Forums > Kitesurfing Gear Reviews

2010 FLYSURFER SPEED 3, 12M

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Created by fver > 9 months ago, 30 Oct 2009
fver
WA, 453 posts
30 Oct 2009 10:36PM
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Hello,


TESTING CONDITIONS

Wind:
Sub 15 knots. Wind graph between 5:30pm and 7:00pm below, unfortunately, the graph blanked out during this period. Some occasional small white caps at the start of the session, rare caps at the end.



Rider:
80kg, 6th season. Own(ed) the Flysurfer Speed1 in 10m and 13m, and Speed2 in 10m (+ others …). I enjoy(ed) the Speed1 and 2 for their power, high jump, hangtime and speed.

Board: Nobile 666 (for the test)

Location:
Perth metro

Build Quality: 10/10
Satisfaction: 8/10. The score would have probably been greater if the 12m had been a 10m.


The Speed3 is a high aspect ratio kite. Its market target is light wind condition.

What follows is my main impressions after a first ride of the Speed3 12m yesterday:

TURNING SPEED
Very high for a high aspect ratio kite of this size. It is faster than the Speed2 10m

BAR PRESSURE
Very light bar pressure (lighter than Speed2), which makes it very comfy to fly.

JUMPS
Monumental height in winds that was probably closer to 12knots than 15knots (rare white caps). The hangtime was very impressive compared to the 10m Speed2’s hangtime. The kite lifted me up again on my descent when I was throwing the kite in front of me for the landing, thus increasing the length and duration of the jumps.

UPWIND
Extemely easy when the wind was at its lowest (around 12knots?), even compared to the 10m Speed 2 or 13m Speed1.

BAR
I think it is called “Infinity bar”. It seems to be optimized to minimise friction of the front lines through the bar. I will post some photos if some are interested. The bar is longer than the one for the 10m Speed2 (which I understand has a smaller bar than other kites).

SAFETY RELEASE: different than Speed2. Looks easy (will post photo).

One characteristic of the Speed1 and Speed2 is to significantly feel the additional traction from the apparent wind when the kite is flown fast. It feels like a “turbo”. I did not have this feeling with the 12m Speed3, however, the wind was possibly a tad light.

I did not try the safety release to check the behaviour of the kite in emergency (spaghetti ball or nice landing?).

As for all Flyrsurfer, the quality is excellent and this kite will last many years (I used a 6 year old Flysurfer to landboard last weekend).

In summary, this kite is a surprising light wind machine for cruising, with the rush of adrenaline from massive jumps in conditions that you would not imagine been able to jump in. It allows having some fun even when the wind is typically considered too low. There was no other kiter on the water when I tried the Speed3.

Oh! ... and the color fits my board color

My main negative feedback:
Why not releasing the Speed3 in 10m ???
Price: but you get what you paid for

Other comments (for Flysurfer users)
- No more green/red color code on the bar (it is a step backward)
- No more color on the powering strap, which makes it harder to find than for previous models. The depower strap is colored though and easy to spot.
- The large deflating zip, such as at the back of the Pulse2, Speed2 and Psycho4, is now replaced by velcro vents on the trailing edge.

I like it.


Happy to answer questions...

Fred




LethalLeigh
VIC, 29 posts
31 Oct 2009 6:00PM
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hi fred just sold my sb14 am looking to get a 15 core gt for my light wind kite using a ug 138 x44 but told to look at fs kites i know nothing about them exceptwhen you drop them re launch is a pain unless you have been taught the correct method how hard is it to pick up the different flying needed for foils i just dont want to waste 3k on something i might hate

fver
WA, 453 posts
31 Oct 2009 5:34PM
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Hello again ,

I'd like to add a few links that show what the Speed3 looks like. I am usually cautious with propaganda materials. The video and text below are extracted from the Flysurfer site www.flysurfer.com/Content/477/?set=yes, however, they both describe pretty well the impressions that I had when I tried the Speed3.

