This weekend we had the opportunity to take the wrappers off the new Flysurfer BOOST so here are a few first impressions before the full review. The wind was quite up and down so we choose to take the 11m out. The kite comes in a traditional Flysurfer zip bag and the bar was not attached to the kite like it was on the Cronix. Flysurfer are using the same large inflation / deflation valve as found on the Cronix so getting the kite up did not take long. The bridle on the BOOST is thinner than most inflatable kites on the market and there isn’t a lot of it either, thankfully. In the air the kite looks great, potentially taking inspiration on the colour scheme from another European brand. The colours and print are extremely vibrant and whilst riding the canopy is super super tight. When watching other kites on the water the BOOST definitely had the least / next to no flutter at all and looked the most stable through gusts. One thing that was really surprising the BOOST is, not just in a straight line but in the turns as well, the 11m could easily be mistaken for something much smaller. The new bar has been drastically improved upon the old one, the slimmer profile and new grip is much comfier to hold and feels much lighter in the hands.
For riders who weren’t 100% on the Cronix we would suggested giving Flysurfer another chance for the BOOST, its a completely different animal and we can’t wait to spend more time on it. Stay tuned for a full review once we get some more time on the Flysurfer BOOST across all the sizes in the range, hopefully with some blue sky as well.
One of the most popular discussions for this season in the foil world is going to be which is best, the Ozone Chrono or the Flysurfer Speed 4 Lotus?
This year both Ozone and Flysurfer have gone for the same sizing options, with Flysurfer also offering a 21m version of the Speed 4 Lotus. Both the Lotus and the Chrono are available in 12m, 15m and 18m sizes which makes back to back testing and quiver building easy between the two. Although both options are relatively high aspect, closed cell depower foils that really is where the comparison ends. Flysurfer and Ozone have both managed to create equally great kites for their chosen markets but for us mere mortal end users the decision on which to buy should be quite easy when flying both together.
After watching other more experienced riders and riding with the Ozone Chrono for a week there is no doubt that the Chrono is one of the fastest kites out there. It dominated the races during the OSKM and Dom has been winning practically every race event he has entered using this kite. For very light wind performance and pure straight line speed the Chrono is going to be on the watch list of many riders. The Chrono is a very solid kite, but is definitely aimed more at the speed freaks rather than general freeride. The hangtime is extremely impressive but the kite seems to pivot more during the turn then keep a more solid power delivery. It will be interesting to see if the buggy market picks up on the Chrono for this season. The Chrono is available with two bar options, a freeride and a race setup. The racing setup is pictured below and gives the ability to depower the kite much easier without having to reach further up the bar.
The Speed 4 Lotus for me remains the freeride favourite. Although still being classed as a high aspect kite it is much lower aspect then the Chrono. It feels tamer and more user friendly whilst still maintaining an incredibly good performance. Because of the profile the Speed 4 seems to behave better on the ground and during inflation. For riders wanting to hit the snow, mountains and beach without needing to be the fastest in a straight line this could be a better option.
I would not be surprised to see a new kite model from either company as the current two offerings do not directly compete with each other. A new higher aspect Speed 4 purely for raw low end power and race kiters and perhaps a closed cell Frenzy/Chrono cross for the more freeride oriented kiters who want to use the same quiver on land and water.
All we can do at this time is recommend you try both out for yourself before handing over your card details. As more demo kites become available in the UK we will be doing some extensive back to back flying to expand on the real world differences in wind range and flight styles.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.