Flysurfer Speed 4 Lotus Kite Review

Flysurfer Speed 4 Lotus Kite Review

After waiting patently since 2009 the successor to the Flysurfer Speed 3 is finally available. New for the 2014 season Flysurfer introduce the Speed 4 Lotus kite. We headed out to Switzerland for a chance to put this new model through a week of freezing conditions and to demo the kites.

Flysurfer Speed 4 Lotus Kite

We have been flying Flysurfer kites since the Psycho 3 and Speed 2 so are always very excited when a new model comes to market. The Speed 3 has been the most successful kite Flysurfer have ever made and the 15m CE model is one of our favourite kites ever on test. Whether you are into land, water, snow or all of the above the Speed has proven its versatility across all terrains and many different riding styles. With all of this to contend with Flysurfer have had a real fight to create a successor worthy of the Speed name, fortunately the Speed 4 Lotus delivers the goods.

The Speed 4 Lotus range has had a slight change in the sizes since the Speed 3 CE. The 19m has been replaced with a new 18m size giving you the option of 12m, 15m, 18m and 21m kites. For the test we spent time on the new 18m size and the 12m and our initial thoughts are that these two sizes in the range are going to make a killer quiver with an almighty wind range.

Flysurfer Speed 4 Lotus Kite

Pulling the kite out of the bag the first obvious change is the new fabric on the kites. We first saw prototypes of the new Lotus fabric several years ago in Sardinia so it is extremely reassuring to know Flysurfer have spent a lot of time and development in the testing stages before using it in production. The fabric feels slightly rubbery to the touch and is unlike any other kite on the market. There is no printing on the Lotus material on the kites because the fabric is designed to repel other substances sticking to it; for example sand, water, dirt and ink. The lack of extra colour also saves extra weight on the kites. Flying the 18m Lotus in light winds it is very apparent that this new material has boosted efficiency. Not only do the kites drift and float above your head better in light winds but they also feel lighter on the bar to turn. In terms of technical properties the new Lotus fabric is 25% lighter than the old deluxe cloth from the Speed 3 kites and is also capable of much better air pressure inside the kite. Flysurfer have used a bright orange fabric on the  trailing edge to highlight the deflate valves to make it impossible to launch the kite and not notice if you have left them open. Besides the new fabric Flysurfer have also introduced new stiffer and thinner lines which create less resistance in flight.

Flysurfer Speed 4 Lotus Kite

The bar and lines have remained the same for the Speed 4 Lotus. Although the reappearance of the Infinity 2.0 bar is not unwelcome we would have loved to see some design changes to the chicken loop on these kites. In the cold the smaller chickenloop and hard donkey dick can be quite fiddly to hook in and out whilst wearing thick gloves. The benefit of the smaller loop is that it allows the bar to be closer to you whilst riding, this is especially handy for smaller/shorter riders. The highlight features of the Infinity bar 2.0 are the smooth line untwisting function on the quick release and the clean, easy trim system. The ability to un-spin the lines is very important when you can easily bust out 4 rotations in the air underneath these kites!

The Speed 4 Lotus provides a big enough improvement for previous Speed 3 flyers and riders who have models that are 3 or 4 years old now to upgrade and will provide a mind blowing experience for riders new to this style of flying.  

Flysurfer Speed 4 Lotus Kite

If you are looking for a lightweight and durable travel companion to share many seasons of fun riding in the mountains or on the beach then the Speed 4 Lotus is an excellent choice. The kite has remained incredibly easy to fly and is forgiving for both novice kiters and for riders who are new to foils.  The Speed 4 Lotus manages to maintain its high performance characteristics for speed, hang time, light wind efficiency and most importantly huge smiles all around.

Check out the Flysurfer Speed 4 Lotus on Island Board Shop.

