Flysurfer Speed 5 12m 2017 Kitesurfing Review

Flysurfer Speed 5 12m 2017

Reviews / Kites

Flysurfer 16,275

At A Glance

The Speed 5 is a performance orientated, versatile kite aimed at those who want to enjoy many aspects of kiting. It's been through many incarnations over the years, but perhaps this new model sees the biggest update yet. While it packs in plenty of performance, think of this as an easy to use foil kite, Flysurfer have the Sonic 2 in their arsenal for the racers, and the new Speed 5 is more of a performance freeride kite than a thoroughbred race machine.

Looking into the design features of the Speed 5 we see Rigid Foil Technology which reduces wrinkles on the leading edge offering improved aerodynamics. Double Cordwise Ballooning also works to reduce deformation and keep the shape of the kite uniform. Triple Depower Technology increases the kites range; when you depower the kite, you reduce the angle of attack, adjust the profile and also minimise the projected area. The construction is second to none and only the highest quality materials, and workmanship is used to create the kite. This is backed up by an impressive warranty scheme.

Sizes: 6.0, 9.0, 12.0, 15.0, 18.0, 21.0m

The Bar

The new Infinity 3.0 control bar features a thinner bar profile combined with a new EVA grip; this made the experience of flying this kite very comfortable. The release on the Infinity 3.0 is maybe not as aesthetically appealing as some of the releases out there, but worked perfectly in all conditions. Flysurfer’s swivel system at the base of its centre line worked effortlessly, so multiple rotations will never be a problem.

The lines that come with the Infinity 3.0 bar are designed for low drag while maintaining high breaking strains. If you’re looking to get into the tech side of racing, then line drag will play a big part in upwind ability, while the high breaking strains will give you the confidence to boost as high as you dare. Flysurfer claims these lines have the best drag to breaking strain ratio on the market at the moment.

A Pull/Pull mechanism is in place for the depower, very efficient but perhaps not quite as clean as the cleat style which is becoming more and more popular.

In The Air

We all know setting ups foil can be very daunting to newcomers. However, the Speed is quick to set up, and bridle systems are simple to check over before use. The supplied sandbag is very handy for applying tension on the brake lines while on the ground. The Speed 5 inflates quickly, so you can be on the water as soon as possible.

As soon as you get the Speed 5 into the air, it’s apparent just how well it turns for a large foil kite. It’s like a cat…a big cat, agile but powerful. Almost pivotal but still flowing and forgiving. The power is incredible, the delivery of the power in the Speed 5 feels very raw and direct to the user. The feedback from the kite is very positive letting you know where the kite is and what it is doing at all times.

Easy to use and packed with performance.

In terms of stability, you will have to do your best to collapse the Speed 5; I did a lot of running around on the beach, and you’ll have to run downwind like Forest Gump if you want to make it over-fly and fall out of the sky, it is exceedingly stable.

Fast through the air, the Speed 5 excels in a majority of conditions and riding styles. It boosts incredibly well with amazing hangtime, hammers upwind, gains tons of speed on a twin tip or a foilboard and continued to entertain us every session. You will find boosting on a foil requires some time to recalculate your pop timing, due to the slower take-offs. However, hangtime on a twin tip is easily achieved, and the kite likes to float!

The wind range on the 12m is hugely impressive, the low end is amazing, especially when coupled with a hydrofoil or a large door style twin tip. The upwind ability even in light winds is very impressive too. As the wind increases, we were surprised by the Speed 5’s top end range, you can spill lots of power from the kite without losing too much handling response.

For

The Speed 5 is incredibly agile in the sky; it boosts and gives insane hangtime, and that’s not all its good for. It performs very well when hydrofoiling, land kiting, snow kiting, your fastest speed runs on a twin tip and boosting huge airs. Above all, it is super easy to fly!

Against

It would be great to be able to choose the colour of each size in the future. Luckily they all look good, so it's not a major issue. As with any foil kite, be aware of the relaunch, the Speed 5 is easy to relaunch, but if you crash it too many times, especially in waves, then you are going to struggle. If you do get it wet though it is very easy to drain it and dry it out thanks to the Automatic Drainage System.

Overall

The Speed 5 is the perfect brew when it comes to foil kites; it’s not an out and out race kite or a plod along low aspect land kite. It sits bang in the middle. It’s incredibly fast through the turns (for a foil), and the power and stability give it characteristics suitable for a range of riders with various sets of desired styles. Boosting on the smaller sizes is awesome, and light wind sessions are maximised with the larger sizes.

Videos

This review was in Issue 60 of IKSURFMAG.

For more information visit Flysurfer

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