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-   -   Kites for the BIG guys.... (http://www.fksa.org/showthread.php?t=6948)

Big G 08-02-2008 07:17 AM

Kites for the BIG guys....
 
Well, its time to look at getting a new light wind. I'd like to know which kites are leading the light wind spectrum. This past winter my largest kite was a 07' 15M Ion and I found that on a few days, I thought I may have needed a slightly larger kite.

Or, should I consider a new light board? My primary board is a Dimitri Pro (the larger one) which I've been using for a couple of seasons. I borrowed an older Anomoly one of those lighter wind days I mentioned and stayed upwind just after failing on my DP.

Any suggestions would be appreciated.

6', 220lbs

Sean B 08-02-2008 07:26 AM

Probably the Speed2 which Craig has been using. Sounds like it works really well, and he's a big guy.

Kiteboarding Tampa Bay 08-02-2008 07:41 AM

I would go with this one, BIG GUY... Looks like it has tons of low end and the "one line" depower system makes relaunch a breeze. It should be great for wave riding also!

http://www.pictureprettykites.com/si.../prod_363.html

inferno 08-02-2008 07:45 AM

thats easy, get a lightwind board... a real light wind board...

go for a crazy fly lightwind pro or the spleene door.... you dont really need a new kite...

the DP is nice, makes a great light wind board for a normal guy, but its not even close to a light wind board for a big guy... you need atleast a 145x45 or larger......

(just ask scott :) )

Big G 08-02-2008 07:47 AM

I'm sure you've just been dying to unload that one. Nice!!! Does the chic come with the kite and do the deed of blowing the kite?

Tony 08-02-2008 07:59 AM

Make sure and try a flight deck as well by Jimmy Lewis. I am 6 ' 3" 200lbs. I was very impressed. However, it may be $$$$. It also depends on how low from a wind speed you want to ride in. Personally, I dont bother if it is below 11 - 12 Knots. However, I am very curious about the foils - they seem to really excel in this range. I have heard Craig likes his.

Kiteboarding Tampa Bay 08-02-2008 08:29 AM

Yeah G, its been kinda boring around here with no wind and all....Scott P. is a big guy and he is riding the 13m EH/Freak Dog EZE.I am hoping to get a demo kite for the locals to try, but I have to do a little repossesing first from a certain someone who forgot (refuses) to pay for her kite or return it.(Orange 12m Vicious) WTF is this person thinking? Free kite Tuesday? Not a chance...;) Back on topic-I have a 17 Contra and a Flight Deck from WSW if you want to demo it.I am crossing my fingers that TI will be rideable today (positive thinking)Come on out if you want, we have burgers and doggies for the grill.

shogun1204 08-02-2008 09:12 AM

Light wind
 
I heard the Freak Dog kites have great low end, but I know the Royal Era have great low end. I was riding a 12 Royal Era and my Aggression Barndoor when a lot of people are on 17 and 15 meter kites. See if you can demo a 14 meter Era, I know there are a few guys that have them down there. If it was blowing 10 to 12 I was going upwind just fine with my 12. It's crazy how much low end the new kites have these days. I am about 190 pounds.

Kiteboarding Tampa Bay 08-02-2008 09:34 AM

Yep, that Royal had some great low end
Its 12-14 SW on the beaches, anyone wanna give it a shot at Treasure Island? I am heading out there (101st) to do a wind dance and ride the land board.

Skyway Scott 08-02-2008 09:37 AM

That 14 Era has great low end for sure. As do a ton of kites in 08.

Just my opinion, but the board is more important than the kite (still).
I know many feel otherwise, but I don't think the kite can out do the board in light wind (ever). Obviously the best combo is having the best light wind kite and also the best lightwind board... but... which is cheaper? :)
And which is easier to pull out of your truck when it lulls down from 15 knots?

If you go blow a ton of dough on a 19m FS and don't get an equally good light wind board, I think you might be disappointed.
I would try out something like the largest Spleene Door first with just about any 15m to 17m kite, they are sick, in terms of flat out low end.
Or try a surfboard too. To me, that makes even more sense, because it is fun trying to gybe it etc.

I know that I am lighter than you, but I can easily make a 9m waroo work in solid 8 knots on my surfboard. Plenty of people have seen it to confirm.
Once it hits solid 11 knots, this is no lie, I feel fairly juiced. It's pretty ridiculous. Obviously that's all board, only a little kite.

