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  • jhn.holgate Flysurfer Peak 2 6M Review


    Flysurfer deliver something quite different.....and it works beautifully. 

    Positives
    Easy to use.
    Brilliant in light wind.
    Good speed and upwind ability.
    Negatives / Considerations
    Heavy-ish bar pressure
    Flaps a bit when depowered
    Doesn't look very....um.....'sleek'!

    My hat is off to Flysurfer for putting the R&D into a kite that is quite different from anything else currently on the market.  And they've made a damn good versatile depower kite along the way.

    I'll be adding to this review as there are still a few things I've yet to try out on the kite and I need to also try it in some stronger winds.

    So part 'A' is based on 40km of buggying at home in the paddock in light and gusty conditions from 6 - 14 knots and 65km of buggying in 8 - 14 knots at 13th Beach.

    Now looking at those wind ranges (and having owned a 6m Ozone Access years ago) I would have thought that a 6m depower kite would only just be starting to get going at 14 knots.  Not so the Peak 2 6m.  Even in 10 - 12 knots I have had bags of power - even to the point of pulling a couple inches of trim in.  In fact, I've had enough power to pull me up and down the paddock at home and I'm sure the wind had dropped somewhere around the 6 knot mark - could have been 7, but geez, the 6m Peak 2 makes a lot of power in not much wind.  At 13th Beach there was just enough wind for some whitecaps to form, but there didn't feel to be much on the beach and I'm certain at times it dropped below 10 knots and I always had enough power to park 'n ride without having to work the kite.

    56908538a3424_13thBeach.thumb.jpg.670b47

    Please ignore the brake strap in the photo - I added it because I'm used to having one and being able to drop it around a rear wheel to secure the kite.

    The Peak 2 launches easily with a tug on the two front lines.  It responds to steering input reasonably direct and quickly.  It won't spin on a wing tip but I can loop it back under itself easily from halfway up the window.  It's not sluggish nor is it twitchy - a pretty good balance methinks.  It's quite stable too....I was able to ride and enjoy the view and use the camera without having to worry about what the kite was doing.  When stopped, it was easy to keep in the one spot and seemed quite stable.  In motion, it has a good range of depower - let the bar out and the power drops off rapidly.  It's a little lifty - in 13 knots or so I can fly it above my head, pull the bar in and leave the ground - not a huge amount, but I get the feeling if you threw it hard in a bit more wind you could probably do some small jumps on the landboard.

    It's reasonably fast - I topped out at a little over 50kph and like I say, that was probably 14 or 15 knots at the absolute most.  Upwind is good, I was along side Mick with his Century II and later, Libre Bora - I felt I could match his upwind ability when we turned a fair bit into the wind at the end of 13th Beach.  

    5690853bd3d5f_Peak2closeup.thumb.jpg.e0b

    I was always a little concerned with the 'flapping' of the Peak 1, but there's no problem with the Peak 2.  With 3 inches of trim pulled in and probably 3 inches of bar out, the kite stayed quite taught and performed well - and silently.  There was a little bit of 'flutter' at the corners of the trailing edge (which I also notice when I turn the kite hard).  Let the bar out anymore and yes, the edges do start getting flappy as the power really dies off, but honestly, it's a non issue.  I don't think I'd like to fly it heavily depowered and 'flapping' in 20 knots for any length of time - grab the 4m instead!

    569087bb56c22_Cheeseburger2.thumb.jpg.fa

    I've only had the Peak 2 luff on a couple of occasions but recover was fast and easy.  Reverse launch is no problemo.  I haven't noticed any tendency to overfly the window.

    There is quite a bit of pressure on the bar as the wind/apparent wind builds but Flysurfer have their magic stopper ball that you can slide down the line to hold the bar wherever you want it.  Bloody genius!  The ball holds tightly against the bar but will easily move if you put your fingers on it.  You can also use it to limit the amount of bar throw if you want.

    The chicken loop and top hat release are top quality and there is a swivel in there somewhere - any twists in the line below the bar can easily be taken out just by pulling the bar down to the top hat release - and voila, the twists disappear.

    The bar is very nice, with a wide double opening for the main power lines with no binding whatsoever.  There is a fifth line safety you can hook a leash to which will flag out the kite on one of the front lines.  I've yet to try this out.

    569087c10e06b_Peakandweatherboard.thumb.

    I feel Flysurfer have created a depower kite which is very friendly and easy to use, has good speed, excellent depower and good upwind ability and if you want grunt, this kite delivers.  I've read it has a good following in the snow kiting scene and I think it makes an excellent buggy engine.  I can't think of any reason it wouldn't make a good landboard engine too.  All this at a pretty good price point it has to be said.

    It's certainly different to look at and I do not claim to understand how on earth it all works like it does.  It's not the sleekest or most aerodynamic kite I've ever seen.  I refer to the 6m as the 'Cheeseburger wrapper' - a term of affection, I assure you as I am very impressed with it.

    I think Flysurfer have got this one right.

     

    Stay tuned for some more thoughts over the next couple of months...

     

     

    Cheeseburger.jpg


    Edited by jhn.holgate


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    User Feedback


    windstruck

    Posted

    Yowsa!  Nice review of a fine kite indeed.  I'm a big fan already as you know and own the complete four kite quiver already.  I have had many opportunities to use the 12m green monster.  You have your affectionate name for your 6m as your cheeseburger wrapper and I can't argue with that as it looks exactly like that!  

    My 12m is simply and aptly named "Session Saver".  Nuff said. :round-thumbs-up:

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    jhn.holgate

    Posted

    Thanks Steve.  I'm also really looking forward to getting my hands on 'Junior Burger' :grin: (that's the red one!)

