The wind played ball today, we have had between 6 and 10 knots all day. All the Source kites were rigged and ready to go on the beach, well after a fair bit of faffing about. Dare I admit I had a quick paddle while I was hanging around? Probably not!
The Kite itself is pretty cool, very much a C shape with an X bridle to help keep it stable and improve turning. Three lines run from the squared off wingtip to the flying lines and the whole thing looks like a vast improvement over the two line kites of old. It has three thin struts and a low profile leading edge, to save on weight and help the kite fly in light winds, one pump comes as standard. The bar is really simple, two lines and a large harness loop, a wrist leash and some o’shit handles, what more would you need?
In the air the kite is really stable. It sits back in the window and delivers plenty of power. I’ve flown the 11m, 13m, 15m and 17m so far. Two lines are very different to four, you really need to launch and gybe un-hooked to give you more freedom of movement.
Raph explained with a normal kite they fly too far round the window and can stall. The Source on the other hand just sits in the window and even when you fly it right to the edge after a gybe it doesn’t stall.
The downside is the gust handling, which is non existent, as you would expect from 2 lines. On a twin tip of course you could edge and fly the kite to the edge of the window. But on SUP board that’s nigh on impossible. All you can do is hang on and steer the kite up in the window. Or crash! That said the kite is super stable and easy to fly. The windrange is limited, the 17 for instance will pull your balls of when it gets over 10 knots! The 13 will become a handful when it gets above 14 knots! Of course in these windspeeds you would hope to be out on your usual kite craft.
If you’ve got a SUP board you’ll love this, if you love kiting so much you want to do it all the time then this will see you on the water more often than not.
If like me you have plenty of things to keep you busy then you might struggle to find the time to take this too seriously.
Ultimately we have all had a cracking day on the water, in winds that would have normally seen us elsewhere. It’s a full on all over body workout, it hones your balance and board skills and will improve your kite skills too. It isn’t as easy as we are led to believe though and will take some practice to master.
Some of us loved it more than others, personally I doubt I’ll be giving up my race board…