I rode that FS 19m once. Definitely a nice kite.
I have just come to the conclusion that until it hits solid 11 knots, I am only going to be mowing the lawn anyway. There is only so much power available to any kite in 10knots or less, and the key is having a board that cuts drag to as close as zero as possible, at least that's my take.
My biggest kite is a 12m Flexi.
That is a fairly poor light wind kite (pretty heavy, slow to the edge of window) and it doesn't really matter, I am still zooming around on it with a surfboard in sub 10 knots. :) (Just saying, try some boards too, at least)
You have the 15m Ion... not a very good light wind kite, it's just that simple.

Try a 14m Era, the 14 or 16m Eclipse, the 15m Waroo, the 14 or 17m Contra... list goes on. They will all smoke that 15 Ion :)

Skyway Scott 08-02-2008 09:51 AM

Steve,

Doppler looks pretty good. Looks like wind, but the forecast says no.
I am gonna hope for right around 13 knots, SSW at 2 pm. :) It says 12 SE at the SkyWay right now.

Kiteboarding Tampa Bay 08-02-2008 10:22 AM

Looked rideable at EB this morning. It just dropped to 10 on the Clw sensor. Oh well, a day at the beach is much more fun than yardwork anyway...

Big G 08-02-2008 10:39 AM

Good deal and thanks for the input. I'm speaking with someone already that has a 154 Spleene. Its an 07 but I can't believe the year matters much considering the reduced price from this years model.

I tried the 16M Contra and was not overly excited about the bar or kite turn speed. Very nice looking kite though. I'm certainly not married to the ION, especially if there is another kite that will give me a little more low end.

In looking at this months Kiteboarding Magazine, it appears as though most of the company's are topping out at 14m and 15m kites. I knew that my 15m ION was a little small but was now more concerned that larger 16m and 17m would not be available. Its sounds like if I'm reading your responses correctly, I can get as much light wind ridding in as I need as long as I switch to another brand like an Era or Waroo??

Thanks for the help....

Big G!

Skyway Scott 08-02-2008 01:13 PM

Yep Steve, wind took a dump. :(

Gary, I think the board is gonna do wonders for you in really light stuff.

I also think the 15m Ion isn't a very good light wind kite. Many other brand's 15m size will smoke that thing in sub 12, imo :)

There's only one BIG problem. We don't even get 9 to 11 knots most days lately :(

Big G 08-02-2008 05:31 PM

I sent the payment today for the Spleene so It should be here in about a week. What about the 14m Royal Era, ya think thats going perform any better than a 15m Ion? Seems like a slightly larger kite would have more low end if it has more material.

I know we arent getting much wind now but I'm going to try and get out a few more days this season. The last 2 times I went out, I was unable to stay up wind yet a couple other guys were riding and doing just fine. Both times the wind really never got crankin so I struggled with diving my ION and Dimitri Pro while watching them tack back and forth.I'm trying to put together a set up that will give me at least the chance to tack even if it never gets juiced.

Skyway Scott 08-02-2008 06:33 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Big G (Post 35358)
I sent the payment today for the Spleene so It should be here in about a week. What about the 14m Royal Era, ya think thats going perform any better than a 15m Ion? Seems like a slightly larger kite would have more low end if it has more material.

I know we arent getting much wind now but I'm going to try and get out a few more days this season. The last 2 times I went out, I was unable to stay up wind yet a couple other guys were riding and doing just fine. Both times the wind really never got crankin so I struggled with diving my ION and Dimitri Pro while watching them tack back and forth.I'm trying to put together a set up that will give me at least the chance to tack even if it never gets juiced.

Wow, that was fast on that Spleene. If it's low end you are looking for though, that board is unreal. I can't see you disappointed.

Yes, imo, it's hard to get much worse than the 15m Ion for light wind (sorry) with today's kite choices, so the 14m Era will smoke it, hands down, as will many other kites. It's definitely more about the cut and efficiency of the kites now, not so much size. We use to ride 19-23 m C kites that couldn't hold a candle to today's 15m SLEs.

