FKA Kiteboarding Forums  

Go Back   FKA Kiteboarding Forums > MAIN FORUM > ** KITER BUZZ **
Connect with Facebook

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1  
Old 05-06-2005, 09:34 AM
RickI's Avatar
RickI RickI is offline
Administrator
Site Admin
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: Florida
Posts: 8,324
Default HELLFISH, NEW DAY FOR KITES?



BEST KITEBOARDING has introduced
an intriguing new innovation ...

The Hellfish


Best describes the Hellfish as having several unique features:

* The kite surfaces are comprised of Cuben Fiber (an advanced fiber composite conceived for the defense industry). Cuben fiber is very STRONG, LIGHT, highly RESISTANT TO DISTORTION under load and this particular variety to UV degradation. An 11 m Hellfish is 3 lbs. less in weight than a 10 m Nemesis.

* The strong, stiff fabric makes it possible to dramatically reduce the leading edge and batten diameters to LESS THAN one half that of the Nemesis or Yarga.

* The smaller leading edge reduces drag and allows much more RAPID flight. Best has estimated similar performance with kites sized 3 to 5 m smaller than past designs resulting in EXPANDED wind range.

* The non-stretching qualities of the Cuben Fiber fabric stop normal kite warping or distortion that routinely happens during control inputs resulting in FAST kite response with minimal delay. You take your hands off the control bar with the kite motionless and it sort of lingers in SLOW motion.

* The kite is fast but it is also responsive and fairly user friendly during flight thanks in part to the unique rigidity of the airframe. Best describes the unique feel of the kite as an extension of the body.



The name Hellfish was inspired by a legendary craft from WWII, the Grumman XF6F fighter, better known as the Hellcat.
Photo from here



The metalic lines, unique strength and unusual performance evoked images of the Hellcat in this new kite. An 11 m Hellfish prototype in flight.


NOTE: A PROTOTYPE, 11 M HELLFISH IS SHOWN IN THE PHOTOS IN THIS ACCOUNT. IT WAS PREPARED FOR TESTING AND EVALUATION. THE FABRICS SHOWN ARE NOT THE SAME AS MATERIALS TO BE USED IN PRODUCTION KITES. THE PHOTOS ARE PROVIDED TO HELP ILLUSTRATE THE CONCEPTS PRESENTED AND NOT TO REPRESENT THE EXACT APPEARENCE OF PRODUCTION HELLFISH.



Jeff Beige, a principle in Best, shredding into shore under the thrust of the new kite. Chuck heads on out with the Hellcats uncle, the Nemesis. The Nemesis has only been out for about 12 months but it seems longer somehow.


I asked Jeff which Best kite he had the most time on and how would he compare and contrast it to the Hellfish. Jeff said he has the best feel and preference for the Nemesis 10 m. He felt the Hellfish has almost twice the performance qualities of the Nemesis in that it is much faster, lighter bar pressure, even more stable and it feels like an extension of your body. He related the last sensation to that offered by a Porsche. Shannon Best later said the sensation was closer to that offered by a Ferrari. I've been driving an Explorer and wonder how it relates to that driving experience?!

Jeff related that the Hellfish is forgiving of mistakes and it allowed him to do things today that he hadn't done with a kite before. For example,he thought, he was about to get pelted by a wave, thought he was out of time to react and normally he would just slam into it. Instead he just tweaked the bar, steering the kite up and over lifting him out of range of the wave in less time than he thought would be feasible with his past kites.


Note: I rushed down to the beach yesterday afternoon to see the Hellfish in person after learning about the session by phone. I grabbed a substitute camera in rushing to make this sudden meet, so my apologies for the reduced image quality and cloudy conditions.





Jeff indicated the prototype is a little lower aspect than what is planned for the production Hellfish kites. The production kites won't be quite as high aspect as the Nemesis. Jeff did caution that for handle pass tricks, given the speed of the kite, the rider will want to choose a shorter control bar to slow the kite response down a bit. You would think the faster flight, lower drag characteristics might result in reduced upper end or maximum windspeed characteristics of the kite. Jeff indicated that it has higher upper wind range than the Nemesis. At 155 lbs. he estimated that he could ride comfortably with the 11 m Hellfish up to around 24 mph sustained.

