At a Glance
Last year the Atom was a new kite from Flexifoil that was aimed at the mass freeride market. A kite for riders that wanted simplicity matched with effectiveness. If you rode an Atom 07 then we are preaching to the converted as it was a great kite, easy to rig, easy to fly and also delivering some impressive performance to boot. This year the design thankfully hasn’t changed too much, the wingtips are the most noticeable difference, a more angled shape and fuller in the tips. Elsewhere the panel layout has been changed slightly but overall the kite is similar, a good thing too as lots of people loved the original. The bridle is one of the simplest on the market; truly a no fuss kite, riders who remember 4 line c kites will love the ease with which the Atom is rigged. The bar has changed slightly but not much, again simplicity is the key, the grip is softer than last year and a little easier on the hands.
In the Air
One of the most impressive things about the Atom is the direct and responsive handling characteristics. The kite uses a direct attachment from the back lines to the back of the kite, no pulleys at all. And the really simple bridle has just the one pulley on the front of the kite. This helps the Atom to be super responsive in the hands, the rider knows where it is at all times and can easily steer the kite with an almost instantaneous reaction at the kite end. The Atom isn’t the performance kite in Flexifoils range, billed more as an all round kite with something to offer everyone. But in the right hands the kite has heaps of performance hidden within, jumping is easy and the kite delivers impressive power when you send it back through the window. It really launches the rider of the water with an impressive yank. Float and glide are good too and all that control over the steering makes it easy to feel the kite throughout the jump and land with ease. Unhooked the kite is very stable too and whilst freestyle junkies out there still swear by C shapes they should maybe give the Atom a go, still one of the closest feelings to a true c shape kite that you can get. The kite last year appealed to lots of different riders, and this year it will do the same. Waveriders will love the fast responsive turn rate, freestylers will enjoy the unhooked stability and everyone else will just enjoy a really simple design working at its best.
Super simple hybrid design, exceedingly proficient in all disciplines of kitesurfing, awesome kiteloops and performance in the right hands.
Even though it has a short bar throw, the depower strap can be a little tricky to reach with ease.
A great kite from Flexi and one to watch this season if you want excellent performance coupled with ease of use.
This review was in Issue 6 of IKSURFMAG.For more information visit Flexifoil
By Rou ChaterRou has been kiting since the sports inception and has been working as an editor and tester for magazines since 2004. He started IKSURFMAG with his brother in 2006 and has tested hundreds of different kites and travelled all over the world to kitesurf. He's a walking encyclopedia of all things kite and is just as passionate about the sport today as he was when he first started!