At A Glance
The Unity is a totally new kite from Flysurfer, in the past they have always been known for their amazing light wind monsters such as the Speed 3 and their aggressive freestyle kite like the Psycho 4. The Unity aims to fill the freeride gap in their range as a do it all kite that should appeal not only to the army of Flysurfer fans out there, but also to the LEI die hards who might be looking for a change. The construction is up to the usual high standards that Flysurfer have been famous for, after all they have been building these twin skin kites for years now and have the system pretty dialled. To back it up they offer a free repair warranty scheme if you happen to break it! Out of the bag the Flysurfer can appear confusing, especially if you aren’t used to flying this style of kite… Relax, it’s not as complex as it looks. Just unroll the kite, unwind the lines get a bit of air into the canopy to give it some shape and then you’re ready to go. Just make sure you shake any tangles out of the bridle before launch. As long as you don’t disconnect the flying lines these should only ever be superficial.
Whilst things at the kite end may feel a little unfamiliar to you Flysurfer virgins out there, the bar end is altogether more business as usual. It’s a 5-line set up with the 5th line being a pure safety feature to flag the kite out when you pop the release. The entire system can be “un-spun” by simply pulling the bar towards you, a neat feature that saves you from untwisting your lines every few runs. There is a pull/pull trim system for taking the power out of the kite, the interesting point here is that this doesn’t just adjust the angle of attack but also the canopy profile in terms of how “arced” it is. This allows extreme depower and wind range. The chicken loop features a simple push away release that works well and is easy to reset.
In The Air
I’ve flown these kites a fair bit in my years of kiting, but I would be lying if I didn’t say I was “unnerved” every time I got one out of the bag. It is a very different experience to what you are used to. Launching is simple enough but more often than not the kite will go up into the air semi inflated. This gives you the impression it won’t steer and just flog you to death in some horrible kitemare. BUT, RELAX, these kites are very soft and easy to fly and are still responsive even when semi inflated in the air. The best option is just to hold the kite steady in the window and wait 30 seconds for it to fully inflate. It may be unnerving for many of us who are used to pumping our kites up, but it’s a lot less effort! The also have huge depower from a very short throw on the bar and once you master these initial fears you’ll be able to settle into taking the Unity for a spin. Of course if you are a seasoned Flysurfer veteran reading this you’ll be laughing at this comfortable in the knowledge of years of experience with these twin skinned machines.
The next bit will interest you though; the Unity is VERY different to anything Flysurfer have made before. The handling and turning speed is comparatively quick to the Speed, and the low-end wind range isn’t as extreme as you would normally expect. In fact the handling of the Unity is much closer to the LEI kites that I am used to flying than any of the previous kites I have flown from Flysurfer. The Unity will be an easy crossover kite for any LEI enthusiast looking to try something different. Upwind ability is excellent, and the top end is for once more of a headline that the bottom-end. Jumping as ever is where these foils really excel, the hangtime and glide is so smooth, even in gusty conditions you get a consistent pull from the kite. Bar pressure is quite light, although you can definitely feel the lines pulling on the bridle of the kite as it turns, giving the rider good feedback. Unhooked and the “soft” pull from the kite makes nailing tricks a breeze, load the edge and there is plenty of pop but the pull diminishes when you are in the air mid rotation allowing you to pass the bar without that familiar LEI yank that you get on some kites. The kite also drifts very well, partly due to it’s lightweight and has amazing stability, something we have come to expect as standard from Flysurfer.
Well built, great resale value, something different, very freeride orientated kite, easy to fly, safe, great top end range and very good unhooked.
Not your usual kite from Flysurfer, existing converts might be in for a shock, the Unity is completely different to the Speed 3, but we think in a good way! The bottom end isn’t as good as you would expect, but to be honest that’s probably a blessing, this kite is very different to the rest of the range.
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A very refreshing kite from the team at Flysurfer, fast, nimble, great top end, all words I wasn’t expecting to use! If you fancy trying the darkside, then now is as good as anytime to give it a whirl.
This review was in Issue 30 of IKSURFMAG.
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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!