I had a chance to try out the new Peter Lynn Charger 10m^2 for both land boarding and kite boarding. I mostly fly my Peter Lynn Venom II 13m^2 and when the wind is high swap over to my Peter Lynn Synergy 8m^2, so I felt at home with the Charger and the updates were a pleasant surprise. My comments come straight from my kiting log book.
7 Feb 2010 Ride
Land boarding session in light winds, 8 to 10 knots, sea breeze.
Kite construction: well made, they have addressed the weak points of the Synergy.
The air inlets at the wing tips, the zippered ones, these keep open much better when left unattended versus the Venom II, they don't collapse and close up in light winds.
Due to the smaller trailing edge internal rib gauze between the wing tip and wing tip zipper, I could not inflate the wing tip by opening the down wind zip as one can with the Venom II. This was not a problem though as even when not fully inflated in light winds the kite was still launchable. So the launchability has improved significantly since the Venom II's.
Navigator bar: excellent design, such a big improvement on the previous release. I could easily flag out the kite by letting the bar run out, let the kite land, pull the flagging line to retrieve the bar and re launch the kite (without having to unstrap and going to the kite). The bar is smoother and not as rough on the hands. The chicken loop can not accidentally come out or unhook, is very easy to reset once released. The bar did feel heavier than the previous models. The safety leash is a big improvement, will not coil and twist up any more, disengagement is effective and quick if you need to release it, this was not possible on the previous release.
The kite performance is a slight improvement on the Synergy but a big improvement on the Venom II. It turns very fast versus the Venom II even in light winds. Power delivery is smoother than the Synergy. Landing worked well, the land assist tabs work much better than on previous models. Kite bag is the same as the Synergy, is the usual dual bag of small if kite wing tip batons are removed from the kite or extendable if batons left in the kite. Wing tip batons have not changed and still have the poor end cap rubbers which can fail upon kite crashes, ie intersection of rubber cylindrical wall and top cap get torn/cut from the Aluminium tube. (I replace mine with Bunnings chair leg end caps, not a problem since.)
The bar centre hole has improved by the addition of a stainless steel sheath but still requires improvement as there were some rough edges.
13 February 2010 Ride
Kite boarding session on the water, medium wind strength, 15-16 knots onshore sea breeze.
GPS readings: 10m^2 Charger: 35 km/hr, 13m^2 Venom II 39.2 km/hr. This indicates trialing a 12m^2 Charger would have been a better comparison to my Venom II 13m^2.
Now for the comments of the Charger ....
Very smooth power delivery of the Charger, in comparison to my 8m^2 Synergy which is more like a "terrier" (but I like it that way).
Charger has a very fast turning speed, very much faster than the Venom II 13m^2, and a bit faster than the Synergy 8m^2.
I was a bit under powered for the water action at 15 knots average wind speed, therefore would not consider the 10m^2 Charger as an all round kite size for land and water like the Venom II 13m^2. So I would be inclined to go for either the 12 or 16m^2 Charger as the all rounder kite and use the smaller Chargers for high wind days.
The soft covering on the bar was comfortable and felt solid on the land when the bar was dry, but when wet it felt a bit too slippery. My hands did not slip off though, perhaps something to get used to.
The Cleat Trim System: personally I don't like it, I prefer the older strap system. The cleat system felt fiddly and difficult to set when out on the water and riding at the same time.
The kite performed well on all fronts for upwind, cross wind and down wind.
Because of the fast turning capability, kite loops will be easier and have to watch out for accidental kite loops as did happen during that session.
I did not test the water re launch capability, it just kept in the air so nicely, had no need for water re launch.
The bar pressure was light. This is considered a major improvement versus the Venom II 13m^2 along with turning speed. That is both light for pulling in the bar and for turning.
The bar floaties length has been shortened which makes for a neater system during packup/winding in the lines.
Again noticed the heavier bar/leash system, but suspect most of the weight increase was due to the leash. The leash was substantially longer, so it could be easily placed on your harness side if you wish rather than right next to the chicken loop hook. As noted during the land session, the new leash was great, no more twisting of the leash around the floaties as on the Venom II.
There are now more adjustments possible on the Charger versus the Venom II and Synergies. I only tried out the one setting. The setting I used was:
* Internal straps: default middle setting.
* Front line knots: middle.
* Rear line knots: fully out.
Tips on which setting to use were given in the manual, but as before you need to 'play' with the settings to get what you want.
Best improvements versus the Venom II:
Low bar pressure.
Improved bar system.