 

Flysurfer announce freeride directional board called the Razor

Flysurfer announce freeride directional board called the Razor

Flysurfer have been working on their board line over the last few years applying their trademark innovative approach. The latest product to be released is the new Razor – a snowboard construction freeride directional. This style of board (north freerace, airush sector etc) are normally volume boards known for being a little fragile – easily dinged. The challenge in building a board this thin (2cm) with such large (25cm) fins is integrating the fin boxes. With the growing popularity of racing, some more user friendly freerace set ups are needed. Although it seems expensive at £999 – that is half the price of a North Race Ltd and £124 more than an Airush Sector 60 making it pretty competitive.

We look forward to riding it and hearing some feedback.

Check out the Flysurfer on Island Board Shop.

Flysurfer Peak 6m Colour Change

Flysurfer Peak 6m Colour Change

Flysurfer have just announced that their recently released Peak single skin depower kite has had a permanent colour change in the 6m size. From this week the Flysurfer Peak 6m will be shipping to customers in Neon Orange and not the pink it was released with in 2013.

“Go anywhere with the new Flysurfer Peak Depower Kite. Flysurfer have proven themselves once again to be pioneers in kite development. In late October 2013 the very first single skin kite with an effective working depower, will hit the market. The PEAK uses no bottom sail making it different to conventional ram air kites. The weight of the kite is reduced and the pack size is incredibly small.”

Flysurfer Peak 6m Colour now Oange

The Other Cape – Flysurfer Speed 4 Lotus Video

The Other Cape – Flysurfer Speed 4 Lotus Video

After training for two months on the beautiful flat water lagoons of Brazil it was time for Dylan to take his new skills into the waves! The other cape, Cape Town, is a very popular place amongst kitesurfers worldwide. Dylan and Nick decided to look for good conditions a bit closer to home. Cape Verde is known for its amazing waves at Ponta Preta. Kite beach however is less know and very different. With flat water in the front and small waves in the back kite beach offers an amazing diversity in conditions. Beginners will have a blast in the front with easy access to the water. More advance riders will love to use the kickers in the first shore brake and wave riders can have their fun on the second shore brake with waves building up to 2-3 meters every day!

The wind was very strong during our stay! Check out Dylan riding his 10.0 meter Cronix for the freestyle and his 12.0 meter speed 4 lotus for all the oldschool moves! To quote Dylan about his brand new lotus toy “It turns faster and has more hangtime, perfect!”.

A very different video with a lot of lifestyle, enjoy!

Video was shot and edited by Nick de Bruijn from Lifely.nl! Big thanks to the main sponsor for the trip, Flysurfer kiteboarding for providing all the kite gear we could have hoped for! We had a blast! Dylan is also sponsored by Jobe, Lifely and Versus.

Video was shot on a Canon C100 with a 18-35mm 1.8, 24-105mm 4.0 and a 70-200mm 2.8 is. Edit was done in Premiere CC and the collor correction was done with Film Convert. Music is a classic, Johnny cash – Hurt.

Flysurfer Launch the Speed 4 Lotus edition

Flysurfer Launch the Speed 4 Lotus edition

After many years of playing the waiting game (and thoroughly enjoying our Speed 3 CE kites) Flysurfer have this week announced the Speed 4 Lotus edition. Flysurfer have been working extremely hard over the last few years to develop not only a new kite to rival the 3 & CE Speed but to improve upon the design, build quality and fabrics.

The result is a completely new Lotus fabric which not only is 30% lighter than the deluxe models we are all currently flying but it is more air tight and durable against water, sand and dirt. Strength and durability is so crucial with these foils. Not only will they remain the flag ship Flysurfer model for several years, but we fly them on land, water and snow – racking up a huge amount of flying hours.

Because the kites are dramatically lighter than the predecessors the turning has been made much lighter, a really strong selling point for such a large kite.

The Flysurfer Speed 4 Lotus sizes have also changed slightly, your new quiver will consist of 12m, 15m 18m and 21m sizes. With lighter weight and turning on the bar we are really excited to try out the new 18m size.

