- Mon Nov 28, 2011 4:12 pm »
Sunday morning gave us a light on shore wind to play in. Unfortunately it varied between 5 mph and zero and back up again quite a few times, then eventually stopped. However, this gave us some time to fly the UL followed by the standard, and vice versa. DaveA had his UL, Mat and I had our standards.
In many respects the Solus ISN'T like the Widowmaker (I'm glad I've kept THAT in my collection), but it is clearly another fine kite from the Skyburner range. As you'd expect, build quality is as good as it comes. The Solus has a really balanced feel no matter what you are doing, it doesn't appear to have any kite specific quirks that you need to adjust to, it feels positive on the lines without feeling overly solid.
For a kite that is primarily aimed at all the modern tricks I was very pleased with the tracking. Nice straight lines, and precise corners as long as the sail remained loaded up. The standard does have a tendency to spin stall if the wind is at the bottom end of the range, but this is easy to compensate for and it doesn't show up once the wind is 5mph and above.
All the tricks I can do came really easily, it is very tolerant of variable inputs and it only does what you are telling it to do. One thing I find is a good test for a modern trick kite is flic flacs. The Solus will do them forever! Early inputs, late inputs, whatever - I couldn't find a dead spot anywhere - and balanced, balanced, balanced. If you start the kite horizontal, it flic flacs horizontal time after time unless you get REALLY sloppy.
Forward and backward pitch tricks pose no problems, the kite appears to rotate either way with the same speed and amount of input required. Early reviews from overseas suggested this was a rollup monster. I didn't find this, but it I would say it was on par with the Talon and other such kites - quick but very controllable.
The kite sets up nicely for Taz Machines,something I've previously struggled for consistency with. Success rate was previously around the 20 to 30% mark, with the Solus it was immediately past the 50% mark (Woohoo!)
The UL definitely has a lower wind range than the standard, and requires a bit more delicate touch to get some rotations consistently. Backspins are typical here, the first rotation is started with a slow, continuous pull before subsequent ones are "popped". But overall it lived up to expectations and is a fine addition to the bag for someone looking to keep tricking in lighter breezes.
The wind stopped blowing before we could spend a great deal of time on the kites, but we had enough time to realise these kites are "keepers". Definitely gets a spot in the "A" bag. Doesn't take the place of the Widowmaker, but iss an excellent stablemate.
I'm looking forward to more time on the lines!