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Ocean Rodeo 14.5m Flite Aluula

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Created by Trnsprt 1 month ago, 3 Sep 2021
Trnsprt
1 posts
3 Sep 2021 10:16PM
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Hello:

I'm a long time lurker, thought I'd contribute. I recently purchased a OR Flite 14.5 aluula hoping to find a free ride shape to act as a session saver that has the ability to still be fun if the wind picks up. I don't live near the beach so driving is a way of life. I hate getting to the water and having it shut down or even worse just be marginal. So I bit the bullet and invested in an aluula kite, hoping to kill two kites with one checkbook or kill one checkbook with one kite, or whatever. I primarily wanted a light wind option for foil or twin tipping or directional surf that would still be fun with the twin tip when the wind picked up and I dont want to go back to the beach to rig a smaller kite.

As far as getting a hold of the kite, I "purchased it" in May... it took a couple months to arrive because of manufacturer and shipping delays.

Summer has been a bitch at work, so despite having this kite for 6 weeks, yesterday was session one.

This is just a preliminary impression. I'm 200lbs, upper intermediate I suppose, no one's out there saying "look at that guy go", just an average Joe kiter. Been kiting about 10yrs. Started on Rallys. Ride Dices, a couple SSTs and a UFO now. The Flite replaces my big kite, a 5yr old 14m Rally.

First off the Flite in the bag is super small and light. I have a 9m SS UFO for foiling (my OTHER, **** I drove 3 hrs to get here and I don't want to go home dry option). The Flite packs down between that size and my 9m Dice. And the weight feels similar to the no strut UFO.

The kite rigs like every other kite I've ever used. I flew it on a 20cm Slingshot bar. No issues. I rigged to the knots at the end of the pigtails, cuz that's what I always do, it seemed to work.

Big bridle with pulleys. I'm not a fan of big bridles or pulleys, I'll suck it up if the kite lives up to the hype.

Conditions, Sept 3rd, 21 if you want to look at the sensor for Lynnhaven inlet light (readings show a little higher (2ish kts?) than it is on the water in my opinion). I was at First Landing State Park VA Beach, VA. On shore. Breaking waves and tight chop. Forecast was for 18kts dropping to 14 about the time I was supposed to arrive. I rode from 1 to 3:30. I figured it would be a good test. In reality the wind didn't die. The sensor showed solid upper teens, gusts into the 20s and upper 20s, lulls below 15. But overall it FELT like a solid 16 to 18 day. I'd normally rig my 12 for that and accept being a little underpowered in the on shore conditions to have fun in the gusts. 12s seemed to be what most riders were on. I didn't get to test the low end of the kite except in a few lulls. I didn't develop an opinion on the low end ability at all.

Overall impressions. For a 3 strut I felt the kite was very well behaved. I was especially impressed in the gusts. My 14 Rally would have been a slow turning runaway truck as the gusts filled into the 20s. The Flite was very quick, felt like flying a 12 or smaller. Bar pressure is light but positive (I always felt I knew where the kite was.) Downloops were snappy. Power delivery was solid and steady not shocky. The grunt on a water start was easy, if that makes sense. The kite didn't feel grunty or truckyq when pulling during a start. Despite yesterdays up and down wind I never got that "oh ****, too much kite" feeling. Jumps were effortless and the kite glides well in the air. Definitely fun and floaty jumps.

Turn speed of the kite was probably most eye opening in addition to the ability to just keep riding smoothly as the wind increased and decreased. It was a real treat and no brainer to fly. I'd like to make some "revelation" type statement about the kite but in reality the remarkable thing about the kite is that it was unremarkable. It just did everything great yesterday despite stronger than anticipated winds. When the wind did lighten up it glided through the lulls and kept my heavy arse riding powered. When the wind cranked up the kite was well behaved. When I sent it, the kite jumped smoothly and was fun in the air. It went high, it floated. I probably had reliably the softest landings yesterday that I've ever felt. That's not a surprise since I think the Dices (especially the 9) sometimes just drop you out of the air. While being soft the landings were also powered and fast at times. I think that's because I was getting used to how fast the kite responds when it is flown forward (diving) to catch a landing.

When I down looped it the kite went around fast for a 14.

Now, it's still a 14.5m kite. So wing tip to wing tip it's long. It certainly didn't loop like a 12m dice, which seems to pivot on its wing tip, but it wasn't heavy on the bar and it didn't hesitate. Compared to my 2017 Rally in the same size the Flite felt 2 sizes smaller and absolutely maneuverable.

