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 Epic Infinity Light wind kite

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blast

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PostSubject: Epic Infinity Light wind kite   Tue Aug 09, 2011 7:19 pm

Just read this review by a happy kiter.

This is long winded but I rarely get the advice or impressions I'm looking for from these pages, so I wanted to provide my impressions in detail for those that look for depth. Hope someone finds these thoughts useful.

I’ve got about 25 sessions ticked with the Infinity since I purchased it for travel insurance. Because I travel out of Alaska a few times a year just for kiting, I want to ensure everyday of a vacation is spent on the water with a kite. So light wind riding has become a core component of my riding days and the Epic Infinity my insurance for fun.

My light wind quiver includes a 16M Crossbow, 13M EH Eze, and now the Infinity. In addition, I’ve spent enough time with 15M Naish Cult, 17M Ozone Zephyr, and 17M Slingshot Turbine to form some impressions between all these kites in light wind. Light wind to me is less than 11mph. Any of these kites will stay in the air above 8mph if flown properly and tow me around on my light wind board, in winds of 10mph most will upwind. I weigh 165lbs and consider myself an intermediate kiter.

My biggest challenge on light wind days is keeping the kite in the air when the sub 8mph lulls occur. Once a kite hits the water, my light wind sessions can turn into big swims--especially in varying conditions where the wind gods are teasing and plying me with gusts into 15mph while I’m standing onshore. Issues usually arise with the larger relatively faster kites that allow me to jump around 12mph, which the Infinity does exceptionally well compared to other big kites. Generally 12 mph on any of the aforementioned kites allows me small jumps, glides, rolls, and to play around without thinking about keeping a BAK (big a** kite) in the air to a point. As my confidence in the wind and kite grows, I inevitably over fly the kite to watch many BAKs fall out of the sky and in some cases twist the lines up. The wind drops a bit, and the fun is over while I’m wondering if the ride was really worth it.

What sets the Infinity apart from all the BAKs I’ve flow previously is its ability to stay in the air and relaunch in sub 8mph wind. I don’t want to slam any manufacturers because all these kites have strengths and weaknesses per design; but, of the kites I’m familiar with, the Infinity has the best all around characteristics or balance of what I need for light wind fun. It is very powerful (not the most powerful). It is very fast for its size (possibly the fastest), which gives it superior handling characteristics in tricky wind. When it does fall out of the sky, I have not experienced line wrap or twists--it flies/falls straight down, and can be relaunched without incident (so far).

To me, the ability to keep a kite in the air during lulls and relaunch in the lightest winds during a session are the the most important qualities given that the kite does generate enough power to get a rider on step. (A 7M will stay in the air at 3mph, but I ain’t getting off the beach.) For me BAKs are a balancing act between power, speed, and float--how well does it hang in the air--and most manufacturers lean towards the power generation leg of the triangle--grab on to the Eze or the Turbine--I have to put those kites down at 15mph and the Eze is only 13M--Eric H did something very right with that design--until I drop it.

I’ve ridden the Infinity in all sorts of conditions and pretty much call it quits above 20 mph--it’s doable but not comfortable for my skills and weight. A friend and I had a good time with the Infinity and a skim board in sub 9mph conditions. I believe we were staying up wind but it was hard to judge because I kept falling off the board--no strapless skills here yet… That session has got me hooked for a skim board and will turn ultra light wind sessions (5-7mph?) into a lot of fun for quite a while. 5-7mph is a whole new perspective for me. Unhooked light wind on a skim board is even more of a blast; however, I’ve got to be able to relaunch the kite with confidence, hence the priority given to that characteristic.

At the other end of the spectrum I recently rode in mountainous terrain where the winds vacillated between less than 5 to 25mph. The wind would build behind a ridge and then unload down the valley across Tangle Lakes providing good riding for around 20 minutes with lulls for about 3-5 minutes in between. The lulls were so light, I would just sit in the water trying to keep the Infinity moving back and forth--think horizontal figure 8s with a trainer… When the wind returned it would build to full-on allowing jumps, up wind recovery, etc. I dropped the kite several times in high and low winds and it was amazing to see it relaunch at the low end of the extremes.

When the wind is 12-17mph this kite is very fun and forgiving as well. I normally ride a 14M Screamer in that range, but if I want to slow things down and get a lot of glide without worrying about timing, the Infinity is my new go to kite--it makes 720 back rolls a no brainer move. Many kites do things well in this range, so I’m not going to spend time on impressions but did want to mention that Infinity fun does not stop at 12mph.

My experiences with light wind kites have been a ton of fun, frustration, and a great learning experience. Light wind riding requires a lot of patience, skill, and specialized equipment--good BAK, various boards, line extensions. Like sailing, there are numerous subtleties that forge a line between fun and boredom or frustration. The Infinity has really changed my thoughts and confidence in just going out and trying things because of its ability to generate power, stay in the air, and relaunch in stupidly low wind. With line extensions to 30-35M the kite has allowed me to try some really light days and get back to shore without swimming. I’d recommend this kite to anyone with light wind skills or those that want to build light wind skill and especially for playing on skim boards in 8mph and less. Like riding on a lunch tray or flying a two line trainer on a surfboard, light wind unhooked on a skim board is another aspect of kiting I really want to experience and attempt to master. The Infinity makes it more fun and forgiving than any other BAK I’ve flown to date. It’s always about the fun and experiences…


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PostSubject: Re: Epic Infinity Light wind kite   Fri Aug 12, 2011 5:54 pm

All talk talk talk.

I m going to be riding the Fluid LA 15m tommorow in 10 kts i ll let you know how it goes!
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PostSubject: Re: Epic Infinity Light wind kite   Fri Aug 12, 2011 5:57 pm

Cool, let us know how it goes mate!
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