At A Glance
New from Flysurfer is the eagerly anticipated Stoke. Building on lessons learned with the Cronix, the Stoke takes its place alongside the Boost2 in their line up as the all round freestyle/freeride machine.
Three struts with an Open C shape, the Stoke features a simple three stage bridle which alters the mode of the kite between Freestyle, Freeride and Wave. The inflate valve is from SUP technology and looks to be one that we will see more and more brands adopt in the future. It ensures super quick inflation, and the nozzle attachment is kept on the kite meaning if you forget your pump you won’t be left on the beach.
Flysurfer kites are built exceedingly well, and the Stoke is no exception. Featuring the classic
Flysurfer rings rather than knots on the end of bridle lines, don’t be alarmed by their way of doing things as they work, and work well. The canopy is made with the Teijin Technoforce D2 material, which is both strong and durable.
The kite looks and feels solid. The leading edge is chunky, and there is reinforcement spread throughout the kite. The kite incorporates Flysurfers High-Load Force Frame which uses ultra high strength fibre from DuPont which is then fixed and tempered with resin to sew the kite together. This feature minimises stretch and wear even at the highest load. There are also some handy Self-Rescue handles inside the leading edge should you ever be in that situation.
Sizes: 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 12, 14 metres
The 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 go 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 webbing mechanism is in place for the depower, very efficient but perhaps not quite as clean as the cleat style which more and more brands are going for.
In The Air
The Stoke is a powerful kite. So much so that you almost do a double take to check which size you have pumped up! It is not unmanageable power though, and we found the Stoke not only simple and fun but powerful and performance based should you wish it to be.
A relatively high bar pressure is present on the Stoke at all times letting you know where your kite is in the sky through the feel of the bar. Despite all the low-end power, the kite does have a good top end range, trimming the kite allows it to fly further forwards in the window and you can hold down quite a lot of power with relative ease.
Riding upwind is good, some good board technique will get the most out of it, and in those stronger winds, a little trim is a good idea.
Jumping is where the Stoke comes alive, and no doubt where it earned its quite accurate name. The bar feedback keeps everything in order and stops you from sending the kite every which way. Though of course if you do it is stable enough to catch you and even the heaviest of slams will not deter the kite from staying calmly in the sky. A very constant pull gets you up into the air, while the open canopy above you will keep you floating for a good amount of time. Not one to shoot you to the moon, its big brother the Boost2 is there for that, it will, however, keep you hanging around for quite some time and float you back down.
Once you are used to the jumps, throwing a few loops into the mix will liven up your experience. The Stoke provides some full throttle loops should you wish, but the ability to learn small and work your way up is also there. A little slower than some kites, it certainly packs a punch but will catch you every time, building your confidence.
"Powerful, punchy and very versatile"
Getting on to some more advanced moves with some unhooked action and the Stoke proves itself as a great freestyle kite. Very stable throughout your tricks, the kite maintains its position well allowing you to throw yourself around with ease. Not an all out C kite, the kite won’t drop you too aggressively, but the performance is certainly there for any aspiring or accomplished freestyler.
Relaunching the Stoke is super simple, the shape of the kite encourages it to swing round to the edge of the window on its own. A simple tug on a back line will get it going if required.
The three different settings on the kite work well, and there is a noticeable change between them. We shifted onto the wave setting and had a blast with the Stoke which drifted like a dream and has a great range through the bar for powering out of waves. This added versatility is a real bonus, it’s not quite three kites in one, but you do get a very different feel between the settings allowing you to tune the kite to your riding style or whatever the conditions dictate for the day.
A very well built and fun kite to fly, the Stoke is powerful, punchy and very versatile
The kite is great. However, we do feel it is let down slightly by the bar. Though it is completely functional and in no way unsafe, we would love to see an updated bar in keeping with what is currently available. Flysurfer are working on a new bar, and we have seen some prototypes, so watch this space.
This kite will leave you well and truly stoked and wanting to explore more of what it can offer. Three different settings offering a different experience in each. It boosts, loops, pops and drifts. This is a great option for the majority of riders who want a kite to do a bit of everything with a big wind range.
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This review was in Issue 64 of IKSURFMAG.For more information visit Flysurfer