The unique shape and build methods of the Flysurfer Speed make it a completely unique kite and very different from anything else on the market. All over the world people are loving Flysurfer and I was looking forward to finding out why. The Speed is the ‘do everything’ kite in the range so I was about to try out Germany’s worst kept secret…
Build and construction
The first thing you notice when you take the kite out of the bag is the quality of the kite. You can see that so much effort has gone into the construction of the kite, it feels more like a top end paraglider than a kite. The fabric is also different from an LEI, the deluxe cloth is so much lighter and softer than conventional kite cloth and the whole kite is about half the weight of a conventional water kite.
Set up and tuning
When you first unroll the kite it initially looks very intimidating, as it is probably very different to what most people are used to, but it couldn’t be easier to set up, just unfold the kite and secure it with some sand, unwrap the lines and you are ready as it all comes setup and ready to go out the bag and no pumping required!
Bar and trim
The quality doesn’t stop when it comes to the bar, and I can see that a lot of development has gone into the infinity 2.0 bar as it feels very well built and incredibly functional, you will feel at home straight away.
The safety is just where you expect it to be (below the bar) and when released flags the kite out onto an ‘almost a 5th line’ which flags the kite out and is very effective.
Turning speed, handling and feel
As you are setting up the kite it begins inflating and it is almost inflating by the time you have done your lines. As you launch the kite there is a little bit more inflation which does make you clench up a little bit as it flaps and splutters into life, but once the Speed is fully inflated the kite wakes up and soars to the top of the window. The Flysurfer doesn’t feel like any other kite you have ever flown, the long thin shape of the kite is so solid in the air, I was yanking on the middle lines of the kite in an effort to make it lose shape but the Speed always remained composed and together. The kite absorbs all of the gusts as the frame of the kite is flexible and can absorb the bumps like rolling down a hill in a Zorb! As a result of the flexible frame of the kite the steering does seem to suffer and feels very bouncy and you have to really crank the bar to get the kite to respond, but once you get it going the acceleration is fantastic as it picks up apparent wind so quickly, the faster you go the faster you accelerate!
It is clear that the Speed is a very high aspect kite, the long thin shape of the kite enables it to cut through the air which means fast acceleration and great upwind ability, both of these are clearly present on the Speed
Lift, hangtime and looping
looping Flysurfer market the Speed as their ‘do anything’ kite and for me most of the boxes seem to be ticked. The one place where it is a little lacking is that the Speed does not perform very well unhooked, maybe it takes time to get used to the feeling of the kite but compared to an LEI it is not the same. If you like to ride fast and boost high, however, then you will love this kite, the hang time is unreal, you get thrown up into the air and instead of coming down as you would expect, you stay in the air and glide down effortlessly. Big air junkies will love it.
Trim, depower and range
The kite depowers well and can handle a lot of wind but you do lose a lot of the steering feedback when you have it really de-powered.
The look of the kite… Well, it looks like a Flysurfer, it doesn’t really look like the design has changed much over the years, but it is very neutral and will not offend anyone. The true icing for me is when you look at the kite up close and notice all of the little details.
The Speed is defiantly a love it or hate it kite, the feeling and performance is unlike anything you’ll have used before. The Speed is definitely a kite lover’s kite and I think anyone who calls themselves a kite fanatic needs to have a Flysurfer in their quiver. The only thing that is missing for me is the unhooked freestyle, but maybe that is why they are launching their first LEI kite (The Cronix) – let’s hope they don’t lose their passion for this part of the game!