At A Glance
Peter Lynn were famous for their twin skin designs back in the early days of kiteboarding. Models such as the Gorilla had a huge following, but in more recent years, while they retain a twin skin model with the Charger, they have been pushing the LEI side of their range in a big way.
The Swell is a wave kite at heart that also lends itself to the free ride category too. It’s a three strut design with a fairly open arc and swept back tips; the Swell V2 is the latest incarnation of the model, and they’ve tweaked it to increase the turning speed, drift capabilities and tighten up the handling.
It’s a hybrid SLE design; with a very short compact bridle that uses two Ronstan low friction rings to help the kite trim it’s angle of attack as you sheet in and out. There is a large inflation valve to make getting on the water faster, and there are also multiple trim options on the kite. It is well built with reinforcements on the leading edge and also the trailing edge too.
Sizes: 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 12m
The new Navigator bar for 2016 is seriously impressive; it has everything that you would need on it, presented in an up to date and modern style. You get great features such as integrated floats, and bar ends, free spinning depower, push away safety in an upgraded chicken loop, plus an aluminium centre line hole, as well as a PVC coated depower line. This bar should last a good few seasons with specs like this, and it is great to see a brand such as Peter Lynn put so much work into the bar and come up with something so polished.
The bar comes in three sizes, 42cm, 52cm and 62cm; each size has different line lengths, the small comes with 18m lines and 3m extensions, the medium comes with either 22 or 24m lines both with 3m extensions and the large comes with 24m lines and 3m extensions. This should give you plenty of options depending on the kite size you are running. We love the line extensions too; these make it really easy to tune your kite’s characteristics even further.
In The Air
I’m always a little nervous when it comes to testing wave kites, especially in the summer when the waves are few and far between. You run the risk of spoiling a precious session if the kite doesn’t live up to my exacting standards of what a wave kite should deliver. With two days of cranking wind and waves in August, I was keen to see how the Swell V2 would match up to my expectations. Would I be disappointed or would it be love at first site?
A good wave kite needs to be an extension of your body; there is so much muscle memory involved in wave riding you just need the kite to perform without holding you back. The Swell V2 did just that and oh so much more on our first session together. I was actually a bit blown away by how bloody good it was. Every bottom turn it responded to in lightening fast fashion, and it redirected off the lip with seemingly minimal effort.
This kite is fast, very fast, which is ideal for those onshore days where you need to crank it around the window as you ride down the wave. It feels like an extension of your arm, and all of this within minutes of putting it up in the air. Often it takes a while to dial in a kites idiosyncrasies; sometimes it takes two or three sessions to get tuned into how a kite behaves.
Not so with the Swell V2, it was so easy and intuitive to fly; we just got about the business of shredding the waves together. There were no tentative false starts like a teenager getting his first kiss at the school disco. We were straight into it in the kind of pants off frenzy a porn star would be proud of. Impressed then, but what else did we like?
The wind range on the kite is massive; it can handle heaps of wind, and the top end seems limitless on the 7m. Gust handling is good, the depower throw is quite long, so you need to engage the arms a little, rather than having fingertip control, but this didn’t detract from the experience. One issue we will point out is the very long throw on the bar, if you let go of the bar it would be out of reach for riders with smaller arms. This is perfect for total depower and longer riders, but shorter people may struggle with this.
Drifting down the line was excellent the kite hangs very well in the window. The high speed also made the kite fun to jump, and it had good hangtime too. Upwind again was impressive, we came off the water a little worried about the love affair we had just had and wondered about the best way to explain it to the girlfriend.
Easy to fly, intuitive and very dynamic, this is a great wave kite with decent freeride capabilities too.
The long depower throw makes it tricky for riders with short arms to reach the trim line. We’d also like to see some more up to date materials such as double ripstop in play, it’s well built, but it needs to keep up with the times.
This pocket rocket is the fun machine you can’t tell your wife about, in the waves it is sublime, and we were surprised by how good it was. The bar is really well polished, and the whole package feels great. It's big step forwards for the Swell V2 and a big thumbs up from us.
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This review was in Issue 58 of IKSURFMAG.For more information visit Peter Lynn
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!