Speed4 review

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Speed4 review

Postby holden » Mon Oct 29, 2012 10:31 am

hi folks,

i was very lucky yesterday. there was a great breeze and i had the chance to take a spin on a speed4 8 and a 10, both dlx. winds were around 26 knots gusting up to 33. me, around 90 kg on a twintip.
http://www.windfinder.com/report/wind/podersdorf_neusiedler_see/2012-10-28
i went out first on the 8. it felt very easy from the first second on. i needed no time to get used to it at all. the 8 was a bit to small and i had to move it to get going between the gusts. the kite turns very nicely. the bar forces are noticable higher than i am used to. jumps are very floaty for an 8. easy landings with no worries to land hard. the wind was not strong enough for me to get very high. so i changed to the 10. the 10 feels just the same only a bit larger. jumping was just a pleasure. the 10 was in the sweet spot for my liking. after a session of around 20 minutes i switched to my speed3 12 dlx and later to the p4 8 dlx.

+ the s4s are very stable. no tip tucking. when fully depowered they curl their tips like we have seen on the s3s and ps4s.
+ the depowertravel is small. this reminded me strongly of my s1.5 10. i like this very much. it gives the kite a nice, punchy feeling.
+ they turn very nicely.
+ good floaty jumps. even with the 8. the ps4 8 will drop you from time to time if you are not careful. i think that the s4 8 will never do that.
+ speaking of the ps4 8. there is one point at the low end of the windrange where it just stops pulling. the s4 8 will loose its power more gradually as the wind drops.
+ reduced mixer and bridle altogether. and it seems to work well, too.
+ they, at last, got rid of the jet flaps!

- bar pressure is noticably higher than on the s3. if you compare the p4 8 to the s4 8 it is massively higher. i know there are many kiters out there who like more bar forces, some don't care eighter way but i, personally, don't like it at all. i sometimes do 5 hour sessions with no breaks and for this i am not arnold enough on a kite with high bar forces. also the ps4 8 feels like it turns a lot faster. if the radius is in fact smaller i don't know, but the low bar pressure makes me feel that way.
- infinity 2 bar. some like it. i am still no big fan. don't want to get into this, it has been discussed enough.

first impression: nice kites, very easy to use. compared to the ps4 8 the s4 8 is easier to handle especially at its low end. the s4 has no backstall whatsoever. my ps4 has no backstall eighter but i take care of the trim. compared to the s3 i did not feel the big difference yet.

h.
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Re: Speed4 review

Postby Way Too Much Wind » Mon Oct 29, 2012 11:43 am

Thanks for the review. So size for size it seems the wind range is up from the unity? 20-30 for my 10m and 25-35 for my 8m. No jet flaps too, interesting. Are you not a fan of jet flaps then?

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Re: Speed4 review

Postby holden » Mon Oct 29, 2012 12:16 pm

you are welcome! to be honest, i don't know if i am a jet flap fan or not. i just don't belive in them :-) now they are gone and the kite flys just fine. whatever the reason for this is, different profile or whatnot, it is doable and i am glad that they are gone. from what i know of aerodynamics i could not imagine the great advantages they have compared to their potential disadvantages, thats all. there is no independent proof for pro or contra jet flaps.

i can not say too much about the windrange yet, plus i have almost no experience with the unity so i can not compare it to the s4. it feels huge, but the windranges of the s3s and the ps4s are huge, too. i never had too much wind for the ps4 8.

h.
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Re: Speed4 review

Postby Way Too Much Wind » Mon Oct 29, 2012 12:26 pm

Just had a look at the technical data and the claim for the 10m is 12-27knots. Re jetflaps i belive the idea is that as the angle of attack increase so does the pressure under the wing, the jet flaps allow a certain amount of this pressure to spill out to help control stalling.

