flite prof

TESTED: 2016 Ocean Rodeo Flite 8m

Why, you might ask, have you told us that you tested an 8m here when you do not on other tests? [Editor’s note: if you are interested, then we generally test 8 and 9 meter kites – normally 8m for wave focused kites and 9m for everything else.] Well, the reason we have specified the size in this test is that the Flite was introduced to the OR range as a ‘lightwind’ kite, so was only available in BIG sizes. But they liked it so much that for the 3rd generation they have scaled it down with this 8m now being the smallest. The test team were intrigued…

Out of the bag and construction is solid but relatively light – there are no excess reinforcements (although there are new Kevlar reinforcements in critical points) and this smaller size has a similar attitude when it comes to keeping its weight low as you find on the larger sizes. This is further assisted by the leading edge which is small and the struts which are tiny…

In the air and you appreciate that this is a relatively high aspect kite. It sits forward in the water and really drives upwind and feels like a performance ‘racier’ kite. Then, once you begin moving it around, it becomes clear that this is a perfectly poised kite – it feels very ‘light’ and you would expect that to result in a reduction in responsiveness but it doesn’t: the Flite turns very smoothly and the power on/off is tuned in and effective. There are also surprises also in the turning speed which is quick and pivotal, even when riding it towards the top of its range.

Although we didn’t have the opportunity to fly the kite with a foil, there would be clear advantages here in terms of the weight and design of the kite for foiling in mid-strength winds, and the smaller sized Flites would also clearly work well as ‘lightwind’ kites for riders in the ‘sub 70kg’ bracket.

The Flite looks like a kite that shouldn’t be rubbing shoulders with other ‘freeride’ kites that look completely different but it really does…

IN A SENTENCE: The Flite 8m is perfectly tuned and well-refined – it genuinely does put a smile on your face.

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