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We've got another Kiter amongst us, my father He's purchased his first buggy, a Zebra! Just when you think you've seen it all someone comes up with a great new idea, the original owner modified the footpegs in a way I had never thought. He used small mountain bike bar extensions/verticle grips attached to the straight footpeg then drilled a hole and mounted the heel strap. For anyone else that has a Zebra and wondering, it's actually a really simple, non-destructive modification.
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. 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. 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). 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. 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.