Globerider Sonic 8m (2006)
A fantastic kite for beginners and experienced riders alike thanks to its simplicity. Really light on the bar as there are no pulleys, but the kite isn't as steady as some of the flatter pulley kites. The depower / relaunch / jumping ease are great. Hang time is awesome and there's loads of power on tap. The stopper doesn't stop the bar rushing up the line. Also, the depower adjustment has to be pulled away from you and towards the kite which is really hard to do on the water, and makes depowering for riding unhooked very difficult. Overall, it's simple and safe with good leash options for suicide or re-ride for absolute beginners. One kite will do you to begin with and anyone can have fun on this...even your mother!
Mat Pendle hasn't gone for a full bridle system on the Sonic and believes he's made an ultra responsive kite with low bar pressure, complete simplicity, effortless relaunch and a huge wind range in this, his eighth season designing kites.
TEST TEAM NOTES:
NEAL: Just very simple right from the word go. However I couldn't get the stopper to work. The bar kept wanting to run up the lines.
GEORGE: I've used these a fair bit and that gets better after a while. A nice thing about this kite is that, if you do drop the
bar, the kite sits at the edge of the window a little longer than most before it falls, giving you more time to try and rescue it before it hits the water.
NEAL: Yeah it's stable. But why do you have to pull the depower away from you to depower the kite? Seems quite illogical
to me. You have to really pull on the centre line to get some slack so you can pull it through the cleat, meaning you have to use two hands. The bar is so nice and simple in front of your eyes as they've taken away these depower extension
systems and toggles. The back line attaches directly to the kite rather than via a bridle. That's really nice and makes it
light, quick and cruisy.
JAKE: It's almost got C kite turning characteristics and you still got that big pop and hang time. All the benefits of a bow kite without losing the turning!
NEAL: Bit light on the hands for wave riding and the pull goes too easily when you sheet out. But for everything else that's a bonus!
WILL: I just felt so safe on that kite. I took it out that day when it was 40 knots and it was doable.
GEORGE: And you can get going in 15 knots on this 8! In light winds you have to fly it completely depowered. As soon as you power it up it just stalls. That's a very different technique. I have to say it's the easiest relaunch I've had. Just pull on a
back line and 'ping' it's back up.
8, 11 and 14m
This test is in issue #21
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