Tom was recently in Tarifa with Flysurfer testing the final prototypes and had this to say:

“The new kites really do feel like a step forward. Flying them back to back with the Speed 3 CE this was very noticeable. The most significant difference is just how light the steering is compared to the S3. This alone was enough to impress me! It feels like the difference between cars with and without power steering.”

We are lucky enough to have a demo production model Flysurfer Speed 4 Lotus whinging its way to us right now directly from Flysurfer so should have a chance to fly and review the kite before you need to grab your credit card in January 2014.

Update: Flysurfer Speed 4 Lotus Review

 

Flysurfer Launch Inflatable Kite – The Cronix

Flysurfer Launch Inflatable Kite – The Cronix

A piece of news that will catch many off guard! For those who keep an eye on kite forums they may have seen photos earlier this year when they were leaked but promptly removed. The design team at Flysurfer are well known for testing all kinds of wacky ideas. The Cronix is billed as an all round freeride/freestyle kite with a good balance between performance and ease of use. It also features some Flysurfer style tuning and unique technology. The main thing is the Adaptive Airfoil which allows the rider to change the camber of the kite by moving the bar in and out as well as changing the angle of attack. The degree to which the camber is affected can also be modified.

It is certainly a different approach to building Leading Edge Inflatable kites. We have no doubt there will be a lot of Flysurfer fans out there wanting a test flight.

Learn more about the Flysurfer Cronix.

No Barriers at Pembrey 2013

No Barriers at Pembrey 2013

Pembrey is a massive 6+ mile long beach in the south of Wales. It typically has perfectly smooth hard packed sand making it perfect for land based wind sports. Loads of speed records have been achieved there including the current UK record for a kite buggy and World record for a kite bike. Carmarthenshire Land Sailing Club (CLSC) are the guys in charge of maintaining access to the beach. Last weekend (25-27) May the club put on what must be the largest land kiting event the UK has seen for a while. This was a purely social event with no competition element to it. Kiters turned up in droves. Locals came to support their club, and those from further afield came to enjoy the rare access to this great beach. Normally you need to be a member of the club to sail there (unless kitesurfing).

No Barriers 2013

To help boost the event a number of brands were present with their latest demo equipment available to test free of charge. Brands included Flysurfer, Peter Lynn, MBS Mountainboards and Ozone. The colourful banners helped make the event look the part. Conditions on Saturday were light but still rideable in buggies and on landboards. The sun was shining making for a lovely day. You could only hope for a little extra wind and fewer ripples in the sand. The wind was bang onshore meaning you could ride for miles!

No Barriers 2013

Saturday night the club fired up the grills and made mountains of burgers and hot dogs for the hungry kiters. A raffle and auction also took place at this point. The money was being raised to help finance the club and to donate to the Air Ambulance and RNLI. Drinks flowed and friends old and new gathered round the camp fires and chatted till late into the night.

The wind was a little stronger on Sunday allowing more people to test kites. The sun was shining and the wind direction was still pretty much onshore allowing for long runs up and down the coast. A few riders (myself included) did the long walk down to the sea for a kitesurf session too. By the time the tide started rushing back in many people were exhausted after a long day flying. At this point, and with a forecast of rain for Monday, I made the call to leave. I think many did the same.

From what I gather though, Monday turned out to be a good day with nice wind and the rain held off for most of the day.

Other highlights include seeing a 73 year old landboarding and a load of weird and wonderful kites including the custom Family Guy Ozone Manta M3. This was a great event – the best land based kite event I have been to in a long time! I for one am looking forward to No Barriers 2014.

Thanks to Carlos Fandango aka Popeye The Welder for the use of his photos!

Kitesurfing at The Bluff, Cornwall

Kitesurfing at The Bluff, Cornwall

Another planned demo event and another sunny but windless forecast. After checking out Windguru on Wednesday it was decided we would head down to The Bluff, Cornwall for the scheduled Ozone, Flysurfer, Brunotti, Flyboards, Airush and Shinn demo weekend. The wind looked light but none of the crew had previously kited at the spot and the “wind” was blowing the right direction.

