had flown a different brand of �foils� several years earlier and didn't think I was missing anything.
Upon moving to Thailand from Melbourne, I was getting frustrated with all the perfect days where I could "almost" kite. Or stay up wind but that was it. My local spot doubles as a paragliding spot and I'd watch them enviously in sub-10knot conditions, generating tons of safe and steady lift/power. Even in gusts and lulls.
I had the opportunity recently to try a few different Flysurfer kites and I was surprised. Apart from the logical conclusion that they are in a league of their own in sub-10 knot conditions. I was surprised at how sophisticated they where. For example, I thought that my Torch could �soak-up� gust�s with its 5th line far better than any 4-line kite, tube or foil. Wrong. I'm not exactly sure how, but it just works. Better than any kite I can remember flying, even "easy" kites made by major brands. I was also surprised when I started flying up wind, getting speed, power and able to generate lots of lift.
But for me the moment of truth was when I started to un-hook on the 15m Speed3 and again I was surprised. With just a little bit of de-powering I was happily un-hooking. It took a little getting used to, but in not long I was the only one riding(except for a dude on a race board) and was having a blast. Even as the wind briefly picked up to15-20knots I de-powered a little more and kept going for KGBs and other passes till dark. Every time I crashed it and there where quite a few, I had it out of the water faster than my Torch.
The next day I got to take out the 10m Speed2 in some 15 to gusting over 25knots (briefly over 30K) stormy, choppy/wavy shifty conditions, straight after riding my 10m Torch and the best words to describe it are probably stable, powerful, easy and really forgiving in the gust�s. Again it took a few moments to get used to the differences. But once you do, it will make your inflatable seem more like a toy than a sophisticated flying �wing�. Again crashing, re launching, crashing, re launching, crashing with no problems. Even when I dumped it right in the face of a respectable sized wave, it would have re-launched if it hadn't taken me ages to get to the bar in the waves and got some lines tangled around the bar(a problem with any kite while un-hooked not riding suicide in waves). Even so it washed ashore, I emptied the water out and had it back in the air in 10 minutes and dry in another 5.
The following day we got the really stormy conditions, gusting to over 30 knots and big messy waves. First my 7m Torch then time for the 6m and 8m Phycho4�s. Wow, de-power, big boosting, fast, safe and easy . It wasn't the day for unhooking but it just made it a fun day. I put it down a few times when fronts would come through and it would get wet and windy. But after every front I launched myself, easily.
On both the Speed3�s and the Phycho4�s I was really impressed how the kites would never collapse or do anything funny whatsoever, even when they are looped. I mean paragliders do loops on their foils and trust their lives to it. You also so don't need to work the kite as much once you get going.
Nothing is perfect and I was intimidated when I saw the pulley system, but I haven't had any issues. It just seams to stay out of the way. It could be said the chicken loop could be a bit bigger for un-hooking, but this is not really a problem. There's also the fact that they are a bit slower than some inflatable kites. But again I have had no problem wave riding, looping or boosting bigger than usual and with much more stability when you give the kites the proper input.
You combine all of this with things like a much smaller pack size, faster set up, no pump, no leaking valves, no soft bladders in cold water, a longer life, great performance and things start to look really good. You can even unpack and launch one from the water, how cool is that?
As soon as you mention that you might want to try one, your friends might look at you a bit strange and tell you it will sink and all sorts of things, but none have flown one. I can almost promise you that riding Flysurfers, could almost double your days on the water and if you try one, you will like it. I did.
The Serial Apostate
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