Saturday, June 22, 2024
Kitesurfing ReviewsKite ReviewsOCEAN RODEO / Flite A-Series 

OCEAN RODEO / Flite A-Series 

Sizes Tested(m): 14.5 / Sizes Available(m): 12, 14.5, 17 / Control Bar: Stick Shift 3.0 

The Flite A-Series breaks new low wind barriers for extreme light wind capability with direct handling, nimble turning and a massive wind range. 

The Ocean Rodeo Flite design has been well reviewed over the years as a top performing light air, specialty model of kite. Its handling and performance is well suited to a broad spectrum of kite disciplines and for 2021 it breaks new barriers in light wind performance that’s driven by the new Aluula material which makes the frame half the weight. Last season we were impressed with the Flite’s ability to hold its own against the newest single strut designs which have become popular for riding today’s freeride foils. The incredible weight reduction with this award-winning material means the Flite A-Series is definitely the lightest 14.5 metre inflatable kite on the market. The test team managed to get foiling on the Flite in less than 8 miles per hour of wind and its ability to stay afloat with so little line tension and with very little wind keeping it aloft, is impressive. The Flite’s shape and design is unique amongst this light wind category not only for its three strut frame, but also for the unique higher aspect shape with a wide arc canopy. The combo proves to be a winning formula as the Flite is a high performance kite that has really nice low end grunt that combines with reactive handling and nice progressive depower through the bar. The Flite can generate some extra power by sweeping turns with its longer and more narrowed out wingtips. Water relaunch, which was already top notch is also improved with the lighter weight frame material. With its added power and efficiency and the flat, high aspect canopy the Flite also jumps easily and provides lots of extra glide and hang time. With the right timing, the Flite can really sweep into the jump and provides aggressive lift and extended glide. The reactivity in turn initiation and turn speed is also improved by the new Aluula material. Often with bigger kites, the turn initiation can lag but with the stiffer frame it reacts nicely for transitions, kite loops and aggressive manoeuvres. The Flite is also very user friendly and despite its higher aspect ratio, it doesn’t back stall and flies forward in the window nicely. Overall, the Flite A-Series is a kite that will work for any level of rider in any discipline. It has the low end power for extreme light wind flying on a foil but is also ideal for the twintip riders that want to do more than just “mow the lawn” in light winds.

Best For: Beginner to advanced level riders that want great low end power and handling in a stable and lightweight design that has the stability and range provided by a three strut canopy.

Drawbacks: The 14.5 metre of canopy is still a lot of fabric and power that can overpower a surf foil quickly. This size is better for heavier riders or for ultra light wind foiling and light wind riding on twintips or directional boards.

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