Video:



Excerpt:
Oldschool, Racing, Big Air or lightwind cruising - the SPEED3 sets new standards and redefines "performance" and fun in all wind conditions.
The SPEED3 continues to emerge from the pack with legendary and unrivaled lightwind performance. Bar feeling is very direct, smooth and precise like no other kite in this class. Hangtime and butter-soft landings are unparalleled. It has never been this easy to land and learn new tricks, regardless of the wind conditions. Racers will also appreciate the improved windrange and increased upwind performance.

Fred

fver
WA, 453 posts
31 Oct 2009 6:02PM
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Leigh,

Here is a video that shows a waterlaunch. The wind is light on the video, so the rider has to "pump" the kite, which is not necessary with 15knots or more. The technic is: pull both rear lines, the kite will fly backwards, rotate the kite, and it's done. The kite in the video is a Psycho3.



This is an older video showing a boat launch, already shown on this forum. It shows what is possible and that having the kite in the water is fine. I did a similar launch from a jetski on my second lesson several years ago. Some good wind is required and the lines must have been properly packed beforehand. The kite in the video is a Speed1.


Also, note that Flysurfer kites are flatter than LEI, so you need a smaller kite for similar power (say 12m Flysurfer equals 14 or 15m LEI?). The Speed model are very powerful kites and I would find scary to attach myself to a 17m Speed (and I never did it).

Ian Young (in WA) imports Flysurfers and would give accurate (and objective) advice. IanYoung@@iinet.com.au

Hope this helps,

Fred

strydz
QLD, 136 posts
1 Nov 2009 8:25AM
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i had a run on a 12m speed 3 this week in around 15 to 20 knots. this kite has some massive pull its not like anything that i have flown before and is not really my style of kite but after awhile of riding and getting used to it i was boosting alot higher and hanging longer than i could on my gear (11 bandit) and i think after a few sessions on it and really getting used to the kite could go even bigger. its not a kite i would ride all the time but i think if you just want to go fast and big it would def be worth tring it.

robbo1111
NSW, 492 posts
1 Nov 2009 2:16PM
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hi fred just sold my sb14 am looking to get a 15 core gt for my light wind kite using a ug 138 x44 but told to look at fs kites i know nothing about them exceptwhen you drop them re launch is a pain unless you have been taught the correct method how hard is it to pick up the different flying needed for foils i just dont want to waste 3k on something i might hate


Lethal, don't panic about the relaunch, my 15m Psycho IV relaunches easier than my Core GT 10.5. It's as easy as the video that Fred has posted. I haven't flown the Speed 3 but I imagine it's a kite you will keep for many years so the price is not as bad as first seems

johnnyg
WA, 18 posts
1 Nov 2009 12:36PM
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Hi Fred,

Thanks for another great review, I've got a couple of questions. Did you try the Speed 3 15m with your Nobile 666? Do you think this combination of the 666 and the Speed 3 will get you going sub 10 knots? I'm thinking about a Speed 3 12m with my Nobile T5 134 x 41, any advice welcome.

Regards.

John

schmik
NSW, 235 posts
2 Nov 2009 10:45AM
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I I thought I'd add my thoughts here on the Speed3 15m.

Previous FS kites i've owned or still own are: psycho2 7m, psycho3 8m, psycho4 10m, psycho3 13m and speed2 15m. I'm about 85kg.

I've had two tests of the Speed3 15m now. One at the absolute bottom end and one in a fair breeze.

The first test was in pretty much **** all wind. Myself and Jacques (65kg) flew the Speed3 15 back to back with the speed2 15m. Tide was very slowly running against the wind and the wind was lucky if it got to 10kn the gusts.
No surprise! i could go down wind only with either kite. However, i could fit more runs in on the old kite before the walk of shame.
Jacques on the other hand could go upwind on the Speed2 but only hold his ground on the speed3.
This being said, we have both been on the speed2 for 18months and know how to get the most out of it.

That's the negatives of the kite. And that is pretty much it as far as the negatives go.
The positives really shine once it has some more wind... as it did on the 2nd test.
This time the wind was 15-20kn.

The speed3 is a lot more comforatble to use than the speed2. Shorter bar, lighter bar pressure (this is good as the speed2 is like gym workout), faster turning and more depower. WOW, that is what the marketing blurb says. The kite does deliver on all of these.

