At A Glance
The age-old saying goes, don’t change a winning formula. Although I have seen this classic phrase abused in every aspect, you can absolutely apply it to great kite gear, and rightfully so! With FLYSURFER’s commitment to only release new products when the potential to improve the design calls for it, we’re always excited when news of a new release arrives. The FLYSURFER Boost, in it’s 4th iteration, is as beautiful as it is simple.
The FLYSURFER Boost is the second model of LEI kite to come from this German brand, which has a paragliding background and is known for its foil kites. At first glance, the new Boost shows that they are more than capable of designing a successful LEI kite. With a couple of years and several changes between the 3rd version and the 4th, it’s clear to see that a lot of thought and testing went into the new release.
The five-strut kite takes aim at the freeride and progression market, said to have reliable relaunch, accessible power, and great upwind performance. These are all quintessential in a progression-friendly kite, that’s for sure! FLYSURFER has aimed to build a kite that is simply fun to ride. It looks like the ideal piece of kit to get you going from baby steps to graceful leaps! The design, as FLYSURFER says, is uncomplicated, super simple, and robust.
Visually, this is a kite that loves to be judged by its cover. The Boost is pure class, with a petrol blue finish and complementary accent colours, which vary based on the size you’re flying. The 9m, which we tested, shows off an amber finish, and it’s a glorious ride at golden hour. The larger sizes are accented by an attractive ocean blue.
As soon as we pumped up the Boost, we noticed the wingtips are swept back prominently, with a thin leading edge and five thin struts. Reinforcements have been added to key areas, with dacron patches preventing wear on the wingtips and throughout the leading edge. The snag pads in the wingtips should prevent the bridle from getting tangled during launch, landing, or the dreaded water relaunch. The trailing edge has been reinforced with a double layer of sail material and minimal dacron, which looks to make a big difference in the weight. Genius.
FLYSRUFER went for a single pulley on the bridle to allow for optimised depower, making this a friendly option for beginners. In the same breath, though, that extra depower should give the Boost exceptional range. If the wind kicks in, we expect you’ll have the ability to do exactly what the kite says, BOOST like no other!
Sizes: 9, 11, 13, 15, 18m
In The Air
Lucky us, we got to test the Boost in pleasant, if a little gusty, side-shore conditions with waves. We had this kite on the beach for several hours, with a few riders getting their hands on it, with levels ranging from ‘just gaining confidence’ to ‘epic old school that will turn even Toby Brauer’s head’.
To put it simply, this kite, coupled with the Force Control Bar, needs the smallest amount of input from the rider to get the maximum output. It looks clean in the air, the canopy fills out for a tight hold, and the ride is smooth like milk. We immediately felt comfortable hanging out on this ride; it’s quite stable, reliable and turns surprisingly fast for a five-strut kite.
The freeride progression marketing angle certainly fits the bill, with generous depower, a light bar feel, and a quick response to your commands. With our setup, we experienced a medium-light pressure on a responsive kite. Some may prefer more bar pressure, especially in a five-strut kite with the hope of jumping, often translated as a more direct feel.
The wind range was solid on this kite, so when the wind picked up, we sent it. Our only complaint was when we reached the edge of being overpowered; we noticed a bit of twitchiness in the kite, perhaps due to the thinner leading edge. However, once the wind dropped back down a few knots, we were back in our happy place!
The fast-turning abilities supported the ease of down loops for a soft landing after a lofty air. The intuitive bar feeling made it possible to know where the kite was even when we were mid-rotation and steering one-handed while doing loop de loops with the board in the other hand. Our flashy manoeuvres were almost enough to draw the attention away from the slick, modern graphics!
As always, we’ve gotta send the kite for a swim to really see how it works, especially a kite marketed towards freeride and progression. It shouldn’t have come as a surprise that the relaunching was exceptional. Allow me to slide in a quote from a beginner rider out in Langebaan, South Africa; “With all the confidence I had on this kite, I attempted a lot of jumps. I also crashed a lot (quite disappointed that we didn’t have the video rolling). It’s almost as if this kite bounces on the water and waits for you to give a slight whistle, and it’ll fly back to the sky. I had not one single moment where I struggled to relaunch the Boost (the 9, or the 11) from the water.”
Did I mention how well it rides upwind? Jeepers! While it’s not a big air performance-oriented kite, it comfortably fits into the category of high-quality five-strut that can do just about anything, including help you nail your boosting skills.
FLYSURFER has gone from strength to strength, constantly improving in every category. We’ve been watching their progress for years, and while their foil kites are second to none, we’re stoked to say that they’ve achieved exactly what they’ve set out to with this kite. It’s safe to say that the Boost is a mighty fine ride!
The Boost is a completely trustworthy, comfortable ride with exceptional relaunching abilities. It’s responsive, intuitive and is the ideal kite to start your quiver, or for the experienced riders out there, to add something with more freeride freedom and range to your kit. It’ll take you from your baby steps all the way to setting your personal bests on the WOO before you even think about the ‘Big Air Upgrade’!
This review was in Issue 88 of IKSURFMAG.For more information visit Flysurfer