I would try to demo any new 14m -- 17m. Everyone has different likes. Actually though, I would ride that Spleene first, back to back with your SW for a full day while still on your Ion, just so you can get a feel for how much the board makes a difference, first. Otherwise, you might credit the demo kite for everything. :)

conchxpress 08-02-2008 06:49 PM

Spleene Boards
 
Is your board a Door, or a Session? I have a Spleene 159 Door and it's an upwind machine in light winds, and it brings you back to your spot when everyone else is doing "the walk". However, there is one peculiarity if it's a Door. I don't know about last year's model, but mine is the 2008 and has an offset fin configuration. There are four fins altogether; two different sizes. The smaller set goes in the usual location on the heelside edge. The larger ones are located just a bit inboard of the smaller ones and closer to the centerline, still on the heelside. So whenever you're riding heelside you've got the benefit of four fins. If you go to toeside, however, there are no fins there. The rails are really pretty thin, so it's not that much of a problem, but still not as efficient in light winds. I guess the offset fin set-up is what enables the board to track upwind so well. Just a little pressure on the back foot and it seems to go into turbo mode upwind. I can see why some schools teach with the Spleene.

Frank

Big G 08-02-2008 11:37 PM

Its an 07 Door. I don't waist much time when I get advise from you more experienced riders. I figure if your at a point when your asking for advice, you should be at a ready to make a decision.

Now I'm looking for a Royal 14m since I believe this is the largest size they make. I figure I can move the ION quickly on ikite if needed. I havent bought a new kite in a few seasons so I ready. If the weather was better, I would probably just try and get by with my current 15m Ion(06),12m Waroo (06) and 11m Waroo (07). As you can see, Im due for a new kite.

Hell, I'm still using the same Dimitri Pro I bought from you Scott. Its time for a few upgrade with the coming season. Thanks for the advise.

BizGuru 08-03-2008 01:16 AM

I am 280lb and found to be the contra 3 17m to be the kite for big guys, I can hold ground in 14mph with my Crazyfly 145x48 pro. The kite has a really good low end put still turns fast for it's size and hold power though it's turn. The depower is also unreal and I can hold it down to around 25mph especially if i move to a smaller board. The only downside is that it does have some bar pressure (I prefer some bar pressure, I know others do not). It is also a good racing kite and the upwind is great.

Just my thought, oh and you can get them brand new for 1,000 bucks right now.

Whitey 08-03-2008 11:45 AM

Look for a used 19m Speed 2 even a 17m or 15m would still be better than anything that needs a pump. There is just no comparison IMO. My 17 contra will never see the light of day again. I bought my 19m for less than half price. I have had a lot of sessions this summer. This kite makes the summer fun here in the Bay area. 8 to 9 kts and you are mowing the lawn staying up wind with out working the kite. 10 kts and you are mowing the lawn with jumping kiteloop tansitions at both ends of the lawn. Heck I mowed all the way around 3 rooker then the entire area between 3 rooker and Hurricane pass last Monday. Surfing the baby swells with light wind can be very entertaining.

With time on the kite you will find out where the name comes from. On the glide or my surfboard it has become fairly easy to work the angles and get the apparent wind cranking making headway around double the wind speed it takes several hundred yards to get it all to come together but once it is cranked up it's pretty wild looking, to see this thing comming down the coast at warp 8 with no whitecaps on the water just the spray off the board.

Skyway Scott 08-03-2008 11:58 AM

Where is a good place to get the FS kites cheap? ;)

CrazyJay 08-05-2008 03:08 PM

I've been researching the Flysurfer Speed 2 19 meter and it sounds like an awesome low end kite. Just cant swallow the $2500 price tag.
If anyone (Gary) gets one I'd love to demo it.

Big G 08-05-2008 03:12 PM

Now that I have more information, I just need some clarification on something....

When we talk about a low end kite are we saying that the kite, of its size flies with less wind than one of the same size or are we saying that it also has more power than even larger kite?..It may be easier if I give this example.

Earlier it was said that the Royal Era 14m would out perform a ION 15m as a low wind kite, the size of both of these kites are close to the same. Now, do you have the same low end pulling power if you compare the same Era 14m with say a 16m Waroo or even a 17m Contra in the same light wind?

It just seems like it makes more sense to ride a larger kite in low winds than a smaller kite. Help me understand...

CrazyJay 08-05-2008 03:22 PM

I know that I used to have a Fuel 19 meter and that thng pulled like a truck. Unfortunately it pulled DOWNWIND only. I wouldn't put to much stock on kite "sizes" when it comes to inflatables. I'm sure the Royal 14 will blow away the waroo 16.
I think that foils may be getting good enough to start taking over the light wind realm again.
I wish we could demo a 19 FS Speed 2

Skyway Scott 08-05-2008 04:56 PM

Jay pretty much nailed it.
Size (if not an efficient cut) is just drag.
Today's kites have a much better design than even just 2 years ago, let alone 5 years ago. I wouldn't ever think of getting anything bigger than a 16, Gary, even at your size (comparing you to me) At my size, a 14m kite in 13 knots is pretty powered up... I know it sounds funny (even to me) but that's the truth.

