Talk the talk:
New for 2015, the Flysurfer BOOST is an inflatable kite which is sure to cause a stir in the LEI market. Following the launch of Cronix the BOOST is the second inflatable kite from Flysurfer and they seem to have learned a lot second time around. Flysurfer are aiming the BOOST at airstyle, big air and racing putting it into similar territory to the Ozone Edge. The BOOST is available in a range of sizes; 7m, 9m, 11m, 13m, 15m and 18m. Both the 15m and 18m come in a light wind mode which includes a higher AR and rear bridle to help assist light wind relaunching.
The BOOST comes in a traditional Flysurfer style backpack which is pretty simple but also lightweight. Pumping up the kite is fast and easy thanks to the large inflate valve and R.E.D pump. The pump allows for reduced effort whilst pumping and switches from a double action to single when the pressure in the kite gets high. Unfortunately the valve itself is a bit fiddly and requires a separate attachment which is attach to the centre strut near the valve.
The BOOST comes preset with intermediate bar pressure, allowing you to move the rear line attachment up or down a level depending on your preference. We kept both the 11m and 13m on the stock settings and found it was just right for how we tend to ride. On the middle setting turning was effortless and was easy to do with your wrist or one hand on the bar. The safety system flags the kite out onto a single line and was fired off in testing. Whilst out in deep water the safety was reset and the kite recovered in some wavy conditions.
Like most kites in the Flysurfer range the BOOST comes in one colour per size and the colours are repeated throughout the range. Both the 11m and 13m looked stunning in the sky with really bright panels and sharp graphics.
On the twintip:
We rode the Flysurfer BOOST over a couple of weekends on our familiar AXIS twin tips to get the best feel for the kite. Both kites were extremely easy to fly and despite the name we would still feel comfortable putting beginner/intermediate riders on the kites. The high aspect makes the kites extremely fast in a straight line and they shoot upwind at some pretty wild angles. The turning rate was very impressive and a bit of a surprise. The 13m was happy to be downlooped and thrown about coming out of jumps and rotations. Getting out through the waves was a breeze as the power comes very quickly after pulling in the bar. Jumping on the BOOST is smooth and simple, the kite naturally wants to generate lift and you tend to be moving pretty quickly whilst riding this kite! All that speed translates into some decent air and hangtime. Both the 11m and 13m were really fun and felt encouraging enough to try new moves. On one session on the 13m the wind kept increasing throughout the day, to the stage where some people were going out on 7’s and 9’s on surfboards, needless to say it was getting quite pokey at that stage but it always felt safe and incredibly stable.
On the directional:
The BOOST responds well to being ridden with a directional – it sits forward in the window and rockets upwind. Whilst by no means a dedicated wave kite, the fast turning and stability make this a fun freeride kite capable of taking on some waves and is great for messing about and trying some strapless freestyle.
Flysurfer have introduced the Infinity 3.0 bar with the BOOST. The new bar features a thinner and lighter design and is wrapped in a really comfy EVA grip. We found the new bar much comfier to hold than the previous version and think the new EVA grip will be much more durable than the older style. The 21m lines found on the Infinity 3.o bar are designed to be low drag whilst maintaining a high breaking load. These should help the efficiency of the kite when racing or in light winds. The Infinity 3.0 bar also features an endless rotation system for unspinning your lines and safety after doing spins and kiteloops, the system works when you pull the bar in. Above the bar you will also find a stopper ball and velcro depower system for sheeting in the kite.
What we liked:
The BOOST is extremely easy to fly and much more user friendly than some of the other kites in the Flysurfer range. The clean profile and solid canopy make this kite extremely solid in both stability and performance. We have had some really great sessions slashing around in the waves, honking around in flat water and most importantly getting some serious hangtime. Both sizes we tested felt smaller than their sizes and the wind range was extremely impressive at the top end. Part of the impressive turning speed maybe due to the 21m lines on the new Infinity 3.0 bar.
What we didn’t like:
One of the “niggles” we had with the BOOST was on the kite itself, rather than a flying characteristic. The inflate / deflate valve is a bit of an annoyance and it doesn’t feel like it was designed with users in mind. It was tricky to open with cold hands. The multi part system is clunky and feels unnecessarily complicated for such a simple action. With regards to the bar it would be great to have less lines running through the centre core, and a potentially cleaner single line flag out system, instead of the extra safety line.
The Flysurfer BOOST is an excellent freeride kite, suitable for a wide range of riders who want to master several styles of riding. The wide wind range and smooth depower will help riders progress their skills in any conditions. The quick turning speed, solid upwind performance and speed in a straight line are sure to put a smile on your face.