On the twin tip playing on the waves it was a little cumbersome to fly and loop quickly to stay where I wanted on the wave. Some of that is rider ability. Some of that is flying a big kite. With my old Rally I'd probably say I plan a 3 or 4 second delay from when I steer the kite on a wave to when the kite responds and another couple seconds for the kite to actually deliver power and fly where I'm asking it to. With the Flite, I'd say that time was cut in about half. I dont want to give the impression the kite is automatic. It isn't. You still have to fly it and anticipate it. You still have to work. But I'd say on a similar day I'd be at about a 8 on a scale of 10 stress level with my old 14. Trying to absorb gusts, muscling it around etc. With the Flite I was at about a 6. It wasn't effortless kiting, but given that I was riding a 14.5 in conditions I'd usually ride a 12 in I was impressed.

2 things the kite did remarkably well yesterday, gliding through lulls, getting upwind in the on shore (mostly) conditions. I could ease off the power, play in the chop and surf on the way in and then easily power up and with a tack or two be right back out for more. Usually I'd be fighting that on shore low end battle trying to get back off the beach. The Flite... probably by nature of the fact it was big for the conditions more than a good pointing kite, just motored out.

Pointing heavily upwind I noticed the kite would luff just behind the leading edge above the center strut at what felt like the max upwind angle, but there was no trailing edge flutter and that really only happened trying to point the ** out of the kite.

That's about it. I am interested to get it out on the surfboard in 12 to 14 and see how it rides or on the foil. I'll try to remember to update here when I do if anyone is interested.

Thanks for reading
Tom

KBGhost
QLD, 161 posts
5 Sep 2021 8:41PM
Thumbs Up

Great review thanks. An honest detailed ordinary kiter review is worth 10 magazine reviews.

Kamikuza
QLD, 6176 posts
5 Sep 2021 8:51PM
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I had the chance to demo one but the wind was so light, I wouldn't have bothered if it wasn't for the new kite.

Crazy good. Couldn't believe I got up and foiling so easily in such light wind. Drift when you turned downwind at it was pretty good too, for such a big bow kite.

Leighbreeze
NSW, 503 posts
6 Sep 2021 7:08AM
Thumbs Up

Select to expand quote
Trnsprt said..
Hello:

I'm a long time lurker, thought I'd contribute. I recently purchased a OR Flite 14.5 aluula hoping to find a free ride shape to act as a session saver that has the ability to still be fun if the wind picks up. I don't live near the beach so driving is a way of life. I hate getting to the water and having it shut down or even worse just be marginal. So I bit the bullet and invested in an aluula kite, hoping to kill two kites with one checkbook or kill one checkbook with one kite, or whatever. I primarily wanted a light wind option for foil or twin tipping or directional surf that would still be fun with the twin tip when the wind picked up and I dont want to go back to the beach to rig a smaller kite.

As far as getting a hold of the kite, I "purchased it" in May... it took a couple months to arrive because of manufacturer and shipping delays.

Summer has been a bitch at work, so despite having this kite for 6 weeks, yesterday was session one.

This is just a preliminary impression. I'm 200lbs, upper intermediate I suppose, no one's out there saying "look at that guy go", just an average Joe kiter. Been kiting about 10yrs. Started on Rallys. Ride Dices, a couple SSTs and a UFO now. The Flite replaces my big kite, a 5yr old 14m Rally.

First off the Flite in the bag is super small and light. I have a 9m SS UFO for foiling (my OTHER, **** I drove 3 hrs to get here and I don't want to go home dry option). The Flite packs down between that size and my 9m Dice. And the weight feels similar to the no strut UFO.

The kite rigs like every other kite I've ever used. I flew it on a 20cm Slingshot bar. No issues. I rigged to the knots at the end of the pigtails, cuz that's what I always do, it seemed to work.

Big bridle with pulleys. I'm not a fan of big bridles or pulleys, I'll suck it up if the kite lives up to the hype.

