In one word FUN
Rider: 110kg of relaxed muscle, Level advanced (well in my dreams anyway)
Style: Surf, well sort of if you class waist to chest high onshore slop as surf.
Weather: 12-20 knots, really marginal for me on a 9
Build Quality: 10/10
Satisfaction: 10/10 apart from the bar but thats an easy work around I think.
Disclosure: Thanks to Jason at West Oz Kiteboarding for the demo
The good - Turns really sweetly (Pretty fast on the fast settings but very controllable) seemed to fit nicely into the waist high cross on slop at Triggs, allowed me to get 2 smacks where normaly would only manage one. Build quality and materials love the graphics and the canopy material seemed really high quality. Simple three strut no one pump. Bar pressure was just right could feel the kite but no sore elbows. Self land/lauch a breeze imagine relauch would be good to but did not put it down. Grunt kept my fat carcus going through the lulls. Upwind seemed good hard to tell as I did a bit of walking, in the gusts flew upwind. All the extra goodies in the bag, chicken loop, no bridle setup.
The bad - Bar setup safety it is really old school (There are options I believe in the bag research is needed), prefer under bar cleat, no one pump. Price.
Overall - Did I say it was fun, really put a smile on my dial in really marginal conditions for a 9 and my weight, allowed me to turn the surfboard anywhere and not worry about the kite. Was sweet but should be at the price, they are not a cheap option[}:)] will have serious negotiations with the finance committee to get a Smoke and a Boss.
Retail is about $1900 for the Smoke the Boss will be more.
I have an issue with the price because it is a basic/simple kite (3 strut no one pump) with a premium price tag. They have definitely used premium materials on the kite, it is the bar that is quite basic.
I like simple (some say I am) but would like the retail to be about 1700. Then maybe the option of another bar would be better, I don't think you can buy the Rabbit kites without the bar. If I could that is what I would do and keep the OR bar that I like.
They are a sweet kite. Look the sh1t too.
Done the research (thanks McGillicutty on kiteforum) and will fit the mini 5th line, double depower,
http://www.wainmanhawaii.com/node/76 and try in serious wind, hopefully tomorrow.
The Boss sounds good, couldn't send one over could you Alex???
Had a session on the smoke with the odd head high peak solid 20 knots +.
The kite turns perfectly for waves really allowed me to concentrate on the waves rather than the kite. Felt really good, everything was easy.
How good it felt was reinforced when I went out on my 08 8m SLE today and it felt wrong, I used to really like that kite.
The mini 5th line setup is better but really not that good for a 09 kite costing this much.
Still buying a 9 and 12, they are such a fun kite, still smiling.
Jason give it back you bastard.
Quote from kakanala on kiteforum
I thought you would have gone the Gypsy and the smoke Hilly. I'd imagine that 6.5m would be alot of fun as well, especially with the wind you get there.
Also I would have to agree with the graphics comment, looks great in the sky.
Want to go all three but have to sell the jetski 6.5 would be sick as the 9 turns like my 6 OR
In one word FUN
SO TRUE !!!
I have had a few more goes on the smoke and it is such a great kite, one of the best designs in years I reckon.
Have a demo and see for yourself.
Well I finally got a turn on the demo kite yesterday and it's pretty impressive.
I'm really only looking at kites for surf. Rider level is not beginner nor advanced, so maybe intermediate. Oh yeah, I'm lugging around approx 100kg's on a 6'2 board.
So I've seen the kite in the sky on a couple of sessions now, I personally like it's appearance. I'm not a big fan of kites with fluro all over them, I tend to like one colour with some graphics/logo's. Anyway I had a good chance to have look over the kite up close whilst waiting for the wind to fill in. The smoke is a low aspect kite (I think, might have it ass about) and looks bigger than it is, for that reason I laid it out on the grass under my Hi-Fi to compare differences in surface area, which was good to see they are very similar. So some of other obvious difference's while they both laid there was the leading edge, it's huge. I've never flown a kite with a LE like it, but it confirms to me that these companies trying to go smaller and smaller with the LE are wasting there time IMHO. Also the build quality is best Ive seen yet, Ocean Rodeo are pretty good, but Wainman has these kites reinforced to the next level.
Pumped up the kite doesn't sit to well on the beach due to the shape of the LE, no big deal just would be a bit nervous when getting ready to self launch in high winds that's all. I set it up on the bridle mode on the fast setting, as that is what it had been left in. Has a few options available which is great for all levels I guess. The lines would be hard to stuff up as they have tags with labels on saying center and rear. I like the bar compared to all my previous kites, simple and does have below the bar safety when the you attach the mini 5th line (I think thats what they call it). Self launching was a piece of cake, straight onto the wing and up.
Once on the water I knew I was going to have some fun, It pulled like a truck for a 9m. It was about 15 knots and normally I would have to work my kite to get going, not with this baby, couple swoops and park it. Turning ability was superb no unexpected behaviour, just smooth responsive flying. I put it down on one occasion when I surfaced to relaunch the bloody thing had basically relaunched itself, all I had to do was pull the top line. SWEET
Only criticism is the bag could be of better design, but you don't use that to enjoy your kiting, it's just some where you put the kite.
I think I've said enough, Try get a demo and you will see what I mean.
Thanks go to Jason at West Oz Kiteboarding for not turning up to the session allowing me to have a go. I would love to get my hands on the Gypsy, 30 knots with that baby, bring on winter.
have now been on the Smoke and Gypsy for the past 2months,
These kites are really made for waves, low aspect and great low end power, kind of funny they were pushed by the wake crew when really its in waves they excel.
Both kites are sick wave riding machines and the settings mean you can tune the kite to as fast as you can turn your surfboard, and the 9m is good from 15 knots, (85kg,, surfboard )
Best settings for waves when going hooked/unhooked
Front Lines set to Slowest setting:
Rear Lines set to second fastest setting from the end Tips, even on the Smoke there is no need to set on the fastest as the kite is supper quick,
Tried it out this weekend at Safety Bay and was well impressed. It was initially set up on the fast settings, but was a bit too quick for my lack of skills so I slowed it down a bit. After the change it worked perfectly for me and I had a great session, so much so, that I'm hoping to get my grubby little paws on one this week.
Thanks to Jason at West Oz Kiteboarding for letting me take it for a spin.