Best has the following to say about light wind performance of the Hellfish: "Traditionally, large leading edge tube diameters were necessary for big kites in light wind to support the shape of the kite, but the drag created by these huge inflatable structures is immense. This inefficiency yields poor light wind performance, making it impossible to have fun in less then 12 knots. The Hellfish changes light wind kiting. Because of the reduced diameter leading edge and struts, the aerodynamic wing yields more power and less drag making riding powered in 5-8 knots not only achievable but fun. The Hellfish is also the first kite to efficiently harness apparent wind. Once a rider locks the Hellfish in place after the down stroke, there is no need to further sine the kite, the Hellfish innately builds speed and power by drawing on the force of apparent wind."


A metallic finish laminant has been added over the leading edge of fared surfaces to reduce drag and to add a startling visual aspect as the Hellfish rips through the sky. Jeff told me that the kite was readily visible from 5 miles away on a sunny day in the Keys. You can learn more about this unusual material by visiting the Cuben Fiber Corp. website at http://www.cubenfiber.com.



Jeff tells me that they are planning on producing Hellcats in 7 through 25 m sizes including 7, 9, 11, 13, 15, 17, 20 and 25 m.


DEMO IMPRESSIONS

I was able to fly the 11 m Hellfish prototype for a few minutes yesterday on the beach. I was immediately struck by the light bar pressure, ease and speed of responsiveness and general light feel of the kite. The wind was up in the upper teen mph range and at 190 lbs. I still felt well powered with the just an 11 m kite. I didn't notice until later that it was fully depowered too! I would dive the kite down and stop the bar and the kite would just STOP. That is stop with minimal delay or hesistation so normal in past kites. I would stop the kite and take my hands off of the bar and the kite would just linger there as it slowly moved on. I was impressed with the unusual properties of the new kite even though I was able to fly it for less than five minutes. There will not doubt be a lot of hype about this new innovation. For what little I could see in a short time, it seems this kite delivers unique performance. I hope to spend more time on a Hellfish and in the water in the future.


NOTE: Jeff said to no be put off by the appearence of the metallic finish laminant on this prototype. Final production fabric selections have yet to be made with durability being high of the list of performance attributes.



I also spoke with Shannon Best. I asked Shannon to compare and contrast the 11 m Hellfish with his favorite kite of the lot. He said the 10 m Nemesis was his favorite, until a couple of weeks ago anyway. He felt the unique responsiveness of the Hellfish makes other kites seem to less capable including the 10 m Nemesis and past custom kites he has had fabricated for his own use.


Shannon passes along on a Yarga with some friends.


I asked Shannon what his lower wind range estimate on the 11 m Hellfish is, he responded that he doesn't accurately know, yet! Shannon said the Hellfish has the unusual property of not requiring to be sinusoided much. The rider can park it at a lower windspeed than with past kites. I asked Shannon to describe the jumping properties of the 11 m Hellfish. He said it "jumps like a 7 m and hangs like a 12 m." He feels the flight is very smooth, predictable and controllable. Shannon was futher quoted, ďThe Hellfish is the best kite Iíve ever flown by a large margin. It outperforms other kites in all aspects, in fact traditional kites seem doughy, sluggish and slow compared to the Hellfish, but that comparison isnít really fair. That would be like comparing a Ferrari to a Ford.Ē



Shannon also said the ease and speed with which you can fly it to the edge of the wind window helps to increase the effective upper wind range of the kite. He indicated that the Hellfish is a kiteboarders kite, in the it provides optimal high end performance. Shannon indicated the kite has been in development for about eight months and the first product release is anticipated to happen in mid June.



The leading edges of the Hellfish 11 m is compared to the Nemesis 10 m.



Jeff holds the Hellfish as Chuck of Delray Watersports strolls by with a Nemesis for further comparison.



