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With the introduction of the first version of the ALUULA-based lightwind kite two years ago, we were very impressed by the Flite’s lightwind prowess, but also its playfulness and easy handling. Could V2 of the Flite – with some subtle changes in design – deliver even more joy on the water in conditions where other kites barely fly?
With the distinctive golden ALUULA airframe, the 12m Flite we had on test felt more like an 8m kite when lifted from the ground, which transfers directly to ease of flying in borderline conditions. The stiffer and considerably thinner frame of the Flite allows it to perform incredibly well in the lower end of the kite wind range (which we experienced in gusting conditions between 7-18 knots). The kite hangs in the air without any problem at around 10 knots. The impressive low weight, which is noticeable from taking the kite out of the bag, makes a difference here. The bridle has been reworked and incorporates the new anti-drag ‘Roto Bridle’ to liven up performance, and the inflation system has been reworked completely to reduce drag and to – of course – reduce weight.
The kite is designed for light wind and performs incredibly well in low-wind conditions when you can generate plenty of refined power through moving the kite aggressively to get started. Remodeled wing tips (which are squarer and more akin to those on the Rise) help the kite stay more stable when positioned lower in the wind window. This subtle change, combined with the high-aspect design of the kite, also produces substantial lift when the kite is flying up, which, in addition to being lightweight, makes foiling stupendously easy and ensures that you can really boost even in marginal conditions. For truly borderline conditions, you can really loop the Flite too to get yourself going, and you get a consistent pull throughout the rotation – even as the kite is flying upward.
For twintip riding, what got our attention straight away was how nicely and smoothly the kite performed when the wind picked up. With the 12m we could see a solid freeride potential in how the kite lifts and how fast it moves throughout the air. When other kites were just getting up from the water, we were getting solid jumps with a very smooth floaty flight. The Flite delivered smooth landing with effortless and predictable heliloops. When stacked, this kite just wants to move fast and lift high, something which most lightwind kites cannot deliver.
What was also impressive was that when the wind really picked up and the kite reached its top range and needed to be heavily depowered, it still felt well-tuned and comfortable to ride, and was still super fun. Even when caught off guard by a solid gust, we didn't experience any out-of-control pull or hard-to-handle steering. The kite was flying easily with graceful lightness. Boosting was still smooth with decent hangtime and low height loops, which were fast and not yanking our arms or increasing our heart rate. The kite just flies and loops really fast… The firm ALUULA frame holds the shape in stronger and heavier conditions, although we noticed that while pulling a fast power loop the trailing edge started to flap a bit but, again, this is taking it beyond its intended use, and overall the top range performance was exceptional, and we could continue our session despite other guys riding 7 and 8m kites!
The Flite A-Series is an easy-going and playful kite that delivers both in the top and low wind range, and a good choice for those who change a board instead of pumping a new kite. You don't have to worry about starting the session in lightwind conditions on the foil. If the wind picks up, just take a twintip and enjoy a smooth boosting session on the same kite. Overall the Flite delivers long, playful, easy sessions no matter the wind range.