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    .Joel

    Posted

    Awsome review John!  Really looking forward to seeing you fly the Cheesburger in person :good: 

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    windstruck

    Posted

    Good call BTW on the cross strap.  I have that on all four of mine.  I've taken them down from zenith in high wind straight out of the sky using those straps quite a few times.  They drop as if they've been shot! :hunter:

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    Mfwetu

    Posted

    Nice review John. The fact that you're looking at getting another one of these speaks volumes

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    windstruck

    Posted

    @jhn.holgate - got a chance to snowkite yesterday on some much larger terrain that allowed me to set up on a line and ride a while.  Gave me the perfect chance to experiment with the sliding ball.  As you would say (actually did say I think) it was BLOODY BRILLIANT.  I had the 12m up with 5m line extensions and was really bracing against some pretty brisk winds.  Having the ball slid down took the pressure completely off my arms, allowed me to comfortably control the kite's steering with one hand and therefore increase my lean and bracing because I didn't have to reach my opposite arm across to also hold the bar.  It was sort of a night-to-day difference!

    One thing I did notice though, and this could be me as a still relative novice to snowkiting, I needed to slide the ball back up for the turns to give me the DP function back.  I was really hauling and cutting my skis aggressively through a wind crust.  Scrubbing speed and the snow pack combined to have me arcing bigger turns than I would have preferred under better snow conditions.  As such if I didn't have the ability to push out the bar I would loose tension in the lines and backstall the kite to the ground if I wasn't able to pop the bar out and give the kite its lift back.  There was plenty of wind but the slackening of the lines made the kite backstall as I was of course essentially riding downwind during my large arcing corners.  This proved to be a none issue once I got the swing of it.

    Another time it got a little dicey was during a pass by another snowkiter who was coming in the other direction and we ended up crossing pretty close to one another.  I had the ball choked down at the time and I had to do a somewhat frantic on the fly adjust to get the ball out so I could scrub power and bring my kite up high (I was on the upwind side).  I felt a little like one does with cruise control set in a car in traffic on a highway when you come up on slow moving traffic and you've got to sort of disengage.  Probably would have been better to have practiced sliding the ball back out a few more times in non-stressful times (not completely easy in large winter mitts); akin to working the chicken loop release under non-stressful situations so you will have smooth muscle memory when or if you really need it NOW.  With mitts I found I needed to pull the bar slightly farther in so I could get my hand between the ball and bar before pushing it out.  I found myself looking at the ball to work this little maneuver out when by rights I should have been looking at the other rider and his kite.  It all worked out fine, but the other guy probably thought I could have done a smoother job of things.

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    Tiger37

    Posted

    Today at the Kingston kite meet John was kind enough to let me have a go with his 6m Peak 2. I have owned a 9m Peak 1 since they came out and am a real fan. I had been flying it before the wind became stronger when John offered me his Peak 2. By way of comparison (despite the different size), the Peak 2 has very noticeable improvements in the bar and bar set up. OK, the aspect ratio is a little higher, meaning the kite was faster to turn but this may have been the size difference. I loved the new Flysurfer bar! It's much more sophisticated, has a cleat to trim the kite and a ball to set the bar in a powered position making it less tiring in strong winds. Thanks John! I want a quiver even more than before now!

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    jhn.holgate

    Posted

    Had some good flights with the Peak 2 at Kingston recently with a couple of standout sessions including the last day which I covered 75km on the beach.  The 6m P2 really is a pleasure to cruise with - I was able to set the cruise control ball, sit back and relax with very little attention or input required from me.  What really surprised me was just how little wind you need.  6 knots and it was park and ride.  I don't think I had it out in over 15 knots - at around 12 knots I'm starting to pull a little bit of depower on to keep the bar close.  At one point the wind died off and it was a struggle to get back to the car with lots of working of the kite needed.  I checked the wind after I'd parked it and it read 4.5knts.  I think the 6m P2 pretty much equals the low end of my 10m NS2.

    I side launched it a few times and it picks up off the ground with no fuss at all.  It will luff in the really light stuff if you allow any slack into the system and I did note that the stitching is pretty exposed on the back of the leading edge and it showed a bit of 'fluffing' where it was dragged a little across the claypan (which is a fairly abrasive surface).

    One other thing I noted when coming back hard upwind and having to work the kite, the motion of bar would slowly push the 'cruise control' ball out requiring regular re-setting.  Mind you, still beats the hell out of having to hold the full bar pressure.  

    Really pleased and impressed with this kite.

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    jhn.holgate

    Posted

    And a bit of video from Kingston of the Peak 2....

     

     

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    windstruck

    Posted

     Really nice video John!  Really happy that you are enjoying your cheeseburger wrapper. Up North I'm deep into my Snowkiting adventures. I've been using my Peak-2s quite a bit, but actually I'm starting to prefer my Ozone dual skins on the snow.  Two reasons: 1) I can boost easier (yes, you can boost with the Peaks but it just isn't the same); and, 2) my Ozone's have Re-Ride which is just Da Bomb when you need to pull the eject lever or when packing up.

    I'm heading to Ivanpah next month for IBX and watching your buggy footage gets me all amped up to buggy with my Peaks!  Yes, and with my NS3's, mustn't forget those. 

    Watching you manipulate the little sliding ball really makes me appreciate this feature. Makes so much sense when you've got room to cruise on one tack for long stretches!  I'll think of you when I slide my little stopper down the line on the Playa!

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