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Last year’s Solo blew some minds with its one strut performance characteristics… And there have been some improvements for the 2016 Solo, with new material in the leech to stiffen it up, and the addition of the new cloth materials, with DK50 triple rip stop which has increased UV resistance and a higher abrasion and tear strength. The canopy is also now 2 pieces rather than a single piece with a ‘wavy’ trailing edge construction to tighten this up and help to alleviate canopy flutter.
For this year the 17.5 size has also been added – and this brings an amazing combination of low end power, turning performance and physics-defying relaunch even in the lowest of winds. This kite combined with a foil board was able to take us into the 5-7 knot wind range – we are now heading into uncharted waters for light wind kiting and the Solo is leading the charge. The next step after this would have to be a foil kite…
As with the first incarnation of the Solo, once again the stability of this kite astounded us (for any lightwind kite, let alone a one strut lightwind kite) and the balance of the kite and the lightness of the construction gives you real confidence that it is going to stay in the air – even in the lulls.
For pure low wind efficiency the Solo is in a class of its own. You do need some kite flying skills to really capitalize on it, so it’s less of a ‘feels like your 12m’ kind of a kite, but it’s also going to be trucking up and down quite happily when those kites have reached their low-wind limit. For V2 the feeling of the kite is pretty similar to V1, but you appreciate the work that has gone into the construction and the kite as a whole feels more refined and a bit ‘tighter’. Good work.
Aside from the performance, the big plus of the Solo is the price. Less struts equals less $ so you can add a Solo to the quiver without having to splash out some of the serious bucks that these big kites can command…