Jay, I remember that old 19m Sligshot Fuel (2003, I think?)
Man, 20 minutes on that in 12 knots and my legs were killing me. (LOL).
Pure drag, no upwind efficiency. You were basically fighting the kite to force it upwind.

So Gary, yes, you have the same "power" and low end with today's 14s that you use to have with 18m kites of just 2/3 years ago.
The big difference is that they feel much different. There is less drag, so some people actually misinterpret that as less power.
Most of today's "pull" is perpendicular to the wind or upwind, so your legs don't have to fight the kite wanting to pull you downwind.
Instead, that power is more efficient, and the kite pulls you upwind with relative ease.

The biggest mistake you can make with a light wind kite (imo) is thinking that the feeling of being pulled like a truck is good.
That's a bad sign, imo. It's just drag. Hope that makes sense.

I am sure you will get to demo that Speed 2 19 this year. We have 2 in the area (at least) now.
I demoed one out at EB last season in about 13/14 knots. I unhooked and was yanked off the water on a railey. It took me by surprise.
It turned pretty slow compared to the Era or Eclipse, though.

Sam 08-05-2008 06:06 PM

I flew a 14 contra a bit last year. Dont think you gain any more low end with a 17 because 14s are faster and can generate just as much apparent wind. Theres really no need to go bigger than a 14 with the new kites and technology.

BizGuru 08-05-2008 06:20 PM

As far as "not going with anything bigger than 14" I feel it applies to smaller guys. If you are larger you will notice the advantage of that extra 3m. Also new kite techonoloy helps a lot, the 14 meter contra 3 pulls more than the 16m switchblade 1 I had. However the 17m blow both out the water. I have been out when I could not on a 14m and when I can be on a 14m I and having a blast on my 17m. The power pulling smaller guys downwind bigger guys can convert into upwind.

As far as FS I have looked into them but I have a few questions 1 why are they so expensive, I think if there price was petter they would have a much better shot at stealing some market share. Also how is the depower, One thing I like about some of the new kites is they fly just as well fully powered and fully depowered. How is the range on the FS speed 2?

Big G 08-05-2008 06:22 PM

O.K., it makes more sense now. I'm really expecting to hit it hard this up comming season like I did the first year I started riding. I got skunked at least 10-15 times that first year and only 1-2 times this past season.

I'm hoping with the correct kite and board this season a going as many times as I did the first year, I'll ride more and sit on the beach less.

Thank you for all of your help...
Big G

Sam 08-05-2008 07:18 PM

Yeah thats true but I weigh 180 to 185 and have never missed a session with my 14. just my opinion.

Skyway Scott 08-05-2008 08:20 PM

I am not sure how more power from a big kite would "pull me downwind", but not pull a bigger guy downwind. Doesn't seem logical. True power should not pull anyone downwind. It's not like my legs aren't as strong or stronger than just about anyone's out there.
In terms of size/weight, leg strength determines how much kite you can hold down, not how much you weigh. So, no kite is going to pull me downwind (not in sub 15), unless it just sucks. :)
Also, a larger board should "make you weigh less" by displacement. So, a big guy on a bigger board should theoretically "weigh" the same as me on a smaller one. I use a 130 by 40 once it hits 11/12 knots.

Anyway, my take is still that big kites "feel powerful", but much of that feel is just the feel of drag.

I have been talking about wearing a 50 pound weight belt and riding for years now just out of curiosity. I am gonna give it shot this year.
Maybe those big a.ss kites are useful for big guys and I am just clueless. Still seems like a larger board would negate the need for a monster kite though.

I mean, I can ride a 9m in 9 knots (upwind with eyes closed) on a Glide. So why can't a guy bigger than me apply the same principle?
My reasoning makes sense to me, but I am gonna wear the weight belt out next time to test the theory (nothing better to do in ten knots).
Sometimes reality defies logic. Anyway, just throwing theory/opinion around..... waiting on wind.

bryanleighty 08-06-2008 06:24 AM

Gary..

with that board you are getting.. unless you are looking to kite in 10 or less.. you will be set with a 14-15m bow style kite.. I think you will be amazed at the low end of a royal or waroo compared to your 15 ion with regards to lighter wind riding.

at 200 lbs last season i found only a day or two where my 13m 2008 waroo could not get me going and having fun on my large board (smaller than the one you are buying)..

