The Infinity proved to be Epic's most popular model last year and they reported that riders all over the world were enjoying riding in light winds that would have otherwise cancelled sessions. The original Infinity was stable and, for a big kite, had really easy relaunch, power and speed. Epic wanted to improve the upwind performance as well as give it a little more power this year, on top of increasing the load and pop capability. As soon as you launch the kite you will notice the power and stability, even in very light winds, as well as the turning speed. But most of all you will love the fact that you can cut upwind in just eight knots! Pull the trigger and enjoy floaty jumps or load and pop until the sun sets. There are five metre line extensions included, so you can ride with either 22 or 27 metre lengths.
TEST TEAM NOTES:
The Infinity was the first kite we rode on this test and, being the biggest kite we've ridden in a long time, seemed a beast! This is a genuine sub-ten knot kite for averagely sized 80/85 kilo riders on regular 135/138 twin-tips. Kite technology is now so good that you no longer have to pair a big kite with a big board; we even had a good session on it in bindings. One crazy thing to note about the Infinity is that we had to ride it constantly trimmed down; its light wind performance is so incredible and will literally get you out in a gnat's fart, but we honestly had to trim it hard, even in under ten knots. Does it feel big in terms of steering and manoeuvrability? No. It feels a bit like a smaller C kite from a few years ago. That's not a negative; it's vibrant, positive and responsive - almost dainty in its handling for such a large specimen. Flying forward nicely in the window, the Infinity's canopy sits beautifully on the inflatable frame, is well made and obviously highly efficient. The kite does tends to rock backwards and forwards just a little, but this doesn't affect the handling. You can just feel a little something with your fingertips on the bar in terms of feedback from the wingtips. The Infinity turns quite pivotally, so there is quite a drop in power through the turn, making it easy on the arms before the power picks up again once the turn is complete. Get going, get it set again and boom! There's so much power there on tap. The age reference we made is to do with the levels of depower. The Infinity doesn't depower to nothing and it's quite physical to fly, which you feel through your legs as the kite is set up with quite a lot of back line tension. In a slightly old school way you need good edging skills to help depower the kite. The power delivery is a bit much for inexperienced riders and the throw on the bar is also quite small, perhaps two to four inches shorter than you might be used to. As we mentioned we really only ever needed to use it with the kite trimmed ? there would be an enourmous amount of power fully trimmed out, and this is a big boy's kite. Jeez it's fun in the right hands with the amount of oomph it has though. You can get loads of pop and it makes freestyle easy because it just sits there. Better riders can scream upwind on this, but you've got to use your experience to tame it and we enjoyed screaming up and down the beach in six knots while everyone else was standing around with their 14s. Jumping in light winds is fun, which is really impressive. It's a big kite, so when you throw it back it holds you up there reasonably well, but because it's got good speed you can turn it to generate extra power and hang-time too. We did get caught out a couple of times with the relaunch, but that's really because we forgot we were out in such impossibly light winds, such is the power in the kite. Relaunching anything in six or eight knots is challenging, but if there is a sniff of wind, it relaunches again very well.
The Infinity is a really good fun light wind kite. If you want to get out in the lightest winds possible, but not just mow the lawn, but actually get out on your regular board and throw freestyle, this is great. But it is quite technical to use and you'll build up some legs muscles too as it's not for wimps in terms of its power delivery, but it will have you screaming in delight as you're very aware you've got a beast in your hands.
Extreme low end power for fun super light wind freestyle.
KW WOULD CHANGE:
The bar system is acceptable, but a little dated. We'd also recommend to not lose the light wind capability on this kite, but a little extra refined depower would be good for inexperienced riders. If you're new to the sport this will scare the pants off you. Intermediate riders and above can now look at light winds in a totally new light, though.
Sizes are a mystery. Dimitri won't tell us, apparently only he and the designer know. All you need to know is that it turns like a 14 and has the power of a 19 metre.
This test is in issue #58