Rider: around 85-90kg...depending on how many pies I've eaten.... don't listen to my so called friends here
Style: FREESTYLE: some unhooked & addicted to Loops (Intermediate/"wanna be" advanced, with dreams of looping like Lenten!)
SURF: (mainly hooked in, always unstrapped, and there's never enough waves)
Weather: 9m 15-25knots. 7m 20-30knots.
Boards: flatwater Lenten lunacy 129. Surf Webber 6'0 x 18 1/4 epoxy
Disclosure: I buy my kites with my own coin.
Well, after a few false starts I finally got to demo the new 2011 Crazyfly Slash kites from Stonker in Torquay. They cleared customs Friday afternoon and I had the pleasure of riding both the 9m and 7m. I kited flatwater on 9m Slash at Pt. Henry (Friday) and 9m and & 7m flatwater/surf at Torquay (Sat).
what I'm After in a kite: I ride about 50% flatwater 50% unstrapped surf, depending on wind direction. If given the choice I'll go surf everytime. I'm looking for a kite that will push my loops/unhooked riding but still performs well in the surf. I tested heaps of kites and personally ridden/owned slingshot Fuels'06, 07, North Vegas '06,'08 and have been riding the 2008 North Rebels (7 & 9m) for the past couple of years. My Rebels have performed well, especially for the surf riding but are a little limited now for my kiteloops. I was looking for something that has more pull than my rebels through the loops and always flys back above to catch the landings (something my 9m rebels struggled to do) from bigger powered loops.
I've now had the opportunity to ride the Crazyfly Slash 9m and 7m both in the surf and flatwater. I have had 2 sessions on each and havn't stopped grinning. Obviously this is going to be a positive review but it didn't seem that way from the start. The demo kites were the first kites shipped for dealer review and did not arrive ready to ride straight out of the bag. There was a quick adjustment to line length required to front line attachments before they could be test flown. Once this was sorted we were ready to go. Apparently this issue has already been rectified for commercial shipment so we shouldnt see it again. O.k so with my only negative out of the way here's my review:
The Slash is a 5 line C kite with a very basic uncluttered bar setup. The bar is small, with a soft comfortable grip that made me feel like I was at the controls of a high powered sports car. It has "push away" quick release safety and below the bar depower that is easy to engage. the chicken loop aligns easily for unhooked riding and overall I really liked the lack of clutter and the comfortable feel of the whole setup.
The kites themselves look really well made. Material and stitching looks strong with obvious attention to detail during production. The Slash is a 5 strut C kite. It has multi-point inflation, which although not everyones preference, is something I personally prefer as it allows the struts to be inflated harder. There are no pulleys or bridals, as you would expect with a true C, and consequently it delivers a smooth powered feel. Bar pressure is much lighter than what I was used to but there was no doubt as to where the kite was positioned. There was plenty of depower available through the throw of the bar and power delivery was smooth and precise. The Slash has 3 choices of flying settings from freestyle - wakestyle and fast or slow settings for rear lines. I tested both kites on the middle front line position between freestlye and wakestyle and on the fast rear line settings. I didn't play with these settings but plenty of room to tune the kites to suit your riding style here.
Both the 9m & 7m were fast flying responding extremly well to rider input. They generated plenty of power when worked through the lulls in the wind giving them a great wind range. These kites feel extremely stable in the air, with good feedback as to where they are at all times whilst maintaining a light bar pressure. Unhooked they feel smooth and stable producing a constant pull with heaps of pop. I also loved the way they drift back nicely in the surf with no sign of back stall, allowing me to concentrate on surfing without fear of dropping my kite in the impact zone.
Both kites exceeded my expectations as flatwater/surf kites. I had my 1st 2 sessions on the 9m and was ready to go out and make the purchase. It wasn't however until the wind came up late Sat arvo and I got to test the looping capabilities of the 7m that I was truelly sold.
To say that the 7m Slash is a looping machine is an understatement! I rode the 7m in 20-25knots maybe 30knot gusts on butter smooth Pt Danger flatwater. With all but a few local riders left for the day I was able to really get confident on this kite and push my looping limits. I am pleased to say that the 7m Slash is super fast and stable through the loops, Generates 5h!tloads of power, and catches you everytime! This kite can do so much more than what I'm currently asking it do that it isn't funny. I felt comfortable pulling the trigger, which is a feeling I haven't had after injuring my knees earlier this year, as I knew the landings would be softened by the kite above me. I may never have the balls to do a megaloop lenten style but for those who do this will not let you down.
Anyway after demoing these kites I have made the purchase. They may not be for everyone but well worth a test ride before you make your next purchase. Ive attached some pics for you to look at.
Do you have a close up of the depower system? Cleat above the bar but pull from below?
sorry fav, you lost all your credibility the moment you told us your weight, I couldn't believe a word after that!
only joking, I've seen your loops and can't wait to see them on the crazyfly. Kite looks awsome in the pics, cheers big ears
I've been pretty excited when I've received new gear but watching Fattso opening up his new toys on Fri was a treat to behold. His hands were shaking that much with excitment he had trouble connecting the lines. How's your smiling muscles Fav, they must be really sore by now)
I was at all of the sessions he stated in his review and would agree to nearly everything he claimed but I'm with you Kev, 85 - 90kg emmmm!!
Back to the review.
As an observer, once the tuning was sorted it only took Fav a couple of runs and he was looping like he was a Lenten minni me.
On Sat in waves it looked as though he had been using this kite for a long time.
I don't need to say any more than once on the water the kite looked and behaved as you would expect of a brand thats been around for a few years.
I think the only down side that I noticed was I didn't get to have a go
Anyone want a couple of cheap Rebels
"Well done Crazy Fly"
OFF TO JENNY IF YOU WANT TO GET DOWN TO THAT WEIGHT FAV
STOKED TO HEAR YOURE KITES KEEPING THAT SMILE WIDE C YOU OUT THERE SOON
I thought their accusations were compliments.
That was a fun session Sat arvo.