After some time with the One
- Ok, I promised several people on several forums that I would get back
to my review of the One after I have had more than one experience with it.
Well, I'm not as stoked, it's as simple as that. Don't get me wrong, I
still think the One is an incredibly good kite, but physics is
physics. If you get one thing, you often have to give up another.
So what do you get?
You get a kite that doesn't feel exactly like a C kite, but has power
when it is moving. When powered, it flies really well.
It flies true, and holds it's shape. Jumping does feel more like a C,
with the rip-you-off the water feel. Only with the One you have the
same requirement to keep the wing's angle of attack by sheeting in.
The One is a very well constructed kite that can be used in
_just_about_ all conditions. Like all of the flat kites, you can get
by with a smaller size kite. But with the One you can even step down
another size and have the kind of session you might expect to have in
What you lose.
The One 9m will completely and totally shut off between 10 and 11
knot. You might be at say 13 knot, be powered and jumping, the wind
drops, just slightly, and the kite will want to stall or simply lose
I believe it is because the kite is so flat. Supposedly, with all of
the flat kites you have to learn to fly them a bit differently. This
is one of those technique things that is the cause of a lot of
disagreement on the speed of a flat kit's turning.
The technique is to sheet the kite out as you turn it, then follow
though the turn and sheet the kite in. With the very high aspect
kites, and the more high end C kites, it is quite common for riders to
learn this without even knowing they have learned it.
Well, flat kites will respond to this technique even more than other
kites. With some flat kites it seems, this technique is a necessity.
Anyone experienced with foil kites knows that you can seriously over
sheet them causing them to stall.
I'm not an aeronautics expert but I can describe my experience. There
is an angle at which the kite will stall, and another at which the
kite will de-power to the point that it will no-longer fly. The more
air moving over the wing, the greater the angle between these two
angles, and the less air, the smaller the angle between the two.
In simple terms, the sweet spot and the amount of play you have
between falling out of the sky de-powered and stalled and backing out
of the sky, gets smaller.
In addition the, sweet spot moves. That is, the stall angle and the
de-power angle do not stay the same.
The dynamics of a flat kite can have some of the same properties.
So what is going on with the One?
As the wind gets less and less, the available angles in which the kite
will fly, get less and less. The problem is, that in some conditions,
this gets so small that it is nearly impossible to keep the kite at
the right angle. This really wouldn't be so bad given all the great
features of the kite, if it became a problem at a low enough mean wind
speed very few people would even notice it. But unfortunately it is
just about 11 knot with the 9m.
I don't know about you, but where I ride, we routinely are far out
into the bay when the wind comes down below this range. Routine 1k
swims may sound like a good exercise regimen, but not in cold bay
water dragging a kite.
And forget all about re-launch when the One goes into this mode.
The One is not for beginners. This kite takes some skill to fly.
The One is not for riders who like to go far from shore when
conditions could change rapidly.
The One is not for anyone who is looking for a simple kite to fly.
This kite is not for wussies.
In my opinion, the One is for an advanced rider who wants a well
constructed dynamic flat kite that has regular C kite bar pressure,
and can be used in almost any powered-up condition.
And defiantly NO! I don't think that just because the 9 ~can~ power
you in 13 knot, does not mean that a 12m is too big for a 75kg rider.