I also spoke with Thomas in R&D at Best. He indicated that the Hellfish is controlled a little differently in some ways from other kites. Thomas indicated that after you sheet in to power up the kite you let the bar out about half way and wait for about two seconds. The kite then accelerates FAST partiularly in more powered conditions. Thomas estimated the wind range to be about double that of a Nemesis.



The trim appearence of this kite really catches your eye. Thomas related a story from the Keys in which Alex (190 lbs) on a 20 m Hellfish, Peter S. (150 lbs) on a 11 m and Thomas (165 lbs) on a 13 m were out in 12 kts. and all were able to stay upwind with similar performance. I asked Thomas how the Hellfish reacts to gusts. He indicated that because of the stiff structure and low drag it eases through them. Thomas further stated that if you rig it with a 5th line, you tension the 5th line very slightly and the kite hovers and largely ignores the gust. Some folks have been worried about the 5th line damaging the kite. You would think that spectra line might have a difficult time of chewing into this high strength advanced composite material comprising the kite! Thomas described normal ripstop fabric as having reinforcing elements in two directions, 90 degrees apart. This factor along with lower fiber strength and higher elasticity results in routine distortion under normal flight loading. The composition and alignment of the higher strength Cuben Fibers comprising this new kite fabric is highly resistant to distortion regardless of the direction of the stress.


Thomas said that if you had a 16 cm diameter leading edge on a conventional kite, he felt you could go down to a 7 m diameter leading edge on the Hellfish. He related that with a normal kite when you first sheet it in, the wing tips displace outward (similar to that shown in Shannon's "underwater" photos above), but in the case of the Hellfish, not much distortion occurs.



A major design aspect was size, projected area reduction throughout inflated elements of the kite.





I also spoke with Alex Shogren of Best Kiteboarding. He said the most impressive aspect of the kite is the unique feel and fast response. He indicated the Hellfish feels like an extension of your body. "Once you fly a Hellfish you don't want to fly anything else." I asked how they were going to handle this in consideration of Best's existing stock of other more conventional kite designs? Alex responded, that was why they slashed kite prices so signifcantly recently. The goal is to provide top end performance at a higher price, the Cuben fabric costs about ten times more than conventional polyester ripstop and Dacron kite fabric. Best still stocks lower priced kites with good performance at lesser pricing in an effort to cover the spectrum of price and performance.




Alex at the Kite4Girls event last year in Miami.



Alex told me that down in the Keys he was overpowered in 10 to 12 kts. on a 20 m Hellfish. He indicated he normally wouldn't even go out in the past in less than 14 kts. Alex said the "feel" and responsiveness is the same between the 11 and 20 m kites. He attributes these unusual qualities due to the lack of deformation during turning and general stiffness of the kite.



Alex indicated that Best has an exclusive license with Cuben Fiber for this fabric. I asked Alex about response in gusts. He stated that the kite surges forward and spills the excess wind loading.



He said the kite flys best off the front lines with back line tension retarding performance. Alex indicated the first production lot will be released in mid June and that the entire production run has already been SOLD OUT. He stated that they are planning weekly production runs so more kites will be available in short order.



A view of an inside wing tip. Remember the materials comprising the prototype are not those that will be used in the production models. This is an "early" peek at portions of things to come.



Jeff gets ready to stow his kit and move on out. That is an 11 m kite hiding inside the waist harness. Great news for Porsche owners, you can fit at LEAST four Hellfish into the micro boot of your ride. Ain't technology grand?!



You can see the Hellfish in action in a video clip shot this same day as this interview. Note the long, floating jumps.
CLICK HERE FOR HELLFISH VIDEO







Anyway, start your engines, Best promises to deliver a starling new innovation packed with fun, flying your way soon. It will be interesting to checkout the production kites, in terms of design and performance.
Photo from here






BEST KITEBOARDING has introduced
an intriguing new innovation ...

The Hellfish


Best Kiteboarding, LLC
Delray Beach, Florida
(561) 243-3737
info@bestkiteboarding.com





Copyright FKA, Inc. 2005
Reply With Quote
  #2  
Old 05-06-2005, 09:34 AM
RickI's Avatar
RickI RickI is offline
Administrator
Site Admin
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: Florida
Posts: 8,324
Default HELLFISH, NEW DAY FOR KITES?



