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Re: [snowkiteidaho] La Ventana & kite demo update...kBes

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  • Donald S. Cryder
    Jon,  Nice com on the demo.  You out did yourself as our man in Baha! ________________________________ From: Jon Bolt To:
    Message 1 of 6 , Jan 23, 2012
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      Jon,  Nice com on the demo.  You out did yourself as "our man" in Baha!

      From: Jon Bolt <idakiteman@...>
      To: Snowkiteidaho <snowkiteidaho@yahoogroups.com>; Boise Sailors Association <BoiseSailors@...>
      Sent: Monday, January 23, 2012 10:09 AM
      Subject: [snowkiteidaho] La Ventana & kite demo update...kBes

      Again this year Kite Expo beset by poor/no wind...until the last day (yesterday).  Wind came up about 12:30pm & I was out 1-4:15PM demoing kites yesterday.  Shortly before 4:15 the wind shifted more westerly and holey and conditions became marginal to really experience kite performance, so I came in.  I rode each kite for fair amount of time, not a quickie, trying my portfolio of tricks, so I can really get the feel of 'em.  So yesterday I demo-ed 4 2012 kites in this order: 12m Best TS, 9m LF Envy, 10m SS Rally, 12m SS RPM.  Also, earlier here I did trial on 2011 7.5m Best Kahoona.  These are all well behaved kites that make for confident, predictable control.  What's different among 'em is is their feel., which is person dependent and riding type preference.  Here's my order of preference among these.

      For me, the 7.5m Kahoona gave the most WOW session.  Part of that's because smaller kites are always more fun, but it's smooth power variation, bar pressure that is not heavy while giving great feel of where kite is at, speed that's not too crazy for small kite...all make you very confIdent in higher, often erratic wind conditions.  Construction also seems way beefier & quality than what I remember of earlier best kties.  the feel was an instant fit for me, and whole sesh loaded w/ WOW smile factor.

      Next, I liked the 12m Best TS.  Notably, I definitely liked it's behavior & performance over the SS 12m RPM. OMG, it is a huge boost & float machine w/ great predictable feel.  Great range & low end.  With that kite I bet you don't need anything larger.  If winds too light for it, probably not worth riding.  The 12 RPM didn't have as good of low end power, and to get it to shine, wind had step up to fit the kite's sweet spot.  I rode that RPM on full power, whereas on Best TS substantially depowered (albeit in stronger winds), but I just didn't think the 12 RPM had the same juice over it's range as Best TS.  Not as easy to get the RPM to shine.  I managed to crash it once and relaunch was super easy.  The Freestyle Old Skool trick competition was going on right next to where I was riding these kites, and I got just as high & long of jumps on TS as any of those guys in the Comp.  The TS was instant smile, no time lost figuring it out or getting it's feel.

      After riding the Best TS, winds came up more & I got on a LF 9m Envy (while an LF lady competitor was in the competition on a 7m Envy).  That was really a fun kite too.  Amazing power and boost and control and predictable smooth feel.  AMAZING boost...A couple times think I got just as high & long float as on TS.   I like that kite darn near as much as 7.5m Kahoona.  Also tested it's relaunch and super easy.  Can't go wrong with it...I'd be very happy with one.  Only thing that was nuisance...after a spin move & you wanna unspin the bar, if you let go of bar to unspin the bar goes too far out of reach even for gorilla arms.  You can set the active stopper to keep in in reach though...I just didn't do it, and note that may limit depower..  It seemed more needy of winds staying higher in it's range.  Power drop when wind dropped out of it's sweetnot spot was very distinct. That bar out-of-reach and what seemed like narrower sweet spot were main differences I say in relation to 7.5 Kahoona & 12 TS.  But I'd be very happy w/ one.  It definitely a smile maker w/ lots of WOW in it.

      The 10m SS Rally was hands down a far different feeling kite from any of the others.  I spoke to SS rep after my sesh on it and he confirmed it was designed to be a wave kite.  It was obviously designed for fast, low radius turning.  Very turny feel...pivots on it's tip.  You can sweep it low across window, turn it at end and retrace the same path back,  Very quick turning.  Turning so tight & quick, I was comfortable enough real soon to do back roll transition w/ kite loop.  Another thing I noticed right away: how much longer the bar was compared to the 9m Envy or 7.5 Kahoona, and maybe even 12m TS.  To make it jump good, you gotta really huck the bar a long way..and fast.  It needs speed & hucking to jump.   It was not as nearly as good of freestyle performer as the others, and would take more adaptation of riding style to make it be as big/fun of a freestyle kite.  Clearly it was designed for waves.  It's feel was not my taste...I think Kahoona a much better all around freestyle & wave kite.  But Rally may be favored more by thoser wanting purest wave performance.  Anyway, I didn't think it a good choice for freestyle (or me) compared to the others.  Rally was not a WOW for me.

      12m RPM, as I said, also was not so much WOW for me...but winds were getting flukier by that time and easing, so that affected  ability to get a real good compare.  But I rode it enough to conclude the behavior and performance is not worth the substantial price premium for SS kites.  There are lots of other excellent performing/behaving kites out there for less pesos.

      That's my take.  It's 10am and wind already up.  It'll likely be small kite day again, and clear blue fairly warm.

      Airush Rep is here all winter so I'll try a Lithium, et al.  And have a North retailer letting us try new 2012 Rebels.  Will report later.

      All for now.



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