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Author: Subject: The great Light Wind road trip


Posts: 580
Registered: 12-17-2009
Location: Outer Hebrides UK
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[*] posted on 7-8-2013 at 05:22 AM
The great Light Wind road trip

I am just back from a kiting road trip, part of which was testing out some light wind kites to get me through July and August which can suffer from marginal winds for kitesurfing.

It had been a mammoth task to get all the demo kites organised but since big kites are expensive I was determined to try a few before breaking out the credit card.

Kites tried:
Ozone Zephyr 17
Epic Infinity
Naish Fly
Ocean Rodeo Flite 15

The first week sort of went badly because it was really windy! some good sessions though on my smaller kites - only had one demo at that point anyway - the Zephyr. I did get a couple of sessions with it in the evenings when the wind dropped.

So some short reviews

Ozone Zephyr - Feels like a standard Delta but a really big one!! works better in its top end, too heavy to work well in 10kts or less. Turns great in 12-13 but really slow below that.
Would be a great kite for a heavier guy loking for something to get them out in the 15-16kt days

Ocean Rodeo Flite 15 - This was an instant hit. Really quick after the Zephyr and plenty of power in 12 kts for my 80kg. It did start to struggle below 10kts though. It doesn't like it if you let go of the bar during a crash, Its not that easy to relaunch either. Fantastic while its in the air though. It flies really far forward in the window so goes upwind really easy.

Epic infinity - not sure what size this is, big though, around 17m I would guess. Amazing low end. really. I was riding in 6 knots! You know what though I was overpowered in 10kts! This kite has ridiculous amounts of grunt. in 10 or 12knots it was more like a 9 in 25kts. really impressive light wind performance but too much kite for me. Pretty slow too.

Naish Fly 15 2nd edition. I like Naish kites a lot so far and was expecting big things... Thankfully it didn't dissapoint. It was definately the fastest turning kite I tried and its very stable in the air - which seems odd with its 2 struts. I could ride 8 - 14 knots with it. Its not as good upwind as the others which were all very good.

Overall I learned a lot doing this. Mainly that a kite that suits one person may not suit another - particularly with light wind kit.

The 17m kites out there are probably better for racing or for heavy riders. 14-16m light wind specific kites are better for freeride.

Big kites give you silly hang time at their top end - even if you are still perfecting your jumps like me. You are off the water for seconds :) big smiles.

To ride really light winds you also need a lightwind board.

So in the end I bought the Naish. It was that or the Flite and since I had Naish control gear already I saved 300 on a new bar. The Flite was better upwind but I got better wind range on the Fly. Their really wasn't much in it though it was mostly that I know Naish gear so it was less of an unknown.

Had 3 days now when I have been on the water that would not have been ridable before getting the lightwind gear :) Job Done!

15m Naish Fly,12m & 7.5m Naish Cults, 10m & 12m Naish Parks, 9m Naish Bolt, 6m & 14m Naish X3's, 13m PL Venom, 10m & 6m Ozone Access,
1.5m flexi Buzz, 3.5m Flexifoil Bullet, 4.7m flexi Rage, 5.6m PL Twister II, 6.6m flexi Blade, 8.0m HQ Toxic
Flexdeck Landboard, Nobile Flying Carpet 160, Airush Switch 142, Slingshot Misfit 136, Naish Monarch 134, North Whip 5'8", Fischer Skis, Palmer & Drake Snowboards.
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