BEST KITEBOARDING has introduced
an intriguing new innovation ...

The Hellfish


Best describes the Hellfish as having several unique features:

* The kite surfaces are comprised of Cuben Fiber (an advanced fiber composite conceived for the defense industry). Cuben fiber is very STRONG, LIGHT, highly RESISTANT TO DISTORTION under load and this particular variety to UV degradation. An 11 m Hellfish is 3 lbs. less in weight than a 10 m Nemesis.

* The strong, stiff fabric makes it possible to dramatically reduce the leading edge and batten diameters to LESS THAN one half that of the Nemesis or Yarga.

* The smaller leading edge reduces drag and allows much more RAPID flight. Best has estimated similar performance with kites sized 3 to 5 m smaller than past designs resulting in EXPANDED wind range.

* The non-stretching qualities of the Cuben Fiber fabric stop normal kite warping or distortion that routinely happens during control inputs resulting in FAST kite response with minimal delay. You take your hands off the control bar with the kite motionless and it sort of lingers in SLOW motion.

* The kite is fast but it is also responsive and fairly user friendly during flight thanks in part to the unique rigidity of the airframe. Best describes the unique feel of the kite as an extension of the body.



The name Hellfish was inspired by a legendary craft from WWII, the Grumman XF6F fighter, better known as the Hellcat.
Photo from here



The metalic lines, unique strength and unusual performance evoked images of the Hellcat in this new kite. An 11 m Hellfish prototype in flight.


NOTE: A PROTOTYPE, 11 M HELLFISH IS SHOWN IN THE PHOTOS IN THIS ACCOUNT. IT WAS PREPARED FOR TESTING AND EVALUATION. THE FABRICS SHOWN ARE NOT THE SAME AS MATERIALS TO BE USED IN PRODUCTION KITES. THE PHOTOS ARE PROVIDED TO HELP ILLUSTRATE THE CONCEPTS PRESENTED AND NOT TO REPRESENT THE EXACT APPEARENCE OF PRODUCTION HELLFISH.



Jeff Beige, a principle in Best, shredding into shore under the thrust of the new kite. Chuck heads on out with the Hellcats uncle, the Nemesis. The Nemesis has only been out for about 12 months but it seems longer somehow.


I asked Jeff which Best kite he had the most time on and how would he compare and contrast it to the Hellfish. Jeff said he has the best feel and preference for the Nemesis 10 m. He felt the Hellfish has almost twice the performance qualities of the Nemesis in that it is much faster, lighter bar pressure, even more stable and it feels like an extension of your body. He related the last sensation to that offered by a Porsche. Shannon Best later said the sensation was closer to that offered by a Ferrari. I've been driving an Explorer and wonder how it relates to that driving experience?!

Jeff related that the Hellfish is forgiving of mistakes and it allowed him to do things today that he hadn't done with a kite before. For example,he thought, he was about to get pelted by a wave, thought he was out of time to react and normally he would just slam into it. Instead he just tweaked the bar, steering the kite up and over lifting him out of range of the wave in less time than he thought would be feasible with his past kites.


Note: I rushed down to the beach yesterday afternoon to see the Hellfish in person after learning about the session by phone. I grabbed a substitute camera in rushing to make this sudden meet, so my apologies for the reduced image quality and cloudy conditions.





Jeff indicated the prototype is a little lower aspect than what is planned for the production Hellfish kites. The production kites won't be quite as high aspect as the Nemesis. Jeff did caution that for handle pass tricks, given the speed of the kite, the rider will want to choose a shorter control bar to slow the kite response down a bit. You would think the faster flight, lower drag characteristics might result in reduced upper end or maximum windspeed characteristics of the kite. Jeff indicated that it has higher upper wind range than the Nemesis. At 155 lbs. he estimated that he could ride comfortably with the 11 m Hellfish up to around 24 mph sustained.

