David Plumtree - Summit & Frenzy review
I’ve been landboarding for 7 years and kitesurfing for 3. My claim to fame is setting the landboarding 24hr distance world record. Recently at the 2012 Moosemeet (an epic NZ kiting event) I got the chance to fly the 2013 Summits and Frenzy. Here’s my thoughts…
Being a Manta flyer of old I was very interested in the Summits to see how they flew compared to the Manta. My first flight was on the 12m Summit at midnight on the landboard around 10-15 knots. Night flying is a surreal experience and you need to know your kite intimately as you can’t always see it when its flying. Popping the 12 Summit into the sky was sweet indeed. I tack up the beach and enjoy the quick turning speed of this kite. It’s certainly a lot faster than the old Manta. In fact it fly’s a similar speed to inflatables. The speed across the window is impressive. Throwing down airs at night is very interesting as you can’t see the ground and have no depth perception. The 12 Summit did a nice job with predictable float in the marginal winds.
After tacking/jumping upwind for 5-10 mins I decide to do the downwind run. Wind is cross, cross on. Too downwind to get a good run down the beach. I throw the Summit into the wind expecting to have to loop it or work it because of the downwind angle I’m flying. To my surprise it just sits there and pulls me up to speed without slack lining at this crazy downwind angle. Next thing I know I’m doing 50+kph. What is this magic? How can it be that the kite didn’t slack line and loose power? The next morning I wake up at dawn. Everyone is asleep and there’s a ton of buggies lurking around. I am a buggy virgin and have never buggied before this day. The wind is up so I swipe the 8m Summit and sneak off with a buddies buggy and give it a lash. So I’m in a buggy on the sand dunes. There 5-20 meter high rolling dunes. Interesting terrain for a first ever buggy. None the less I launch the 8m Summit and hoon off. Such a nice kite. The power delivery smooooooth. I loop the kite to get up a steep dune. The loops are super smooth with no power spike. I can easily loop up the dunes no worries. In my process of learning to buggy I make some silly mistakes and end up running straight at the kite slack lining it. I expect it to loose shape and fall out of the sky as most open cell foils would. But no such action here. The kite drifts back and holds shape. How does it do this? I so don’t know but its glorious.
Later on the wind dies off a bit and I get to fly the 11m and 13m Frenzy. They have that familiar Frenzy feel. Obvious power and a tone of lift. Wind is really too light for any mad jumps. But I see the turning speed on the 11 and 13m is very good and the Ozone boys have managed to build the same stability and driftability the Summits have into the Frenzy. It’s certainly a pleasurable experience!… The Frenzy is more park and ride style and the Summit is a more dynamic flying style and definitely the kite of choice for me. Over the course of the weekend I fly the 12m, 10m & 8m Summits at any chance I get. Mostly in the buggy as winds are light. Each time I fly them I marvel at their smoothness, stability and ability to hold their shape now matter what silly thing I’m doing. They are silken beasts in the air. Hmmm. Now how do I break it to the missis that not only do I now have to have a buggy I also need a quiver of Summits to go with it?…..Bugger.