CrazyFly Sculp 12m 2018 Kitesurfing Review

CrazyFly Sculp 12m 2018

Reviews / Kites

CrazyFly 41,225

At A Glance

Last year CrazyFly moved their entire kite factory onto home soil in Slovakia. Not only does this mean they are heavily involved in the manufacturing process, it also enables them to keep their processes as eco as possible; something CrazyFly are admirably committed to. The Sculp is a well-known favourite in the world of all-round kites, and with the 2018 version modded and tweaked, we have been looking forward to testing it out.

Firstly, the entire canopy is made with the unique Triplex Ripstop material. No less than three Ripstop yarns and triple coating means extra strength and longevity in the kite, as well as one of the best strength to weight ratios out there.

Crazyfly have reduced the number of panels on both the leading edge and canopy of their kites, as the stitching adds weight and actually reduces strength, so by eliminating these breaks they have been able to save weight and increase durability. The leading edge on the 2018 Sculp also has an interesting ‘twist’ in the stitching toward the wingtip. This is to create the most efficient airflow over the kite which in turn creates a more precisely controlled kite.

Not often something of thought, but for 2018 CrazyFly have modified their struts. Changing the way they attach to both the leading edge and also the canopy. In both cases, the design has been reworked to create a much better fastening on what is traditionally a relatively weak spot. The strut to leading edge attachment has had all excess material removed to create a cleaner seal and has been reinforced with Arptex material for added strength and durability. On the canopy, the strut is now sewn in twice, creating extra strength and again a neater seal. This aids the precise feel of the kite and also the power through the turn.

This new incarnation of the Sculp has had a change of shape and also the bridle. New for 2018, the kite has been stretched and slimmed resulting in a higher aspect ratio kite. This will increase the speed, forward drive and boosting potential of the kite. The bridle has also been tweaked to add to that direct feel and rock solid performance.

Sizes: 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14m

The Bar

The Sick Bar had a major overhaul in 2017, and for 2018 it has been spruced up with new colours. A very stylish lime green and blue design, which perfectly matches the colour of the kite we had, was made even better by the uncannily soft leather grip which coats the Monocoque full carbon bar. Integrated floaty bar ends keep everything simple and clean, with elastics ready to secure your lines once they’ve been wound up at the end of a session.

There is a great simple cleat system in use for the depower, with handy Velcro to keep everything tidy should you be fully depowered. The centre line itself is coated in long-lasting and durable PU. This provides a very smooth movement through the bar, the insert of which is made with hardwearing stainless steel.

The release is an industry standard push-away, and is definitely one of the easiest we’ve had in terms of reassembly; something very important when wanting to get back into action quickly. A moulded donkey stick means it will always be in the correct place, and the safety leash can be connected to either ‘release’ or ‘suicide’ both in a clean and simple way.
The bar has been entirely manufactured in Europe, and the push-away quick release conforms to the French safety norm AFNOR NF S52-503, so you know it has been tested to the highest standards.

In The Air

This Sculp is a seriously powerful kite, the first session on it we realised we could well have rigged a size smaller than everyone else! This is no bad thing, but certainly, something to be aware of before you go out in those mega winds!

The throw on the bar is good and changes the power somewhat, perhaps not as vastly as some but certainly enough. The depower trim also works very well and we found adding just a tiny bit at all times created that perfect balance of forward drive and power. The relatively high aspect Delta shape of the kite keeps it driving well through the window at all points, this means upwind riding is easy and enjoyable.

The bar pressure on the Sculp is of medium weight, you certainly do not need to go to the gym to be able to fly it, but it has a constant reminder at all times of where the kite is in the sky, quite reassuring.

Perfect for throwing the odd freestyle session in and really progressing in a range of disciplines

Once you begin jumping, the Sculp is a very dependable partner. The higher aspect ratio for this version means the kite climbs quickly in the jump. It is not an outstandingly high jumper, but it houses some commendable float which will (eventually) bring you back down to earth safely and smoothly. This is great for learning and perfecting old-school boosty moves as you always have plenty of time in the sky.

Working on kite loops with the Sculp is a really fun experience. It is by no means a looping machine, but it drives well at all points with only minimal flutter and lands you down softly each time.

The Sculp lends itself well to a one-kite option for those looking for it, and freestyle ability is not forgotten about. The Delta shape and forward drive keep the kite pulling through your unhooked moves, yet the stability of the kite allows you to concentrate on yourself, not the kite. Not a huge amount of ‘slack’, but perfect for throwing the odd freestyle session in and really progressing in a range of disciplines. Playing in the waves is a blast, the kite drifts well, though you do need to keep a good feel on the bar to stop the kite dropping too low.

Relaunching is incredibly easy with the Sculp, in fact, the kite pretty much auto relaunches. This has certainly improved from last years already impressive relaunch!

For

The build and performance of this kite have really improved, masses of power and really fun jumping potential.

Against

There is not a massive amount of depower in the bar throw, which on this more Delta style of kite is one of its main selling points. That said, the trim is super easy to use and provides adequate depower in those big gusts.

Overall

The new Sculp has improved in both build and performance. The new Triplex material making the kite feel crispy and solid in the sky, whilst the tweaks to the shape and bridle have resulted in a more direct feel, faster flight and increased hangtime in the kite. It’s certainly a stronger contender for those looking for a competent do-it-all kite, with a solid build quality, attention to detail and an eco-focused company to back it up.

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This review was in Issue 65 of IKSURFMAG.

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