Whoever you are you can't fail but to get on with the Atom. From beginners and intermediates, who just want an easy kite that doesn't turn too fast or pull too hard, but has all the basic features necessary, through to accomplished riders that want a kite for all occasions.
Waves, freeride and fun - it all starts with an Atom. Born from the success of the Ion, the Atom is the new hybrid water kite from Flexifoil who asked their customers what they wanted from a kite. They wanted to satisfy competent kitesurfers by offering them a kite that would also suit riders making the transition from C-shaped kites to bow-style kites. The findings were that if they could take the performance and feel of the Ion and make a kite that was even more simple and affordable, it would be a winner. The Atom is the result; an excellent allround kite, that is not only very easy to use but also has enough performance for experienced riders with good wind range, jumping and unhooked capabilities. The Atom is manufactured from the same highgrade materials as the rest of Flexifoil's kitesurf range.
TEST TEAM NOTES:
GEORGE: All the usual suspects in place for Flexi here; looks good, well built with good attention to detail such as colour-coded rigging aids, and just generally feels good.
SHINN: The 20 metre plus 5 metre line set up is very useful. The small line for the leash looks like a fifth line but only goes up to the front lines - let the bar go and it hangs on the front lines. Good solid construction, one pump, dump valve ? all good. The bar has a very narrow diameter with an aggressive grip. I like that, but it's too much for some.
GEORGE: You get used to it, though. I have a slight niggle with the depower strap in that it would be difficult to reach in a seat harness and is generally a bit of a fiddle to pull more power on. Also when you've got it really depowered you end up with a lot of strap dangling about. However, you need to get used to this because this kite is suitable for absolutely anyone. Fantastic and simple quick-release, too.
NEAL: Yeah I'm a bit disappointed there's a strap-based power system on such a nice little kite. But because the kite is just so good, you quickly get over it. A beautiful all-rounder. It doesn't top the charts in any single performance category but is above average in all of them.
GEORGE: It's got it all in sackfuls; power, depower, lift, hang-time, fast turning, good for wave riding and real freestyle potential. It's the closest to a C kite unhooked and has a really nice whippy loop to it that generates power all the way round.
NEAL: We went out in ridiculous wind, and I ean ridiculous, on 20 metre lines and it coped so well. There's not many kites I'd be comfortable on in those conditions. The depower is good, not 100%, but close and the kite never back stalls. SHINN: Never upsets you as it does everything well, perhaps doesn't do it all the best, but overall you just can't fault it.
7, 9, 12 and 15m
Flexifoil Atom 9m (Appeared in Kiteworld in Apr/May 2007: Issue #26)
This test is in issue #26