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CrazyFly’s three-strut Sculp has been the European manufacturer’s allrounder for some time now, being well received and progressively improved over the years. It’s a hybrid design with a hint more delta and bow kite than most in this sector, blending the advantages of these two design directions cleverly. This combo has always produced a freeride kite that you can throw into more or less all situations confidently.
Not normally something we dwell on too much, but the entirety of the packaging is comprised of recycled cardboard. There’s no plastic present in here at all. It’s also all compact in boxes, minimizing shipping volumes, all nodding towards minimizing environmental impact. The bag is generously proportioned, and I daresay quite stylish, unusual for a kite bag!
Boxes aside, the in-house build from CrazyFly continues to impress, with ridiculous levels of attention to detail throughout. Not a stitch sits out of place, and intelligent use of materials is applied. All new TerTex cloth has been employed on the outer struts and wingtips; this is an intermediate weight cloth that sits between ripstop and Dacron, feeling both light and stiff. The resulting kite drops a lot of weight, improving low end and responsiveness, and aids relaunch. Arptex material carries over from previous years as a lightweight and strong scuff protection in essential areas. It’s used sparingly to minimize weight across the leading edge on all the segment joins. The bridle has had a workover to complement the new bar system. There’s bungees present on both the front and steering lines to help take up any slack and keep things responsive. The leading edge seam is also unique to the brand, and tucks itself out of the way to present a super smooth surface to the wind through the wingtips. Inflation is handled by a high volume iSUP-style valve, which is our current market favorite in terms of ease of inflation, maintenance and reliability.
In the air, the new Sculp immediately feels increasingly light and mobile over the previous model. Handling is perky for a 9m with a fair amount of span, and turning is pivotal and nippy; bar pressure seems to have been reduced without making it too remote. There’s two settings available on the wingtips for harder and softer bar feeling, which are easy to change by simply sliding a knot along. For general riding around, the Sculp makes for a comfortable cruiser, but with noticeably fast forward speed from the thinner leading edge, and a lot of sail area presented to the wind makes for a pull-for-power simplicity that is key for freeride. This translates into easy-to-achieve floaty jumps with loads of hangtime and soft landings, and a pokey kiteloop when required. The range available on the bar stroke means you can feather how much pulse you want from the loop, and it climbs in an agile and predictable manner.
The Sculp is probably most suited to twintip use, but the newfound lightness and more perky handling will transfer over well to freeride foiling in its low end or for someone that wants to dabble with wave riding. It’s a kite that oozes ease of use and is easy to control, which is how a decent freeride kite should be, boosting your confidence and aiding progression. Combine this with that rock-solid build and it becomes a bit of a no brainer.
When combined with the new Savvy bar system, the CrazyFly package is feeling extremely top end and highly featured, and the level of detail in the build should really worry the bulk of the brands that manufacture overseas, particularly when they come with a three-year warranty…