Ultimate Test Kite test criteria explained

ANGLE OF ATTACK FORCE TEST

We attached a Newton meter between the harness and chicken loop… Two readings are taken:

1) The initial reading is taken with kite in depowered position (bar out). The pilot sits braced against the floor with the kite at 45 degrees and, when it is stable, a wind meter reading and the reading o” the crane meter is to be taken. Repeated at least three times ensuring no anomalies in recordings.

2) The test is repeated as above but with the bar sheeted in all the way.

Both results are recorded and the difference between the two values is recorded. We found this to be a very solid indicator of the power a kite had on tap. So the higher the value, the more power the kite had.

TURNING SPEED

Subjective assessment of turning speed as perceived by individual riders.

  • 10 Flies constantly up and down with no lag or stalling in turn. 
  • 7-9 Kite flies very quickly and has a quick turn which is fairly tight with little lag or stalling. 
  • 4-6 Kite flies steadily up and down with a small amount of lag or stalling.

BAR PRESSURE

Subjective assessment of bar pressure as perceived by individual riders. 

NB: 10 is not necessarily a ‘good’ score, it just indicates that bar pressure is relatively low.

  • 10 Bar pressure is light and almost unnoticeable and after a session. Rider’s arms do not feel tired. Can comfortably ride with the kite fully powered all of the time. 
  • 7-9 Bar pressure is still light with only a small amount of fatigue after a session or when riding the kite fully powered. 
  • 4-6 Bar pressure is heavier and after a session the rider experiences some fatigue in arms. Rider feels they can only ride with the kite fully powered for a limited amount of time.

LOOP RADIUS

Loop radius was assessed in three ways. A static loop in light wind, a down loop turn, and a sent kite loop. The kite was assessed to see if when it was turned hard if it pivot turned (a tight turn) or if it took a large arc and flew low through the window. The kites were then assigned a value of 1-10, 10 being a tight turn and 1 a wider arc.

STABILITY AT ZENITH

The kite was flown at 12 o’clock. When stable it was then fully depowered and then powered again in quick succession. 

  • 10 Kite is stable at all points with no falling back. 
  • 7-9 Kite has little movement with only a small amount of falling back. 
  • 4-6 Kite falls back a small amount but after a short time it restores itself to the zenith. 
  • 1-3 Kite is barely at zenith, it falls back significantly into the window before catching itself or falls out of sky.

OVERSHEET TO STALL TEST

The kite was flown at 45 degrees. When stable it was then fully depowered and then powered again in quick succession.

  • 10 Kite stays stable at 45 degrees and does not fall back at all. 
  • 7-9 Kite is relatively still with only a small amount of dropping back but quickly recovers itself. 
  • 4-6 Kite stays around 45 degrees and at times it drops back into the window but still recovers. • 1-3 kite barely stays in position, it drops back significantly into window resulting in power spikes on recovery or back stalling.

UPWIND ABILITY

Subjective assessment of upwind angles as perceived by individual riders. 10 is the ‘best’ upwind angle on a kite. 

NB: 10 is not necessarily a ‘good’ score, for some kites you would want them to sit closer to the middle of the window so to have a lower score.

DOWNWIND DRIFT

The tester rides as hard upwind as possible before quickly heading directly downwind towards the kite. 

  • 10 Kite remains steerable and never looks like it will fall out of the sky. 
  • 7-9 Kite sits stable and does not look to fall out of the sky but loses a degree of steerage. 
  • 4-6 Kite sits relatively stable but loses steering and starts to fall slightly. 
  • 1-3 Kite rapidly loses steering and starts to fall out of the sky.

POP / SLACK TEST

The tester unhooked, loaded and popped for a basic Railey. On landing, they rode towards the kite and assessed how easy it was to hook back in / land blind / surface pass out of the maneuver.

  • 10 Kite will slack out on landing and not pull on arm. Pass out would be easy 
  • 7-9 Kite slacks out a degree on landing allowing easy hooking back in or relatively easy. pass with little pull. 
  • 4-6 Kite has a small amount of pull on landing and e”ort is required to hook back in. 
  • 1-3 Kite still pulling hard on landing and hooking back in is difficult.

KITELOOP POWER TEST

The tester performs a downloop turn or a sent kiteloop. Subjective assessment of the amount of pull from the kite. 

  • 10 Very strong pull resulting in being pulled or almost pulled off edge on a downloop turn, or a huge pull in loop. 
  • 7-9 In downloop turn there is a large pull resulting in a downloop turn with a lot of speed, in a kiteloop there is a fairly large pull in loop. 
  • 4-6 In downloop turn there is a fair amount of speed maintained in the turn, in a kiteloop there is a noticeable but controllable amount of pull. 
  • 1-3 In downloop turn the kite pivots and little speed generated, in a kiteloop there is little power generated.