Rider: Weight- 85kg,
Level - intermediate
Style: Freeriding, Freestyle
Weather: 8m (35kn - 20kn) 12m (15kn -25kn)
Build Quality: 9/10
Disclosure: No affiliation
Royal Era 2009 (sizes 12,8)
Hi thought I would post a review on the Royal Era having now flown them for three months.
Experience kiteing for 5 years, flown or demoed most major brands. Intermediate skills. Love big boosting kites and kite looping. Too old to unhook and too young to windsurf (just).
Affiliation, None, got a good deal from Kite Republic in St Kilda.
Construction: everything is very well finished, had one minor problem with a tube popping on the one pump, but this was a 15 second fix and had no other issues in over 40 hour of flying. And I am notoriously very hard on gear…
Minor annoyances: Untwisting the front lines can be done by rotating the quick release, but doesn’t seem to work overly well. Now forced to do spins in both directions, which is probably a good thing. No stopper in pump up valve, makes pumping easier but a minor annoyance with cold fingers to put the stopper in (probably not really an issue for most).
Occasionally bridle can hook up on struts in a big crash (like most bridled kites). Letting the kite out onto the safety and then pulling back in seems to sort this so far.
Jumping: This is the best jumping kite I have flown bar none. The pull off the water is great, and then it glides brilliantly. Great, Great, Great. If you are into big boosty jumps with great glide, get a demo I don’t think you will be disappointed.
Kite loops: I only really like looping the 8. It has plenty of pull and turns nicely with constant power and nice lift at the end. Not really a kite loop expert but the 8 gives my all the adrenalin rush I could hope for.
Turning: again a really nice kite for down looping, has an effortless initiation to the turn (so probably not great for unhooking, but as said above no expert). The 12 is a great to down loop and do carve turns all day.
Unhooking / Back stalling: sometimes out of boredom I unhook and enjoy just riding along. With a bit a trimming the kite flys effortlessly with minimal input – does need a little depower pulled to stop back stalling. This and a few surface passes is the limit of my unhooking.
Relaunch: effortless like most modern kites
Slightly longer and thinner bridle than other bridled kites (pulley runs over a normal thicker rope) – No sign of any problems yet. Slight wear where the pully runs over the reinforced rope, but nothing out of the normal.
Slightly more support lines from bridle to the canopy than other bridled kites.
Safety, tried and tested North system, not problems, flys onto a mini fith line which seems to work fine. Also has two OS handles which is good if you want to flag out onto one line.
Depower above the bar. Having had kites with both above and below I much prefer above, but a matter of preference.
Bar and is basically the tried and tested North set up. (I believe the kites are manufactured out of the same factory as North)
Bag is a satchel style like slingshot had a couple of years ago, kite fits easily.
Overall I am very impressed with this kite, its construction and importantly its jumping ability.
Well worth a demo.
My fiance and I have the 8m and 12m between us and we couldnt agree with this review any more strongly.
We've flown a number of kites over the last couple of years and these are by far the most flexible and fun. It suits all levels of riding.
We've both found that the Era has extended our wind range by a couple of knots both up and down which is a bonus.
The power delivery is smooth. Hold the bar in, edge hard and the kite just keeps pulling with grunt like a C kite. Or, Easy the bar out, how ever far you need, relax and enjoy the depower and cruise.
Before buying these I had demoed the Slingshot Fuel and loved it because it was stable with great power. My fiance was after a bit more depower. The Era seems to be an ideal compromise, though at my riding level, and by the sound of it the reviewer before, we havent really found the where the compromise is yet :)
The kite turns very quickly, which we love, but if you want a slower kite for your riding style give the Royal Solo a try. (or swap the lines on the Era control bar from the outside of the bar to the inside to reduce the effective length of the bar).
Bring on summer and go and demo one.
Like the review before, we got ours through Kite Republic