Friday, April 20, 2007


Review by Zakharov

First tests on the snow... well, on the ice, really.

There is almost no wind at the ground level this morning! Even race "tens" could be launched with some serious running effort. On the height it is 3-4 m/s (6-8 knots). I was unfolding the new Psycho on the beach without complete confidence that it would fly, valves should make it difficult to pump it up... My peers also shared my doubts - all our previous experience with water foils on the bar was saying that it is not possible to lift the kite at zero wind.

To everybody's surprise the kite easily took off with minimal pumping at the ground and few steps running upwind.

Right after the start comes the first shock - when testing `Speed-13` in such wind it could barely move you across the wind direction yet `Psycho-13` accelerates very well, racing `Infinity-8.5` is noticeably slower.

Next thing you notice is very wide range of power covered by the bar. Push it away and the power drops in several times but the kite is still easily steered. Full forward and backward wing rotations are smooth with great acceleration. Pull the bar backwards 40 cm and get loads of power without any speed loss or attempts to stop or fall back. In today's conditions with slippery surface, 3-4 m/s winds and full speed up to 50 km/h the power control with the bar was sufficient, I did not touch depower at all.

The force on the bar is moderate, I set it to the middle position and did not get tired in a two hours session. I will experiment with this setting later.

In the end I was really satisfied with the dynamic and speed qualities of the kite, it went far beyond my expectations!

As for jumping - this is not my area of expertise. I let it play to Roman - one forward turn, two, three... The amplitude is 3-4 meters, Roman likes the new toy. He advises to pull the bar before the jump.

This is little unusual - I was always turning the kite into jump with freed bar and pulled it only after the take-off. It worked well on all kites that I have tested.

Let's try the new way. Yes! The jumps are high although I am heavier than Roman and can not do as nice as he does. I'd better learn to rotate in the summer on the water...

So, as of today the conclusions are the following.

`Psycho-13` is a universal kite for winter and summer adequately good for jumping and racing.

In winter the kite flies same well as in the summer! Easy start despite valves on the leading edge, great stability on the edges of the window, very forgiving to the mistakes on the jumps and great speed for the free ride!

This is the wing that alone lets you sail in moderate wind on water and ice equally without any loss of enjoyment! This is my first experience with such kite especially considering the incredible durability of ram-air kites on water and snow - they have no pressurized bladders.

And considering the manufacturer's claimed wind range of 4-15 m/s (8-30 knots)...

I still can not believe it! When testing `Speed-13` the 12 m/s was the limit. Of course, the Psycho wing is attached to the first row as the "bow" which should let it be stable at very small angle of attack thus providing a huge depower range...

But still, I will not believe it until try.

It's a dream coming true: two or even three kites in one!

And now ahead is sun, water and Yeysk! Stand by for the new impressions.

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