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Re: Speed4 review

Postby holden » Mon Oct 29, 2012 1:05 pm

i don't trust the official statements from flysurfer. they stated so many things that did not in any way fit to my experience. unless someone i trust or myself takes the sewing machine, removes the jet flaps on a s3 and says: "well it is worse now", i do not belive in them.

h.
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Re: Speed4 review

Postby Tontiney » Mon Oct 29, 2012 1:46 pm

I think the lack of jetflaps and overpressure valves, says they aren't worth the effort. Who would have thought holes in the wing are not a good idea
:-) Thank god there are no zips on the kite, if only the bag could be so enhanced.
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Re: Speed4 review

Postby kitekoen » Fri Nov 02, 2012 6:36 pm

Sunday will be the maiden flight of my speed 4 10m.
Until now, I can only "review" the construction and I am also excited! =D>

I always loved the jet flaps. Whether necessary or not, to me they gave the flysurfers that "hi tech" look. I hate it that they are gone, for esthetic reasons :(

A lot of mesh is visible through the white cloth near the tips. They used a lot of mesh in the ribs near the tips, This may explain the better behaviour of the tips (better filling of tips with air). :?:

I like the simple bridle, also love the fact even more bridle has become sleeved dyneema in de SP4 compared to SP3. My experience is that the sleeved dyneema is more durable and less prone to shrinking as the white bridle material.
I also like the simplified mixer, only one pulley. :D

After 1 year, the pulleys and SPLs of my speed 12 were nearly worn through, I can imagine that the new mixer will wear out twice as fast due to higher forces and longer travel lengths of the SPL through the pulley. On the other hand: much easier to replace, so who cares... :biggrin:

This is the first time I bought a deluxe edition as allround kite. When i pick up the kite, I am amazed by the low weight!! :o

And oh yes: Flysurfer is not supplying a hooked-in-leash, but a normal length leash as if they are saying: "go ahead and unhook it" :lol: (compared to the HIL supplied with other speeds, stating: "keep it hooked in")

Modded my infinity 2.0 bar: waxed the depower cord, guided the FLS endline over the bar and not through the bar, adjusted bar width so that the are no cords on the side of the bar anymore. Tried to remove the guidance block: no go. Black rope is stiched just beneath the guidance block!
But since the two front lines are larkshead-knotted behind a stainless steel ring (and don't run through the guidance block) I guess I can give it a try with the guidance block and stopper knot in the FLS endline.
Psycho 4 8m on pimped 1.0 infinity bar, Speed 4 10m DLX, Speed 3 19m DLX on pimped 1.0 infinity bar
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Re: Speed4 review

Postby kitekoen » Sat Nov 03, 2012 5:05 am

WAC lines are also gone.
Since Flysurfer always delivered kites with WAC lines with the WAC setting halfway,
My guess is that the speed 4 has the WAC set halfway per default.

I always choose full soft steering, I like the slightly lower bar forces and in low wind conditions I could feel backstall tendency better than with hard steering. The kite flew more agile, With full soft steering, I always took the slightly less stability of the kite for granted.

Now flysurfer has chosen this setting for me... I am curious about how I think the SP4 is flying...
Psycho 4 8m on pimped 1.0 infinity bar, Speed 4 10m DLX, Speed 3 19m DLX on pimped 1.0 infinity bar
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Re: Speed4 review

Postby Tontiney » Sun Nov 04, 2012 12:27 am

Dont forget the mixer changes the bar pressure aswell.
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Re: Speed4 review

Postby kitekoen » Sun Nov 04, 2012 5:29 pm

No luck this weekend. Off shore winds and not enough wind.
I have flown it in gusty conditions, about 10-12 knots,
I must say I am impressed with the stability.
First time I steered, I had the feeling nothing was happening.
You really need to work that bar! Whoo!
The bar pressure is way higher than we were used to.
And yes, you definitely have the feeling that it seems impossible to backstall it.
Psycho 4 8m on pimped 1.0 infinity bar, Speed 4 10m DLX, Speed 3 19m DLX on pimped 1.0 infinity bar
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Re: Speed4 review

Postby kitekoen » Sun Nov 04, 2012 5:43 pm

Tontiney wrote:Thank god there are no zips on the kite, if only the bag could be so enhanced.