The Bluff is situated on the north coast of Cornwall, only a 10 minute drive from the sleepy town of Hayle. There are many options for accommodation very close to the spot – campsites, b&bs and hotels. It is important to note that to kitesurf at The Bluff you must first obtain a permit from either the harbour master or the guys over at Lodey Kite Loft. This pass only costs £10 and gives you free car parking at the spot for a whole year. This is a great way the locals have managed to arrange a simple way of regulating that only insured kiters can use the area. At high tide you do get the odd boat sneaking up on you so it is important to keep your wits about you and always give them right of way.

Kitesurfing at The Bluff, Cornwall

If it was 20 degrees warmer The Bluff would pass for a beach in the south of France or Portugal. A bay of white sand and turquoise clear waters lap the shore here – A contrast to last weekends kite sessions at Southend-On-Sea. We arrived as the tide was starting to turn, due to the light winds the water was very flat in the estuary with small swell and white water further back. As the tied ebbed small crystal clear lagoons formed around a maze of sandbars leaving some great conditions for playing around with some new boards.

Shinn Kiteboards

The wind was light so the morning was dominated by the larger models from Flysurfer, Ozone and Airush with a mix of larger twin tips and directional race and light wind boards. The wind picked up towards the afternoon but peaked at around 15knts. With the current range of boards and kites available on the market there is a lot to be said about light wind kiting. This weekends show stoppers were;

  • Airush – VXR V2 18, Lithium 14m and Lithium One 16m kites. Slayer 60 / 54 and Sector 6o boards.
  • Shin Speedball, Red and Dundee
  • Ozone Zephyr and Edge
  • Flysurfer Speed 3 15m CE and 21m DLX
  • Flyboards Door L

This was the first session of the year for me in a shorty wetsuit and The Bluff really made me feel like I was outside of the UK. The locals arrived just after midday and enjoyed demoing the latest equipment. Mark Shinn was on hand to recommend boards for people from his latest range of creations as well as chilling on the beach and taking some photos.

Mark Shinn

Despite the light winds initially I had a really fun session using the Ozone Zephyr and Shinn Speedball. A super fun combo for messing around in the shallow lagoons, unhooking and spinning around. The Speedball was incredibly fun to ride, its short length made the board really nimble and easy to spin, whilst the larger than normal width gave a good platform for going upwind and landing tricks. As always the new Zephyr performed superbly with its increased efficiency on the previous model.

Shinn Speedball - Ozone Zephyr

After a long day on the beach in the sun we all headed to a local restaurant the Sandsifter. There was a wedding party present when we arrived but we still managed to push some tables to together to grab a refreshing pint and some food. Cake to start, followed by a further starter and a main. The food was good but there would definitely be cheaper options in the area if required. In all we had a great day in the sun on Saturday and everyone seemed to be enjoying the kit available. Unfortunately because of complete lack of wind and long drives ahead on the Sunday we all decided to head home after a great breakfast at Delicious in Marazion.

We hope to see you at the next demo! – Marcus

BKSA Round 1 Essex 2013

BKSA Round 1 Essex 2013

Another year has past and a new BKSA event season has started. We travelled down to Essex for the BKSA round 1 land event. The event went down really well with wind on both days. All of the competition riding was held on the Saturday and Sunday was for relaxing and freeriding. We also managed to get a couple of kitesurfing sessions in at Southend on Sea with the new 2013 Ozone C4, Catalyst and Zephyr.

KLB Freestyle Pro Essex Round 1 results:

1st Emmanuel (Flysurfer)
2nd Ash (Ozone)
3rd lolo BSD (Flysurfer)

Congratulations goes out to all of the riders who travelled from across Europe to compete at this event. See you at Round 2.

Check out the event page on Facebook for more images!

https://www.facebook.com/events/188316561322013/