Even at the gusts of 20kn I had the trim strap only 1/2 way and wasn't even close to being overpowered. I think you'd be hold this sucker down to 30kn (at my weight) which is pretty damn cool consider you start to ride at 10/11kn.

The kite does turn a lot faster than the speed2 so working it is easier, as is th redirect on the jumps. Much better for landing powered.
The speed3 is very very comfortable to ride, that is a big statement for a 15m foil that is so high aspect that it looks like a flying knife. It's stable and in a lot of regards a huge improvement over the speed2.

Only other issues that I had with it is the tendency to stall. Sometimes, i'd oversheet and the kite would stall. Sure this is easy to fix (sheet out doh!) but it was a bit annoying.

Now... the intimidating part to non-foilers. I'm sure that the backstall (and possibly last 1 or 2 knots of bottom end) can easily be adjusted in the mixer-test (a set of adjustments that change the shape of the kite profile). My guess is that it is set to maximum stability out of the factory and could be tweaked a little for light wind performance if that's your bag baby!

As a FS guy already, would I buy one?
If i had the money, yes. Probably a 'delux' or even a 19m because I'm partial to a bit of light wind action. I'd hope that the delux or (and certainly the 19m) would equal/better my current bottom end.


mike

PS. it honks upwind! really really honks

johnnyg
WA, 18 posts
2 Nov 2009 3:05PM
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Thanks Schmik another great review ; What was your board size duing the test if you dont mind me asking?

schmik
NSW, 235 posts
2 Nov 2009 6:34PM
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Underground flx 135. It was a mix of ultra chop and flatwater.

mike

johnnyg
WA, 18 posts
2 Nov 2009 4:24PM
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Thanks Mike looks like my 77kg and the Nobile T5 134 will go well with the Speed 3 15m.

fver
WA, 453 posts
2 Nov 2009 6:33PM
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johnnyg said...


Did you try the Speed 3 15m with your Nobile 666? Do you think this combination of the 666 and the Speed 3 will get you going sub 10 knots? I'm thinking about a Speed 3 12m with my Nobile T5 134 x 41, any advice welcome.


Hi John,

I add a few comments to Mike's input.

I did not fly the 15m Speed3, because the 12m Speed3 will already allow me to fly in winds that I prefer for kitelandboarding. Just reminding that the Nobile 666 size is 132x41 and easily goes upwind.

What follows is based more on guess and extrapolation than experience...

If I wanted to kite in sub 10knots winds, I would probably go for the Delux (understand superlight and more expensive) version of the kite, as I assume that the kite weight makes a huge difference in such light wind.

Also, i would ensure that the wind conditions are fairly constant (not gusty), as i would expect that the 15m can deliver an unbelievable amount of power. However, Mike's previous comments (no problem at 85kg in 20knots wind on 15m Speed3) seems to indicate that the Speed3 wind range is wide and might allow some variable wind.

As i noted in the test report, I was going upwind extremely easy (about 100m upwind for a 300-400m long tack and back), with the 13m Speed3 in wind probably close to 12knots. So I assume that 10knots and slightly below would be possible for your 75kg with the 15m kite. Based on my limited experience (1.5 hours), I think that the 12m would struggle trucking me upwind in 10 knots or less if i do not use a larger board.

If I was looking at getting a 15mSpeed3 and weight 75kg, I would test drive it to ensure that i do not buy a steam train that I cannot control the power for the wind conditions i am planning to use it for.

Mainly opinions above :)

Fred

airsail
QLD, 305 posts
2 Nov 2009 8:53PM
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Just for interests sake my min wind for having a fun, that is staying upwind and a few jumps is 7 knots (and even backroll kiteloops on a 19!). Yes, I can get going in 6 but end up downwind. Self launch, relaunch and landing no probs in 7 knots. Gets really fun from 9 knots with unhooked raileys and S bends (all I can do at the moment).

Thought about the 15, never flew one but very happy with the 19. Easily handles 15 knots though you might not want to try and self land when the wind gets up and this is when I'm on a LEI anyway.
Weight: 82kgs
Kite: Speed 2 delux 19mtr
Board: Cardboard glide 136x46, foam core.

