Tests Kite Flysurfer Sonic3 - comparation with Sonic2 and Soul
6. MAY '20
One comparison of Flysurfer Sonic3, Sonic2 and Soul kites was already here, but since I have all these kites at home in practically the same size (13, 13 and 12m) and I like to try and test things myself, I decided to go out, pull out all 3 kites and compare them in identical conditions. The wind was rather stronger and quite gusty 10 - 20 knots.
Differences in construction
I unpacked the kites nicely next to each other so that you could see the differences in the aspect ratio and shape of the kites. At first glance, you can see the significantly lower aspect ratio of Flysurfer Soul, followed by the new Sonic3 and the highest aspect ratio has Sonic2. Another difference is in the materials. Sonic2 is made from a combination of Lotus and Deluxe+ materials, while Soul and Sonic3 are made from a combination of X-Lite and Deluxe +.
Another difference is evident in the location of the inflatable holes. Soul has 5 holes evenly spaced in the middle of the kite. Sonic2 has 7 holes along its entire length and 3 of them are very concentrated in the middle of the kite. Sonic3 also has 7 holes, but they are evenly spaced almost the entire length of the kite, even more to the ears than the previous model. This also probably has an effect on inflating the kites at takeoff. I describe the comparison of starts below.
The different thickness of profiles and shapes of canopies can be nicely seen in the air. The Sonic3 canopy forms a smooth, very open arch. Sonic2 is more rounded in the middle and conversely the ears are straighter with the tips bent away from the kitter. Soul then balances somewhere in between these shapes ans is overall a bit more closed to C shape.
The most chubby wing profile has Soul, then the slimmer Sonic3 and the thinnest wing then Sonic2. This corresponds to my subjective feeling of "sportiness" of the kites, about which I write a little further.
Comparation of inflation during launch
Launching the kite was a big surprise for me. Very slim kites are often badly inflating during launch and in the strong wind at the same time puling strongly downwind until they are fully inflated. Starts with Soul have always been fine, Sonic2 is starting perfectly in a lower wind, but in a strong wind it is sometimes a bit of a struggle and it needed a lot of free space downwind. But Flysurfer Sonic3 took my breath away. In relatively strong conditions, inflated the fastest at the launch without pre-inflating and the downwind pull was also minimal. Although the kite was not yet fully inflated, it pushed itself into the edge of the window and did not pull downwind. Inflating the ears was also easy. It was enough to play a little with the bar and the kite was immediately inflated. I haven't ridden a new kite on the water yet, so I can't evaluate the ability of tangling, untangling and restarting yet.
This is quite a subjective comparison and someone may have a different opinion and it's also definitely about the habit, because with the new Sonic3 I haven't ride much with it yet and its feeling is quite new for me so far. It is clear from Soul that it will not behave like a sharp racing kite. After all, it is not even intended for this, and on the contrary, it would be undesirable for a kite intended for the less experienced. You can hear more about it here in video. Flysurfer Soul is a relaxed kite with great stability, decent dynamics and medium speed through the window with a significant but smooth increase in pull.
Flysurfer Sonic2 is a race-oriented (in its time) kite with great potential for airstyle and low wind. It has a lot of sports, but a bit of a specific feeling. Many people are bothered by its flexibility in gusts, sharp turns or sudden changes in load. I don't mind this feature, and when I switched from the older Lotus, which behaved similarly, it wasn't even such a change. During sharp turns at the backstall limit of one half of the kite, the kite seems to break in the middle and each half of it is heading a little different direction, but the kite remains under full control and with sensitive control it can be turned practically on place and sent sharply in the opposite direction.
The new Flysurfer Sonic3 has a kind of rift effect on me against its predecessor. It is an absolutely hard, sharp and precise wing that responds immediately and very significantly to every command. When flying through the window, it accelerates very sharply with the simultaneous rapid onset of power. But at the same time, it doesn't feels "sporty" as much as Sonic2 to me. A lower spect ratio would correspond to this feeling, but according to the manufacturer, the new Flysurfer Sonic3 should still have a higher lift / drag ratio than Sonic2. Maybe it's because the stability of the new model is unbelievable (like Seoul) and you don't need to watch the kite much, even in the gusts, so at the edge of the window and on a smooth ride it behaves like a simple beginner kite. When turning, it behaves completely differently from its predecessor. The whole canopy holds in one line like a solid board, even when backstalling one side. Instead of flexing in the middle, the end of ear folds. Another surprise occurred during the first jump. The reaction to pulling the bar is very sharp and the kite aggressively shoots you up, from where it smoothly and long descends. Wait, this kite is designed for that… it's not a racing machine, but a high-performance airstyle and low wind kite, and that's exactly how it behaves. It's like a significantly sharper Soul.
The new Sonic3 certainly has a larger wind range than the older Sonic2, mainly due to its high gust stability and easy starts, which are dangerous situations where wind strength is the limiting factor. I dare say that the Flysurfer Sonic3 will be quite similar to Seoul with the wind range.
The new Flysurfer Sonic3 behaves exactly as stated by the manufacturer and also targets a specific group of advanced kiters with a penchant for high floaty jumps. It is like a super sport car among kites and the position of formula 1 racing belongs to other models.
Do you want to try this kite too? Contact me or your local ambassador :-)
See you on water, Leguan