I still have my old 16m waroo that i now use on those rare rare occasions.

I'm working my ass off (literally) to drop serious weight before the winds come back and hoping to never have to inflate my 16 again.

You might want to PM Dan B... he just picked up a waroo 17m .. he might have a 16m waroo to sell if you are interested.

inferno 08-06-2008 06:47 AM

that 16m waroo is a great kite....
even though its a 2006 its got great lowend, right Tom?


i currently have the 08 15m roo if you ever see me and want to try it.

Steve-O 08-06-2008 08:51 AM

My two cents. For the bigger guy.....lets say over 200lbs+, its all about getting on plane, not just staying on plane. I do agree that a big dude with a big board and a 14M kite could ride once on plane and apparent wind is created....but its getting that weight out of the water in the first place where the problem lies. That is where a bigger kite can help IMO.

Scott......already tested the weight belt theory. I will admit this online and you all can chastise me.....so here goes. My daughter who weighs about 35 pounds has ridden with me in a Slingshot Kite bag on my back up at 3R. Conditions were light 10knots and water was smooth. With the extra weight it is very hard to get up and get out of the hole...I am 155 pounds....with her weight that makes me 190 pounds. So adding another 20 pounds to the equation would put me in a position of diving the kite and never even getting into a standing position to create any kind of board speed. We all know smaller kites move quicker and have less drag, but its that dive of the kite into the power zone that I see big guys with smaller kites struggle with. There just isn't enough pull there to yank them up in a standing postion.

So Big G is looking for opinions here so my vote is go big on the board and the kite especially if over 200lbs. Minimum 16M with 17M being an even better choice. I have compared a 14M Era to a 17M Contra and there is no comparison on low end IMO....not saying you need to buy a Contra. Shoot, I would put any 14SLE kite against a 17SLE kite for getting out of the hole assuming you have a nice big board.

The only way I could make a 10knot day work being 200+ is to already be on plane.....yet another great use for the stand up paddle board. Then yes, kite size really wouldn't matter....I could move around with a trainer kite. :)

On the other end, without her I can ride a 17M or a 12M just fine on a Flightdeck. I can get on plane with either size and go upwind. I do have to work the 12M though, and that's no fun. I have not tried a 9M, but I believe you, Scott, that it can be done and we are around the same weight.

I'm outtie and by the way, my daughter had a life jacket on and can swim. I am so proud of her. Before her 4th birthday she has surfed and kited with me. For all you parents out there with little ones, exciting times ahead. Jay, Adam, Rusky....

Where's the F'N wind!!!!

inferno 08-06-2008 09:04 AM

wow... that about hit the nail on the head perfectly, well put steve...
once on a plane, its easy to cruise, btu like steve said, getting on the plane is the hard part for us heavy guys....

your turn to try it scott

Skyway Scott 08-06-2008 09:38 AM

Getting on plane is the hard part for me too, using a 9m in 9 knots. :) You guys don't actually think that 9 is ripping me off the water, do you?
I don't have to work the kite at all, I just park and ride, even in 10 knots.
I am definitely not saying a bigger kite doesn't make it easier to yank your butt out of the water. But, once riding, I honestly don't see too much of an advantage (I just see more drag) to that big kite. My biggest kite is a 12 (and not such a good one for light wind... I honestly think the 9m does better... ugh....).

I also think in sub 13 or so, most of us are just mowing the lawn.
I guess it comes down to whether you like that bigger kite in 15 to 20. I just don't. If you do, definitely get the biggest kite you can hold down in 20. Why not?

Not much to do in light wind these days. I am gonna get a dive belt from Play it Again and put 50 pounds on it, then borrow Bob's 14m Era and try to ride upwind in 10 knots. :) I obviously won't go in water I can't stand in. I don't want to drown.

I have a feeling tying 50 pounds around my waist will be much easier than trying to ride with a person on me, like in your situation, Steve. The weight will all be centered and won't interfere with me.

I am interested to see what happens. If I can't make it work, I will be the first to post on here about it. I am curious about this now. :) You know it's light wind hell when we start talking about milking 9 to 10 knots. How sad!!

I just have to say, the guys saying they are jumping 15 feet on (won't name brand) in 7 to 8 knots really get under my skin.
Anyone ever read these posts on Kite Forum. I mean, c'mon.

inferno 08-06-2008 09:53 AM

here you go gary.....

http://www.oceanextremesports.com/ca...b71qpahsjirgl5


hypertype 2 15m.....

