2012 Ocean Rodeo FLITE 17.5 Meter Light Wind Kite
Posted: 19 October 2011 04:58 PM   [ Ignore ]
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quick review on the new 17.5:

So I’ve had the 17.5 Flite out of the bag and flown, but only got it to the water yesterday.

Yes, I like it. This is one GREAT lightwind engine!!

My first kite ever was a 16.2 C kite from brand “C” of many years ago (2003 Black Tip, for you know-it-alls). That is still a usable kite, but over the years I have owned several other large lite wind kites in order to access light-wind snow riding and get on plane on water when the rest of my bro’s are standing on the beach. Also, on snow, floating a large kite down the mountain after jumping ranks as a must-do experience…...must-do over, and over, and over.

So…........with much past experience on beloved other “zeppelin’s” (big kites) in my checkered past (checquered???? past), I put my new 2012 Ocean Rodeo Flite 17.5 Meter Kite in the air, picked up my Mako 150x34, and walked to the water’s edge. On this day, I had previously ridden a 10M Razor and 12 Meter Rise, and as the wind lessened, I was HAPPY! The 17.5 was there for me. My bro’s 15M Flite was there for him.

Ultimate summary: If you closed your eyes and were told this was a 12 meter kite, by feel and handling, you’d believe it!!

bullet points:
>turning speed!!! The problem of a large kite being a slow-to-turn kite HAS BEEN SOLVED! Turns on a dime, this 17.5 Kite!
>light steering pressure!!!!!! Oh my goodness, this is the most well-behaved large kite I’ve ever….......
>light sheeting pressure!!!!!!  ”    ”    ”        ”      ”        ”        ”          ”      “
>floaty jumps!!! I guess this would go without saying…...and I will be loving this kite on snow in the next month or so!!
>wind range!! The wind came back up, and this kite was still flying as the other boys got back on the water on 12’s, 11’s, and I handed it off and got out the 10M RAZOR!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
>kite shape!! it amazes me that OR was able to design and manufacture such a large kite that holds it’s shape perfectly. I have seen kites from other manufacturers that do not, but this is one TIGHT, SMOOTH, Aerodynamic beast. I should add that I own an old OR Bronco Ckite that has held it shape all these years. I expect the Flite to be good like-FOREVER!
>Never even a hint of “back-stalling” or back-flying!
>Never a hint of “Hindenberging” or “over-flying”!


I hate to do this but…negatives:

>that’s a big kite!!!!!!!! 150 pumps to fill it.
>I’ll keep looking for other negatives. I suppose all I could add is that depowering or “trimming” effort is high with this large kite. It’s a good thing that it’s such a well-behaved kite with easy sheeting effort and sheeting out allows good power control!!

That’s all for now.

Please comment, question, and add some verbiage if you have a new 15M Flite, or whatever.

Ice on the puddles yesterday morning in Anchorage, Alaska, by the way. Yikes!

edited to add:  I just realized that the first kite I owned was not the Black Tip. It was a 9.5 Ozone Frenzy ram-air foil that I used on snow before trying the liquid snow. same year.

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Posted: 20 October 2011 08:05 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
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BIG AK - 19 October 2011 04:58 PM

that’s a big kite!!!!!!!! 150 pumps to fill it.

You were counting?!?!???? big surprise

Nice review by the way

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Posted: 20 October 2011 04:02 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
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noo. I counted.

When I was a kid I’d count the power poles as they went by while riding in a car. The drugs help out, mostly.

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Posted: 20 October 2011 04:22 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
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Impressive.

I’ll have to add it to my catalogue of reasons why we should fly inflatables against foils.

Pumping is good!

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Posted: 20 October 2011 04:31 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]
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I’ll never go back to a large foil for the snow. The no-pumping convenience of a large ram-air kite is it’s only advantage in my experience.

The large inflatables make much better lite to moderate wind kites because of excellent relaunch, impossibility of tip folds (cravatte’s), impossibility of frontal canopy collapse, no chance of overflying on this new 17.5 FLITE, less steering pressure and sheeting pressure, and much, much faster turning than a large ram-air kite.

Snow kiting is fun, and I look forward to it with this 17.5 FLITE.

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Posted: 21 October 2011 07:07 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]
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Is a 3 kite quiver possible with this new Flite?

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Posted: 23 October 2011 04:29 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 6 ]
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Man, I think so.

Yet to be determined for certain, but it is looking so.

I know the 6M Rise is ridable in 58 gusting to 69MPH…survivable

I know the 6M Rise is decent power when the 10M Razor and Rise are depowered.

I know the 10 Razor is working when a guy is surviving on the 17.5 Flite. The 15 Flite may be a better choice for the 3 kite quiver.

With a couple of sizes of twin tip board and a surfboard…....3 kites will likely do it….

...your mileage may vary, depending on the most-used kite at your local spot.

At my area…....the 10M gets the most time. My 6M Rise gets a lot of time also.

..other opinions???

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Posted: 20 December 2011 12:58 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 7 ]
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I’m thinking of buying a light wind LEI. I’m glad OR developed the FLITE. But how would a buyer know how it compares to other light wind 17m ish kites becoming available now. Its so hard, or impossible,  to do back to back testing. Is OR going to bring the 17.5 to the Hatteras Crew event?

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Posted: 21 December 2011 01:55 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 8 ]
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I’m probably going, I’ll bring the 15m and 17.5m.

Boom.

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Posted: 01 April 2012 04:17 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 9 ]
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I’ll be at the Hatteras Crew event and I am so looking forward to trying the 17.5 Flite.  BTW, does the Direct Depower video on the OR site for this kite really say “it makes it less safe on the water”?  IF so OR should correct this please.

I think the Direct Depower feature on a large kite may be the deciding feature for me because it adds a level of safety in case you get caught out there when the wind picks up. If I understand it correctly, it sort of acts like the old fifth line depower on a C-kite right?  So when you release to the depower it flags the kite out on its back. I still have an old MEGA size C-Kite that I fly in light winds, but if it did not have a fifth line de-power, I would not fly it.

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Posted: 02 April 2012 05:22 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 10 ]
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I’m not sure what video you’re referring to but the Direct Depower system is certainly designed to increase rider safety, not decrease it!

To answer your question though, you’ve got it essentially correct. The Direct Depower System allows the kite to roll completely over onto it’s back directly down wind from you, holding it stable and steady upside down off both front lines. This results in the same slight amount of pull that you get on the kite when walking back up the beach with it upside down, virtually no drag at all.

There are 2 real benefits to this style of depower over others that are on the market. The 1st is that by depowering off both front lines the kite has no opportunity to spiral, which can generate pull and which - of course - makes a rats’ nest of your lines. The 2nd advantage is that single line systems will require the kite to fall off to the side of the window that the single line is on (if the single line is the port side front line the kite will fall off to the left when ejected). If the eject happens on the opposite side of the window from the leash line the kite must 1st fly all the way through the window - with no possible rider input or control - to then depower, causing a possible delay in depower after an eject.

John Z - OR

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