Judging from photos, the speed 3 CE bag is the same as the speed 4 bag?

What I like about the new bag compared to the old ones, is the rope near the top,
You can close the bag easily without the need to zip the bag up or use the flap with the plastic Buckles.

Pouch at the bottom to put your board in is gone on the new bag.
I actually used this when I had to make long walks to the beach or when I had 2 boards to carry.
But maybe the 2 straps- method on the new bag works as well...
Psycho 4 8m on pimped 1.0 infinity bar, Speed 4 10m DLX, Speed 3 19m DLX on pimped 1.0 infinity bar
Radical4 M, Spleene Door 164
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Re: Speed4 review

Postby tedted » Sun Nov 04, 2012 6:26 pm

How did it feel like low end?
Flysurfer Pimp, riding on
Speed3 21
Speed 3 12
Speed4 10
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Re: Speed4 review

Postby JIM » Sun Nov 04, 2012 9:57 pm

I don,t want to be negative, but FS is taking a lot off features out off the kite (jet flaps,wac lines,low bar pressure,board pocket,sizes,models, power/sm ratio etc..) and selling it for the same price as before, I liked the FS kites for there high tech !!
hard bar pressure, low power/sm and simple no options settings = tubekite
In 8 years i never looked other options than FS, but I got a strange feeling right now, I hope i´m wrong here...

Ciao Jim :wink:
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Re: Speed4 review

Postby kitekoen » Sun Nov 04, 2012 10:36 pm

JIM,
I couldn't agree more on that!
I also liked flysurfers for their high-tech looks.
But Flysurfers also had a lot of features no one ever used.

I seldom change WAC settings - so why not keep it At a fixed setting?
I never have flown a flysurfer at lines shorter than 21m amd honestly, I have not tried flying a 19m on extensions.
So why not simple fixed 21m lines (well, they changed that already)
The depower enhancer... Never tried it/used it.

I am happy to see That the kite has become simpler to use and simpler to service.
i am almost looking forward to exchange SPLs and pulleys on my speed 4 10m,
For instane the pulse 7 had 5 ring lines you constantly neede to adjust aside from the SPLs and pulleys!!
I also hated the ring lines in the speed 2.

I had the feeling I was paying for extras that I never used. now that the extras are gone, price stays the same :(
Especially with the jetflaps, a distinct flysurfer feature which must be a pain in the butt to create in the kites... Now that they are gone, the price stays the same.

A marketing strategy dictates that the newer product should never be cheaper as its predecessor.
Customers may then think that either they paid too much for earlier versions, or customers may think that the newer version is worse because its cheaper.
I honestly think it has to do more with this rather than with true cutting of costs.

The reason I still paid €1800 is that I take my hobby that seriously,
That I want to spend extra money to be the first to try new products.
This costs a lot of money, but I think it's worth my money.
Until now, every new flysurfer I bought was able to stun me, I guess the speed 4 10m will do this also...
Psycho 4 8m on pimped 1.0 infinity bar, Speed 4 10m DLX, Speed 3 19m DLX on pimped 1.0 infinity bar
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Re: Speed4 review

Postby Kamikuza » Mon Nov 05, 2012 4:56 am

High tech isn't about showy bling-bling - it's about actual advances in design and performance. I may be wrong, but I doubt that FS has arbitrarily decided to ditch jet-flaps, an entire row of bridles, a pair of pulleys, WAC setting components etc etc.

So we've got a kite that is, on the surface, simpler than it's predecessor. What you don't see is the R&D that's gone into profile and bridle design, testing to determine if the jet-flaps etc are or are not necessary with this design... you see where I'm going. You gotta pay the designers, builders and testers to get that work done and so...

... we're paying the same price and getting a more refined, higher performance machine.
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