Forums > Kitesurfing Gear Reviews

2014 FLYSURFER Speed4 Lotus, 12m

Reply
Created by fver > 9 months ago, 20 Apr 2014
fver
WA, 453 posts
20 Apr 2014 3:25PM
Thumbs Up


Rider: 85kg, 10 yrs experience
Style: ocean freeride, riding fast and powered up, jumping high (basic old school)
Wind: I estimate it to be 15-17 knots, the sand on the beach was not been blown. Some occasional white caps.
Quality: 10/10 (usual Flysurfer quality). I expect it to last more years than I need, i.e. at least three years
Satisfaction: 10/10 (otherwise i would not bother writting a review).
Board: i used 2 boards for the test, both twin tips:
- a Nobile 666, 132x41, which i normally use as a light wind board down to about 12 knots (weaker wind and I switch to a race board)
- an Airush Switch Pro, 150x33 (a rigid and slender board with smooth rails), that i used to ride fast and overpowered. I need notable power to stay afloat with it.
Disclosure: No link to Flysurfer, other than customer.


Hello,


Today, i tried for the first time the recently released 12 m Speed 4 Lotus. It should be noted that the Speed4 in sizes 10 m and below were released last season, but it took another year for Flysurfer to release the sizes 12 m and above. I also own a 10 m Speed4 Deluxe, so I can compare it with the 12 m. There are some notable differences. The 12 m has a notably greater aspect ratio (similar to the Speed3) than the 10 m (which is in my eye a compromise between the Speed3 and a Psycho4, and lost some notable aspect ratio and power compared to the Speed2). The clothe is different, as discussed below.

The clothe: is very different to what I have seen on any kite before. It is surprisingly light (lighter than the clothe on the 10 m Speed4 Deluxe) and sleek. It looks a bit like the plastic from a thin bin bag, but reinforced. I read from the Flysurfer website that the idea is to minimise drag and get rid of water quickly.

The lines: the bridle is similar to the 10m Speed Deluxe. As usual, the number of bridles would scare a LEI user, but in fact, it is a relatively simple bridle line for a Flysurfer kite (simpler than the speed2) and should not cause any issue. There are no pulleys.

The bar: a bit longer than the 10m Speed4 or 12m Speed3. I did not measure it.

Flying: easy, similar feeling as the 10m Speed4, with much more power; it flies better than the Speed 3 (which was flying alright, but slow in reactivity in comparison).

Bar pressure: very low, notably lower and more confortable than the 10m Speed4 (weird aye?).

Reactivity/Turning: it does not turn as fast as the 10m Speed4, but is notably faster than the 12m Speed3 (standard clothe).

Depower: the largest I have experienced on a Flysurfer. But the test was in a relatively constant wind (say about 15-17 knots)

Power: the power is huge, and I allocate this to its very high aspect ratio. The power of the 12 m Speed 4 is a straight decendant from the Speed3. The 12m Speed4 is significantly more powerful than the 10 m Speed4 (which is of notably lower aspect ratio). It allowed me to ride under high power at the limit of keeping the board edge (both boards), today. Obviously, becaue of the depower, i could also adopt a more relaxed and cruising riding style.

Upwind: immense, with the Nobile666 board.

Jumps: i did not have the synchronisation perfect and the swell at the back was not forming any nice ramps, but it jumps big, with a longer hangtime than the Speed3 (it surprised me and i prepared my landing way too early on the first jump. The hangtime is significantly longer than the Speed4 10m.

That's all for my first impressions. I think i will appreciate this kite much (and more than the 10m Speed4 deluxe, that is still a very good and easy kite, but I regret its loss of the aspect ratio and power from its predecessors). The 12 m Speed4 Lotus is a direct decendant of the Speed family, and continue to improve the characteristics of its predecessors.

