At A Glance
Peter Lynn have been going from strength to strength the past few years now producing high performing LEI kites such as the Escape, Swell and Fury to compliment the twin skin closed foil design of the Charger which Peter Lynn have always been famous for. The Escape, now in its 5th version (V5), has been designed as a high-end freeride and freestyle machine. Making its debut at the 2016 RedBull King of the Air, it has certainly been put through its paces.
The Escape is an Open-C design, with a compact pulley-less bridle and 4 struts. Solid construction and impressive reinforcements are in all the right areas without going overboard to keep the weight of the kite at bay. The Leading Edge and struts have also had any excess weight stripped by keeping them small in diameter, which not only reduces weight but adds to the speed of the kite through the air.
New for this version, is the elimination of the pulleys, and this is noticeable in the direct nature of the kite. The back line attachments have multiple options to fine tune the kite to the wind strength, your style and the conditions on the day.
There are some interesting diagonal panel cuts, which lead toward the centre of the kite from both tips. On one side this allows the graphic to be part of the design, and the other matches this without colour change. This is a great way of adding even more stability to the canopy without gaining any weight.
The kite comes not only in a sturdy holdall/rucksack but also with a very handy inner stuff sack, which is perfect for a wet sandy kite. Also supplied is a comprehensive repair kit with colour-matched material and plenty of spares for the 1 pump system.
Sizes: 5, 7, 9, 11, 13m
The Navigator bar comes in 3 different bar widths with 3 different line lengths resulting in 4 options to chose from. The 9m Escape we had on test came equipped with the ‘Small’ configuration of 52cm bar and 21m lines with 3-meter extensions. The bar itself is ergonomic and robust with a smooth coating to keep any blistered palms at bay. Large integrated bar ends are well built and durable.
The larger sized chicken loop is excellent for hooking back in after freestyle moves, and the simple push away quick release keeps everything safe and easy. Your leash can be attached to either the solid feeling connector on the chicken loop for ‘suicide’ mode or onto the re-ride system to take advantage of the safety.
In The Air
The Escape V5 is a solid piece of kit. The set-up is clean and simple, and can really pack a punch when flown in an aggressive manner. Though the bar is the small size, it does feel relatively large at 52cm, and the centre line is quite long, so I would recommend setting the cleat before launching as some people may find it hard to reach when on the water and leaning back.
The kite itself flies very well, powering through the window to impressive upwind angles. The bar pressure is firm but not heavy and offers great feedback at all times. Whilst riding, the steady nature of the Escape V5 inspires confidence and could quite happily be used by early intermediates to progress with.
The depower offered by the bar throw is impressive and certainly outweighs what you’d expect from a kite of this style. Added with the effective cleat system, the range of the Escape V5 is quite something. Jumping is great fun with the Escape V5. It is smooth and offers a surprising amount of float, especially for a 9 meter kite. The kite, though responsive, is not twitchy in any way and maintains power throughout the jump and into an aggressive redirect.
Moving on to more freestyle orientated moves the kite really comes alive. Not one to be ridden in this way at the bottom of its range, you want it to be well powered to get the most out of it, and you’ll be surprised by just how much you can hold it in! The Escape V5 behaves fantastically unhooked, not ripping your arms out, nor sinking back into the drink, it provides credible pull and slack to learn and perfect all the latest power moves. Of course, this is not a magical kite and we can’t guarantee you won’t still crash! Luckily the relaunch is super simple and will be waiting for you to begin again.
The set-up is clean and simple, and can really pack a punch when flown aggressively.
Kite loops on the Escape V5 have only improved from V4. A super kite to learn and progress to some sizeable loops, but without quite as much aggression thrown back at you as some other freestyle kites. Of note is how well the kite drives back through the window, you know the kite will always be there to catch you.
Simple, solid and with a wide range of use.
The bar throw is quite long when you get the kite out of the box, so be sure to set the cleat position to shorten the throw if you have shorter arms! Other than that minor point we had no complaints about this kite.
The Escape V5 has been really improved with a more direct feel, big floaty jumps and great freestyle ability when both hooked and unhooked. It will suit enthusiastic beginners, weekend warriors, aspiring freestylers and everyone in between.
This review was in Issue 61 of IKSURFMAG.For more information visit Peter Lynn