May 8, 2010
Author: Shane Thompson
Size Tested: 15 m
Style: Four line Foil
The Flysurfer Speed 3 is a high performance foil design that pushes the limits of lightwind riding, with ample depower, great speed and superior upwind capability in the lightest winds. If big air, old-school style, racing or lightwind cruising is your MO, then the Speed3 promises to set new standards and redefine performance.
Bar and Safety Systems
The Infinity Bar system features a comfortable, narrow smooth EVA grip that wraps all the way around the longhorn style bar ends. The QR releases easily with a push-away design. The leash attaches below the bar at the apex of the trim loop. A mini fifth line runs up and completely flags the kite by pulling in the trailing edge. Above-the-bar trim straps are within reach to adjust the front line trim settings. A stopper ball keeps the centre lines coordinated and will let you lock in some power if needed. The main centre trim line is free floating and swivels through the trim loop which keeps the front lines from twisting. A nice streamlined bar that feels comfortable and has optimum levels of safety.
On the Water
Coming from a predominantly inflatable pedigree, the Test Team took some time to adapt to the flying characteristics of this large foil kite. The benefits of having jumbo foil for a lightwind weapon are evident immediately when you realize you don’t need to tire yourself out pumping up a massive leading edge and five to seven struts. The key of the many bridles of the foil is to ensure that they are properly stored and put away so as to not get tangled. In the air the Flysurfer launches with very little wind and once all the cells are inflated its ready to pull. The low-end power is excellent but it does take some time to adjust to getting the power in the lightwinds. As inflatable riders, the Test Team is used to working power into the kite by steering it. This large and long foil doesn’t generate power in this way. Instead, you park the kite and sheet out and edge to surge the kite forward in the wind. This increases the apparent wind speed and the subsequent truck like pull. Once you’ve figured out how to fly this kite, it has tons of power and was the lightwind gem of the test. It has consistent pull and power and once trimmed you can unhook and it generates some decent pop. The power generation through the turns is sometimes difficult to time because of the long length of the kite, but the kite initiates the turn quickly and the steering is direct. The Speed 3 delivers big hang time jumps in really light wind even with smaller sized twin tip boards. This kite can be a ton of fun for anyone looking to get out on the water more than their friends. The Speed 3 also relaunches quickly from the water with an aggressive pull of the steering lines it reverses off the water can be steered airborne.
If you’re looking for a nimble steering jumbo kite this isn’t it, the Speed 3 is a park-n-ride powerhouse.
Put away the golf clubs and look to the Speed 3 for excellent park-n-ride lightwind action fun ideal for twin tip freestyle and old school hang time glide.