Happy to respond to queries,

Good winds,

Fred

Kazan
QLD, 699 posts
20 Apr 2014 11:15PM
Thumbs Up

Thanks Fred. That is a great review.

fver
WA, 453 posts
21 Apr 2014 7:59AM
Thumbs Up

Thanks for the positive feedback, Kazan. I am glad that the review is useful.
Fred

fver
WA, 453 posts
21 Apr 2014 8:08PM
Thumbs Up

Edit to the first post: the bridle lines include pulleys (2 on each side).

I used the kite in about 12-15 knots today with the Nobile 666 twin tip (dimensions are in the first post), and it was a pleasurable light wind session of cruising and small (4m?) jumps (no notable swell so no ramps). Upwind was easy (about 200 m upwind on a 500 m tack and back).

I definitely enjoy this kite, that is easy and powerful.

Fred

BillTotal
QLD, 30 posts
22 Apr 2014 11:42AM
Thumbs Up

Hey Fred, if u compare the 10dlx with the 12m lotus, wich one goes up higher (jumps)

Kazan
QLD, 699 posts
22 Apr 2014 7:56PM
Thumbs Up

I'd like Fred to now review the Chrono 15mt and compare. That would be the definitive review for me - no media hype and no retailer promos. Just ordinary people riding and reviewing kites independently.

fver
WA, 453 posts
23 Apr 2014 10:22PM
Thumbs Up

Select to expand quote
billtotal said..

Hey Fred, if u compare the 10dlx with the 12m lotus, wich one goes up higher (jumps)


Hmmm. Difficult question because I have limited experience with the 12 m Speed4 Lotus to date: only two sessions in the lower half (i.e. 12-17 knots) of its wind range. However, I had some good experience with the 10m dlx across its full wind range. So i can confidently speak about the 10m dlx but will extrapolate the 12m Lotus behaviour in its upper wind range, from my experience in its lower wind range.

The 10m dlx generally works very well while still been very controllable in its upper wind range. Thought it has lots of power, it felt comfy and below its upper limit in 25+ knots, probably gusting to a low 30knots (for those in WA, I was at City Beach while Rotnest and Ocean Reef indicated 27-30knots average), when riding a relatively long narrow board (150x33cm). The kite jumped big in these conditions (hard not to jump big in these conditions), and I feel that it might jump higher than the 12m Lotus in its respective upper wind range, because the 10m can be turned notably more aggressively.

Disclaimer reminder : the remaining of the post includes extrapolations only.
I anticipate that the 12m in 20 knots would jump slightly lower than the 10 m in 25+ knots, but will have some notably longer hang time, resulting in very long jumps, because of its higher aspect ratio. The Flysurfer website surprisingly (to me) indicates similar upper wind range (i.e. 27 and 26 knots) for the 10m dlx and 12m Lotus respectively, for a 75 kg rider. Taking a 12 m in 26 knots sounds scary to me, but my limited experience with the 12 m in its lower wind range indicate a large depower range. If a rider is courageous enough to take a 12 m in 25+knots, i can imagine jumps of similar height as the 10m dlx, but with some serious travel downwind (50-100m?). However, a similar upper wind range for the 10m and 12m possibly suggests that a fully depowered 12m Lotus is similar to a 10m dlx, in which case both kites might have similar jumping capabilities (in this case i would opt for a 10m, because a smaller size is always more fun to ride).

Hope this helps and that i have not said anything too stupid.

Good winds,

Fred

fver
WA, 453 posts
23 Apr 2014 10:24PM
Thumbs Up

Select to expand quote
Kazan said..

I'd like Fred to now review the Chrono 15mt and compare. That would be the definitive review for me - no media hype and no retailer promos. Just ordinary people riding and reviewing kites independently.


Kazan,

Thanks for the kind words.

I do not own a Cronix, so I unfortunately cannot assist on this one...

Cheers,

Fred



Subscribe
Reply

Forums > Kitesurfing Gear Reviews


"2014 FLYSURFER Speed4 Lotus, 12m" started by fver