Winter snowkiting topics and locations.
Yeah, it has it's own section of the forum, but...
What is the lowdown on the Frenzy? Is it still considered the best option for snow? I've read some negative stuff about it -- mostly regarding its safety. And how different is the '04 from the '05 (forget about the '06 for me...)
Which is the right size for Tahoe? I mean, if you were going to have just one, which is about all I can swing after this summer's purchases.
It would seem as though now is a good time to start thinking about snow...
I don't know what you've heard about the Safety on the Frenzy but it's pretty bullet proof. Just pull the realease and...no power. Takes 10 seconds to retrieve it and put it back together. Foils in general have a convenience factor that is hard to pass up. Inflateables (especially the ones with snow taken into consideration through the design process) work great but can take a while and be a bit cumbersome to setup in the snow.
There is a huge performance/safety improvement in the 04/05 Frenzy's. I happen to know someone selling 05 7 and 10. Pretty good deal too. Check the bathroom at Sherman and you will see their ad.
For Tahoe, 10m all the time and 7m for storm winds. These are foil sizes of course.
sometimes Gary Bronson...
Frenzeys are fine, their safety is OK, nothing to worry about. I only know the 04/05 so maybe in earlier years it was different. It is one of the most popular power kites and has excellent reputation. The kite is solid but not as luf resistant as the flysurfers and the peter lynns. Surprisingly heavy bar pull for a foil. If you are about to dump that amount of money, you might as well get a water relaunchable for a similar price. There is a water relaunhchable version of the Frenzey in the making. I am not sure what is the status of that.
Speaking of Frenzey, it is the world snowkite champ for three years straight, mostly because of the rider Chasta which no one can really touch (at least on the videos). We are talking about triple kite loops, jumps of cliffs and generally more paragliding than snow kiting. The guy is in his own league and comes to the US once or twice a season. Worth keeping up to date once the season kicks in.
It was that luffing that I heard about.
I had fun a few days last year on the snow with my inflateables, but it sure seems like the foils are the way to go. Them and randonee bindings...
I meant to ask Ed why he wasselling his Frenzys... thanks for the tips.
Would this be for both north and south shore spots? My friend has a cabin near Prosser Resevoir. Would be most interested in getting to these spots, especially Prosser. Anyone kited there?
I haven't kited any of these sites, but they all seem to have significant limitations -- mainly not enough snow.
In my experience, as a "commuting kiter", it's frustrating enough to find wind around South Tahoe, where the sites are obviously more reliable for other reasons.
The local guys will tell you that to be guaranteed wind, you have to be set up to do some hiking. The car-accessible sites are much more hit and miss, although they're lots of fun when they're on.
I know, thatís my short experience in South Lake Tahoe too. Thatís why Martin Meadows looks interesting, it is near the airport which is a very flat area.
By the way the guest before was me, I know it is starting to be a sensitive issue.
Speaking of foils, the foil companies that make paragliders make kites that are super duper quality. Other than the fact that they look like a million dollars when you open the bag, they last a long time. Much more than any inflateable. This is why buying a used foil is less of a risk than buying a used inflateable. After many hours expect some bridle stretch, but most foils need probably hundreds of hours for that. Its relatively easy to fix and leaves no marks on the kite, replace the bridle and its as good as new. The worst thing that can happen is canopy stretch, but this is so unusual and it basically means the kite can be considered dead or close to that. If the canopy does not look right, don't touch it with a stick. That is very unusual because these kites last so long that it hardly ever happens, but still something to watch out for.
Quality wise, the paraglider makers make the best and long lasting foils, these are Flysurfer, Ozone and PKD. Flexifoil also makes good quality kites.
Peter Lynn quality is not that great. Some kites last well and some have endless problems of stuff ripping apart and broken tip battens. Itís a hit or miss.
There is also the Naish Element which is basically the good old Flysurfer Warrior with WAC ( = depower). FS Warrior is an awesome kite, so there is a lot of potential for the Element, but turning is not as fast as inflateable. Its a 02/03 design that does not have the goodies of the new ones, but still a serious powerhouse and light wind magician. Quality wise it is an unknown for Naish foils, never seen one in real life. I think at that price get a Flysurfer or an Ozone, you get an 05, the Element is an 02/03 design. I have a Warrior and it is one of the best in the bag.
There are some other obscure small manufacturers that make very cheap kites. Some of them fly well and some not, quality is never great but the price is low enough to make them a viable option too. No depower on these.
If you need more info about buying a new/used foil feel free to ask.
Thanks. I've never kited at Martis, but I've skied at Northstar plenty of times, and the single biggest problem there (Northstar AND Martis) is lack of snow. The meadow is pretty low elevation, and it seemed to me that any day the sun was shining, there was no snow.
I like to ski on powder days and kite when the powder's gone, but if you hit it the day after a dump, it might work.
Ozone has a water-relaunchable/depowerable closed cell (no pumping & no delicate blatters) foil kite coming out in Spring '06. It's called the Instinct. It will come in 7/10/12/15m sizing. No prices/specs availible yet.
Ozone also has for this winter a new affordable depowerable kite called the Access. It's not as a aggressive as the Frenzy, but has all the same features. The Access 8m is $250 less than the '06 Frenzy 7.5m. If your looking to catch big air then the Frenzy is still the best choice, but the Access will still give you the ability to depower and all the safety Ozone is known for. Think of the Frenzy as the Freestyle model and the Access as the Freeride model - one is for tricks and air, the other is for crusin and backcountry... not to say the Frenzy doesn't work for backcountry and crusin as well.
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