Speed 3 sounds good but too many pennies for me.

schmik
NSW, 235 posts
2 Nov 2009 11:03PM
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fver said...
If I was looking at getting a 15mSpeed3 and weight 75kg, I would test drive it to ensure that i do not buy a steam train that I cannot control the power for the wind conditions i am planning to use it for.



I wouldn't worry at all about the top end. My friend Jacques flew the Speed3 the same day and he is only 65kg. He was not overpowered. I think he could hold it in 20kn. I would be ok to 25kn (possibly more) on the 15m. The depower is really very good (probably at the cost of low end).

Ian Y has them on the westcoast and Steve from KP has them in sydney. Get a demo.

mike

johnnyg
WA, 18 posts
2 Nov 2009 8:24PM
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Thanks Fred and Mike,

I'll have a chat to Ian this week and see about the 12m or the 15m. I like your steam train analogy Fred, just chugging up wind! Maybe the 12m considering our conditions in the west will be the better way to go.

I'll keep you posted.

Kind regards.

John

fver
WA, 453 posts
2 Nov 2009 10:38PM
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Hi again

More info about the 12m Speed3...

I had another go and have been very impressed by its low end tonight.

Rider: still 80kg
Board: Nobile 666 132x41
Spot: Ocean
Wind conditions were marginal, sub 10knots (!!!): between 6pm and 6:45pm (=sunset ) below. The wind felt slightly stronger (sub 15 knots?) a few hundreds metres offshore. No white caps.



The kite creates a lot of power from its apparent wind, which was enough to comfortably cruise with some small jumps (2m to 4m height). When i landed the kite after sunset , I was surprised by how low the wind was, and definitely below 10 knots. The wind was so low that the kite did not flap at all and just looked dead on the beach.

I marginally stayed cross wind, with one to two small jumps per tack. After 45 minutes, i was 200m downwind from my starting point.

A 15 m would have been a better option for tonight conditions, however I had lots of fun

Hope this helps.

Fred

johnnyg
WA, 18 posts
3 Nov 2009 11:22AM
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Hi Fred,

That helps heaps many thanks again for your time.

Kind regards.

John

fver
WA, 453 posts
4 Nov 2009 2:07PM
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Hi again

I am going to further rave about this kite, because i had lots of unexpected fun in marginal wind last night.

Wind: between 5pm and 7pm below. (beautiful sunset and full moonrise!)



- going upwind at all time, toeside, and healside when the wind was at its lowest;
- doing small jumps (<4m height);
- the kites gets its power from the apparent wind. When i landed it on the beach at around 7pm (I still had enough power on the water at this time) and stopped flying the kite through the wind window, it backstalled through the power zone (no power though) and laid still on the beach, as if there was no wind. Not sure if I could have launched the kite if such light conditions were at the start of the session...
- the kite looks like a blade: approximately 1.4 m wide and 8 m long!!!

I am now convinced about its lower end. I now would like to test it in stronger wind, as the first run i had in 10 to 15 knots a few days ago seems to indicate that this is a phenomenal jumper!!!

Disclaimer: written under adrenaline from the night before!!!

Fred

Jacques
NSW, 159 posts
12 Nov 2009 9:14AM
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Hi all,

I agree with everything Mike said...

Speed3 15 vs. Speed2 15:
- first of all, slight loss of low end (somewhere between 1 or 2 extra knots required to go upwind?). S2=park and ride from the bottom of its wind range / S3 need to work it a bit more at the bottom, hence the slightly less good low end. For me this is disapointing too, especially when Flysurfer claimed that it is on par with the S2...
- stability is awesome, that was probably the main negative of the S2 (especially in bad winds), really impressed with it.
- steering is more pleasant, the kite is more agile, re-directing for landing is easier, less need for anticipation. That said, it remains a big wing, it's not a 10m.
- wind range is huge. It was already excellent on the S2, but now it feels like the depower is a bit more direct.
- upwind performance is second to none.