Conditions, Sept 3rd, 21 if you want to look at the sensor for Lynnhaven inlet light (readings show a little higher (2ish kts?) than it is on the water in my opinion). I was at First Landing State Park VA Beach, VA. On shore. Breaking waves and tight chop. Forecast was for 18kts dropping to 14 about the time I was supposed to arrive. I rode from 1 to 3:30. I figured it would be a good test. In reality the wind didn't die. The sensor showed solid upper teens, gusts into the 20s and upper 20s, lulls below 15. But overall it FELT like a solid 16 to 18 day. I'd normally rig my 12 for that and accept being a little underpowered in the on shore conditions to have fun in the gusts. 12s seemed to be what most riders were on. I didn't get to test the low end of the kite except in a few lulls. I didn't develop an opinion on the low end ability at all.

Overall impressions. For a 3 strut I felt the kite was very well behaved. I was especially impressed in the gusts. My 14 Rally would have been a slow turning runaway truck as the gusts filled into the 20s. The Flite was very quick, felt like flying a 12 or smaller. Bar pressure is light but positive (I always felt I knew where the kite was.) Downloops were snappy. Power delivery was solid and steady not shocky. The grunt on a water start was easy, if that makes sense. The kite didn't feel grunty or truckyq when pulling during a start. Despite yesterdays up and down wind I never got that "oh ****, too much kite" feeling. Jumps were effortless and the kite glides well in the air. Definitely fun and floaty jumps.

Turn speed of the kite was probably most eye opening in addition to the ability to just keep riding smoothly as the wind increased and decreased. It was a real treat and no brainer to fly. I'd like to make some "revelation" type statement about the kite but in reality the remarkable thing about the kite is that it was unremarkable. It just did everything great yesterday despite stronger than anticipated winds. When the wind did lighten up it glided through the lulls and kept my heavy arse riding powered. When the wind cranked up the kite was well behaved. When I sent it, the kite jumped smoothly and was fun in the air. It went high, it floated. I probably had reliably the softest landings yesterday that I've ever felt. That's not a surprise since I think the Dices (especially the 9) sometimes just drop you out of the air. While being soft the landings were also powered and fast at times. I think that's because I was getting used to how fast the kite responds when it is flown forward (diving) to catch a landing.

When I down looped it the kite went around fast for a 14.

Now, it's still a 14.5m kite. So wing tip to wing tip it's long. It certainly didn't loop like a 12m dice, which seems to pivot on its wing tip, but it wasn't heavy on the bar and it didn't hesitate. Compared to my 2017 Rally in the same size the Flite felt 2 sizes smaller and absolutely maneuverable.

On the twin tip playing on the waves it was a little cumbersome to fly and loop quickly to stay where I wanted on the wave. Some of that is rider ability. Some of that is flying a big kite. With my old Rally I'd probably say I plan a 3 or 4 second delay from when I steer the kite on a wave to when the kite responds and another couple seconds for the kite to actually deliver power and fly where I'm asking it to. With the Flite, I'd say that time was cut in about half. I dont want to give the impression the kite is automatic. It isn't. You still have to fly it and anticipate it. You still have to work. But I'd say on a similar day I'd be at about a 8 on a scale of 10 stress level with my old 14. Trying to absorb gusts, muscling it around etc. With the Flite I was at about a 6. It wasn't effortless kiting, but given that I was riding a 14.5 in conditions I'd usually ride a 12 in I was impressed.

2 things the kite did remarkably well yesterday, gliding through lulls, getting upwind in the on shore (mostly) conditions. I could ease off the power, play in the chop and surf on the way in and then easily power up and with a tack or two be right back out for more. Usually I'd be fighting that on shore low end battle trying to get back off the beach. The Flite... probably by nature of the fact it was big for the conditions more than a good pointing kite, just motored out.

Pointing heavily upwind I noticed the kite would luff just behind the leading edge above the center strut at what felt like the max upwind angle, but there was no trailing edge flutter and that really only happened trying to point the ** out of the kite.

That's about it. I am interested to get it out on the surfboard in 12 to 14 and see how it rides or on the foil. I'll try to remember to update here when I do if anyone is interested.

Thanks for reading
Tom


Hey Tom
Thanks for an informative non biased review.
I have the 14.5m & 17m A Flite.
Just reading your review only confirms how controlled these Aluula kites feel.
You would have noticed a huge difference coming from a SS Rally.
You definitely don't have to muscle Aluula kites around they just do most things easier.
I could go on but will enjoy reading what a great low end they have when you get a day.
Cheers have fun & relax.



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"Ocean Rodeo 14.5m Flite Aluula" started by Trnsprt