Best has the following to say about light wind performance of the Hellfish: "Traditionally, large leading edge tube diameters were necessary for big kites in light wind to support the shape of the kite, but the drag created by these huge inflatable structures is immense. This inefficiency yields poor light wind performance, making it impossible to have fun in less then 12 knots. The Hellfish changes light wind kiting. Because of the reduced diameter leading edge and struts, the aerodynamic wing yields more power and less drag making riding powered in 5-8 knots not only achievable but fun. The Hellfish is also the first kite to efficiently harness apparent wind. Once a rider locks the Hellfish in place after the down stroke, there is no need to further sine the kite, the Hellfish innately builds speed and power by drawing on the force of apparent wind."


A metallic finish laminant has been added over the leading edge of fared surfaces to reduce drag and to add a startling visual aspect as the Hellfish rips through the sky. Jeff told me that the kite was readily visible from 5 miles away on a sunny day in the Keys. You can learn more about this unusual material by visiting the Cuben Fiber Corp. website at http://www.cubenfiber.com.



Jeff tells me that they are planning on producing Hellcats in 7 through 25 m sizes including 7, 9, 11, 13, 15, 17, 20 and 25 m.


DEMO IMPRESSIONS

I was able to fly the 11 m Hellfish prototype for a few minutes yesterday on the beach. I was immediately struck by the light bar pressure, ease and speed of responsiveness and general light feel of the kite. The wind was up in the upper teen mph range and at 190 lbs. I still felt well powered with the just an 11 m kite. I didn't notice until later that it was fully depowered too! I would dive the kite down and stop the bar and the kite would just STOP. That is stop with minimal delay or hesistation so normal in past kites. I would stop the kite and take my hands off of the bar and the kite would just linger there as it slowly moved on. I was impressed with the unusual properties of the new kite even though I was able to fly it for less than five minutes. There will not doubt be a lot of hype about this new innovation. For what little I could see in a short time, it seems this kite delivers unique performance. I hope to spend more time on a Hellfish and in the water in the future.


NOTE: Jeff said to no be put off by the appearence of the metallic finish laminant on this prototype. Final production fabric selections have yet to be made with durability being high of the list of performance attributes.



I also spoke with Shannon Best. I asked Shannon to compare and contrast the 11 m Hellfish with his favorite kite of the lot. He said the 10 m Nemesis was his favorite, until a couple of weeks ago anyway. He felt the unique responsiveness of the Hellfish makes other kites seem to less capable including the 10 m Nemesis and past custom kites he has had fabricated for his own use.


Shannon passes along on a Yarga with some friends.


I asked Shannon what his lower wind range estimate on the 11 m Hellfish is, he responded that he doesn't accurately know, yet! Shannon said the Hellfish has the unusual property of not requiring to be sinusoided much. The rider can park it at a lower windspeed than with past kites. I asked Shannon to describe the jumping properties of the 11 m Hellfish. He said it "jumps like a 7 m and hangs like a 12 m." He feels the flight is very smooth, predictable and controllable. Shannon was futher quoted, ďThe Hellfish is the best kite Iíve ever flown by a large margin. It outperforms other kites in all aspects, in fact traditional kites seem doughy, sluggish and slow compared to the Hellfish, but that comparison isnít really fair. That would be like comparing a Ferrari to a Ford.Ē



Shannon also said the ease and speed with which you can fly it to the edge of the wind window helps to increase the effective upper wind range of the kite. He indicated that the Hellfish is a kiteboarders kite, in the it provides optimal high end performance. Shannon indicated the kite has been in development for about eight months and the first product release is anticipated to happen in mid June.



The leading edges of the Hellfish 11 m is compared to the Nemesis 10 m.



Jeff holds the Hellfish as Chuck of Delray Watersports strolls by with a Nemesis for further comparison.



I also spoke with Thomas in R&D at Best. He indicated that the Hellfish is controlled a little differently in some ways from other kites. Thomas indicated that after you sheet in to power up the kite you let the bar out about half way and wait for about two seconds. The kite then accelerates FAST partiularly in more powered conditions. Thomas estimated the wind range to be about double that of a Nemesis.