Speed3 12:
Completly loved it. The jumps are insane in hardly any wind, the low end is great, stability and agility also, tracks upwind like a rocket, smooth feeling in the harness but good kick-feel when jumping hard. I recommend anyone to give that kite a test flight, it's definetly worth a try.

bye
Jacques

cezary
VIC, 223 posts
12 Nov 2009 5:04PM
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Jacques, Im guessing that you tried Speed 3 12m or was it S2, either way if S3 15m lost some bottom end, am I wrong by thinking that there is little diffrence in low end of S3 15m and S3 12m???.
The Spec is showing that diffrence as 1 knot between 12m and 15m what I completly cant understand!.
I still cant decide which kite is better option for me to cover 10- 18 knots ( especially 10- 12 when my biggest Delta kite 10.5 m is useless (Im 80 kg.)
Now when a bit more feedback is coming on S3 12m ( I think that fver is the biggest source of info on 12m on any forum- thanks Fred) Im leanning more and more towards that size

Jacques
NSW, 159 posts
12 Nov 2009 7:49PM
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cezary said...

Jacques, Im guessing that you tried Speed 3 12m or was it S2, either way if S3 15m lost some bottom end, am I wrong by thinking that there is little diffrence in low end of S3 15m and S3 12m???.
The Spec is showing that diffrence as 1 knot between 12m and 15m what I completly cant understand!.
I still cant decide which kite is better option for me to cover 10- 18 knots ( especially 10- 12 when my biggest Delta kite 10.5 m is useless (Im 80 kg.)
Now when a bit more feedback is coming on S3 12m ( I think that fver is the biggest source of info on 12m on any forum- thanks Fred) Im leanning more and more towards that size

yep, sorry I meant S3 12, just edited my post :)

It's funny you mention that about the possible small difference of low end between the S3 15 and S3 12, I thought of the exact same thing: I would imagine that the difference of low end between S3 15 and S3 12 is slightly less important than between a S2 15 and S2 12, because of the raw pull you can get out of the S2 15 just by parking it... though that's all hypothetical and remains to be prooved!

In regards to the windranges claimed by Flysurfer, take them with a grain of salt... only 1 knot of difference between a 15 and a 12 would surprise me a lot...

For the 10-18 knots windrange at 80kg, I think there is not much hesiatation to have, it is the 15 you need to be able to jump early and big, especially if you have a 10m in your quiver to take over as soon as it's strong enough...
- in 10-12 knots, the 15 will be so much fun for sure, starting to jump for real and shoot upwind to jump more, the 12 would not allow that as much.
- At 18 knots on the 15 you should still not need to pull the trim strap and be comforatble. If you are more into waves or cruizing/long distance, then maybe the 12m would be a better/more agile option with a large baord.

just my 2 cents

cheers
Jacques

fver
WA, 453 posts
12 Nov 2009 9:52PM
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Hi Cesary,

I complement Jacque's comment. If you already have a 10.5m kite and try to extend your wind range towards 10 to 12knots, I would also suggest the Speed3 15m.
Jacques' comment: "in 10-12 knots, the 15 will be so much fun for sure, starting to jump for real and shoot upwind to jump more" is valid in 13-15knots for the 12 m.
I have not tried the 12m above 15knots.

More experience with the 12m Speed3.
- I tried the 12 m Speed3 in about 12-15 knots (graph below, 6pm to 7pm). The board was the Nobile666 132x41cm.

I confirm that the kite jumps very very well (monumental). I also noted an excellent wind range as I went from seriously powered with the depower strap about a third pulled, to losing most of the pull (board about to sink) when I fully pulled the depower strap. The 12 m Speed3 feels better in 13-15 knots than 10 knots. For information and comparison, I usually use a 10m Speed2 in and above 15knots.

- I used the Speed3 for kite-landboarding. Wind graph said 13-15 knots (10am to 4pm - I was knackered for two days ) but I suspect I was in the shadow of an embankment, so wind at ground level was possibly lighter (10 knots?).

I was a bit overpowered and preferred using and working my 10m Speed2, however, a friend (85kg?) had a ball all afternoon with the 13m Speed3.

Hope that helps...

Fred



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"2010 FLYSURFER SPEED 3, 12M" started by fver