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After kiting for some time, going on four years now I have finnally come to find my perfect kite quiver. I have always ridden high aspect kites like the Naish X series but now after riding medium aspect kites like the Naish V4 I am starting to put them into my quiver. This may just be me but I really only enjoy the high aspect in size 12. Those are really the only days it is a fun kite. I also have the 16 X3 but it is really only fun when it is really windy. By that time I can get out my 12 anyway. Then when it is too windy for my 12 I have tried an 8 x3 but it is too hard to control the power. I found a medium aspect fits better here as well. Is anyone else with me here? The high aspects are really only fun when the wind is right on. Other times a medium aspect is the best choice.
My small kite was a med aspect kite (9m fuel) Now I have an 8m outrage and I was shocked how long it was when I pulled it out of the bag. It even makes my 12m gxr leem like a low aspect. I was going to go with the outrage in the 8, but reading what WW said in another forum (the outrage series kites have diffrent aspect ratios so that they all fly simular no matter what size you fly) I decided if it's true then the 8m should behave like the 12m. I like the boosting that you get from the higher A/R kites. One question though, everyone says that high A/R kites turn faster. I found that lower A/R kites seem more zippy in turns. Am I wrong??
I have found that the high-aspect kites I've had in the past didn't always have a great amount of range and not too much low-end, but really performed well when well powered and lit-up. This last season, I rode all Yargas, a medium aspect kite, but returned the 16.5 Yarga to get a 16 Nemesis as the bigger Yarga didn't turn as fast or handle as quickly as I would have liked in the conditions I would use it for. It also was very torquey and pulled like a truck. When using my biggest kite, conditions aren't always optimum, sometimes hardly kitable, so my reasoning was to make my biggest kite the fastest it could be. Only recently did I realize the range it actually did have, which really surprised me. On a recent trip to Maui, I had the best session ever on the 16. I was the first one out at Kihei and winds were light, but then they built up a bit. I know it sounds cliche, but I was the only one out on a 16, everyone else was on 14s and 12s and it was 3 hours of great riding. The high-aspect kite had totally different jumping characteristics than the Yargas, they were really long and floaty, but in smaller sizes, I prefer the med aspect.
I've realized I like both aspects - the medium kites in the smaller sizes and the high AR in the bigger sizes. For 2005, I'll be keeping most of my Yargas, but adding a few Windwing Outrages; they will cover all conditions and moods.
Higher aspect kites in smaller sizes just handle too fast for me. I've found things can go bad enough on small medium AR kites in high winds with erroneous bar input.
I guess I just love lots of input. Last year I used one bar for all my kites. It was a 60cm bar and I loved the way I could throw my 9m kite around with it. If I put my hand on the outer edge and pulled it would send my kite back very fast and up up up and away......
Wow! 60cm is a whopping bar for anything under a 16 I'd say, at least with modern kites. I've been using a 45cm for kites up to 11m and 55cm for 13.5 and 16 and find it to be just right, for me anyway. In Costa Rica later this week, I be trying a 38cm pulley bar I've had for while, but never got around to using. Should be fun. I could definitely see the potential for a major mishap with a 60cm bar on a small kite!
That bar felt comfortable to me with any kite. I have a hard time with small bars. I think my shoulders are too wide. My natural grip is wide. I am going down to a 55cm bar this year. The only small bar I liked is a pulley bar. I think it was the air rush pulley. One handed ridding with ease.
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