The trim appearence of this kite really catches your eye. Thomas related a story from the Keys in which Alex (190 lbs) on a 20 m Hellfish, Peter S. (150 lbs) on a 11 m and Thomas (165 lbs) on a 13 m were out in 12 kts. and all were able to stay upwind with similar performance. I asked Thomas how the Hellfish reacts to gusts. He indicated that because of the stiff structure and low drag it eases through them. Thomas further stated that if you rig it with a 5th line, you tension the 5th line very slightly and the kite hovers and largely ignores the gust. Some folks have been worried about the 5th line damaging the kite. You would think that spectra line might have a difficult time of chewing into this high strength advanced composite material comprising the kite! Thomas described normal ripstop fabric as having reinforcing elements in two directions, 90 degrees apart. This factor along with lower fiber strength and higher elasticity results in routine distortion under normal flight loading. The composition and alignment of the higher strength Cuben Fibers comprising this new kite fabric is highly resistant to distortion regardless of the direction of the stress.


Thomas said that if you had a 16 cm diameter leading edge on a conventional kite, he felt you could go down to a 7 m diameter leading edge on the Hellfish. He related that with a normal kite when you first sheet it in, the wing tips displace outward (similar to that shown in Shannon's "underwater" photos above), but in the case of the Hellfish, not much distortion occurs.



A major design aspect was size, projected area reduction throughout inflated elements of the kite.





I also spoke with Alex Shogren of Best Kiteboarding. He said the most impressive aspect of the kite is the unique feel and fast response. He indicated the Hellfish feels like an extension of your body. "Once you fly a Hellfish you don't want to fly anything else." I asked how they were going to handle this in consideration of Best's existing stock of other more conventional kite designs? Alex responded, that was why they slashed kite prices so signifcantly recently. The goal is to provide top end performance at a higher price, the Cuben fabric costs about ten times more than conventional polyester ripstop and Dacron kite fabric. Best still stocks lower priced kites with good performance at lesser pricing in an effort to cover the spectrum of price and performance.




Alex at the Kite4Girls event last year in Miami.



Alex told me that down in the Keys he was overpowered in 10 to 12 kts. on a 20 m Hellfish. He indicated he normally wouldn't even go out in the past in less than 14 kts. Alex said the "feel" and responsiveness is the same between the 11 and 20 m kites. He attributes these unusual qualities due to the lack of deformation during turning and general stiffness of the kite.



Alex indicated that Best has an exclusive license with Cuben Fiber for this fabric. I asked Alex about response in gusts. He stated that the kite surges forward and spills the excess wind loading.



He said the kite flys best off the front lines with back line tension retarding performance. Alex indicated the first production lot will be released in mid June and that the entire production run has already been SOLD OUT. He stated that they are planning weekly production runs so more kites will be available in short order.



A view of an inside wing tip. Remember the materials comprising the prototype are not those that will be used in the production models. This is an "early" peek at portions of things to come.



Jeff gets ready to stow his kit and move on out. That is an 11 m kite hiding inside the waist harness. Great news for Porsche owners, you can fit at LEAST four Hellfish into the micro boot of your ride. Ain't technology grand?!



You can see the Hellfish in action in a video clip shot this same day as this interview. Note the long, floating jumps.
CLICK HERE FOR HELLFISH VIDEO







Anyway, start your engines, Best promises to deliver a starling new innovation packed with fun, flying your way soon. It will be interesting to checkout the production kites, in terms of design and performance.
Photo from here






BEST KITEBOARDING has introduced
an intriguing new innovation ...

The Hellfish


Best Kiteboarding, LLC
Delray Beach, Florida
(561) 243-3737
info@bestkiteboarding.com





Copyright FKA, Inc. 2005
Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Forum Jump


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 06:09 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.7.2
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.

Do not advertise outside of [COM] Forums.
Do not show disrespect for others in your postings.
Users can be denied access to this Site without warning.
FKA, Inc., itís officers and moderators are not responsible
for the content of the postings and any links or pictures posted.

Report Problems by PM to ďadministratorĒ or via email to flkitesurfer@hotmail.com

Copyright FKA, Inc. 2004, All Rights Reserved.