BigR 08-06-2008 09:59 AM

I did the opposite experiment back in 2000-2001. I already had had quite a few years to perfect my light wind kiting. What I did was lose 30 pounds in a few months from 200+ to 170's. with the same kite and board ( Nitro 19m + 5' 10" directional ) I was able to go in 10knts after I lost weight and 12-13 kts before I lost it. Also, I felt the kite to be pulling so much more I could barely hold it anymore. At 200+ its not a problem at all

Sorry Scotty, I gotta go against ya on this one

Skyway Scott 08-06-2008 10:12 AM

No worries. I can add weight in 10 seconds with the belt and it will make for a fun experiment.
Thing with your experiment Raul, kites really sucked back then. Not many of them were any good at all with generating apparent wind.
Back then, it really was raw horse power and we ALL fought the kites if we wanted juice, b/c they tried to pull us downwind a lot more.
None of them were any good at "keeping you going". Lulls were a nightmare.
I never dreamed of coasting upwind in less than 12 knots back then.

My logic is this - around here, we literally have 3 kinds of wind. 9 to 13 knot days, then 15 to 25 knot days, then 20 to 35 knot days, for the most part. For me, the 9 to 13 knot days are sort of boring. I would just assume use my 15 to 20 knot kite on that day, with a bigger board.
It's just a philosophy about mowing the lawn. I can't justify buying a huge kite to mow the lawn.
But, if you can hold (and enjoy) holding that big kite down in 20 plus, I would get it.

Everyone is different. I am basically saying you don't need a huge kite to make the light wind work.
I will try the 50 pounds. I still think I will get on plane and ride no problem with the 14 and Glide. If I sink, it will change my mind.
Fact is though, I already saw a 250 pound guy do it already, so I have few concerns. I am not trying to talk Gary out of anything here, btw. What I actually said from the get go to Gary was - demo several kites (like I always say).
From there, I think it lead to boards (IDK, not going to read it again)

Yep, light wind discussions. Summer. Boredom. LOL>

Danimal8199 08-06-2008 10:46 AM

Just my 2cents but when I replaced my quiver back in late feb/early march I debated whether or not to get a 16.5 or a 14.5. I am 195 and was kiting in lighter wind with a guy on a 16 when I was on a 14 and could barely keep up with him. The thing was that on our 14s and 16s neither of us were doing anything fun besides diving the kite and mowing the lawn.

In the end I decided that if the wind is so light that i need a 16.5 then I'd rather not be riding.

If I can ride my 14.5 then most everyone else should be having a pretty good time becasue I can even ride that with my lightwind board in around 14mph.

Whitey 08-06-2008 10:54 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by BizGuru (Post 35434)
As far as "not going with anything bigger than 14" I feel it applies to smaller guys. If you are larger you will notice the advantage of that extra 3m. Also new kite techonoloy helps a lot, the 14 meter contra 3 pulls more than the 16m switchblade 1 I had. However the 17m blow both out the water. I have been out when I could not on a 14m and when I can be on a 14m I and having a blast on my 17m. The power pulling smaller guys downwind bigger guys can convert into upwind.

As far as FS I have looked into them but I have a few questions 1 why are they so expensive, I think if there price was petter they would have a much better shot at stealing some market share. Also how is the depower, One thing I like about some of the new kites is they fly just as well fully powered and fully depowered. How is the range on the FS speed 2?

The Flysurfer kites are expensive for a couple of reasons.
1 The amount and quality of material that is involved in the kite.
2 The amount of skilled labor involved in the kite.
3 The exchange rate on the dollar.

The kite is not like a big trainer kite. There are lots of design concepts built into the kite that results in it's performance. The cells fill with air quickly but do not deflate quicly unless you open the deflation zipper. They are self draining of water and sand when flying. You have to get up close to one and look inside of it to appreciate the amount of thought that goes into it.

The Speed II has very good depower. Once the wind hits 14 of 15 knots I change kites. I can still safley ride it but I have more fun on my 14SB in 15 kts than I do the FS 19. (How many days did we have this summer with wind above 9 and below 15)

I weigh 200 lb and I use the 19m FS from 8kts to 14kts. They show the wind range for the 19m speed II up to 22kts on their web site. I would not want to be on that kite in 20 plus kts of wind. It's not a one kite quiver but it is by far the best light wind kite I have found.

I am considering getting a 12m speed II. It is really nice not having to carry a pump & pump up a kite, not having to run out and hook up the lines, not having to ask someone to launch you or land you.


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