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  • andy666 Zebra Revolt 11M Review


    The Zebra Revolt is a very well designed and constructed kite. 

    Positives
    Extremely Well Built
    Flexible Reinforcement Ribs
    Light Weight Cloth
    Negatives / Considerations
    Chicken Loop
    Bar/Lines Setup
    Unsuitable for Kiteboarding

    The Revolt is the new closed cell depower from Zebra Kites, the budget focused branch of Libre Kites.

    Don't worry though that being budget focused Zebra have cut corners in manufacturing quality, because the kite is extremely well built. In fact they have included a few little features that I think some of the big manufactures should take note of. How they have managed to keep the price down is by clever design and outsourcing.

    zebra-revolt-kite-review-001-kite.jpg

    The kite was tested over several days (in a buggy), with winds ranging from 5 to 12 knots. Not ideal conditions, but usable. 

    I also did a back to back comparison with my 12m Flysurfer Speed 3 and I'll use it as a yard stick for the review, since it is a kite that most people know.

    Kite Build and Features:
    The Revolt has almost no graphics, with the name being screen printed onto just one cell and only a single colour per cell being used to simplify manufacturing.

    The kite uses flexible reinforcement ribs in the leading edge, similar top the Speed 4, to help maintain the profile and aid light wind launching. They have also sewn a protective plastic tape to the leading edge to prevent the ribs wearing through the cloth, if the kite is dragged across the sand.

    The cloth is also very light weight compared to the standard cloth of my Flysurfer. In fact when weighing the kite and bridles, the 11m Revolt is 1.6kg lighter then the 12m Speed 3.

    The bridle and mixer on the Revolt is all made from thin un-sleeved dyneema, which helps to reduce the weight and drag on the kite. My only concern though with using unsleeved dyneema is where the line runs through the pulley. After several days of testing the line was already showing signs of wear and unlike on the Flysurfer, this is not a replaceable part.

    zebra-revolt-kite-review-002-vents.jpg

    zebra-revolt-kite-review-003-logo.jpg


    Bar and Lines:
    Instead of Zebra developing their own, the Revolt is supplied with a Peter Lynn Navigator bar and lines.

    Although it is the usual high quality you would expect from a big manufacturer like Peter Lynn, the bar and lines were the things I disliked.

    The chicken loop uses the outdated pull towards release, rather then the easier and safer jerk away release. (Even Ozone have stopped using this design  )

    Also I hate the Y front line design, as I find that when launching the steering lines often get caught on the ring where the line splits and can be difficult to shake loose.

    Functionally, the bar and lines work ok with the kite, and it may just be my personal preference, but I would replace them with something else (Flysurfer).

    zebra-revolt-kite-review-004-bar.jpg


    In Flight:
    Initially the kite did not fly well, slow steering and back stalling. 

    I immediately noticed though that the Z bridles where hanging loose when turning. When I checked the bridles I found that the Z bridle hadn't been put through the larks head when the flying lines were connected, instead it had simply been tied to the mixer with an overhand knot. Whether this was a mistake from the factory or by the previous person to demo the kite, when they connected the lines is unsure.

    Also the front and rear flying line lengths were not set correctly, with the fronts being about 6" longer then the rear.

    Once these two issues were corrected the kite flew and turned a LOT better.

    Being such a light weight kite it flies in almost no wind. 5 knots was enough to keep it in the air.

    Like the Speed 3 the kite thrives on apparent wind and as the kites speed builds so does the power. Back to back the 12m Speed 3 and the 11m Revolt have about the same speed through the air, both getting the buggy to about 40km/h in about 8 to 10 knots of wind. They also have about the same turning speed, which isn't the best, but then they ardent designed for doing unhooked kite loops.

    In such light wind it was difficult to compare the boosting ability of the Revolt, or even the Speed 3. The few times I was able to get off the ground it was only by building speed in the buggy and steering against the kite. Float was almost none existent in the light wind conditions, which wasn't surprising.

    Back to back I felt the 12m Speed 3 had a little bit more grunt and lift then then 11m Revolt.

    One area the Revolt out performed the Speed 3 was drift. When I steered the buggy directly at the Revolt it lost all power, but held its position in the window and simply drifted down wind until I steered away again.

    zebra-revolt-kite-review-005-kite.jpg

    Conclusion:
    The 11m Zebra Revolt is a very well designed and constructed kite. It has a couple of little flaws and I would recommend replacing the Peter Lynn bar with another brand, but overall brilliant kite for the money.

    Is it as good as a 12m Flysurfer Speed 3?.... No.... But its close.



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    User Feedback


    Clive

    Posted

    Good to see you had it working well

    We had it at Kingston .... I assembled it there according to the booklet that came with it, whilst I can say no overhand knots were used, I don't claim to have tuned it other than join the lines together. At the time it turned very slowly. a number of us flew it, no-one picked its assembly at the time.

    I'm all for a demo kite, but in hindsight I think it should be fully assembled and tuned PRIOR to letting it get used by prospective buyers.

    We had some discussion about the kite at Kingston, sadly I liked the color that's about it, due to the fact it had been generously loaned for our use I didn't make any negative comments.

    I hope it was just a tuning thing and the kite now performs well.

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    Chook

    Posted

    Also Andy the zebra crossing stripes were VERY visible from many kilometres away, unlike all the other kites that just blended into the greenery of the background at a distance.

    We always knew where you were and your current direction of travel. :)

    I can say that it is a credit to you how you stuck with it, fiddling, tuning and just plain stuffing round till you got it singing. :good:

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    Clive

    Posted

    I can say that it is a credit to you how you stuck with it, fiddling, tuning and just plain stuffing round till you got it singing. :good:

    Sounds like it wasn't easy to get tuned.

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    andy666

    Posted

    Sounds like it wasn't easy to get tuned.

    Not really, I spotted the problem almost immediately and had it turning faster in a few minutes. I then tried a few different setting to see if I could further improve it. Also tried it with line extensions and without. And equaling the line length to avoid back stall.

    50% of the problem was the unequal line lengths that the peter lynn bar came with. The rest was just assembly. I would guess then that the C and Z bridles are tied together at the factory for shipping, as it was just a loose over hand knot. Then meant to be untied and both attached to the rear flying line.

    Also, do you still have the instruction book Clive, because it wasn't with the kite?

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    Tiger37

    Posted

    An interesting review - thanks Andy.

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    Clive

    Posted

    I actually have some video of assembling it, as I was hoping to do a review myself, but given my initial impressions I dropped the idea.

    There was alittle booklet with it, I've got video footage of opening it for instructions etc. from watching the footage, I opened up the kite and pretty much just joined the lines, also on video, I'm not uploading to the net, but might be able to send you a disk if you are that keen.

    I assembled the kite, static flew it with John, then took it to the beach for a ride, norm had a quick fly , it was then packed up including putting all the ties back on it and packing everything together, Put back in Joel's van, Joel had a fly and didn't like it. It then went back to Jas at briskites who commented to Joel about the line lengths ( so obviously unpacked it) ..... And then possibly to you. So it's had a few places to get misplaced.

    That's about all I know. Everything I had went back in the bag.

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    SoutherlyBuster

    Posted

    Great review Andy.

    Glad to hear the turning speed issue got sorted and that the over hand knot could be untied! When I flew it, thought that some line tuning was needed. The manual really should state clearly the layup of how it should be set up and wheather some loosely tied overhand knot is to be untied. Personally I reckon no kite should be delivered with bridles bundled together with an overhand knot then to be untied, so easy for some one to miss that. Hopefully a pdf version of the manual is available to replace the missing one.

    Regards,

    Norman.

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