TEST TEAM NOTES
Getting hold of a kite called the Boost, Bully was like a kid in a sweet shop when looking out for the windiest days in the forecast. The Boost is high-aspect and very wing-like: thin in cord and long in its span. You’d expect it to soar, but also drive really far towards the edge of the window and upwind. High-aspect kites like this offer a much larger projected area than lower-aspect, more C shaped kites, which is why they are so popular among racers. Although more efficient in their production of power per size, they turn with less power and are much more pivotal than more C-shaped kites.
In the light winds we initially had the Boost out in it certainly pulled high and consistently in the window. The Flysurfer is noticeably more powerful in its low end than the Gin and much more aggressive in the way that it delivers power. It is plainly for a more advanced rider; pull in on the bar and power is delivered quickly and abruptly. It’s not just dive, park and switch your brain off. The power is quite snatchy, but no doubt there’s good juice in the low end and as advanced riders we enjoyed this engagement. It’s ballsy; dive the Boost down and ‘bang’ you’ve got power straight away to settle into your riding position and you can feel good if you’ve got the ability to be able to command the Boost as, even when sheeted out, the Boost can still be pulling hard with lots of apparent wind as it’s very efficient.
Last issue we reviewed the Ozone Edge and comparisons are begging to be made. The Boost has the same DNA in terms of shape, low end, forward flight and lift. There really aren’t many kites that can go as high and as far as the Edge; that combination of being able to jump really high and hang around for days is amazing. The Edge’s prowess is in its predictive, silky, consistent feel and overall quality. The Boost feels more raw in its handling, needs more attention, but brings a faster turn initiation to the game and, therefore, has the potential to go even higher.
The Boost is very involving at the bar, feels alive and needs an element of constant maintenance in its handling. The initiation of a turn takes only finger-tip control, but then for bigger turns there’s more grip and force needed to steer the kite through the turn. The leading edge really thins out towards the tips and due to the flat shape of the kite, there is a tendency for the tips to paddle a little when you push the kite really hard, so make sure you pump it up very firmly to help eradicate this. Of course, this shape doesn’t lend itself naturally to consistent turning kite loops, they’re much more about being used for their efficiency as a wing.
The Flysurfer Boost is a specific kite for going out and boosting huge, hanging around for ages and also going back upwind like a train. It ticks all those boxes really well, but there should be a warning on the side of the bag that it’s quite ballsy in its power delivery and therefore not for everyone. The Boost really performs as a jumpy kite with a great low end. If you’re an experienced big air specialist you’ll get some great boosting stats with this. If you’re only just coming onto boosting and want to learn to jump and improve, you’ll find this a bit brutal in its power and handling.
We haven’t yet talked about the bar because we wanted to engage you in our thoughts on the Boost’s performance before we comment on the incredibly thin lines that it comes set up on! The bridle and lines really are incredibly thin, much more like a pro-racer’s line set up, built for ultimate efficiency and least drag. As aerodynamically good they surely are, most of us aren’t looking for such minute advantages in efficiency and place higher value on peace-of-mind while out at sea. Time will tell and all the line tests have been done, but after some heavier use a season down the line, there may be a niggle in the back of our mind when sending the kite hard in strong winds. Something to check out.
The kite itself is well made, there’s an unusual dump-valve that doubles as an inflate valve with a special adaptor and there’s a stick to dump the air that is attached on to the leading edge. There is a regular nipple valve to inflate the kite if you don’t have the adapter.
The Infinity 3.0 bar feels a little dated now after our experiences with some of the super slick offerings from this year. Everything on the Flysurfer bar is exposed rather than hidden away, which probably does reduce cost, increase longevity and ease of repair if ever needed. Flysurfer use a clever system that untwists your lines as you sheet your bar in. It does mean that you need to sheet to full power to untwist your lines rather than manually twisting your chicken-loop collar… but it does work and is metal rather than plastic, so once again, it’s rugged.
There is something about this kite that means we can’t help but enjoy our sessions on it. It’s not the most polished in any area, but it’s rugged and full of character. It’s a bit like your mate down the pub who is really good fun to go out for a session on the beers with –they’re loud, lively and great fun – but your other half doesn’t really approve of them. If you’re an experienced big air specialist you’ll get some good boosting stats with this. If you’re only just learning to jump and improve, this isn’t the one for you just yet.
Specific high jumping with loads of hangtime and charging upwind like a train.
KW WOULD CHANGE
Some people would want more refinement at the bar and in the handling. For others, this is exactly what they’ll love about the kite.
BOOST BALANCE POINTS
Build quality: 6.5
Full package: 6.5
Low end: 8.5
Top end: 8 (good riders) / 7 (regular riders)
Steering speed: 6.5
Turning circle: 4
Power through turn: 3.5
Bar pressure: 4 for turn initiation and then 6 to steer throughout the turn
Water relaunch: 8
Unhooked: DT but really set-up for that
18, 15, 13, 11, 9 and 7m
More information at www.flysurfer.com
Here’s the official Boost designer and feature interview from FLYSURFER